11 Surprising Factors That Mess With Your Memory

memoryStory at-a-glance 

Your brain is a dynamic organ, constantly adapting and changing, for better or for worse, even on a day-to-day basis

Thyroid problems, depression, anxiety, menopause, lack of sleep, smoking, stress, and certain medications can take a toll on your memory function Continue reading

Obesity Epidemic Goes Global: One-in-Three Is Now Overweight or Obese

obesityStory at-a-glance 

An estimated 110,000 Americans die as a result of obesity each year. Worldwide, obesity claims an estimated 3.4 million lives annually

One-third of all cancers are directly related to excess weight Continue reading

Vigorous Exercise May Significantly Lower Your Stroke Risk

Story at-a-glance

A new study shows that vigorously exercising at least four times per week can reduce your risk of a stroke, especially if you’re a man; the results are unclear if you’re a woman

This study (and some prior studies) seem to suggest that women Continue reading

Why This Form of Cancer is On the Rise

liverOver the past decades there have been a number of great steps taken in cancer research and treatment. Doctors are now able to improve the quality and length of life for patients at rates that were unimaginable only years ago. This increased knowledge leads to greater education for the masses, offering preventative strategies and ways to Continue reading

Baby Boomers: Not the ‘Healthiest Generation’

Every generation likes to think it’s healthier than the one that came before, but baby boomers can’t make that claim.

In a study published in JAMA Internal Medicine, researchers found that a sample of the baby boom generation, the 78 million Americans who were born in the post-war birth explosion from 1946 to 1964, were less healthy than Continue reading

Kidney Disease Requires Magnesium

One of the contraindications for taking magnesium is kidney failure. Unfortunately the public and many doctors think that means magnesium should not be taken by anyone with any degree of kidney disease. That’s just not true and I’ll explain why.

I just completed a CME (continuing medical education) course on Chronic Kidney Disease. It’s become so common that it has its own initials (CKD) and Continue reading

6 Ways to Help You Quit Smoking

In terms of health advice, nothing is better at minimizing your risk of health problems than to quit smoking. It is the No. 1 cause of preventable death in the world. In a piece of health news, researchers found that smokers are at additional risk from breathing environmental tobacco smoke. In other words, second-hand smoke. This study flows into six tips on how to quit for good. Continue reading

US-Born Latinas at Great Risk of Having Babies with Retinoblastoma

Their Mexican-born counterparts at lesser risk

In a large epidemiologic study, researchers at UCLA’s Jonsson Cancer Center found that the children of U.S.-born Latina women are at higher risk of having retinoblastoma, a malignant tumor of the retina which Continue reading

Babies to Mothers who Smoke Weigh 200 Grams Less at Birth

Smoking during pregnancy has widely documented health repercussions both for mother and baby. A study at the University of Zaragoza on 1216 newly born babies confirms that those born to mothers who smoke weigh and measure less.

A new study lead by the University of Zaragoza evaluates the differences Continue reading

Common Metal Could Make Breast Cancer Worse

Here is a health alert out of California, where researchers have tied a very common metal to breast cancer. They found that cadmium, a heavy metal found in cosmetics, food, water and air, makes breast cancer cells more aggressive.

This would seem to have a big impact on cancer treatment for all patients. The research shows that exposure to cadmium for prolonged periods of time can cause the progression of breast cancer to become more aggressive. Continue reading

Alternative Treatments Dissolve Cataracts, Prevent their Return, and Help to avoid Surgery

Surgery is usually the only option offered by conventional medicine to people with cataracts; however, there are alternative treatments that may dissolve cataracts preventing their return. Cataracts occur when the eye’s natural lens becomes cloudy, causing vision loss. They are most common in people over 40 and are the main cause of blindness worldwide, according to All About Vision. Continue reading

Smoking is harming more than your Lungs

According to a new study, smoking causes the body to turn against its own helpful bacteria, leaving smokers more vulnerable to disease. This is yet another damaging finding about the world’s most preventative cause of death. The health advice is clear as can be: it’s never to late to quit smoking.

You brush every day, floss regularly, but your mouth manages to maintain a stable ecosystem of healthy bacteria. But if you are a smoker, your mouth is a much more chaotic, diverse ecosystem. And in it, an invasion by harmful bacteria is far more likely, as your defense system is down.

As a group, it is not surprising that smokers suffer from higher rates of oral diseases than non-smokers. Leading the list is gum disease. This is a challenge for our good friends with the metal tools (dentists). The new study investigated the role the body’s microbial communities Continue reading

Drinking Large Amounts of Soft Drinks Associated with Asthma and COPD

A new study published in the journal Respirology reveals that a high level of soft drink consumption is associated with asthma and/or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

Led by Zumin Shi, MD, PhD, of the University of Adelaide, researchers conducted computer assisted telephone interviewing among 16,907 participants aged 16 years and older in South Australia between March 2008 and June 2010 inquiring about soft drink consumption. Soft drinks comprised Coke, lemonade, flavored mineral water, Powerade, and Gatorade etc.

Results showed that one in ten adults drink more than half a liter of soft drink daily in South Australia. The amount of soft drink consumption is associated with an increased chance of asthma and/or COPD. There exists a dose-response relationship, Continue reading

A Winter Danger you should be Aware of

There are the murmurings out there that shoveling snow can cause a heart attack. We’ve long thought that it happens every so often, but just in some incidences. Now the evidence points to men who have a family history of heart disease. It is they who should be cognizant about the risks that winter snow can bring…when it is on your driveway.

Two of the most important cardiology associations in the U.S. include snow-shoveling on their web sites as a high- risk physical activity. But the evidence didn’t seem convincing enough for a group of researchers. So they went to work.

They reviewed hospital patient records from the two previous winter seasons and came to this discovery: of 500 patients who came to the hospital with heart problems during this period, 35 of them (seven percent) had started experiencing symptoms while shoveling snow.

They call this a “huge” number. In fact, seven percent of anything in medicine is a significant proportion. What’s more is, perhaps they missed some patients that could have been shoveling snow around the time of a heart attack, but failed to mention it to the doctors. It is conceivable that the number of people could be double that.

The study also identified three main factors Continue reading

How to Cut Your Diabetes Risk by 80%

According to the American Diabetes Association, 25.8 million children and adults have diabetes in the U.S. alone. Why the epidemic? It has a lot to do with lifestyle choices. In fact, a recent study has found that living a healthy lifestyle could cut your risk of diabetes by as much as 80%.

Researchers from the U.S. National Institutes of Health have of course known for some time that diet, exercise, smoking and drinking have an impact on whether someone is likely to develop type 2 diabetes. What they didn’t know was how each individual factor affects the risk.

So they devised a clinical trial that looked at physical activity, healthy diet, body weight, Continue reading