Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Exercise Can Overcome Obesity Genes in the Amish

A study by University of Maryland researchers of old-order Amish patients who had two specific genes that marked them for obesity showed that intensive exercise could prevent the expression of those genes. Those with the presence of the genes who exercised with moderate intensity for 3-4 hours a day were able to eliminate their risk for becoming overweight. This study was a pretty dramatic confirmation that lifestyle and perhaps supplements as well can prevent abnormal gene expression. Genomics is the science of genetic testing, and for many conditions tests are now available in the office setting.

Link to Archives of Internal Medicine 2008;168: (membership required)

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Low Selenium Might be a Major Risk Factor for Hypertension, Especially for Afro-Americans

A low serum selenium, measured by a simple blood test, can assess the risk for hypertension. It is well known that Afro-American patients have a higher incidence of hypertension. The National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys reports that Black patients also have lower selenium levels. Perhaps we should be measuring selenium levels for all patients who have hypertension or even a family history of hypertension. It is easy to boost selenium with nutritional supplements.

Link to Family Practice News October 1, 2008 (membership required)

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Antidepressant Drugs Help Symptoms of Fibromyalgia

Milnacipran and trazadone and a couple of other antidepressants have been shown to help sleep and improve the quality of life for patients suffering from fibromylagia. Sometimes that can be helpful, but there are more effective agents available in the integrative realm. D-ribose, magnesium, MSM and treatment of yeast imbalance and food allergies are usually the best places to start to get excellent results for this debilitating problem. Prescription drugs do not work nearly as well as the natural route.

Check out Family Practice News 10/01/08, membership required.
And to endfatigue.com

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Osteoarthritis on the Rise and Treatment is Often Ineffective

According to a study in Arthritis Care and Research 45% of people 85 years old, and 61% of those who are also obese have significant osteoarthritis of at least one knee. Those who have had previous injuries are also at higher risk. The increase in arthritis correlates well with the increase in obesity and decrease in exercise nationwide. Diet, exercise and prolotherapy are the answers, especially since arthroscopic surgery in older patients is being severely questioned because it does not appear to be effective in most cases.

You can go to Arthritis Care and Research and search for 9/08.
and Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality’s Health Care Cost and Utilization Project.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Another Source for Heavy Metals

Thirty years after removing lead from gasoline, the EPA is finally cutting the amount of lead allowed to be spewed into the air by industry by 90%. Exposure to even low levels of lead can result in learning and memory problems in children and hypertension, kidney problems, heart disease, strokes, and cancer in adults. This is definitely a big step forward, but we also should consider treating patients who have already been exposed. Chelation therapy is effective and should be widely used.

Link to the Environmental Protection Agency.

Friday, November 7, 2008

New Recommendations for Children

Manufacturers of cough and cold products are now warning parents not to give them to children under 4 years old. More than 7000 children go to emergency rooms because of adverse effects from these drugs. The FDA is considering banning the products for those under 12 years old. On another front, the government is now recommending that children take up to 1000 units of Vitamin D3 in a supplement daily. Vitamin D has multiple benefits, but one is to improve immunity against viruses. I suggest to parents that they give their children vitamin D regularly and double the dose, with some extra vitamin C as well, if a cold develops. Warm clear liquids laced with some honey should help a cough, or black elderberry syrup might even be a little more effective.

Associated Press, October 8, 2009

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Newer Joint Replacements Do Not Hold Up

In October, the Associated Press reported on a British study that concluded that 1 out of 75 hip replacements have to be redone within only 3 years. This figure is about the same in the US, according to Thomas Barber of the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons. Women are much more likely than men to required repeat procedures so soon. “Hip resurfacing” procedures did not do as well as total replacements. Partial knee replacements are popular because more post-op activity is allowed, but they also fared poorly compared to total knees. This should make us lean toward prolotherapy injections, which can sometimes avoid surgery and commonly delay the needs for it considerably.

Associated Press, October 8, 2009.