“Polypharmacy May Be Hurting You”Jan 07, 2018
One of my pet peeves is that patients are being prescribed too many medications simultaneously, which is a situation called “polypharmacy.” Polypharmacy is described as taking five or more medications daily. One survey found that more than 50% of female Medicare beneficiaries took five or more medications daily, with 12% taking 10 or more daily. Patients have suffered from a largely hidden epidemic of side effects from drugs that usually have few offsetting benefits. A major challenge in developed countries is the increasing number of patients with multiple (two or more) chronic conditions. Multiple chronic conditions are seen most often in those aged over 65 years. A recent survey among older adults in 11 countries reported the high rates of multiple conditions, such as hypertension, heart disease, diabetes, lung problems, mental health problems, cancer and/or joint pain and arthritis. As a result, older adults are likely to be prescribed multiple medications (polypharmacy) and utilize more healthcare, at a higher cost. Polypharmacy and potentially inappropriate medications in older individuals are associated with adverse drug events, death, impaired physical and cognitive function, falls, and hospitalization. Approximately 53% of over-65s in the United States and 42% in Canada take four or more prescription drugs. Many over-65s take five or more prescription drugs, and this rate is increasing.
“Cancer Killed By Peroxide Produced From Vitamin C”Dec 31, 2017
Cancer is rapidly gaining on heart disease as the number one killer in America and some of the things we do can make cancer worse. Large clinical trials have found that antioxidant supplements, which many gobble down daily, can worsen some cancers. Antioxidants can block the killing of leukemia, lymphoma, myeloma, and human cancers of the breast, lung pancreas, liver, colon, rectum and endometrium. This was shocking since antioxidants are widely claimed to be beneficial. In my book, Danger of Excessive Antioxidants in Cancer Patients, I clearly demonstrated the harmful effects of antioxidants in cancer patients. I found twenty-seven (27) types of human cancer cell types and nine (9) murine (rodent) cancer cell types that can be killed by reactive oxygen species and in which the killing can be blocked by antioxidants, thereby providing antioxidant protection and shielding of the cancer cells. Antioxidants also increase the spread of cancer cells (metastasis). I have extensively researched the role of prooxidants in the killing of cancer and presented my findings in my book, Cancer Killing, Suppression and Protection: The Howes Answer to Cancer, available at amazon.com. Studies over the past decade have repeatedly substantiated my theory. Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) is usually considered to be an antioxidant but it also can be a prooxidant when in high concentrations or in the presence of metal compounds.
“Coffee And Its Benefits and Risks”Dec 24, 2017
Coffee is the leading worldwide beverage after water and its trade exceeds US $10 billion worldwide. 54% of Americans over the age of 18 drink coffee every day. Americans average 3.1 cups a day and the average size of a cup is 9 oz. Controversies regarding its benefits and risks still exist as reliable evidence is becoming available supporting its health promoting potential; however, some researchers have argued about the association of coffee consumption with cardiovascular complications and cancer uprising. Many, but not all, research investigations have revealed coffee may reduce the risk of diabetes mellitus, liver cancer, melanoma skin cancer, endometrial cancer, erectile dysfunction, various other cancer lines, mild cognitive impairment, Parkinsonism, and Alzheimer’s disease. The health-promoting properties of coffee are often attributed to its rich phytochemistry, including caffeine, chlorogenic acid, caffeic acid, hydroxyhydroquinone (HHQ), etc.
“Alzheimer’s May Be Helped with Increased Oxygen”Dec 17, 2017
An estimated 5.5 million people have Alzheimer’s disease, which is one of the top 10 leading causes of death for which there is currently no cure or treatments to prevent or decelerate it. Alzheimer’s will claim 14 million victims by 2050. Incredibly, 1 in 3 seniors die with (not necessarily from) Alzheimer’s disease (AD) or other types of dementia. Alzheimer’s is a progressive disease that gradually destroys brain tissue and people’s ability to remember, think, communicate, and lead independent lives. It is the most common form of dementia. Of the 47 million people worldwide living with dementia, around 65% are thought to have Alzheimer’s disease. While deaths from other major causes are falling, deaths from Alzheimer’s are rising fast. From 2000 to 2014, deaths from heart disease—the number one killer—fell by 14%, while deaths from Alzheimer’s rose by 89%. To avoid development of Alzheimer’s, go heavy on fruits and vegetables and exercise at least three times a week for no less than thirty minutes. A new study has concluded that aerobic exercise may reduce AD symptoms and appears effective in decreasing caregiver distress. Epidemiological studies show that midlife exercise was associated with delayed AD onset.
“Blood Pressure Guidelines Make Almost Half of Americans Hypertensive”Dec 10, 2017
New guidelines on blood pressure mean millions of Americans are considered hypertensive, which may require treatment. Millions more people need to make lifestyle changes, or start taking medication, to avoid cardiovascular problems, such as heart attacks and strokes. Americans with blood pressure of 130/80 mm Hg or higher should be treated, down from the previous trigger of 140/90 mm Hg, according to new guidelines announced at the annual 2017 meeting of the American Heart Association (AHA). These guidelines are also endorsed by the American College of Cardiology and 11 other organizations. At the new cutoff, around 46%, or more than 103 million, of American adults are now considered to have high blood pressure, compared with an estimated 72 million under the previous guidelines in place since 2003. High blood pressure accounts for the second-largest number of preventable heart disease and stroke deaths in the United States, second only to smoking. Potentially deadly high blood pressure can be brought under control with a wide array of medications, many sold as relatively inexpensive generics.
“Good HDL-Cholesterol Not So Good After All”Dec 03, 2017
We have been brain washed into believing that we should keep levels of the “bad” cholesterol in check, while “good” cholesterol should be high in order to protect against heart disease and other cardiovascular conditions. But, new research is showing that “good” cholesterol is not s good at preventing heart disease, which includes heart attacks and strokes. Despite advertisements to the contrary, the precise interplay between the ‘good’ and the ‘bad’ kinds of cholesterol, as well as their impact on heart disease, have yet to be unraveled or scientifically proven. We have been told by the American Heart Association that high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol is “good” cholesterol and that we should expect that higher levels are better for our cardiovascular health. However, a new study at the University of Oxford, Peking University explored the health effects of CETP genetic variants, in 150,000 Chinese adults enrolled into the China Kadoorie Biobank (CKB).
“Heart Fun Facts”Oct 29, 2017
According to the American Heart Association, more than 15 million people have heart disease and it is the leading cause of death in the United States. Thank God for a healthy heart because all of our cells require a constant supply of oxygen and if blood flow stops, the cells will die. We have all read the terrifying illnesses that can affect the heart. So, let’s discuss some of the fun facts concerning the human heart, as recently presented by the Cleveland Clinic. The number of heart attacks peaks on Christmas Day, followed by December 26th and New Year’s. Heart disease has been found in 3,000-year-old mummies. The first “study” showing benefits of a vegetarian diet appears in the Bible’s Book of Daniel (600 BCE). The blue whale has the largest heart, which can weigh over 1,500 pounds. The first heart cell starts to beat as early as 4 weeks and it beats about 100,000 times a day. The heart has its own electrical supply and will continue to beat when separated from the body. Each minute, your heart pumps 1.5 gallons of blood. Every cell in the body gets blood from the heart, except for the corneas of the eyes. The first heart pacemakers plugged into a wall socket.
“Depression, Antidepressants and Exercise”Oct 22, 2017
One in five Americans, over the age of 12 years, suffers from depression and 11% of the U.S. population over the age of 12 are on antidepressant medication. Recently, the FDA issued a “Public Health Advisory” that warned citizens about the risks associated with the whole new generation of antidepressants including Prozac and its knock offs, Zoloft, Paxil, Luvox, Celexa, and Lexapro, as well as Wellbutrin, Effexor, Serzone, and Remeron. The FDA warned that such antidepressant drugs might increase suicides in a small percentage of children and adults. Sadly, little attention has been given to the FDA’s additional warning that certain behaviors are “known to be associated with these drugs,” including “anxiety, agitation, panic attacks, insomnia, irritability, hostility, impulsivity, akathisia (severe restlessness), hypomania, and mania.” These and similar effects are a result of their impact on a neurotransmitter in the brain called serotonin (the “happiness” neurotransmitter). The most common class of antidepressants block serotonin reuptake or reabsorption (SSRIs).
“Overworking May Put You in an Early Grave”Oct 15, 2017
My generation contributed to the creation of the “workaholic.” But, is this healthy? Workaholics feel compelled to work for the sake of working, and you feel panic, anxiety or a sense of loss when you aren’t working. The workaholic is “addicted to an incessant activity,” said Diane M. Fassel, author of “Working Ourselves to Death.” The behavior continues even if the worker becomes aware that it is personally harmful. Opinions differ on whether such unhealthy behavior, as opposed to abuse of substances like drugs and alcohol, can be considered an actual addiction. But more mental health professionals now consider “workaholism” a condition that can cause both mental and physical damage, said Bryan E. Robinson, book author of “Chained to the Desk.” One problem is that people are praised and rewarded for working excessively, which almost never happens with addictions. Most workaholics are either perfectionists, have a need for control or a combination of both. Working too hard can also be a way to escape from a bad relationship or to make up for an absence in one’s personal life.
“Breakfast is a Very Important Meal”Oct 08, 2017
It appears that Mom may have been right in telling you that breakfast may be the most important meal of the day. It gives you the energy to start a new day and it is linked to many health benefits, including weight control, improved performance, and lower risk of cardiovascular disease. Dietary patterns have changed significantly over the last few decades such that an estimated 20% to 30% of adults skip breakfast. These trends mirror the increase in obesity and associated cardiometabolic derangements. Studies show that eating a healthy breakfast (as opposed to the kind containing doughnuts) can help give you more strength and endurance to engage in physical activity; improved concentration and performance in the classroom or the boardroom; intake of vitamins, minerals and fiber and lower cholesterol levels. Breakfast is especially important for adolescents and children. Many studies, in both adults and children, have shown that breakfast eaters tend to weigh less than breakfast skippers. It is believed that eating a healthy breakfast can reduce hunger throughout the day, and help people make better food choices at other meals.