Medical

Cancer-Causing HPV Found in 20 Percent of U.S. Teens and Adults

Human Papilloma Viruses (HPV) that cause cancers of the mouth and sexual organs are the most common sexually-transmitted diseases in the United States today, infecting 20 percent of people under age 60 (CDC's National Center for Health Statistics, April 6, 2017). The Communicable Disease Center estimates that these cancer-causing viruses infect 80 million Americans, with more than 14 million of the new infections occuring among teenagers. They found that almost 31,000 new cases of cancer each year from 2008 to 2012 were attributable to HPV and that most could be prevented with immunization.

Read Full Story

Write comment (0 Comments)

No Amount of Overweight is Healthful

Earlier this month, researchers at Boston University and Harvard reviewed three studies following more than 225,000 adults over age 50, for eight to 20 years, and showed that being even slightly overweight can increase your risk of dying by 6 percent, and in those who are obese, by a whopping 73 percent (Annals of Internal Medicine, April 3, 2017). The main causes of death are heart and lung disease and cancers, and the more overweight you are, the greater your chance of dying prematurely.

Read Full Story

Write comment (0 Comments)

Competitive Athletes and Doping

An important article in the May 19, 2017 New York Times discusses the latest accusations that some of America's top athletes are using supplements, both legal and illegal, in the hope that they will improve athletic performance. I will present a brief review of some of the supplements that the accused U.S. athletes are taking and comment on their effectiveness or worthlessness, side effects and potential dangers to their health. 

Read Full Story

Write comment (0 Comments)

Latest on Testosterone for Older Men

Earlier this month, medical journals reported the largest trials ever to examine the benefits and harms of taking testosterone for men over 65 with low blood levels of testosterone (less than 275 ng/dL). At 12 study sites across the country, a total of 790 participants were given testosterone gel or a placebo applied daily to the skin. Most of these men had low testosterone due to aging, not due to damage to the testicles or brain where testosterone levels are controlled. Over a year, investigators measured the effects of testosterone on: 

Read Full Story

Write comment (0 Comments)

Slowing Loss of Muscle and Bone Strength with Aging

Researchers at the Mayo Clinic compared high-intensity aerobic interval training, resistance training and combined training in a group of 72 men and women aged 65-80 (Cell Metabolism, Mar 10, 2017). All three training types reduced body fat, increased sensitivity to insulin to help control blood sugar levels and increased the amount of protein in muscles. However, they showed that only high-intensity aerobic training led to improvement in two of the most important markers of the aging processes: the maximum ability to take in and use oxygen (VO2 max), and mitochondrial function in muscles. 

Read Full Story

Write comment (0 Comments)

Irregular Heartbeats in Older Athletes and Exercisers

Most researchers believe that exercise helps to strengthen the heart and protect it from disease, but about twenty years ago, doctors noted that some men over 80 who competed in cross country ski races longer than 100 kilometers (60 miles) were at increased risk for an irregular heartbeat called atrial fibrillation (BMJ. 1998 Jun 13; 316(7147): 1784–1785). Extensive studies have since confirmed this increased incidence of atrial fibrillation in healthy older world-class endurance athletes (Scan J Med & Sci in Sports. Nov 21, 2013;24(4):). However, most of these men are healthy athletes and have no obvious problems with their hearts.

Read Full Story

Write comment (0 Comments)

How Can HRM Data Help Detect Heart Problems?

I read your article this week about the book The Haywire Heart. You say that the book's authors suggest using a heart rate monitor to monitor for problems: "Another suggestion  is to wear a heart rate monitor at all times while training. This can help detect problems we may not be aware of, and can serve as useful information to a doctor should an episode occur." Specifically, what should I look for in the heart monitor info? Anything other than a racing heart rate?

Read Full Story

Write comment (0 Comments)

Mild Dehydration Does Not Impair Exercise

Many years ago the Gatorade Sports Science Institute published a study showing that 46 percent of recreational exercisers are dehydrated (Applied Physiology, Nutrition and Metabolism, June 2006). However, the study did not say that the exercisers were harmed by their dehydration, with good reason. There is no data anywhere to show that mild dehydration affects health or athletic performance. Fit humans can tolerate significant fluid loss before their performance suffers, and most cases of muscle cramps are not caused by dehydration or salt loss. 

Read Full Story

Write comment (0 Comments)

4 Brain-Boosting Games to Reduce Risk of Alzheimer's

Just like your muscles, your brain needs regular exercise in order to keep it in prime condition and to ward off deterioration. Keeping your brain active and engaged helps it remain strong and ward off the deterioration that characterizes dementia and Alzheimer’s. By playing games such as specially-designed brain training computer games and card games, you can minimize the brain health deterioration that puts you at risk of these diseases.

Read Full Story

Write comment (0 Comments)

Statins, Low Vitamin D Levels and Muscle Pain

Many people who take statin drugs complain of muscle pain and muscle damage. A new study associates this statin-induced muscle pain with low blood levels of vitamin D (Atherosclerosis, 11/22/2016). An eight–week randomized, double–blind crossover trial of a statin drug (simvastatin, 20 mg/day) on 120 patients who had previously complained of muscle pain from statins showed that 43 (35.8 percent) had pain while taking statins, but not on a placebo, and that people who developed muscle damage from taking statins had lower levels of vitamin D.

Read Full Story

Write comment (0 Comments)

Recovery: the Key to Improvement in Cycling

Muscles are made up of thousands of fibers just as a rope is made of threads. Each fiber is made up of blocks called sarcomeres joined end to end at the Z-lines like a line of bricks. Muscles contract only at each Z-line, not along the entire length of a fiber. Intense workouts cause muscle damage... . Significant increases in muscle strength and size come only with workouts intense enough to break down muscle Z-lines. When muscles heal they become stronger and larger.

Read Full Story

Write comment (0 Comments)

Retaining Strength with Aging Improves Quality of Life

If you don't exercise regularly and vigorously, expect to lose a significant amount of muscle strength as you age, and expect that loss of strength to reduce the quality of your life. A 15-year follow-up study showed that older people who lift weights at least twice a week had a 46 percent lower death rate within the study period, a 41 percent lower death rate from heart attacks, and a 19 percent lower death rate from cancer, compared to the control group that did not lift weights (Preventive Medicine, June 2016;87:121-127).

Read Full Story

Write comment (0 Comments)

The Latest VIDEOS & PODCASTS (check main navigation Categories at top of page for more videos)