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My Scottish Father Would Roll Over in His Grave

My Scottish Father Would Roll Over in His Grave,
Most people know that obesity is a health issue. But how many know that it’s responsible for 95 percent of Type 2 diabetes? Or that 50 percent of diabetes patients die of heart attack? How many readers know how obesity affects surgery? And what would make my father roll over in his grave?

For 60 years I’ve seen obesity in children and adults increasing in North America and most of the world. It’s tragic that few people fully understand how much this epidemic affects their lives and what it’s costing society.

By Dr. Gifford Jones - Tuesday, January 16, 2018 - Full Story

What Did You Learn From Me in 2017?

What Did You Learn From Me in 2017?
I hope my columns during 2017 have helped readers live longer and healthier. So which of the following are true or false?

  1. There’s evidence that regular activity lowers the risk of dementia. Also a suggestion that high daily doses of vitamin C can decrease the risk of Alzheimer’s disease.
  2. Researchers at The Harvard Medical School report the magical ingredient in fish to decrease the risk of heart disease is omega-3 fatty acids, which like Aspirin, add oil to the blood making it less likely to clot.
  3. The survival rate of cancer of the prostate has little to do with the type of treatment. Rather, it’s related to the biological nature of the malignancy. Some cancers are pussy cats, others raging tigers.
By Dr. Gifford Jones - Monday, January 1, 2018 - Full Story

Harnessing sperm to treat gynecological diseases

Harnessing sperm to treat gynecological diseases
Delivering drugs specifically to cancer cells is one approach researchers are taking to minimize treatment side effects. Stem cells, bacteria and other carriers have been tested as tiny delivery vehicles. Now a new potential drug carrier to treat gynecological conditions has joined the fleet: sperm. Scientists report in the journal ACS Nano that they have exploited the swimming power of sperm to ferry a cancer drug directly to a cervical tumor in lab tests.

By American Chemical Society - Friday, December 29, 2017 - Full Story

Blueberry vinegar improves memory in mice with amnesia

Blueberry vinegar improves memory in mice with amnesia
Dementia affects millions of people worldwide, robbing them of their ability to think, remember and live as they once did. In the search for new ways to fight cognitive decline, scientists report in ACS’ Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry that blueberry vinegar might offer some help. They found that the fermented product could restore cognitive function in mice.

By American Chemical Society - Friday, December 29, 2017 - Full Story

In world first, Israeli man gets injected shinbone graft

In world first, Israeli man gets injected shinbone graft
A rare bone implant was performed on an Israeli man at Emek Medical Center in Afula. The patient has been missing 5 centimeters (about 2 inches) of his tibia (shinbone) as the result of injuries sustained in a car accident eight months ago.

By ISRAEL21c - Wednesday, December 27, 2017 - Full Story

Want a Pet? The Risk and Benefit

Want a Pet? The Risk and Benefit
Who doesn’t love the pet who lavishes unconditional affection through thick and thin? President Harry Truman, while coping with the lonely responsibilities of his job, remarked, “If you want a friend in Washington, buy a dog!” But there are risks and responsibilities in pet ownership. It’s a matter worth considering since about 57 percent of North Americans own a pet.

In the Canadian Medical Association Journal, Dr. Paul Cherniack and Angela Cherniack discuss some of the infectious risks in owning pets. Yet it’s amazing that, in spite of these risks, studies indicate doctors rarely ask patients about pet ownership of dogs, cats, rabbits, birds, reptiles and rodents.

So what are the main infections to consider? Cats are most likely to infect humans with bacterial disease called Bartonella, usually triggered by a scratch from claws infected with feces of fleas, or a flea bite. This causes the swelling of lymph nodes. In severe cases, this can result in inflammation of the heart, and nerves and cause lesions on the liver, spleen and skin.

By Dr. Gifford Jones - Monday, December 25, 2017 - Full Story

We need More Love in the Christmas Stocking

We need More Love in the Christmas Stocking
What does this world need more than anything else this Christmas? It needs gifts of love, empathy, civility, less hatred, less poverty and less environmental pollution, destruction of guns and missiles before it becomes too late. It needs a mindful civilization that cares about every human being. And it must start with individual families and end with politicians throughout the world who control nuclear weapons.     

I enjoy the festivities of the Christmas season. For a short time the world looks less likely to blow itself up. But for people who’ve lost loved ones it’s a grim, lonely time. A Christmas surrounded by possessions, but without family and friends who care is the setting for depression.

By Dr. Gifford Jones - Monday, December 18, 2017 - Full Story

Preventing psoriasis with vanillin

Preventing psoriasis with vanillin
Small amounts of artificial vanilla extract, also known as vanillin, are in a wide range of products, from baked goods to perfumes. But vanillin’s versatility doesn’t stop there. In a recent mouse study reported in ACS’ Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, researchers report that this compound could also prevent or reduce psoriatic skin inflammation.

By American Chemical Society - Tuesday, December 12, 2017 - Full Story

Our Belly proves we’re not Gods this Holiday Season

Our Belly proves we’re not Gods this Holiday Season
This is the season to be jolly, and the last thing I want to do is spoil the holiday festivities. But, unfortunately, the office parties, family dinners, excess wine and fellowship of singing “Auld Lang Syne, all take a toll on one’s stomach. So, can you lessen the damage of hot fire beneath the breastbone? And what are the pitfalls in the treatment of this common discomfort?

Heartburn is triggered by several factors. The lower esophageal muscle   (LEM) at the end of the food pipe can become weak and inefficient at times.  So if you “eat the whole thing”, excess gas is created in the stomach and the laws of physics say something has to give. This results in the LEM opening, and gas, along with the stomach’s acidic juice, flows into the esophagus causing inflammation.

The Gifford-Jones Law states “one bad problem leads to another and another.” So if this scenario is repeated over and over, chronic inflammation can end in a condition called Barrett’s Esophagus. This can turn into esophageal cancer in one of every 200 cases. A big price to pay for gluttony.

By Dr. Gifford Jones - Monday, December 11, 2017 - Full Story

How Xanax works (video)

WASHINGTON — Whether or not you have anxiety, you’ve probably heard of Xanax. But what’s in this popular and widely prescribed drug, and how does it work? This new video from Reactions describes how Xanax works in the anxious brain:

 

By American Chemical Society - Tuesday, December 5, 2017 - Full Story

Heroin for Opioid Addicts, None for Cancer Patients

Heroin for Opioid Addicts, None for Cancer Patients
Where is the common sense and compassion in this country for cancer patients who suffer in agony? I write this because drug addicts, who largely seek pleasure from opioid drugs, are now getting better pain control than cancer victims. And these patients and their families should be enraged by what is happening.

The Federal Minister of Health (MOH), Ginette P. Taylor, has announced a 100 million dollar fund to fight the opioid crisis. She reports “This situation keeps me up at night.” I should remind her that cancer pain keeps many patients in agony   24 hours a day!

What is more galling is that the government wants to reduce barriers that limit access to heroin for addicts in drug-treatment programs. Yet there is no such access for cancer patients in hospitals. It appears that not all the lunatics are in the asylum.

By Dr. Gifford Jones - Tuesday, December 5, 2017 - Full Story

Taking Arsenic Would be the Safer Option

Taking Arsenic Would be the Safer Option
Today, there’s almost a crusade taking place to decrease the risk of concussion in hockey, football and other sports. But what is the risk of other injuries? A study, published in the issue of JAMA Facial Plastic Surgery, says you do not have to participate in high octane sports to be injured. The report shows that facial fractures among older adults are on the rise. And taking arsenic in some activities would seem to be a safer option for some seniors.

Researchers, at Wayne State University in Detroit, evaluated national emergency room statistics and discovered an interesting trend. During a five year period 20,500 adults ages 55 and older suffered facial fractures. In fact, the number of these injuries had increased 45 percent over the preceding five years.

By Dr. Gifford Jones - Monday, November 27, 2017 - Full Story

After cooking, biofortified corn and eggs retain vital nutrient needed to prevent blindness

Corn muffins and other foods made with biofortified maize and eggs retain vitamin A after being cooked
Fortified and biofortified foods are at the forefront of efforts to combat vitamin A deficiency worldwide. But little is known about what influence processing may have on the retention of vitamin A precursors in these foods. Now in a study appearing in ACS Omega, scientists report that a high percentage of these healthful substances — in some cases, almost all — can survive cooking, depending on the preparation method.

By American Chemical Society - Wednesday, November 22, 2017 - Full Story

Strategies to combat the opioid epidemic

Strategies to combat the opioid epidemic
The opioid epidemic is ravaging lives and tearing families apart. Overdose deaths from heroin, fentanyl and misused prescription painkillers have tripled in the past 15 years. Chemical & Engineering News (C&EN), the weekly newsmagazine of the American Chemical Society, explores how abuse-deterring and novel formulations for painkillers in addition to crime-fighting tools to quickly identify opioids could help curb the crisis.

By American Chemical Society - Wednesday, November 22, 2017 - Full Story

A Recipe for Alzheimer’s Disease

A Recipe for Alzheimer’s Disease
What causes Alzheimer’s Disease (AD)? I recently read an article written by Stephanie Seneff, a Senior Research Scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory. I know from my years at Harvard that MIT does not employ dummies. So it’s worthwhile reading her “Recipe for Developing AD.”

By Dr. Gifford Jones - Monday, November 20, 2017 - Full Story

The Right Man for Healing and a Rare Find

The Right Man for Healing and a Rare Find
I was not sure my ENT specialist was a good fit for me even though I read the glowing praises framed on his office walls, praises coming from his patients, colleagues, and other doctors. The young man seemed to know what he was doing but his bedside manner was brief and rather cold.
I attributed his demeanor to his introverted personality, his professionalism, and to his respect for his patients’ time. Very punctual, he very seldom made anybody wait to see him, he was always on time.

One day I realized that he was much more caring on the inside than he let people see. A young woman with her mom and a three-year old in tow had an appointment to see the doctor. The receptionist, Lupe, asked her if she was prepared to pay for that day’s visit. The young woman had a grief-stricken look on her face and wondered how much the visit was going to be. The receptionist told her that she did not know because each patient was different, depending on the problem. The young woman replied in a sad and disappointed voice that she will reschedule until such a time that she would have enough cash on hand to pay for the visit.

By Dr. Ileana Johnson Paugh - Thursday, November 16, 2017 - Full Story

The only detox you’ll ever need (video)

WASHINGTON—People talk all the time about how they need to “detox.” And there’s a line of companies a mile long waiting to sell you juices and smoothies that claim to cleanse your body of harmful toxins. But the good news is your body is working hard to clear out toxins before you spend a dime on expensive products. Toxicology expert Raychelle Burks explains how in this kale-free episode of Reactions:

By American Chemical Society - Tuesday, November 14, 2017 - Full Story

Erectile Dysfunction; But What about Female Dysfunction?

Erectile Dysfunction; But What about Female Dysfunction?
How many males would like to see their genitals shrink so it’s impossible to have sex? I bet not many. So today, the term erectile dysfunction (ED) has lost its stigma and become familiar words. Tens of thousands of males now find solace in   ED drugs. But what about women in their 40s and later years who suffer from more than a headache when sex is mentioned? This is where equality of the sexes is sadly lacking.

Maurice Chevalier used the say, “Vive la difference” about sex. But this difference presents problems at menopause for both sexes. For males menopause is less abrupt, but they can suffer from fatigue, insomnia, grumpiness, problems at work and ED.

By Dr. Gifford Jones - Tuesday, November 14, 2017 - Full Story

New needle-free vaccines could mean the end of the flu shot

New needle-free vaccines could mean the end of the flu shot
Autumn has arrived, leaves are changing colors, and pumpkin spice aromas are sweeping stores. It’s also the season for flu shots. The good news is that the annual jab in the arm designed to protect us from the flu might one day be a thing of the past. An article in Chemical & Engineering News (C&EN), the weekly newsmagazine of the American Chemical Society, describes advances in injection-free vaccination methods that are showing promise.

By American Chemical Society - Friday, November 10, 2017 - Full Story

New “sugar-glass” film uses viruses to kill harmful bacteria in food

New sugar-glass film uses viruses to kill harmful bacteria in food
With antibiotic resistance on the rise, bacterial contamination of food is becoming more problematic. Now in a study appearing in ACS Biomaterials Science & Engineering, scientists report that they have developed an antibacterial “sugar-glass” coating in which viruses that destroy bacteria are embedded and are kept stable for up to three months. The coating could someday be used in the food packaging and processing industries to help prevent food-borne illnesses and deaths.

By American Chemical Society - Friday, November 10, 2017 - Full Story