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A Damning Verdict; We Are a Nation of Wimps

I recently wrote that our ancestors endured great hardship when they landed in America. They hacked down forests and tried to survive in the new land. Now, they would roll over in their graves if they knew North Americans had become a nation of wimps. Readers of my column confirmed my damning verdict.

J.W. from B.C responded, “Thanks for your refreshing honesty, calling a spade a spade. We do take a pill for every damn ache and pain. I don’t think you have ice-water in your veins, hope you keep up the good work, and maybe politicians will deal with drug abuse in an intelligent way instead of pandering to bleeding hearts.”

By Dr. Gifford Jones - Monday, May 15, 2017 - Full Story

Can Six Million Readers Help Answer This Question?

Several weeks ago I reported that autopsies of the brains of people diagnosed with dementia reveal damage to small arteries, which may cause tiny strokes and brain injury. Researchers also discovered that mice with Alzheimer’s Disease (AD), when treated with vitamin C, showed that typical amyloid plaques associated with this disease disappeared! And since high doses of vitamin C can decrease the risk of heart attack by providing oxygenated blood, could it also prevent AD? 

So I asked readers “Do you know anyone who has used Medi-C Plus, or other brands containing high doses of vitamin C (4,000 to 6,000 milligrams) for several years, then developed Alzheimer’s Disease?”

By Dr. Gifford Jones - Monday, May 8, 2017 - Full Story

Our Sick Health Care System

One way or another, we will have socialized medicine in this country. Politicians have raised and nurtured generations of people that expect something for nothing in exchange for votes.  We have imported, legally and illegally, millions of uneducated, unskilled workers that can’t afford a band-aid. We have millions of students ‘graduating’ high school that can’t read, thus, unable to get a good job with health insurance.

We have a health care system where the middle class is strapped with not only their health care bills, but the bills of the people who did not pay. We have a health care system that cannot or will not control its costs of care while the number of people able to afford it dwindles. We have a system where an MRI costs $6,000 in one hospital, $4500 in another hospital and $250 in another hospital if you can pay cash.

By Ray DiLorenzo - Saturday, May 6, 2017 - Full Story

A simple Israeli invention to treat resistant hypertension

Bob Stern’s father suffered a stroke at age 40. “When you have a stroke, your life and those around you are affected forever,” he says from experience.

Stern’s response was to build one of the largest stroke treatment companies in the world, Micrus Endovascular (MEND), acquired by Johnson & Johnson in 2010 for half a billion dollars. Two months later, he heard from renowned Israeli serial entrepreneur/inventor Yossi Gross of Rainbow Medical.

Gross invited Stern to Herzliya to examine his implantable invention for treating drug-resistant hypertension (high blood pressure). Hypertension is the leading cause of cardiovascular events including stroke, which occurs when the blood supply to the brain is interrupted or reduced.—More…

By ISRAEL21c - Wednesday, May 3, 2017 - Full Story

WE’VE BECOME A NATION OF WIMPS

What’s wrong with North Americans? Plenty!

Long ago, Immigrants landed on our hostile shores. They had no shelter, food or medical care. They hacked down forests and tried to survive. Many didn’t. They developed colds and sore backs. But they had more to do than swallow pills. Nor did they have social agencies to pamper them. Today, their offspring have become wimps, part of a drug-infested society dependent on a chemical solution for every pain. What’s happened would make our ancestors roll over several times in their graves. Is there any hope for us?

By Dr. Gifford Jones - Monday, May 1, 2017 - Full Story

Longer-lasting pain relief with Metal-organic frameworks

To treat headaches, back pain or fever, most of us have reached for ibuprofen at one point or another. But we often have to take doses every four to six hours if the pain warrants it. Now scientists are working on a way to package the commonly used drug so it can last longer. Their approach, reported in ACS’ journal Molecular Pharmaceutics, could also be used to deliver other drugs orally that currently can only be taken intravenously.

Recently, scientists have been studying compounds called metal-organic frameworks (MOFs), which are made of metal ions linked to organic ligands, for drug delivery. Active ingredients can be packed inside MOFs, which are porous, and some of them have additional traits such as water solubility that make them good candidates for drug couriers. But few studies have so far investigated whether such MOFs could be used in oral formulations. J. Fraser Stoddart and colleagues wanted to test promising MOFs using ibuprofen as a model drug.

The researchers loaded therapeutically relevant concentrations of ibuprofen into easily prepared, biocompatible MOFs with cyclodextrin and alkali metal cations. Testing in mice showed that the compounds reached the blood stream quickly in about 10 to 20 minutes and lasted twice as long as ibuprofen salts, which are the active ingredient in commercial liquid gel formulations. The researchers say the promising findings suggest that these compounds could take the next step toward commercial development for delivering ibuprofen and potentially other drugs.

Read: Encapsulation of Ibuprofen in CD-MOF and Related Bioavailability Studies

By American Chemical Society - Thursday, April 27, 2017 - Full Story

Making artificial blood for transfusions

Blood transfusions can save the lives of patients who have suffered major blood loss, but hospitals don’t always have enough or the right type on hand. In search of a solution, researchers have developed a promising substitute using blood’s oxygen-carrying component, hemoglobin. The in vitro study, reported in ACS’ journal Biomacromolecules, found that the modified hemoglobin was an effective oxygen carrier and also scavenged for potentially damaging free radicals.

Red blood cells are the most commonly transfused component of blood, according to the U.S. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. These cells carry the protein hemoglobin, which performs the essential function of delivering oxygen to the body’s tissues. Scientists have tried developing chemically modified hemoglobin — which by itself is toxic — as a blood substitute but have found that it forms methemoglobin. This form of the protein doesn’t bind oxygen and thus decreases the amount of oxygen that blood delivers in the body. In addition, the generation of methemoglobin produces hydrogen peroxide, which leads to cell damage. Hong Zhou, Lian Zhao, Yan Wu and colleagues wanted to see if packaging hemoglobin in a benign envelope could get around these problems.

The researchers developed a one-step method for wrapping hemoglobin in polydopamine, or PDA, which has been widely studied for biomedical applications. A battery of lab tests showed that the PDA-coated hemoglobin effectively carried oxygen, while preventing the formation of methemoglobin and hydrogen peroxide. In addition, it caused minimal cell damage, and acted as an effective antioxidant, scavenging for potentially damaging free radicals and reactive oxygen species.

Read: Bioinspired Polydopamine-Coated Hemoglobin as Potential Oxygen Carrier with Antioxidant Properties

By American Chemical Society - Tuesday, April 25, 2017 - Full Story

Nearly eight in ten Canadians have used alternative medicines: survey

VANCOUVER—More and more Canadians are using complementary and alternative medicines and therapies—such as massage, yoga, acupuncture and chiropractic care—and they’re using them more frequently, finds a new survey by the Fraser Institute, an independent, non-partisan Canadian public policy think-tank.

“Alternative treatments are playing an increasingly important role in Canadians’ overall health care, and understanding how all the parts of the health-care system fit together is vital if policymakers are going to find ways to improve it,” said Nadeem Esmail, Fraser Institute senior fellow and co-author of Complementary and Alternative Medicine: Use and Public Attitudes, 1997, 2006 and 2016.

By Fraser Institute - Tuesday, April 25, 2017 - Full Story

I Hated Picking Peaches

Do you remember the line in the musical “Showboat”, the one that says, “It’s summertime and the living is easy”? Maybe it is for some people. But the worst summer I ever endured was during World War II. We all had to contribute to the war effort and my job was to pick peaches on a farm. But for years I had suffered from Hay Fever! Peaches and their fuzz were a Perfect Storm! Could I have avoided this allergy today?

It’s estimated that 40 million North Americans now suffer from mild to severe allergies. Worse still, for some people, the allergy season never ends. And although there are several factors that trigger these allergic reactions, the main cause is pollen.

By Dr. Gifford Jones - Monday, April 24, 2017 - Full Story

Programmed proteins may make malaria vaccine possible

A malaria vaccine based on stabilized proteins could be used in tropical places where there is no refrigeration.

Despite decades of malaria research, the disease still afflicts hundreds of millions and kills around half a million people each year – most of them children in tropical regions.

The best deterrent would be a vaccine composed of some of the parasite’s own proteins. However, those proteins identified as most promising for a malaria vaccine are unstable at tropical temperatures and require complicated, expensive cellular systems to produce them in large quantities.

Yet the vaccines are most needed in areas where refrigeration is lacking and funds to buy vaccines are scarce.—More…

By ISRAEL21c - Wednesday, April 19, 2017 - Full Story

Can Six Million Readers Answer This Question?

This week, would readers help me answer a perplexing question? Their answers could be helpful to millions of people. I’m sure that very few in Canada and the U.S. have not witnessed a friend or loved one develop Alzheimer’s disease (AD). First, some of the facts about this crippling malady. Then I’d appreciate my readers’ response.

Fact # 1- Researchers at the Kaiser Permanente Center in Oakland, California, and the University of Kuopio in Finland, followed the health of 10,000 people for 40 years. They found that high blood cholesterol was associated with a 66 percent higher risk of AD. And even those with borderline levels of cholesterol, were 52 percent more likely to develop AD.

By Dr. Gifford Jones - Monday, April 17, 2017 - Full Story

Listeria Pathogen Can Be Fatal

Listeria monocytogenes bacteria can cause a potentially fatal disease in people with vulnerable immune systems. Listeria infection is the third leading cause of death from food poisoning in the United States. About 1,600 people get sick from Listeria each year and about 260 die. 1

A number of food borne outbreaks in recent years have been attributed to Listeria. In 2016, a total of 358 frozen food products were recalled amid a Listeria outbreak that hit at least three states. 2

In 2011 according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 146 people in 28 states were infected, 30 people died, and one person miscarried from cantaloupes contaminated with Listeria. It was the deadliest food borne illness outbreak in over 25 years. FDA officials concluded that new processing equipment and the decision to use a packing and washing technology involving non-chlorinated water were two probable causes of the outbreak. 3

By Jack Dini - Monday, April 10, 2017 - Full Story

Strokes; Not Just For the Elderly

How could it happen to Kris Letang, the Pittsburgh Penguin hockey player? He was young, in excellent physical condition, yet a victim of stroke. Today, stroke is not just a senior problem. So, why don’t learned professors know why this is happening?

Professor Valery Feigin is Director of the National Institute for Stroke and Applied Neurosciences at Auckland University, in New Zealand. He reports in the   journal, The Lancet, that every year over 80,000 children and youth are affected by this sudden medical crisis.

By Dr. Gifford Jones - Monday, April 10, 2017 - Full Story

Informed Consent: Are You Really Informed?

If I were a patient, what would I want to know about the risk of treatment? Since I’ve been one a few times, let me tell you what I worried about before past medical procedures. And will there ever be truly informed patients?

Let’s start with the major fear, death. Never forget that death lurks in the background, ready to strike. Surely, anyone who is scheduled for coronary bypass surgery realizes there’s a greater risk of dying in this case than when treated for an ingrown toenail.

By Dr. Gifford Jones - Monday, April 3, 2017 - Full Story

Are Your Eyes Mismatched?

Leo Durocher, the fiery win-at-all-costs baseball player, and later manager of the Brooklyn Dodgers, once remarked, “I never question the integrity of umpires. Their eyesight? Yes!” Durocher would have questioned their eyesight more if he had known they were suffering from aniseikonia. So, should anyone care about this condition? And why do so many suffer this visual problem when it can be corrected? 

To find out about aniseikonia I interviewed Dr. Peter Shaw who has been researching this condition for over 25 years. He mentioned one thing we know, that we are all born with a number of anatomical mismatches. For instance, one ear may be larger than the other. Or, one foot longer than its counterpart. But shouldn’t   our eyes be 100 percent in tune? The point is they often do have minor differences, and this frequently causes the condition called aniseikonia.

By News on the Net - Monday, March 27, 2017 - Full Story

Sea urchin spines could fix bones

More than 2 million procedures every year take place around the world to heal bone fractures and defects from trauma or disease, making bone the second most commonly transplanted tissue after blood. To help improve the outcomes of these surgeries, scientists have developed a new grafting material from sea urchin spines. They report their degradable bone scaffold, which they tested in animals, in the journal ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces.

By American Chemical Society - Saturday, March 25, 2017 - Full Story

Fighting MRSA with new membrane-busting compound

Public health officials are increasingly concerned over methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). The bacteria have developed resistance to a number of treatments, even antibiotics of last resort in some cases. Now researchers report in ACS’ journal Bioconjugate Chemistry that a new class of compounds can treat MRSA skin infections in mice with no signs of acute toxicity, and no signs that the bacteria would develop resistance to them after many applications.

By American Chemical Society - Saturday, March 25, 2017 - Full Story

There’s More to Constipation than Grunting.

      You think constipation isn’t important? If so, an article in the American Journal of Gastroenterology suggests you’d better think again. Annually, in the U.S., 700,000 people are seen in hospital emergency wards for this problem. Since 2006 there’s been a shocking 42 percent increase in constipation, costing 1.6 billion dollars. So what’s gone wrong, and what are the medical consequences other than grunting? 

      Constipation can be merely a chronic annoyance affecting quality of life. But Dr. John R. Hyatt, gastroenterologist at the Baylor Regional Medical Center at Plano in Texas, says, “It can also result in hemorrhoids, anal tears, fissures, rectal prolapse and fecal impaction”.

By Dr. Gifford Jones - Monday, March 13, 2017 - Full Story

Can we reverse aging by tweaking our biological machinery?

Humans have been looking for ways to cheat death for centuries. And while we’ve succeeded in extending our life span, many people suffer ill health in their later years. Now researchers have pivoted to study ways to improve our “health span” to allow us to enjoy our longevity. The cover story in Chemical & Engineering News (C&EN), the weekly newsmagazine of the American Chemical Society, explores whether this could finally unlock the secrets of youth.

Sarah Everts, a senior editor at C&EN, notes that at the crux of the search for longer life is the fundamental question: Why do we age at all? For most of human history, people died of violence, starvation and infectious diseases. Most researchers who study aging agree that our bodies were meant to be at their best long enough to reproduce — but that the traits which helped humans to stay alive long enough to procreate can pose problems decades later.

By American Chemical Society - Thursday, March 9, 2017 - Full Story

Moving toward faster, more accurate detection of food- and water-borne bacteria

Food poisoning is a scourge. Yet preventing it is far from foolproof. But in a new study in Analytical Chemistry, scientists report that they are closing in on a way to use a combination of color-changing paper and electrochemical analysis — on plastic transparency sheets or simple paper — to quickly, cheaply and more accurately detect bacterial contamination of fruits and vegetables in the field before they reach grocery stores, restaurants and household pantries.

Of all the contaminants found in food and water, bacteria cause the most hospitalizations and deaths in the United States. Nearly half of these incidents are attributed to spinach, cabbage, lettuce and other leafy greens, which are sometimes irrigated with unsafe water containing fecal material. Federal regulations require frequent testing of fruits and vegetable for bacterial contamination. But traditional lab cultures take up to 48 hours to produce results, and other techniques such as DNA amplification and immunoassays are costly and are prone to false results. Recently, Charles S. Henry and colleagues developed a paper-based method to detect Salmonella, Listeria and E. coli in food and water samples. In their latest study, Henry’s team wanted to see if it would be feasible to use this paper-based technique in conjunction with electrochemical analysis to produce more refined results.

By American Chemical Society - Thursday, March 9, 2017 - Full Story