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Old Health and Medicine Articles from 2007 and Before

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