Dr. Gifford Jones

W. Gifford-Jones M.D is the pen name of Dr. Ken Walker graduate of Harvard. Dr. Walker's website is: Docgiff.com

My book, “90 + How I Got There” can be obtained by sending $19.95 to: Giff Holdings, 525 Balliol St, Unit # 6,Toronto, Ontario, M4S 1E1.

Most Recent Articles by Dr. Gifford Jones:

The Great Tragedy of a Damaged Brain at Birth

Mar 18, 2019 — Dr. Gifford Jones

The Charter of Rights and Freedoms says that all Canadians receive justice. The U.S. Constitution states that “All men are created Equal”. But some children are born who do not receive justice. Nor will they ever be equal. It’s because they have damaged brains at birth, due to mothers who drink alcohol during pregnancy.

Recently, in Canada, there was an outpouring of public anger when police removed a newborn baby from her indigenous mother. I have no knowledge of whether this action was justified. Authorities claim that the woman was drunk when admitted to hospital. Others deny this.

Spinal Decompression?  Or Back to Rum or Chardonnay?

Mar 4, 2019 — Dr. Gifford Jones

Spinal Decompression?  Or Back to Rum or Chardonnay?Can stretching spinal vertebrae ease lower back and neck pain? Can it circumvent surgery? It’s a question I’ve researched for several years as I suffer from spinal pain. The first spinal clinic I sought looked at my neck MRI’s and concluded that stretching the spine was too dangerous at my age. But recently another doctor agreed to treatment. So, was this therapy more successful than a 5 o’clock rum, or glass of Chardonnay?

After the cold and flu, spinal pain is the number one cause of work absence. Studies show that up to 85 percent of the North American population will suffer from back or neck pain at some time during their lives. Often it’s due to a ruptured spinal disc that sends pain down the leg and may cause numbness. Spinal surgery is also the second leading surgical procedure and costs our health care system billions of dollars. Unfortunately, it’s not always successful.

Laughter Is Good Medicine

Feb 25, 2019 — Dr. Gifford Jones

Laughter Is Good MedicineYears ago I told this story. A Russian member of the Russian Ski patrol arrived home after several months on duty. A TV interviewer asked, “What do you do first after being away so long?” He replied, “I make love to my wife”. “Yes, but what do you do next?”  “I make love to my wife again”. Frustrated, the interviewer continued, “but then what do you do?” “Oh, I take off my skis”.

Then, another famous skier boasted, “I’m so fast on the ski hill that I could make love on the way down and still win the race”.

At this point readers may be saying, “Gifford-Jones, if you plan to change careers and become a comedian, don’t sell the farm”!! I won’t, but we desperately need laughter these days. And it’s always been good medicine.

Will Dr. AI Eventually Be Your Family Physician?

Feb 18, 2019 — Dr. Gifford Jones

Will Dr. AI Eventually Be Your Family Physician?How much will artificial intelligence (AI) play in the future when you require medical care? Today, millions are being spent to produce cars that drive by themselves. Will the same be spent on Dr. AI, your family doctor?

Ironically, this column wasn’t triggered by reading a medical report. Rather, it originates from an article written by Matt Harrison, Contributing Editor of the Park Avenue Digest, an economic news publication.

Harrison writes that we’re getting closer to seeing a robotic doctor than one would think. For instance, the Ichan School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York already has a robot able to pick up pneumonia in chest X-rays, with the final diagnosis made by a human doctor. But I wonder how long this will last?

Darling, a Little Chocolate for a Little Amour?

Feb 14, 2019 — Dr. Gifford Jones

Darling, a Little Chocolate for a Little Amour?Hmm, should I order flowers, maybe consider a romantic candlelight dinner, or a box of chocolates? This year, chocolate wins after reading an article from the highly respected Nutrition department at Tuft’s University. So, what’s good and what’s questionable about chocolate on Valentine’s day?

I believe readers will agree that we need a lot more love in this troubled world. The Aztec Indians thought so too. They considered chocolate an aphrodisiac.  The story goes that Montezuma consumed a huge chocolate drink before visiting his harem.   

Alas, this is more fiction than science. A chemical called phenylethylamine is present in chocolate and does play a small part in emotional arousal. But studies show that eating chocolate does not increase the level of this chemical in the brain.

Too High to Drive on Less Than One Joint

Feb 4, 2019 — Dr. Gifford Jones

Too High to Drive on Less Than One JointWarren Buffett, one of the world’s most successful investors has sound advice for those who want to become rich.  He counsels, “Risk comes from not knowing what you’re doing.” This sage advice also applies to many aspects of life. For one, it applies to a recent report in the Canadian Automobile Association Magazine (CAAM), for those who believe they can use marijuana and drive safely. And what should you know about Bill-C 46?

Today, every 50 minutes someone in North America dies in a car accident due to alcohol consumption. And in these fatalities, 30 percent of drunk drivers are between 21 and 24 years of age.

Preventing Deaths from Influenza

Jan 14, 2019 — Dr. Gifford Jones

Preventing Deaths from Influenza, Vitamin C daily, Medi-C Plus
Death from influenza is always tragic. But it is particularly so when it occurs at a young age. This year an increasing number of influenza cases is being seen in emergency centers. And, as usual, thousands of North Americans will die from this seasonal disease. But are some dying needlessly?

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention in the U.S. reports that, for the first time in 13 years, every state reports an increase in influenza caused by an aggressive virus.

Dr. Sydney Bush; Why Not the Nobel Prize?

Jan 7, 2019 — Dr. Gifford Jones

What a sad day for me! I should also add, for the world. I have just learned that Dr. Sydney Bush has died. During my 43 years of writing this column I have never devoted a memoriam to a colleague. But one is needed for Dr. Sydney Bush. In part, I’ll miss his presence. But more important, his scientific discovery should have been awarded the Nobel Prize. And it could yet save millions of lives from cardiovascular disease.

Ten years ago I learned that Dr. Sydney Bush, an English researcher, claimed he had made a huge scientific discovery. But I questioned its validity. So I travelled to England to interview him and spent several days at his laboratory.

Are You Taking These Medicines Too Long?

Jan 1, 2019 — Dr. Gifford Jones

Are You Taking These Medicines Too Long?
What will be your 2019 New Year’s resolution? Losing weight? Finally deciding to get off the couch and get more exercise? Hopefully to convince yourself smoking means 20 years less life? These are all healthy ways to start the year. But I’d like to add another New Year’s Resolution. Many North Americans are taking medicines for the long run when they’re only intended for the short run. This can have a huge impact on well-being.

The January Reports on Health claims that one-third of Americans over the age of 55 take too many medications. Michael Steinman, an expert on aging and Professor of Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco, says, “Some medicine are more effective and safest when you use them for a specific and limited period of time.” So what are some of the major drugs being taken too long, and what can happen when they are?

What Did You Learn in 2018?

Dec 24, 2018 — Dr. Gifford Jones

What Did You Learn in 2018?
How much have you been paying attention in 2018? I hope that during that time you’ve learned to live a better lifestyle, and to circumvent medical hazards that will enable you to live longer. So let’s see how well you do on this test.

1. Heroin is available for addicts at injection sites in Canada. But it is not available at hospitals for terminal cancer patients in pain.

2. NEO40 is a natural remedy that increases the production of nitric oxide by the inner lining of arteries. This dilates arteries decreasing blood pressure and risk of heart attack and stroke.

Rx: For Christmas Make a Telephone Call

Dec 17, 2018 — Dr. Gifford Jones

What’s the most important gift you could give this holiday season? The Greek philosopher, Plato, once remarked, “Whoever likes being alone must be either a beast or a God”. I’d say Amen to that statement. Crisis workers tell us that at this time of the year, depression and suicide risk is highest. So what can we all do to decrease holiday melancholy?

I’ve never seen it in the index of disease in medical texts, but loneliness should be listed in big print. It’s an illness that sooner or later disrupts the lives of   many people. Chopin, the great pianist and composer, must have been deeply depressed. He complained of being, “alone, alone, alone”.

Low Intensity Laser Therapy For Bruised Brains

Dec 10, 2018 — Dr. Gifford Jones

How far have we come since Egyptians drilled holes in the skull in an attempt to cure a variety of diseases? We’ve seen tremendous advances in brain surgery. But relatively little progress in how to treat concussion. Basically, medical advice has been to rest while waiting for the brain to recover. But research now shows Low Intensity Laser Therapy (LILT) can dramatically speed up the healing of bruised brains. So why isn’t it used more by doctors, and for more conditions?

To learn about this therapy I interviewed Dr. Fred Kahn, founder of Meditech International. Last year his Toronto clinic treated over 800 concussion patients, those who have been in a car accident, suffered a fall, or who years ago   had a blow to the head. Some had not lost consciousness, so failed to realize they’d suffered a concussion.

Remedies to Prevent Death from AAA

Dec 3, 2018 — Dr. Gifford Jones

Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm
Ask anyone about AAA and they will immediately think of the American Automobile Association. But in this case it stands for abdominal aortic aneurysm.  Sir William Osler once remarked, “There is no disease more conducive to clinical humility than aneurysm of the aorta.” He could have added that it’s a lethal disease, so prevention is better than cure.         

Every year over 20,000 North Americans die from a ruptured aorta. Albert Einstein, the physicist who expounded the Theory of Relativity, and Lucille Ball, the TV star that made us laugh, both died of AAA.

What Can a Psychiatrist Tell Us About Vitamin D?

Nov 26, 2018 — Dr. Gifford Jones

What Can a Psychiatrist Tell Us About Vitamin D?
Winter’s coming, so how much vitamin D do we need? How much time do you have to spend in the sunlight to obtain adequate amounts? How does obesity affect the dosage? How many diseases can be prevented by adequate amounts of this vitamin? And what can a psychiatrist tell us about this vital vitamin?

Years ago I reported that Dr. Catharine Gordon, a professor of pediatrics at The Harvard Medical School, tested the vitamin D levels of teenagers 11 to 18 years of age. She found that 14 percent of these adolescents were deficient in vitamin D. Today about 30 percent of adults are low in D.

Ovarian Cancer, the One That Whispers

Nov 19, 2018 — Dr. Gifford Jones

Ovarian Cancer, the One That Whispers
What couldn’t I believe? Discovering that it’s been 42 years since I last wrote about ovarian cancer! During my time as a surgeon, what was my primary concern about this malignancy? And what has happened in the last four decades to bring hope to those diagnosed with this disease?

Ovarian cancer is the third most common malignancy of the female pelvic organs, after uterine and cervical cancer. But it is also the most fatal pelvic malignancy.

Unconventional Medicine to Treat Chronic Disease

Nov 5, 2018 — Dr. Gifford Jones

Unconventional Medicine to Treat Chronic Disease
I wrote years ago that, “If you keep going to hell, you’ll eventually get there.” Today, half of North Americans suffer from chronic disease. One in four has several chronic diseases, and 30 percent of children struggle with chronic illness. Chris Kresser, an integrative medicine clinician at The California Center for Functional Medicine, and author of the book, “Unconventional Medicine,” reports that conventional medicine has failed those suffering from chronic disease. So how can we prevent so many from finding their way to hell?

Can Stem Cell Injections Replace Hip and Knee Surgery?

Oct 29, 2018 — Dr. Gifford Jones

Can Stem Cell Injections Replace Hip and Knee Surgery?

What should you do if the doctor says, “You need a hip or knee replacement due to severe arthritis? The time – honoured treatment has been a major operation to replace the injured joint. This may still be the best option for some patients. But how many of these joints could be repaired by stem cell injections, thereby saving the potential complications of surgery?

What You May Not Know About Vaccines

Oct 22, 2018 — Dr. Gifford Jones

What You May Not Know About Vaccines
Every year readers ask me if I get flu shots. I reply, I don’t. I rely on high daily doses of vitamin C to build up my immune system. But I may be wrong. So, I’ve sought the opinion of experts in the field. Their primary message is that informed consent is vital.

Most people believe vaccines would not be advised unless researchers and doctors deemed them safe. But I’ve often stressed, there’s no such thing as 100 percent safe surgery. The same is true of vaccines. That’s why 3.6 billion dollars has been awarded to families due to the complications of vaccines.

A Healthy Lifestyle Adds 12 to 14 Years of Life

Oct 15, 2018 — Dr. Gifford Jones

A Healthy Lifestyle Adds 12 to 14 Years of Life
What results in good health and longevity? I’ve said for years that it’s good genes, good lifestyle and good luck. But since we can’t choose our parents, or know what fate holds in store for us, we must treat lifestyle with tender, loving care.  Now, a report in the publication, Circulation, proves that a sound lifestyle adds 12 to 14 more years to life.

Two epidemiological studies of health professionals involved 120,000 men and women. This group was followed for 34 years. The study concluded that for people over 50 who had never smoked, exercised daily, had good dietary habits, a moderate use of alcohol, and maintained a healthy weight, ended up the winners.

Natural Remedies and Illogical Attacks

Oct 11, 2018 — Dr. Gifford Jones

Natural Remedies and Illogical Attacks
Break a law and you end up in jail. “Ignorance of the law is no excuse” it’s said. So should ignorance of medical facts excuse anyone? Time and time again so-called medical experts publish illogical reports without repercussion. Recently, a physician stated publicly, “There is no case for vitamin supplementation in normal, healthy, non-pregnant adults who are receiving the recommended daily intake of nutrients”. But is this medical fact or fiction?