Saturday, October 23, 2010

Health fair today

I'm speaking at this health fair, and have a little table. I feel so home-made, ad hoc, seat-o-the-pants with my table presentation. Ever other table is selling a million things and are clearly pros at this.

I'm just a guy with info and data and a process for living well. Can someone help me put that into a pill? Wouldn't that be great? "Lifestyle", the pill. If you can figure that out, we can sell it to some monster Pharma company, make a gazillion dollars and retire to the Mediterranean where this whole thing started in the first place!!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Aspirin versus Coffee? The bowels of a gut reaction

Coffee consumption reduces colon cancer, and it doesn't matter if its caffeinated or not (... if you're anal retentive about your colon cancer, check out the study cited below).

But, a new study is touting high doses of aspirin as a way to accomplish the very same thing. So. Aspirin pills every day versus a cup of coffee in the morning.

Given how healthy, and comforting, and yummy coffee is, it's not clear why anyone would take a pill to accomplish the very same thing.  

Plus, plus, plus, taking aspirin every day can lead to, according to this article, "sometimes deadly bleeding in the stomach and intestines." (link to the Reuters article is below as well)

Deadly bleeding??!! Are you kidding me? Neither coffee nor tea will perforate your bowels ... just sayin'.

Just keep in mind when you hear reports like these, that you have a number of options when you're trying to live a healthy lifestyle. The lifestyle approach just makes so much more common sense to me.

What's odd is how infrequently such lifestyle options are prescribed, as compared to pills,  powders, and procedures. Isn't that odd? What would a cynic/realists make of those data?


Abstract below is from the Journal of thenational Cancer Institute; Vol 97, No 4, pp 282-292, Feb 16, 2005

Background: Frequent coffee consumption has been associated with a reduced risk of colorectal cancer in a number of case–control studies. Cohort studies have not revealed such an association but were limited in size. We explored the association between consumption of coffee and tea and the incidence of colorectal cancer in two large prospective cohorts of women and men. Methods: We used data from the Nurses' Health Study (women) and the Health Professionals' Follow-up Study (men). Consumption of coffee and tea and total caffeine intake were assessed and updated in 1980, 1984, 1986, 1990, and 1994 among women and in 1986, 1990, and 1994 among men. The incidence of cancer of the colon or rectum was ascertained through 1998. Hazard ratios were calculated using Cox proportional hazards models that adjusted for potential confounders. All tests of statistical significance were two-sided. Results: During almost 2 million person-years of follow-up, 1438 cases of colorectal cancer were observed. Consumption of caffeinated coffee or tea with caffeine or caffeine intake was not associated with the incidence of colon or rectal cancer in either cohort. For both cohorts combined, the covariate-adjusted hazard ratio for colorectal cancer associated with consumption of each additional cup of caffeinated coffee was 0.99 (95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.96 to 1.03). However, participants who regularly consumed two or more cups of decaffeinated coffee per day had a 52% (95% CI = 19% to 71%) lower incidence of rectal cancer than those who never consumed decaffeinated coffee. Conclusions: Consumption of caffeinated coffee, tea with caffeine, or caffeine was not associated with incidence of colon of rectal cancer, whereas regular consumption of decaffeinated coffee was associated with a reduced incidence of rectal cancer.

- Low-dose aspirin lowers colon cancer risk: UK study | Reuters

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Thursday, October 21, 2010

Which Country Walks MORE than U.S.?

The question is actually ... which country walks LESS than us?? Not many, that's for sure. 

Adults in western Australia average 9,695 steps a day. The Swiss followed with 9,650, while the Japanese clocked in with 7,168 steps. But Americans straggled far behind with just 5,117 steps.

The drive-not-walk mentality has dismal consequences. In the United States, 34 percent of adults are obese. During the past decade Australia, Japan and Switzerland have reported obesity rates of 16 percent, 3 percent and 8 percent, respectively.

Our culture of convenience is killing us, and it's frustrating to watch when the answer is SO simple. Get up and move.

On my radio program, I spoke to the researcher who showed that walking 30 min/day will keep your brain from SHRINKING. No kidding, people laugh about killing brain cells by drinking to much, but you do more long term, irreversible damage by inaction. 

Americans not hitting their walking stride | Reuters

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Wednesday, October 20, 2010

HRT drugs --> breast cancer deaths

Is it worth it? I don't know. Let's just run through the logic:

1. IF you take Hormone Replacement Therapy, you boost your chances of getting ovarian and breast cancer. Why would you do that?

2. NOW, we learn that IF you take HRT, the cancer you do get will be more aggressive and more likely to kill you. Why would you do that?

Our pill culture markets these drugs to us as the FIRST solution, but they should be the last, last resort. Start with lifestyle changes, acupuncture actually works well, weight management, blah blah blah. The point is, throwing chemicals into your body dynamic is a bad thing: because you're whacking your system out of balance with the drug, or because you're already so sick that you have to take them. Either way, if you have to take your pills, it's not good.

Here's what they found:
The scientists analyzed data on more than 12,000 women in the study. They found twice as many taking HRT died from breast cancer compared to women who took a placebo.
Nearly 24 percent of the breast cancer patients who took HRT had tumors that had spread to the lymph notes, compared with 16 percent of women taking placebos.
"All the scary cancers with unfavorable prognoses were also increased," Chlebowski said, citing increases in aggressive forms of breast cancer, and not just estrogen-fed cancers that are easier to treat.
"And then for the first time we show deaths from breast cancer are significantly increased as well," he said.

Hormone therapy raises breast cancer deaths: study | Reuters

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