Category Archives: Uncategorized

Statins could lower ovarian cancer risk – Study

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The same result was also found in women who carry the BRCA1/2 gene fault. Having the BRCA1/2 fault puts women at a higher risk of ovarian cancer than the general population**.

The research published in JAMA studied genes and the extent to which they inhibit the enzyme HMG-CoA reductase – which is responsible for regulating cholesterol in the body – and is the exact enzyme targeted by statin drugs to reduce cholesterol.

While the study suggests that statins could lower ovarian cancer risk, more research needs to be done specifically looking at their use and impact on women’s risk of developing the disease.

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Heart Attacks Striking Younger Women

Being a senior citizen I have to admit that I fall prey to accepting the cliche that you youngsters don’t have any physical problems. However, this item from Johns-Hopkins says otherwise.

two women in black tank tops and black leggings doing yoga

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Younger women are having more heart attacks, says a recent study. Researchers were surprised to find that while the heart attack rate has decreased among older adults, it’s risen among those ages 35-54, especially women. The Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities study reviewed more than 28,000 hospitalizations for heart attacks in four cities.

“This observational study found a trend in young women,” says Virginia Colliver, M.D., cardiologist with Johns Hopkins Community Physicians-Heart Care in Bethesda, Maryland. “But the research doesn’t provide insight into why the uptick in heart attacks is happening to younger people. I suspect it has to do with more people having risk factors for heart disease at an earlier age.”

Heart Attack Risk Factors for Women

There are several factors that increase your chance of developing heart disease. Almost 50% of all Americans have at least one of three major risk factors for the condition: Continue reading

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What are the benefits of lion’s mane mushrooms?

Truth be told I never heard of Lion’s mane mushrooms before today. However, this article in Medical News Today piqued my curiosity. I would like to hear from any readers who may have had experience with the mushrooms in one form or another.

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Lion’s mane mushrooms (Hericium erinaceus) are white, globe-shaped fungi that have long, shaggy spines. People can eat them or take them in the form of supplements. Research suggests that they may offer a range of health benefits, including reduced inflammation and improved cognitive and heart health. Continue reading

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Filed under aging, aging brain, anti inflammatory, anti oxidant, diabetes, immune function, immune response, lion's mane mushrooms, Uncategorized

Neighborhood features affect cognitive function in seniors

As a senior citizen who has had family members suffer from dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease, I want to know everything I can about aging and cognition, so this study from Florida Atlantic University piqued my interest.

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The neighborhood environment may positively or negatively influence one’s ability to maintain cognitive function with age. Since older adults spend less time outside, the neighborhood environment increases in importance with age. Studies suggest physical aspects of the neighborhood such as the availability of sidewalks and parks, and more social and walking destinations, may be associated with better cognitive functioning. Beneficial neighborhood environments can provide spaces for exercise, mental stimulation, socializing and reducing stress. To date, few studies have examined how the neighborhood’s physical environment relates to cognition in older adults. Continue reading

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Filed under aging, aging brain, cognition, cognitive decline, Exercise, exercise and brain health, exercise benefits, successful aging, Uncategorized

Understanding the brain/heart connection

Being a senior citizen with a family tree containing both Alzheimer’s Disease and dementia, I read everything I can on the subject. Here is the latest from the Global Council on Brain Health (GCBH).

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Did you know that taking care of your heart can reduce your risk for memory and thinking problems? A review of medical research conducted by the Global Council on Brain Health recently showed a reduced risk of dementia with improved heart health. So, let’s review their major findings to learn how we can take better care of our hearts and brains. Continue reading

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Filed under Uncategorized, heart, Alzheimer's, dementia, Alzheimer's disease, heart health brain health, heart health

High tech fitness testing …

Researchers have developed a method to estimate cardiorespiratory fitness levels that could be applied to data captured by wearable fitness trackers during activities of daily life. This could facilitate testing for those with low exercise tolerance and may reduce the need for medically supervised fitness testing. The study is published ahead of print in the Journal of Applied Physiology.

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Cardiorespiratory fitness is the ability of the cardiovascular and respiratory systems to deliver enough oxygen to the muscles during physical activity. People with low cardiorespiratory fitness may have an increased risk of heart disease, heart attack or stroke. Testing the amount of oxygen the body uses during exercise (VO2max) can assess these risks and may also function as a preventive measure. However, people must typically exercise to exhaustion to measure VO2max, and such testing requires medical supervision and specialized equipment. In addition, it may not be safe for all who need to undergo cardiorespiratory fitness testing to exercise at maximum effort. Methods that use lower intensity exercise (submaximal) do not always provide results as accurate as maximal testing. Continue reading

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CDC on coronavirus

I remain freaked out concerned about the coronavirus and what is being done to control it around the world. Here is what the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) had to say about it Friday morning.

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Confirmed 2019 coronavirus as of 11:00 a.m. ET 7 Feb 2020

CDC is closely monitoring an outbreak of respiratory illness caused by a novel (new) coronavirus (named “2019-nCoV”) that was first detected in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China and which continues to expand. Chinese health officials have reported tens of thousands of infections with 2019-nCoV in China, with the virus reportedly spreading from person-to-person in parts of that country. Infections with 2019-nCoV, most of them associated with travel from Wuhan, also are being reported in a growing number of international locations, including the United States. Some person-to-person spread of this virus outside China has been detected. The United States reported the first confirmed instance of person-to-person spread with this virus on January 30, 2020…. Continue reading

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Lower protein diet may lessen risk for cardiovascular disease – Study

A plant-based diet may be key to lowering risk for heart disease. Penn State researchers determined that diets with reduced sulfur amino acids — which occur in protein-rich foods, such as meats, dairy, nuts and soy — were associated with a decreased risk for cardiovascular disease. The team also found that the average American consumes almost two and a half times more sulfur amino acids than the estimated average requirement.

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Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins. A subcategory, called sulfur amino acids, including methionine and cysteine, play various roles in metabolism and health.

“For decades it has been understood that diets restricting sulfur amino acids were beneficial for longevity in animals,” said John Richie, a professor of public health sciences at Penn State College of Medicine. “This study provides the first epidemiologic evidence that excessive dietary intake of sulfur amino acids may be related to chronic disease outcomes in humans.” Continue reading

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No butts about it …

I don’t know how many times I have posted on the dangers of cigarette smoking and, lately, also vaping. Now, it seems that they are even a menace when they are put out.

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Cigarette butts pile up in parks, beaches, streets and bus stops, places where all types of littering are frowned upon. Best estimates are that over five trillion butts are generated by smokers each year worldwide, and concern about their environmental impact has prompted studies of how they affect water and wildlife habitats. But despite their prevalence, almost no one has studied the airborne emissions coming off these tiny bits of trash. Continue reading

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Don’t forget the current flu …

With the coronavirus hitting the headlines, let’s keep in mind our own local U.S. situation.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is reporting high activity of influenza and influenza-like illnesses across the country. In its latest report, the CDC estimates that during this season in the United States, 9.7 million cases of flu have been diagnosed, 32 children and 4,800 adults have died due to influenza.

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* CDC recommends a yearly flu vaccine as the first and most important step in protecting against flu viruses.

I couldn’t agree more. See my It’s time to get that flu shot post from October.

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My 80th birthday dinner …

Having told you that I was going to the Horseshoe Casino to celebrate my 80th birthday with dinner at the Jack Binion’s Steakhouse, in my birthday post two days ago, I thought that the least I could do was fill you in on the event.

The casino was celebrating the Chinese New Year and we were greeted by this lovely display upon entering.

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Here are a few elements from dinner.

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I started with these gorgeous scallops. They tasted every bit as good as they look.

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My main course was the two lovely lobster tails. Mouth-watering.

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Although this was my 80th birthday celebration, I confess to a 10-year-olds pleasure at the chocolate cake and ice cream with the birthday candle. No, they did not sing.

We played both before and after dinner. As I have mentioned in numerous previous posts, my casino game of choice is Video Poker. This was a highlight of the trip.

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I had a fun  Enjoyed my lobster tail dinner finished up with a slice of chocolate birthday cake and cappuccino. And, as you can see from the photo above, I finished over $1000 ahead gambling. All in all, a very happy 80th birthday.

Tony

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Protecting fingers and toes in winter – Mayo Clinic

As a hand-arthritis sufferer, I was particularly interested in this notice from the Mayo Clinic.
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Winter’s chill can be especially hard on the fingers and toes if you have arthritis or a condition such as Raynaud’s disease that affects blood circulation. To maintain warmth and comfort:
  • Encourage circulation — Wiggle or massage your fingers and toes. Move your arms in a windmill circle or shake your arms and legs.
  • Choose mittens — Mittens offer more warmth than do gloves. Look for a pair that’s insulated with wool or fleece.
  • Double up — Wear two pairs of socks. For the layer closest to your skin, look for a moisture wicking fabric. On top, choose a wool or wool-blend sock.
  • Carry hand and foot warmers — Small charcoal or chemical packs that generate a low level of heat can be placed in your mittens, socks or boots. Battery-powered options also are available. You can find warmers of all types in many sporting goods stores.
  • Warm with water — Soak your hands or feet in warm — not hot — water or place cold hands under running warm water.
  • Try specialty gloves — Therapeutic gloves designed for people with Raynaud’s disease may help.
  • Exercise regularly — Regular physical activity helps increase blood flow to the body’s tissues.
  • Don’t smoke — Smoking narrows the blood vessels, which can restrict circulation.
If the cold is bothersome despite your efforts, talk to your doctor. Let your doctor know if your fingers or toes feel numb or painful, or turn white or blue.
I would just like to add to this from my own experience. I have found glove-mitts to be particularly warming, especially when riding my bike. They allow the fingers to warm each other much better than the fingers in gloves do. I bought these on Amazon for less than $20.
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Marijuana detected in homicide victims nearly doubles – Study

For the record, I have been in favor of legalization of marijuana since the 1960’s when I was an occasional user. I lived on Rush St. in Chicago and had a lot of jazz musician friends who smoked. There seemed nothing criminal about it. Cut to the present day when it is de facto legal in most areas, there are new developments as a result of more widespread use.

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Researchers at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health assessed the time trends in alcohol and marijuana detected in homicide victims and found that the prevalence of marijuana almost doubled, increasing from 22 percent in 2004 to 42 percent in 2016. Alternately, the prevalence of alcohol declined slightly from 40 percent in 2004 to 35 percent in 2016. The findings are published in Injury Epidemiology.

“Despite the growing body of evidence linking alcohol and marijuana to homicide victimization, until now there was little information about the contemporary trends in the prevalence of alcohol and marijuana among homicide victims in the United States,” said Guohua Li, MD, DrPH, professor of Epidemiology at Columbia Mailman School. Continue reading

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JUUL delivers substantially more nicotine than previous generation e-cigs and cigarettes – Study

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The study, which appears online Jan. 4, 2020, in Tobacco Regulatory Science, found that nicotine concentrations were five to eight times higher in rodents that were exposed to JUUL versus other tobacco products. The work also supports an earlier finding by the same researchers of harm to blood vessels from brief exposures to both direct and secondhand smoke from cigarettes, little cigars and combustible marijuana, and to aerosol from IQOS “heat-not-burn” tobacco products.

JUUL and earlier generation e-cigs are promoted as being less hazardous than cigarettes. Since 2016, there has been a dramatic increase in youth e-cig use, with JUUL devices particularly effective at recruiting teenagers to begin nicotine usage. A recent study found 27.5 percent of high school students and 10.5 percent of eighth graders currently use e-cigs, with more than half of both groups using JUUL as their preferred choice.

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What comes first, beta-amyloid plaques or cognition problems?

Because of the dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease in my family, I have an appetite for information on impaired cognition. Following comes from a study by the VA San Diego Healthcare System. Subtle changes in thinking and memory may appear before, or in conjunction with, the development of amyloid plaques.

The scientific community has long believed that beta-amyloid, a protein that can clump together and form sticky plaques in the brain, is the first sign of Alzheimer’s disease. Beta-amyloid then leads to other brain changes including neurodegeneration and eventually to thinking and memory problems. But a new study challenges that theory. The study suggests that subtle thinking and memory differences may come before, or happen alongside, the development of amyloid plaques that can be detected in the brain. The study is published in the December 30, 2019, online issue of Neurology.

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Participants had brain scans at the start of the study to determine levels of amyloid plaques in the brain, and then yearly scans for four years. Image is in the public domain.

“Our research was able to detect subtle thinking and memory differences in study participants and these participants had faster amyloid accumulation on brain scans over time, suggesting that amyloid may not necessarily come first in the Alzheimer’s disease process,” said study author Kelsey R. Thomas, PhD, of the VA San Diego Healthcare System in San Diego. “Much of the research exploring possible treatments for Alzheimer’s disease has focused on targeting amyloid. But based on our findings, perhaps that focus needs to shift to other possible targets.” Continue reading

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Your DNA is not your destiny, nor a good predictor of your health – Study

A new study reports diseases such as cancers, Alzheimer’s disease, and diabetes may have a genetic contribution of 5-10% at most. Source: University of Alberta

I can’t tell you how happy I was to learn this. I have had friends who threw up their hands when it came to living a healthy life. They said they failed because of their ‘bad genes.’ I always felt this was a cop out and total denial of responsibility and now it seems I was correct. Take responsibility.

In most cases, your genes have less than five percent to do with your risk of developing a particular disease, according to new research by University of Alberta scientists.

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The study also highlights some notable exceptions, including Crohn’s disease, celiac disease, and macular degeneration, which have a genetic contribution of approximately 40 to 50 per cent. The image is in the public domain.

In the largest meta-analysis ever conducted, scientists have examined two decades of data from studies that examine the relationships between common gene mutations, also known as single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), and different diseases and conditions. And the results show that the links between most human diseases and genetics are shaky at best.

“Simply put, DNA is not your destiny, and SNPs are duds for disease prediction,” said David Wishart, professor in the University of Alberta’s Department of Biological Sciences and the Department of Computing Science and co-author on the study. “The vast majority of diseases, including many cancers, diabetes, and Alzheimer’s disease, have a genetic contribution of 5 to 10 percent at best.” Continue reading

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