Again! Wine in Moderation is Proven Good

You hear from many sources that wine can be good for you – in moderation like everything else we ingest!MH900412774

Customary advice was to continue if you regularly drink wine (preferably red) in moderation. Moderation is 1-2 glasses for men and one per day for women. What if you never drank wine regularly, should you start when you are older (>60)?

A two-year study of 224 patients with type 2 Diabetes (in Israel) funded by European Foundation for the Study of Diabetes showed white wine improves glucose control while red wine improves HDL (good) cholesterol levels. Noteworthy is the fact that the red wine given to the patients had ‘sevenfold higher levels of total phenols and 4 – 13 fold higher levels of the specific resveratrol compounds than the white wine’.

So drink to your health!



No Comments

Lemons and Norovirus Infections

‘When life gives you lemons…’, we all have heard this proverb but what good things can lemons do?SMS_Lemons

Abundant citric acid is found in lemons but it is also made by our bodies as we convert nutrients to energy thru chemical reactions. While lemon juice has no nutritional value it does serve as a safe and practical disinfectant. Lemon juice and sunlight is well know to disinfect water by making the DNA of E. coli unable to reproduce. A study from the German Cancer Research Center scientists by chance building on a US study recently showed that citric acid might prevent the highly contagious norovirus from infecting humans. The norovirus is known to cause severe gastrointestinal infections.


No Comments

Liquid Biopsy

Blood Sample

Blood Sample

Eight million people worldwide die each year from cancer. Early diagnosis and better care monitoring can make a difference. On the frontier is fast sequencing DNA machines and liquid biopsies. Rather than cut tissue out (biopsy) to make a diagnosis of cancer, researchers at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center are finding certain cancers (lung, colon and blood cancer) by a blood test. 

Exciting to hear Dr. Jose Baselga, “This could change forever the way we follow up not only response to treatments but also the emergence of resistance, and down the line could even be used for really early diagnosis.”

Further needed studies are now being done across the country.

No Comments

Insecticides and Childhood Cancer

Review of several studies, although small revealed that if children are exposed to indoor insecticides (ex. home, school) there is a significant increase leukemia and lymphomas risk. You can control what chemical are used in your home as pest control but do you know what is used in kindergarden school or daycare? Use of pesticides beyond irritating your skin/eyes and effecting your hormone balance can result in cancer. A site worth visiting is National Pesticide Information Center.

NOTE: There was no statistically significant association between outdoor pesticides or outdoor insecticides and childhood cancer in this study.


No Comments

Medical ‘Tricorder’ Is Here!

Screen Shot 2015-09-25 at 8.52.15 AM We have all seen on ‘Star Trek™ the ‘tricorder’ hand held device that waved over a person gives tons of vital information. Well it is now here – sort of – MouthLab!

The team of engineers and physicians (Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine) created a device that reports from a simple breath or a fingertip. Yes,  no need for applying devices, time, discomfort to find out your vital signs that is heart rate, blood pressure, temperature, breathing rate and blood oxygen.

Big Bonus is its ability to record a basic electrocardiogram (EKG) . Keep an eye out for this at your next medical encounter.

Published the Annals of Biomedical Engineering (9/15)

No Comments

CPR Plays Lifesaver on TV

Media (especially TV shows) portrays cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) as having an improbable outcome – patient wakes up and shortly after walks out of the hospital without any the worse.

06_ChestCompressionsPlease remember it IS fiction, in real life the odds of having your heart and lungs restarted after a medical crisis is very slim!

A study by USC Davis School of Gerontology researchers watched popular dramas Grey’s Anatomy and House noting performing CPR successfully saved a patient’s life early 70 percent of the time. Half of the fictional patients who received CPR made enough of a recovery to eventually leave the hospital. That’s ‘almost double the actual immediate survival rate of less than 37 percent and four times the real long–term survival rate of roughly 13 percent’, according to experts in end–of–life care.

Are these the expectations people have upon signing directives for end of life care?

TV programs show CPR performed mostly on adults 18 – 65, while in reality more than 60% of CPR is preformed on those over 65. Then there is the other reality – trauma – which can cause one’s heart to stop. Trauma was the cause in the TV shows in this study for approx. 40% of the CPR, but in real life only 2 % of all CPR is done on trauma victims. The study appeared online in the Journal Resuscitation on Aug. 18.

No Comments

Emergency Room Waiting Times and Yelp

A good service of social media makes going to the ER a bit easier. Besides looking for restaurant and hotel reviews, hospital and urgent clinics have postings on their Yelp pages. Users post much about their personal experience in a specific time, however now government information ( ProPublica, a non-profit public interest group based on patient surveys and data from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services) can be found.Screen Shot 2015-09-20 at 12.26.43 PM

Yelp lists the data in the upper-right corner of my local hospital profile (image right)  and has added a similar box to nursing home and dialysis center pages, find out how many beds and what the odds of surviving are. Not all US medical facilities at this blogging have such information. I am sure you will not use this Yelp information alone to decide upon where to pursue medical care. Many resources including this  Medicare site that compares hospitals is well worth checking out.

No Comments

Wound Care Instructions

We all get cuts, scraps from minor injury. Our skin is a barrier and protection once it is ‘violated’ it is up to us to care for it. The following are a few important basic to ‘wound’ care when you are not given specific direction from a medical professional.

Supplies needed:

  • antibacterial soap (Lever 2000®, Dial®)
  • Vasoline petroleum jelly (NOT Neosporin® or Bacitracin®)
  • Q tips
  • Bandages size to cover wound

Actions till completely healed:

  • keep wound clean wash with soapy water gently
  • keep coated with thin layer of ointment
  • cover with clean bandage
  • clean at least twice a day and whenever get it wet
  • cover sun block (SPF30) for one year round to avoid scarring


I like and have repeatedly used Aquaphor® healing ointment (OTC) which protects against infection*, promote healing, avoids scab formation so decreases a scar forming.


*signs of infection increasing redness, swelling, pain or drainage

No Comments

Synthetic Marijuana – Dangerous

Goes By Many Street Names

Goes By Many Street Names

Synthetic marijuana (some street names include: sK2, diamond, Genie, Dawn, Spice) was never tested in humans, but used for research. It does decrease the flow of oxygen there by mimicking marijuana “high.” Can be smoked mixed with food/drink, it’s banned in many countries but not US at present.

A published study Philadelphia’s Children’s National Health System found in teenagers use can cause serious heart complications. No matter your age low oxygen levels are potentially catastrophic. This would be true even for the young.

Symptoms will include shortness breath, chest pain to name two.

The Partnership for Drug-Free America, Arizona chapter published a one page Marijuana Fact Sheet that you must read! Get the lowdown on synthetic marijuana, it is important!

No Comments

Poison Help Centers

In the case of accidental poisoning, if time permits, contact the Poison Help Center at 1-800-222-1222. Poison Help Centers operate around-the-clock and can provide you with FREE & confidential advice and treatment options so you can start before reaching the ER.[ois

You can dial this toll free number from anywhere in the US, including American Samoa, Puerto Rico, US Virgin Islands and Micronesia it will be routed based on your area code and exchange or your location to the one of the 55 U.S. poison centers that is designated to serve your region.

Remember dial 911 if a person cannot be awakened, has trouble breathing, collapses, or has a seizure.

You also can go online at to

“There’s also a free app that allows you to scan the product barcode, which you can download at the Apple Store and at Google play. webPOISONCONTROL® was developed by poison control experts, and like calling, it’s free and confidential. At present, the app is powered by more than 1000 ingredient algorithms linked to household and pharmaceutical products and barcodes. More algorithms and products are being added every day.” *


*Personal communication with Toby Litovitz, MD?Executive & Medical Director?National Capital Poison Center


No Comments