TERRIFYING Dangers of Artificial Sweeteners

TERRIFYING Dangers of Artificial Sweeteners

Yes, overdoing sugar in your diet will cause obesity and diabetes however using sugar substitutes is not totally safe. 

At present, the most widely used artificial sweeteners (AS) are saccharin, sucralose, and aspartame. Aspartame most widely used worldwide has been shown to cause obesity and metabolic syndrome in humans while in animal studies it has been shown to cause kidney damage.

Know there are many AS, see list below. TERRIFYING Dangers of Artificial Sweeteners

They are everywhere, hidden in toothpaste children’s chewable vitamins yogurts breakfast cereals, and many more everyday dietary items. Some sweetness comes with warnings -phenylalanine for example is dangerous for people with the genetic disorder phenylketonuria (PKU)

The fact is ‘good’ bacteria, E. coli (Escherichia coli) and E. faecalis (Enterococcus faecalis) live safely in our digestive tract. However, when ASs and these bacteria get together bad things can happen.

It has been known that these chemicals change the number and type of bacteria in our digestive tract (aka gut). The presence of these sweeteners can change the way our ‘good’ bacteria act and make them invasive. That is attacking the lining of the intestine wall. The study published in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences is the first study to show the conversion from a benign harmless bacteria in our gut to a pathogenic one. You ask how does this occurs. The AS as it passes through the lining of the intestinal wall causes bacteria to become invasive. Bacteria will go into our bloodstream unto the lymph nodes, the liver, and the spleen causing a number of infections. Remember bacteria is to live in the gut not to go elsewhere. 

This new study discovered that the concentration of artificial sweeteners in as little as two cans of diet soft drink, no matter the artificial sweetener, causes increased adhesion of E. coli and E. faecalis to the intestinal wall developing a ‘biofilm’. Invasive activity occurs.  Antibiotics can not get to these bacteria. 

Saccharin is the exception to artificial sweeteners causing bacteria to invade the wall of the gut.

Bacteria in your bloodstream causes sepsis, overwhelming infection, and is a common cause of death.

I hope you have gotten the picture!

Exercise Science – Starting Simple

No one argues exercise is good for you, but how often should you exercise? Used interchangeably exercising is training your body to be fit and function optimally.  Exercise Science - Starting Simple

How much exercise depends on a lot of different factors – such as what is your goal(s), are you training for an event, how intense will you exercise, and do you have any history of injury you may have. Why and what you are training for helps determine how often you need to exercise.

Common sense dictates if you want to be and stay ‘fit’ you must exercise regularly. You can not exercise non-stop, a period of recovery is critical. Recovery time is dependent on many variables, including age and what body system you are training. The nervous system is stressed with certain activities; sprinting, heavy resistance training, and high-intensity interval training. High-intensity exercise needs a longer recovery time than lower-intensity activities such as jogging that stresses the heart and lungs. The heart and lungs will recover faster than the nervous system.

It’s recommended that muscle-strengthening exercises be done two or more days per week to improve muscle and bone health, alternating different muscle groups in sessions.

Another important finding is that multiple days a week of resistance training is good but even one day a week improves your strength. Another impact to developing overall strength is correctly performing squats and lungs.

The concept of ‘lifting to failure’ offers no added benefits for improving your strengtheners.

Do you just want to stay in shape? It’s not how much you do, it’s the quality of what you do. You’ve heard of high-intensity interval training (HIIT) it is being touted for improving fitness and health. The concept is to exert your max effort for a short time and then followed by resting. Studies recently show that 4 to 7 bouts of intense one-minute exercise followed with 75 seconds of rest, done 3 times a week will improve fitness and mental well-being. We all need plenty of good mental health in this pandemic. This approach could be very beneficial for people who don’t regularly exercise. You’re then basically doing about 30 minutes a week and that is beneficial.

The key is to train consistently in a manner that has repetition and recovery in balance.

Awesome Body!

A little respect our body asks for. We are carried, grow, fight disease, filtrate air, pump blood to muscles, and most important to many give us joy.Awesome Body

You probably have learned more muscles are used to frown than to smile but there are so many more fascinating facts about the human body.

Consider these findings from a careful study of our bodies:

  • Women’s hearts beat faster than men and also our eyes blink twice as much.

  • Human bone is 5 times stronger than steel – so when you break a bone it hurts like hell!

  • Approximately how many new cells are produced by the human body each second? A recent calculation concluded that 3.8 million new cells are produced each minute; of those, 86% are blood cells.

  • If you’re a man, the smallest cells in your body are sperm cells.

  • Eyes do not grow over a lifetime but nose and ears never stop growing.

  • It is impossible to sneeze and keep your eyes open.

  • Ever notice things taste different as we age? Well by age 60 it is estimated we lose half our taste buds!

  • In the mouth, there are more bacteria than there are people on earth.

  • Jaw muscle (masseter) is strongest while buttocks- gluteus maximus is largest.

  • Fingerprints and tongues have unique prints and patterns for each of us.

  • The estimated resolution of the human eye is 576 megapixels if you assuming 20/20 vision.

  • The average lifespan of a human scalp hair is 2-7 years.

  • Only one out of every two billion people will live to be 116 years old.

Please give your body its due respect!

Protect Yourself -Use Sunscreen In The Winter

Protect Yourself -Use Sunscreen In The WinterNo matter where you spend the winter months, I want to explain in this blog, medically why sunscreen should be used. Below, I will explain why it makes perfect sense to layer your skin year-round with a good sunscreen. Upfront you know ice snow reflects sunlight thereby intensifying invisible UVA/UVB rays. We must realize that the damage from these rays is cumulative. All exposures over our lifetime contribute to possibilities for skin damage and especially skin cancer.

The image is included for recognition of all that is out there. UVA rays may not cause immediate sunburn (like UVB rays) but penetrate deeper and are a cause of deadly melanomas.

Winter is here and here comes skin trauma unless you are protected! Recall from a previous blog sufficient protection comes from broad-spectrum sunscreens and lip balms with a minimum of 30 SPF.  Some are looking to protect the ‘reefs’ so choose ‘reef-safe’, also a chemical-free sunscreen is a wise idea. Look for the active ingredient to be either zinc oxide or titanium dioxide. 

Okay, you are not going anywhere near ice or snow, well think winter, low moisture, and wind- these both are tough on skin. when it is cold outside you notice your skin is drier and more sensitive. Dryness, reveals wrinkles and fine lines, it is natural for all of us when in a low humidity environment. Sunscreen use can help deplete moisture.

The ozone layer is thinner in the summer. Way up in the stratosphere, towards the top, furthest from the earth is the ozone layer. The thinner ozone layer is busy absorbing UV rays from the sun, that’s why in winter the rays are more intense even though the sun does not feel hot. My point is another scientific reason to use sunscreen. Plus if you live in the northern hemisphere, as I do, in winter we are closer to the sun.

Please realize winter weather makes your sunscreen wear off. Low-temperature wind snow sleet all contribute to reduced protection. 

Want to take another step to reduce wrinkles? Skin aging can be avoided by insuring the production of collagen and elastin, integral for youthful skin. Sunscreen protects against drying and adds moisture back into the skin.

Now if you stay indoors, don’t think you are escaping winter damage to your skin. UV rays have shorter wavelengths and more energy than high-energy visible blue light. Blue light waves from computers, TVs cellphone screens even lamps can damage the skin. Remember, just like X-rays, visible and invisible xays are absorbed throughout our lifetime. 

Incredible Discovery -Personality Impacts Life Expectancy

Incredible discovery -Personality Impacts Life Expectancy

Credit: CCO Public Domain

Ground-breaking research out of the University of Limerick (UL) has shown -first time ever- that our immune system directly couples personality to long-term risk of death. A new international study published in the journal Brain, Behavior, and Immunity.

Wow, finally you can explain why ‘nice’ considerate folks seem to live longer. It was long been wondered how our personality affects how long we live but the mechanism was not known. What is ‘personality? The manner we act throughout our lives, from early days, the sum of the consequences of how we think, feel, and act, and in the years before our death. 

An international study published in the journal named above showed that the immune system plays a vital role. Findings show “people scoring lower on the personality trait of conscientiousness (a tendency to be responsible, organized, and capable of self-control) can be at a 40% increased risk of future death compared to their higher scoring counterparts”  stated Dr. Ó Súilleabháin, This study was conducted with a team of collaborators from the Department of Psychology at ULimrick, the Department of Psychology at West Virginia University, the Department of Psychology at Humboldt University Berlin, and the College of Medicine at Florida State University.

Other studies had shown that interleukin-6 and c-reactive protein(critical role in immunity) play an important role in age-related morbidity (rate of having a disease). Morbidity leads to mortality. Hence levels of both were tested to see if this would explain how our personality traits are related to how long we live. Result – the more conscientious a person, the lower levels of interleukin-6, and lower risk of early death.

This is the first time an underlying measurable biological marker was directly linked to personality type and then to long-term mortality risk. 

Badass Virus In The Air

Badass virus In The Air

Last month, the U.S. marked 750,000 COVID-19 deaths, so unnecessary given the knowledge that existed to prevent many of them. Disease transmission became recognized as having aerosol transmission. Filters and UVC lights were placed in planes, businesses and everyone retired to their homes to work. Schools closed and masks became mandatory. Social distancing took on a specific meaning. New variants continued to surface. The arrival of emergency authorized vaccines, some better than others ushered in an era of controversy. Much research, at times retracted, has definitely established spread is aerosol. Specifics regarding the use of masks – how to wear, the number of layers has generated more science of disease transmission.

I want to share some numbers that can help honestly frame this pandemic -The CDC estimates that the flu has resulted in 9 to 41 million illnesses and 12,000 to 52,000 deaths annually between 2010 and 2020. And hospitals — institutions whose sole purpose is to heal — sometimes make us sicker. Healthcare-associated infections account for an estimated 1.7 million infections and 99,000 deaths each year. Advanced air filtration could definitely decrease hospital-acquired infections.

At this writing, Michigan hospitals are overwhelmed with COVID cases. Mass General Hospital has canceled elective procedures as beds and staff are needed to care for the influx of COVID-19 cases. As if that is not enough WHO announced a new variant of ‘concern’.

Omicron, as it was dubbed, will be in news but details require time and research to find out how transmissible and if vaccines protect.

No doubt there will be more information in the coming days about this variant that has the most changes in its genome than any previous variants. Thirty-two, 32, is the most consistent number of mutations so far identified. You probably want to know if it is in the US, sadly we rarely ‘type’ which SARS CoV-2 strain in patients. Isreal, Belgium, and South Africa do so much more. But I digress, back to air quality! Yes, airplanes filters are at times much better than hospital filters, however, the infected individual still must walk thru the airport. You say well how about a negative test? It is not known if the present tests can ‘pick-up’ that is recognize this new variant – ‘Omicron’. The incubation period -how long after exposure can a test show the virus is being shed in your breath, is not yet known. Yes, you can have the virus in your body but it has not multiplied enough to make you sick or turn a test positive. Hence a ‘negative’ test today may not mean much with this new variant.

PLEASE continue to social distance and properly wear a mask with at least 3 layers.

Little Known Body Facts

Approximately how often does it take for the lining of the stomach to replace itself?  4 to 5 days. The lining needs to protect itself. So has to change due to ‘juices’ that is the stomach enzymes are acid and along with abrasive foods does damage to the lining cells – hence we were built to change every 4-5 days

How long does it take a red blood cell to travel around the whole body at a normal heart rate? 30 to 60 seconds. Yes, our blood can circulate more than 1,000 times each day.

About how many muscles do you use when taking a single step forward? 200! In addition to the muscles in the leg, secondary muscles in the upper body also play a part.

The first-ever transfusion was in 1667 when the French physician Jean-Baptiste Denys transfused blood from an animal into a human. Which animal?  Lamb! The 15-year-old recipient received the transfusion after being bled with 20 leeches. He survived the procedure.

Little Known Body FactsWhat is the strongest muscle by weight in the human body? Masseter! With the help of the other muscles of mastication, this allows the average person to close their teeth with as much as 200 pounds of force with the molars.



What is the hardest substance in the human body? You got this – teeth enamel!

How much mucus does our healthy body produce each day? Don’t be grossed out but 1.5 liters or 6 3/8 cups worth. Normal activity of the body is made for protection, lubrication, hydration, and more. Also when our body is fighting an ‘invader’ mucus works to trap and prevent damage.

Hazards of ‘Bikini Medicine’

Hazards of 'Bikini Medicine'When I did my medical training, it was one size fits all. Yes, it was a while ago but quite sadly it has not changed. Studies and conditions are mostly carried out and explained based on the male body and you would not be incorrect to deduce that outcomes are less optimal in female patients. I attest to that.

Men and women’s bodies are not the same and should not be cared for in the same manner.

Now I am backed up by the University of Colorado’s Ludeman Family Center for Women’s Health Research publication. According to their article, in over 700 diseases women are under or delayed in their being diagnosed versus men. I first heard the term ‘bikini medicine’ on an NPR program in 2013. The idea is all human bodies in the practice of medicine are the same except in the areas covered by a bikini! Yes, some would say that is ‘sexist’. But the sex of a patient can influence how conditions present, from ADHD to women having heart attacks. You hopefully have heard a woman’s symptoms of a heart attack are totally different from those of a man. These differences, which I’ve covered in previous blog, might include a woman calmly saying her chest discomfort feels like her ‘bra is too tight, a symptom which likely means her heart is talking to her and saying a cardiac event is underway. Nausea, abdominal pain, or fatigue are also common symptoms in women who are experiencing cardiac events. Please read more if you are at risk. Don’t be the woman or loved one sent home or misdiagnosed. A study this year in Circulation determined that the supposed normal Blood Pressure is not accurate for women. It should be lower than the touted ‘120/’ . This is important when a woman presents with a Blood Pressure not elevated for a male, but it is in fact elevated for her.

The belief that men are easier to study has contributed greatly to a skewed application of outcomes. Data is always ‘pooled’. Although very recently women are being included in equal numbers in medical studies. Women’s Health Research at Yale was founded in 1998 to address the “knowledge gap” in understanding women’s health – ALL health, not just obstetrics and gynecology.

In a Journal of Women’s Health study from March of this year, analyses of data from 1.4 million patients, (January 1 and May 1, 2020) found symptom differences and hospitalization differences in women. For example ear, nose, and throat symptoms were more common in women. Few women received blood tests and chest X-rays and were less likely to be hospitalized. What exactly does this mean? Medical bias? Or immunities are different? Research and time will hopefully yield answers.

BOTTOM LINE Sex-specific difference in disease symptoms is real.


To Mask Or Not To Mask

to Mask Or Not to MaskI believe if a mask truly keeps me from spreading as well as absorbing someone’s virus – it is worth wearing. So what exactly does a mask achieve? Block by absorbing? Block like a wall causing bouncing out?

Findings suggest that absorptivity of mask materials is an important feature in providing protection from viruses such as SARS-CoV-2. The paper is published in Applied Materials & Interfaces, a journal of the American Chemical Society.

All too many studies have used dry particles to test mask permeability alone.
so many were published during the 2020-21 pandemic. In contrast, researchers in this investigation used a creative approach by using a virus nanoparticle suspended in artificial saliva. Spraying the suspension provides a much more realistic approach to truly compare the worth of mask materials. Thus, rather than viewing the mask as a simple screen, the study tests the adsorptive properties of the mask materials for trapping viruses in saliva droplets.

The properties of N-95 masks are well known but how about the ‘zillion’ types masks on most individuals?
Each material was characterized using a variety of methods including scanning electron microscopy and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy. Mask was then wet with artificial salvia to replicate actual situations.

These researchers measured the likelihood of trapping and absorbing rather than just if the virus stopped. Masks absorb, thus trapping viruses.

They concluded after doing the same study without masks, that all masks have definite benefits. but you knew that!

Bottom Line -Wear/change/Wash your Mask