honey High fructose corn syrup, that sweet over-produced commodity of agribusinesses everywhere, has been linked in two miserable ways to bees and honey. The first discovery was made almost two years ago, and the second only 2 months ago. First, most of the “honey” available for purchase in supermarkets is not really honey, but instead an ultra-filtered impostor often produced in China, and ...

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MiracleWhipMillion-e1371926810326 I happened to see this Miracle Whip advertisement in a magazine left open by a patient in our waiting room, and I really found it offensive.  Let’s dissect the ways in which this advertisement sullies the notion of food, and examine how far the concept of Miracle Whip strays from real food that should be enjoyed. At the top of the page it ...

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As I shopped for a new car last year, I realized that my priorities were considered odd by most car salesmen. The three most important characteristics I desired in a new car were good gas mileage, good crash safety, and relatively low concentrations of “new car smells.” The often celebrated (but particularly noxious) new car smell is actually a synthetic blend of respiratory irritants and potential carcinogens off-gassing from the ...

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A study published in the British Medical Journal highlights the importance of carefully choosing which children should receive diagnostic CT scans.  As a diagnostic test, CT scans utilize ionizing radiation that can cause cellular DNA damage, increasing the risk of cancer.  Children who received a CT scan were 25% more likely to develop a cancer in 10 years after radiation exposure, according to a study of 11 million ...

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Do you want to know if your doctor has been eating pizza for lunch that was purchased by Pfizer as she listened to a drug rep describe a new medication? Do you want to know if your endocrinologist has been paid $1,500 to give a brief talk about a new injectable diabetes medication to his colleagues as they gobble down filet mignon? If the answer is “yes,” then you are ...

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image_01_b It is increasingly difficult to find real ice cream.  When reading the ingredient list it is discouraging how many cheap fillers, consistency modifiers, and shelf life extenders are included.  One ingredient, namely guar gum, seems fairly ubiquitous.  So what is guar gum, and why is it found in so many products including ice cream?  Is it “bad” to eat? Guar gum ...

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grilling aluminum foil As the weather heats up, and the allure of grilling returns, it is important to consider some of the potential health risks. One of the great joys of my life is “manning” the grill – beer in hand, wafting smoke rising through the air, a delicious anticipation building. It seems worth the risk of consuming carcinogens present in the smoke ...

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There was an article in the New York Times recently about the importance of cultivating a family narrative to instill a sense of identity, control, and resilience in children. The more children know about their family story, the better equipped they are to handle stresses that would shake their foundation. Is it possible that, in the realm of personal health and well being, the cultivation of an affirmative ...

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superbowl__large.gif You’ve probably watched the Super Bowl as I have many times, faithfully, elevating the occasion to some kind of macabre family tradition. It is a spectacle of athletic agility, drama, and struggle; the pinnacle of American sporting contests. Despite the heavy onslaught of commercialism, faux halftime culture, and evident violence on the field, we suspend our awareness that this event may not ...

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It seems that study after study has been touting the benefits of chocolate – eat more of the (delicious!) dark stuff and you might find yourself losing weight, suffering fewer or less severe heart attacks, possessing cleaner arteries, and having a lower blood pressure. Despite the theoretical explanations for chocolate’s health benefits, it is usually found packaged and processed along with some other not so healthy ingredients including saturated fat, ...

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A recent study confirmed that the doctor’s office may be one of the worst places to determine if your blood pressure is under control. The automatic rise in tension many people experience when they are being scrutinized contributes to artificially high blood pressure readings. Although many times the only way improve one’s blood pressure is through treatment (such as medication, a low salt diet, and weight loss), other times ...

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A fever in an infant can be the first sign of an illness. While a rise in body temperature above 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit is part of a healthy immune system response, it does signal potential danger and need for further evaluation. Since a reading may lead to a call or visit to the child’s doctor or emergency room, accuracy is key. What is the best type of infant thermometer? A ...

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"This job is killing me" is not a statement of jest. It is a desperate plea of outright sincerity. Stress, anxiety, depression – all have been associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease and mortality. But can interventions to help people cope with stress positively affect longevity and decrease risk of dying? The results of a study in the Archives of Internal Medicine would imply the answer is ...

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I’m sure you’ve read through top doctor rankings and online physician ratings. It is only human to seek perceived leaders. But as sometimes seen in politics, those who have reached the pinnacles are often motivated by ambition, charisma, and gamesmanship instead of altruism, sincerity, and merit. Beware the top doctors issues found in magazines and newspapers. Some of these doctors are excellent, but many are simply “notable.” They may be well-connected, in ...

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“I’ll be back in a little while, Hon’. Will you be okay without me?” the frail old woman asked of her husband. She was standing at the front door and breathing heavily. “I’ll be fine,” her husband replied from his wheelchair. His voice sounded as weak as his body looked – emaciated, scaly, and full of cancer. “I’m sorry I can’t come with you.” The woman opened the front door. A gust ...

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On the way to the funeral you wonder how you’ll be received by the grieving. Although you are confident that your care for the deceased was sincere, professional, and adept, you still question if others will so assume. There is silence in the car. This is a trip you make alone. You manage a bitter smile as you recall stories the patient shared in unguarded moments, behind the door of a ...

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Here are the top 10 preventive services. These items were chosen by the National Commission on Prevention Priorities, and highlight those preventive services including immunizations, screenings, preventive medications, and counseling that give “the most bang for the buck.” For an in depth discussion of methods and results, read Am J Prev Med 2006;31(1):52–61 Discuss Daily Aspirin Use This counseling does not mean everyone should take aspirin to prevent heart attack and stroke, but ...

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As the first decade of the 21st century comes to an end, it is interesting to look back and reflect on the most significant medical advances we’ve seen. I’d like to present 12 medical advances that I consider to have been the most important over the past decade, and I’d like to ask you, the wider world, to contribute in two ways:

- Add your nomination in the comment field regarding ...

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