Posted in food, Health, news

Eating too FAST makes you FAT

Fast food has become the staple of many American and European diets and we’ve seen obesity rise.  True more people take public or private transportation to work over walking, and many have given up smoking every time they had a hunger itch, but the most popular reason for our waistline increase is fast food.  But is it the caloric content of the fast food that’s fueling the obesity epidemic, or the speed at which its ingested?

What is Fast Food?

According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, Fast Food is “food that can be prepared and served quickly”.  A burger, shake and fries is considered fast food but so is a take away salad or sandwich.  It’s implied that fast food is a meal that is not made fresh but made previously and preserved such that it can taste fresh when needed to be served.

How Caloric is Fast Food?

According to CalorieKing, a McDonald’s Big Mac is 540 calories.  A large order of fries is 510 calories.  So a meal over 1000 calories is obviously not the healthiest choice.

But let’s return back to the sandwich alone.  While a Big Mac is 540 calories, CalorieKing finds Chick-Fil-A’s Cobb Salad (without dressing) 500 calories.  Bob Evans Restaurant’s Cobb Salad is 516 calories.

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Now on the same site a Tuna Salad Sandwich (5 oz) w. mayo, 3 oz Bread is 679 calories.

So are we becoming obese eating cobb salads and tuna salad for lunch just as one would eat a Big Mac?  We don’t know since people don’t study cobb and tuna salad eating consumers.  My guess is No.

Are we eating too fast?

Yes, and so fast that I believe it could be messing with our metabolism.

Think back to caveman days.  We had to chew.  And not on a soft sesame seed bun, but chew our meat.  Nuts and vegetables took a chewing as well.  Food was more scarce so it was savored and meals weren’t on the run while on a subway or at a stop light in one’s car.

Previous studies have shown that eating slowly and chewing it multiple times allow the body’s signals to trigger the satiety sensation sooner, hence one would eat less.

So gulping down a burger in 5 bites could be accomplished prior to the brain receiving the signal that it should be satisfied.

Now the metabolism issue.  Fast food could contain sugars, fats and preservatives that alter metabolism.  But eating on the run could cause metabolism issues in and of itself.

When a body senses that the food source is short-lived, unpredictable, and coming at a speed preventing proper absorption of nutrients, it may slow down metabolism to allow the body to make the most of what it has.  Eating a meal slow and methodical may be the most successful way to not only feel full but to eat less and lose weight.

I suggest a study be done looking at two groups of people eating the same food with the same caloric content but differing on the speed at which they eat it.

I suggest to you all to take an extra 15 minutes to complete your meal than what you’re accustomed to and determine if you see results after a few weeks.

Of course avoiding fast food would be the most beneficial for our weight but if you must eat fast food, eat it slowly.

 

                                                                                                         LearnHealthSpanish.com

                                                                                                         Medical Spanish made easy

Daliah Wachs, MD, FAAFP is a nationally syndicated radio personality on GCN Network, iHeart Radio and Board Certified Family Physician

 

Posted in food, Health, news

Moderate Drinking Found to PREVENT Diabetes

For decades, physicians have warned us to avoid alcohol, as its high sugar content could predispose one to diabetes.  Now a new study suggests it could help us avoid having high blood sugar and the ensuing health risks.

70,000 men and women, apart of a Danish survey on health, were observed for five years and asked about their drinking habits.  Of the test subjects, 859 men and 887 women went on to develop diabetes.  Researchers found men who drank on average two drinks a day, lessened their diabetes risk by 43%.  Women who averaged 9 drinks a week had a 58% lower risk of diabetes than non drinkers.  For both men and women, drinking more than one glass of wine a day decreased their risk of diabetes 25-30%.

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Study author Janne Tolstrup from the University of Denmark stated, “Our findings suggest that alcohol drinking frequency is associated with the risk of diabetes and that consumption of alcohol over three to four weekdays is associated with the lowest risks of diabetes, even after taking average weekly alcohol consumption into account.”

What about beer?

For women there did not appear to be a “health benefit”. However for men, a daily beer lowered their diabetes risk by 21%.

Why? Why?  and Why?

This is tricky.  Those who drink heavily consume “empty calories” and sugar that the body may not be able to metabolize properly, hence leading to diabetes.  But we’ve seen in many people the opposite, even their cholesterol level dropping.  Is the alcohol being substituted for food and dessert?  Does alcohol dilate blood vessels, improving circulation and metabolism?

This is one of very few studies linking alcohol use to health benefits, but definitely deserves attention and further investigation.

For more on diabetes, read here.

 

 

                                                                                                         LearnHealthSpanish.com

                                                                                                         Medical Spanish made easy

Daliah Wachs, MD, FAAFP is a nationally syndicated radio personality on GCN Network, iHeart Radio and Board Certified Family Physician

Posted in Health, news

Men: How to Salvage Your Sperm Count

A study this week, reported in BBC, found men’s sperm count to drop 50% over the last 40 years.  This sparked rumors that humans could eventually become “extinct”.

Researchers from Hebrew University in Jerusalem and Icahn School of Medicine in New York analyzed 42,000 male participants involved in 185 studies from the period 1973 to 2011, looking at men from North America, Australia, New Zealand and Europe and found close to a 60% drop in sperm count, although semen volume remained stable.  Men from South Africa, Africa and Asia appeared to retain their sperm numbers.

So let’s break this down….

What’s in a sperm count/semen analysis?

Let’s review some anatomy.  Sperm is produced in the seminferous tubules within the testes.  Once formed they travel to the epididymis, where they mature and are stored.  During ejaculation, the mature sperm travel from the epididymis through the vas deferens to the ampulla, meeting with seminal fluid (produced by the seminal vesicles, prostate and bulbourethral glands) to become semen.

 

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When a couple is having fertility issues, a semen analysis will be ordered.  This looks at a variety of factors.

Volume – Sperm can’t dry up and need a medium in which to travel.  Seminal fluid can amount to 1.5-5 ml (1/4-1 teaspoon).  A decrease in this amount could imply issues with any of the above organs or a blockage.

Concentration – Sparse sperm in an ejaculate makes it more difficult to fertilize an egg, hence concentration of sperm should be close to 20 million sperm/ml of semen.

Motility – Sperm need to swim and compete with others, hence sluggish sperm don’t have a chance in …..well….the Fallopian tube.  Close to half of the sperm analyzed should be moving.

Shape/Morphology – sperm need to be the appropriate shape to maximize success in fertilization. At least half of the sperm in each sample should be of normal shape.

Liquefaction – initial ejaculate is thick to enable an easier passage of the package of sperm. Then it needs to thin, liquefy, to allow the sperm to travel and swim.  Normal liquefaction time is 15-30 minutes.

Color – semen color is usually whitish-gray but brown could signify blood, green could mean infection, yellow could signify a change due to medications, chemicals and sometimes age.

Other factors are noted such as the acidity (pH), white blood cell composition, and fructose.

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What causes low sperm count

Multiple issues could account for a drop in sperm count.  These include:

Hormones in our food

Endocrine disrupters in our cosmetics

Chemical exposure such as solvents, herbicides, pesticides and benzenes

Obesity

Electronics sitting on our lap

Antibodies attacking our sperm

Heavy metal exposure

Radiation

High Stress

Anabolic steroid use and some medications

Varicoceles – swelling of the veins in the testicle disrupting transport of sperm

Infection

Tumors

and the list goes on.

How to protect your sperm count

So to protect your sperm count, we recommend the following:

Keep it cool – Testicles that overheat produce less sperm, so avoid laptops or anything that could heat up the groin.

Avoid tight fitting underwear – same issue.  Testicles closer to the body heat up so let them hang low and away keeps things cool.

Avoid tobacco products

Avoid alcohol

Decrease caffeine consumption

Avoid pesticides and chemicals

Avoid hot tubs

Decrease stress

 

                                                                                                         LearnHealthSpanish.com

                                                                                                         Medical Spanish made easy

Daliah Wachs, MD, FAAFP is a nationally syndicated radio personality on GCN Network, iHeart Radio and Board Certified Family Physician

 

Posted in Entertainment, Health, news

Home Alone John Heard’s Death Ruled a Heart Attack

Home Alone actor, John Heard, died of heart attack July 21.  The Santa Clara County Medical Examiner’s Office reported his heart attack was the result of “atherosclerotic and hypertensive heart disease.”

In July Heard was found dead at a hotel in Palo Alto, California days after having minor back surgery.

Atherosclerotic heart disease occurs when cholesterol-forming plaques line the arteries and prevent adequate blood flow to heart muscle.  Hypertensive heart disease occurs when high blood pressure accelerates heart disease by constricting blood flow and by enlarging the heart (thickening the heart muscle),  thereby leading to heart failure.

Born March 7, 1945 in Washington DC, Heard’s acting career started on stage in the off-Broadway play, The Wager, in 1974.  His film career including television and big screen spanned over 4 decades including this year, with IMDb reporting roles in multiple films in their post production stage soon to be released.

John Heard was 72.

 

                                                                                                         LearnHealthSpanish.com

                                                                                                         Medical Spanish made easy

Daliah Wachs, MD, FAAFP is a nationally syndicated radio personality on GCN Network and Board Certified Family Physician

Posted in Health, news

Could Dementia and CTE be Prevented with Oxygen Therapy?

When brains get deprived of oxygen, during sleep apnea or trauma, dementia and/or neurological sequelae may ensue.

For years I suggested giving oxygen at night to those athletes at risk of CTE, chronic traumatic encephalopathy, and those at high risk for dementia and Alzheimers.  Oxygen at high concentrations have been found to help wounds heal, and why should a vulnerable organ fight for oxygen.  Give the brain what it needs.

Now we learn a two year old near-drowning victim, who was submerged for nearly 15 minutes and sustained brain damaged, surpisingly has “minimal” deficits after given extensive oxygen therapy.

In February 2016, Eden Carlson climbed through a baby gate while her mother was showering and fell into the family pool. Her mother performed CPR and medical personnel worked to revive her for hours. They succeeded, but she had suffered cardiac arrest and brain damage. Upon discharge from the hospital 48 days later, Eden had difficulty speaking, walking and responding to her family.

Her medical team then tried oxygen treatments twice a day in 45 minute sessions.  These were “normobaric” oxygen treatments, or oxygen at the concentration of one atmosphere (sea level). Then three weeks later she was moved to New Orleans for “hyperbaric” oxygen treatments, or breathing 100% oxygen in a chamber greater than atmospheric pressure.

After ten sessions her mother reported “near normal” activity with doctors finding only “minimal damage” on her MRI scan.

An MRI scan 162 days after the incident showed that the child still has mild residual brain injury but the cortical and white matter atrophy she suffered was nearly completely reversed.

An MRI scan 162 days after the incident showed that the child still has mild residual brain injury but the cortical and white matter atrophy she suffered was nearly completely reversed.   (MEDICAL GAS RESEARCH)

According to NYDailyNews, the cortical and white matter atrophy (thinning) almost completely reversed.

This raises the question, should oxygen therapy, either normobaric or hyperbaric, be instituted immediately after injury (near drowning, concussion, infection, etc.) and chronically for those at higher risk of dementia (diabetics; those with heart disease, high blood pressure and cholesterol; and stroke victims)?

Athletes who sustain multiple concussions are at high risk of developing CTE, Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy.  This progressive, degenerative disease of the brain is also found in veterans and those who sustained repeated head trauma.  Symptoms include mood disorders, paranoia, impulse control issues, aggression, and memory loss to name a few.

Many victims of CTE aren’t diagnosed until after they die, upon autopsy and evaluation of brain tissue, hence it may be worth researching early oxygen intervention to those at high risk before symptoms surface.

Now oxygen therapy is not without its risks, as those with COPD, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, could lose their respiratory drive, and oxygen toxicity could cause bleeding and seizures.  But controlled trials could allow us to investigate if one of the simplest of treatments can help battle some of the most difficult of diseases.

 

                                                                                                         LearnHealthSpanish.com

                                                                                                         Medical Spanish made easy

Daliah Wachs, MD, FAAFP is a nationally syndicated radio personality on GCN Network, iHeart Radio and Board Certified Family Physician

 

 

 

Posted in food, Health, news

Ice Served at Fast Food Chains Found to Contain Poop Bacteria

Ice used for soft drinks at leading fast food chains in the UK were found to contain bacteria usually seen in fecal matter.  This comes weeks after the same BBC investigation found similar contaminated ice at Starbuck’s, Caffe Nero, and Costa Coffee.

On the TV Show Watchdog, BBC reported more than half the samples tested at food chains including Burger King, McDonald’s and Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) contained coliform bacteria, or bacteria that colonize intestines.  Harmful bacteria, such E. coli, however was NOT found according to a spokesperson for McDonalds.

So even though the bacteria discovered would not harm humans if ingested, the potential for a dangerous pathogen exposure is there.

 

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Image from Clean Water Store

 

Samples were taken from 10 random store locations for each of the fast food chains.

Of the samples tested on McDonald’s ice machines, 3 out of 10 samples were contaminated.  At Burger King, 6 out of 10 samples tested positive for coliform bacteria and at KFC, 7 out of 10 tested positive.

One theory is the cleaning of the machines and/or handling of the ice is done with direct human hand contact which could have fecal contamination from poor hand washing after bathroom use.

The contamination issues hopefully prompted chains in other countries, such as the US, to reevaluate their procedures on ice and cup handling.

 

                                                                                                         LearnHealthSpanish.com

                                                                                                         Medical Spanish made easy

Daliah Wachs, MD, FAAFP is a nationally syndicated radio personality on GCN Network, iHeart Radio and Board Certified Family Physician

 

 

Posted in Health, news, Politics

Senator John McCain Diagnosed with Brain Tumor

Last week, when we were told Senator John McCain (R-AZ) was being treated for a blood clot above his left eye, we suspected a tumor could have been involved, as he was a cancer survivor and tumors are thrombogenic, meaning clot forming.

Unfortunately, the 80 year old melanoma cancer survivor has been diagnosed with primary glioblastoma.  However, its been reported that the whole tumor was removed when the doctors performed a craniotomy (opening of the skull) to remove the blood clot.  A statement from his office reports Senator McCain is home and recovering “amazingly well”.

What is Primary Glioblastoma?

Primary Glioblastoma Multiforme is a type of brain tumor that arises in the brain and spinal cord and is very aggressive in nature.  “Primary” suggests the tumor is not secondary to another cancer, such as the melanoma Senator McCain successfully battled.

In 1993, 2000 and 2002, McCain had three malignant melonama lesions removed, and the 2000 lesion was close to his left temple.

Those diagnosed with a glioblastoma may have a poorer prognosis  compared to other cancers as the 5-year survival rate is only 10%.  Its median survival is less than 15 months.  However, with his lesion removed, and chemotherapy and radation set to begin once his incision has healed, many medical teams are optimisitc.

According to his daughter, Meghan McCain, her father is “confident” and “calm”.  CNN reports that when the Senator awoke from surgery he was “cracking jokes” and ready to go home and get to work.

This is a developing story.

                                                                                                         LearnHealthSpanish.com

                                                                                                         Medical Spanish made easy

Daliah Wachs, MD, FAAFP is a nationally syndicated radio personality on GCN Network, iHeart Radio and Board Certified Family Physician