Category Archives: Health & Fitness

Death toll from San Diego hepatitis A outbreak rises to 19; more than 500 cases confirmed

San Diego’s hepatitis A outbreak added another death Tuesday, pushing the total to 19 as the number of confirmed cases passed 500.

Updated numbers released by the county Health and Human Services Agency come as a massive effort around vaccination, sanitation and public education continues to try and stop the largest surge of the viral disease since the vaccine for hepatitis A was approved in the late 1990s.

With last week’s total number of cases at 490, the latest reported increase to 507 may make it seem as if the outbreak continues to grow, but, because of the way that the public health department is tallying the outbreak, it is difficult to say whether that’s the case.

Last week, in a report to the San Diego County Board of Supervisors, Dr. Wilma Wooten, the county’s public health officer, said that her department had 47 cases under investigation. Those cases don’t get added to the outbreak totals until testing by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta confirms that they were caused by the same strains of hepatitis A that have caused other outbreak cases.



The Alkaline Diet CookBook: The Alkaline Meal Plan to Balance your pH, Reduce Body Acid, Lose Weight and Have Amazing Health

Acidic and Alkaline levels are indicated in your body through pH scales. Alkaline levels in your blood should be maintained ideally at or between the pH ranges of 7.35 – 7.45. At the ranges of 7.35, your body is highly acidic and prone to a variety of illnesses. Consumption of highly acidic foods strains minerals such as Calcium, Magnesium, Potassium and Sodium from the bone deposits by regulating the acid levels. One of the best books you will find on amazon. Great health starts with knowledge, this book will help reduce acid levels and help anyone on their weight loss journey. 


A New Era for Diabetes Patients: FDA Clears First Prickless Blood Sugar Monitor

In a milestone for Americans with diabetes, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has cleared the first-ever continuous blood sugar monitoring device that doesn’t require patients to take potentially painful and invasive blood tests that require pricking their fingertips to collect samples. The approval was granted to Abbott Diabetes Care Inc.

The device, Abbott’s FreeStyle Libre Flash Glucose Monitoring System, is approved for adult diabetes patients 18 years of age and older, and the approval sent Abbott stock up 3.5% in Thursday trading. It slashes the need for the so-called fingerstick tests that people with diabetes regularly endure to figure out whether their blood sugar levels are too high or too low, and to monitor general fluctuation in blood glucose so they can adjust their diets or medication. The device itself uses an under-the-skin sensor wire which keeps tabs on sugar levels. In order to get a gauge on where those glucose levels are at, users simply have to wave an accompanying, specialized mobile reader device over the sensor like a wand.

“The FDA is always interested in new technologies that can help make the care of people living with chronic conditions, such as diabetes, easier and more manageable,” said the FDA’s Donald St. Pierre in a statement. “This system allows people with diabetes to avoid the additional step of fingerstick calibration, which can sometimes be painful, but still provides necessary information for treating their diabetes—with a wave of the mobile reader.”

Medical device and tech companies alike have shown growing interest in diabetes management and monitoring devices. Last year, the FDA approved an artificial pancreas from device giant Medtronic to treat people with type 1 diabetes with a largely automated glucose monitoring and insulin dose-adjusting system. And then there’s Apple, which made waves over the spring when reports emerged that it had hired a team of biomedical engineers to work on a blood sugar sensor of its own, possibly integrated into an AppleWatch-type device.


Douxmatok lets you use 30 percent less sugar without affecting sweetness

As of 2016, one in five people in the U.S. are obese. As of a 2014 study, nearly 10 percent of Americans have been diagnosed with diabetes. In short, our resistance to good nutrition, both on a personal and commercial level, is causing lasting problems within the population.

Part of the problem is that the best-tasting food is usually the worst for our health, and bad eating habits beget worse eating habits.

That’s where DouxMatok comes in.

The Israel-based startup has found a way to make sugar more efficient and potent so people can eat less of it and still get the same effect.

The whole thing started when CEO Eran Baniel went to his annual check-up and learned that he was on the cusp of being pre-diabetic, and his physician told him to cut back on his sugar intake. Around the same time, his father, Dr. Avraham Baniel (a leading industrial chemical researcher in Israel), came to him with an idea to make sugar even sweeter without affecting taste.

The father-son duo, along with other founding members of the team, created a small batch of this re-engineered sugar and invited some food industry folks to try it out. Following an enthusiastically positive response, DouxMatok was born.


The company recently raised $8.1 million in funding, led by Pitango.

“We’ve been following DouxMatok from the beginning,” said Ittai Harel, managing partner at Pitango. “Part of the reason we chose to get in now is that we saw that DouxMatok was effectively creating a dynamic with food companies where they saw it as a positive. Food companies were turning a favorable eye and it became clear that DouxMatok had figured out how to position themselves within the industry.”

For years now, pharmaceutical companies have been using what they refer to as a drug carrier, which is a chemical compound or molecule that transports the drug to the intended receptors within the body. DouxMatok is doing the same thing with sugar.

The average American consumes between 150 and 170 pounds of sugar in a single year. But according to DouxMatok CTO Dr. Alejandro Marabi, we never taste a significant amount of the sugar we eat. Instead, it goes straight to our belly, adding to our caloric intake without any of the benefit of getting that sweet taste.


DouxMatok has developed a carrier system for sugar that makes the sugar molecule travel straight to the sweetness receptors on your taste buds and stay there as long as possible, increasing the efficacy of sugar within your diet.

DouxMatok says it can reduce the amount of sugar needed in foods, without affecting taste at all, by around 30 percent, differing slightly based on the recipe.

“Right now, the sugar industry is fighting against artificial sweeteners like Stevia and high-impact sugars,” said Eran Baniel. “Sugar is considered the enemy and people are looking for ways to replace sugar. It’s not just a trend; that sentiment is here to stay.”

DouxMatok is working both with sugar refiners and food brands to work out new recipes for existing products that use less overall sugar.

In terms of business, DouxMatok will work with refiners to buy their original refined sugar at wholesale prices, and then partner with them to re-engineer it into DouxMatok sugar, sharing revenue from the sale of DouxMatok products to food brands.


Douxmatok lets you use 30 percent less sugar without affecting sweetness

A New Cancer Treatment Could Be More Effective Than Chemotherapy

Scientists have discovered a new process to kill cancer cells, called Caspase Independent Cell Death (CICD), that can get rid of tumors, and decrease the risk of both side effects and recurrence. In experimental models, CICD removed tumors completely — killing all cancer cells.

Current treatments such as chemotherapy, immunotherapy, and radiation all carry risks of side effects, and they frequently fail to kill all cancer cells, which leads to recurrence. These treatments all work through apoptosis, the process of activating proteins called caspases to cause cell death.

Dr. Stephen Tait, the researcher who led the University of Glasgow team in the work on the CICD technique, told Sky News the new method “often led to complete tumor regression” and “may be a more effective way to treat cancer” than apoptosis. He added: “In essence, this mechanism has the potential to dramatically improve the effectiveness of anti-cancer therapy and reduce unwanted toxicity. Taking into consideration our findings, we propose that engaging CICD as a means of anti-cancer therapy warrants further investigation.”

Cancer is one of the leading causes of death globally. Worldwide, there were 14 million new cases of cancer and 8.2 million cancer-related deaths in 2012. Within the next 20 years, the number of new cancer cases will rise to 22 million worldwide.


In the United States alone, an estimated 1,685,210 new cases of cancer were diagnosed in 2016, and 595,690 people died. Every year in the U.S .there are about 454.8 new cases of cancer for every 100,000 adults — and 171.2 cancer deaths per 100,000 adults. About 39.6 percent of people in the U.S. will be diagnosed with cancer at some time in their lives. As a country, the U.S.’s annual national expenditures on cancer care have been estimated to reach up to $156 billion by 2020.

Cancer is a disease that science is eager to better understand so that it can be better prevented, treated, and perhaps even one day cured. Current treatment methods are only partially effective (and are typically specific to the type of cancer, of which there are many). They also make even healthy cells sick, which further wreaks havoc on the rest of the body, not just the cancerous tumors. In contrast, when the CICD technique kills cancer cells, those cells release inflammatory proteins which alert the immune system to ramp up the body’s own natural defenses, which then attack any remaining tumor cells missed during the initial treatment.

Work remains for the researchers, as they have not yet successfully triggered the CICD response in humans. They hope that achievement will be possible as their research continues and they experiment with a wider range of cancer cells (the current work focused solely on colorectal cancer cells). Still, these initial results are very promising.

“Although many cancer treatments work by triggering apoptosis, that method sometimes fails to finish the job and instead may lead to the tumor becoming harder to treat,” spokesperson Dr. Justine Alford told Sky News. “This new research suggests there could be a better way to kill cancer cells which, as an added bonus, also activates the immune system.”


Common Food Additive Promotes Colon Cancer in Mice

A popular food additive used in everything from dill pickles to ice cream is now linked to colon cancer, thanks to the way it impacts the gut.


Emulsifiers are added to most processed foods to improve food texture and extend shelf life. But it also throws off healthy levels of intestinal bacteria, triggering chronic, low-level inflammation that promotes colorectal cancer, according to a new study.

To be clear, scientists identified the potential cancer-promoting effects in an animal study. But the way I see it, it’s best to steer clear of these ingredients since various other studies suggest they impact the gut in unhealthy ways.

The finding comes on the heels of another gut breakthrough where researchers discovered fungus may trigger Crohn’s disease. Clearly, the microbiome greatly influences our disease risk. That’s why I make gut health the centerpiece of my practice and my personal health regimen.

Let’s take a closer look at this important new study, including ways to avoid this harmful class of processed food additives.


Hippocrates is famous for declaring that food is medicine. But his quote came long before the creation of lab-derived ingredients and processed foods. Here, we have just another example of how ingredients we often overlook can spell disaster for our health. In the recent food additive and colon cancer study, researchers at Georgia State University’s Institute for Biomedical Sciences found that mice that regularly consumed dietary emulsifiers experienced exacerbated tumor development. The results appeared in the journal Cancer Research


For this study, researchers focused on two of the most commonly used emulsifiers called polysorbate 80 and carboxymethylcellulose. They fed mice doses comparable to the cumulative amounts people would eat daily in processed foods. While the following findings need to be replicated in humans, I’m not taking any chances and will continue to avoid these “detergent-like” ingredients.

Consuming emulsifiers drastically changed the species composition of the gut microbiota in a manner that made it more pro-inflammatory, creating a niche favoring cancer induction and development, researchers pointed out. Alterations in bacterial species resulted in bacteria expressing more flagellin and lipopolysaccharide, which activate pro-inflammatory gene expression by the immune system.


Google adds allergy forecast info to mobile search results

One antihistamine or two? Google is making sure hay fever sufferers can answer that question in double quick time, thanks to the new addition of pollen measurements in search results. Plug an allergy- or pollen-related query into your Android smartphone and search results will now include a simple breakdown of current and predicted pollen levels. The new type of rich card result is populated by data from The Weather Channel, and as always, you can get more detailed info by tapping on the card itself.

Search within the Google app and you’ll also be prompted to turn on notifications. Your phone will hit you with a reminder if the pollen count is creeping particularly high in your area so you can dash to the nearest store and grab a pocket-pack of tissues before you start streaming from every facial orifice.


Alkaline water: Is this newly trendy water better than the rest?

To be precise, alkaline water or water that has been “alkalized” refers to water with a higher pH than tap water. The pH scale, which measures how acidic or basic something is, runs from zero to 14, with seven being the neutral point. Anything below seven is considered acidic, while anything above seven in basic. Most tap water has a pH of 7.

Alkaline water typically has a pH greater than that of tap water. Water is alkalized through an agent – calcium or magnesium for instance – bringing its pH up to 8 or 8.5, according to Self Magazine. Bottled water brands like Essentia and Evamor are considered alkaline waters.



Health benefits of drinking alkaline water 


The benefits of drinking alkaline water vary depending on who you ask. According to the Mayo Clinic, some studies suggest regularly drinking alkaline water can help slow bone loss. Other studies suggest alkaline water can help ease acid reflux woes due to its higher pH levels. The most straighforward benefit of alkaline water, however, is its super hydrating quality, which brands like Essentia and Evamor promote on their websites.



Possible dangers of alkaline water


Although some doctors and experts sing the praises of alkaline waters, others are wary. Registered dietitian Alyse Levine argues in Shape Magazine that the studies of alkaline water are largely inconclusive or incomplete. Levine notes that clinical studies simply don’t exist to support many of the claims made.


Moreover, depending on your current health, drinking alkaline water could prove to have negative effects on your body. For people with kidney disease, higher levels of alkalinity could prove disastrous, according to the Nephron Information Center.



Heme Iron from Meat and Risk of Colorectal Cancer

Red meat and processed meat intake is associated with a risk of colorectal cancer, a major cause of death in affluent countries. Epidemiological and experimental evidence supports the hypothesis that heme iron present in meat promotes colorectal cancer. This meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies of colon cancer reporting heme intake included 566,607 individuals and 4,734 cases of colon cancer. The relative risk of colon cancer was 1.18 (95% CI: 1.06–1.32) for subjects in the highest category of heme iron intake compared with those in the lowest category. Epidemiological data thus show a suggestive association between dietary heme and risk of colon cancer. The analysis of experimental studies in rats with chemically-induced colon cancer showed that dietary hemoglobin and red meat consistently promote aberrant crypt foci, a putative precancer lesion. The mechanism is not known, but heme iron has a catalytic effect on (i) the endogenous formation of carcinogenic N-nitroso compounds and (ii) the formation of cytotoxic and genotoxic aldehydes by lipoperoxidation. A review of evidence supporting these hypotheses suggests that both pathways are involved in heme iron toxicity. Cancer Prev Res; 4(2); 177–84. ©2011 AACR.


Cancer of the colon and rectum, taken together, are the third most common type of cancer worldwide (1). In most publications, colon and rectal cancer are studied together and the term colorectal cancer (CRC) is used, which we also use here, except when the publications refer specifically to colon or rectal cancer. CRC is the second most common cause of cancer death in affluent countries. Dietary modifications might reduce this cancer burden by up to 70% (2). Three recent meta-analyses showed that total meat intake is not related to risk but that intake of red or processed meat is associated with a modest, but significant risk of CRC (3–5). Processed meat intake appears to be more closely linked with the risk of CRC than fresh red meat intake. In its 2007 report, the World Cancer Research Fund panel recommended that one should limit intake of red meat and avoid processed meat (1).

Several mechanisms may explain the relationship between the risk of CRC and the intake of red or processed meat. First, meat cooked at high temperature contains mutagenic heterocyclic amines. But heterocyclic amines might not be major players in CRC risk, as: (i) consumption of chicken is a major contributor to intake of heterocyclic amines, but is not associated with the risk (6); and (ii) doses of heterocyclic amines that induce cancer in animals are 1,000 to 100,000 times higher than the dose ingested by humans (7). A second hypothesis suggests that the high saturated fat content of red and processed meat increases the risk of CRC. But several studies, including a recent meta-analysis, showed no effect of saturated fat on colorectal carcinogenesis (8–11). A third hypothesis concerns the carcinogenic N-nitroso compounds (NOC), which can be formed in the gastrointestinal tract by N-nitrosation of peptide derived amines or amides. The role of NOC in human cancer is discussed in the following text. Other more unlikely hypotheses involve the high protein, cholesterol, and salt content of red or processed meat. For a review of all these mechanisms, see ref. 12.