Safeguarding your health has become complicated and confusing. We aim to help demystify and guide your quest to experience vitality. To that end, The Health Examiner provides leading-edge, research-backed articles written by revered physicians, scientists, nutritionists, and academics that discuss the most relevant health and wellness news.
Substances present in cooked meats are associated with increased wheezing in children, Mount Sinai researchers report. Their study, published in Thorax, highlights pro-inflammatory compounds called advanced glycation end-products (AGEs) as an example of early dietary risk factors that may have broad clinical and public health implications for the prevention of inflammatory airway disease.
Asthma prevalence among children in the United States has risen . . .
Your body does so much to keep you safe and healthy behind the scenes! For example, it is constantly fighting a battle against harmful oxidizing particles called free radicals.
Free radicals can come from our food, medications, the air we breath, or the water we drink. Free radicals are sometimes byproducts of chemical processes such as genetic modification or come from the packaging of the products we use. They can even come from natural processes such as when our bodies break down the food we eat.
These microscopic menaces . . .
New research emerges every day revealing the connections between the gut and overall health.
Gut health is influenced by two related variables: the intestinal barrier and the gut microbiota. Disturbances in either one of these factors can induce gut inflammation, inciting a chain reaction of damage that begins locally and may spread systemically throughout the body.
The intestinal barrier is a multilayer system made up of intestinal epithelial cells, proteins, protective mucus . . .
Imbalances in type and volume of bacteria may also be implicated in ‘long COVID’
The variety and volume of bacteria in the gut, known as the microbiome, may influence the severity of COVID-19 as well as the magnitude of the immune system response to the infection, suggests research published online in the journal Gut.
Imbalances in the make-up of the microbiome may also be implicated in persisting inflammatory symptoms, dubbed ‘long COVID’, the findings suggest.
Incorporating social and behavioral factors alongside biological mechanisms is critical for improving aging research, according to a trio of studies by leading social scientists
The three papers, published in concert in Ageing Research Reviews, emphasized how behavioral and social factors are intrinsic to aging. This means they are causal drivers of biological aging. In fact, the influence of behavioral and social factors on how fast people age are large and meaningful. However . . .
You may enjoy using your facial and skin care products, but have you checked to see how many ingredients listed on there that are not natural? Essential oils are minuscule in molecular size, which means they are absorbed well by the skin making them perfect to heal, soften, and nourish.
Top 7 Essential Oils for Glowing Skin
Lemongrass oil is a good choice in essential oils to increase your skin’s glowing appearance, because it has detoxifying . . .
Macular degeneration, glaucoma, and cataracts are not inevitable afflictions that accompany aging. Dr. Ken Berry, MD, explains in this video that these conditions can be prevented and even potentially reversed via lifestyle changes. Of the top five most prevalent causes of blindness, only one involves injury and the other four are avoidable by following low-sugar, largely plant-based dietary patterns, according to the doctor.
[C]linical studies have come to the conclusion that vitamin D supplementation was associated with a reduction in the mortality rate from cancer of around 13 percent. Scientists . . . have now transferred these results to the situation in Germany and calculated: If all Germans over the age of 50 were to take vitamin D supplements, up to 30,000 cancer deaths per year could possibly be avoided and more than 300,000 years of life could be gained . . .
The doctor orders a CT scan for your recurring abdominal pain. When you ask about radiation, she assures you that the dose is low and that CTs are safe. But are they? Is there a connection between CT scans and cancer? . . .
Computed tomography, or CT, scans can provide valuable diagnostic information, but at a cost—they deliver ionizing radiation, a known human carcinogen. The radiation breaks chemical bonds in tissue molecules, which frees charged ions that can damage DNA . . .
Every week on the news, online, in a magazine, we hear or read about the ever-elusive “cure for cancer.” . . . I also want people to focus on an equally important part of their health management:
The best way to beat cancer is to keep from getting it altogether.
Even if you’re genetically programmed to develop depression or cancer, the way you eat, supplement, and move can change – for the better – the expression of your genetic code. This is also known as epigenetics . . .
While we search for the cure for breast cancer, we must not forget about prevention. The hard truth is that 90-95% of breast cancer is preventable. And only 5-10% has been attributed to genetics.
But how do we prevent it?
By understanding that breast cancer, like diabetes, metabolic syndrome, and even Alzheimer’s Disease, is for most people a lifestyle driven disease.
The most important things you can do to prevent breast cancer . . .
In new research, scientists have discovered how leukemia cells gain a competitive advantage by actually inducing a diabetes-like physiological condition that ultimately serves the purpose of increasing blood sugar. Multiple mechanisms have now been delineated that allow leukemia cells, the focus of this research, to basically increase the availability of the glucose these cells so desperately need.
Research shows high consumption of both types of beverages associated with higher risk of heart disease
Sugary drinks and artificially sweetened beverages are associated with a higher risk of cardiovascular disease, which suggests artificially sweetened beverages may not be the healthy alternative they are often claimed to be, according to a research letter in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.
A study of nearly 108,000 people has found that people who regularly drink a modest amount of alcohol are at increased risk of atrial fibrillation, a condition where the heart beats in an abnormal rhythm.
The study, published . . . in the European Heart Journal, found that, compared to drinking no alcohol at all, just one alcoholic drink a day was linked to a 16% increased risk of atrial fibrillation over an average (median) follow-up time of nearly 14 years.
Millions of Americans take blood-thinning medications such as warfarin (Coumadin) . . .
[A]ll blood thinners have inherent serious risks such as the potential for excessive bleeding in any organ.
That’s why I want to address the problem of thick blood—which is, after all, a main condition causing the need for all these blood thinners.
What Makes Blood Thick
One of the main ways that your blood becomes thicker than it should be involves a protein called fibrinogen.
Heart disease is the leading killer of women over the age of 50, and heart attacks are twice as deadly for women as they are for men. Statistics (which need not apply to you) show that 1 in 2 women . . .
Researchers have linked low-level toxin exposure to many diseases including cancer, cardiovascular, and kidney disease. [There is a] . . . growing body of medical literature that demonstrates that certain toxins . . .
Losing your train of thought mid-sentence? Forgetting why you entered the room? Blanking out on the name of the show you watched last night on Netflix? You may think it’s just the normal aging process, but it could have something to do with the foods you eat. Your brain uses 20% to 30% of the calories you consume, making it is the most energy-hungry organ in your body. Everything you put on the end of your fork matters in terms of your cognitive function. And if you eat a fast-food diet, you’ll have a fast-food memory.
Taking a regular afternoon nap may be linked to better mental agility, suggests research published in the online journal General Psychiatry.
It seems to be associated with better locational awareness, verbal fluency, and working memory, the findings indicate.
Longer life expectancy and the associated neurodegenerative changes that accompany it, raise the prospect of dementia, with around 1 in 10 people over the age of 65 . . .
People who consume high levels of vitamin C and E in their diet may have a lower risk of Parkinson’s disease than people who get only small amounts of these nutrients, according to a new study. . .
[S]tudy author Essi Hantikainen, Ph.D.[stated] ‘“[o]ur large study found that vitamin C and vitamin E were each linked to a 32% lower risk of Parkinson’s disease, and we found the association may be even stronger when intake of both vitamin C and E is high.”’
People with low aerobic and muscular fitness are nearly twice as likely to experience depression, finds a new study led by UCL researchers.
Low fitness levels also predicted a 60% greater chance of anxiety, over a seven-year follow-up, according to the findings published in BMC Medicine.
Lead author, PhD student Aaron Kandola (UCL Psychiatry) said: “Here we have provided further evidence of a relationship between physical and mental health, and that structured exercise . . .
Researchers report that 4-6-year-old children who walk farther than their peers during a timed test – a method used to estimate cardiorespiratory health – also do better on cognitive tests and other measures of brain function. Published in the Journal of Clinical Medicine, the study suggests that the link between cardiorespiratory fitness and cognitive health is evident even earlier in life than previously appreciated.
An active lifestyle is linked with a lower chance of dying immediately from a heart attack, according to a study published . . . in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology, a journal of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC).
Heart disease is the leading cause of death globally and prevention is a major public health priority. This study focused on the effect of an active versus sedentary lifestyle on the immediate course of a heart attack . . .
High-intensity exercise three times a week is safe for individuals with early-stage Parkinson’s disease and decreases worsening of motor symptoms, according to a new phase 2, multi-site trial led by Northwestern Medicine and University of Colorado School of Medicine scientists.
This is the first time scientists have tested the effects of high-intensity exercise on patients with Parkinson’s disease, the second most common neurodegenerative disorder and the most common movement disorder . . .
What are health benefits of walnuts? There might be a decent amount of calories in walnuts nutrition, but they also come packed with healthy fats, antioxidants and minerals. According to studies, eating walnuts can help improve your mood, considering they contain one of the highest amounts of omega-3 fats of any nut. [T]hey’re also known to support heart health and fight heart disease by lowering triglyceride levels and reducing dangerous plaque formation in the arteries.
In this video, Dr. Jack Wolfson, DO, a proponent of the paleolithic diet, discusses three foods—corn, potatoes, and soy— that undermine health, noting that these dietary staples are largely genetically modified and negatively impact the gut, which is integral to overall health and wellness. Still, he gives yams and sweet potatoes a thumbs up, as hunter-gatherers most likely ate root vegetables. Dr. Wolfson also highlights soy’s unique vices, particularly its ability to frustrate thyroid function and other bodily systems.
When it comes to sugar addiction, believe me, I feel your pain. . . . But when you cut out sugar – whether by going cold turkey or by tapering off – all sorts of wonderful health changes begin to kick in almost immediately.
[A] sugar-heavy diet helps rapidly age all your organs – including your skin – while putting you on the fast-track to obesity, diabetes, heart disease, neurological decline, autoimmune disorders and a litany of other avoidable, life-altering diseases. In short . . .
Ginger is perhaps the most famous member of the Zingiberaceae family, which contains about 1600 known species (including turmeric, cardamom, and galangal!).
Ginger is extremely nutrient dense . . . Five slices of raw ginger root contain 9 calories and small amounts of manganese, copper, potassium, magnesium, vitamin B6, and vitamin C, and fiber. . . .
[G]inger has also been found to have anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer, neuroprotective, cardioprotective, anti-obesity, anti-diabetic, lung-protective, anti-pain . . .
Study reveals details of how coronavirus infects heart; models of tissue damage may help develop potential therapies
COVID-19 has been associated with heart problems, including reduced ability to pump blood and abnormal heart rhythms. But it’s been an open question whether these problems are caused by the virus infecting the heart, or an inflammatory response to viral infection elsewhere in the body.
A new study from Washington University School of Medicine . . .
Covid-19 long-haulers is a term used to refer to individuals for whom COVID-19 is far more than a passing infection. . . . It’s estimated that anywhere from 50% to a whopping 80% of COVID patients are still struggling with lingering symptoms 3 or more months after their initial onset . . .
While more research is needed to fully understand the exact underlying mechanism of how COVID-19 provokes these long-term effects, we do have an idea of how and why some individuals end up with these residual effects.
Infection with high-risk strains of the human papillomavirus (HPV), which have been linked to cancer, might increase the risk of heart and blood vessel or cardiovascular disease, especially among women with obesity or other cardiovascular risk factors, according to new research in Circulation Research, an American Heart Association journal.
Case Western Reserve University-Led Team Finds That People with Dementia at Higher Risk for COVID-19
Researchers found that patients with dementia were at a significantly increased risk for COVID-19—and the risk was higher still for African Americans with dementia.
Reviewing electronic health records of 61.9 million adults in the United States, researchers found the risk of contracting COVID-19 was twice as high for patients with dementia than for those without it—while among those with dementia, African Americans had close to three times the risk . . .
Less Stress Hormone Found in Children with Access to Green Spaces, Clean Air, Quality Grocery Stores
While poverty has long been linked with poor health, a study from UC San Francisco has found that simply living in a more desirable neighborhood may act as a health booster for low-income children.
UCSF researchers compared levels of the stress hormone cortisol in 338 kindergartners whose families’ annual incomes ranged from less than $10,000 to $200,000-plus. The research team found . . .
Prenatal exposures are linked to learning and behavioral problems including attention disorders.
In a peer-reviewed article published . . . in the American Journal of Public Health, leading scientists and health professionals of Project TENDR identify ortho-phthalates as neurotoxic chemicals that increase children's risks for learning, attention, and behavioral disorders. In particular, prenatal exposures to phthalates can contribute to attention problems in children.
Risk remains high after accounting for people who may have switched from traditional cigarettes to e-cigarettes because of health issues.
A growing body of evidence points to the health risks of using e-cigarettes (or “vaping”).
[A] study by researchers from the School of Public Health and School of Medicine [Boston University] is one of the first to look at vaping in a large, healthy sample of the population over time, independently from other tobacco product use.
[T]he study found . . .
Recent years have seen an increase in the number of aluminum-free antiperspirants and deodorants on the market.
This market shift is driven in part by a hotly disputed link between aluminum-based antiperspirants and breast cancer. Medical experts initially dismissed that link almost 20 years ago due to a lack of scientific studies. Several studies have been done since then, but there is still no scientific consensus. From EWG scientists, here’s a summary of the current state of the science.
The COVID-19 pandemic is a great example of the importance of access to the Internet and to digital health information.
A study led by Florida Atlantic University’s Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing . . . examined the extent of computer ownership, Internet access, and digital health information use in older (ages 60 and above) African Americans, Afro-Caribbeans, Hispanic Americans and European Americans.
Results of the study . . . revealed a deep digital health divide . . .
Risks of death from heart disease and stroke vary among American-Asian subgroups, with Asian Indian, Filipino and Vietnamese populations at greatest risk for losing years of life to heart disease or stroke, according to new research in Journal of the American Heart Association . . .
“Usually researchers combine Asian subgroups in studies, masking what might be important health differences,” said Latha Palaniappan, M.D., M.S., study author . . .
Whether it’s a “Zoombomb” filled with racial slurs, a racist meme that pops up in a Facebook timeline, or a hate-filled comment on an Instagram post, social media has the power to bring out the worst of the worst.
For college students of color who encounter online racism, the effect of racialized aggressions and assaults reaches far beyond any single social media feed and can lead to real and significant mental health impacts . . .
Lectures and assessments misuse race, play a role in perpetuating physician bias, Penn Medicine researchers found
Medical school curriculums may misuse race and play a role in perpetuating physician bias, a team led by Penn Medicine researchers found in an analysis of curriculum from the preclinical phase of medical education. [T]he researchers identified five key categories in which curriculum misrepresented race in class discussions, presentations, and assessments.
Did your doctor or friendly pharmacist tell you that the flu vaccine could put your mental health at risk?
According to the latest research, the notoriously ineffective, illness-inducing, potentially paralytic, and even lethal flu vaccine has one more side effect to add to the list: depression.
One would imagine that researchers are extensively examining drivers of depression, since it is the leading cause of disability worldwide. . . . Not exactly. The prevailing belief is that depression . . .
There is no correct way to respond to loss
For days, weeks, or even months after losing someone, you may wake up in the morning with an overwhelming sadness. It can feel like a heaviness pushing down on your chest, and it starts before your conscious mind has even kicked in to remind you of what you have lost. It wasn’t just a bad dream.
Deaths of family, friends, and partners can be so devastating that your whole orientation in life feels lost, and the way your brain and body initially react to the trauma . . .
[S]ocial media has taken the world by storm. . . .
Have you ever caught yourself in a rabbit hole of mindless scrolling along with a newsfeed, catching yourself 10, 20, maybe 60 minutes later, almost in a daze? Well, you’re not alone. This act of consuming a seemingly endless amount of, often negative, content on social media has been called ‘doomscrolling.’ Although social media is somewhat of an artificial world, the dangers of social media and the impact on mental and physical health [are] real.
A 2017 Consumer Reports survey found that over 55% of Americans regularly take prescription medications — four, on average (Consumer Reports, 2017).
[M]ore than half of us are existing, daily, under the influence of polypharmacy; that is, simultaneously using multiple medications, day after day. . . .
[A] 2018 University of Chicago study was the first to demonstrate that simultaneous use of prescription medications is associated with a greater likelihood of experiencing depression.
People worldwide are experiencing loss of smell or anosmia due to the COVID pandemic. Besides such a virus, Dr. Eric Berg, DC, explains that injuries and allergies can also cause anosmia. This dysfunction erodes peoples’ ability to taste food and consequently can even lead to malnourishment. Dr. Berg discusses nutrients such as zinc and others that can help to combat this dysfunction.
Do you find yourself unable to concentrate? Is this combined with problems with your memory and overall cognitive function? If so, you might be suffering from what is known as “brain fog.”
Although tough to describe, the generally accepted symptoms of brain fog include forgetfulness, trouble thinking, hard time focusing, difficulty communicating, and clouded thoughts. Several conditions are associated with brain fog, including celiac disease, chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia . . .
It’s estimated that 80% of toddlers in the U.S. will be diagnosed with an ear infection by the time they’re 3 years old. Ear infections are the most common reason parents bring their children to see a doctor.
An ear infection is an inflammation of the middle ear that happens when fluid, full of bacteria, builds up behind the eardrum.
Babies and young kids are most susceptible to ear infections. That’s because of the position of the Eustachian tube in kids versus adults. It’s also because . . .
If you’ve ever crawled under the covers worrying about a problem or a long to-do list, you know those racing thoughts may rob you of a good night’s sleep. Sleep disturbances, like having a hard time falling asleep or staying asleep, affect millions of Americans.
The daytime sleepiness that follows can leave you feeling lousy and sap your productivity, and it may even harm your health. Now, a small study suggests that mindfulness meditation . . . can help.
There’s something about the warmth of the sun on your skin that is hard to resist. While we need to be conscious of how much sun we get, sunshine plays a uniquely beneficial role in our well-being and overall health.
Sunshine is essential to help regulate the body clock known as circadian rhythms, affecting energy, sleep, body temperature, and much more. . . .
Daily sunshine contributes to our mental and physical wellness . . .
Magnesium stearate, silicon dioxide, and titanium dioxide are three widely used supplement additives that function as binders, fillers, and preservatives. While regulatory health authorities like the FDA approve these substances for commercial use, research studies indicate that serious health consequences could manifest if consumers regularly ingest these chemicals.
Healthy joints are so important for pain-free mobility . . . to live a long, independent, and fulfilling life.
There are several fundamental elements to keeping joints healthy and pain-free. One of the most important is moving each and every joint through its complete range of motion daily. Another is making sure you “feed” your joints the necessary vitamins, minerals, and nutrients . . .
[T]here’s also a specific adaptogenic herb that can significantly aid in keeping joints healthy and mobile . . . ashwagandha.
The gallbladder is a small, pear-shaped organ that is situated under the liver. Its purpose is to store bile— a dark-green-to-yellowish-brown fluid that facilitates the digestion and absorption of fats and fat-soluble vitamins as well as the elimination of certain waste products from the body—that is produced by the liver. From anxiety to constipation to acid reflux, poor bile flow can negatively impact overall health. Cindy Santa Ana, integrative nutritionist at Amen Clinics, provides insights to maintain robust gallbladder function.
Dr. Taz, MD, discusses candida, a yeast that resides in the gut. When under control, candida is innocuous; however, when there is an overgrowth of this fungus caused by stress, adulterated foods, and other lifestyle factors, candida can trigger numerous maladies such as thyroid disorders, brain fog, skin and gut issues, polycystic ovarian syndrome, and other health problems. Taking the simple steps that Dr. Taz outlines can help to facilitate candida elimination permanently.
In this video, Dr. David Perlmutter discusses a study conducted by Stanford researchers that explores osmotic laxatives such as MiraLAX, which according to the company itself is the “#1 doctor recommended” laxative to help alleviate constipation. Such interventions provide quick relief but at what cost? According to the research, osmotic laxatives can cause long-term negative changes in the gut. Dr. Perlmutter explains.
[D]igestive issues are becoming more and more common. From bloating to IBS to SIBO and Candida overgrowth, there's no shortage of people walking into my office hoping for a solution to their GI issues.
Today, I want to dive into one of the more serious GI issues I see among my patients - Crohn's disease. . . .
Like ulcerative colitis, Crohn's disease is an inflammatory bowel disease. As of 2015, about 1.3% of the United States population had IBD . . .
[A] garden . . . requires hours of back-breaking work to pull out the weeds and to care for the new plants. However, once these new plants get firmly established in the soil, they naturally keep the weeds at bay. . . . In many ways, the human microbiome is similar. Healthy bacteria that are firmly established in the gut naturally inhibit the growth of potentially pathogenic bacteria and yeast.
. . . Every time you take an antibiotic, you’re wiping out your microbiome. Unfortunately, just like the weeds . . .
Regular physical activity does not necessarily prevent obesity and individuals who exercise vigorously do not particularly burn more calories, according to Dr. Herman Pontzer. In his book, Burn, Dr. Pontzer explains that diet and depressed caloric intake are the only ways to shed pounds.
Changing Diets – Not Lower Physical Activity or Infectious Disease Burden – May Best Explain Global Childhood Obesity Crisis
Variation in consumption of market-acquired foods outside of the traditional diet — but not in total number of calories burned daily — is reliably related to indigenous Amazonian children’s body fat, according to a study led by Baylor University that offers insight into the global obesity epidemic.
[Lead researcher Dr. Sam Urlacher] explains " 'that change in diet [not lack of exercise] is likely the dominant factor driving the global rise in childhood obesity . . .' "
Physical activity does not undo the negative effects of excess body weight on heart health. That’s the finding of a large study published today in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology . . .
For many patients, it takes more than a healthy diet to win the battle of the bulge. Our practice is typically a last resort for patients who have tried and failed many popular diet programs, from Jenny Craig to Weight Watchers to the South Beach Diet. What can be done for such patients? Should they just give up and accept their extra pounds? Fear not, we say, for there are powerful weapons to use when fighting the battle of the bulge!
You are likely familiar with the serious consequences of anorexia for those who experience it, but you might not be aware that the disorder may not be purely psychological. A recent review from researchers at the University of Oxford in the open-access journal Frontiers in Psychiatry examines the evidence that gut microbes could play a significant role in anorexia by affecting appetite, weight, and psychiatric issues . . . [T]he study also examines the potential for microbial treatments for anorexia . . .
Active lifestyle choices such as eating vegetables, exercising and quitting smoking can reduce the risk of chronic kidney disease, a new study led by researchers at Karolinska Institutet in Sweden and Griffith University in Australia, reports. The study is published in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.
Dry skin and hair loss. Cold intolerance. Mental fog, cognitive slowing, and dementia. Weight gain. Constipation. Irregular menstruation and infertility. Painful and stiff muscles. Depression. Taken alone, any one of these symptoms would cause major problems—but for people with hypothyroidism, several of these symptoms could be present at once . . . The first step to effectively treating a thyroid disorder (and eliminating these symptoms) is understanding the root cause of your hypothyroidism.
Dr. Taz discusses the five fertility myths that she commonly encounters in her practice. She asserts that fertility is a “vital sign” and essentially a “reflection” of your overall health. Lifestyle habits either support or hinder fertility, according to Dr. Taz, and she explains that both men and women should be examined when ascertaining the root causes of infertility. Glean more details and insights in the video.