Public Health


dali_s_clock_mouse_padTime is imprinted in our genes. Daily circadian rhythms (circa, about; diem, a day) control the harmonious oscillation in all biological systems.

“At the gene level, circadian rhythm is the most conserved cluster of genes in biology. Fruit flies and humans have about the same genetic code for circadian rhythm. This machinery is the linkage between biological processes and the environment ,” stated Professor Ali Keshavarzian, Director, of the Division of Digestive Diseases at Rush University Medical Center.
Contrary to claims by proponents, only a minimal amount of heavy metals are removed in the hookah 'filtration' process.

On average, only 3% of heavy metals present in tobacco are removed and this would not be enough to protect users from exposure to the toxins. 

Shisha smokers claim that a hookah is less damaging than cigarette smoking due to 'filtering' by bubbling through water but a typical hookah smoking session can expose someone to 100-200 times the volume of smoke in a single cigarette.
There has been a long-running belief that greedy insurance companies deny patients needed care to maintain profits but in hindsight it seems to have been just the opposite; health care was expensive because of defensive medicine policies needed to ward off lawsuits that could happen even if the care was fine but did not work.

Another example is dialysis for kidney patients. About 400,000 Americans are on it and many of them started sooner than ever before. There is no measurable difference in how sick patients are at the time of initiation or in the reasons for dialysis initiation other than doctors made a choice. The average cost per patient annually: $72,000.
Precision medicine could prevent the flawed 'one size fits all' diet recommendations we currently get from the federal government and self-professed nutrition experts who latch onto the latest fad to sell books.

29 million Americans already already have diabetes and the way to separate those with the highest risk of developing the disease from those with lower risk, and channel resources into areas most likely to help each of them individually, is the goal of the "precision medicine" approach.

Photo: Taber Andrew Bain, CC BY

The link between exercise, diet and ill health has been recognized for a considerable length of time.

 Alamy

By Leigh Cooper, Inside Science

(Inside Science) – Two bottles of whole milk sit side-by-side in a supermarket refrigerator. One costs $3.46 per gallon while the other costs $7.08 per gallon.

The difference? The second bottle of milk is labeled organic.

Over the long term, a high-fat diet is bad for heart attack risk. Yet a new study finds that if you are going to have a heart attack, you are likely to get through it better if you ate a high-fat diet before it happened. Mice fed a high-fat diet for one day to two weeks days before a heart attack had heart attack reduced by about 50 percent. If the results could be translated to humans, that would mean piling on cheeseburgers and ice cream for a month to a year, not a winning strategy for lots of other reasons.

It's another example of the obesity paradox, an unexplained phenomenon where obese patients who do have a heart attack live longer than thin ones.

Sicily 1943: whose blood was this US soldier getting? NARA

In December 1941, a few days after the bombing of Pearl Harbor and America’s entry into World War II, a Detroit mother named Sylvia Tucker visited her local Red Cross donor center to give blood.

Having heard the “soul-stirring” appeals for blood donors on her radio, she was determined to do her part. But when she arrived at the center, the supervisor turned her away. “Orders from the National Offices,” he explained, “barred Negro blood donors at this time.”

We've had 50 years of very-expensive, government-mandated penalties against cigarette companies that have funded programs to reduce cigarette smoking - anything that does so should be welcomed. 

Yet that hasn't been the case for e-cigarettes. While patches have been adored with only modest success in lowering smoking rates - willpower remains the determining factor in smoking cessation - e-cigarettes are being assaulted in a culture war almost as powerful as smoking itself.

At a meeting in San Jose of an organization named AAAS, experts from Germany, New Zealand, South Africa, the UK and USA debated whether electronic cigarettes are just another addiction or a public health opportunity?.