One of the worst habits Americans have, due to running around too much and getting to bed too late, is skipping breakfast. With time most people develop insulin resistance, which is why their chances of obesity go up by 400% while those who eat breakfast reduce their chances by 40%, even though they eat more calories. Think of breakfast as an investment: the article “Breakfast Consumption Affects Appetite, Energy Intake, and the Metabolic and Endocrine Responses to Foods Consumed Later in the Day in Male Habitual Breakfast Eaters“ tells us that by eating breakfast you will also be less hungry through the day, which will decrease your chances of being waylaid by a vending machine. Breakfast as the most important meal of the day; so, go for lots of veggies and lean meats. Grains will seem “dead” to you once you get in the habit.
Hugo Rodier, MD
Our battered soldiers
Our current involvement in “foreign entanglements” tells me we have apparently not learned from the past, our own history in Vietnam and the tragic experiences of other world powers in the same regions of the world (France, Russia, UK.) We all suffer for it, since the trillions spent and inexplicably lost in those wars are at the expense of social programs to care for the needy in our own country. But we still don’t come close to the suffering experienced by our soldiers: death, mutilated bodies, economic pain and scarred psyches. Many of them are asked to serve repeatedly, in order to avoid a draft that would surely intensify the wrath and opposition all Americans share by now.
Some of our veterans take their own lives. Some choose to get no treatment from VA hospitals, fed up with a government they feel has abandoned them. A significant proportion of them never recover from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, which, unfortunately afflicts foot soldiers the most, as opposed to better educated and more affluent officers. This is what the article “Preinjury Psychiatric Status, Injury Severity, and Postdeployment Posttraumatic Stress Disorder“ reviews. In other words, the less affluent have no other economic choices but to join the military. Some may already suffer from social/economic and political inequalities and perhaps discrimination due to race which may make them angry and resentful.
Solutions? Avoid foreign entanglements and support our veterans to integrate back in our society. Improve GI bills to get vets into colleges to get an education. Many studies have shown that the more educated we are, the healthier and wealthier we tend to be. VAH psychologists, counselors, nurses and doctors are anxious to be of help; so, if you know a veteran in distress, encourage him/her to have patience with the system. It’s the only thing we have since we have chosen “guns over butter.”
Are you afraid of pancreatic cancer? (Or any cancer for that matter)
Most people picture a person they know when a disease is brought up. While Americans may think of Patrick Swayze (“Ghost“) when pancreatic cancer is discussed I think of my last patient diagnosed with it, Dave. Dave came in yellow as a pumpkin, a sure sign that a mass was obstructing liver flow of bilirubin, which got up to 25. Testing confirmed the diagnosis of pancreatic cancer. His life expectancy is 6 months. Dave is one of my favorite patients; his gentle personality and good nature brighten our day at the office when he comes in.
What could we have done to prevent his cancer? It is easy to recommend eating better, and avoid toxins; Dave tried, I am sure. But, sometimes genetics gets the best of us. Yet, by eating more veggies and eschewing processed foods, Dave has lost 30 lbs and his bilirubin is now 8. It is not too late for the rest of us to lower the risk of ANY cancer. The article “Body Mass Index and Obesity- and Diabetes-associated Genes and Risk for Pancreatic Cancer“ revisits the 1931 Nobel Prize-winning research of Dr. Warburg, who demonstrated that high sugar diets increase the risk of cancer. The pancreas is inflamed working overtime, which elevates the risk of cancer.
In past issues we have reviewed the groundbreaking study that showed a 2/3 reduction in the risk of cancer by eating specific fruits and vegetables. Can you imagine a pill that would do that? Would you take it? Probably best to stick with “real food:”
ECGC Green tea
Beta carotenes Veggies
Luteolin Celery, green pepper, peppermint
Anthocyanins Pomegranate, wolfberry, plankton, algae
Delphidin Pigmented fruits, berries
Lupeol, sylimarin Mango, olive oil, herbs
Capsaicin Red pepper
Sulfur Onions garlic
Up with smoke?
Children exposed to secondhand smoke at home are at least twice as likely to develop a neurobehavioral disorder (ADD) as are kids in smoke-free homes, a new study finds. And roughly 6 percent of U.S. children – some 4.8 million – encounter smoke at home. Researchers at the Tobacco Free Research Institute in Dublin, Ireland, and at the Harvard School of Public Health’s Center for Global Tobacco Control in Boston mined this information collected as part of the National Survey of Children’s Health. This health report card was conducted by the CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics. 
Parental smoking during pregnancy probably aggravates the ADD once the child is born; but, it is also associated with early growth problems, and a higher risk of obesity in preschool children.
It has already been well documented that kids exposed to tobacco have more respiratory problems (asthma) and more ear infections.
BTW, smoking in adults increases the risk and aggressiveness of prostate cancer.
You are probably “fed up” hearing about fiber and how good it is for your BMs. Sure, but, another reminder won’t hurt, especially when fiber has been found to increase longevity and reduce the chances of getting sick. How does that work? Fiber is also known as “prebiotics” because it feeds friendly bacteria, which make up 60% of our immune system; as such, fiber improves your ability to metabolize food, detoxify and it also reduces inflammation. This is why gut flora has been shown to be sub-optimal in patients with Multiple Sclerosis.
“Dietary fiber is important in digestion, and its relationship with chronic disease has been a topic of great interest for many years. Fiber consists of undigestible plant carbohydrates in both soluble and insoluble forms. Soluble fiber (eg, fruit pectin) dissolves in water to form a gel, whereas insoluble fiber (eg, cellulose from wheat bran) does not. Both increase stomach distension, which increases satiety, and slow nutrient absorption. Soluble, and to a lesser extent insoluble, fiber is fermented by intestinal bacteria to produce short-chain fatty acids, which affect hepatic insulin sensitivity and lipid synthesis. The main function of insoluble fiber is to increase fecal bulk. Because these changes are thought to protect against the development of chronic diseases, a fiber-rich diet similar to that of early man is probably healthier than current Western diets.”
“Higher Serum Free Testosterone Concentration in Older Women Is Associated with Greater Bone Mineral Density, Lean Body Mass, and Total Fat Mass: The Cardiovascular Health Study.” Don’t be shy: get your doc to add testosterone to your hormonal replacement regimen.
“Adiposity and Bone: The Influence of Subcutaneous versus Visceral Fat and Insulin Resistance.” Diabetic tendencies in obese children increase risk of thinner bones.
“Front-of-Package Nutrition Labeling – An Abuse of Trust by the Food Industry?“ Big Food lies on food labeling; surprise, surprise.
“Using Ecological Momentary Assessment to Determine Media Use by Individuals With and Without Major Depressive Disorder.” Depression is associated with more popular music and less reading print media.
“Television Viewing and Risk of Type II Diabetes, Cardiovascular Disease, and All-Cause Mortality.” Couch potatoes also eat more garbage while vegetating.
“National School Lunch Program Participation and Sex Differences in Body Mass Index Trajectories of Children From Low-Income Families.” What a dilemma.. Some kids starve when school is out; but those who eat school lunches are more obese.
“Serum leptin and adiponectin levels correlate with exercise-induced bronchoconstriction in children with asthma.” “Obesity hormones” also make asthma worse. This is why a good diet improves/resolves asthma in most cases. Think of Dr. Warburg.
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 J. Archives General Psychiatry 2011;68:496
 “Poverty and Health,” J. Scientific American, December 2005, p92 & “Relationship Between Household Income and Mental Disorders,” J. Arch Gen Psy 2011;68:419
 J. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Pre. Published Online First February 25, 2011; doi:10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-10-0845
 “Apoptosis by dietary factors,” J. Carcinogenesis 2007;28:233
 ABC News, July 11th 2011
 Am J Clin Nutr 2011;94:164
 “Dietary Fiber Intake and Mortality in the NIH-AARP Diet and Health Study,” J. Arch Intern Med 2011;171(12):1061
 J. PNAS 2011;108:4615
 “Do the Health Benefits of Dietary Fiber Extend Beyond Cardiovascular Disease?” J. Arch Intern Med. 2011;171(12):1069
 J Clin Endocrinol Metab 2011;96:989
 J. Pediatrics 2011;158:698
 NEJM 2011;364:2373
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 JAMA 305:2448
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 Journal Annals Allergy Asthma Immunology 2011;107:14