A study form the National Council of Aging found that among 2300 patients with hearing loss who refused to wear hearing aids were 50% more likely to suffer from depression, anxiety and memory loss. On the other hand, those who wore hearing aids were more likely to be both physically and socially active. Most patients wait 6 years before seeing the doctor about their hearing loss. Adults over the age of 70 were more likely to use hearing aids than younger patients. The reasons given by the researchers include denial, vanity and a lack of awareness of how much they are “missing”.

What the researchers leave out is that most hearing aids do not work as advertised and the costs (around $6000) is rarely covered by insurance.




Lv J, et al. BMJ. 2015;doi:10.1136/bmj.h3942Studies in China show that people who ate spicy foods lives longer when compared to those who are blander diets. After adjusting for other health risk factors, like smoking, and alcohol,

a significant inverse association was seen between spicy food consumption and total mortality in both men and women. Most people consumed a lot of both dried and fresh chili peppers. There were over 20,000 men and women enrolled in the study from 2004-2013 and all-cause mortality rates dropped 14%.

Please note that this was an observational study and that scientific studies need to be performed to make sure that these numbers can be duplicated.


COMPOUND 14 is a new molecule that blocks the enzyme ATIC which plays a role in body metabolism. This drug which is being researched in England is thought to mimic exercise, may have a role in both obesity and diabetes in the future. Researchers found that mice fed a normal diet and given this compound were able to maintain their weight. Mice that were served a high fat diet and were given Compound 14 did not gain weight and lowered their sugar levels.

Obviously, more studies need to be done, but this could prove to be very interesting…….




The most prescribed medication this year to date is Crestor and the number one seller to date is Humira.

1.       CRESTOR (21,000,000 Rx)

2.       HUMIRA ($8,600,000,000)

3.       ADVAIR

4.       NEXIUM

5.       LANTUS

6.       VYVANSE

7.       LYRICA

8.       SPIRIVA

9.       JANUVIA




PALCOHOL is a powdered form of alcohol that will be available this summer. This is a freeze-dried form of alcohol that comes in a single serving package and is equal to a shot of vodka, rum, etc. Basically what you do is mix it in 6 oz. of water and you can have a “mixed drink” virtually anywhere. This is legal on the federal level but some states are considering banning it because it will be very easy for underage drinkers to get it and sneak it into parties or concerts.


The obvious foods to avoid are those with processed sugar and a high glycemic index. (How fast food raises blood sugar levels is called the glycemic index. The lower the index, the better)

Here are some foods that have been shown to lower blood sugar:

1.       Green, leafy veggies like broccoli, spinach and kale. These are high in fiber which helps to lower sugar. 4-5 servings daily are recommended.

2.       Beans and legumes. These foods are also rich in fiber and are very low glycemic foods.

3.       Cabbage. This is also high in fiber and has the lowest glycemic index of any food I have seen. Cole slaw anyone?

4.       Okra. Once again, a high fiber food that lowers sugar absorption.

5.       Onions. I’m not sure why, but they taste good. (Sorry fried onion rings don’t count!)



New England Journal of Medicine

There have been 2 major controversies about testosterone replacement concerning the risks of heart disease and prostate cancer. I have written several blogs recently that looked at heart disease and saw no proof of a connection. Now we have a study of over 1000 men that actually showed a lower incidence of prostate cancer than those who were not taking testosterone. The researchers found an incidence of 30-50 cancers/ 10,000 men. The overall incidence of prostate cancer in the general population was 100/10,000 men.

This study only lasted 5 years. This is also not an excuse not to be screened for prostate cancer if you are taking testosterone.




American Heart Association

Researchers have discovered that people who ate a moderate-fat diet plus an avocado daily lowered their bad cholesterol (LDL) and triglycerides and elevated their HDL good cholesterol more than those eating a low fat diet without the avocados. It remains to be seen whether this prevents heart disease.

So “move over apples” and make room for avocados.


Does long term cell phone use lead to brain tumors?



It has been hypothesized for years that the radiation from cell phones could cause brain tumors. A new study shows a 3-fold increase in brain tumors in people who used their cellphones for over 25 years. And those with the most risk were people who started using cell phones before the age of 20. However, this is controversial since there have also been studies in the past that failed to show a link between cell phone use and cancer. (Int J Epidemiol 2011;39:675-694; Cancer Epidemiol 2011;32:453-464, Int J Epidemiol 2013;42:792-802)

As a general rule of thumb, using the speaker or other hands free devices as much as possible as well as texting might not be a bad idea.

Can a simple blood test predict lung cancer?


Cleveland Clinic Respiratory Institute

There are no great screening tests for lung cancer. Right now, we are recommending low dose C-T scans to screen for lung cancer in current or past smokers. However, these tests can show some ambiguity and false positive results.

Researchers at the Cleveland Clinic have analyzed multiple metabolites in their patients who have different types of lung cancer. The analysis identified 534 metabolites from eight metabolite superpathways and 73 subpathways. The concentrations of 149 metabolites were significantly different — 70 were lower and 79 were higher — between cancer patients and control subjects. In patients with adenocarcinoma, the concentrations of 65 metabolites were significantly different from those in control subjects; in patients with squamous cell carcinoma, the concentrations of 50 metabolites were different. The researchers then built a model with 36 metabolites that  distinguished between cancer patients and control subjects.

Although it is still early, this study suggests that one day we might be able to not only diagnose, but also predict who will get lung cancer, with a simple blood test.

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