Leonard Bernstein’s asthma and heart failure

Dr. Gabe Mirkin

Leonard Bernstein was one of America’s greatest composers and conductors. He was a pianist, arranger, educator, author and television personality, and wrote some of our best-loved musicals: West Side Story, Candide, and On The Town. He was the first American-born and American-trained conductor to be appointed music director of the New York … [Read more...]

Second-hand smoke may be fattening

Dr. Gabe Mirkin

Researchers exposed laboratory mice to cigarette smoke and it caused them to have a marked rise in blood sugar, fat, and insulin levels and gain a lot of weight (American Journal of Physiology – Endocrinology and Metabolism, September 30, 2014).The second-hand smoke caused a high rise in blood levels of a fat called ceramide that prevents cells … [Read more...]

Tom Magliozzi, host of ‘Car Talk’ and Alzheimer’s disease

Dr. Gabe Mirkin

Tom Magliozzi died at age 77 on November 3, 2014 from complications of Alzheimer’s disease. This horrible dementia prevents you from remembering almost anything. For 35 years he was the star of the nationally-syndicated radio show “Car Talk” with his brother Ray, hosting calls from would-be mechanics, puzzled car owners and entertained … [Read more...]

Why milk may be harmful

Dr. Gabe Mirkin

Harvard pediatrician David Ludwig and the chairman of the Department of Nutrition at Harvard, Walter Willett, think that North Americans do not need to drink milk. Drinking milk appears to increase risk for various diseases and has not been shown to prevent bone weakening (Journal of the American Medical Association Pediatrics, July 2013).I … [Read more...]

Sunscreens only partially block the sun’s rays

Dr. Gabe Mirkin

Coating the entire bodies of mice that are susceptible to developing melanoma skin cancers with potent sunscreens (SPF50) does not protect them from developing this lethal skin cancer (Nature, July 2014;511, 478–482). Shining ultra violet light on their sunscreen-coated skin directly damaged the DNA in their skin pigment cells, to cause melanoma … [Read more...]

Alma Mahler, muse to many

Dr. Gabe Mirkin

Alma Schindler Mahler is famous for marrying and having affairs with some of the most brilliant and accomplished men of the 20th century. She was a composer, sculptor and writer who wanted to be famous for her own intellectual creations, but she lived at a time when it was extremely difficult for women to be prominent in the arts. She took the next … [Read more...]

Caffeine improves multi-day performance

Dr. Gabe Mirkin

Caffeine taken on consecutive days of sports competition improves speed and endurance both days, according to a new study from Norway. Scientists have known for more than 100 years that taking caffeine before athletic competition improves strength, speed and endurance over all-out efforts lasting from 10 to 60 minutes (Med Sci Sports Exerc, 2013; … [Read more...]

Ray Charles, true genius

Dr. Gabe Mirkin

Ray Charles was an incredibly talented singer and composer of jazz, blues, gospel, and country music. He appeared at the presidential inaugurations of Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton and had many great hit songs such as “What’d I Say” and “Hit the Road Jack.” His “Georgia on My Mind” became the state song of Georgia. Frank Sinatra called him “the … [Read more...]

Testing for a fatty liver

Dr. Gabe Mirkin

A sonogram of your liver will show how much fat you store in your liver. This simple and safe test will show if you have diabetes or are headed for diabetes. A study of 12,454 North Americans showed that 22 percent had non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, which means that they have too much fat stored in their livers (Am J Epidemiol, July, … [Read more...]

Clark Gable’s lousy lifestyle

Dr. Gabe Mirkin

Clark Gable had just about every known lifestyle risk factor for the heart attack that killed him at the young age of 59. Best known for his role as Rhett Butler in “Gone with the Wind” (1939), he was the leading man in more than 60 motion pictures and was nominated three times for an Academy Award for Best Actor. He appeared with Joan Crawford in … [Read more...]

Gluten-free doesn’t make it good for you

Dr. Gabe Mirkin

Several popular books claim that eating gluten in wheat will cause just about every imaginable symptom a person can have, and that avoiding wheat will cure these symptoms. This is true for people with celiac disease, but celiac disease affects only about one person in a hundred.Celiac disease is caused by an immune reaction to gluten and can … [Read more...]

Tom Hanks, diabetes and yoyo dieting

Dr. Gabe Mirkin

Tom Hanks’ films have grossed more than $4.2 billion in the United States and Canada, and more than $8.4 billion worldwide. He is the highest grossing actor of all-time with an average of $107 million per film. Seventeen of his films have grossed more than $100 million.Hanks has had high blood sugar levels on and off since he was 36 years old, … [Read more...]

Dr. Oz’s ‘Miracle Cures’

Dr. Gabe Mirkin

Applied Food Sciences, Inc, a maker of green coffee bean extract, will pay $3.5 million to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) for claiming that their product helps people lose weight. The FTC said that their claims were based on “a study of weight loss that was so hopelessly flawed that no reliable conclusions could be drawn from it.”Yet this … [Read more...]

Grace Kelly, death of a princess

Dr. Gabe Mirkin

Grace Kelly was a famous Hollywood actress who became Princess Grace of Monaco and died at age 54 after driving a car off a hilly Monaco road. Her father was Jack Kelly, a wealthy Philadelphia construction contractor who was also a three-time Olympic gold medal winner in rowing. Her brother was also an Olympic rowing champion.After high school, … [Read more...]

Joan Rivers: No procedure is risk-free

Dr. Gabe Mirkin

Joan Rivers, one of our best-known comedians who built her career on self-deprecating jokes and criticisms of the rich and famous, died at age 81 on September 4, 2014. Her death came a week after her heart stopped beating when she was given anesthetics so a tube could be put down her throat to check her vocal chords.Rivers spent 50 years in … [Read more...]