Cancer is not just a random disease

Dr. Gabe Mirkin

A recent study from respected researchers at Johns Hopkins claims that two-thirds of adult cancers are caused by random DNA mutations in your cells, and far fewer cancers are caused by genetics, lifestyle or exposure to cancer-causing agents (Science, January 2, 2015). If this is so, changing your lifestyle or limiting exposure to carcinogens would … [Read more...]

Itzhak Perlman and polio

Dr. Gabe Mirkin

Itzhak Perlman is arguably the most brilliant and beloved violinist of the 20th century and so far in the 21st. He is also so knowledgeable and coordinated that he has conducted many major orchestras. This is incredible because both of his legs are paralyzed from an attack of polio contracted at age four. He can walk only with thick leg braces and … [Read more...]

Osteoarthritis of the knee linked to overweight

Dr. Gabe Mirkin

Researchers reviewed 46 studies on risk factors for osteoarthritis of the knee and found that being overweight was associated with 28.8% of cases, and having a previous knee injury was associated with 5.1% of the cases. Vigorous exercise is not associated with knee osteoarthritis in middle-aged women (Osteoarthritis and Cartilage, January … [Read more...]

Giacomo Casanova, the great lover

Dr. Gabe Mirkin

Giacomo Casanova was a prolific Italian seducer of women who wrote a 12-volume, 3,800- page autobiography that is regarded as one of the most authentic sources of the customs and norms of 18th century European social life. He claimed that he slept with at least 136 women and some men, including aristocrats, servants, prostitutes and courtesans. … [Read more...]

Bacteria may cause colon cancer

Dr. Gabe Mirkin

People who have dense biofilm colonies of bacteria in the right colon (first part) are five times more likely to have malignant colon cancer and pre-malignant colon polyps, compared to those who have no biofilms (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Dec. 16, 2014). To diagnose biofilms, the authors developed a fluorescent technique to … [Read more...]

Baron Larrey, Napoleon’s surgeon general

Dr. Gabe Mirkin

It wasn’t the Russians who defeated Napoleon in the War of 1812; it was the horrible cold winter. Napoleon’s surgeon general, Baron Larrey, made matters worse by telling the soldiers to rub snow on their frozen hands. Rubbing snow on frostbite removed their skin, which led to infection and death.Napoleon’s men had marched thousands of miles to … [Read more...]

Peter Sellers’ many heart attacks

Dr. Gabe Mirkin

Peter Sellers was a very talented British film actor, comedian and singer who could copy different accents so effectively that he often played several different roles in the same film. He was nominated three times for an Academy Award, and four times for Golden Globe’s best male actor. His most famous role was that of Chief Inspector Clouseau in … [Read more...]

Predict your heart attack risk

Dr. Gabe Mirkin

The Healthy Heart Score, created by a team from the Department of Nutrition at Harvard School of Public Health, is the best survey I have ever seen to predict your chances of suffering a heart attack. https://healthyheartscore.sph.harvard.eduYou will learn your likelihood to suffer a heart attack, and it can teach you how to prevent one. Heart … [Read more...]

Isaac Asimov, science fiction giant

Dr. Gabe Mirkin

Isaac Asimov probably had more of his writings published than any other person in history with more than 500 books, mostly science fiction and popular science. As a child, he was short, fat and uncoordinated and never learned to swim or ride a bike. As an adult, he spent an incredible amount of time by himself, reading, collecting data and writing … [Read more...]

Jackie Gleason’s colon cancer

Dr. Gabe Mirkin

As Ralph Kramden, the brash, blustering, uncouth and bumbling fool in “The Honeymooners”, Jackie Gleason was probably the most famous television character of his day. He portrayed similar personality disorders in movies with characters such as Minnesota Fats in the “The Hustler” and Buford T. Justice in the “Smokey and the Bandit” … [Read more...]

Marion Barry, Washington’s ‘Mayor for Life’, dead at 78

Dr. Gabe Mirkin

As four-time mayor of Washington, D.C., Marion Barry helped to create a city that helped the poor and disadvantaged. His programs created jobs for people out of work (many got their first jobs through his programs); allocated city contracts specifically for minorities (in 1980, 35 percent of city contracts were awarded to minority-owned firms); … [Read more...]

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...]