Rich Piana another body builder who died too young

Dr. Gabe Mirkin

In August 2017, the world-famous body builder Rich Piana collapsed from a heart attack while his girlfriend was giving him a haircut.  He died after two weeks in a medically-induced coma, at the age of 46.   A search of his apartment revealed more than 20 bottles of steroids.   In his younger years he […]

Dementia linked to excess belly fat

Dr. Gabe Mirkin

We have known for many years that having a big belly is associated with increased risk for heart attacks, diabetes, certain cancers, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, disability and premature death. We now also have data that links having a large belly to increased risk for dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease, a debilitating way to spend […]

D.L. Menard, the Cajun Hank Williams

Dr. Gabe Mirkin

America’s greatest Cajun singer, D.L. Menard, died this month from heart failure that was probably caused by cancer.  Twenty-five years ago, he suffered his first heart attack and 16 years ago, his wife died of a heart attack associated with her diabetes.  Menard was widely known as the “Cajun Hank Williams,” and one folklorist said […]

Unhealthy lifestyle can lead to heart attack

Dr. Gabe Mirkin

The majority of heart attacks are caused by unhealthful lifestyles, not by genetic defects. However, in 2014, the American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association (ACC/AHA) published data showing the importance of statins as the major drugs to treat high blood cholesterol levels and reduce susceptibility for heart attacks (J Am Coll Cardiol, 2014;63(25 pt B):2889-2934). […]

New studies on artificial sweeteners

Dr. Gabe Mirkin

Several recent papers raise new concerns about the long-term health effects of artificial sweeteners. In one study, researchers showed that a sweeter-tasting, lower-calorie drink caused people to eat more food, to have higher blood sugar levels and to be more likely to gain weight and become diabetic than a less-sweet, higher-calorie drink (Current Biology, August […]

Dick Gregory broke new ground in comedy, promoting healthy lifestyle

Dr. Gabe Mirkin

Dick Gregory was the first widely-accepted black American stand-up comedian who showed incredible courage in the 1960s civil rights movement.  In spite of being arrested and beaten up for being in the front lines of marches against racial prejudice and war, he advocated non-violence and fought brutality and prejudice with passive resistance, prayer and self-challenging […]

Ovarian cancer and talcum powder

Dr. Gabe Mirkin

On August 21, 2017, a Los Angeles jury ordered Johnson & Johnson to pay $417 million to a woman who claimed that talcum in J&J’s baby powder caused her ovarian cancer. This is the largest jury award so far in the more than 1,200 lawsuits filed against J&J, alleging that the company knew about cancer […]

Comedian Jerry Lewis made millions laugh, but suffered great pain

Dr. Gabe Mirkin

This week Jerry Lewis, the fabulously successful comedian, actor and director who starred in movies, television, nightclubs and Broadway stage, died at age 91 at his home in Las Vegas.  His manager said that he “passed peacefully at home of natural causes with his loving family at his side.”  Throughout his life he had suffered […]

Should you take a daily aspirin?

Dr. Gabe Mirkin

Recent research shows that three years of taking aspirin daily is associated with a small reduction in heart attacks only in people who have had previous heart attacks, but not in those who had not had a previous heart attack (Clin Cardiol, May 2017). Previous studies have shown similar results (Am J Med, Feb 2015;128(2):137-43). […]

Glen Campbell’s dementia

Dr. Gabe Mirkin

Glen Campbell was the son of a sharecropper who went from childhood poverty to wealth and world fame as a country singer, but he spent his last several years suffering from dementia and died from its complications at age 81 on August 8, 2017.   He won five Grammys, sold more than 45 million records, […]