General Health

Read Your Labels

People who read product labels are thinner than those who don-t, according to an article in the journal Agricultural Economics. This study included smokers versus non-smokers, urban versus rural people, and women versus men.


Renal denervation in 15 patients with resistant hypertension was effective and can be performed safely in patients with chronic kidney disease. This article is in Nature Reviews Nephrology 8, 439-40, August 2012.

Blood Pressure

Do genotype-based changes in serum uric acid really affect blood pressure? This question is addressed in Kidney International, August 1, 2012. The answer seems to be yes.

Video Gaming Effects on Attention Levels

Video games could spur attention difficulties in children according to a study by a professor of psychology at Iowa State University. The 3-year study involving 3,000 children ages 8 to 17 found that while technology can help the ability to process information on a visual level it can actually impair overall concentration.


From the Healthy Living column, The Dallas Morning News, May 22, 2012: to cure hiccups, smear dark chocolate on the roof of the mouth. Lindt is a good one.

Anti-Aging Possibility

Tyrosine is one of the amino acids which is a building block of protein. The body makes it from another amino acid called phenylalamine. It can be used to treat depression, ADD, ADHD, stress, PMS, chronic fatigue syndrome, etc. It improves mental alertness and depression. A topical preparation containing tyrosine and ascorbic acid is being tried to treat aging, yellowing, and wrinkled skin on the face.

Pancreatitis Test

Most cases of acute pancreatitis can be diagnosed or ruled out by a new urinary dipstick test for typsinogen described online in June 2012.

Kidney Damage

A study from the University of Arkansas suggested benefit involving lowering the mortality rate after kidney injury due to sepsis when Resveratrol was used. There was a dual mechanism of action restoring renal microcirculation as well as scavenging nitrogen species protecting tubular epithelium. This was published in 2011.

Chronic Kidney Disease

Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) is considered an inflammatory state. An increase in fiber intake of 10 grams per day per patient was highly beneficial in a study at the University of Utah School of Medicine. The original article was in Kidney International, 81, 300306.


Stethoscopes can carry all sorts of nasty bacteria (Canadian Journal of Emergency Medicine, July 2011). Why are doctors who are scrupulous about washing their hands less concerned about cleaning their stethoscopes, since they may hang around a doctor or nurse-s neck for weeks at a time?