ew large-scale studies found that a high intake of artificial sweeteners (particularly aspartame and acesulfame-K, the most used ones worldwide) is linked to a 13 percent increased risk of cancer in general, with the highest probability of breast cancer and those malignancies related to obesity. The research above involved 102,865 adults, studied from 2009 and followed up for 7.8 years.
Nearly 165 million adults in the United States consume artificial sweeteners. The worldwide market for artificial sweeteners is estimated at US$22.2 billion, and still increasing, with nearly $3 Billion in the last two years. The statistics in 2017 show 41.4 percent of American adults and 25.1 percent of children use artificial sweeteners.
The sweeteners that are becoming more popular are “natural,” from Stevia rebaudiana leaves, like NuNatural, Splenda, Truvia, Stevia, etc. These natural sweeteners appear to be safe, with zero calories, and are an excellent substitute for sugar, especially healthy for those with diabetes mellitus.
While Agave has a low glycemic index, it has higher calories than granular sugar and has higher fructose content, which is not healthy.
The US FDA last Tuesday authorized a second booster (shot #4) for those 50 years old and older, and for those who are immunocompromised, at least four months after the first booster because of waning protection from the previous vaccinations. The Omicron sub-variant, BA.2, Stealth Omicron, is also part of this concern.
Those infected with the original COVID-19, or the Delta variant, or the Omicron, even with the two shots and a booster, are not immune to Stealth Omicron or any other future variants. The second booster is aimed at protecting the most vulnerable.
There is a high probability that the second booster might be recommended for everyone.
Tesla CEO, Elon Musk, has been infected with COVID-19 for the second time, one in November 2020, and last March 28, 2022.
The most compelling statistics came from an Israeli study that showed adults older than 60 who had the second booster were 78 percent less likely to die from COVID-19 compared to those who got only three shots.
Those who had been infected with COVID-19 now have some natural immunity, but vaccination is still recommended because immunity from the vaccine is much more protective and more stable than natural immunity. They are also recommended to have a second booster shot for better protection.
While we are all praying and hoping for medications that would prevent or cure COVID-19, which has so far killed almost 6.2 million around the world, more than one million in the United States, and almost 60,000 in the Philippines, we had high hopes for a veteran anti-parasitic drug called Ivermectin, which was introduced in the late 70s.
Anecdotal reports claimed it was effective in preventing the progress of early COVID-19 infection.
Several studies have been done since, and like this one performed on 10,467 outpatients screened for trial, 679 were treated with Ivermectin and 679 with placebo.
The median age of both cohorts was 49 years old and 58.2 percent were females.
The team found no substantial differences between the ivermectin-treated and the placebo-treated in the clinical course, hospitalization rate and length of stay, viral clearance, recovery, risk of death, and the number of days mechanical ventilation was required or time of death.
Furthermore, there was no difference between the two groups in the PROMIS global-10 score or the mental component score.
COPD from GERD
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is very commonly associated with smoking, which, over time, “burns” the lung tissues and renders them less efficient in the air exchange and production of oxygen for the entire body. The lung tissues are basically destroyed and emphysema develops.
The person becomes short of breath. COPD is the third leading cause of death around the world.
COPD could also be caused by Gastro-Esophageal Reflux Disease (GERD), where the sphincter (valve) between the esophagus (food pipe) and the stomach becomes incompetent (loose).
Normally this valve is closed tight, preventing stomach acid and food from going back up (regurgitate) to the esophagus.
The stomach normally produces hydrochloric acid to aid in digestion and keep the stomach content sterilized, free from bacteria.
When the valve is not competent (loose), it allows the acid fumes to float upwards, which get inhaled by the person every few minutes, especially at night in bed.
The acid fumes destroy the lungs, much like among smokers, albeit less with GERD.
Those with COPD due to Gerd could clinically present with bronchitis or bronchial asthma, necessitating the use of steroid inhalers, like Trelegy, Fasenra, Spiriva Espimat etc.
Nebulizer using albuterol solution also helps ease breathing. All these require physician supervision and prescription.
Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA), which has become a more known entity in the past 3 decades, is a serious medical condition if left untreated. Although many individuals with OSA snore, not everyone who snores has OSA.
These persons have excessive daytime sleepiness, feel tired all the time, lack concentration, and have an increased risk for heart attack, stroke, and cancer.
Because they hold their breath for a long time while sleeping, the body and vital organs, including the brain, do not get enough oxygen.
The pathology here is the soft palate at the back of the throat which has degenerated into a flimsy tissue that falls back and covers the airway When the airway is blocked, no oxygen gets to the lungs from the nose and mouth.
This results in hypoxia (diminished oxygen level), which, when sustained for a long period of time, is dangerous. A heart attack could occur in this situation during sleep.
All those advertised gadgets for the nose or dental props are useless (a scam) because the pathology is in the throat.
The Inspire implant is a surgical procedure and is not useful for everyone with Sleep Apnea. The standard proven of care for Sleep Apnea is the use of a CPAP (Continuous Positive Air Pressure) machine that pushes in room air at a higher (prescribed) pressure to keep the airway open, preventing the flimsy tissue in the throat from collapsing and blocking the airway.
CPAP therapy ensures good breathing and oxygenation, freedom from snoring (spouses are grateful for this), improved and restful sleep, better concentration and alertness, and clearer mental faculties.
Always using CPAP for sleeping or a nap also reduces the risk of heart attack, stroke, and cancer.
Philip S. Chua, MD, FACS, FPCS, a Cardiac Surgeon Emeritus based in Northwest Indiana and Las Vegas, Nevada, is an international medical lecturer/author, Health Advocate, newspaper columnist, and Chairman of the Filipino United Network-USA, a 501(c)3 humanitarian foundation in the United States.
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