Health@Heart , Second Booster


The US-CDC has recommended the second booster (Shot #4) for COVID-19 for those immunocompromised and people aged 50 and older.

The second booster is highly recommended also for those who have comorbidities, like high blood pressure, diabetes, COPD, etc., regardless of age, since they are more vulnerable to the infection, especially to the new strains.

It is anticipated that the fourth shot would be recommended for all ages in the weeks to come since the immunity from the vaccines wanes after 4-6 months. Whether the COVID vaccine would be a required bi-annual or annual shot, like the Flu shot, is yet to be determined.

In the United States, since there are only about 67 percent of the population vaccinated, 33 percent who refused the vaccines are unprotected unless they had been infected with COVID-19, which would provide some immunity, albeit not as stable and not as protective as the vaccines.

With so many unvaccinated people, whose bodies are acting as a reservoir (factory) for the replication and mutation of the SARS-CoV2 virus, new variants are expected to evolve.

This situation would also most likely lead to the need for a bi-annual shot or an annual COVID shot since the unvaccinated will continue to churn out new strains in the future.

When everyone is vaccinated, the virus might self-destruct and vanish.

The second COVID-19 booster is now available for free for those eligible at various pharmacies in the USA. Hopefully, they would also be in The Philippines.

Death among ESRD
New research done in the flu season 2010-2019 showed that the mortality rate from Influenza for those with End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) is significantly much higher (28 percent) compared to all other persons with the flu. This report was presented at the National Kidney Foundation Spring Clinical Meetings. Obviously, those with kidney disease ought to be protected from the flu virus by vaccination, good personal hygiene, and the use of a mask, where needed, especially during the flu season.

Versatile ginger
Good old ginger (Zingiber officinale) has been used in eastern medicine since the 9th century or even earlier.

Although not a substitute for conventional western medicine, ginger is claimed to have the following good benefits, besides its popular use in the kitchen:

reduces arthritis inflammation, helps in weight loss, lowers cholesterol, eases nausea and vomiting, improves brain health, lowers blood pressure, prevents infection, relieves pain, reduces menstrual bleeding, decreases migraine headache, lowers blood sugar, induces faster muscle recovery, helps in weight loss, immune booster, antioxidant, and germ-buster.” In the laboratory, ginger was also found to improve the quantity and quality of sperm, and it has some anti-cancer action in mice experiments.

For details, consult your physician.

Ginger is edible and comes in various forms: ale, tea, caramelized candy, pickled, dried thin wafer, powder, capsules, concoction, etc. Since this item is not evaluated by the FDA, here is some good advice:

“It’s also a good idea to make sure whatever ginger supplement you take has third party oversight. Supplements are not highly regulated.

‘The concentration of ginger can vary widely between fresh ginger root, pills, extracts, and powder—and it’s not standardized,’ explains Heather Moday, MD, an immunologist, functional medicine specialist, and author of The Immunotype Breakthrough.

‘Therefore, outside of ingesting ginger root on its own and using fresh ginger tea, one should use supplements that carry a National Science Foundation (NSF) or U.S. Pharmacopeia stamp on the label.’

Butter: healthy?

New studies show that diets higher in two odd-chain fatty acids, called C17:0 and C15:0 are the secrets of a dolphin’s healthy aging and long life.

“The ‘goldilocks’ of healthy aging is C15:0 – which this team of researchers has since claimed may help prevent prediabetes, lower inflammation, lower the risk of cardiovascular disease, and more, in the poor aging dolphins.

” These scientists were able “to identify that the healthy aging dolphins have significantly higher C15:0 and C17:0 compared to the poor aging dolphins.”

“C15:0 or pentadecanoic acid is a molecule found in certain foods, including butter, whole-fat dairy, fish, beef and lamb. It’s also present in smaller amounts in some plants, including chia seeds and peanuts,” according to Venn-Watson, “but in roughly one-tenth the amount that’s found in a serving of butter.”

More clinical studies are underway to find out if C15:0 will even be better than Omega 3 fatty acids in our diet. It is a fatty acid that shows the potential to slow the natural age-related breakdown in our cells.

Since a strict low-fat diet has not significantly reduced the incidence of obesity, hypercholesterolemia, heart attack, and stroke over the past several decades, this diet is now being re-evaluated.

Perhaps butter has a place in our diet after all, while margarine is falling into disfavor as a healthy food item substitute for butter.


Often misdiagnosed, endometriosis is a painful condition where the tissues that normally line the uterus grows in other parts of the pelvis, like the fallopian tubes or the ovaries.

Countless women have suffered from this often elusive condition, where most tests come out as negative.

A high index of suspicion among women and physicians could help in the early detection of endometriosis and end suffering among these patients.

Pregnancy myths

The following are myths:

A woman is guaranteed 100% not to get pregnant IF:

(1) penetration is done only a few times without completion of intercourse;

(2) withdrawal is done before ejaculation;

(3) coitus is done during the “safe” period;

(4) sex is done during menses;

(5) the woman did not have an orgasm during sex;

(6) the lovers drink wine before sex;

(7) aspirin is inserted into the vagina as a contraceptive;

(8) the woman is on top during the act;

(9) the man uses any plastic wrap in the absence of, and in lieu of, a condom;

(10) the man already had sex with another woman, or had masturbated, an hour or so earlier;

(11) oral sex preceded normal intercourse; and

(12) the woman douches immediately after sex.

These are all myths and cannot be relied upon to prevent pregnancy. Only total abstinence or use of an intact condom, or use of prescribed birth control pills under medical supervision, can prevent pregnancy.

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.

Websites:,, and Email:


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Philip S. Chua, MD, FACS, FPCS, a Cardiac Surgeon Emeritus based in Northwest Indiana and Las Vegas, Nevada, is an international medical lecturer/author, a Health Public Advocate, and Chairman of the Filipino United Network-USA, a 501(c)3 humanitarian and anti-graft foundation in the United States. Visit our websites: and Email: