Mar 15, 2017 Chris Foley

If we could only patent broccoli…

If we could only patent broccoli….                                   Mark Berger MD

Disregarding the fact that dozens of statin trials have shown minimal or no benefit in reducing cardiovascular disease or postponing death, the latest enlightenment for statin treatment comes from the Merck sponsored IMPROVE-IT trial (Cannon, NEJM, 2015) which showed that adding ezetimide (which blocks intestinal absorption of cholesteroll) to simvastatin lowers LDL better than simvastatin alone, with the 2% absolute reduction in combined endpoints hailed as a significant breakthrough in the treatment of cardiovascular disease.  Two percent.  But relative risk falls 40% or more, and this is what the physician and patient public hears.  So an ABSOLUTE risk reduction of 3.6% to 2% is translated into a RELATIVE risk reduction of >40%.  That is deception by any other name. Yet another deceptive statin trial targeting elevated cholesterol as the primary cause of heart disease, when other underlying metabolic — or even infectious — mechanisms are at work and disregarded…

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Nov 27, 2016 Chris Foley

A simple element…

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Selenium.  Brazil nuts (though not really “nuts” but rather more of a fruit) contain unusually rich amounts of selenium.  Simple supplementation with this key mineral can turn what might otherwise be a deadly case of coxsackie virus-induced myocarditis (with heart failure, the need for a heart transplant, etc) into a nuisance respiratory infection to which your immune system successfully responds with lifelong immunity. I read today a fear-mongering story in the LA Times about the devastation wrought by the West Nile virus in the case of a 55 year old woman who is now wheelchair bound.  What could have prevented this?  Oh, I know… »

Nov 19, 2016 Chris Foley

The Legend of Domperidone…

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Occasionally something comes around in the world of medicine that creates such a universal value that it is welcomed and praised for the misery it spares and the lives that it saves. How about a drug that enhances the rather common problem of a sluggish bowel, speeds gastric emptying (a common variable in reflux), and even helps women safely produce breast milk when it is not forthcoming? Even relieves nausea and vomiting! This med is not even new, actually, but rather has been around for quite some time — long enough for any proprietary rights to have long expired. It’s generic is rather inexpensive. So why can’t physicians today prescribe it?

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Oct 28, 2016 Chris Foley

The American Medical Association declares war (again) on supplements…

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Yes, the AMA — that organization consisting now of < 12% of licensed MDs or DOs in this country — has sought to go after that life and death question in one of their latest editorials:  The Supplement Paradox — Negligible Benefits, Robust Consumption (JAMA. 2016;316(14):1453-1454. doi:10.1001/jama.2016.14252).  Why, we Americans must be downright stupid, no?

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Oct 16, 2016 Chris Foley

Thank you Dr Zhang

One would think that a full professor of Molecular Microbiology and Immunology at the Johns Hopkins University would be a credible source of validation to the seeming endless numbers of infectious disease specialists, neurologists, rheumatologists, and other tone deaf physicians in the Twin Cities, Minnesota, the upper midwest, and nation who continue to tell patients that “chronic Lyme disease does not exist”. Yet, today he effectively said that it not only exists but that it is imperative to understand its complex nature in order to begin to prescribe appropriate treatment plans.  Here he is interviewed at a Vector Disease conference in 2015 in Norway.  This should be required reading for the aforementioned Luddites we find in every clinic in the country right now.

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Oct 15, 2016 Chris Foley

The Mayo Clinic takes a Lyme disease bow…

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As you likely have heard, the diligent scientists at the Mayo Clinic have discovered a variant on the organism that causes Lyme disease, aka, Borrelia burgdorfei (Bb). This new spirochete was found when a lab test called a PCR was done on a young boy with profound weakness, fever, and a rash. But the test showed a mysterious organism similar to but different from the Bb bug transmitted by deer ticks. A new species!

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Oct 15, 2016 Chris Foley

Live from the Lyme Conference in St. Paul…

 

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Nicolaus Copernicus

Columbia University sponsors a very well composed conference on Lyme disease annually, and this year it is between the coasts in St Paul. The speakers are very respected members of the scientific community — Robert Moir PhD, Brian Fallon, MD, and many others. Dr Moir began the conference with very compelling evidence that the epidemic of Alzheimer’s disease very likely is from smoldering infections in our brains — not necessarily purely borrelia (Lyme), any number of different pathogens that find their way there thru a leaky gut or mouth in addition to tick borne avenues. The astonishing thing about this conference is not so much the jaw-dropping evidence that much of this infection is both ignored and a challenge to treat, but….

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Oct 12, 2016 Chris Foley

The coming standard of pharmacogenomics…but will your local ACO approve?

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“Pharmacogenomics” is the term applied to the genetic typing — usually from a simple swab of your buccal mucosa — of individuals for their reaction to and processing of drugs.  This started with the occasional gene test for unusual drugs that were plain dangerous and has not been broadened to most classes of drugs as well as individual members of each class…

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