20 Fun and Amazing Health Facts.

1 Jan

1.) Women have a better sense of smell than men. 2.) When you take a step, you use up to 200 muscles. 3.) Your ears secrete more earwax when you are afraid than when you aren’t. 4.) The human brain has the capacity to store everything you experience. 5.) It takes twice as long to lose new muscle if you stop working out than it did to gain it. 6.) The average person’s skin weighs twice as much as their brain. 7.) Every year your body replaces 98% of your atoms. 8.) On average, there are 100 billion neurons in the human brain. 9.) The lifespan of a taste bud is ten days.  10.) Dentists recommend you keep your toothbrush at least 6 feet away from a toilet to avoid airborne particles caused by flushing.  11.) Your tongue is the only muscle in your body that is attached at only one end. 12.) Your stomach produces a new layer of mucus every two weeks so that it doesn’t digest itself. 13.) It takes about 20 seconds for a red blood cell to circle the whole body. 14.) The pupil of the eye expands as much as 45% when a person looks at something pleasing. 15.) Your heart rate can rise as much as 30% during a yawn. 16.) Your heart pumps about 2,000 gallons of blood each day. 17.) Your heart beats over 100,000 times a day. 18.) Your hair grows faster in the morning than at any other time of day.  19.) Your body is creating and killing 15 million red blood cells per second. 20.) You’re born with 300 bones, but when you reach adulthood, you only have 206!


The Most Important Principles for Staying Young: How Much Protein Should I Eat? Plus Your BP and Salads…

15 Mar

Our basic premise is that your body is amazing.  You get a do over. It doesn’t take that long, and it isn’t that hard if you know what to do.  In these notes, we give you a short course in what to do so it becomes easy for you and for you to teach others. We want you to know how much control you have over both the quality and length of your life.

  1. A 54-year-old guy who says he reads these articles religiously asks, “How much protein should I have in a day?”

The answer is: we really do not know.  However, for optimal growth and to delay aging and chronic disease, the current research suggests that you need more protein both before the age of 25 and after the age of 70. Conversely, you should eat much less protein—especially much less animal and milk protein—between 25 and 70 years of age.   Protein, especially from animals, stimulates Insulin Growth Factor-1 (IGF-1), which is needed for growth in the young (until about age 25) and to prevent decline in function after age 80.  But data from Dr. Valter Longo’s laboratory at USC (presented in lay fashion in his recent book, “The Longevity Diet” and in many scientific papers) shows that, like sugar, this protein-induced increase in IGF-1 elevates your risk of heart disease, stroke, and many tumors and cancers.  So, he and others in the optimal aging field recommend consuming at most 1 gm of protein for every 2 pounds of weight (best in morning like a morning filet of salmon or a dish with quinoa) each day for those under 25 or over 70.  If you weight train, then perhaps 50% more protein each day is appropriate.

  1. Lower Your Blood Pressure to Up Your Brain Power…

A new study in JAMA Neurology followed over 1,600 seniors for ten years. Those with a systolic blood pressure (the top number) higher than 150mm/Hg experienced much more cognitive decline than those whose systolic blood pressure was below 150.  Folks cruising along under 120mm/Hg had the least cognitive decline.

So aim to work with your primary care doc to bring your systolic blood pressure down below 120mm/Hg for body and mind. If it usually hovers just above that, in the 121-139 range, you can probably lower it using regular exercise and a healthy diet.

  1. Have a Salad (and Only a Salad) for Dinner Every Day…

A new study in Neurology involving 960 older folks—average age 81—found that participants who ate more than 1.3 servings of leafy greens each day had brains that functioned about 11 years younger than the brains of the those who almost never ate greens.

We don’t know the specific nutrients in green leafy veggies—spinach, collard greens, kale, bok choy, turnip greens, dark green leafy lettuce, watercress, arugula, and mesclun—that are the brain boosters, but the key nutrients could be vitamin K, lutein, beta carotene, nitrate, folate, the flavonol kaempferol, or one or more of the several forms of vitamin E.

Thanks for reading. Feel free to send questions to: AgeProoflife@gmail.com

Dr. Mike Roizen


PS: Please continue to order the new book by Jean Chatzky and myself, AgeProof: Living Longer Without Running Out of Money or Breaking a Hip.


NOTE: You should NOT take this as medical advice.
This article is of the opinion of its author.
Before you do anything, please consult with your doctor.
You can follow Dr Roizen on twitter @YoungDrMike (and get updates on the latest and most important medical stories of the week).  The YOU docs have two newly revised books: The patron saint “book” of this column YOU Staying Young—revised and YOU: The Owner’s Manual…revised —yes a revision of the book that started Dr Oz to being Dr OzThese makes great gifts—so do YOU: ON a Diet and YOU: The Owner’s Manual for teens.  
Michael F. Roizen, M.D., is chief wellness officer and chair of the Wellness Institute at the Cleveland Clinic. His radio show streams live on http://www.radioMD.com Saturdays from 5-7 p.m. He is the co-author of 4 #1 NY Times Best Sellers including: YOU Staying Young.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome – OVERVIEW (Part 2)

12 Mar

This discussion picks up from last month as we review the “nuts & bolts” of carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS). We left off at “CLINICAL PRESENTATION”…

CLINICAL PRESENTATION (continued): A weakness in grip and pinch strength usually follows an initial loss of sensation in the second to fourth palm-side fingers. The intensity of weakness is more dependent on the amount of pressure versus duration of time of numbness. In other words, if a high degree of pressure suddenly occurs inside the carpal tunnel (like a fracture with bleeding into the tunnel), the patient may feel weakness right away. But usually, CTS is a slow, smoldering condition and if weakness occurs, it comes on slowly and most patients cannot say for sure when their weakness symptoms started.

PHYSICAL EXAM: It is important to assess other possible areas for neurological compression, such as the neck, shoulder (thoracic outlet), elbow, and/or forearm. Also, it’s necessary to rule out “co-morbidities” or other conditions that contribute to CTS. The list is long but includes diabetes, hypothyroid, pregnancy/birth control pills/recent menopause, kidney disease, arthritis, Lyme disease, multiple sclerosis, and more. The physical exam may also include a sensory exam and a motor exam as well as specific orthopedic provocative tests that can reproduce CTS symptoms. Your doctor may also order an EMG/NCV (electromyography/nerve conduction velocity) but NONE of these tests are 100% sensitive and specific—that is, there are false-positives and negatives. Lab and blood tests can help tease out some of the other possible conditions (listed above). X-ray, MRI, CT scan, and ultrasound may help identify spurs, fracture, cysts, and other space occupying causes of CTS, but no one test is enough.

TREATMENT: Chiropractic offers manual therapies such as manipulation, mobilization, massage, and myofascial release of not just the wrist and hand but also the cervical spine, shoulder, elbow, and forearm regions, if the median nerve is impeded in places beyond the wrist. Doctors of chiropractic often utilize night splints and recommend rest, job modifications, and anti-inflammatory agents such as ginger, turmeric, bioflavonoid, and proteolytic enzymes. Because being overweight can increase one’s risk for CTS, lifestyle improvements aimed at cutting excess mass may be recommended as well. MDs may prescribe anti-inflammatory drugs and help manage co-morbidities such as diabetes, hormone replacement, hypothyroid, and the like. Often, a coordinated “team approach” of care providers works best. Surgery may be necessary in some cases but usually ONLY after all the above fails.

This information should not be substituted for medical or chiropractic advice. Any and all healthcare concerns, decisions, and actions must be done through the advice and counsel of a healthcare professional who is familiar with your updated medical history.

Chiropractic & Foot Orthotics: A Great Combination for Back Pain!

8 Mar

When treating patients with low back pain (LBP), doctors of chiropractic have three common goals: 1) pain management; 2) posture alignment or correction; and 3) prevention. When warranted, the use of corrective prescription foot orthotics can help achieve all three goals.

In a 2017 study, researchers recruited 225 adult subjects with chronic low back pain (cLBP) and randomly assigned them to one of three treatment groups: 1) shoe orthotics only; 2) chiropractic care (included spinal manipulation, hot or cold packs, and manual soft tissue massage) with shoe orthotics; or 3) a non-treatment group.

The primary outcome measures used to track change over time included a numerical pain rating scale and a functional rating questionnaire (Oswestry Disability Index – ODI) at baseline and after six weeks of treatment, with follow-up three, six, and twelve months later.

After six weeks, only the first two groups experienced improvements in both average back pain intensity and function, with the orthotic plus chiropractic group reporting even greater functional improvement.

While podiatrists have long suggested the use of foot orthotics for some cases of LBP because of the effect foot function has on the “kinetic chain,” it was not until the last decade that researchers in other fields have reported the effects the feet have on knee, hip/pelvic, and back function.

Studies have now demonstrated the adverse effects of hyperpronation (rolling in) of the foot on pain, function, and alignment of the pelvis. These studies point out the importance of not overlooking foot dysfunction as a potential (and important) contributing factor when managing patients with LBP.


This information should not be substituted for medical or chiropractic advice. Any and all healthcare concerns, decisions, and actions must be done through the advice and counsel of a healthcare professional who is familiar with your updated medical history.

If You Try a “Gluten-Free” Diet…

26 Feb

Gluten is found in wheat, oats, barley, and rye, and for those with Celiac Disease and non-celiac gluten sensitivity (NCGS), gluten can be very dangerous, even lethal. But many people opt to avoid foods containing gluten as part of an anti-inflammatory diet and there seems to be little-to-no argument that anti-inflammatory diets are indeed a very healthy choice.

One study reported that a Mediterranean-style diet can reduce cardiovascular risk factors and can help resolve both metabolic syndrome and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. Additionally, there are several published studies describing how an anti-inflammatory diet can reduce pain associated with conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis. One such study reported a striking reduction in pain, joint inflammation, and morning stiffness duration reduction utilizing this type of diet—and these improvements persisted when researchers followed-up with participants a year later!

Because low-grade inflammation has now been identified as the driver of most chronic degenerative diseases, it is important to understand that low-grade chronic inflammation manifests itself both locally and systemically through a variety of inflammatory mediators. Many of these can be measured in a blood test and are commonly found in patients with chronic diseases such as atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) and osteoarthritis.

Individuals who do their best to cut gluten from their diet often seek out gluten-free versions of their favorite foods. Is there anything these people should know?

Well, an article in the November 2017 issue of Consumer Reports notes that gluten-free foods made with rice flour may contain high levels of arsenic and other heavy metals. The article also points out that those who restrict foods containing gluten tend to eat fewer whole grains, which may result in increased heart disease risk due to lower fiber intake.

What the authors of the article don’t point out is that consuming more fruits and vegetables can make up for this deficit, as these foods can also be high in fiber. The good news is that gluten-free whole grains such as amaranth, freekeh, quinoa, buckwheat, millet, teff, and sorghum are great, healthy substitutes.

Whiplash – Who Will Get Better?

19 Feb

Though most patients with a whiplash injury improve within a few months, about 25% have long-term pain and disability that may persist for many months or years.


Now, a team of scientists from Northwestern Medicine Feinberg school of Medicine reports that it may be possible to determine which whiplash patients will develop chronic pain, disability, and/or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) within one to two weeks of their injury—leading to specialized treatment that may reduce their risk for developing a chronic condition.


Using a specialized form of MRI that measures the fat and water ratio in the neck muscles, the researchers found that greater fat infiltration into these muscles indicated rapid muscle atrophy. The presence of fat in the muscle is not related to the person’s weight, size, or shape and is believed to represent an injury that is more severe or serious than what might be expected from a typical low-speed car crash.


However, though the lead investigator notes that the fat infiltration into the muscle appears to be a response to an injury, what has actually been injured—muscle, nerves/spinal cord, and/or more—remains a mystery.

Another study by the same research team found that chronic pain whiplash victims also exhibited a high level of muscle fat in their legs—indicating atrophy. The researchers hypothesize that these patients may have partially damaged their spinal cord, as this group of patients also reported feeling weak and clumsy when walking.

Current research indicates that when managing whiplash cases, early return to activity, movement restoration, and exercises that specifically target the deep neck flexors lead to better outcomes than a “wait and watch” approach.

Doctors of chiropractic also utilize manipulation, mobilization, exercise training, diet, and nutrition, and encourage a return to a normal lifestyle as quickly as possible when treating patients with a whiplash injury.

Sick & Tired of Neck Pain?

15 Feb

For most of us, neck pain has reared its ugly head more than once. In fact, there are estimates that anywhere from one-in-ten to one-in-five people will experience an episode of neck pain in a given year. Though some studies report that between 33% and 65% of these people will recover within twelve months, many individuals will experience either a relapse of their neck pain or their neck pain will become a chronic health issue.

So what can a doctor of chiropractic do about it? The answer is simple: spinal manipulation (SM) and exercise. Spinal manipulation is the most common form of treatment delivered in a chiropractic setting, and many studies note that neck pain is the second most common reason patients seek chiropractic care (back pain is number one). Regarding exercise, patients may be advised to engage in stretching exercise, strengthening exercises, or both.

For example, after an hour of seated computer work, one might experience muscle fatigue from prolonged static postures, especially for those outside of a neutral position. For this scenario, here’s a great STRETCH option to do every 30-60 minutes (yes, SET A TIMER): 1) Tuck the chin (and keep it tucked); 2) reach with the right hand over the top of the head and gently pull the right ear toward the shoulder while the left hand reaches down to the floor (as if to pick up a dollar bill); 3) next, nod the head (as if gesturing “yes”) multiple times; 4) follow this by shaking the head left to right (as if gesturing “no”); 5) repeat steps one through four with the head/neck flexed forward and backwards, “searching” for the tightest spots and “work” them until they loosen up. Repeat on the opposite side.

Here is an exercise to STREGTHEN the neck muscles. 1) Tuck in the chin while looking straight ahead; 2) place the back of your second and third fingers under your chin and nod (up/down) against mild resistance; 3) repeat five to ten times SLOWLY; 4)  repeat steps one through three with head/neck flexed forward and then again backwards (looking towards the ceiling). Repeat multiple times each day.

The KEY is to set the timer to remind you to do these! If you have significant forward head carriage and rounded shoulders, your doctor of chiropractic can show you addition important exercises, but this will be a great start for you to gain control over that chronic, recurring neck pain that you’ve been putting up with for far too long!