Medical Notes


e careful even with over-the-counter (OTC pain relievers.   Acetaminophen (paracetamol) should never be taken with alcohol; this could potentially damage your liver.  Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID) such as aspirin, naproxen, and ibuprofen, can cause ulcers in the gastro-intestinal (GI) tract. Never take this kind of medication on an empty stomach.

Well-before their culinary use, spices and herbs were widely-known for their medicinal properties. Modern science has now shown that many of them do, indeed, have remarkable health benefits. Here are some popular spices and herbs and their effects on disease and chronic conditions:

Cinnamon Lowers Blood Sugar Levels and Has a Powerful Anti-Diabetic Effect – A compound called cinnamaldehyde is responsible for cinnamon's medicinal properties. This spice really shines by lowering blood sugar levels. Cinnamon slows the breakdown of carbs in the digestive tract and improve insulin production. 

Sage Improves Brain Function and Memory - Sage is derived from Latin word Salvere, which means "to save." It had a reputation for its healing properties during the middle ages, and was even used to help prevent the plague. Current research indicates that sage improves brain function and memory, especially in people with Alzheimer's disease who have experiences a drop in the level of acetylcholine, a chemical messenger in the brain. Sage inhibits the breakdown of acetylcholine.

Peppermint Relieves IBS Pain and May Reduce Nausea - Studies have shown that peppermint oil can provide pain relief from irritable bowel syndrome, or IBS. It relaxes the smooth muscles in the colon, relieving the pain experienced during bowel movements.
Turmeric Contains Curcumin, a Substance With Powerful Anti-Inflammatory EffectsTurmeric is the spice that gives curry its yellow color. It contains several compounds with medicinal properties, the most important of which is curcumin. Curcumin is a remarkably powerful antioxidant, helping to fight oxidative damage and boosting the body's own antioxidant enzymes. Oxidative damage is believed to be one of the key mechanisms behind ageing and many diseases. Curcumin is also strongly anti-inflammatory matching the effectiveness of some anti-inflammatory drugs.
Holy Basil Helps Fight Infections and Boosts Immunity - Not to be confused with regular basil or Thai basil, holy basil is considered a sacred herb in India. Studies show that holy basil can inhibit the growth of a range of bacteria, yeasts and molds. Holy basil is also linked to reduced blood sugar levels before and after meals, as well as treating anxiety and anxiety-related depression

Cayenne Pepper Contains Capsaicin, Which Helps Reduce Appetite and May Have Anti-Cancer Properties
Cayenne’s active ingredient is called capsaicin, which has been shown to reduce appetite and increase fat burning. However, there was no effect in people who were accustomed to eating spicy food, indicating that a tolerance to the effects can build up

Ginger Used to Treat Nausea and Has Anti-Inflammatory Properties - Ginger is a popular spice used in several forms of alternative medicine. Studies have shown that 1 gram or more of ginger can successfully treat nausea. This includes nausea caused by morning sickness, chemotherapy, and sea sickness. Ginger also appears to have strong anti-inflammatory properties, and can help with pain management with similar effectiveness as treatment with aspirin or ibuprofen.

Fenugreek Improves Blood Sugar Control - While its effects on testosterone levels are inconclusive, fenugreek does seem to have beneficial, effecting blood sugar levels.
It contains the plant protein 4-hydroxyisoleucine, which improves the function of insulin . Many human studies have shown that at least 1 gram of fenugreek extract per day can lower blood sugar levels, particularly in diabetics.

Rosemary Helps Prevent Allergies and Nasal Congestion - The active ingredient in rosemary is called rosmarinic acid. This substance has been shown to suppress allergic responses and nasal congestion. The number of immune cells in nasal mucus also decreases, reducing congestion.

Garlic Can Combat Sickness and Improve Heart Health
- Throughout history, the main use of garlic was for its medicinal properties and that
allicin was the key compound Garlic supplements are well-known for combatting sickness, including the common cold. There is also convincing evidence for beneficial effects on heart health. For those with high cholesterol, garlic supplementation appears to reduce total and/or LDL cholesterol by about 10-15%. Human studies found garlic supplementation significantly reduces blood pressure.

In March, 2018,researchers University of Washington, Seattle, Washington announced success in a trial for male birth control pills.The pill in question, called dimethandrolone undecanoate or DMAU, works similar to women's birth control by combining a male hormone, like testosterone, and a progestin. Taken once a day, the pill was found to be safe — despite patient's experiencing weight gain and decreases in HDL ("good") cholesterol — halt sperm production, and reduce testosterone production.  This wasn't the only breakthrough in terms of male birth control. In December, Gizmodo reported that scientists began a large clinical trial to test a gel-based male birth control. The gel, applied to the back and shoulders once daily, contains a combination of a progestin compound and testosterone that is absorbed through the skin.

Approximately 610,000 die from heart disease in the in the United States every year (1 in every 4 deaths) so it's no surprise that when, in September, 2018, biopharmaceutical company, Biotech Amarin, announced that its medicine, Vascepa, was found to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease n patients by 25%, people rejoiced. Though the drug, which has only one active ingredient, icosapent ethyl, was approved by the FDA in 2015 to treat people with high levels of triglycerides, a type of fat found in blood, it wasn't until 2018 that this level of success was measured.
Psychological health is as important as physical health, and many of the diseases that we still don't truly understand may be caused by stress.

Migraines affect approximately 39 million Americans yet treatment for the debilitating condition is nearly nonexistent. In May of this year, however, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced the approval of Aimovig, a preventive treatment for migraines. The treatment is administered once a month via injection and is the first drug approved that works by blocking the activity of calcitonin gene-related peptide, a molecule that is involved in migraine attacks.

The effectiveness of Aimovig for the preventive treatment of migraines was evaluated in three separate clinical trials and was found to significantly reduce the frequency of patients' migraines in each study

Don't experiment with herbal products without consulting your doctor; they may interact with your medication and cause serious side effects. If you have any personal questions, please ask your doctor or primary care provider.
It is so frustrating living with diabetes, requiring finger pricking or the burdensome monitoring necessary to consistently track blood glucose levels. Focusing on reducing this inconvenience, a team of researchers at the Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology in South Korea developed a new contact lens that is capable of detecting glucose levels in patients with diabetes!   This “smart lens” has built-in pliable, transparent electronics that use tears to monitor glucose levels. These smart contact lenses are made of transparent nanomaterials and therefore do not obstruct the wearer's view and because the system uses a wireless antenna to read sensor information, no separate power source, like battery is required for smart contact lens sensors. So far, the lenses have only been tested on live rabbits, but human trials are on the horizon.
PARP, poly-ADP ribose polymerase, is a protein found in our cells that help damaged DNA cells repair themselves. PARP inhibitors represent a new class of drugs that may aid in treating and preventing the progression of breast and ovarian cancers. The success of the drugs capitalizes on the very nature of PARP. The drugs inhibit the protein from doing its repair work in cancer cells and the cell dies. In October 2018,, one such drug, Lynparza from AstraZeneca, was found to greatly reduce the risk of ovarian cancer. A clinical trial found that when given in conjunction with chemotherapy, Lynparza halted or reversed tumor growth in 60% of patients three years into the trial as opposed to 27% who were given chemotherapy only. The drug is approved for advanced ovarian cancer and metastatic breast cancer and has already been used in over 20,000 patients worldwide.

Medical science has figured out how to replace nearly every part of the human body, from prosthetic limbs to artificial hearts, pacemakers to ear implants,  But until recently, ‘manufacturing’ blood was no more than a pipe dream.  In 2017, England’s National Health Service (NHS), conducted early safety trials in which 20 people were given small amounts of synthetic blood made from stem cells. The short-term goal was to create red blood cells to treat specific conditions and illnesses, like sickle cell anemia. The long-term goal is to make enough for transfusions to treat people with rarer blood types.

The average office desk surface has 400 times as many bacteria present as the average toilet seat! Office phones, fax machines, computer keyboards also have huge numbers of germs. Be sure to clean all surface areas and office equipment with soapy water or use alcohol swabs regularly.

Half of patients with Type 2 diabetes will die from complications of cardiovascular disease. The odds go up to 70 percent after reaching the age of 65. Recently, however, two new medications began reducing the mortality rates considerably.  Empagliflozin modifies the progression of heart disease by working with the kidney while Liraglutide has a comprehensive effect on many organs. Given these positive results, experts predict a marked shift in the lineup of medicines prescribed for diabetes patients.