Friday, January 31, 2014

FDA Okays Hetlioz (Tasimelteon) for Sleep Disorder in Blind

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approvedtasimelteon ( Hetlioz, Vanda Pharmaceuticals Inc) for the treatment of non–24-hour sleep-wake disorder (non-24), the first such drug approved for this condition, the agency announced today.
Non-24 is a chronic circadian rhythm disorder that disrupts the sleep-wake cycle and affects the majority of totally blind individuals. Without input from the eyes, information about environmental light levels fails to reach the suprachiasmatic nuclei in the hypothalamus to synchronize the internal clock.
As a result, levels of the hormone melatonin, produced by the pineal gland and playing a key role as a feedback regulator of the master circadian clock, peak at later and later times each day, disrupting the sleep-wake cycle.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Alone, Yet Not Alone

Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel described one experience of faith in his book “God in Search of Man”: “Our goal should be to live life in radical amazement...get up in the morning and look at the world in a way that takes nothing for granted. Everything is phenomenal. .
..To be spiritual is to be amazed.”

And yet Heschel understood that the faith expressed by many, even many who are inwardly conflicted, is often dull, oppressive and insipid — a religiosity in which “faith is completely replaced by creed, worship by discipline, love by habit; when the crisis of today is ignored because of the splendor of the past; when faith becomes an heirloom rather than a living fountain; when religion speaks only in the name of authority rather than with the voice of compassion.”
There must be something legalistic in the human makeup, because cold, rigid, unambiguous, unparadoxical belief is common, especially considering how fervently the Scriptures oppose it.
And yet there is a silent majority who experience a faith that is attractively marked by combinations of fervor and doubt, clarity and confusion, empathy and moral demand. 
For example, Audrey Assad is a Catholic songwriter with a crystalline voice and a sober intensity to her stage presence. (You can see her perform her song “I Shall Not Want” on YouTube.) She writes the sort of emotionally drenched music that helps people who are in crisis. A surprising number of women tell her they listened to her music while in labor. 

The Sloth’s Busy Inner Life

The sloth is not so much an animal as a walking ecosystem. This tightly fitting assemblage consists of a) the sloth, b) a species of moth that lives nowhere but in the sloth’s fleece and c) a dedicated species of algae that grows in special channels in the sloth’s grooved hairs. Groom a three-toed sloth and more than a hundred moths may fly out. When the sloth grooms itself, its fingersmove so slowly that the moths have no difficulty keeping ahead of them.
The probable interplay of these three components has now been worked out by a team of biologists led by Jonathan N. Pauli and M. Zachariah Peery at the University of Wisconsin. Their first step was to ponder a 35-year-old mystery about the behavior of the sloth.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Why Sugar Makes Us Feel So Good

Last week, I reported that scientists are working their way toward a consensus that sugar is addictive. While some researchers are still hesitant to liken sweet stuff to drugs or alcohol, the evidence is accumulating to explain why some of us really struggle to resist or moderate our sugar intake. (I count myself among them.)
Avena has also just put out a clever TED-Ed video with colorful visuals to help explain the details of just why sugar makes our brains go bonkers. 
As the video shows, the key player in the reward system of our brain — where we get that feeling of pleasure — is dopamine. Dopamine receptors are all over our brain. And doing a drug like heroin brings on a deluge of dopamine.
Guess what happens when we eat sugar? Yes, those dopamine levels also surge — though not nearly as much as they do with heroin.


Fitness and Weightloss Tips

Losing weight and getting fit is a huge topic and it’s important for everybody, and perhaps especially so for IT pros like ourselves who sit in front of a screen all day. We can only scratch the surface of this subject here–the main focus after all of this newsletter is the Windows Server platform not weightloss. But the hugely favorable response we received from our previous issue on this topic demanded that we address this subject one more time.
So first of all I’ll share with you ten tips based on my own experience of losing 50 lbs and becoming fit. Then I’ll share some terrific tips and suggestions submitted by readers of this newsletter.
And if you still want more after all this, guess what? Later this summer I’ll be publishing an ebook that will describe my weightloss story in lurid detail with tons of motivational tips that can help you do what I did. And I’ll include a link to my ebook in WServerNews once my ebook available, so stay tuned to this newsletter!
- See more at:

Turn Your Smartphone Into the Ultimate Fitness Tracker

Sure, you can shell out between $100-150 for standalone fitness trackers like the FitBit Flex andJawbone Up24. But chances are, you already carry around an even more powerful tracker: your smartphone. These sensor-packed rectangles may be bigger than your average wrist-worn alternative, but they have all the same capabilities (many have far more). All you need are the right apps to unlock your phone’s fitness-tracking potential.

How Long Have I Got Left?

AS soon as the CT scan was done, I began reviewing the images. The diagnosis was immediate: Masses matting the lungs and deforming the spine. Cancer. In my neurosurgical training, I had reviewed hundreds of scans for fellow doctors to see if surgery offered any hope. I’d scribble in the chart “Widely metastatic disease — no role for surgery,” and move on. But this scan was different: It was my own.

Monday, January 27, 2014

LIFE More: Fitness Exercise Tech Accessories Features 7 Awesome Fitness Gadgets To Get You Moving This Year

Getting fit is one of the most common New Year's resolutions, but the hardest part is getting started.
That's where tech-savvy fitness gadgets can help. Whether it's a portable GPS that helps you train or a wristband that keeps you on track, these new devices will make getting active and shedding pounds in 2014 that much easier.
Keep reading to see seven new gadgets that will up your fitness regimen.

Read more:

See Classic Artworks Come To Life In Spellbinding "Beauty" Video | Co.Create | creativity + culture + commerce

See Classic Artworks Come To Life In Spellbinding "Beauty" Video | Co.Create | creativity + culture + commerce


Animator and filmmaker Rino Stefano Tagliafierro found inspiration in classical paintings, and found a way to share their emotional impact with the world.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

What Drives Success?

A SEEMINGLY un-American fact about America today is that for some groups, much more than others, upward mobility and the American dream are alive and well. It may be taboo to say it, but certain ethnic, religious and national-origin groups are doing strikingly better than Americans overall.

It turns out that for all their diversity, the strikingly successful groups in America today share three traits that, together, propel success. The first is a superiority complex — a deep-seated belief in their exceptionality. The second appears to be the opposite — insecurity, a feeling that you or what you’ve done is not good enough. The third is impulse control.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Are We Living in a Hologram?

If the Tupac hologram at Coachella blew your mind, chew on this: Recent research supports the theory that we may be living inside a hologram. In simplest terms, our reality — the region of the universe we can observe — might just be a 3-D depiction of reality.  (..)
So what does it mean to be in a hologram? Simply put, it means that our known universe — the part we inhabit and can scientifically observe — and a simpler, 2-D region far beyond it depict the same reality. Neither is real; both are representations of reality.
Yes, you could say [we are] an illusion, or an emergent phenomenon.
Sounds freaky, but that theory is gaining traction after the release of two studies led by Ibaraki University physicist Yoshifumi Hyakutake last November. In one study, he created a computer model of a 10-dimensional universe containing a black hole — a region where gravity prevents anything, even light, from escaping. He then computed the black hole’s internal energy and compared it to that of a one-dimensional, gravityless outer region, described in a separate paper. Sure enough, the calculations matched.

Read more: Are We Living in a Hologram? | Acumen | OZY 

The brain can process images seen for just 13 milliseconds

MIT neuroscientists have found that the human brain can process entire images that the eye sees for as little as 13 milliseconds — the first evidence of such rapid processing speed.
That speed is far faster than the 100 milliseconds suggested by previous studies. In the new study, which appears in the journalAttention, Perception, and Psychophysics, researchers asked subjects to look for a particular type of image, such as “picnic” or “smiling couple,” as they viewed a series of six or 12 images, each presented for between 13 and 80 milliseconds.
“The fact that you can do that at these high speeds indicates to us that what vision does is find concepts. That’s what the brain is doing all day long — trying to understand what we’re looking at,” says Mary Potter, an MIT professor of brain and cognitive sciences and senior author of the study

Friday, January 24, 2014

Watch What You Eat, Using Your Phone as a Guide

I have always been skinny, but I do need to watch what I eat. So I count my calories — with the help of smartphone and tablet apps.
One of the best is Calorie Counter & Diet Tracker by MyFitnessPal. Free on iOS and Android, it’s full of features for tracking food intake and exercise.
The app asks basic questions about height, weight, age, exercise levels and target weight, and uses this data to calculate a sensible daily calorie intake. You are supposed to enter the calorie values of everything you eat; the app then helps you avoid overshooting your daily allowance.
The app has a bar code scanner so it can look up most nutritional information directly from food packaging. This worked surprisingly well for me, getting the right information for everything from Heinz tomato soup to a Portuguese variant of the French cheese La Vache Qui Rit. All you have to do is enter how much you have eaten of a particular food to help the calorie calculation.

Eyetracking Study Reveals What People Actually Look At When Shopping Online

When you pull up a website, what's the first thing you look at? The stock photo model splashed across the page? The large company logo at the top? The search bar?
EyeQuant, a German artificial intelligence software company that offers predictive eye-tracking for websites, is in the business of figuring out exactly what people will look at when the page loads. Results from the company's most recent study suggests that some of the conventional wisdom in web design, like that our attention is drawn to faces, might not always be correct.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

No More Eye Drops? Contact Lens Protoype Delivers Glaucoma Meds

Like a miniature donut stuffed inside a tiny pita pocket, a common glaucoma medicine is sandwiched inside this specially designed contact lens. In laboratory experiments, the lens, which can also correct vision, releases the eyesight-saving medication at a steady rate for up to a month. Its construction offers numerous potential clinical advantages over the standard glaucoma treatment and may have additional applications, such as delivering anti-inflammatory drugs or antibiotics to the eye.
What makes the new lens different from other prototypes before it, added Kohane, is the many-layered construction that places a ring of drug-releasing film in standard, FDA-approved contact lens materials. Other designs have most often used a pre-made lens dipped in a drug solution, which then leached out into the eye rapidly and inconsistently.

More Signs A Mediterranean Diet Helps Prevent Cardiovascular Ills

There's fresh evidence that a Mediterranean diet can help cut the risk ofatherosclerosis, a disease caused by the buildup of plaque in the arteries. 

A new analysis, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association,builds on the work of a prior study, which looked at how a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, fish and healthful oils — namely olive oil — cuts the risk of heart attacks and strokes. That earlier study found that the risk was 30 percent lower for people eating the Mediterranean diet compared with those on a standard low-fat diet.
 via Guy Kawasaki

What’s in Your Fish Oil Supplements?

Millions of Americans take fish oil supplements to promote heart and vascular health. But a new analysis suggests that some consumers may not always get what they are paying for.
The new research, carried out by a testing company called LabDoor, analyzed 30 top-selling fish oil supplements for levels of omega-3 fatty acids, a group of compounds with anti-inflammatory effects. It found that six of those products contained levels of omega-3s that were, on average, 30 percent less than stated on their labels.
The research found more problems when it looked specifically at levels of two particular omega-3s that are promoted for brain and heart health: docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA). Tests showed that at least a dozen products contained DHA levels that were, on average, 14 percent less than listed on their packaging.
Then they were ranked according to quality and value. Among the companies whose supplements ranked highly were Nordic Naturals, Axis Labs and Nature Made. LabDoor, which is funded in part by the investor Mark Cuban and by Rock Health, a nonprofit digital health incubator, posted its full list of rankings and results on its website.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014



Beginning as a painter before he became a sculptor, an engineer, an anatomist, and a painter again, da Vinci was long trained in experiencing and appreciating the natural world--thus the power of his representations. His core skill and greatest passion was observation. This enthusiasm informed all his work
His emphasis on observation was so great that he would reconceive the way we perceive perception. As the facing page of his notebook shows, he looked closely at the looking itself: his understanding of the way light alights upon the eye pushed against the prevailing theories of optics passed down in the Platonic tradition and held by his contemporaries. Whereas the old way saw the eye as sending a beam of vision into the world, da Vinci saw the eye as something that received light, as illustrated here.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Three Myths on the World's Poor

Three Myths on the World's Poor

by Bill and Melinda Gates

This is a must read.

MYTH ONE: Poor countries are doomed to stay poor.

MYTH TWO: Foreign aid is a big waste.

MYTH THREE: Saving lives leads to overpopulation.

Unwanted Memories Erased in Electroconvulsive Therapy Experiment

Scientists have zapped an electrical current to people's brains to erase distressing memories, part of an ambitious quest to better treat ailments such as mental trauma, psychiatric disorders and drug addiction.
In an experiment, patients were first shown a troubling story, in words and pictures. A week later they were reminded about it and given electroconvulsive therapy, formerly known as electroshock. That completely wiped out their recall of the distressing narrative.
"It's a pretty strong effect. We observed it in every subject," said Marijn Kroes, neuroscientist at Radboud University Nijmegen in the Netherlands and lead author of the study, published Sunday in the journal Nature Neuroscience.

Saturday, January 18, 2014



The Science of Happiness

Hat tip to link

Our daily stresses and mental fallacies make fighting obesity an uphill battle.
We can think of our brain as being engaged in a constant ebb and flow between deliberate and automatic processing. Sometimes it is more of a fight between two mismatched warriors, like David and Goliath. David represents the small, nimble, and smart cognitive force that has to face a massive, primitive, noncognitive giant that is in charge most of the time. Goliath is unflagging and never sleeps. Sometimes David can win, but it is nearly impossible for him to win all the time. David can be distracted, he can be worn down, and he needs to sleep. This is not a single battle but an eternal struggle.
Although distractions can lead to overeating, the limits of our memory also contribute to eating too much. When amnesiacs with no short-term memories were offered meals in quick succession, even just one minute apart, they kept on eating and consumed full plates each time. Afterward, they reported no change in their feelings of hunger because they didn’t remember that they had already eaten.

Friday, January 17, 2014

An Eye Phone to Fight Blindness

Did you know that 285 million people suffer from blindness or poor eyesight? More shocking: Many times, all they need is a pair of glasses or simple cataract surgery. The problem is that 90 percent of those affected live in developing countries that have only a handful of ophthalmologists, who often work in major cities and are impossible to reach from remote villages.
Andrew Bastawrous may have a solution. The 34-year-old ophthalmologist from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine invented the Portable Eye Examination Kit, or PEEK, a mobile app and clip-on hardware that transforms a smartphone into a pocket-size optical clinic. He recently launched a pilot study involving 5,000 people in Nakuru, Kenya, which is scheduled to wrap up in March. Hoping to make PEEK available around the world, Bastawrous is also planning trials in Tanzania, Botswana and India.
In Nakuru, Bastawrous will compare PEEK’s photos to those taken by state-of-the-art hospital equipment that costs around $160,000 and requires a team of trained personnel to operate. In contrast, an eye specialist with minimal training can use PEEK — which costs only about $500 — to gather detailed information. The phone screen displays a simple vision test (expected to hit app stores next month) while the camera scans the eye for cataracts. Meanwhile, the camera’s flashlight can be used to check for glaucoma and other diseases. PEEK also stores contact information and GPS data for each patient, which can then be emailed to doctors. For now the app works only on Androids, but Bastawrous plans to make PEEK available across platforms.

Read more: Andrew Bastawrous's Visionary App | Rising Stars | OZY 


Gene Therapy Tested as a Way to Stop Blindnes

By delivering gene therapies to patients before they go blind, doctors may be able to prevent the loss of many important light-detecting cells.
The condition addressed in the work is choroideremia, an eye disease that affects an estimated one in every 50,000 people. Because the gene that causes this disease is on the X chromosome, it primarily affects males. Starting in late childhood usually, the condition causes progressive narrowing or tunneling of vision and often ends in blindness. The condition gradually wipes out the light-detecting rods and cones in the retina.
The experimental treatment adds a working copy of the culpable gene to the retinal cells of patients born with a defective copy. The trial also involved an experimental way of delivering gene therapy to the eye. Each patient’s retina was first lifted, and the gene therapy was injected into the space created under the retina. MacLaren and colleagues report on the condition of six patients in a study published on Wednesday in the Lancet.

Google develops contact lens glucose monitor

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. (AP) — Google unveiled Thursday a contact lens that monitors glucose levels in tears, a potential reprieve for millions of diabetics who have to jab their fingers to draw their own blood as many as 10 times a day.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Is This the Healthier Version of Butter?

Like many Indians of his generation, Niraj "Raj" Patel, M.D., a collaborator on the book "The Healthy Indian Diet," grew up in a household that banned ghee-clarified butter that had been a staple of an Indian diet for centuries and was always an integral part of the ancient medical practice Ayurveda.
Unless it was for very special occasions, ghee was a no-no-a victim, as it were, of the generalized, worldwide war on fats. But as science has evolved and shown that fat is less likely to cause heart disease and diabetes than previously believed, ghee is once again coming into the spotlight, Dr. Patel says, among Indians and a wider number of Americans. In fact, it's even used in some cleanses, such as The Whole30 Program.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

App Turns Smartphone Into Virtual Cane for the Blind

A smartphone app inspired by Greek mythology has the potential to help the blind navigate indoors where GPS is unavailable.

$1,000 Pill For Hepatitis C Spurs Debate Over Drug Prices

Federal regulators this month opened a new era in the treatment of a deadly liver virus that infects three to five times more people than HIV. Now the question is: Who will get access to the new drug for hepatitis C, and when?
The drug sofosbuvir (brand name Sovaldi) will cost $1,000 per pill. A typical course of treatment will last 12 weeks and run $84,000, plus the cost of necessary companion drugs. Some patients may need treatment for twice as long.
Hepatitis researchers call the drug a landmark in the treatment of this deadly infection. More than 90 percent of patients who get the new drug can expect to be cured of their hepatitis C infection, with few side effects.

Friday, January 10, 2014

The Secret To Success In 3 Words

I have three words to change your life: create, big, and defy. Have you got three minutes

Read more:

Tips for Travel Savings in 2014

Break a resolution yet? If any were travel-related, here’s some good news: In 2014, you can save while staying the traveler that you are.
In other words, set your nonnegotiable standards, then minimize costs and maximize value. For example: Let’s say you refuse to sleep in the same room with a stranger. That means you won’t be staying in hostels, so concentrate on lowering costs on hotel stays or short-term rentals.
Here are four issues about which budget travelers of good faith can differ, and some tips on cutting costs no matter which side of the debate you’re on.

Thursday, January 09, 2014

Monday, January 06, 2014

In 2005, Cheng reported that one amino acid difference in the gene SLC24A5 is a key contributor to the skin color difference between Europeans and West Africans.
“The mutation in SLC24A5 changes just one building block in the protein, and contributes about a third of the visually striking differences in skin tone between peoples of African and European ancestry,” says Cheng, professor of pathology.
In this current part of the project, Victor Canfield, assistant professor of pharmacology, together with Cheng, studied DNA sequence differences across the globe. They studied segments of genetic code that have a mutation and are located closely on the same chromosome and are often inherited together. This specific mutation in SLC24A5, called A111T, is found in virtually everyone of European ancestry.
A111T is also found in populations in the Middle East and Indian subcontinent, but not in high numbers in Africans. Researchers found that all individuals from the Middle East, North Africa, East Africa, and South India who carry the A111T mutation share a common “fingerprint”—traces of the ancestral genetic code—in the corresponding chromosomal region, indicating that all existing instances of this mutation originate from the same person.

Sunday, January 05, 2014


Scientists debate a new way of understanding flora.

BY Link
Plants have electrical and chemical signalling systems, may possess memory, and exhibit brainy behavior in the absence of brains. Construction by Stephen Doyle.

Mapping Emotions On The Body: Love Makes Us Warm All Over

When a team of scientists in Finland asked people to map out where they felt different emotions on their bodies, they found that the results were surprisingly consistent, even across cultures.
People reported that happiness and love sparked activity across nearly the entire body, while depression had the opposite effect: It dampened feelings in the arms, legs and head. Danger and fear triggered strong sensations in the chest area, the volunteers said. And anger was one of the few emotions that activated the arms.
The team still doesn't know how these self-reported sensations match with the physiological responses that occur with emotion.
But previous studies have found marked changes in bodily sensations in mood disorders, Nummenmaa says. "For instance, with depression sometimes people have pain in their chest."
And there's even some evidence that when you change your own body language — like your posture or stance — you can alter your mind.

Editing Your Life's Stories Can Create Happier Endings

The idea is that if you believe you are something else — perhaps smarter, more socially at ease — you can allow for profound changes to occur.
You can even try story-editing yourself at home with these writing exercises. Simply pick a troubling event. And write about it for 15 minutes each day for four days. That's it.
These exercises have been shown to help relieve mental anguish, improve health and increase attendance at work.

New High Speed Eye Scanner Helps Identify Retinal Diseases

The device performs high-speed optical coherence tomography (OCT) imaging using an infrared light source and tiny 2D mirror, creating a high-resolution 3D image of the retina. The system also automatically corrects for eye movement, effectively freezing the eye during the scan for a focused, streak-free result. Thought the essential technology inside the scanner has existed for years, and table-top systems have allowed diagnosis of retinal diseases by specialists, the new scanner may allow for population-wide screening of eye diseases.

The Key to Weight Loss -- Gut Bacteria?

Imbalances in the microbial community in your intestines may lead to metabolic syndrome, obesity and diabetes. What does science say about how to reset our bodies?

'Identity-Based Goals' Are The Only Way To Make Good Habits Last

If you want to get in shape, you have to believe you're the type of person who never misses a workout.

Read more:

The reason why it’s so hard to stick to new habits is that we often try to achieve a performance or appearance–based goal without changing our identity. Most of the time we try to achieve results before proving to ourselves that we have the identity of the type of person we want to become. It should be the other way around.

The Recipe for Sustained Success

Changing your beliefs isn’t nearly as hard as you might think. There are two steps.
1. Decide the type of person you want to be.
2. Prove it to yourself with small wins.

Your brain is making you fat!

Fighting obesity means overcoming our deepest ingrained urges

24 Invaluable Skills To Learn For Free Online This Year

Here’s an easy resolution: This stuff is all free as long as you have access to a computer, and the skills you learn will be invaluable in your career, and/or life in general.

What Happens in an Internet Minute [infographic]

The world today is traveling faster and faster. Being on the internet for one minute is a very long time, let alone 5 minutes. Imagine if it took 5 minutes for a webpage to load, that sounds crazy! Today’s infographic gives us a look into how much work can be done in just a minute on the internet.

Saturday, January 04, 2014

Going from Good to Great with Complex Tasks

From piano to public speaking, there is an ideal way for a performer to stay engaged

The 10 most popular KevinMD posts of 2013 shares the stories of the many who intersect with our health care system, but are rarely heard from.  Over 2500 articles were published this year from these voices, including practicing physicians, patients, policy experts, nurses, social workers, medical students, and hospital chaplains, among others.
I sincerely appreciate your continued readership and conversation.
Here are the most popular posts of 2013.

Friday, January 03, 2014


In a recent study, researchers showed that when a bacterial cell divides into two daughter cells there can be an uneven distribution of cellular organelles. The resulting cells can behave differently from each other, depending on which parts they received in the split.

“This is another way that cells within a population can diversify. Here we’ve shown it in a bacterium, but it probably is true for all cells, including human cells,” says Samuel Miller, professor of microbiology, genome sciences, and medicine at the University of Washington and the paper’s senior author.

Nothing Focuses The Mind Like The Ultimate Deadline: Death

Ticktock. Ticktock. Ticktock.
The seconds left in 2013 are slipping away. And you know what else is slipping away? The seconds left in your life.
Luckily for you, there's a new product called Tikker, a wristwatch that counts down your life, so you can watch on a large, dot-matrix display as the seconds you have left on Earth disappear down a black hole.
Your estimated time of death is, of course, just that — an estimate. Tikker uses an algorithm like the one used by the federal government to figure a person's life expectancy. But the effect is chilling, a sort of incessant grim reaper reminding you that time is running out.

These Scientists Studied Why Internet Stories Go Viral. You Won't Believe What They Found.


Thursday, January 02, 2014

Kale? Juicing? Trouble Ahead

And now, in the Whole Foods era, as I push my shopping cart down spacious aisles stocked with nonprocessed, gluten-free, non-G.M.O., heirloom, grass-fed, free-range and artisanal goods, I am pleased to know that I was ahead of my time.
Imagine my shock, then, at my last physical, when my doctor told me I had hypothyroidism, common in women over 40. When I got home I looked up the condition on the Internet and found a list of foods to avoid. Kale, which I juiced every morning, tops the list, followed by broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, Brussels sprouts and collard greens — the cruciferous vegetables I consumed in large quantities because they are thought to prevent cancer, which runs in my family. And flax — as in the seeds — high in omega 3’s, that I sprinkled on cereal and blended in strawberry almond milk smoothies. Also forbidden: almonds and strawberries, not to mention soy, peaches, peanuts, corn, radishes, rutabaga and spinach.
And then, as if my world was not sufficiently rocked, I went to the dentist, who said I had five cavities and asked if I snacked on candy and sodas all day long. I was insulted. Indignant. What did he take me for? No, I answered. I don’t eat sugar and drink only fresh vegetable juices — no longer kale, of course, but carrot and celery, which I’m still allowed. And filtered water with lemon.
“You’d be better off with chocolate and cola,” he said. Apparently the natural sugars in fruit and vegetable juices can cause decay, and lemon, though high in vitamin C and bioflavonoids which may prevent cancer, had eroded the enamel that protected my teeth.
I argued that I always brushed afterward. “Worst thing you can do,” he said. “That’s when the teeth are most vulnerable. Always wait half an hour after eating or drinking anything before brushing your teeth. And don’t brush more than twice daily. You’re destroying what little enamel you have left.”
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