24,000 patients were followed for an average of 12 years and the cardiovascular complications were less in those eating this diet. This is a prospective trial, meaning they enrolled people and told them what to do. Previous evidence (macular degeneration study above) was just looking at people who ate a diet close to the standard vs those who ate something else—this is weaker evidence since there wasn’t a setup from the beginning but it helps form the basis for better trials.
SHIGELLA IN MSMs
MSMs are men who have sex with men. These bacteria are in poop and some sexual activities might get a tiny amount of poop inside their mouth or anus after getting on the hands or penis. Shigella causes severe diarrhea and there is more drug resistance lately. There are no studies that excellent cleaning of the anus or an enema are of help in reducing the infection, but it makes sense, especially when you consider that this bacteria, when transmitted even in a tiny amount, can cause a severe disease. Cleaning will minimize the amount of poop in the area, dramatically reducing the number of bacteria. This is why we wash our hands, to minimize the germs; we can never wash enough to eliminate them entirely.
ACID REDUCERS MAY LOWER MICRONUTRIENT LEVELS
A European study showed that those on –prazoles (check your medicines, e.g. omeprazole or pantoprazole, Priolosec®, Nexium®) may have low magnesium or Vitamin B12 levels. These medications are very effective in reducing stomach acid problems. There have been a few reports of seizures or heart beat problems with low magnesium levels. Anemia and neuropathy are caused by low vitamin B12 levels as well as lower brain function. You might consider asking your provider to check these blood tests if you are on these medications.
SAVE YOUR EYES WITH PASTA
Macular degeneration is a condition of older people slowly causing blindness in the center of their vision; ask some old people if they know someone who has this, my mom did. “The risk for age-related macular degeneration can be cut by more than one-third by eating a Mediterranean-style diet that is heavy in fruit, vegetables, legumes (beans/nuts/seeds), whole grains, fish, and lean meats, new data from an ongoing Portuguese study suggest.” Coffee was also associated with a lower risk of macular degeneration. They studied people who live in a certain area and rated how close their diets were to the standard Mediterranean diet. The closer the better chance of not having macular degeneration.
PROBIOTICS DO NOT HELP ASTHMA
Probiotics are beneficial bacteria like those in yogurt. (I make my own yogurt drink to add to my kale, peanut, banana smoothie breakfast). A close look at those who used probiotics found no difference in asthma complications.
WALKING FOR 10 MINUTES AFTER MEALS GREAT FOR DIABETES CONTROL AND PREVENTION
This simple task (3 shorter walks at a certain time) was better than walking for 30 minutes once a day. When the investigators took blood, it showed that the insulin and sugars were improved most when more carbs were eaten at certain meals and after dinner when more carbs are usually eaten and most people sit around after dinner more than they do after the other two meals. This activity helped control or prevent diabetes. The patients had pedometers to show who did what and when and they didn’t change their diets.
OLD CONFLICT: WHICH IS STRONGER, TRUVADA® VS EPZICOM®?
Is Epzicom® better than Truvada® in those with High HIV Viral Load?
There is a French study of 2781 patients and they showed no difference in control of HIV and most had Viral Loads over 100K. No difference was found even when each of these double ARV pills were combined with Sustiva®, Reyataz®, or Prezista®.
EVEN WHEN HIV CONTROLLED, ARTERERIES HARDEN FASTER THAN HIV NEGATIVES
A study found that the arteries of patients seen with MRI showed more thickened walls in those who had HIV controlled compared to HIV negative people. So treatment does preserve your immune system, but the chronic fighting against the virus causes inflammation and that increases the rate of arterial thickening. Don’t add to this process by smoking cigarettes or gaining too much weight so you have hypertension and diabetes.
ANTIBIOTIC RESISTANCE AND SEXUALLY TRANSMITTED INFECTIONS
Each year, an estimated 131 million people are infected with Chlamydia, 78 million with gonorrhea, and 5.6 million with syphilis. Antibiotic resistance to these STIs has increased rapidly in recent years and has reduced treatment options. There is resistance to all antibiotics in each of these three infections. The largest number of resistant cases is gonorrhea. If we can’t treat it, we just watch it destroy tissues.
The more infections, the more opportunity to spread resistance. PrEP won’t work for preventing STIs, but it prevents HIV transmission well. Using condoms is important.
TOO MANY PATIENTS ON TREATMENT FOR HIV
In Africa the clinics can’t handle the large numbers of those needing antivirals, so clubs have formed to take over this function. The clubs also supply support as a great side effect of the new medication delivery model. This is a great problem to have and a solution has been found. Necessity is the Mother of Invention.
Be Safe! Wear protection. Keep those questions coming.
Daniel Pearce, D.O., FACOI
Clinical Associate Professor of Medicine, Loma Linda University School of Medicine
Adjunct Professor of Internal Medicine and HIV, Touro University California College of Osteopathic Medicine and Midwestern University Arizona College of Osteopathic Medicine
HIV Specialist, Assistant TB Physician, Riverside University Health System, Public Health