By: Daniel Pearce, D.O., FCOI, AAHIVMS

There are two flu viruses this year so if you got the flu already the vaccine will lower your risks for the other type that is looking for you. The vaccine looks like good protection this season. One reason for the high rate of flu is that very few are getting vaccinated, they get infected and spread to others. The vaccines protect you and those around you since you are less likely to spread it.

A short study showed that potatoes, as long as they were cooked and then cooled, contributed to weight loss as well as the bean/pea group which have more fiber and protein so should be better for weight loss than almost pure starch. But these potatoes were not fried nor had toppings from the potato bar. They contributed to weight loss as long as the calorie count was followed. So the blood sugar did not jump up and turn to fat in either group. The refrigeration caused the carbohydrates to join into longer chains, slowing the sugar level and giving a stretched out peak. That is one of the theories of weight gain/loss: the lower the sugar peak, the less the sugar goes to fat.
Another theory is that we eat enough food to satisfy a protein need. Potatoes have very little protein, so you need to eat much to satisfy your protein need. Beans and peas have more protein so less calories are needed to feel satisfied.
I have tried the first method for years and have not been successful at getting my weight down. I am always hungry. I have been trying the protein method by incorporating peas in my morning smoothies. Of course I could buy protein powders, but then I would miss the other beneficial items in the peas.
We tend to want a magic pill that pulls an ingredient out of the food and pay good money for that ingredient rather than eat the food. Many studies show that vitamin pills main advantage over the healthy food diet is that the vitamin and supplement companies make good money. Food has the entire team to help you, not just a few players.

150 minutes of moderate exercise a week is recommended by the CDC, but 54 min of intensive exercise a week is also recommended. So working out 8 min of intensive exercise a day is not too much to ask. I do it in front of the TV and plan on doing this more, now that this article says this will decrease heart disease risk by 35%, and risk of any early death by 36%. Of course I am almost 70 now so what does “early” death mean to me? Now intensive exercise is equivalent to dancing in a nightclub or carrying groceries upstairs—anything that gets your heart rate up or you notice it is hard to complete a sentence since you are breathing too fast (huffing and puffing) like speed walking, shoveling snow, gym or floor exercises but not much resting in between each exercise.
For those who have joint pains if walking, jogging, speed walking, consider pool exercise classes, e.g. the YMCA has these classes at a low price called Aquacise.

Missing meals seems to be bad for your health. A new study found that those eating only one meal a day are more likely to die than those who had more meals per day. People who skip breakfast were more likely to develop fatal cardiovascular diseases, while those who skip lunch or dinner increase their risk of death from all causes,” compared with those who eat three meals a day.
“Based on these findings, we recommend eating at least two to three meals spread throughout the day.”
But others say that there were no calorie counts nor did they check who was eating a healthier diet. When you removed the more ill patients from the patient count there wasn’t a difference between the groups saying that those who have cancer or heart disease did so much better when they didn’t skip meals, but people without these diseases were the same with skipping meals or not. More research needs to be done, but this is a signal that skipping meals may be harmful.

Is putting petrolatum (Vaseline®) over skin lotion on your face to lock in the moisture. I took the hint from my darker skinned patients and have been using petrolatum on my dry skin in the winter to cut down itching. Putting a light layer on right after a shower locks in the moisture in the skin and is a big help. Using a towel gets the water off the outside but the skin is still moist under the petrolatum.

The N95 mask fits tighter with strong rubber bands attached to a thicker filter to screen out microbes. This same filter material is put in air filters too. Compare with the surgical mask (commonly blue/green) which is a thin, special paper, with ear loops and there is leaking of air around the edges with inspiration and expiration—I am wearing one right now. A new study showed that both masks might be the same in protecting health care workers in transmitting Covid-19. More data is needed but this is encouraging.

Keep those questions coming and be safe!

Daniel Pearce, D.O., FACOI, AAHIVMS
Associate Professor of Medicine, Loma Linda University School of Medicine HIV, Hepatitis B,C, Transgender, Suboxone Specialist, Neighborhood Health (Riverside, Hemet), Loma Linda SACH (San Bernardino) Member, Coachella Valley Clinical Research Initiative