Scott LaFee: Don’t Think Too Hard About This | Your Health

By Scott LaFee | November 27, 2019 | 11:55 p.m.

We’ve all heard the admonitions about how preserving mentally energetic boosts total well being and longevity. A brand new examine means that busy brains would possibly imply shorter lifespans, and extreme mind exercise could possibly be a danger issue for dementia.

Researchers documented the phenomenon throughout a number of species — from people to mice to roundworms (!) — and stated it seems individuals who stay longer could have a regulatory gene that extra successfully quiets pointless nerve exercise.

They concede their findings seem counterintuitive and the total story in people is more likely to be rather more difficult. So don’t cease simply but taking these international language classes, doing Sudoku and studying this column.

Body of Knowledge

Adults have roughly 20,000 pores on their faces.

Get Me That, Stat!

Of the 195 international locations all over the world, 119 had been discovered to have an inadequate provide of blood models for well being care and emergency use in 2017, based on a brand new examine printed in The Lancet Haematology.

Higher revenue international locations had been largely capable of meet demand, however poor international locations weren’t. South Sudan, for instance, had a necessity 75 occasions higher than the nation’s provide.

It’s estimated that 10 to 20 donors can provide sufficient blood to assist 1,000 individuals.

Stories for the Waiting Room

The 1992 guide Sharks Don’t Get Cancer spawned an enormous improve in shark searching as individuals sought shark components as a remedy for varied malignancies.

In reality, sharks do get most cancers, and a number of research have discovered no proof that utilizing shark cartilage or different tissues is an efficient remedy for any sort of most cancers.

Doc Talk

Cachexia: A fancy syndrome related to an underlying sickness, corresponding to most cancers or AIDS, that ends in ongoing muscle and weight reduction that can not be totally reversed with dietary supplementation.

Phobia of the Week

Nephophobia: Fear of clouds

Never Say ‘Diet’

The Major League Eating report for poutine is 28 kilos in 10 minutes, held by Joey Chestnut of San José.

Poutine is a Canadian dish consisting of French fries and cheese curds topped with brown gravy. In Quebec, the place it’s believed to originate, a plate of poutine is routine delicacies.


“A man’s health can be judged by which he takes two at a time — pills or stairs.” — Joan Welsh

Medical History

This week in 1974, Dr. Christiaan Barnard of Cape Town, South Africa, carried out the world’s first “twin heart” operation, implanting a second human coronary heart alongside the previous one in a 58-year-old man.

In the process, Barnard eliminated solely the diseased portion of the affected person’s coronary heart — one-third of the left ventricle. He then joined the left atrium to the atrium of a second donor coronary heart.

The operation was thought-about much less radical than complete coronary heart alternative and was performed with no heart-lung machine. With each hearts beating, the second acted as a booster for the primary.

The affected person died 4 months later, nevertheless, of unrelated causes.

Perishable Publications

Many, if not most, printed analysis papers have titles that defy comprehension. They use specialised jargon, advanced phrases and opaque phrases like “nonlinear dynamics.” Sometimes they don’t, and but they’re nonetheless onerous to determine.

Here’s an precise title of precise printed analysis examine: “Stimulae Eliciting Sexual Behavior.”

In this case, the particular matter was the sexual conduct of turkeys, during which a pair of researchers at Pennsylvania State University within the early 1960s needed to know simply how minimal turkey stimulae could be to nonetheless do the job. So they created a mock feminine fowl and progressively eliminated components of the mannequin, assessing when a male turkey misplaced curiosity.

Finally, they acquired to only a stick-mounted head and neck, which the male turkey discovered simply as interesting a mate as a complete fowl.


Q: What does your spleen do?

A: The spleen is an organ positioned between the abdomen and diaphragm. It makes new white blood cells and cleans previous ones out of the physique. It’s additionally a spot the place immune cells congregate. Though these cells are unfold all through the physique, they generally want to speak with each other, which they do when assembly within the spleen or in lymph nodes.

An individual can stay with no spleen, however their immune system is considerably impaired. Some individuals have a second spleen, referred to as an adjunct spleen, that may be very small however could develop and performance when the principle spleen is eliminated.

Fit to be Tried

There are 1000’s of workout routines, and also you’ve solely acquired one physique — however that doesn’t imply you may’t attempt all of them:

It’s referred to as the Superman, a straightforward train to strengthen again, buttocks, hips and shoulders. Lie inclined (face down) on a flooring mat, legs prolonged, arms prolonged overhead with palms dealing with one another. Relax head to align with backbone.

Exhale, contract belly and core muscle groups and slowly and concurrently increase each legs and arms just a few inches off the ground. Avoid any rotational motion. Maintain head and torso place. Don’t arch again or increase head. Hold this place briefly.

Gently inhale, and decrease legs and arms to beginning positions with none motion in decrease again or hips. Repeat.

Med School

Q: How many sorts of tonsils are there?

A: Four. The palatine tonsils are those seen behind the throat. But there are additionally lingual tonsils (base of the tongue), tubal tonsils (across the opening of the Eustachian tube within the nasopharynx, which is the higher a part of the cavity behind nostril and mouth) and adenoid tonsils (excessive up within the throat behind the nostril).

All collectively, these tonsils kind Waldeyer’s ring, which serves as a gatekeeper to all issues getting into the airways and digestive tract, grabbing pathogens and averting ailments.

Last Words

“I will see you tomorrow, if God wills it.” — Pope John Paul I (1912-1978).

Apparently, God didn’t. Pope John Paul I suffered a coronary heart assault and was discovered useless in mattress with studying materials and his bedside lamp nonetheless lit. He had been pope for simply 33 days.

— Scott LaFee is a employees author at UC San Diego Health and the previous chief science author at The San Diego Union-Tribune, the place he coated science, drugs and expertise. Click right here to learn earlier columns. The opinions expressed are his personal.

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