Hate or Fear the Dentist?

Electrical Currents Could Heal Cavities, No Drill Needed -Plus, they’re way more effective than traditional fillings.

Putting the recent clown scare aside, dentists may have the most feared profession out there. Not only do they stick their latex-y hands in your mouth while asking you complex questions; they also literally drill into your teeth on the regular. And while we can’t promise they’ll ever stop asking hard-to-answer questions, a new technology for healing cavities may soon make the drill obsolete.

The World Health Organization notes that nearly 100% of adults have dental cavities as a result of tooth decay. To some degree, your teeth naturally repair themselves through a remineralization process that rebuilds the barrier protecting teeth from bacteria. Your dentist’s drilling clears out the damaged area affected by bacteria buildup that’s broken down the tooth’s structure.

However, researchers at King’s College in London have been working on a process that uses low-frequency electrical currents to promote the self-healing process of damaged teeth.

This new technology, called “electrically accelerated and enhanced remineralization” aims to aid the process when the damage can’t be repaired naturally.

A simulated image of a cavity (in red) shrinking during the new remineralization process. | King’s College London

The British researchers say that dentists would hold a small device over the affected tooth that would emit electrical pulses, unnoticeable to the patient, that push minerals back into the tooth. The treatment is expected to take about the same amount of time as a traditional filling would, with similar costs. The no-drill treatment could be available in your dentist’s office in just three years.

The process should also be significantly more effective than traditional fillings, which eventually need to be replaced. The electrical pulses would heal the tooth itself, and do so quicker and more effectively than any other forms of remineralization.

Without a drill in hand, dentists may soon be a lot less scary, though I’m sure the clowns would be happy to step up their game.  Thanks to Erin Klabunde.


Personally I have no issue with the dentist, but I know a lot of people who don’t go because they are scared to death for one reason or another.  If this technology pans out, the only obstacle I could see is the inevitable refusal of insurance companies to cover the expense because that is what insurance companies see to really enjoy doing.  HMMM

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Do You Work At A Desk All Day?

duck-foot-mobileIf you work at a desk all day do this quick test.

Stand up and look at your toes.

Are they pointed out like a ducks feet?

I probably don’t have to tell you this, but you have tight hip flexors, which is one way your body is harmed by sitting at a desk all day.  It’s time for you to start stretching.

This October 24th article from Men’s Health Magazine is one you might want to take a look at or you can read on and watch the video below.  I’d actually rather you read on 😉

In just a few one minute sessions throughout your day you an undo the tangle your muscles have become while sitting at your desk which will ease the pain in your knees, hips & back and improve your results at the gym.

The stretch is called the “elevated pigeon stretch.”  The elevated pigeon stretch:

  • opens hips
  • helps get “duck feet” realigned when standing
  • reduces lower back pain
  • reduces knee pain
  • improves performance on squats and dead lifts
  • helps you run faster
  • helps you jump higher

If you are at all familiar with Yoga, then you recognize this as a variation of pigeon pose.  Changing the height can alter how it feels in your hips. 

You can do it during the day in minute breaks at your desk, before a lower body workout, or even during commercial breaks while you’re watching TV.

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Make-A-Wish Foundation Gives 12 Year Old Boy Explosive Best Day Ever!

make-a-wish-logo

The Make-A-Wish Foundation is one of those charities that I truly admire.  They have entirely altruistic intentions and I’ve never heard of an athlete, celebrity or organization that has turned down a request to help grant the wish of child suffering from a life threatening illness or injury.  In the United States alone, on average, a Wish is granted every 35 minutes!  Since it started in 1980, they have granted more than 270,000 wishes!

“A wish come true helps children feel stronger, more energetic, more willing and able to battle their life-threatening medical conditions. For many, the wish marks a turning point in the fight against their illnesses. Doctors, nurses and other health professionals say, the wish experience works in concert with medicine to make their patients feel better emotionally and even physically. That is why wishes matter. That is why we grant wishes.”

Did you know?

johncenamawfProfessional wrestler John Cena holds the title for the most wishes granted by a single individual, with over 500 wishes. Singer Justin Bieber has volunteered in over 250 wishes.

I saw this article about a recently granted “Wish” in Men’s Health Magazine and Dan Roe did it so well I’m sharing it in his exact words!

12-Year-Old Leukemia Patient Blows Stuff Up In Most Epic Make-A-Wish Ever

Like any good kid, he just wanted to see some explosions

December 2, 2016
“My name is Declan, I’m 12, and my wish was to blow something up.”Those were the words of a young leukemia patient from Sydney, Australia, who had just undergone 7 months of chemotherapy. During his chemo treatments, Declan was approached by the Make-A-Wish foundation, which wanted to know about his idea of the best day ever.  He responded as any young boy—hell, any grown man—would: He wanted to get his pyro on and see some dope explosions, according to Metro in the U.K

Vitamin D Does What?

gotmilk2

When I was little my Mom told us we needed to drink our milk to grow big and strong.  And, over the years there have been catchy advertising campaigns asking if we, “Got Milk?” and reminding us that, “Milk, it does a body good.

But besides building strong teeth and bones with all of the calcium that I knew milk had, I never had a clue what other benefits came from getting the Vitamin D that dairy is a primary provider of.

  • Without adequate Vitamin D, your body cannot absorb calcium for building teeth and bones and keeping them strong
  • Scientists have linked low Vitamin D levels to certain cancers, heart disease and other chronic diseases
  • Obese men, women and children are 35% more likely to be lacking Vitamin D than normal weight people
  • A 2000 study in the American Journal of Obesity found that obesity makes Vitamin D deficiency worse because being obese limits the body’s ability to properly convert sunlight and dietary food sources into a useable resource
  • A 2015 Spanish study in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism linked lower Vitamin D levels in those with Diabetes or considered pre-Diabetic, especially if they were obese
  • Lupus, a chronic inflammatory disease where the body’s immune system attacks  itself, is closely tied to a deficiency of Vitamin D that comes from the patient’s inability to absorb it naturally from the sun combined with the used of corticosteroids which further deplete the body of Vitamin D
  • Expectant mothers who maintain high Vitamin D levels are less likely to deliver pre-term babies
  • Patients stricken with Multiple Sclerosis who maintained higher Vitamin D levels at 6, 12 and 24 months saw a slower progression of the disease
  • Women between the ages of 27 and 44 with the highest intake of Vitamin D (in addition to higher calcium) see the lowest incidence of debilitating PMS symptoms
  • Some scientists believe that there is a link between low levels of Vitamin D and the occurrence of Inflammatory Bowel Disease
  • Women who experience excessive hair loss often have an accompanying Vitamin D deficiency
  • Eczema symptoms worsen in the drier months of winter when there is less sun to get Vitamin D absorption and can be easier to live with if an oral supplement is taken
  • 80% of hip fracture patients are Vitamin D deficient
  • Children who took 1200 IU of Vitamin D each day for 4 months during the winter were 40% less likely to contract Influenza Type A
  • Nearly 1/3 of Americans are Vitamin D deficient

It is estimated that nearly 50% of adults worldwide suffer needlessly from Vitamin D deficiency.  The body can produce sufficient Vitamin D3 with sun exposure on bare skin for 5-10 minutes 2-3 times per week.  Those with darker skin tones and those who wear a SPV of 30 or more get 95% less Vitamin D from the sun.  In order for the body to make the maximum use of the UVB rays necessary to produce Vitamin D in the body, there needs to be direct skin exposure.  Another way to increase the body’s Vitamin D stores is to consume a daily Vitamin D3 supplement or any of the foods high in Vitamin D like:

  • Cod liver oil, 1 tablespoon: 1,360 IU
  • Herring, fresh, raw, 4 ounces: 1,056 IU
  • Swordfish, cooked, 4 ounces: 941 IU
  • Raw maitake mushrooms, 1 cup: 786 IU
  • Salmon, sockeye, cooked, 4 ounces: 596 IU
  • Sardines, canned, 4 ounces: 336 IU
  • Fortified skim milk, 1 cup: 120 IU
  • Tuna, canned in water, drained, 3 ounces: 68 IU
  • Egg, chicken, whole large: 44 IU
  • Vitamin D and Calcium Fortified Orange Juice

The ideal daily levels of Vitamin D are currently set at:

  • Infants 0-12 months – 400 IU (10 mcg)
  • Children 1-18 years – 600 IU (15 mcg)
  • Adults to age 70 – 600 IU (15 mcg)
  • Adults over 70 – 800 IU (20 mcg)
  • Pregnant or lactating women – 600 IU (15 mcg).

d3My doctor has me take 2000 IU of Vitamin D3 daily and also has me take 250 mg of Magnesium to help my body absorb the Vitamin D.  The limit recommended for vitamin D is 4000 IU per day. National Institutes of Health (NIH) says that vitamin D toxicity is unlikely at daily intakes below 10,000 IU/day.

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Booze is Good For Late Night Laughs

flipcupThis morning a tease of a Page Six article: NBC worried Jimmy Fallon’s boozing got ‘out of control’ grabbed my attention.  I love Jimmy Fallon and some nights fight to stay awake just to see him so I can go to sleep giggling. Thankfully it linked straight to the article so I could skip the main page headline and picture of Kim Kardashian. GAG!

Since the late night guards changed a few years ago from Leno and Letterman to Kimmel, Fallon and Colbert, the show content has, not surprisingly, changed as well.

carnakthemagGone are the Johnny Carson days with his, boisterously laughing from the sidelines, sidekick Ed McMahan, and his orchestra, led by Doc Severinsen.  The bygone “Mad Men” era of weeknight cocktail parties when people stayed up to watch the 11:00 news and couldn’t wait to see who Johnny’s guests would be each night!  It was accepted and even slyly joked that his coffee cup, and those of his guests, held things other than coffee while they:

  • Talked about movies
  • Tame news topics
  • The host or a guest up and coming comedian made jokes
  • The guest might sing a song to the accompaniment of the orchestra
  • The host did skits that were aimed at a generation of adults that thought, Carnac the Magnificent, dropping pumpkins from the tops of buildings, or a man with a sledgehammer smashing watermelons was entertainment

Now ratings are the king.

poopwaterwithhgatesGeneration X and Millennials aren’t likely to tune into late night shows to see a host drone on about politics, to hear a celebrity talk about their latest movie, or, God forbid, reality show.  They will tune in to watch Jimmy Fallon drink poop.

Jimmy Fallon has been very good for NBC.  His admittedly drunken, or maybe just buzzeddrivingheavily buzzed (but kids, as the commercials say: Buzzed driving IS drunk driving!), exploits on the air brought in viewers they had, lost in the post Carson, Jay Leno years to CBS when David Letterman cut into their late night dominance.

martiniswithfergieFallon has a freshness, he’s funny, witty, creative, can carry a tune, he is Gen X, and has a huge network of Gen X and Millennial friends, which is the demographic NBC needed to grab.

While viewers obviously don’t want to see Fallon injure himself, get divorced or get fired, they do tune in to see him:

  • Perform duets with Justin Timberlake and other singers
  • Drink Poop Water with Bill Gates
  • Do Lip-Sync battles with the stars
  • Play Flip-Cup with Margot Robbie
  • Make and drink fancy martinis with Fergie
  • Host Celebrity Drinko (They all want to play)

For what it’s worth, the Page Six article does include a quote from NBC downplaying and denying any suggest that they are upset or questioning the host of the Number 1 rated late night show: “Bob Greenblatt, chairman of NBC Entertainment, told us, “Jimmy is one of NBC’s biggest assets, and we’re extremely proud that ‘The Tonight Show’ continues to be the late-night leader in all metrics, including ratings and social-media awareness. He’s in a class by himself, and we’re also looking forward to him hosting the Golden Globes in January. As a producer and star he delivers over 200 hours of television a year, and any suggestion that we have concerns about his behavior or have given him any kind of ‘warning’ is completely false.”

NBC can make sure he’s safe on the set and can insist he use a driver on their time to and from the studio, etc.  From what the article on Page Six says, it appears he is taking the steps to make sure he stays in control during the rest of the time.  As long as all parties are safe, I say to those commenting from the peanut gallery, “Stop.”  Hmmm

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Fat Cell Reduction Without Drugs!

I’m feeling chubby and scientific today….a very dangerous combination!

yoda_swsbFew of us regular folk work out for the sheer enjoyment of it.  Most of us do it because we need to.  I like the end results, but to be honest, if I could sit on my butt, drink wine and eat comfort food with the same result, I’d choose the latter.  Unfortunately my biology doesn’t work that way (THANKS MOM!), so, as Yoda would say, “Work out I must.”

Thanks to a discovery I read today from an article in Health Magazine, there might just be a little more motivation to get my workout on a little more often: it seems that not only does a good workout put your body to work burning icky brown fat, but research shows that the release of the hormone irisin during exercise is thought to do double duty by stopping your body from forming new fat cells.  Hallelujah!

Soon after the disovery of the existence of FNDC5,  A.K.A. “irisin“, scientists began disputing whether irisin is just an inert, naturally ocurring hormone or if the human body is actually capable of increasing production and circulating it via exercise.

In 2015, attempting to settle the dispute once and for all, Spiegleman and the rest of the Harvard team went back to work and conducted more precise testing using a technique called quantitative mass spectrometry to isolate the irisin protein.

pauley-perrette-aka-abby-sciuto-ncis-girls-25700162-1024-768For those of us not at the leading edge of scientific discovery think:  Abby Sciuto of NCIS and her, frequently mentioned, “Major Mass Spec,” tool used for breaking down chemical components when the team is solving a crime.

PowerPoint PresentationOnce the protein was isolated they were able to conduct a more precise 12 week study comparing the amount of irisin present in subjects who were sedentary to the amount present in the subjects who participated in a measured amount of aerobic interval training in the same 12 week period.

Their findings were published in the Aug. 13, 2015 issue of the Journal Cell Metabolism (Cell Metabolism, Vol. 22, Issue 4, p734–740), finally settling the lack of concensus.

The data concluded:

  1.  The amount of irisin present in the blood of the sedentary subjects was 3.6 nanograms per mililiter of blood at the beginning and the end of the 12 weeks;
  2. The amount of irisin present in the blood of the participants in the aerobic training increased from 3.6 nanograms per mililiter of blood at the beginning to  4.3 nanograms per mililiter at the end of the 12 weeks (23.96% increase); and
  3. The 23.96 increase could be directly attributed to the amount of exercise the non-sedentary study participants completed.

That bit of science was good enough for me, so, while I toiled over the citations and details (plus the fun Yoda & Abby Sciuto references), I pulled my dusty Cubii under desk elliptical machine out and decided to create some irisin while I worked.

cubiiIn a really shameless, totally unsolicited plug, I backed this fun device when it was under prodution as a Kickstarter campaign and then had to have major foot surgery, so it’s been sitting idle for about 4 months.  It connects to my iPhone (via app), syncs with Fitbit, and is a non-impact way to not let your desk job ruin your good health!

In 125 minutes (2 hours 5 minutes) the health results for my semi-sedentary, Cubii workout while researching/blogging were more than I expected, although I was admittedly dripping wet when I finished:

  • Burned 1243 Calories
  • Took 14,244 Strides
  • Logged 5.84 Miles from my dining room table & without shoes!

My only complaint with the Cubii software is that the calories burned comes in much lower than my Garmin Vivofit 2 (so, of course I am using the Garmin count) Hmmm.  It gave me a good tally, but next time I’ll put my heart rate monitor on for an even more accurate calorie burning count.

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Something For the Men

And by “for the men,” of course I mean for the benefit of the women as well.  Hmmm

Rachael Schultz at Men’s Fitness Magazine did a great job of getting to the nitty gritty of this article, and I’ve included the link so you can read ALL about it, but for my purposes, I’ll just summarize the list of supplements that could help a guy keep his flag pole straight up instead of having to go see a doctor about a prescription for a Viagra.

The Best Supplements For Your Penis

As many as 30 million American men suffer from Erectile Dysfunction, and one in four who seek treatment for ED are actually under the age of 40, according to a study in The Journal of Sexual Medicine.

ED can be caused by a handful of things, but one thing’s for sure: You need a healthy supply of the neurotransmitter nitric oxide (NO) to get and maintain an erection. NO is produced in nerve tissue and helps jolt your Johnson by relaxing the smooth muscle so blood can fill the penis. After the initial release of NO, your body releases a cascade of chemicals—including more of the neurotransmitter—to help keep you hard and happy, according to a study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

The problem comes when your body can’t produce enough nitric oxide to get and keep you going. Meds like Viagra fix this problem, but herbs, vitamins, and amino acids have been eliminating erection problems long before the magic pill came around.

One caveat: Even though these supplements are all natural, vitamins and amino acids can interact with other medications, so be sure to talk to your doc before you add anything to your daily routine—especially since countless studies have shown ED is typically linked to larger health problems, including heart disease.

#1 L-Arginine: L-arginine, or arginine, is an amino acid found in red meat, poultry, fish, and dairy products that helps expand blood vessels and increase blood flow. “The body uses this semi-essential amino acid as the primary building block for nitric oxide,” explains Harry Fisch, M.D., clinical professor of urology and reproductive medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College/New York Presbyterian Hospital.

While the rationale behind why it would work is airtight, the research on arginine’s actual effect on erectile dysfunction is slim, points out Charles Walker, M.D., assistant professor of urology and cofounder of the Cardiovascular and Sexual Health clinic at Yale University. But given its solid safety profile, minimal side effects, and potential benefit on heart disease, it’s worth a try, he adds, especially when taken in conjunction with other herbs on this list, which studies have shown can be more effective.

However, you might actually be better off going one step back in the chain reaction and taking a L-citrulline supplement. While your body converts L-arginine to nitric oxide, it also metabolizes it too fast when the amino acid is taken in an oral supplement, according to a 2011 study from the University of Foggia in Italy. L-citrulline, which the body converts to L-arginine, is actually a better option to follow the same metabolic pathway and serve as a treatment for ED, the same study found.

#2 – Vitamin D: According to a study at Johns Hopkins University, Men who are Vitamin D deficient are 32% more likely to experience trouble getting it up.  Vitamin D is crucial for keeping the endothelial cells that line the blood vessels healthy.  If they aren’t healthy they can clog the vessels and restrict blood flow. No or low blood flow = No hard on.

#3 – Yohimbine: Enhances sexual performance by blocking certain neurotransmitters in the brain and increasing the release of nitric oxide in the cavernosal nerves of the penis.  When combined with L-arginine, yohimbine usually is successful in helping men achieve an erection, but it can raise blood pressure and anxiety levels, so do check with a doctor first.

#4 – Horny Goat Weed (A.K.A. epimedium): Helps improve the erection by inhibiting PDE-5 and increasing nitric oxide synthase.  This basically is exactly what Viagra does.

#5 – Vitamin B3 (niacin): Improves erectile function in men with high cholesterol by reducing inflammation and increasing blood flow.  B-3 is also important in the production of sex hormones and is best when taken in combination with L-arginine and propionyl-L-carnitine.

#6 – Panax Ginseng: Helps create harder, longer lasting erections, and improve testosterone levels which also boosts libido.

#7 – Folic Acid: This B Vitamin stimulates nitric oxide.  A Turkish study showed that men with ED also suffered from low folic acid.

#8 – Ginkgo Biloba: Helped counteract sexual dysfunction caused by the use of anti-depressants in 76% of patients experiencing the side effect.

Who knows, maybe there would be less need for the anti-depressants if their penises were working.  Hmmm

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