The common cold - it blows.

So THAT’S Why They Call It a Cold!

A hundred years ago, doctors might have called it “coryza.” Today, they speak of URI (upper respiratory infection) or viral rhinitis. You probably call it the common cold. Any way you label it, though, you’re in for five to ten days of sniffling, sore throat, and miserable fatigue.

Why “cold”? Before the dawn of our understanding of infectious organisms,

Flu Vaccine: Do the Experts Agree?

Influenza season is here – cough, fever, sore throat, and body aches. And the message is clear all around us: get your flu shot. It’s available at clinics, pharmacies, and even on-site at some workplaces. And the promise is that this will shield us against getting sick this winter. The American Academy of Pediatrics and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend universal influenza vaccination.

Another Reason to Think Twice About Antibiotics

Miracles of modern medicine, antibiotics have saved countless lives over the past century.  It is well-known that these wonder drugs have become overused in recent decades, leading to the development of antibiotic-resistant “super  bugs,” such as MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus).  Our quick-fix society has brought this about by running to the doctor with every cough,

Should You Be Frightened of Fructose?

For years, we’ve been told that the secret to weight management (and, therefore, prevention of chronic degenerative diseases) is simply to eat less and exercise more.  In fact, that may be the extent of your medical doctor’s knowledge about nutrition and lifestyle.  More and more evidence has been accumulating that shows that we are not just machines with a “calories in –

The Health Secret “They” Don’t Want You to Know

If you are like most Americans, you are not following this critical health practice.  Who is “they”?  In this case, people peddling the latest complicated fad diet.

The secret is not-so-secret:  eat your veggies.  I have written previously that one of the simplest things we can do to improve our health and longevity is to ensure that we’re eating plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables.  

Beyond the Paleo: Is it Really the Perfect Diet?

There has been explosive interest in the last few years in eating like our ancient, pre-agricultural ancestors:  following a hunter-gatherer pattern that would have been the norm in the Paleolithic Era (the “stone age”).  The idea behind this is that agriculture has only been around for about 10,000 years, which is barely a blip on the evolutionary time scale.

Time to Throw Out Your Herbs – the New York Attorney General Says So

Ah, yes.  This is one of those headlines that rears its head every few months — another “supplement effectiveness disproved, once and for all!”  The New York attorney general recently released a report, along with cease-and-desist letters, for the herbal supplements sold by four major retailers.  The retailers were Walgreens, Wal-Mart,

Is Your iPad Killing You?

Regular readers and patients know the importance of a good night’s sleep to health.  Low quality sleep, and getting fewer than seven hours of sleep per night, have been associated with chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease, as well as shorter lifespan. Two recent studies highlight some of the hidden thieves of sleep in our modern world.