A recently published story in the BMJ  links the risk of breast cancer and all cancers to consumption of what are termed "ultra-processed" foods. These are foods that have been described thus:

Ultra-processed products are made from processed substances extracted or refined from whole foods – e.g. oils, hydrogenated oils and fats, flours and starches, variants of sugar, and cheap parts or remnants of animal foods – with little or no whole foods. Products include burgers, frozen pasta, pizza and pasta dishes, nuggets and sticks, crisps, biscuits, confectionery, cereal bars, carbonated and other sugared drinks, and various snack products. Most are made, advertised, and sold by...

One of the top trending Google searches at the time of this writing was "asparagine," one of the roughly 20 amino acids that make up the proteins in our bodies and in our food.

Why was this rather boring molecule that biology majors are forced to memorize grabbing international headlines? Because, according to the media, it causes cancer. And where can you find asparagine? It can be found in any food that contains protein -- which is a lot of foods -- including asparagus, the vegetable after which it was named.

Thus, asparagus causes cancer.

Think I'm joking? I'm not. This headline is from The Times of London:


One of the many problems with academia is that it allows nutcases to flourish.

Consider Columbia University. It employs both Dr. Oz, "America's Quack," and Mark Bittman, a former organic food warrior for the New York Times who was once described as a "scourge on science." UC-Berkeley has Joel Moskowitz on staff, a "wi-fi truther" who thinks that...

A judge in California is going to determine whether or not coffee causes cancer.

Think about that. We live in a society where judges and lawyers -- not medical doctors, scientists, or even a group of really clever AP biology high school students -- get to determine the credibility of biomedical research. The stakes are high: If coffee is deemed carcinogenic, then the State of California will be required to give up all pretense at common sense and sanity.

To give just a small flavor of the level of insanity California has reached, attorney Raphael Metzger and the non-profit Council for Education and Research on Toxics sued several coffee companies, alleging that their product causes cancer. For restitution, they want to slap a Proposition 65 label on coffee cups and, as...

In spite of having a face (and body) that only a mother could love, the naked mole rat, Heterocephalus glaber, (NMR) may provide valuable insights into the processes involved in both aging and cancer since they seem to have a low propensity for either one. Unusual among mammals, these creatures that live underground in desert areas of eastern Africa, have a social structure similar to that of hive-dwelling bees. Only one female, the queen, is capable of reproduction. The rest seem to function like worker bees, taking care of offspring and housekeeping chores.


NMR are...

President Donald Trump is fit for duty - medically, mentally, cognitively, psychologically, emotionally, physically and otherwise. In quite frankly the most transparent briefing on presidential health in recent memory, White House physician Rear Adm. Ronny Jackson confirmed this at a press conference yesterday whose Q&A portion lasted nearly an hour when he released a verbal and formally written medical assessment that reflects a thorough, comprehensive evaluation.

Dressed in his official U.S. Navy military uniform, Jackson made clear the President insisted on full disclosure, "He said, 'I want you to get out there and I want you to talk to them and I want you to answer every single question they have.' " He was told Press Secretary Sarah Sanders was to give him the podium...

Those in Hollywood are in a unique position to do tremendous good given their substantial platform. Unfortunately, with that megaphone comes immense responsibility. While many take that very seriously and share meaningful messages that can spread awareness about disease and its prevention, the speed of the news cycle and the endless modes of social media connection can disseminate misinformation in an instant-- with a global reach.

So, let’s take a look back this year at what we learned from Tinseltown--good, bad and indifferent.


Health Outreach

Jack Black and Ed Sheeran are among those who had the right idea because their efforts stemmed from an authentic and caring place.   


Recently, I had the pleasure of filming a segment on the top medical, science and technology innovations of 2017 at Reuters TV in Times Square, New York with host of CCTV Bianca Chen (video clip forthcoming).

It was an exciting year in the pursuit of the once impossible when it comes to medical developments. Here are some top picks that genuinely are changing the landscape:

1) Cancer

Immunotherapy takes the top spot as personalized treatments approach cancer cure in a whole new way. This year, there has been success in its use in leukemia and lymphoma, and now solid tumors are being added to the slate. Time will tell if the latter group will yield similar promising results. Though in its relative infancy, the achievements are being...

It's because of the stem cells.

Cornell University researchers determined that for testicular cancer, those cells are more capable of responding to chemotherapy, and they do so better than stem cells in other forms of cancer. And this effectiveness takes place with testicular cancer even after it metastasizes.

"We conclude that the chemosensitivity of TGCTs," or testicular germ cell tumors, the authors wrote in their study, "derives from the sensitivity of their cancer stem cells to DNA-damaging chemotherapy." The paper was published Tuesday in the journal Cell Reports.

Additionally, the findings, which used mouse models, are significant because determining why these...

Norwegian researchers just reported that the anticoagulant drug warfarin may have another important health benefit in addition to its traditional role— reducing the risk of cancer. Their report was published in JAMA Internal Medicine.

Millions of people around the world take warfarin — a drug that reduces the ability of blood to clot by interfering with vitamin K-requiring clotting factors. It has saved many lives by preventing the formation of clots that could travel to the brain and cause strokes or to the heart where they could cause heart attacks. People at high risk for clots include those who have had heart valves replaced or repaired or those with atrial fibrillation.