Dear Dr. K;

Dear Dr. K;

As you know I’m overweight and I’m always reading about the health liabilities of fat.  But recently, I saw something about brown fat being good for health.  Can you elaborate? Yes, I can, or at least I’ll give it my best shot.  Adipose tissue (fat) is an underappreciated and misunderstood vital organ in the human body.  It consists of two types of fat:  white adipose tissue (WAT) and brown adipose tissue (BAT).  In lean adults WAT accounts for 30 to…

Read More Read More

Microglia and COVID

Microglia and COVID

The last issue of this newsletter had an article about COVID brain studies in the UK.  A recent article in Science adds to these preliminary findings.  Neuroscientists in this country have noticed that the neurologic symptoms seen in many COVID patients (fatigue, brain fog, trouble remembering and headache) are very similar to those seen in other viral infections and with disorders such as myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS) and even with chemotherapy.  In addition to similar symptoms, the brains in…

Read More Read More

Drug Resistance is a Prolific Killer

Drug Resistance is a Prolific Killer

Bacterial infections that don’t respond to antibiotics are becoming a major cause of death around the world.  The British Medical Journal Lancet recently reported 1.3 million deaths globally due to antibiotic resistant infections.  This translates to 16.4 deaths per 100,000 people.  This is twice as many people than those who died from malaria (the fifth leading cause of death worldwide).   The bacteria that are the mischief makers include E. coli, Staph aureus, Clostridium difficile, Klebsiella spp, Acinetobacter baumannii, Pseudomonas…

Read More Read More

Getting Not-Ready-To-Quit Smokers to Quit

Getting Not-Ready-To-Quit Smokers to Quit

JAMA (Journal of American Medical Association) just published research on this quit smoking project.  After years of decline in the number of smokers in the US, sadly there is a major upsurge among American youth.  Currently 14% of adults use tobacco (cigarettes or E. cigarettes) while 24% of teens do.  The prevailing thought among psychologists has been that until a smoker is ready to quit the likelihood of motivating them or helping them is nil.  The JAMA article reflects research…

Read More Read More

Alpha-gal Revisited

Alpha-gal Revisited

Several years ago, this newsletter discussed a new form of anaphylaxis due to tick bites.  The syndrome is peculiar in several ways.  Most importantly the anaphylaxis is delayed from the exposure by several hours.  Also, it occurs after eating mammalian meat such as beef and pork.  Alpha-gal is a glycoprotein that is found in mammalian meats.  The patient becomes sensitized to the alpha-gal from a tick bite because the ticks secrete alpha-gal in their saliva when they bite humans.  In…

Read More Read More

Clusterin

Clusterin

Another molecule (Clusterin) has been discovered that protects the brain from inflammation and is generated by exercise.  Several years ago, neuroscientists discovered irisin as a protection for brain inflammation that is produced by exercise. The current concept regarding dementia is that it occurs due to chronic inflammation in the brain with resultant scar tissue (amyloid plaque).  In this regard scientists have studied patients with early dementia and have found an improvement in cognitive function via a daily exercise routine.   The…

Read More Read More

Dear Dr. K;

Dear Dr. K;

Thank you for keeping an open dialogue with me about Covid vaccines.  As you know, I opted against vaccination.  However, over Christmas I caught Covid, but luckily it was a mild flu like illness.  So, I guess I should be OK from here on out.  I’m glad your illness was mild, but I’m a little hesitant about predicting how things will play out in the future.  First of all, just as vaccination doesn’t provide iron-clad protection so too natural immunity…

Read More Read More

Gut Microbiome and Prostate Cancer

Gut Microbiome and Prostate Cancer

A recent article published in Science looked at the effect of gut microbiome and prostate cancer.  Obesity alters the gut flora.  It has been known for some time that obese men are more prone to prostate cancer.  Now, it seems there is a cause and effect.  A current treatment for prostate cancer is castration (to remove the driving force of testosterone) either chemical via anti-androgens or surgical.  This almost uniformly leads to a very good clinical response.  But in some…

Read More Read More

Ivermectin for Covid

Ivermectin for Covid

Ivermectin in an FDA approved drug for the treatment of intestinal strongyloidiasis (round worm) and onchocerciasis (filarial worm).  It is also used in veterinary medicine to treat parasites in pets and in livestock.  Because of significant use of Ivermectin off label to either try and prevent or to try and treat Covid, scientists have scrutinized its potential.  Of interest in vitro (in a test tube) Ivermectin does inhibit replication of the virus.  Unfortunately, in vivo (in actual patients) multiple studies…

Read More Read More

Transplant Immunology

Transplant Immunology

Since the first kidney transplant in 1950 and the first heart transplant in 1967 the field of transplant immunology has grown by leaps and bounds.  As successful as transplant medicine has become, there is still a major problem:  not enough donors.  This has led many scientists to explore the field of xenotransplantation, using non-human animals as a source for organs.  Other than the circumstance of receiving an organ from an identical twin, human to human transplants require immunosuppressive therapy to…

Read More Read More