Volume 11, Letter 43 Coronavirus Update 46

 October 11th, 2021

The 4th wave is over in North Carolina.

If you have had 2 doses of an mRNA vaccine, you have a very very small risk of a significant hospitalization and almost no chance of death from the Delta variant based on statistics overall.

Being Unvaccinated now is the greatest risk factor for a negative outcome. Advancing age and co morbid disease add layers of risk on top of the vaccination status

Latest numbers google/CDC

We are continuing to see that the lambda, gamma and mu variants are not an issue yet and likely will not be in the United States as delta is outcompeting them.

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It came to me this Morning

As I was sitting outside on the back porch thinking this morning, I came across a memory that meant a lot to me and also predicts a child's outcome to some extent. I once told the story of my childhood musical decision in 3rd grade. My parents ushered me into a large gymnasium at Hagan Elementary School littered with every instrument from the ukulele at one end to the xylophone at the other. When my siblings made the same walk of choice, they chose the violin and the flute respectively.

Then there was little old scrawny 8 year old me. I passed with a huge smile on my face every instrument. "this one?" my father would say. "How about this one?"

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A new and interesting book is out: How to raise kids who aren't assholes!

October 4th, 2021

Raising kids is a mix of art and science and likely always will be. In this new book, Melinda Moyer looks at the science side of the equation.

The author writes: "One of the core questions I had was, “How do I raise my kids to be generous and kind?” A lot of what we hear is about the importance of teaching giving and generosity. But the research I kept coming across stemmed from how we talk about feelings. That’s surprising—why would that have anything to do with how generous children would become?

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Stress Psychiatry and the Intestinal Microbiome

 October 4th, 2021

Over a few upcoming podcasts we are going to take a deep dive with a few experts in the gut health space. In preparation for these discussions, I am going to highlight some of the literature on the related issues like this week:

Humans develop disease from many different routes including toxic exposures, genetics, poor nutrition, injury, microbial exposures and much more. One of the biggest risk factors for the development of disease is mental stress. Specifically, chronic stress of the psyche is traumatic to the cellular machinery of the body like the protective telomere tails of DNA strands or the functioning intestinal microbiome.

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Volume 11, Letter 42

 

 October 4th, 2021

One of my favorite podcasts was just launched yesterday with Dr. David Rakel. We discuss stress and maternal happiness. It is a joyous conversation as Dave is a fabulous speaker and even better teacher. There are few people in the world with his combined skill set. I have added some music to the podcast as an intro, still need to figure out how to do a voice over. Rookie contract still in effect it seems!

I hope that you join me and listen to Dr. David Rakel.

Apple Podcast
Amazon Music

 

 

23 and Me

September 27th, 2021

23 and Me has been working hard behind the scenes to obtain some solid scientific genetic evidence behind COVID risk.

In two studies published in MedRxIV over the past year, we see evidence based on over 1,000,000 gene analysis that blood type, ethnicity and metabolic risk factors are associated with a worse outcome. Blood group O is protective while A, as discussed in other studies, may be deleterious for health. The mechanism behind this effect is still up for debate.

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Coronavirus Update 45

September 27th, 2021

Wave four is over in our clinic as our test positivity rate has plummeted from the 30% range to less than 5%. We had a four week run of high volume COVID incidence with minimal moderate to almost no severe disease in kids. This is a blessing as the delta variant was a question mark for a little while there.

The best answer to slowing down the pandemic remains vaccination as we are now living in a world where hospitals have been overwhelmed leaving ICU beds unavailable. This is not just a covid unvaccinated person problem as I have had some people tell me.

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    Volume 11, Letter 41

September 27th, 2021

Coronavirus Update 45

The 4th wave appears over in North Carolina.

If you have had 2 doses of an mRNA vaccine, you have a very very small risk of a significant hospitalization and almost no chance of death from the Delta variant based on statistics overall.

Being Unvaccinated now is the greatest risk factor for a negative outcome. Advancing age and co morbid disease add layers of risk on top of the vaccination status

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A Beautiful Mind

September 20th, 2021

A Beautiful Mind

In 2001, Russel Crowe acted as John Nash In the Ron Howard movie, A Beautiful Mind. It is a classic story of love and effort conquering all. For those who do not remember the story, John Nash was a genius Princeton graduate mathematics student who produced a unique theory of equilibrium in non cooperative games which lead to major leaps in game theory, economic understanding of complex systems and much more including a Nobel Prize in Economics. He unfortunately began to suffer from paranoid schizophrenia that derailed his life and his work.

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Epigenetics - based on Podcast #3 with Randy Jirtle

September 20th, 2021
Link to the podcast if you missed it.

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Humans, like most organisms on earth, grow and maintain their biological systems through a complex interplay between the environment and their genes. Epigenetics is the study of the ability of environmental signals to silence or activate these genes, thus effecting cellular function and species survival. I was once given an analogy, by Dr. Randy Jirtle, that your genes are like a computer hard drive. They do nothing until the software inputs change activity. The environmental signals like food, chemicals, stress and much more are the putative software inputs for us. Good lifestyle inputs have been epidemiologically proven to reduce disease risk.

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Reader question:

September 13th, 2021

I hope you will be able to see this email. I wasn't sure how else to reach out to you. Thank you very much for your newsletter. I always look forward to receiving it.

I had a question about something you wrote. Can you elaborate on what you wrote below? How would I know if I had a poor vaccine response? Would a poor response be that there were no side effects or was having bad side effects a poor response? Everyone in my family that got the MRNA vaccines had zero effects other than slight headaches the next day. Our friends, after their second doses, were in bed the next three days and extremely tired and felt like they had the flu.

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Coronavirus Update 44

Spetember 13th, 2021

My current recommendations remain: 1) get vaccinated and take the guess work out of this as vaccination dramatically reduces death and hospitalization risk. 2) follow the links in the introduction above for an integrative approach to remaining immune solvent to reduce all cause infectious mortality risk. 3) live every day like it is your last by honoring your mission to be a great human while you love people around you and while you love yourself.

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Volume 11, Letter 3.0

September 13th, 2021

Coronavirus Update 44

The 4th wave has turned in North Carolina and in most of the country.

The reports are out there that breakthrough cases are roughly 1 per 5000 vaccinated persons. (Leonhardt D. 2021)

If you have had 2 doses of an mRNA vaccine, you have a very very small risk of a significant hospitalization and almost no chance of death from the Delta variant based on statistics overall.

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Dynamic Versus Static

September 6th, 2021

 The human body is an extremely dynamic machine processing and changing cellular metabolism real time millions of times a day based on need. We have incredible systems of redundancy in place to handle acute shifts in our perceived and real environment. This was evolutionarily necessary as food sources, temperature variations and general living conditions historically were in constant flux.

Today, we live in a world where we attempt to keep everything static for comfort. For example, 70 degrees F as an indoor temperature was not possible until the recent past.

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Type II Diabetes and Covid in Kids

 September 6th, 2021

The pandemic has taken an amazing toll on human health. According to two new studies that are not yet in print, the pandemic caused a doubling in diabetes in children. This is not a trivial matter as insulin resistance, diabetes, obesity and metabolic syndrome in general are the diagnostic diseases associated with increased risk for cancer, coronary artery disease and early death from issues like COVID. The antecedent triggers have been well studied and discussed in this newsletter. Sedentary behavior coupled to a high fat, high refined carbohydrate diet are the main drivers of disease and the pandemic forced many a child's hand. They were less likely to exercise and move during the poor quality zoom events. Physical education classes were non existent. Food quality plummeted from a poor school based place to a worse home based place.

If you missed it, listen or read the Insulin resistance newsletter from June 27th of this year to really gain a greater appreciation for the why we are here question.

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Hiking Season is Almost Here

September 6th, 2021

 Hiking is a favorite way for me to immerse myself in nature and contemplate all kinds of ideas for change and growth. As fall rounds into shape, get out in the beautiful countryside. Look far into the distance for relaxation. Smell the air and enjoy the freshness. Think about a better version of yourself,

 

Coronavirus Update 43

August 30th, 2021

My current recommendations continue: 1) get vaccinated and take the guess work out of this as this dramatically reduces death and hospitalization risk. 2) follow the links in the introduction above for an integrative approach to remaining immune solvent to reduce all cause infectious mortality risk. 3) live every day like it is your last by honoring your mission to be a great human while you love people around you and while you love yourself.

 It is time to address the elephant in the room again, obesity. We have continued to see the popular press dance around the obesity subject as we normalize the world of inflammatory lifestyle induced disease.

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Volume 11, Letter 37

 

August 30th, 2021

The vaccines are not working as well anymore hence the big 4th wave.

The delta variant now comprises most of the current cases in the United States and there are many more unvaccinated cases and now increasing vaccinated cases. To my knowledge, there are fleetingly few reported deaths in the US in vaccinated persons. Over the past few weeks the narrative has changed again with weaker vaccine data regarding breakthroughs.

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Immune Boosting Cold and Flu Prophylactic

August 23rd, 2021

Sometime around late fall, when flu season starts to hit and I begin to get e-mails from my kid's teachers informing me of bronchitis and stomach virus germs floating around the classroom, I begin to think preventatively as colder days keep us indoors and in close contact. One of my favorite immune boosting herbs is astragalus. It has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for thousands of years as an herbal treatment designed to make the body's natural defenses stronger. Studies have shown that astragalus root improves the function of white blood cells. In fact, it is used in cancer patients after chemotherapy to strengthen their immune systems. Astragalus root contains several compounds such as flavonoids, saponins, and polysaccharides that are thought to be responsible for its medicinal effects. Therapeutically astragalus root works as a preventive agent, helping to fend off viruses and bacteria before they make you sick.
I make this delicious astragalus pumpkin seed butter as an alternative nut butter spread in the winter months to give my family's immune system and added boost.

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Ten things not to do in your kitchen!

August 24th, 2021

1) Most importantly - do not cook or reheat in plastic. This includes using plastic wrap during microwaving, boiling in plastic bags or styrofoam. If you use a microwave, place a glass of water in the microwave to keep your food hydrated. The plastic residue can have endocrine disruptors in it.

2) Do not use metal utensils in questionably safe non stick cookware, i.e. teflon. Or, better yet, do not use non stick coated cookware. Ceramic appears to be a better cookware choice.

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