Health Advice



It Is No Laughing Matter

Health Advice / Scott LaFee /

Coulrophobia is the fear of clowns. You know, those face-painted fellows whose primary job is to spread happiness and joy. Outside of a Stephen King novel, why should clowns inspire fear?

A new study in Frontiers in Psychology suggests an answer. University of South Wales researchers surveyed 528 people who expressed a fear of clowns or the ...Read more

Cheeky Medications

Health Advice / Scott LaFee /

Many drugs today are based on large molecules, which can't be taken in tablet form because they would either break down in the digestive tract or remain too large to reach the bloodstream.

For these drugs, the only delivery system that works is injection. Ouch!

But Swiss researchers are testing a new system: suction cups.

They work like this:...Read more

Say 'AI'

Health Advice / Scott LaFee /

The FDA has already approved eight new dentistry products or tools based on artificial intelligence. The idea is that AI software will help dentists more quickly and precisely spot decay and bone loss that can lead to gum disease and propose treatments earlier.

That might mean fewer more expensive root canals or implants later, but skeptics ...Read more

Banning Together

Health Advice / Scott LaFee /

In October, California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a bill into law banning four common food additives: Red Dye No. 3, potassium bromate, brominated vegetable oil and propylparaben.

That might not seem like news to the rest of the country, but what nearly 40 million Californians eat (or don't eat) has an impact on pretty much everybody else. It's...Read more

This Fall, Don't Fall

Health Advice / Scott LaFee /

In 2021, according to the latest data from the CDC, 100 older adults (age 65-plus) died from falls every day. Nonfatal falls were higher among women than among men, but fall-related death rates were higher among men than among women. Fall rates have steadily risen in recent years.

Falling is not an inevitable part of aging. It can be ...Read more

Which is Witch

Health Advice / Scott LaFee /

If you happened to reside in Salem, Massachusetts, in 1692-93, being a witch (or simply being accused of being one) was bad for your health. You would be tried and, if found guilty, imprisoned and/or executed.

Over the course of the infamous Salem Witch Trials, which ran for 15 months, 19 persons were hanged and one killed by torture. Five ...Read more

The Other Half Is Crazy

Health Advice / Scott LaFee /

A Lancet Psychiatry study that analyzed responses from a 21-year-long World Health Organization survey projects that half of the world's population will develop a mental disorder by the age of 75, ranging from major depressive disorder and anxiety to substance abuse and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorders.

Most of these mental health ...Read more

Postpartum Depression Drug

Health Advice / Scott LaFee /

One in eight women experiences symptoms of postpartum depression following childbirth, including feelings of sadness, guilt and worthlessness, and in severe cases, thoughts of harming themselves or their newborns.

The FDA recently approved the first oral drug specifically developed to treat maternal mental health, called Zurzuvae. The pill is...Read more

It Might Be a Long Weight

Health Advice / Scott LaFee /

Weight loss drugs such as Ozempic and Wegovy are proving extremely effective and popular, but they're also very, very expensive, with list prices of $900 a month. And they're meant to be taken indefinitely.

This year, an estimated 1.7% of people in the US have been prescribed a medication like Ozempic (originally designed to treat diabetes) ...Read more

Take a Biten of Chitin

Health Advice / Scott LaFee /

Chitin is a dietary fiber found abundantly in the exoskeletons of insects and crustaceans, i.e., the shells of crabs and lobsters. New research suggests that chomping down on chitin (crustaceans, if not insects) may be good for digestion, triggering an immune response that is linked to less weight gain, reduced body fat and resistance to ...Read more

Sweet Notes

Health Advice / Scott LaFee /

Persons with diabetes (see Stories for the Waiting Room below) have trouble maintaining healthy levels of insulin in their blood, which requires some of them to externally supplement through injections or a pump. To make that process easier, researchers have been investigating implanting insulin-producing designer cells in capsules that can be...Read more

Sleepless and Alone

Health Advice / Scott LaFee /

A new study of 9,430 adults aged 50 and older found a significant link between loneliness and insomnia symptoms, such as difficulty falling and staying asleep or waking up too early in the morning.

Loneliness can spark insomnia symptoms through different pathways, such as increased stress, anxiety and heightened vigilance (an elevated state ...Read more

Horse Sense

Health Advice / Scott LaFee /

A new study reports that adolescents who are inpatients at opioid addiction treatment centers are more likely to be offered horseback riding therapy than given full access to a common, highly effective addiction medication called buprenorphine.

The study found just 10.6% of facilities offered buprenorphine initiation and continued treatment ...Read more



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