Health & Spirit

Rich in Hype

Scott LaFee on

Take a pint of whole blood and extract all of its red blood cells and what's left is platelet rich plasma, a concentrate of platelets (cell fragments that promote clotting) and a variety of growth factors that proponents say stimulates healing when re-injected into soft tissue injuries.

The treatment is quite popular, especially with professional athletes and celebrities. NBA star Stephen Curry has used it on an ailing knee; Kim Kardashian gets "vampire facials," in which scores of micro needles inject PRP. The treatment supposedly stimulates collagen and elastin fibers, producing smoother, blemish- and wrinkle-free skin.

PRP treatment isn't new, but it's also largely unproven. In a recent published study, researchers surveyed what's empirically known about PRP treatments. Turns out, not much. They concluded that there's been so much media hype about PRP -- often focusing on celebrity use and endorsements -- that no one has needed to prove it actually works by investing in a proper clinical trial.

If it's good enough for the Kardashians...

Body of Knowledge

A normal breath takes five seconds: two to inhale, three to exhale.

Get Me That, Stat!

There are 3 million adults and 470,000 kids living with epilepsy, according to the Centers for Disease Control, or just over 1 percent of the U.S. population.

Number Cruncher

A large Dairy Queen Oreo Cookies Blizzard shake (500 grams) contains 1,010 calories, 333 from fat. It has 37 grams of total fat or 57 percent of the recommended total fat intake for a 2,000-calorie daily diet.


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