Health & Spirit


Scott LaFee on

Dietary fat has long been considered a dirty word and something to be avoided. But a new international study suggests that when it comes to living longer, the bigger villain may be overabundant carbohydrates.

The published PURE study looked at the eating habits of 135,000 adults in 18 countries representing diverse demographics over more than seven years. It found that participants with the highest dietary fat intake (35 percent of daily calories) were 23 percent less likely to have died during the study than those with the lowest fat intake (10 percent). Rates of various cardiovascular diseases were the same across the board, but strokes were less common among higher fat eaters.

The reverse was true for carb consumption. Consumers at the high end (77 percent carbs daily) were 28 percent more likely to have died than those as lowest (46 percent).

The study was observational, so it cannot prove cause and effect, but study authors said the findings suggest a longer lived diet would be rich in fruits, beans, seeds, vegetables and fats, with a bit of whole grain and very little in refined carbohydrates and sugars.

Body of Knowledge

The average person will grow six feet of nose hair over a lifetime.

Get Me That, Stat!

Consumers of marijuana are 75 times more likely than others to eat fast food five times or more in a given week, according to Consumer Research Around Cannabis, a national survey firm specializing in cannabis-related topics

Life in Big Macs

One hour of grooming (shaving, styling hair, brushing teeth, etc.) burns 136 calories, (based on a 150-pound person) or the equivalent of 0.2 Big Macs.


6.4: Amount, in billions of dollars, that U.S. pharmaceutical companies spent in 2016 on ads for prescription drugs

2: Number of countries in which direct-to-consumer pharmaceutical ads are legal (The other country is New Zealand.)

Sources: Kantar Media, National Institutes of Health

Stories for the Waiting Room

According to recent research at Northwestern and Georgetown universities respectively, an estimated 45 percent of moisturizers sold as "fragrance free" contain a fragrance and 83 percent of moisturizers sold as "hypoallergenic" contain a common allergen.

Doc Talk

Crump: To experience a sudden change for the worse, as in "That patient suddenly crumped and died."

Phobia of the week

Harpaxophobia - fear of being robbed

Never Say Diet

The Major League Eating record for pelmeni, a kind of Russian meat dumpling, is 274 in six minutes, held by Dale Boone. The name pelmeni derives from the ancient Komi language of Siberia and means "bread ear," which hopefully refers to the size and shape of the dumplings and not their original content.

Best Medicine

--Sponsored Video--

The scene: A courtroom during cross-examination of a wrongful death lawsuit.

Lawyer: "Before you signed the death certificate, had you taken the pulse?"

Pathologist: "No."

Lawyer: "Did you listen to the heart?"

Pathologist: "No."

Lawyer: "Did you check for breathing?"

Pathologist: "No."

Lawyer: "So, when you signed the death certificate, you weren't actually sure he was dead, were you?"

Pathologist: "Well, let me put it this way. The man's brain was sitting in a jar on my desk, but I guess it's possible he could be out there practicing law somewhere."


"Refuse to be ill. Never tell people you are ill; never own it to yourself. Illness is one of those things which a man should resist on principle at the onset."

--English writer Edward G. Bulwer-Lytton (1803-1837), who is best remembered for phrases like "the great unwashed, pursuit of the almighty dollar, the pen is mightier than the sword," and the opening line of his novel "Paul Clifford": It was a dark and stormy night.

Medical History

This week in 1832, Thomas Hodgkin, a 34-year-old physician, delivered a paper to the Medical and Surgical Society in London. Since he wasn't a member, the Society's secretary had to read it for him to the assemblage. Only eight members were present. The paper described an ailment involving swollen and dysfunctional lymph glands. It was initially ignored, but eventually was acknowledged as the first conclusive documentation of a cancer that now bears Hodgkin's name.

Med School

Q: What does cerebrospinal fluid do?

A: Your body produces about a half-cup of this clear fluid daily, circulating it in and around the brain and spinal cord where it serves a variety of functions. It allows the brain to essentially float within the skull, achieving neutral buoyancy so that the organ is not compressed by its own weight. It acts as a shock absorber as well, both for the brain and spinal cord. It helps regulate the distribution of substances between cells in the brain and clears away cellular waste products.

Last Words

"Tell my family and friends I love them. Tell the governor he just lost my vote. Y'all hurry this along, I'm dying to get out of here."

--Convicted killer Christopher Scott Emmett (1972-2008), just before his execution in Virginia by lethal injection (He had challenged the legality of lethal injections as cruel and unusual punishment. He lost.)


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