Unifying theory as of September 2020
September 21st, 2020
Warning - very technical piece. I am attempting to put together a coherent hypothesis as to the pathophysiology of this fascinating disease. However, it explains a lot about risk and lifestyle choices mechanistically. We are learning a lot rapidly. There is no time to waste to reduce your risk and be a part of the 99%.
What do we know or better yet, what do we THINK that we know. This reminds me of the Donald Rumsfeld comment on the known knowns and the known unknowns and so on.
Coronavirus Update 19 Change is coming
September 21 , 2020
Latest numbers show that we are in a plateau phase. The previously untouched midwest is seeing some increased case volume. Cases are moving to the suburban and more rural areas that have seen little to no exposure. North Carolina peaked on July 23rd. No change in the knowledge that more than 80% of deaths are skewed toward the over 55 age group and 94% of all deaths occurred in a person with a co-morbid chronic health disease. The big question that remains is:
School food - Where did it all go wrong and can we right the ship?
September 14, 2020
We all remember the days of yesteryear when we cued up for the lunch line waiting for our gruel to be served to provide us with some sort of sustenance over the ensuing hours of school and sports or arts. We ate one meal a day at school, lunch. It was a starch, a protein and multiple vegetables and fruits. We ate and we lived. Obesity was rare. Picky eaters seemed rarer. I do not remember a single friend avoiding eating school food or a home packed lunch. We ate breakfast at home and rode the bus to school in our local community. We were not waking up at 4 or 5 am to catch the bus. We were not starving when we entered school after a long bus ride that began too early. What changed? When did school become primarily a source of calories and less about nourishment?
Coronavirus Update 18 A must read article in Medium from Thomas Smith called A supercomputer analyzed COVID 19.
September 6, 2020
Latest numbers show that we have seen massive drop-offs in deaths and cases in all of the formerly hard hit areas. The previously untouched midwest is seeing increased case volume. North Carolina peaked on July 23rd. More than 80% of deaths are skewed toward the over 55 age group and 94% of all deaths occurred in a person with a comorbid chronic health disease. As with the first newsletter on this topic, keep solace with the fact that there is a 99+% chance of survival for all of us.
NC death cases
Gluten and Oral Microbes
Aug 31st, 2020
There are tons of commensal or symbiotic bacteria found in oral saliva. Now we see research that one species can break down gluten compounds that cause an exaggerated immune response that is autoimmune for celiac disease or not traditionally described autoimmune for the non-celiac gluten sensitivity. Gluten peptides are typically resistant to the pancreatic digestive enzymes that mammals produce making humans more susceptible to immune reactions to intact gluten peptide fragments that leak into the sub endothelial space of the gut.
August 31, 2020
It has long been known that metabolic health corresponds to vaccine effectiveness as well as general immunity against disease. Elderly individuals fair poorly in both categories as aging is often associated with increased metabolic disease, decrease immune activation and antibody production. Most of these issues are related to lifestyle dietary choices as COVID19 has laid bare.
Children are much better at developing immune responses, however,
Where do we go from here?
Aug 22nd, 2020
Everything that was expected about COVID disease and outcomes has invariably been wrong. From containment, to death modeling, to public policy and so on. This is absolutely to be expected in a once in a hundred year pandemic. To quote Jeff Goldblum's character Dr. Ian Malcolm in Jurassic Park, "If there is one thing the history of evolution has taught us it's that life will not be contained. Life breaks free, it expands to new territories and crashes through barriers, painfully, maybe even dangerously, but, uh... well, there it is."
Why are we so afraid?
Aug 22nd, 2020
I read with interest a recent Lancet article related to obesity, COVID19 and shaming. The authors state that there is no benefit to the approach that the UK government has taken in regards to obesity and its associated mortality risk with COVID19 other than to blame and shame a population. They rightfully state that the UK government's thoughts were: "The new obesity strategy, published alongside the 'Better Health' campaign, led by Public Health England, intends to restrict advertisements and promotions of unhealthy foods, improve nutritional labelling of foods and drinks in restaurants and stores, and expand weight management services."
Coronavirus Update 17 Thank God for the thinkers when the politicians fail us! Peter Attia should be running the Department of Health and Human Services.
August 22 , 2020
Latest numbers show that we are all over the map with cases and deaths nationally. All of the former hotspots minus California are on the decline, while the formerly untouched midwest is on the rise. This is becoming a pattern. High burn infection rate turns into colder spot while the virus jumps to a new unaffected area. New York and the northeast continue to have little to no disease now after massive winter/spring disease. Florida, Georgia, Arizona and Texas are seeing major declines in cases and deaths after peaking last month. There have been similar daily deaths over the past few months despite the significantly higher number of cases. North Carolina peaked on July 23rd.
Aug 17th, 2020
When you study health, immunology and longevity as I have, you begin a process of understanding that genes and choice will match up when you look to the past for the answers of the future. In that context, I have heard from many people that they would like to hear about my experimentation with longevity and health in general. Dr. Cody thinks that all of this is for naught as I will get hit by a bus reading and walking as I am known to do. Oh well.
Peter Attia and Azra Raza
Aug 17th, 2020
From Dr. Peter Attia:
Azra Raza is a physician, scientist, author, and outspoken advocate for reconfiguring the current model of research in cancer. In this episode, Azra discusses the content of her book, The First Cell, which takes a critical look at the outdated models being used to study cancer resulting in a lack of progress in survival rates for cancer patients. Azra offers a solution which focuses on early detection and prevention, and she concludes with an optimistic outlook for the future of cancer research.
August 17, 2020
When a person suffers from eczema or a skin breakdown, they have a leaky barrier that can allow a chemical toxin, plant allergen or bacterial pathogen to slip into the immune sensitive area that causes a perturbation. We recognize this response as an inflammatory skin rash. In a time gone past, the exposure to chemicals was rare and these issues were also rare. Now we have a world filled with inhaled, ingested and topically applied chemicals for good and bad purposes.
Great resources for COVID 19
Aug 10th, 2020
First: My good friend Dr. Kathi Kemper has just published a lovely article on the HealthyChildren.org site about Mood boosting for children during the pandemic. Link
Second: Scientific American has done it again. An absolutely amazing pictorial experience regarding the many facets of SARS2 activity in humans. This website is a must visit for all of you. I am really serious. Awesome. Link
If They Must Go Online
Aug 10th, 2020
If they must go online, for which we disagree, then let's at least give them the best chance of a quality education.
What advice can we offer to the parents of the online only student to ease the burden of this teaching reality?
Treat school like a job for both child and parent! Structure and discipline are critical for success.
1) Get them back into the swing of school by waking up every morning, having a good nourishing breakfast and sitting down to class at 8 am. This also means that they need to be in bed by a reasonable hour
Coronavirus Update 16 Quick Hits Again Data, Data and More Data No Spin
August 10, 2020
Latest numbers show that North Carolina has not seen a spike in deaths. There have been similar daily deaths over the past few months despite the significantly higher number of cases. The Northeast continues to be stable and there are a few areas seeing mild increases. The hot spots in the South are cooling down. North Carolina peaked on July 23rd. As with the first newsletter on this topic, keep solace with the fact that there is a 99+% chance of survival for all of us.
A quick story
Aug 10th, 2020
I was driving north on I77 a few days ago and went to change lanes. During the end of the process of doing so, I heard a screeching sound prompting me to look in the rearview mirror at a small sports car flying upon my car. Fortunately, he stopped short of hitting me. Having not seen him when I looked back to change lanes, I could only assume that he was traveling in excess of 90 or more miles an hour. Needless to say, I was jolted and proceeded to move back to the right lane. This young man proceeded to pass me screaming expletives and hand gestures.
Non Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease, NAFLD Non Alcoholic Steatohepatitis, NASH
August 3, 2020
2 COMPLETELY AVOIDABLE DISEASES OF CHILDHOOD
When I was in medical school in the early 90's, the primary cause of fatty liver disease in adults was alcohol abuse. Over the last 20 years, the obesity epidemic and associated fatty liver disease, NAFLD, has taken over first place. Unfortunately, this is no longer an adult only phenomena. Akin to type II diabetes mellitus, children are now suffering increasing rates of NASH and then NAFLD. It is now the most common liver disorder in children.
July 28th, 2020
As more and more schools unfortunately change course towards complete online learning let us not forget the downstream risks likely to occur based on this decision. The AAP, CDC and Dr. Fauci have not recommended in person schooling by accident. The AAP and the CDC have come down hard on being in school. Why? School is the life blood of children's social, emotional and for many nutritional growth. The disparities that currently exist between the well to do and the poor are set to dramatically widen based on this online decision and this sets up a cascade of negativity for these children for their entire lives.
Chemicals are back in the news! Reboot
July 28th, 2020
Are Your Sperm in Trouble? The 2017 NYTimes article reports on human sperm damage from chemical exposure in our environment. What is the story and what chemicals are the trouble makers?
Endocrine disruptors are chemicals that may interfere with the body's endocrine system and produce adverse developmental, reproductive, neurological, and immune effects in both humans and wildlife. EDC's are unfortunately heavily involved in hormonal regulation and metabolism throughout the body.
Sperm Counts Are Dropping
July 28, 2020
Should we be worried that our collective male sperm counts are plummeting? The simple answer is yes. Dropping sperm counts are going to cause lower fertility and less population growth for those that would want to have a family. This is not a United States centric issue as it is pervading western society. According to a Scientific American article from 2017, they write: "Sperm counts in men from America, Europe, Australia and New Zealand have dropped by more than 50 percent in less than 40 years, researchers said on Tuesday. They also said the rate of decline is not slowing.