Because individuals with high cholesterol levels often develop heart disease, we've come to accept that high cholesterol - especially "bad" cholesterol, or LDL - causes heart disease.
But it can't be said often enough that correlation does not equal causation, and it is beginning to look more and more like a causal realtionship between cholesterol and heart disease just isn't there.
In this episode we talk about the status of treating cholesterol to prevent heart disease and about a drug trial that punctuates the whole process with a giant question mark.
Take a listen and see what you think.
For decades we've been told that our high fat diet is making us obese and killing us with heart disease. But here's the deal. The concept of a lowfat diet, exemplified in the Mediterranean Diet, is based on faulty science.
In this episode, we discuss how the high fat hypothesis became accepted science and public policy, without any good research to back it up. We also talk about the various kinds of fats that are out there and what we think is the biggest culprit in our obesity problems.
Stem cell research, regenerative medicine, or whatever you want to call it, was a real hot button issue for a while. The policitics around it have cooled somewhat, but controversy remains even if the media isn't reporting on it.
What have we learned from stem cell research, what advances have been made, and can we really trust it?
We get in to all this and more on this week's episode.
One of the latest technological advances in food production is the introduction of GMOs, or genetically modified organisms, to the food supply. They have the potential to offer many benefits including increased productivity, pest and herbicide resistance, longer shelf life, and the list goes on.
But many are concerned that this relatively new technology isn't safe - for health, the environment or the economy. We dig into the evidence surrounding GMOs in this episode. We might even share an opinion or two.
All you have to do is take a quick drive around town to see that low testosterone clinics are all the rage. A little math will tell you why. Males make up around 50 percent of the population, and their testosterone declines, naturally, at a rate of 1 percent per year after age 30. If that decline merits treatment, it's no wonder those clinics are everywhere.
But, does it merit treatment?
Is testosterone replacement safe?
Is it even effective?
We dig into those questions on this episode of 2 Docs Talk.
In this episode, we dig into the terms being bandied about by politicians this year. Medicare for all, single-payer, socialized medicine. What do they all mean? Are they all the same or are there differences between these systems.
And what would we do, today, to start making healthcare work a little better?
As we've produced more episodes, we've continues to see our listening audience grow. We appreciate the listeners, the comments, the emails, and the sharing of our little show. Since new listeners are showing up each week, we thought we'd re-run our intro episode so everyone knows where we're coming from and what we're all about.
If you've paid any attention to the news in the last year you've heard about the trials of businesses such as Blue Bell Ice Cream and Chipotle. The outbreaks of food borne illnesses from these and other establishments have cause disease, death, and no small amount of economic hardship.
Why is it that these issues feel like they are happening more frequently? And more importantly, what can we do to keep ourselves healthy, if anything?
On this episode of 2 Docs Talk, we dig into the facts about food borne illness.
States that permit the sale of raw milk in retail stores include:
Arizona,California, Connecticut, Idaho, Maine, New Mexico, Nevada, Pennsylvania. South Carolina, Utah, Washington, New Hampshire
States that allow the sale of raw milk on the farm include:
Arkansas, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Nebraska, New York, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, Texas, Wisconsin, Mississippi
**Arkansas, Kentucky, Mississippi and Rhode Island restrict sales to goat milk, with Kentucky and Rhode Island requiring a prescription from a physician.
Five states allow for the sale of raw milk at farmers’ markets or through other avenues:
Colorado, South Dakota, Missouri, Vermont, Oregon
We referred to a couple of previous podcasts in this episode. If you haven't already listened to these, there is some good info in them:
One of the big scary pieces of growing old is the possiblity of developing Alzheimer Dementia. This progressive neurological disease is poorly understood, meaning the options for prevention and treatment have a long way to go.
In this episode, we talk about what the disease is, current options for treatment, the reality of prevention, and an approach to choosing long term care.
One of the foundational values of this show is emphasizing the importance of using the best available evidence when making decisions about medical care.
Unfortunately the drive to publish has driven some to game the scientific publishing system. From circumventing the peer-review process to outright fraud, scientific literature is plagued with misinformation.
The scientific community is responding, though. With tools like retraction databases, research reproducibility efforts and post-publication peer review, scientists are working to maintain the highest level of inegrity in the scientific literature.
Be sure to listen all the way to the end, we get a littel personal.
With Zika in the news, it seemed like a good time to examine the vector borne diseases making headway here in the U.S.
In addition to Zika, we need to pay attention to Dengue Fever. Like the West Nile virus and yellow fever, these viruses are spread by the Aedes mosquito - most often Aedes aegypti.
But don't think mosquitoes are the only issue. The Kissing Bug, which isn't nearly as sweet as it sounds, is responsible for the increasing burden of Chagas disease in the southern states. Without giving away their secret, let me just say you might not want to listen to this episode right before bedtime.
Note: This episode was recorded in mid-February. Our understanding of Zika, and its impact on the U.S. is rapidly evolving. Please keep an eye on the CDC pages linked below for the most current information.
This week we started talking about bugs and drugs, or infections and their treatments and we got into Clostridium difficile infection and fecal transplants. Because when it comes to this topic, we are all middle school boys. We can't not talk about it.
In all seriousness, C. diff can be a devastating disease and the success of this treatment is beyond exciting. As Kendall likes to remind us, though, we have to watch out for the law of unintended consequences.
After a few of our previous episodes we got some great questions from a few of our listeners. In this brief update, we answer questions about our episodes on medical marijuana, breast cancer screening and concussions.
Opioid abuse is at an ever increasing high in the U.S. with overdose being a significant cause of death.
What role do physicians, pharmaceutical companies, and the drug users themselves play in this epidemic. We examine these questions and more in this episode on the opioid problem in the United States.
Colorectal screening is an effective tool in the prevention of deaths from colon cancer. The question is if the screening tools we use now are the most effective and safe available to us. Technological advances are making less invasive, safer tests a possibility - and sooner rather than later if we're lucky.
But today, what tests do we have, which ones work, and what should you as a patient choose when it comes to your own screening.
We can use your help! Please pop on over to iTunes if you are an Apple user, or Stitcher for Android, and leave a rating and review for 2 Docs Talk. It will only take two minutes and you will have our undying gratitude!
If you live anywhere but under a rock, you know that Planned Parenthood has been the center of controversy in recent months. In this episode, we discuss the history of the organization and its founder Margaret Sanger. Then we dig into Planned Parenthood as it exists today and the controversy surrounding it.
The coverage of the controversy in the media is filled with innuendo and half-truths from both sides of the political spectrum. We wanted to know the facts, so we did a little searching. Since we recorded this episode, the courts in Houston did too, and found no evidence that they were profiting from the sale of fetal tissue or organs.
But, what role does Planned Parenthood play in healthcare today?
Do they provide needed services? What are those services? Is abortion their primary business? Should Medicaid funds cover their services? And finally, is there anything that can be done to curb the number of abortions performed today? (Hint: yes there is, and it has nothing to do with Roe v. Wade.)
As we enter primary season for this election year, gun violence and control is a hot topic. However, much of the discussion lives in one of two extremes, and little of it is based on actual evidence.
With over 30,000 gun deaths each year, and over 20,000 of those death from suicide, the reality is that gun violence is a public health issue. This means we need to treat this issue from the point of view of the medical evidence.
Today we look at the scope of the problem, what has and hasn't worked, and some thougths about what lies ahead.
The supplement industry is a big one - estimates place it anywhere from $12 billion to $37 billion.
However, if you put that number in the context of healthcare spending overall, it's not too crazy...if supplements are effective and safe.
But issues with the approval and regulations of dietary supplements make leave us with many unanswered questions about the so-called "natural" products on the market.
In this episode we examine supplements, homeopathic remedies, the placebo effect and much more. So take a listen, and leave a comment if you have thoughts on the topic.
Be sure and leave a comment if you have any thoughts on the show. And you know we'd appreciate it so much if you would leave us a review in iTunes!
The gluten-free phenomenon has grown into a $2.5 billion industry in the U.S. The question we have to ask is if the medical concern from gluten is enough to justify such a huge national expenditure. In this episode, we look at the disorders behind gluten and wheat allergies, gluten sensitivities and the science that supports these diagnoses.
If you've ever tried to figure out the price of a medical procedure, you know it's not that easy. In fact, research shows that complete pricing for medical procedures is unavailable when requested over one-third of the time.
As healthcare deductibles rise and indidviduals are affected more and directly by these costs, the issue of pricing transparency is growing. In this episode we talk about the problem posed by opaque medical pricing practices. We also dig into two innovative practice models that solve this transparency problem, as well as a few other issues in the delivery of healthcare and medicine.
Vaccines are both one of the most widely used and most widely misunderstood preventive medical treatments available. People have concerns about autism, efficacy, the promotion of unhealthy behaviors. We dig into the evidence on some of those topics, as well as take a look at the effectiveness of vaccines against some of the scariest disease of our time - including cancer.
Adverse Effects of Vaccines: Evidence and Causality an ebook by the Institute of Medicine that states, "The evidence favors rejection of a causal relationship between MMR vaccine and autism."
2014-2015 Flu vaccine info - why it was less effective, but did reduce disease severity
Screening mammography is widely used throughout the U.S. and is thought of as a great success in the prevention of breast cancer deaths.
But what does the evidence say? Are we getting what we are paying for with mammography, or simply shouldering the extra cost of false positives and overdiagnosis? We examine these issues and more on this episode of 2 Docs Talk.
Since March 2010, health care in the U.S. has been subject to the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare.
There is a significant amount of confusion about what exactly this law does or does not do. In this episode, we talk about the key provisions of the law and how it affects the delivery of healthcare in the U.S.
In this episode we refer to the following information:
Concussions are not uncommon in contact sports such as football, soccer and basketball. But we aren't trying to scare or shock anyone. On today's podcast we'd like to educate and inform so that parents and players can make decisions that aren't based on fear and misinformation.
Take a listen and let us know what you think.
Article referenced in podcast:
As the the political winds shift in favor of legalizing medical marijuana, it's important to consider the evidence that supports it.
But the 23 states that have legalized it and the FDA don't agree on when marijuana helps and when it doesn't. In this episode, we take a look at the evidence supporting the move toward legalizing the use of marijuana and cannabinoids for medical purposes.
References from the show: