Is Olive Oil Good Medicine?
A study found that olive oil increased longevity and reduced the risk of cardiovascular disease, cancer, and other chronic diseases, but it only showed correlation, not causation.
Preventing Malaria: A Glimmer of Hope?
A recent clinical trial tested a new approach to malaria prevention involving monoclonal antibodies.
Smoking is the leading cause of preventable disease and death. There are effective pharmacological and non-pharmacological methods to help people stop smoking.
New Blood Pressure Guidelines: Why Are Previously Normal BPs Now Classified as High Blood Pressure?
Under the new blood pressure guidelines, more people are classified as having high blood pressure; but the treatment emphasis is on lifestyle changes, not medications.
Genetic Testing: Does Knowing Risk of Disease Make a Difference?
The complete sequencing of the human genome by the Human Genome Project was a remarkable accomplishment and a cause for celebration. Several companies including 23andMe, Navigenics, and deCODE have capitalized on that scientific achievement by offering genomic testing directly to the public. They promise more than they can deliver, and consumers don’t understand the limitations of the test results. The subject has...
If You Think Doctors Don’t Do Prevention, Think Again
One of the common criticisms we hear from alternative and integrative medicine proponents is that doctors don’t do anything to prevent illnesses and have no interest in prevention. They claim that doctors are only trained to hand out pills to treat existing illnesses. Sometimes they even accuse them of deliberately covering up cures and wanting to perpetuate illnesses like cancer so they...
The elusive “potential” of integrative medicine
UPDATE: Dr. Katz has responded to this post in his usual venue, The Huffington Post. Alternative medicine was all about “potential” from the get go: In 1991, the Senate Appropriations Committee responsible for funding the National Institutes of Health (NIH) declared itself “not satisfied that the conventional medical community as symbolized at the NIH has fully explored the potential that exists in...
Smoking Cessation and the Affordable Care Act
Smoking is the leading preventable cause of death. Each year it kills more than 5 million people around the world, 480,000 in the US alone. And for every person who dies, about 30 more have serious illnesses caused by smoking. On average, smokers die 10 years earlier than nonsmokers. Anyone who is concerned about preventive medicine must consider smoking cessation a priority....
Is the Annual Physical Unnecessary?
I was approached by The Wall Street Journal to write an article for their Big Issues in Health Care debate series. The subject was “Is the annual physical unnecessary?” I was to take the “yes” side and an internist was to take the “no” side. I wrote the following article. The editor wrote me a couple of times with questions. The internist...