Calcium intake and bone mineral density

“Conclusions: Increasing calcium intake from dietary sources or by taking calcium supplements produces small non-progressive increases in BMD, which are unlikely to lead to a clinically significant reduction in risk of fracture.”


For years doctors and drug companies have been pushing drugs and supplements with high doses of calcium to make our bones stronger to prevent fractures. Now they’re telling us that it really doesn’t help.

Read the study results here in The BMJ (formerly the British Medical Journal).

Posted under Treatment

This post was written by Dan Ferry on October 3, 2015

Lighten up a little

I subscribe to some medical websites, and occasionally one of their emails contains some information I feel I should share with others. Most of the time the juicy articles are picked up by CNN or other news networks, but this one wasn’t. It’s all about overwork and stress, and how it is bad for you. Wow! That’s no surprise is it? But this is the first time that I’ve seen quantification of the threat.

I’m posting this because those of us who are trying to have writing careers in addition to our normal work typically work more hours per week than we’d like to, but it’s part of getting ahead. How many hours is too many? Keep reading.

The article from The Lancet (British medical journal and website) has the daunting title “Long working hours and risk of coronary heart disease and stroke: a systematic review and meta-analysis of published and unpublished data for 603838 individuals.” Say that fast three times. The authors of this article didn’t do the studies, but they found all kinds of studies and correlated the information.

The result of their effort was summarized in this line: “Our findings show that individuals who work 55 hr or more per week have a 1.3-times higher risk of incident stroke than those working standard hours.”

OMG. How many of you have worked 70-hr weeks for months on end? I know I have, and all of my friends who are in IT have also. It’s expected of you when management says “Do whatever it takes to get the job done.” Add to that the time we spend on our second career of writing, and it’s scary. Lack of exercise and heavy drinking exacerbate the problem.

The researchers stated that the correlation between long hours and coronary heart disease was “less persuasive”. Well, I know of at least one individual on a project I worked who walked out of a stressful meeting with the government customer and dropped dead of a heart attack in the hall. That’s enough evidence for me.

So I guess I’m telling you to get more exercise, drink less alcohol, spend more time with your loved ones. You’re not going to die if you don’t get that special project done, but you might hasten your death if you push yourself too hard.

If you want to read the full article click here.


Posted under Other Medical

This post was written by Dan Ferry on August 31, 2015


Arthroscopic surgery for degenerative knees — not so great?

The British Medical Journal (aka BMJ) has published a report from doctors who dug through all the studies available on whether or not knee surgery really helps middle aged or older patients with knee pain and degenerative knee disease (This is NOT about traumatic knee injury).

Their conclusions: The small inconsequential benefit seen from interventions that include arthroscopy for the degenerative knee is limited in time and absent at one to two years after surgery. Knee arthroscopy is associated with harms. Taken together, these findings do not support the practise of arthroscopic surgery for middle aged or older patients with knee pain with or without signs of osteoarthritis.

Of course, I’m just a layman, but my guess is that the physical therapy required after knee surgery is what helped these patients, and when they stopped doing the therapy and stopped moving around so much, their knee pain came back.

Source: Arthroscopic surgery for degenerative knee: systematic review and meta-analysis of benefits and harms

(Again, this is not about vertigo, but many people have more problems than solely vertigo, and I like to pass along what I find on other health problems.)


Posted under Other Medical

This post was written by Dan Ferry on June 21, 2015