You gotta eat some dirt.

5334281676_14e1e3ffc2_zDr. Walt Larimore is a long time friend, family medicine doc, author, speaker, professor, and just a great guy. His blog always has some interesting stuff on it. This week he writes about a study where kids whose parents wash dishes by hand have fewer allergies than the dishwasher machine folks!  Probably sterilizes the bugs less. Also they found that kids that eat fermented stuff also do better. The evidence just keeps accumulating that our bodies develop a better immune system if we get challenged periodically through life rather than trying to keep everything squeaky clean. It’s sometimes called “The Hygiene Hypothesis.”  As PaleoPathologistMate says, “A kid’s gotta eat some dirt.”

Autoimmune disease rare in Middle East, says new doc in Denver

PaleoPathologist sometimes takes on young docs to help mentor them into Pathology. My newest mentee (is that a real word?) was looking at some slides for tomorrow’s liver disease conference, and one of the cases was autoimmune hepatitis. We see that diagnosis all the time at Porter Adventist Hospital, Transplant center. My new doc asked me, “What is going on here? Where I trained (somewhere in the Middle East; I’ll keep the exact country confidential) we almost never saw any autoimmune diseases or allergies. They are everywhere in the United States!  Is it maybe all the processed foods?”

An interesting review of the “gut microbiome”

PaleoPathologist has as a “hobby” a PhD in Microbiology. He knows his bugs, especially Parasites and Fungi. He views some of the discussions about “gut microbiota” on the various Paleo websites with suspicion, but more and more articles are coming out in mainstream journals. This one came across on the Medscape email newslist that comes to my email. It’s a review article of the various interactions between the bacteria we carry around and how we behave!  Fascinating. The little monsters may be manipulating me into eating ‘taters!

If you are a fellow doc and haven’t found this corner of the literature, take a look; it’s a pretty easy read.  PaleoPathologist is now eating KimChi, Sauerkraut, full fat Kefir, and Bob’s Red Mill unmodified potato starch. (Start slow with the starch!  I had some volcanic episodes early on when the bacteria smelled the starch, yelled “whoopee” in their tiny little voices, and produced abundant methane.)

One little pill a day can cut cancer risk 9%? Really?

And the answer, according to a new publication, is…aspirin. Good old acetyl salicylic acid. PaleoPathologist has been taking an aspirin a day for many years; I use generic enteric coated “baby aspirin” (75 mg) because it seems to work as well as anything and costs basically nothing. As the article states, higher doses don’t seem to add much except side effects. The most common side effect is stomach upset or even gastritis and bleeding. As always talk with your doc about this since some people have higher risks of bad side effects.


Could cancer be a metabolic rather than a genetic disease?

This is a fascinating hypothesis. I’ve just scanned the article and am far from a molecular biologist; I’m just a simple country pathologist, but I work in a cancer hospital and wonder why we see so much of it around here? Today I made the diagnosis of colon cancer in a 39 year old! And I see squamous cell carcinoma, like the picture below, every week.

evan tumor picture

Sleep? I’ll sleep when I’m dead!

PaleoPathologist has some vivid memories from his seven years at Duke Medical School. One is the sound coming through the back wall of his apartment starting at 10 at night; the adjoining unit housed some fellow medical students. They claimed to start studying at 10 PM. Paleopathologist was studying the backs of his eyelids at 10PM on a weeknight.  The other little vignette was walking into the Seely G. Mudd Medical Library and seeing one of his classmates asleep, his head on an open medical text, and drool pooling on the page!sleep

How to live longer in 8 “Blue Zone” steps.

When PaleoPathologist was a kid he remembers seeing a skit on a variety show, might have been Rowan and Martin’s Laugh In, where a frumpy woman said, “I hear that scientists think they can help us live to 140.  Big deal.  Who wants to be a little old lady for 70 years?”  Good question!  But what if we can extend middle age 20, 30, 40 more years? Ah, sounds better.  According to The Blue Zones, one of the longest living groups in the world is the 7th Day Adventists in Loma Linda, California.  Since PaleoPathologist is the head of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology at Porter Adventist Hospital in Denver and is on the Mission Advisory Committee, he has a copy of the handbook, Creation Health Discovery, and is about to share the 8 steps.