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Dr. Larry Mulkerin

Stories by Dr. Larry

Column: Beware of the ‘Madmen’ of medical marketing

The business of selling cures has relied on anecdotes since the days of the traveling snake oil salesmen. In fact, it was practiced widely in Athens, at the time of Hippocrates. Healers hawked their wares from house to house.

POV Science: Science journals a potpourri of knowledge

I no longer jump out of airplanes or sport a green beret. In fact, I dislike arguments. I avoid discussing evolution and other subjects that might start a fight.

Prostate worries? Consider treatment information

“What should I do about my prostate?” you ask.

Journals: My monthly potpourri

In this month’s look at the journals we travel to Nova Scotia to touch on climate change, leave Walla Walla for prostate cancer treatment via expensive machines, then dive into the world of advertising to discuss claims about antioxidants.

There's no solid research that pineapple can benefit Alzheimer's disease

I was recently asked to comment about the benefits of pineapple in Alzheimer’s disease. I checked peer-reviewed literature and found nothing to directly support the idea. Google, however, led me to Doctor Oz. He recommends a variety of commercial products and brings authors to his TV program. He put Haylie Pomroy’s “Fast Metabolism Diet”on his show’s website. She promotes pineapple as a source of “natural” sugar and suggests that it’s good for the adrenals.

Staving off Alzheimer’s has many schools of thought

Do you remember what I wrote about Alzheimer’s last month. I’m fuzzy about it, too. Here’s a restatement. More than a century ago Alois Alzheimer described misshapen proteins, or peptides, in the brains of patients with dementia. Studies seem to confirm an association, but not necessarily cause and effect. Treatments to clear these proteins from the brain have produced disappointing results. While we wait for clarification, what might help?

The journals: My monthly potpourri

At the end of each year, writers and researchers take a little break and tell what they think about the year past. I’m borrowing wholesale from the journal Science and developments that its staff ranked at the top of 2013.

Alzheimer’s a tangled web of possible causes

Many of us hear an alarm bell when we forget where we left the keys or see someone we should know but can’t connect the face with a name.

Science journals: My monthly potpourri

You probably haven’t heard of a surgical procedure that relieves chest pain by tying off a minor artery. It worked, but it was abandoned. I’ll explain why later. But first, some other things that didn’t work or were proven to be dangerous.

Testosterone therapy: ‘Cure’ looking for problem?

Low T? OMG! The pharmaceutical industry wants men to think their sex lives, muscle mass and energy levels are in trouble because of — oh my goodness — low testosterone

The journals: A potpourri for the new year

Lots of us have taken drugs at one time or another. I began and ended my personal experience with a bad one, when I was in my junior year of medical school.

Clues to aging maladies found in study of diabetes

After his heart attack, Bill Clinton followed a diet program devised by Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn. The retired surgeon in September spoke to a large audience at Whitman College.

The journals: My monthly potpourri

You just ate the biggest burger in town. You get a little sweaty and have an ache under your breastbone. You decide to wait for it to go away.

Metabolic syndrome studies offer window on aging

There’s a difference between ugly fat and dangerous fat. In general, the ugly stuff, by social convention is a view from the rear. The worrisome kind of fat bulges under your belt and is best seen from the side. Waist size provides a clue that there is bad fat inside the abdomen. It’s called visceral fat. Some of that is stored in your liver and it’s especially problematic.

The journals: My monthly potpourri

Current literature spans issues from testosterone to the reason that farmers get smarter in the wintertime. So without further ado:

Looking for links in aging, cell malfunction

Intuition rejects any notion that colon cancer is related to exercise. The only way to exercise a colon is a five-course meal or a double serving of frijoles. Colon cancer seems obviously caused by carcinogens that come in direct contact with the bowel wall. Well, that is part of the story.

The journals: My monthly potpourri

How often do doctors make an error in diagnosis? Take a guess. That’s the first issue in today’s look into the medical and scientific literature.

Ways to gain longevity often stretch bounds of credibility

Have you heard of the Hunzakuts? If so, you may have heard claims that they have almost no cancer.

The journals: My monthly potpourri

My desk looks like the dog arranged it. She suspects that there’s food somewhere in that mess, but it’s mostly scientific stuff that’s hard to chew on.

It’s time to rethink treatment of ‘early’ cancers

My granddaughter sat opposite me at the table at La Quinta. I failed to smoothly pull the string on a gyroscope.

Tune up your brain before entering health’s marketplace

This represents my 26th publication of POV: Science for the Union-Bulletin. I find it hard to believe that I’ve been doing this for more than a year. It’s harder yet to know that I’ve wandered through a mixture of topics and can’t be sure what works for you and what doesn’t.

More than gut thinking needed in carnitine debate

The next time someone says, “Our mind and our body are connected,” you should agree. Nod your head in a professorial manner, touch your chin and ask, “Which one do you think is in charge?”