2/02/2013 (Spicy Mini Quiche Cups)
#1 Logan, UT Icy Hot Helps…but How?
Caller wants to know why Icy Hot patches help relieve her pain. Z says that they are called “counter-irritants”, similar to Bengay and Vick’s Vapo Rub, and they change the way that we perceive pain. Some of it is due to the chemical perception of heat and cold. Z also says that much of our relief is subjective – and some may even be due to positive smell associations or simply the process of putting a patch on a wound. Because a plain patch might work, Z suggests a band-aid or Dr. Scholl’s “Moleskin” for the same effect.
#2 Spooner, WI Lard
Caller just bought half a pig and rendered a lot of lard – now she wants to know if she is putting her health at risk by using it. Z says that obviously a lot of lard is not good, but that in very small amounts it’s not going to kill her.
Topic The Pinocchio Effect
Z and T discuss a study done by Researchers at the University of Granada in Spain which found that when people lie, their noses and orbital muscles become hot, a condition they call the Pinnochio effect.]
#3 Oklahoma City, OK New Job, Old Pain: Achilles Ache
Caller recently switched jobs from being a waiter who walked 50 miles per week at work to a working from a desk. He strained his Achilles recently, and now wants to know exercises that he can do to keep off the pounds without hurting his Achilles. Z tells him not to run, but to swim and use the elliptical instead. Z also advises that the caller stretch before and after exercising in order to avoid injury. Z also recommends taking 2 Aleve tablets twice a day and to avoiding taking antibiotics similar to Cipro which can cause Achilles problems. To lose weight, Z advises that the caller looks at all the little things he eats in the day – it only takes removing those to lose weight.
250 extra calories a day = 3-5 lbs of weight at the end of the year.
E-mail Cranberry Complaint (Disagreeing with the Doc)
T reads an e-mail from Joan in Eau Claire, WI in which she discounts the health benefits of dried cranberries (and salsa too). Z wholeheartedly disagrees. He believes that fruits and vegetables are always good for us and that they have some “mystery” elements that makes them healthy (he cites the example that we don’t know why cranberries help with female urinary tract infections). Raw are better, he says, but these still have value – and discounting their value due is against common knowledge.
#4 Hartland, WI Nighttime Numbness
Caller cannot seem to find a side to sleep on that gives her relief from numbness and her arm. T quips that she should sleep on her back. Z suggests that she may have carpal tunnel syndrome and that she should try sleeping with a wrist splint – if this works, it is carpal tunnel. You can also check for carpal tunnel by getting an EMG. If it’s the ulnar nerve, special pillows can help, as can surgery that moves the nerve to a different location less prone to irritation. Z recommends trying the wrist splint first.
#5 OK City, OK Cold Sore Cures
Caller wants help with his cold sores. Z recommends acyclovir & Valtrex for cold sores caused by the Herpes virus – very effective drugs. He says you can take them pre-emptively, when you feel a cold sore coming on, or when you know you’ll be in a situation that makes you more prone to cold sores (winter weather, stressful situations, spicy foods, etc, etc).
E-mail Pregnant & Flu Shot
Kathryn in Buffalo, NY wants to know if her daughter, who is 3-months pregnant, should get a flu shot. Z says get the shot!]
TOPIC: Think You’re Stressed? You are.
Z and T discuss a study published in the American Journal of Cardiology that showed that when people think that they’re stressed, they tend to be more stressed. This puts a strain on your heart. People who reported they were stressed had a 27% higher chance of developing coronary artery disease. Z recommends yoga, meditation and other stress reduction therapies like working out. Z says exercise allows you to feel good, which then allows you to reduce your mental stress.
#6 College Station, TX Is Fat Necessary?
Caller is trying to lose weight and is also taking a lot of vitamins. He wants to know if he needs to have fat in the morning with his “fat soluble” vitamins in order for them to be absorbed, even if he is trying to lose weight. Z says that “fat soluble” doesn’t mean that they need fat to work, only that they are stored in fat, so they last longer (vitamins A, D, E and K). This is in contrast to water soluble vitamins like B-complex vitamins and vitamin C. Z says caller can stick with his non-fat breakfasts and to keep up the great work!
Mythbuster: Sugar-Free Gum Prevents Cavities?
T asks Zorba if the ads claiming that sugar-free gum prevents cavities are true? Z says it is just marketing. He says that the sugar-free gum doesn’t hurt your teeth, but it doesn’t help them either. For a while, there was a claim that Xylitol, the sweetener in sugar-free gum, prevented cavities, but Z doesn’t have much faith in this claim.
#7 Palm Coast, FL Is One Sweetener Superior?
Caller wants to know if natural sweeteners, like Agave and honey, are better for you than processed white sugar. Z says that for the most part, sugar is sugar is sugar and they are all distilled from carbohydrates. So from a weight loss point of view, they are all equal. Z says that most of the talk of “natural” sugars is a marketing scheme. The body processes all these sugars in essentially the same way. The only difference would be if you liked one of the sweeteners more than another one, you may use less of it, which is healthier.
E-mail Turmeric Tames Arthritis (Listener Tip)
T reads an e-mail from Margie, who swears that a turmeric capsule once a day has helped ease the pain of her rheumatoid arthritis. Z thinks supplements are worth trying. He recommends finding the lead of Consumer Reports – try it for 6-8 weeks, and if it doesn’t work, stop it. Z says this may be a placebo effect, but if it works, keep it up.