Health

Blood levels of proteins reflect the starting, stopping, and changing of biological processes linked to aging. We make significant changes at three ages.

Photo by Vidar Nordli-Mathisen on Unsplash

“The wiser mind mourns less for what age takes away than what it leaves behind.”

This is the insightful observation of William Wordsworth (1770–1850), the English romantic who (along with Samuel Taylor Coleridge) helped initiate the Romantic Age in English literature. Together, they published Lyrical Ballads in 1798.

Today is not a day for literature. Instead, I want to share with you the remarkable findings of researchers from Stanford University. They looked at almost 3,000 proteins in the blood of 4,263 subjects ages 18 to 95. Here’s what they discovered:


Explore six components of the athlete’s mindset.

Photo by Michael Dziedzic on Unsplash

“The right mindset and attitude give us opportunities to do the best we can and to realize the potential that’s in every one of us.” — Tom Brady.

I want to explore with you how you can be more positive, resilient, and confident. Today we steal from the legendary football player, Tom Brady. Let’s begin with a nod to the greatest American football player in history. Despite his pick as #199 in the National Football League draft, he has led teams to Super Bowl Championships six times.

You and I may never be Super Bowl champions, but we can learn…


Photo by Oluwakorede Enoch Adeyanju on Unsplash

DO YOU ENJOY TAKE-OUT meals? I know that I do, at least on occasion. But did you know that scientists recently showed how too much of it does not bode well for a long life? In the end, I will offer strong criticism of the study but will end with some takeaway messages about the perils of take-out meals.

I enjoy dining out on occasion. Unfortunately, there is not much evidence on the association between consuming meals from outside the home and long-term health. Enter researchers at the University of Iowa (USA). …


Photo by Jeremy Bishop on Unsplash

HAVE YOU DONE cold-water swimming? As a part of a karate club ritual, I once found myself plunging into the Puget Sound on a cold New Year’s Day. While I will never do it again, others think differently: Cold-water swimming in lakes, rivers, or the ocean is becoming more popular. Today we ask whether there are health benefits to a polar plunge.

Swimming in cold water has a long history. …


There did not appear to be an upper limit to the positive effects, unlike some historical studies’ findings. That is the finding that offers insights that has not been clear.


Photo by Bence Balla-Schottner on Unsplash

IS WALKING AMONG THE most underrated form of exercise? We read so much about running, arguably the poster child for aerobic exercise. With some precautions and preparation, running can be an excellent approach to fitness and health. But what about moderate exercise, say in the form of walking? I think it should be a gold standard for moderate exercise.

As we think about how physical activity gives us benefits, I focus on three essential elements: the exercise duration, intensity, and frequency. Walking is less intensive than running, but so we walkers may wish to extend our ambulation period. …


Photo by Jason Tuinstra on Unsplash

EVEN AFTER I came off testosterone supplementation (I needed it after I had a benign brain tumor removed), my blood pressure remained somewhat elevated. I turned to a healthy lifestyle to manage my blood pressure. I want to share with you some cornerstones of my approach to lowering blood pressure.

I had a cut in my visual field in 2015. A magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) study revealed a large tumor in my pituitary gland region. Fortunately, surgery showed it to be benign, but I still needed three surgeries to reduce the tumor’s total gross removal.

The pituitary gland greatly influences…


Psilocybin appears to be as effective as antidepressants when used with counseling.

Photo by Ava Sol on Unsplash

HAVE YOU EVER HEARD of magic mushrooms? Researchers recently compared psilocybin, the active compound of magic mushrooms, with a well-established antidepressant in a small experimental trial. Let me clarify that this is only early research; there is much to be done before psilocybin will be a candidate for routine use for depression.

Reporting in the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine, scientists offer the results of a randomized trial involving individuals with chronic major depression.

With close medical supervision, 59 volunteers with depression participated in the research investigation. Half took the common antidepressant escitalopram (brand names Lexapro, Cipralex, and others)…


Photo by National Cancer Institute on Unsplash

THE MOST COMMON CANCERS in the United States are breast, lung, colorectal, and melanoma. Currently, cancer is the leading cause of death for those 45 to 64 years. Last year, there were an estimated 1.8 million diagnoses and more than 600,000 deaths.

According to a recent report, the rankings of cancer by incidence (and mortality) are likely to shift substantially over the next two decades. Let’s look more closely at the changing landscape. In part, we are shifting the dynamics of cancer incidence and mortality through more effective screening and treatment.

Researchers from MD Anderson Cancer Center (Houston, Texas), Cancer…


Photo by Omer Salom on Unsplash

HEART DISEASE is the leading cause of death in the United States, taking the lives of 665,000 Americans annually. Today, I want to look at ways we can bend the curve to a lower number.

The most common form of heart disease is coronary artery disease. It can strike you or me, as it is indiscriminate when it comes to sex, race, or ethnicity. Coronary artery disease accounts for just over half of all heart-related deaths in the USA.

Atherosclerosis is the buildup of plaques in the blood vessels of the heart. These plaques are composed of calcium, cholesterol, fat…

Michael Hunter MD

I have degrees from Harvard, Yale, and Penn. I am a radiation oncologist in the Seattle area. You may find me regularly posting at www.newcancerinfo.com

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store