Do you love a redhead?

Recent research has shown that patients with red hair need larger doses of anesthesia, and that they are resistant to local pain injections.

Red-haired patients have a gene called melanocortin-1 receptor that is different than patient’s with brown, black, or blond hair.  This “Mc1R” gene controls pain receptors in the brain.

Because of this genetic difference, redheads require up to 20% more general anesthetic to control their pain during surgery!


Good things about coffee…

Many people worry about whether they drink too much coffee.  Some people are sensitive to too much caffeine, and can even get palpitations (irregular heart beats) if they have too much.  But has science shown any health benefits from coffee?  Here is what studies have shown to date:

  1.  Coffee can lower the risk of Type II Diabetes
  2.  Coffee lowers the risk of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s Disease
  3. Coffee can help prevent Cirrhosis of the liver for those who have 4 cups a day
  4. One cup of coffee has Vitamin B1 (thiamine) B3 (niacin), B2 (riboflavin), B5 (pantothenic acid), many antioxidants, potassium and manganese!



Fun Flu Facts

Every year, 200,000 people in the United States will contract the flu.  About 30,000 people die from the flu a year in the United States, which is about the same number that die from motor vehicle accidents.  In 1918, the “Spanish” flu caused 20 million deaths worldwide.

The word influenza comes from the Italian word for “influence”, because it was believed that the planets, stars and moon influenced the timing of the flu season.

If someone who has the flu sneezes on a table or hard surface, the virus can live between 2-8 hours.

The economic cost of the flu in the United States per year is $8.4 billion in lost worker productivity.

Getting the flu shot reduces your chance of getting the flu by 50-60%.  And you can’t get the flu from the flu shot!

The flu virus under an electron microscope:


The First Appendectomy

Appendicitis as you know is a very common condition.  Over 300,000 appendectomies are performed in the United States every year!

The first appendectomy, or removal of the appendix, didn’t happen until 1735.  A London surgeon successful removed the perforated appendix of an 11-year-old boy.  The boy made a quick recovery (for those days), and was successfully discharged from the hospital in a month!

Inflamed Appendix:


Kidney Stones

Twelve percent of men and seven percent of women will get a kidney stone in their lifetime. Your chance of having a kidney stone doubles if you have a family member who has had one.  The average kidney stone is about 5 mm (0.2 inches).  Most kidney stones will pass on their own, but some need to be removed.  The biggest kidney stone on record, which had to be surgically removed, was 2.5 pounds!

Kidney stone:


How many facelifts are performed in the United States a Year?

About 126,000 facelifts  are performed in the United States a year.  Women make up 90% of that number and men make up 10%.  The average cost of a facelift is $6,600.  Risks of face lift include infections, severe bruising (hematomas),  nerve injury, and in very rare cases (less than 1/1000) death.

Rare complication of severe bruising from facelift:


What was the first vaccination?

The first vaccination invented was by Edward Jenner , an English physician, in 1796.  In those days, people lived in fear of Smallpox, which had a high mortality rate, and survivors were left with disfiguring scars.  Dr. Jenner observed that dairy maids who milked cows and got the “Cowpox” virus did not get Smallpox.  Cowpox is a virus similar to Smallpox but is a much milder disease for humans.  Dr. Jenner found a dairy maid who had active Cowpox skin lesions, and used a needle to inoculate an 8-year-old boy in 1796 from these lesions.  The boy became ill with Cowpox but never got Smallpox.



Is it really true that drinking water helps you lose weight?

We’ve all heard before that water helps you lose weight.  But is it really true?

A study in Germany at the showed that after drinking  17 ounces of water, the subjects’ metabolic rate, which is the rate at which calories are burned, increased by 30% for both men and women for the next 30-40 minutes.

Another study found that in a group of overweight women, the women who drank a liter more of water a day, lost 4.4 more pounds in a year.

So drinking water does appear to help weight loss.  But remember, everything in moderation, drinking way too much water (or anything!) can cause problems.


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