Critical Health News

Importance of the Pancreas


One of the best movies I’ve ever seen was the Rob Marshall adaptation of the Broadway musical Chicago. Not only was the historical depiction of the Windy City in 1920’s fascinatingly presented but watching funnyman John C. Reilly put out an Oscar worthy, if not Oscar winning performance, and listening to him belt out a tune was a pleasant surprise as well.

My favorite song in the film was Reilly’s character Amos Hart’s rendition of “Mr. Cellophane” a plaintive plea for recognition from an oblivious love interest that many of us can find familiar. "Mr. Cellophane" tells the story of the trials of an under-appreciated and misunderstood man in love. And, who among us can say that they never felt unrequited love from a guy or girl we simply wanted to acknowledge our affections.

When I think of unrequited love, sometimes I think of our human body and its parts. Like Chicago’s Amos Hart, our heart, and spleen and thymus and thyroid among other structures faithfully love us but remain unrecognized and unappreciated. And no organ in the body is more unrecognized and unappreciated than the pancreas. While everyone knows about the heart and the brain and the stomach and the skin hardly anyone ever give this little 2 or 3 ounce organ its due.

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Ginseng Supplements Linked to Less Cancer Fatigue


NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Cancer patients and survivors who felt tired or sluggish reported feeling noticeably better after taking ginseng supplements for two months, in a new study.

"Nearly all patients with cancer can suffer from fatigue at some point; either at diagnosis, during treatment and even after treatment, and (fatigue) can linger for several years," said lead author Debra Barton, from the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota.

"The issue with cancer-related fatigue is that it can be a profound fatigue that is not relieved by sleep or rest and that it can significantly impact the ability of people to accomplish the things they are used to doing every day," Barton told Reuters Health by email.

Ginseng had shown promise for fatigue in earlier studies as well, researchers said.

Tired cancer patients and survivors often turn to that and other dietary supplements such as Coenzyme Q-10, L-Carnitine and guarana, but not all are supported by evidence.

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Diabetes Diet


For over a thousand years diabetes was recognized as a deadly disease that caused those afflicted to waste away and die a painful death, but it took until the 7th century BC for the development of the disease to be linked to sugar. Doctors in ancient India were the first to make the connection, diagnosing the disease by observing whether ants were attracted to a patient’s urine.

Although it has been long assumed that once insulin producing cells die they can longer regenerate. However, according to the website, there is growing evidence that these cells actually can regenerate themselves. This is great news for type 1 diabetics who until now been told their disease is incurable.

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