April 14, 2023

This Week

  • The Problem with Nutritional Advice
  • Around 15 Million Americans May Lose Medicaid Coverage, According to a Recent Report
  • CDC Warns U.S. Doctors of Marburg Virus Amid Outbreaks in Africa
  • Social and Environmental Factors Influence Cancer Biology in Black Americans
  • What Do You Do If You Think You Have Food Allergies
  • Feds May OK Another Booster for Certain Populations

Top of Mind - The Problem with Nutritional Advice

This week, another study on the dangers of drinking certain amounts of alcohol was released. It seems that alcohol and coffee have been on the hit list, of nutrition experts, for a number of years. More recently, a little glass of red wine was thought to help your heart. That advice made red wine a medicinal product. But are you really drinking alcohol because you thought it was healthy?

Now a new study, published by the JAMA network, suggests just the opposite. For women who drink almost two drinks a night and men who drink three, may be at a greater risk for premature death. In the next year, I bet there will be a study giving back stature to red wine. In the midst of this ball of confusion, let me share a list from the same organization that shows what foods and drinks are no good.

  • Ultra processed 
  • Too much sodium
  • Too much alcohol
  • Not making health food choices
  • Not knowing your caffeine limits
  • Be careful with vitamins and supplements you use

Now, back to the alcohol. So what I know, as a doctor, is that anything to deal with alcohol, taken to extremes, is bad for your health.

Stay Healthy,

Dr. Mike

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Around 15 Million Americans May Lose Medicaid Coverage, According to a Recent Report

Some 15 million people, disproportionately Black Americans, could lose their Medicaid coverage over the next few months as pandemic-related emergency provisions come to an end. Many millions of Americans are at risk of losing their health insurance as states begin a monumental administrative task of re-checking every Medicaid enrollee’s eligibility. This emergency pandemic measure, which allowed enrolled individuals to remain eligible for coverage while states stopped double-checking their eligibility, since March 2020, has now come to an end. Although one policy was likely the single largest factor for this change, many will be left searching for alternative healthcare options.

CDC Warns U.S. Doctors of Marburg Virus Amid Outbreaks in Africa

April 7, 2023 – The CDC has issued a health advisory about an outbreak of the Marburg virus disease in two African nations, Equatorial Guinea and Tanzania. While it has not been found in the United States, doctors "should be aware of the potential for imported cases,” the agency warned. Infection from the virus is rare but can be fatal. 

Why is this important? I remember hearing announcements of this sort before the outbreak of the AIDS epidemic, and more recently, the COVID-19 pandemic. I don't expect this current outbreak to spread globally, but I hope that our Black Americans and our first responders are staying informed about the virus.

Social and Environmental Factors Influence Cancer Biology in Black Americans

The following current literature discusses how socio-environmental factors, in neighborhoods, contribute to more aggressive tumor biology, specifically affecting Black Americans, including the impacts of environmental pollutants, neighborhood deprivation, social isolation, structural racism and discrimination. We also highlight commonly used methods for measuring deprivation, discrimination and structural racism at the neighborhood level in Cancer health disparities research. Finally, we offer recommendations to adopt a multifaceted intersectional approach to reduce Cancer health disparities and develop effective interventions to promote health equity.

Why is this important? What is discussed in the research article, about Cancer affecting the molecular structure of cells, can be applied to the impact of any chronic disease on the Black community. But it appears that we are getting closer and closer to demonstrating that these social determinants influence the severity of disease at the cellular level.

What Do You Do If You Think You Have Food Allergies

If you’re in the beginning stages of suspecting a food allergy and your symptoms are mild enough, here are some helpful ways to start preliminary deducing the food allergen culprit:

  • Keep a journal of all the foods you eat to see if one is associated with your symptoms
  • Avoid the food you identified
  • Have your doctor get a allergy blood test called RAST
  • If your doctor identities a certain food allergy, avoid the food or see a specialist who might do food challenges. If your doctor identifies certain foods are a problem, avoid them or consider a course of oral immunotherapy.

Feds May OK Another Booster for Certain Populations

Federal regulators have decided to authorize a second omicron-specific coronavirus vaccine booster shot for people who are at least 65 years old or have weak immune systems. This is in an effort to provide additional protection to high-risk individuals, according to several officials familiar with the plan. The purpose of the authorization is to further ensure that those most vulnerable in society receive the crucial COVID-19 treatment they need. According to our sources, it is expected that this new round of booster shots will be available across the country in just a few weeks time.

For more information, go to our website at www.aawellnessproject.org. or listen to our podcast at Blackdoctorsspeak.org on any podcast platform.

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About the Editor 

Dr. Michael LeNoir is just your neighborhood doc — a world-renowned allergist, a board-certified pediatrician, recognized expert on asthma in inner cities, and the President and Founder of AAWP. Serving the Bay Area since 1977, Dr. LeNoir has dedicated his career to helping African Americans navigate a healthcare system he saw first-hand that is fundamentally build on racial biases. Read More

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