Monday, December 8, 2008,0,3586246.column
From the Los Angeles Times


Diabetes prevention linked to coffee-drinking

Joe Graedon, Teresa Graedon
The People's Pharmacy

December 8, 2008

My father and uncle both have diabetes. I would like to reduce my risk of developing this disease, and I've heard that drinking coffee can help. Is there any evidence behind this claim?

Studies have demonstrated a link between regular coffee consumption and a reduced risk of developing Type 2 diabetes (Diabetes Care, February 2006). Do not count on coffee to protect you, however. Exercise and weight control are far more likely to help prevent it .

I had shingles many years ago. So did my friend. Her doctor gave her a shingles injection so she wouldn't get it again. My doctor said that by having shingles, I built antibodies to it and don't need the shot. Which doctor is correct?

Chickenpox during childhood can lead to shingles later in life. The virus (varicella zoster) can lie dormant in nerves for decades. The virus can be reactivated and trigger an intensely painful skin reaction.

The Zostavax vaccine was developed to prevent shingles in people older than 60. A company study excluded anyone who had previously had a shingles attack. Consequently, the Food and Drug Administration does not allow the company to promote the vaccine for anyone who already had shingles.

Many doctors were taught that shingles happen only once. That is not true. Although it's rare, people can experience another bout with the virus (American Family Physician, April 15, 2000). The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta call for vaccination even for people who already had one attack.

Joe Graedon is a pharmacologist and Teresa Graedon an expert in medical anthropology and nutrition.

No comments: