Water – the Great Mystery

Kurt Wuthrich, PhD (La Jolla, CA and Zurich, Switzerland). Scripps Research Institute, co-winner of 2002 Nobel Prize for Chemistry. “The Amazing Role of Water in Chemistry”

Dr. Wuthrich, co-winner of the 2002 Nobel Prize for Chemistry, received his PhD from UC Berkeley in 1965 and taught in Switzerland from 1969 to 2000. Since then, he has been dividing his time between Switzerland and the Scripps Institute in LaJolla, CA. He is an avid fisherman and a devotee of Zane Gray.

His Nobel prize winning research involves a method of observing the behavior of large organic molecules (which he calls the “molecules of life”), called “Nuclear Magnetic Resonance” or NMR spectroscopy. Basically, the molecules are suspended in water and the system enables researchers to study the structure of certain types of large molecules, and changes they undergo in response to stimuli.

The technique is similar to MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) scans and one thing you can determine is if the molecules are dehydrated and whether or not they are acting normally. Behavior in water is important because the brain is 80% water and most other human tissues are 65% to 70% water. MRI is expensive but far less so than exploratory surgery.

In response to Sharon’s questions about dehydration, Dr. Wuthrich noted that there are several tests that can determine if a child is dehydrated. He acknowledged that pediatric dehydration is a major global health problem.

Dr. Wuthrich is extremely interested in water, especially as a resident of Southern California, where water is scarce and highly politicized. Water (and oxygen) are the most crucial elements for life and without water, there is no life.

Sharon asked if drinking water needed to be free, rather than combined with coffee, soda or juice. Dr. Wuthrich said he thought not, since those kinds of drinks are 99% water and even pure water instantly mixes with your stomach contents. However, coffee can be dehydrating and juices and soda many contain unhealthy amounts of sugar.

Dr. Wuthrich had some interesting commentary on his Nobel Prize. He was the lead researcher in a team of 20 scientists working on the project. It took 15 years to develop NMI and 18 more years to win the Prize. Meanwhile, he wrote a book on the benefits on NMI. The system has yielded many advances in the study of mad cow disease and chronic wasting disease in deer.

There was some discussion about global warming. Dr. Wuthrich noted that as a child, he used to frequently go skiing in Interlochen, Switzerland. These days, many Interlochen ski areas are at elevations that no longer receive much snow.

http://www.sharonkleynehour.com/Archive2009/Water-the_Great_Mystery.php

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Show Summary Part 1- August 31st, 2009

Ritu Saini, MD (New York, NY), National Skin Cancer Foundation, “Mohs Surgery, Skin Cancer and Melanoma”

Sharon’s first guest was Dr. Ritu Saini, a Dermatologist, representing the National Skin Cancer Foundation. Sharon noted that malignant melanoma is a skin cancer on the increase (most other cancers are decreasing), which she attributes to dry air and increasing solar exposure. With education and early detection, the disease is 95% preventable and 99%curable. Sharon’s Save a Child’s Life Foundation raises money to combat melanoma in children.

Dr. Saini is a specialist in Mohs Micrographic Surgery, a procedure to remove skin cancers. It was invented in the 1960’s as a way to remove the cancer lesion and get an almost instantaneous pathogenic analysis to help surgeons know if they removed the entire growth so they won’t have to go in a second time. Tumors are also biopsied prior to surgery.

Sharon noted that it is important to teach patients to educate themselves and check their skin periodically for changes. She observed that not all skin cancers are large and pigmented and they do not all occur in sun-exposed areas.

According to Dr. Saini, there are three kinds of skin cancers:

1. Basal cell carcinoma presents as a pale lump that does not spread (metastasize).
2. Squamous cell carcinoma presents as an oozing or crusty patch that also does not metastasize.
3. Malignant melanoma presents as a large, dark growth that very much does metastasize and which can be fatal.
4. (Note: Some types of malignant sarcoma may appear as skin growths but are considered cancers of the connective tissue, not the skin. They do very much metastasize. See http://www.wikipedia.com.)

Dr. Saini explained that skin cancers start in the skin’s dermis, or lower layer and are usually not visible for some time, until they invades the epidermis, or outer layer.

Sharon wondered if there was a demonstrated correlation between dry skin, insufficient water intake and skin cancer. Dr. Saini said that such a link was suspected but not proven.

It was noted that fair skinned people have a higher incidence of skin cancer and that there is definitely a genetic predisposition. It is theorized that Oregon has an unusually high skin cancer rate because it has a lot of fair skinned people.

There was a lengthy discussion of sun protection. It is important for everyone always but far more important if you are fair skinned and/or spending a day at the beach (or have a family history of skin cancer). Sharon noted that many indoor conditions can dry and weaken the skin and make you more vulnerable and that you should apply sunscreen after every bath or shower (and drink lots of water).

Dr. Saini recommended sunscreen that offers both UVA and UVB protection, and sunscreens based on titanium or zinc dioxide rather than chemical formulations because they are less likely to cause an allergic reaction. She stressed that the use of sunscreen should not give you license to spend hours in the sun and that tanning is never good for you. Babies especially should be shielded from the sun.

The best protection: Drink plenty of water, cover up and wear sunglasses and hats.

The National Skin Cancer Foundation is in its 30th year and, among other things, sponsors a nationwide program of skin cancer screening in a motor home, underwritten by Rite-Aid. They have so far screened 3,000 people. They may be reached at www.skincancer.org.

Sharon asked about ocular melanoma, which can cause blindness or death. She believes that chronic dry eye and/or chronic eye irritation can contribute to ocular melanoma (which is caused by chronic inflammation, usually associated with dry eye). Ocular melanoma is on the rise and can cause blindness or death. Annual full body examinations of the skin should always include the eyes (other eye problems besides melanoma can arise from chronic dry eye).

Final words: Each year, on your birthday, give yourself a full skin examination head to toe.

The Role of Chinese Medicine in Vision Care

Topic of discussion: “Chinese Medicine and Optometry: Preventive and Integrative Vision Care.”

Dr. Marc Grossman is a New York optometrist who has integrated elements of Chinese Medicine into his practice, with emphasis on treating of the whole body rather than just symptoms, to prevent and cure disease. He recommends the 2009 book, Healing Your Eyes with Chinese Medicine, by Andy Rosenfarb.

Dr. Grossman noted that the incidence of dry eye, near and farsightedness, cataracts, glaucoma and macular degeneration are all increasing dramatically. He believes they are part of a whole body issue involving lifestyle and environmental factors. Macular degeneration is a major cause of blindness.

A central theme in Dr, Grossman’s practice is vision therapy, in which a series of exercises are employed to improve and maintain good vision. Since the eye is more closely connected to the brain than any other organ (80% of learning is visual), the mind can be a powerful influence. Dr. Grossman improved his own vision by 70% using these exercises.

The exercises consist, in part, of working with a set of “Magic Eye Pictures” that have been developed, shifting back and forth from near vision to far vision for about five minutes, etc. It is also important to follow the “Three B’s” of “breathing,” “blinking” and “beaming” (or smiling, which benefits the eye muscles). Sleep is also critical, as are eating dark green vegetables and drinking enough water each day (he recommends 64 ounces, taken four ounces at a time).

Dr. Grossman is an advocate of Nature’s Tears EyeMist, sponsor of the Sharon Kleyne Hour, to alleviate dry eye symptoms. He notes that the mist also picks up oxygen, which is extremely beneficial to the eyes. A dry tear film is always trying to pull moisture out of the air but when the air is too dry, this can work in reverse. Dr. Grossman sees Nature’s Tears EyeMist as a potentially indispensable eye accessory much like a toothbrush for teeth.

Website: www.NaturalEyeCare.com (free phone and e-mail consultations).

Have Fun in the Sun But Be Smart

Judy Mulvihill (Phoenix, AZ), Program Director, Shade Foundation of America. “Have Fun in the Sun But Be Smart.”

Judy Mulvihill is involved with the Shade Foundation of America, founded in 2002 by Shonda Shilling, wife of former major league pitcher, Kurt Schilling. Shonda is a skin cancer survivor and the purpose of the Foundation is to educate adults and children on sun safety. The foundation is very involved with children and has an annual K-8 poster contest. They also offer an adult self-exam DVD and many other programs. See http://www.shadefoundation.org.

The Foundation believes that the use of sunscreen should be as much a habit as brushing your teeth (use more if your exposure will be greater). However, the best way to protect your skin is to cover up, with long sleeves, sunglasses and hats (also, when you are in the sun, be sure to drink plenty of water).

Final words: Skin cancer is 95% preventable but it is up to each individual.

Mohs Surgery, Skin Cancer and Melanoma

Ritu Saini, MD (New York, NY), National Skin Cancer Foundation, “Mohs Surgery, Skin Cancer and Melanoma”

Sharon’s first guest was Dr. Ritu Saini, a Dermatologist, representing the National Skin Cancer Foundation. Sharon noted that malignant melanoma is a skin cancer on the increase (most other cancers are decreasing), which she attributes to dry air and increasing solar exposure. With education and early detection, the disease is 95% preventable and 99%curable. Sharon’s Save a Child’s Life Foundation raises money to combat melanoma in children. Continue reading “Mohs Surgery, Skin Cancer and Melanoma”