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Friday, September 16, 2011

Watching Dr Oz 9/16/11: Pandemic Preparation, Bee Products for Skin, Healthy Pizza, Vitamin B-12

The Dr Oz Show
Airdate: 9/16/11
Dr. Oz Pandemic Preparation
  • Dr. Oz's recommendations to protect yourself in the face of a pandemic
  • Bee products for younger skin
  • Healthy pizza
  • Vitamin B-12
What would happen if a global contagion broke out today? Dr. Oz thinks it's not a matter of “if” but more a matter of “when”.

Dr. Oz's worst fear is a contagion breaking loose and spreading throughout the world creating a pandemic that could be deadly.

What does Dr. Oz recommend to do to protect yourself on the chance that a contagion attacks the population?

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Dr. Oz Pandemic Preparation

How does a virus spread? Dr. Oz illustrated the path of a virus with a fictitious “Patient Zero” who is a carrier of a virus. Patient Zero sneezes on her hand. She touches a hand rail coming up the stairs from the subway. At a coffee shop, Patient Zero uses the same sneeze hand to open the door. After receiving her coffee she uses the hand to pick up a thermos of creamer. She leaves the coffee shop and heads to the hot dog stand and gets a dog for lunch. The sneeze hand picks up the ketchup squeeze bottle. Behind Patient Zero is a mother who purchases a hot dog for her daughter, tops the dog with ketchup, then uses the same hand that touched the ketchup bottle to feed a piece of hot dog to her daughter.

Virius can live on surfaces for hours. According to the Mayo Clinic, germs from the flu or a cold could potentially live on a surface from minutes to 48 hours and possibly even longer. Imagine the places you visit in a day. If you lived and worked in a highly populated area like New York City or San Francisco or Chicago, how many people could Patient Zero expose to a virus in one short day?

The movie Contagion, starring Matt Damon, details the potentiality of a horrifying and deep-seated fear of most Americans. What if a pandemic spreads globally and there is no vaccine available.

Dr. Oz saw the movie and felt that the science was absolutely correct and realistic. He said when he walked out of the theater he looked at the world in a different light. He heard a cough from someone across the street and envisioned that person being Patient Zero.

Matt Damon, the star of Contagion says if he was confronted with a pandemic crisis situation he hopes he would be able to take a deep breath and try to respond logically.

Dr. Ian Lipkin, Director of Immunity and Infection at Columbia University has identified 400 viruses in his career and develops diagnostic tools to help speed the tracking of and response to new contagions in our environment. Elliot Gould's character in the movie was based on him. Dr. Lipkin started working on viruses in 1984 with the AIDS crises. In trying to determine the why and how of the outbreak he turned toward genetics to look for infectious agents and discover how to prevent deadly outbreaks.
Dr. Lipkin become involved in the film because he wanted to make sure the producers got the science right from identification of a contagion to the development of a vaccine.

According the guests on the show, our greatest weakness when it comes to an outbreak developing into a pandemic is our ability to detect the initial spread of the contagion. Once detected, scientists can immediately begin to identify the contagion and start to create a vaccine.

It currently takes 6 months to create a vaccine for the flu. At the start of each flu season, scientists begin creating a vaccine. Six months later the “new” season's flu virus is ready to administer.

Dr. Likin feels that there is no reason for it to take 6 months to make a vaccine. He says we have the capability to make the process go faster if current resources are made available to the scientists who make vaccines. A decision needs to be made by the entire culture to urge governments to free up these resources and change current processes, Lipkin says.

Dr. Oz recommends that viewers put together a pandemic kit of 5 items in case there is an outbreak without an readily available vaccine.

  1. Andrographis: Dr. Oz recommends taking 400 mg 3 times per day
  2. Get a flu shot
  3. Wash your hands regularly for at least 25 seconds
  4. Stay home if you're sick
  5. Wear a surgical mask

Historically, pandemics have torn through the population killing millions in its path: the Bubonic Plague, Small Pox, the Spanish Flu.

Currently, the CDC is monitoring the 3 biggest global disease threats.

Dr. Oz Global Disease Threat #1: Swine Flu 
A new form of swine flu that has mutated with genes from the H1N1 virus. There has been no spread from person to person at this time. The CDC has already created a vaccine.

Dr. Oz Global Disease Threat #2: Manufactured Small Pox
 The vaccine has not been administered since 1972 but the CDC maintains enough vaccines for the entire country just in case there is a small pox pandemic, a man-made pandemic.

Dr. Oz Global Disease Threat #3: Measles
One person with the Measles can infect 15 other people. One person can infects someone from 100 feet away. Measles is the leading cause of death in developing nations for children. Measles is the most contagious ailment and Dr. Oz is concerned by the number of families who have chosen to not vaccinate their children against it.

The CDC believes that it is entirely possibly for a scientist to take a vaccine from a secure laboratory and change it into a virus that could be released into the population. While the CDC has small pox vaccine stockpiles to disseminate to the entire population, guests on the show expressed concerns about the logistics of providing the vaccine to every member of the population should the country fall victim to a biological attack of small pox or other virus.

Outbreak, released in 1995 also detailed the horrors of a pandemic. That movie sparked the same fever of talk show discussions and a heightened level of anxiety overtook the public.

My personal opinion is if you practice good hygiene in washing your hands, sneeze or cough into your arm or shirt and not your hand, stay home when you're sick, keep yourself healthy with smart food choices, exercise and support the immune system you will be much better off over worrying about a potential outbreak.

Today's episode of Dr. Oz shined a light on the big, massive “what if” that some scientists believe is more a matter of when but he did so in such a rush that I think the end result is instilling fear in the public instead of providing an education. I think this topic warrants an entire episode including more prevention points instead of focusing on the fear raising points. In Dr. Oz style, he spent only a portion of the show on this topic then moved on to 3 others.

I think Dr. Oz and I can agree on one thing: in any given situation from a global pandemic outbreak to a traffic jam, breathe and try to look at the situation logically.

Dr. Oz: Beauty and the Bees

Bee venom in your facial creams? Dr. Oz brought on bee skin care expert Frederique Keller who shared the super ingredient in her skin care products: bee venom. Frederique extracts the bee venom and dilutes it homeopathically for her skin are line.

An audience member bravely stepped up to have Frederique's bee venom facial mask applied. The mask should be applied for 20 minutes (shorter times at first use) 2 times a week then follow up with Frederique's firming bee venom night cream that she calls “bee-tox”.

The bee venom is an irritant to the skin which causes the body to rush collagen and elastin to the skin surface.

[I just wanted to stop everyone right there and say what? The bee skin care expert said the “bee venom is an irritant”. And there was no mention of the name of her product. So I did a little searching online. Surprisingly it was very hard to find Frederique's product. A search for “bee venom facial mask” brought me to Truth in which reviewed another brand's bee venom mask.

First, it's a pricey product. Second, there's a discussion about whether the venom is breaking down hyaluronic acid in the body or not. In the product studied, there were ingredients which off-set the hyaluronic acid breakdown. I would rather support the building of collagen and elastin through taking collagen internally instead of placing a tub of $40 irritant on my skin.

After some searching, I did finally find Frederique's product called Bee Pharm. The segment seemed off to me. Dr. Oz didn't state the product name, it's rather expensive, and there could be some potential negative aspects to the product]

Dr. Oz: Healthy Pizza!

Chef, Aaron McCargo, Jr. host of Big Daddy's House on the Food Network came to the Dr. Oz Show to make a healthy pizza! Substituting the white flour for whole wheat flour, the sausage for chicken breast and the sauce for low-sodium taco seasoning Big Daddy made a delicious taco-shell-like pizza that he topped with salsa, guacamole and cilantro. Yumm!

Dr. Oz One Vitamin To Manage Memory

Dr. Oz played a game with 2 audience members called Win Your Daily Dose with the promise of a big prize.

[This segment was awkward and strange from start to finish. The audience members were a tad confused and visibly uncomfortable]

It was billed as a segment to learn how to get your daily dose of Vitamin B-12 which Dr. Oz says protects the nervous system, supports mood and is popular among athletes. 

The contestants chose one of two doors. In door number one: octopus, real ones and a stuffed one. In door number two: smelly cheese, a good source of vegetarian Vitamin B-12. And that was the extent of the information. The contestant who chose door number one won a trip to St. Johns island.

[And the segment basically ended from there. What was that about? I was dismayed watching it. I imagine the women who played the game were even more dismayed. And we got a miniscule amount of information about Vitamin B-12. I mean, how popular is octopus and how practical of a food choice is it? Strange.

The website states that vitamin B-12 is found in animal products and fortified cereal products. On the website is a selected list of foods and their vitamin B-12 content.

The Whole Foods website also provides a nice list of foods containing vitamin B-12. According to the Whole Foods website, foods high in vitamin B-12 can “support production of red blood cells and prevent anemia, allow nerve cells to develop properly, and help your cells metabolize protein, carbohydrate, and fat.]

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