All posts by Ashley Rekem

Can low sodium pretzel buns reduce high blood pressure?

A recent NIH study suggested that aggressively lowering systolic blood pressure below current guidelines of 120 mg—by aggressively they meant giving more medications—could reduce deaths from cardiovascular disease. Around the time the study came out I was in a hospital cafeteria getting something to eat when I noticed two ladies standing behind a table. On […]

Butter is not back says study. Here’s why I’m ignoring it

“Butter is not back,” according to a new study by researchers at Harvard’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health. The researchers raised the important point that the low-fat fads of the 80s and 90s led to the substitution of saturated fat with refined carbohydrates to our detriment, and so they set out to find what […]

Cholesterol is not a dietary villain

The American Heart Association’s Low-Fat, Low-Cholesterol Cookbook begins with a problematic statement: “Eating well is one of the joys of life. Because you want foods that both taste good and promote good health, this cookbook offers you lots of excellent choices ranging from appetizers to desserts, all high in flavor but low in saturated fat, […]

Maine’s seaweed and your thyroid health

The problem of iodine deficiency has made a comeback, but Maine’s emerging seaweed aquaculture could be a solution. In the 1920’s iodine was added to table salt because iodine deficiency was widespread in the U.S. and especially concentrated in the Great Lakes, Northwest, and Appalachian regions. Iodine is a key element needed to produce thyroid […]

The geography of hip fractures

It has been ingrained in us time and time again that dairy builds strong bones, but could it actually be harmful for our bones? Or perhaps it’s not harmful, but it doesn’t actually help preserve bone density. In an Endocrinology course I once took my professor, Tyrone Hayes an Endocrinology research scientist, remarked one day […]

How to interpret a lipid panel

As the time doctors spend with us becomes more limited, I think everyone should be able to look at their own lipid panels and perform a basic interpretation of the results. All one has to do is look at a few numbers and calculate a ratio. A typical lipid panel consists of a measurement of fasting […]

Obesity, is it just an individual problem?

Could it be that a combination of sinister factors are at play in driving America’s obesity epidemic? Recently I came across the following quote concerning obesity in an article I read: “It’s the individual’s problem and I’m ready to hear the recitation of why that makes it America’s problem. I’ve heard it more times than […]