Samme Sez

I'm never wrong- and I can prove it!

New Peanut Allergy Drug Shows ‘Lifesaving’ Potential

Results from a new study may lead to approval of what could be the first drug that ameliorates potentially deadly reactions in children with severe peanut allergies.  Caduceus physician and Chief Medical Officer Gregg DeNicola MD weighs in, “I agree with the spirit of the article; a breakthrough and very promising, but not necessarily a cure. Peanut allergy sufferers will need to abstain until further evidence can support the findings.”\

December 5, 2018 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Colorectal cancer screening? To screen or not to screen before 50?

As CMO for Caduceus Medical Group, Gregg Denicola MD agrees that colon cancer is striking at a younger age than previous years.  Especially in high-risk populations, earlier screening may be beneficial.

He shares that the data that the American Cancer Society is using appears to be somewhat mixed and does not definitively show a benefit for screening prior to age 50. Also he notes, there would be increased costs in earlier screening recommendations and whether finding a cancer a few years earlier would decrease mortality has not been proven effective.

Dr. DeNicola shares, “It is a likely most insurance carriers will continue deny coverage for the test prior to age 50. Our patients should be aware they may bear the cost of a screening prior to age 50.  The American Cancer Society is a lay organization. Although their aim is admirable, they are not an independent non-invested group. It would make sense they would advocate for any recommendation that could potentially reduce cancer. They may not be as interested in a critical look at the data in comparison to a less biased group made up of only physicians.”

At this time Caduceus Medical Group advises following the guidelines of the USPSTF, which currently recommends beginning colorectal screening in average risk patients at age 50.


June 8, 2018 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment


Recently several publications have been reporting on the AAP’s recommendation regarding fruit juice consumption for children. We asked Caduceus medical director Gregg DeNicola MD to “weigh in” for parents of our pediatric patients at Caduceus 4 Kids.

“As medical director and Caduceus provider I have actually told my patients for many years to avoid fruit juices until after their first birthday due to the high sugar concentration.  Many infants love apple juice as a variant from sugar water, but I’ve always advised diluting it. There is little need for anything other than breast milk or formula simulating the mother’s milk in the first 12 months. Rice cereal is an easy start into solids and has little sugar.

Caduceus Medical Group supports the findings of the AAP (American Academy of Pediatrics) and feels it should have come sooner.”  If you have any other medical questions for your physician about this post please email us at

June 1, 2017 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , | Leave a comment

Is eating a healthy breakfast really necessary?


Many of you may have seen the article recently in the New York Times discussing the association and validity between skipping breakfast and poor health.  You can read the article here.

Our medical director, Gregg DeNicola MD, share his insight on this subject,

“There is very little peer-reviewed literature on this topic. As the article states, most are sponsored by food companies which would have a bias.  It’s common sense that eating meals regularly throughout the day would be healthy. The way our metabolism works, we should not go from 7 PM until 12 noon without calories. However, humans are very adaptable and there is little evidence to say that IQ or life expectancy would be influenced by whether or not breakfast has been consumed.

We need a lot more research into this topic before any conclusions can be made. In the meantime, Caduceus encourages our patients to have some type of calorie intake first thing in the morning since that is when cortisol is excreted and the calories expended most effectively.”  If you have a medical question about this article, please email us at

January 16, 2017 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Are multivitamins a waste of money? Editorial in medical journal says yes.

More than half of all adults in the United States take some sort of multivitamin; many do so in hopes of preventing heart disease and cancer or even to aid with memory. But an editorial published in this week’s Annals of Internal Medicine says that using supplements and multivitamins to prevent chronic conditions is a waste of money. “The (vitamin and supplement) industry is based on anecdote, people saying ‘I take this, and it makes me feel better,’ said Dr. Edgar Miller, professor of medicine and epidemiology at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and co-author of the editorial. “It’s perpetuated. But when you put it to the test, there’s no evidence of benefit in the long term. It can’t prevent mortality, stroke or heart attack.”

The editorial, “Enough is Enough: Stop Wasting Money on Vitamin and Mineral Supplements,” is based on three studies looking at the effects of multivitamins on preventing heart attacks and cancer, as well as improving cognitive function in men older than 65. All three studies were also published in this week’s Annals of Internal Medicine.

The first study was a meta-analysis of 27 studies that covered more than 450,000 participants and found that multivitamins had no beneficial effect on preventing cardiovascular disease or cancer. In addition, taking vitamins didn’t prevent mortality in any way. However, the analysis did confirm that smokers who took only beta carotene supplements increased their risk of lung cancer.

When taking multivitamins to prevent a second heart attack, authors again found no beneficial evidence.
The second study looked at 1,700 patients who previously had heart attacks. They were assigned to take three multivitamins or placebos twice a day for five years. However, with more than 50% of patients stopping their medications, it was difficult for authors to come to any real conclusions about the vitamins’ effectiveness.
With such a high drop-out rate, “interpretation is very difficult,” said Miller.

The final study followed nearly 6,000 men older than 65, who took either a multivitamin or a placebo for 12 years. The men were administered cognitive functioning tests, and test results found no differences between the two groups. However, Gladys Block, a professor of nutrition and epidemiology at University of California Berkeley, pointed out that the group of men followed in the cognitive study were all physicians with no health problems.
“These are very well-nourished, very health-conscious people,” she said.

In fact, she says none of the studies accurately represents the American population.

Block has spent her life studying the role of Vitamin C, in particular, on disease risk factors and says that most Americans are undernourished. She says that most Americans don’t have a healthy diet, and therefore don’t get the vitamins and minerals they need. “You’re not getting any of these micronutrients from Coke and Twinkies,” said Block. “Two-thirds of us are overweight, a quarter over 50 have two or more chronic conditions, so there’s a substantial population that one would hesitate to call healthy.”

Block went on to say, “There’s always a nontrivial minority that’s actually getting a questionable level of some micronutrients. So multivitamins are a backstop against our poor diet.” Cara Welch, senior vice president of the Natural Products Association, agreed with Block. “It is pretty common that in this day and age with the lifestyle many of us lead that we don’t always take the time to have a balanced diet, and even if you do have a balanced diet, you can still have nutritional deficiencies.”

The Natural Products Association is the largest trade organization representing the manufacturers and retailers of the natural products industry, including vitamins. The vitamin and supplement industry rakes in nearly $12 billion annually, according to the researchers, with multivitamins its most popular product. “Multivitamins address the nutritional deficiencies in people,” Welch said. “We don’t believe they are the answer to all life’s ailments, as the editorial suggests.”

Miller, however, disagreed that the studies didn’t represent the general public. “They didn’t select people who eat good diets or bad diets,” he said. “You assume that these people selected are the typical American diet. Taking a supplement in place of a poor diet doesn’t work.”

Some groups, however, do need supplements, he said.

“For people with deficiencies, malabsorption issues, and to prevent neural tube defects in pregnancy — there are a small number of conditions where we prescribe them.” Miller also said the jury is still out on Vitamin D, which can help strengthen bones, and omega-3 fatty acids, including DHA and EPA. Miller said the studies were unlikely to change any clinical standards, and that focusing on diet and exercise remain key to maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

It’s something with which Block can agree. “Eat fruits and vegetables,” she said.

Source: CNN Health


December 24, 2013 Posted by | The latest in medicine, Uncategorized | , , | Leave a comment

Doctors warn of breast-cancer link to keeping cell phone in bra.

Could where you carry your cell phone make you sick? Some doctors say they’re seeing evidence of breast cancer that could be linked to where some women keep their mobile phones.

Tiffany Frantz and other young women tell KTVU it’s convenient way to hold on to their cell phone. “I put my cellphone right in my bra,” said Frantz. However, her mother Traci Frantz  expressed misgivings. “We never took it seriously until after she was diagnosed,” said Traci Frantz.

At the age of 21 years old, Tiffany got breast cancer. “Her tumors were exactly where her cellphone had been against her skin her bare skin for about six years,” said Traci Frantz. Their family has no genetic or other risk factors. Surgeons ended up removing Tiffany’s left breast.

“It’s kinda coincidental that it’s right where I kept my cellphone,” said Tiffany. Coincidence? Donna Jaynes got breast cancer at 39. Her family also no had risk factors for cancer. Her doctor showed KTVU the dots where her tumors developed  just a half an inch beneath her skin.

“All in this area right here, which is where I tucked my cellphone,” said Jaynes. She said she did just that for ten years. She had a mastectomy. “I thought cellphones were safe. I was under the impression that they were,” said Jaynes.

Breast surgeon Lisa Bailey believes cellphone-related breast cancer may be common. But doctors rarely ask about phones. “I would never wear a cellphone immediately next to my body and I would advise all women not to do that,” said Bailey.

Nevertheless, new bras are now on the market with pockets for cellphones. This may be convenient, but doctors said they are risky, especially for younger women. “These young breast in the early evolution are more sensitive to changes that might lead to cancer,” said Dr. John West, a breast cancer surgeon.

West, his colleague Dr. Lisa Bailey and others are now sounding an alarm. They say men are also getting breast cancer by putting their cellphones in their shirt pockets. The wireless industry denies any problem citing a lack of scientific evidence that cellphones cause breast cancer.

“Until further data either supports it or disproves it, I would keep cellphones away from the body, in particular the breasts,” said Dr. June Chen. Doctors recommend cell phone users read manufacturers fine print. For instance, iPhone manuals suggest users keep their phone at least 5/8 of an inch away from any body part.

“It’s as simple as that and it might save a life. It might avoid a mastectomy, chemotherapy. It’s easy enough to do. Why take a chance?” asked West. Tiffany’s mom says she wishes she’d spoken up. “I am convinced her cellphone has caused her breast cancer,” said Traci Frantz.

“If there is a risk and we don’t find out about it for five or ten years from now, we’re going to see a whole cluster of young people with breast cancer,” said Dr. John West.


June 1, 2013 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , | Leave a comment

New Method May Help Pinpoint Woman’s Final Menstrual Period.

A new formula to predict a woman’s final menstrual period could help menopausal women fight bone loss and reduce their heart disease risk, a new study reports. 

The formula is based on the changing levels of two hormones: estradiol, which is found in the ovaries; and follicle-stimulating hormone, which is present in the brain and gives instructions to the ovaries.

Estradiol levels fall and follicle-stimulating hormone levels rise as women go through menopause, the University of California, Los Angeles, researchers explained in a news release from the Endocrine Society.

Currently, doctors monitor women’s menstrual bleeding patterns to determine the menopause transition phase. However, this phase is an imprecise indicator of when the final menstrual period will occur, according to the authors of the study published in the April issue of the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism. 

“We need a better way to answer women’s questions about when to expect the final menstrual period,” lead author Dr. Gail Greendale, of UCLA’s David Geffen School of Medicine, said in the news release.


Source:  HealthDay News

March 26, 2013 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , | Leave a comment

St. Patty’s Day is almost here! Is green dye a health risk?

St Patrick’s Day celebrations are a many splendored thing: the parades, pub crawls and municipal water dyeing stunts are enjoyed by everyone — not just those of Irish descent. And that extends to food choices like beer, doughnuts, milkshakes, and even ketchup, all of which are getting a heavy dose of what is most likely the synthetic food dye, FD&C Green No. 3 on Sunday, March 17.

But is the dye a health problem? According to the experts, probably not. “The likelihood of harm
from some green dye on one occasion a year is apt to be very remote,” says Dr. David Katz, director of the YaleUniversity’s PreventionResearchCenter. “A lot of questions are asked about how to avoid health hazards associated with any given holiday. I think the best answer is to take care of yourself every day — and then you can relax and have fun when that special holiday rolls around!”

The worst that could happen is probably some gastrointestinal discomfort, according to Dr. Braden Kuo, an assistant physician at HarvardMedicalSchool and at the GI Unit of Massachusetts GeneralHospital. Artificial food dyes and additives are often not meant to be absorbed by the body, he explains, and instead may weigh heavily on the bowel, which, in turn, can suck water into the bowels, resulting in diarrhea.

But even the dangers of long-term consumption are uncertain. While some research has suggested that certain food dyes can contribute to worsening hyperactivity among children, those are largely inconclusive. The FDA has ordered additional testing.

As adults, we consume small, though constant amounts of food dye — about 14 to 16 milligrams per day, according to Stefani Bardin, an artist and professor of food studies at Parsons and The New School who worked on a video-based experiment with Kuo to examine how the body processes and breaks down artificial additives. Their well-known video displays the digestive process of three adults who ate processed ramen and drank blue Gatorade. Many viewers were upset to see that the blue dye retained its color throughout the digestive process. But that reaction may be more visceral than scientific.

“There’s not a lot of evidence to show that it has a definitive impact on overall health,” says Kuo. “Just because we can’t digest it doesn’t mean there’s a problem with a dye. It might be good that you’re not absorbing it. It’s relatively contained. If it was really dangerous, it would get broken down.”



March 13, 2013 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , | Leave a comment

If There is a Will There is a Way!

Most people will make New Year resolutions, and very few will keep them. Why? Because they make the so-called resolution, but don’t initiate new behaviors to see those resolutions through.

If you really want to make changes in your health for this New Year, you can do it. Here are some tips for getting real.

Stop smoking

This is perhaps the toughest addiction of all to break – but doing so could save your life.  Continuing to smoke can lead to greater risk of a heart attack or any number of gruesome cancers. Smoking adds absolutely no benefits to life, and is a dangerous and destructive habit.

Acupuncture can help.  The trick is to find a highly qualified acupuncturist with experience helping smokers to quit. Utilizing hair-thin wires, the treatment re-wires patterns in the nervous system and does not hurt.

While you’re trying to kick the habit, drink lots of pure, fresh, plain water daily to detoxify your body, and take a couple of grams of vitamin C daily to rejuvenate your cells and provide antioxidant protection.

Most important of all, if you’re struggling with a smoking addiction, get help. Many people simply cannot quit on their own. Do whatever you have to do to win this battle over cigarettes, cigars, pipes, or whatever form your tobacco vice takes. Change some of your daily routine to disrupt your smoking schedule.

Lose weight

For starters, try not to finish your plate or consuming fewer calories. You gain excess pounds by taking in more calories than you expend, pure and simple.

Avoid all fast foods and fried foods, and stop drinking sodas, which are just liquid candy. Also, cutting out snacks and junk food can help with weight loss.

If you really want to lose weight, you need to change your eating habits. Eat fresh fruits and vegetables.  Try eating a fresh apple every day. Apples help elimination, are packed with antioxidants, and help to stabilize metabolism.

Drink a couple of cups of green tea daily. The antioxidant compounds in green tea aid weight loss. Try taking green coffee extract – a minimum of 500 milligrams twice daily. Either Svetol or GCA are the brands that are actually tested and proven effective. Both cause your body to steadily shed pounds, day after day.

It’s not just diet that will help you lose weight – but exercise is also key.  Exercise faithfully, every day. Get out and walk at least two miles – and if you can, make that four. Exercise spends calories that would otherwise turn into fat, and it tones your body while helping to clear your mind. You can absolutely lose weight if you really want to.

Be more focused

If you want to maximize your mind power, start by taking 400 milligrams of Rhodiola rosea extract every day. Rhodiola is proven in human clinical studies to enhance concentration, thought formation, memory and overall mood.

Meditate daily. You don’t need to become a monk; just learn to meditate and clear your mind, so you can live in a naturally fresh and alert state. Drink less alcohol – or even no alcohol at all. A little alcohol is fine for health, but booze does in fact fog the mind. Want to be razor sharp? Nix the drink.

Get in shape

Start with realistic goals. If you don’t walk much, start walking just two miles daily at a brisk pace. Increase your daily exercise gradually, so you’ll stay with it.

If you like going to the gym, ask a trainer to help you out. Attend exercise classes, so you’ll be encouraged by others. Reinforce the habit of daily exercise.

The best tip is not to aim too high in the beginning. Don’t resolve to work out every day for two hours. You won’t do it. Be moderate and once you have the hang of it, go for more.

Get more sleep

Are you sleep-deprived and tired? Make more time for sleep. Spend less time in front of the TV and a bit more time in bed. Drink less alcohol (which often makes sleeping harder), and try passion flower tea, holy basil (Tulsi) tea, or L-theanine capsules, 100 milligrams each. All these can help you to get more deep snoozing time.

Reduce stress

Start by taking walks outdoors on a regular basis. This is immensely helpful for shedding stress. Meditate daily to calm your mind. Play with your children more. It’s pretty hard to stay stressed when you’re actively having fun with kids.

Practice Yoga. It’s probably among the very best things for shedding stress and worry.

More often than not, New Year’s resolutions are hopeful ideas that quickly dissipate as we engage in the same old behaviors. But by making real and significant changes, we can act on those resolutions and achieve our goals. So make it a happy – and healthy – New Year.

What are your committed to doing to improve your health in 2013?


January 4, 2013 Posted by | Uncategorized | , | Leave a comment

What is the truth about the phenomenon called “holiday heart?”

Believe it or not, holiday heart is the real deal!  Deadly heart attacks do increase during the winter holiday season. One study even found distinct spikes around Christmas and New Year’s Day.

Doctors have long known that cold weather is hard on the heart. Blood vessels constrict, which raises blood pressure. Blood also clots more readily. Frigid temperatures increase strain on the heart, and too much physical exertion can worsen the burden and trigger a heart attack. For example, doctors have treated many patients whose heart attacks followed strenuous snow shoveling.

In a national 2004 study published in Circulation, researchers at the University of California, San Diego, and Tufts University University School of Medicine examined 53 million U.S. death certificates from 1973 to 2001.  They discovered an overall increase of five percent more heart related deaths during the holiday season.

But cold extremes don’t really explain why fatal heart attacks peak on Christmas and New Year’s Day, especially among the most rapidly stricken patients. Adding to the mystery, why do holiday heart attacks shoot up consistently across the country, even in balmy climates like Southern California.

In the Circulation study, researchers suggested people might delay getting treatment because they don’t want to disrupt Christmas and New Year’s festivities. People just tend to put off seeking medical help during the holidays. They tend to wait till afterwards, or holiday travelers might take longer to find competent medical care, which heightens the risk. Also, hospitals may be short-staffed on major holidays.

The study also suggested other factors may play a role, such as emotional stress and overindulgence. During the holidays, legions of Americans eat too much and drink more alcohol — while ditching their exercise routine. Needless to say, this combo isn’t healthy for the heart. People tend to gain weight during the holiday season and take in more salt, which can put additional stress on a weakened heart.

How do you prevent a holiday heart attack?

Pile on the layers. Try to avoid exposure to very cold temperatures. Dress warmly.

Take a load off. Steer clear of heart stressors, including too much physical exertion (especially snow shoveling), anger, and emotional stress.

Make good choices. Avoid excess salt and alcohol. Too much drinking — for example, binge drinking — can lead to atrial fibrillation, an abnormal heart rhythm in which disorganized electrical signals cause the heart’s two upper chambers to contract irregularly. Atrial fibrillation increases the risk of stroke, heart attack, and heart failure.

Get a shot. Consider getting a flu vaccination. Infection and fever put extra stress on the heart.

Breathe. Go indoors during air pollution alerts but try to avoid breathing smoke from wood-burning fireplaces. If you’re visiting another home during the holidays, sit as far away as you can from a burning fireplace. Ultra-fine particles in the air can be bad for the heart.

Get help. If you feel chest pain or other symptoms, call 911 for emergency help. The stakes are high. So give yourself and your family a gift this season. Don’t postpone treatment because you don’t want to spoil the holiday fun!

Source:  Web MD

December 18, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , | Leave a comment

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