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May 30th, 2008
02:24 PM ET

Vitamins as we age

By Val Willingham
CNN Medical Producer

My friend takes a lot of vitamins.  In fact, in one day, she probably washes down the entire alphabet.  I have often wondered, as I watch her take glass after glass of water to swallow them all, why?  Is it really necessary to take that many supplements?

Nutritionists say no.   According to Katherine Tallmadge of the American Dietetic Association a multi-vitamin once a day is fine.  The best way of getting your vitamins, she says, is to eat foods that are loaded with nutrients. "Many studies are showing that vitamin supplements do not get the same results as vitamins from food," she says.   So that means eating goodies rich in calcium, Vitamin A,B, B12, C and E.   And as we age, it's even more important to get these supplements into our diets in order to stay healthy.

At any age, but especially as we get into our 30s, calcium is important.  Most people think calcium plays a bigger role in our golden years, but doctors say the more calcium you put in your body as a young adult, the stronger your bones will be as you get older. That's because as we reach 30 we begin to lose bone and muscle mass.   So fill up the breakfast table with low-fat milks and yogurts. And look for foods rich in magnesium and vitamin K for muscles. And don't forget vitamin D.  It helps your body absorb calcium into the bones.  You can get it from sunshine, but getting enough of it that way can be a challenge with a busy schedule.   In fact Tallmadge says, "vitamin D is hard enough to get in food...vitamin d is the only nutrient I recommend that you get from a supplement."

Also in your 40s and 50s start thinking about your heart.  Tallmadge notes, "a big factor is preventing heart diseases.  I would say the B vitamins are very important – folic acid, vitamin B 12 – those B vitamins are very important for keeping homocysteine levels down. which is an emerging risk factor for heart disease."

So turn to whole grains, broccoli and low-fat animal products, like lean meat and chicken.  All of these can help keep the circulation system healthy.

And of course, eat lots of veggies and fruits.  And don't forget the omega 3 fatty acids found in oily fish, walnuts and flax seed.  They're also important for prevention of heart disease because they can reduce inflammation, blood clots and keep blood pressure down.  They can also be important for the brain.  Studies have shown people with high Omega three diets, have less depression, and fewer cases of dementia and Alzheimer's.  

As for all the vitamin supplements, talk to your doctor.  They aren't necessarily bad for you, but taking too much of one vitamin or combination of vitamins could cause problems.  Nutritionists say, balance it out.  It could help you feel healthier and cut down on your vitamin bill.

Do you take vitamins... which ones and why?  We'd like to hear about it.

Editor’s Note: Medical news is a popular but sensitive subject rooted in science. We receive many comments on this blog each day; not all are posted. Our hope is that much will be learned from the sharing of useful information and personal experiences based on the medical and health topics of the blog. We encourage you to focus your comments on those medical and health topics and we appreciate your input. Thank you for your participation.

 


May 30th, 2008
12:49 PM ET

Obama's health by the numbers

By Tim Langmaid
CNN Medical Managing Editor

A week ago today, Sen. John McCain, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, allowed journalists, including Dr. Sanjay Gupta, to view hundreds of pages of his medical records, dating back about eight years. This week Sen. Barack Obama, the Democratic front-runner, released a very brief summary of his medical history.

The summary was written by Dr. David L. Scheiner, who notes he has been Obama's physician for more than 21 years. Neither candidate is required to divulge details about his health to the public. Both have. There's been a great deal of interest in McCain's health, primarily because of his bouts with skin cancer. For Obama, there have been fewer questions, but most have focused on his history with cigarettes.

You can read the doctor's one-page summary of Obama's health by clicking here.  Below are the highlights:

Obama is kicking his cigarette habit. Scheiner notes the senator has been an "intermittent" smoker but doesn't mention when he began smoking or how many cigarettes, on average, he smoked a day. But he confirms what Obama has mentioned on the campaign trail: The senator is using Nicorette gum with success. Smoking is more than just an obvious health issue for Obama – the senator's mother died of ovarian cancer and his grandfather died of prostate cancer.

Scheiner shares some lab results from Obama's most recent physical exam (January 15, 2007). The numbers indicate the 46-year-old is in very good health:

– Cholesterol 173   (less than 200 is considered "desirable" by the American Heart Association)
– HDL 68   (more than 60 offers some protection against heart disease according to AHA)
– LDL 96   (less than 100 is considered "optimal," the AHA says)
– Triglycerides 44   (less than 150 is normal)
– PSA 0.6   (lower than 2.6 is considered low/good according to the National Cancer Institute)

The doctor notes that Obama's blood pressure was a low 90 over 60 when he measured it during his exam almost a year a half ago. His electrocardiogram, or EKG, a measure of the heart’s electrical activity, was normal too. Scheiner also writes that, at the time, Obama was exercising regularly and often jogging three miles a day. That healthy habit may be getting tested now by the demands of the campaign trail.

Editor’s Note: Medical news is a popular but sensitive subject rooted in science. We receive many comments on this blog each day; not all are posted. Our hope is that much will be learned from the sharing of useful information and personal experiences based on the medical and health topics of the blog. We encourage you to focus your comments on those medical and health topics and we appreciate your input. Thank you for your participation.


May 28th, 2008
12:09 PM ET

Cancer and cell phones

By Dr. Sanjay Gupta
Chief Medical Correspondent

Last night, I was part of a fascinating discussion on "Larry King Live" about cell phones and their health risks. (watch) To be clear, most of the established scientific community thinks there is no reason for concern. There were, however, some strong voices on each side of the issue, including neurosurgeon Vini Khurana from Australia. He is convinced, after looking at hundreds of studies, that not only do cell phones cause health problems such as brain tumors, but also they will eventually be considered a bigger health risk than asbestos and even cigarettes.

Wow.

Now, I expected a staunch defense from the American Cancer Society, but instead I heard a more tepid response from Dr. Michael Thun. His bottom-line conclusion is that the studies that currently exist don't show any reason for concern – but – the studies aren't definitive in showing that they are safe either. Not exactly reassuring.

Over the last year, I have reviewed nearly a hundred studies on this topic, including the 19 large epidemiological studies. I urge you to do the same and read carefully to see what you think. Here is an example from a Swedish paper showing no increased risk of a brain tumor, known as acoustic neuroma. (see study) As you read the paper, you will find they defined a "regular" cell phone user as someone who uses a cell phone once per week during six months or more. I don't know about you, but everyone I know uses his or her cell phones much more frequently than that. So, just how reliable are some of these studies?

Furthermore, many of the studies published since 2000 followed patients only three years on average. And, even a Danish study that did have longer-term follow-up excluded anyone under the age of 18. So, what about children who will presumably be using these phones for the rest of their lives?

Mobile devices give off non-ionizing radiation radio frequency. This is different from the ionizing radiation of an X-ray, which everyone agrees can be harmful in large doses. The recommendation by the two neurosurgeons on the panel yesterday – Khurana and Dr. Keith Black, chairman of neurosurgery at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles – wear a wired ear piece. Even Bluetooth devices give off some radiation, although at lower doses. Don't carry your cell phone in your pocket; instead put it in a holster that meets industry standards.

What do you think? As Larry reminded us last night, it took a long time to develop a cause-and-effect relationship between cigarettes and lung cancer. Nowadays, everyone knows it exists. Is the same thing happening with cell phones? (more from Dr. Gupta on cell phones and cancer)

Editor's Note: Medical news is a popular but sensitive subject rooted in science. We receive many comments on this blog each day; not all are posted. Our hope is that much will be learned from the sharing of useful information and personal experiences based on the medical and health topics of the blog. We encourage you to focus your comments on those medical and health topics and we appreciate your input. Thank you for your participation.


May 26th, 2008
02:25 PM ET

Remembering mental health for vets

 
By Val Willingham
CNN Medical Producer
 
My father is a World War II vet. As a corpsman in the Pacific campaign, he was in the first Marine battalion to enter the city of Nagasaki after the bomb was dropped.
 

ALT TEXT

Alexander Wadas was one of the first Marines into Nagasaski after the nuclear bombing, but the U.S. government didn't check on his health for 40 years.

To this day, he doesn't talk about it much.

I would imagine the images of such devastation would live with someone forever. Yet, when my dad got back to the states after the war, no one ever asked him about his experience. No one offered any type of counseling or therapy. He returned to his hometown in upstate New York and went on with his life.

It was not until he was in his late 60s that anyone from the government thought to get in contact with him They sent him a questionnaire, asking him what he had experienced after he had been in the first nuclear war zone. Was he suffering from illnesses? Did he have trouble breathing? How much exposure did he have to radioactive chemicals and residue? What were the effects on his health? Did he glow at night? (OK, they didn't ask him that but you get the idea.) Forty years later, the Department of Defense wanted to know. By that time he could have died from all sorts of complications. Luckily, he had not. But who's to say what happened to his comrades?

Thousands of military men and women come home to this country, maimed and scarred, both physically and mentally from the horrors of fighting a war. Although the armed services offers more help to active military now than during my father's time in the service, sadly it is not enough.

Military and Department of Veterans Affairs hospitals are overcrowded. Staffing, especially for mental health, is at an all time low. According to the Pentagon there are only 1,431 uniformed mental health professionals in uniform for all the services. The VA offers more therapists, but it's still not enough to provide care for all those who need it. That means many vets must seek private therapy, which can be very expensive. Disability checks often don't even cover their basic health-care needs.

Today, the military is seeking help from the private sector, asking therapists to volunteer an hour of their time to help vets suffering from such mental conditions as post-traumatic stress disorder and depression. And therapy is important. If these vets aren’t treated, the VA says, this country could see higher rates of substance abuse, marital problems and suicide in our military. Even though veterans from my father's era are dying and the total number of vets is decreasing, the Department of Defense expects to spend close to $60 billion to compensate wounded soldiers over the next 25 years. Even the presidential candidates have made increasing funding to help the returning vets a campaign priority. Will it be enough? Only time will tell.

Every Memorial Day, my dad goes down to the World War II monument in Washington, D.C., to pay tribute to those friends who fought next to him and died for their country. He's not alone. Around the corner people, of all ages bow their heads and wipe away tears as they read the names on the Vietnam Memorial. And on the opposite side of the grassy Mall, others gaze at the stone soldiers that grace the Korean Memorial. It is important to remember. Yet, as we honor the men and women who died for this country today, let us also think of those who lived and came back home. Shouldn't they be given the same honor and respect we give to those who are no longer with us?

What do you think? Should this country be doing more for the American Vet when it comes to taking care of their health?

We'd like to hear from you.
Editor’s Note: Medical news is a popular but sensitive subject rooted in science. We receive many comments on this blog each day; not all are posted. Our hope is that much will be learned from the sharing of useful information and personal experiences based on the medical and health topics of the blog. We encourage you to focus your comments on those medical and health topics and we appreciate your input. Thank you for your participation.

May 23rd, 2008
08:43 PM ET

What's in McCain's health records?

By Dr. Sanjay Gupta
CNN Chief Medical Correspondent

As a doctor, I have never reviewed medical records quite the way I did today. Senator McCain's staff gathered a handful of reporters to Fountain Hills, Arizona at a small hotel. It was sort of a strange day. For starters, it was raining today, and from what they tell me, it hardly ever rains here in May. Then, after days of getting specific rules and regulations about how exactly this would work, the McCain staff decided to leak the records ahead of time to the Associated Press. Nice. Gather reporters from all over the country on the Friday before Memorial Day weekend for a super secret document release, and then leak them beforehand. Needless to say, a few of the reporters were pretty frosted.

At promptly 7:30 a.m. PT, we were taken to a conference room and handed three stacks of paper, nearly 1,200 papers in all and told we had exactly three hours to review them. I am still not sure I understand why there was so little time given to review so many papers. Having said that, I am pretty convinced there was no "smoking gun" about the Senator's health. I reviewed his cancer history carefully, as well as his cardiac, lung, prostate, kidney and liver history.

He takes 6 medications, including a multivitamin, which is actually a little less than average for a man his age. He has been extremely diligent about getting skin exams, which is important given his history of malignant melanoma. Back in 2000, he had an extensive dissection of his left neck and the removal of 34 lymph nodes, along with a stage 2A melanoma. That was the worse of his at least 5 skin cancers. He was told at the time that it had a 66 percent chance of recurrence over 10 years. That was 8 years ago, and he has done pretty well.

His heart seems to be in good condition, as evidenced by two stress tests, the last of which was this year. And, he even lost 6 pounds while campaigning. Many candidates put on weight with the crazy schedule. He was a 2 pack a day smoker for 25 years, and quit in 1980. He has received chest x-rays and CAT scans, which showed no evidence of lung cancer. His prostate seems to be alright, and aside from kidney stones, I could not find much else wrong with him.

There was mention of his time as a prisoner of war. It was hard to read about the time he was tortured and beaten to the point of breaking both of his shoulders. I read that they never set properly, which is why to this day, he cannot reach above his head. Someday, one of the doctors wrote, he will likely need to have his shoulders replaced.

I looked diligently for any mention of his mental health, and found hardly any. Every doctor's note began, "he is a pleasant and cooperative"gentleman. No doctor's note included a question about depression or substance abuse. He apparently does have trouble with sleep, and occasionally takes ambien. Today, I even saw pictures of a presidential candidate's colon. Now that is some detail. His height, at one place in the chart, was listed at 5’6”, and a year later it was listed as 5’9”. Hmmm.

So far, Senators Obama and Clinton have not released their medical records. Let's hope when they do, the day is not nearly as strange.

Candidates and Presidents for that matter are not required to release their medical records, but almost all of them do. Is it important to you that they do? Do you worry about cover ups or do you take everyone at their word?

Programming note: Watch Dr. Sanjay Gupta’s Special Investigations Unit presentation “The First Patient – Health & the Presidency” this weekend on CNN. The program airs at 8 p.m. and 11 p.m. ET Saturday and Sunday.

Editor’s Note: Medical news is a popular but sensitive subject rooted in science. We receive many comments on this blog each day; not all are posted. Our hope is that much will be learned from the sharing of useful information and personal experiences based on the medical and health topics of the blog. We encourage you to focus your comments on those medical and health topics and we appreciate your input. Thank you for your participation.


May 23rd, 2008
04:55 PM ET

Dr. Gupta reviews McCain's health info

CNN Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta is in Fountain Hills, Arizona, today to review Sen. John McCain most recent medical records.

ALT TEXT

The presumptive Republican nominee, whose overall health is good, has had multiple skin cancers, including a growth that was removed in February of this year. Gupta filed this report Friday afternoon.


May 23rd, 2008
10:32 AM ET

Dr. Gupta this weekend

By Tim Langmaid
CNN Medical Managing Editor

This weekend be sure to tune in for two reports from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta.

At 8:30 a.m. Saturday and Sunday watch "House Call." Gupta will examine the medical records of 71-year-old Sen. John McCain. If elected, McCain would be the oldest elected president in U.S. history by Inauguration Day in 2009. Also, "House Call" will look at re-growing body parts – it's becoming reality at a military hospital in Texas. Plus, on the road and looking for food, find out the best and worst choices at your favorite roadside fast-food joints.

Then at 8 p.m. and 11 p.m. ET Saturday and Sunday, watch "The First Patient – Health and the Presidency." This CNN Special Investigations Unit hour reported by Gupta explores the health demands of being commander in chief – and the challenges facing presidential doctors. See how the aging process may accelerate for those serving in the Oval Office. Learn about the health care the president receives day to day and in a worst-case scenario. And see how the nation and the world respond when the American president is sick or injured.


May 21st, 2008
11:46 AM ET

Inside a senator's brain

By Dr. Sanjay Gupta
Chief Medical Correspondent

Somewhere deep inside the brain of Sen. Edward Kennedy, the neurons in his left parietal lobe were becoming angry. This is an area of the brain at about eye level just behind the ear. Something had invaded their space, a foreign mass of some type, and they were about to react in a way that would frighten the senator and those around him.

It was this past Saturday when the brain had a sudden burst of electrical activity and caused a seizure, also known as a convulsion. Certain parts of his body would first become rigid, and then start to shake. He would lose consciousness.

In most people, including the senator, there was really no way he could've known it was about to happen. Warning signs in the past may have been a vague headache, possibly some numbness in his right arm, maybe even the loss of a word when he was speaking. Any of those things may have been quickly forgotten or dismissed. A seizure, on the other hand, is a stern warning that the brain has reached a break point.

While the seizure can be a frightening thing to witness, for doctors it is a call to action. It spurs those in my field of neurosurgery immediately into medical mystery-solving mode. The seizure itself in most cases will eventually stop, leaving doctors in a quandary. What exactly caused the seizure in the first place? One of the dictums of medicine is that you imagine the worst things of all and immediately try and rule those out. In this case, an electroencephalogram, or EEG, was performed measuring the electrical activity of the brain and perhaps most importantly, an MRI scan of the brain showed that angry foreign mass to the outside world for the first time. It probably looked like an octopus with tentacles reaching into the surrounding areas of the brain. (Watch Dr. Gupta explain how doctors examined Sen. Kennedy's brain here)

Now, doctors had to figure out what it was.

The only way to know for sure was to cut the skin above this tumor, drill a hole in the skull and insert a probe through the brain square into the middle of this mass. The goal here is to remove small pieces of the fibrous tough tissue and examine it under a microscope. It’s likely that the pathologist looked up from the microscope with a concerned expression when he saw the telltale cells that are consistent with a malignant glioma, a brain tumor of the very worst kind.

They account for more than half of the primary brain malignancies that are diagnosed in the U.S. every year, and in the last 20 years, the grim survival statistics have barely budged. For the very worst type of malignant glioma, also known as glioblastoma, neurosurgeons are often forced to tell their patients that even with the best therapies, chances are they won't live longer than a year.

Some things have changed over the past several years. This is where it gets more optimistic. Nowadays, doctors can perform what is known as a functional MRI scan. While in an MRI scanner, doctors may ask the senator to raise his right arm or even just think about moving his right arm. The resulting scans will show if the tumor is located in areas of the brain responsible for movement. They will ask the senator to speak or think about speech, and again the speech areas of the brain will light up and their relationship to the tumor can be seen directly. (Read more about Sen. Kennedy's diagnosis here)

If the tumor is close to these motor or speech areas, doctors may choose not to operate or they may decide to forge ahead with the operation, keeping the patient awake. The whole time, while operating, they would ask the senator to move his arm and talk. As soon as anything seemed abnormal, that would send a message to the surgeon that it was time to stop.

Unfortunately, more times than not, operations, chemotherapy and radiation, also known as the conventional therapies, simply aren’t that effective. Patients and their doctors then have the option of turning to some of the most cutting edge therapies that have been developed in decades. Nowadays, there is such a thing as a brain tumor vaccine.

Doctors would take the patient's own tumor cells and combine them with their own white blood cells, which are part of the immune system. This concoction, according to Dr. Michael Gruber, chief of neuro-oncology at Overlook Hospital and a neuro-oncologist at the New York University Langone Medical Center, offers a 50 percent two-year survival in a small group of patients, almost double the survival rate without the vaccine. There is also a type of gene therapy, where specially engineered viruses are injected directly into tumor cells that may cause the tumor to die or at least be more susceptible to radiation.

While the doctors figure out the best options to present to the Kennedy family, the senator will likely rely on the fighting spirit, for which he is so well known.

Dr. Sanjay Gupta is a practicing Neurosurgeon at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta

Editor’s Note: Medical news is a popular but sensitive subject rooted in science. We receive many comments on this blog each day; not all are posted. Our hope is that much will be learned from the sharing of useful information and personal experiences based on the medical and health topics of the blog. We encourage you to focus your comments on those medical and health topics and we appreciate your input. Thank you for your participation.


May 20th, 2008
11:24 AM ET

Cell phones and ADHD

By Dr. Sanjay Gupta
CNN Chief Medical Correspondent

I am one of those people who is on his cell phone all the time. Between the hospital and my job as a reporter, I get a lot of calls, especially when I am on the road. So, like many people, I pay attention when I read new studies about cell phones and possible health effects. The good news is that most of the studies out there have shown no reason to worry. In fact one study out of Denmark of 52,000 cell phone users who'd used cells for 10 plus years found the incidence of tumors was even less than the general population. The cell phone industry is quick to point out that "the overwhelming majority of studies show wireless phones do not pose a health risk."

So, what to make of the fact that Dr. Vini Khurana out of Australia and Dr. Keith Black out of Los Angeles, who are both neurosurgeons, have voiced concerns about cell phones and brain cancer? And, just today, there is a new study of cell phones and pregnant women. That study found women who used cell phone two to three times a day while pregnant had children that were 54 percent more likely to develop ADHD and other behavioral problems. And, if those children used cell phones before age 7, they were 18 percent more likely to develop ADHD. (Watch Dr. Gupta’s report here)

Now, as we dug into this story, we found even the study authors acknowledge that there is no causal link. That means there is no cause-and-effect relationship. It could be that young children who are on their cell phones a lot are also more prone to developing ADHD. Or, on the other hand it could mean that cell phones cause problems we haven’t even imagined. We don't know. What we do know: Most cell phones emit between 850 and 1900 MHz of non-ionizing radiofrequency (RF) energy. It is different from the ionizing radiation from a medical X-ray. It can also make your speakers hum when you walk by them.

So, what do you think? Black, who is also the chair of neurosurgery at Cedars Sinai Hospital, believes that the science simply hasn't caught up and that we would all be well served by taking precautions. He always uses an earpiece. What about you? Are you concerned about cell phones and health effects or is this not a big deal?

Editor’s Note: Medical news is a popular but sensitive subject rooted in science. We receive many comments on this blog each day; not all are posted. Our hope is that much will be learned from the sharing of useful information and personal experiences based on the medical and health topics of the blog. We encourage you to focus your comments on those medical and health topics and we appreciate your input. Thank you for your participation.


May 19th, 2008
04:35 PM ET

Surviving fitness boot camp

By Amy Burkholder
CNN Medical producer

I'm sprinting – straining – at maximum capacity, desperate to keep my battalion of determined men and women in sight – knowing one missed step could leave me stranded – and vulnerable to the enemy, in this case are the much faster runners – on a bench in Central Park.    

I'm not on a maneuver, I'm fighting for survival at  Aussie Boot Camp, a program promising to target my "problem areas" through lamp post sprints, lunges, stairs, tricep dips and push-ups – and deliver a better body – in time for the Hamptons.

"At Aussie Boot Camp, you'll get physical fitness results, improve your breathing, and your lifestyle, " promises Luke Milton, the 6 foot 2, blond, professional rugby player and personal trainer who conducts 'Aussie Boot Camp' in New York's Central Park.  (Luke has memorized everyones' names and intuits how much encouragement they need in moments – and I secretly begin believing, if you can't put out for Luke, who can motivate you?) 

"Boot camp" is a marketing catchall – there are bikini boot camps, bridal boot camps – and exercise experts point to these fitness, military-style boot camps as one of the fastest growing fitness trends in the country.  Many run an hour a day, $20 bucks or much more an hour – four or five days a week for six weeks – the duration of real military boot camp. But while the U.S.  Army promises "no bull, no bias, no pressure," and to "transform you physically, mentally and emotionally" – many fitness boot camps promise a 5 percent reduction in body fat, a 1o to 15 pound weight loss, a 25 percent improvement in strength – oh, and that beach body. 

Can fitness boot camp really do all that – and transform you in a matter of weeks? Yes, says Dr. William Roberts, former president of the American College of Sports Medicine – but it's going to hurt a little.  "You can get in pretty good shape in four to six weeks," says Roberts, who holds out the military as an example -it expects its recruits to be whipped into shape in a very short amount of time. With the consistent, sustained exercise the boot camp promises, you can also expect to lose weight – you may not go from 190 to 165, but a 5- to 10-pound weight loss may be realistic. 

One key, says Dr. Roberts, is to get checked out and train before you start boot camp. Even the military asks new recruits to prepare physically before they arrive.  Going from zero to a boot camp workout can increase your risk not only for serious cardiac events and muscle strain, but it may also leave you sore and discouraged for the next session – and more likely to quit.

Dr. Roberts said think of enlisting in a fitness boot camp as you would preparing for a marathon – you need a beating heart, a tested heart, a trained heart – and – a lot of heart.   Aussie Milton echoes that heart business – he says as important as the lamppost  sprints is the sense of belonging. "I don't want to be an army drill sergeant, but I want people get in shape and feel like a part of a team. " Milton continues, "This feeling of being a part of a team builds consistency in your lifestyle, makes you more likely to show up – and to work harder for that team. "

But what about taking one for the team – in the form of burning thighs and arms so exhausted you can barely raise them? As a boot camp participant – I guarantee you will be "feeling the burn," but exercise experts disagree whether that really does a body any good. High-intensity training may help the body create proteins that help the body use lactic acid to create energy, but an hour of sustained high-intensity exercise doesn't do as much good as interval training – a workout with exercise highs,  and rest periods that can  improve cardiovascular health, and burn fat.

What do you think of fitness boot camps – have you tried one? Did you get a bikini body, or burn out?  

We'd love to hear from you.

Editor’s Note: Medical news is a popular but sensitive subject rooted in science. We receive many comments on this blog each day; not all are posted. Our hope is that much will be learned from the sharing of useful information and personal experiences based on the medical and health topics of the blog. We encourage you to focus your comments on those medical and health topics and we appreciate your input. Thank you for your participation.


Filed under: Exercise • Fitness • Weight loss

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About this blog

Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.

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