By Gabe Mirkin MD, October 23, 2009 – Sixty-seven percent of 101 patients diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) were found to be infected with a
retrovirus called XMRV (Science, published online October 8,
2009).  One hundred percent of those with CFS who subsequently
developed lymphomas or leukemias were infected with the XMRV virus.
If further studies confirm this finding, doctors will soon have
a test to diagnose this horrible condition and possibly a vaccine
to prevent it.
More than a million Americans are seriously ill with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, also known as Myalgic encephalomyelitis.  CFS symptoms include severe weakness, exhaustion after any activity, loss of memory, and chronic recurrent infections.
Patients rarely recover.
 The retrovirus XMRV was first found in humans in 2006, in
prostate cancer cells.  It has been shown to cause nerve damage,
immune deficiency, lymphoma and leukemia in animals.
Retroviruses do not have their own DNA; they use the DNA
of the host cells they invade.  Retroviruses include HIV that causes
AIDS, and Human Lymphotropic Viruses that cause leukemia and
lymphoma.  Just as some people infected with HIV do not develop
AIDS, not everyone infected with XMRV will develop CFS.  XMRV has
been found in 3.7 percent of healthy Americans tested, adding up
to an estimated 10 million Americans carrying this virus.
Although not proven yet, there is every reason to believe
that XMRV is spread by exposure to body fluids (saliva, blood,
semen).  Having an infection with one of these retroviruses
impairs your immunity so that you are more likely to become
infected when exposured to any other germ.

Source: The New York Times, and www.drmirkin.com

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Q – What should I drink during hard exercise or a race? 

A – *For hot-weather competition that lasts up to an hour, just water.
* For competitions that last up to two hours, water with sugar.
* For competitions that last more than two hours, water, sugar, salt
and perhaps protein

Many sports drinks are advertised to contain the “right”
concentration of minerals and sugar for exercise. However, fluids
are absorbed from the intestines at a rate that depends little on
the concentration of minerals or sugar in the drink.  The only
mineral you need is table salt.  Carbonation has no effect on
performance.  You will drink more if a drink is cold, and cold
drinks are absorbed faster (Experimental Physiology, September 2006).
Caffeine improves endurance by helping to conserve stored muscle
sugar. When muscles run out of stored muscle sugar, they hurt,
are difficult to coordinate, and require more oxygen.

The best sports drink is the one that tastes best to you
so you will drink more. Any drink plus any food that contains salt
is effective to maintain endurance and prevent heat exhaustion when
you exercise for more than an hour on a hot day.  When we ride for
more than an hour, we drink caffeinated soft drinks and eat whole
grain bars and salted peanuts.

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New findings from the Nurses Study:

Women who were overweight at age 50, or had gained
more than 20 pounds after adolescence, were four times more
likely to suffer major chronic diseases and physical, mental or
emotional impairment by age 70 (British Medical Journal,
September 30, 2009).  This study of 17,065 women who were free of
chronic diseases at age 50, and lived to at least 70, reinforces
the importance of staying active and maintaining a healthy weight.