Los Angeles Marathon

Honda LA Marathon Announces $4 Million Charity Challenge And Flap is Participating

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And, I won! But, more on that later.

From the press release:

Marathon officials today unveiled an aggressive charity fundraising campaign designed to raise $4 million in connection with the March 20, 2011 Honda LA Marathon Presented by K-Swiss. Through a new partnership with Crowdrise, an innovative fundraising website launched in 2010, the Marathon is making it easier than ever for runners to support the charity of their choice as part of the largest fundraising effort in the Marathons 26-year history.

Crowdrise is all about giving people the right tools to raise money for their favorite cause in a new, fun and compelling way, said actor and activist Edward Norton, who founded the online platform. The Honda LA Marathon is an event that truly connects the entire city, and it has the potential to be an incredible fundraising force as well.  We are thrilled to be on board this year to help unite the entire LA Marathon running community.

The $4 million fundraising target would double charitable totals from the 2010 race  which was already the largest in the races first 25 years.  The expanded charity program is in line with the vision of Marathon Owner Frank McCourt, who directed Marathon staff to make the charitable component of the race a much higher priority.

The marathon is not only a great running event, it is a civic asset for all of Los Angeles, and an opportunity to do a lot of good for our community, McCourt said. This partnership moves us one step closer to the day when every participant will raise funds for the charity of their choice.

So, I have a partner this year with me as I train and run/walk/run the Los Angeles Marathon – The Lance Armstrong Foundation.

Please go here and join my team and/or donate to this worthy cancer charity.

Yeah and I won because I type fast.

What did I win?

For my giving back to fight cancer, I received a VIP Fast Pass so I don’t have to wait in line for my race packet at the Expo and received access to a VIP Suite at the start line.

I probably won’t use either since I will be with my LA Roadrunner Group, but it is the thought, right?

And……it will make me FASTER!


Can Taking Too Much Vitamin D Be Hazardous to Your Health?

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Graphic courtesy of Health and Fitness

The answer is YES.

The Institute of Medicine has finally weighed in on the issue of how much vitamin D we should be getting.

As the WSJ’s Melinda Beck reports today, the 600 international units now recommended for most of us is three times the old recommendation of 200 IUs, but its a lot less than what some advocates say we need. Low levels of the vitamin have been associated with a host of ills, including heart disease and some cancers, but thats a far cry from showing that increasing intake will protect against those problems.

Patsy Brannon, a professor of nutritional sciences at Cornell University and member of the IOM panel that produced the report, tells the WSJ that the group paid attention to possible risks of taking too much of the vitamin. The group raised the upper limit of safe consumption for vitamin D to 4,000 IUs, saying that the risk for harm begins to increase after that. (It also found a 2,000 IU safe intake ceiling for calcium, the other nutrient covered by the report.)

Patients should always consult with their physician before embarking on any extreme vitamin supplementation.


Should Dentists Counsel Their Patients About Obesity?

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Yes absolutely but……

Many dentists are already taking blood pressure readings and providing tobacco cessation information. So can obesity interventions be far behind?
Dentists say they are interested in helping patients with serious weight issues, but at the same time they are afraid of offending them and appearing judgmental, according to a new study in the Journal of the American Dental Association (November 2010, Vol. 141:11, pp. 1307-1316). The study, conducted by researchers from the University of North Carolina (UNC), also found that a large number of dentists would be more willing to have such discussions if obesity were linked definitively to oral disease.

Some researchers have already started to propose obesity interventions for the dental office, and studies to support this are in progress, but lead author Alice Curran, DMD, an associate professor at the UNC at Chapel Hill School of Dentistry, feels they may have jumped the gun. She expressed concern that this research was conducted before anyone ever asked dentists if they are even interested.

“We thought it would be a good idea to find out if dentists are interested; if they are, who is the most interested; and what they would be willing to do,” she told DrBicuspid.com. “Planning interventions should target interested individuals with proposals they can work with.”

The but is a big one – a professional turf war with physicians who likely would complain to state licensing boards AND how would the dentist charge for such services? (probably the biggest but).

While oral health extends beyond the teeth and gingiva in the body, overcoming time worn assumptions about the role of dentists will be difficult to overcome.


Halloween Candy: Is it the Amount or the Frequency that Creates Dental Decay Risk?

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Candy Corn photo credit

The frequency without a doubt.

Halloween can present a very scary time of year for any parent concerned about their child’s oral health, since your kids will probably come home with that big haul of candy from trick or treating. But should you let them immediately gorge themselves on the candy and get it out of their system?

Temple University pediatric dentist Mark Helpin thinks that might not be such a bad idea.

“The frequency of eating candy, and other refined carbohydrates, and their stickiness, are big factors in creating the risk of caries (cavities),” he said.

Eating carbohydrates can change the pH balance of the mouth, making it more acidic, which can increase the risk of cavities. Each time candy is eaten, the acid environment in the mouth can take up to an hour to dissipate.

“If I eat a piece of candy now, the pH in my mouth will become acidic, and it will take 30-60 minutes for it to become normal,” said Helpin. “If I eat 2 or 3 pieces of candy when I eat that first one, my mouth stays acid the same length of time that it would if I ate just that single piece. It’s still 30-60 minutes. If I keep eating candy throughout the day, there is acid in my mouth for a much longer period of time. The longer teeth are in an acid environment, the greater the risk they will become decayed.”

The problem with having your children gorge themselves with candy is the intestinal upset and, of course, the sugar high behavioral changes.

I, always, recommend moderation with less frequency and brushing and/or rinsing immediately after ingestion.


Study: Women Who Get Dental Care Have Lower Risk of Heart Disease

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Photo credit: Doctors Hangout

But, men not so much.

A new study led by a University of California, Berkeley, researcher could give women a little extra motivation to visit their dentist more regularly. The study suggests that women who get dental care reduce their risk of heart attacks, stroke and other cardiovascular problems by at least one-third.

The analysis, which used data from nearly 7,000 people ages 44-88 enrolled in the Health and Retirement Study, did not find a similar benefit for men.

Published online Sept. 29 in the journal Health Economics, the study compared people who went to the dentist during the previous two years with those who did not.

“Many studies have found associations between dental care and cardiovascular disease, but our study is the first to show that general dental care leads to fewer heart attacks, strokes, and other adverse cardiovascular outcomes in a causal way,” said study lead author Timothy Brown, assistant adjunct professor of health policy and management at UC Berkeley’s School of Public Health.

So, the study advises as do I – see the dentist at least twice a year while brushing and flossing your teeth at least twice a day. If you have n no remaining teeth and wear dentures, keep them clean to avoid build-up of oral bacteria.