Vaccines are best way to battle measles

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When the Warriors’ Klay Thompson scored a record-breaking 37 points in one quarter, no one watching the game thought, “Geez, maybe he shouldn’t take those shots.”

But that sentiment seems more widespread than ever before when it comes to vaccinations, and that’s a shame. If parents were as eager to have their kids take shots to prevent measles as fans are to watch Thompson sink his shots, we wouldn’t be experiencing an outbreak that threatens to reverse the declaration, made just 15 years ago, that “measles has been eradicated in the U.S.”

Since the Disneyland measles outbreak started with 42 cases, the problem has continued to spread. (California’s unvaccinated rate is 13 percent, Ghana’s is 11 percent.)

Unfortunately, people have listened to faulty info about vaccinations causing harm and NOT to just how dangerous measles are to those who are unvaccinated, especially infants who don’t get the first measles vaccine until they’re 12-15 months old.

But now a 12-year study shows that the measles vaccine, as part of measles-mumps-rubella-varicella (MMRV) vaccine or separately administered as part of MMR + V vaccines, has greater benefits than risk, even for children 12 months to 23 months. Although researchers found that 1 in 1,000 1-year-olds could experience febrile seizures a week or so after getting the shot, getting these shots is more likely to prevent a serious problem than cause one by more than 4,000 to 1. You should only be so lucky in Las Vegas. Just get the shots.

DESIGNING A HEALTHY GLUTEN-FREE DIET

Amazon.com lists more than 15,000 entries for books on going gluten-free. Clearly, GF is a major dietary trend. But before YOU switch to a GF diet, ask yourself: Is gluten-free a smart move if you’re one of the 93 percent to 98.5 percent of folks who can process gluten without problems? And if you do need to go gluten-free are you short-changing yourself on essential nutrients?

An abundance of whole-grain options, such as quinoa (not really a grain, but it’s lumped into the category nonetheless), amaranth, rice, buckwheat and millet, don’t contain gluten. We encourage everyone to try them, because they deliver loads of fiber and heart-lovin’ nutrients! And remember that fruits, veggies and lean proteins, like salmon and skinless poultry, are GF — and packed with the nutrients you need for a happy belly and a younger RealAge.

D-VISING AN END TO ERECTILE DYSFUNCTION?

Troglobites — that’s what biologists call cave-dwelling creatures that live without ever seeing sunlight — come in weird shapes and sizes. The eyeless, white, dragon-like amphibian called an olm can survive without food up to 10 years and lives for around 60. Despite a life spent without sunlight, the olm seem to reproduce generation after generation without much trouble. They’re related to several species that emerged some 190 million years ago.

Humans can’t do so well in the dark, although it’s where we have a lot of fun! We’re natural sunshine seekers, and our biochemistry depends on sunlight to help regulate everything from our sleep cycle to our immune system. We make vitamin D, which functions as a hormone, through the interaction of sunlight with the body (the liver and kidney are responsible for making D bio-active). So can vitamin D work as hormone replacement therapy for guys with erectile dysfunction?

We know the big D promotes calcium absorption (bone health), modulates cell growth, and immune and neuromuscular function, but treat ED? Researchers at the University of Milan think so. Their research suggests that vitamin D helps prevent arteriogenic (clogged-up or inflexible blood vessels) ED that’s caused by circulation problems.

Turns out guys with this kind of ED have measurably lower blood levels of D — below 20 milligrams per deciliter. The researchers suggest that guys with ED get their D level checked and, if it’s low, consider taking a therapeutic dose, plus get 15 minutes of daily sun exposure. That will brighten up your dark nights!

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