VOL 17/ Issue: #2 / Spring 2021 View as Webpage

Paradise Valley Medical Clinic
Douglas M. Lakin MD
9977 N 90th Street, Suite 180
Scottsdale, AZ 85258
480.614.5800 (Phone)
480.614.6322 (Fax)
Updates With Doctor Doug
May 5th: Cinco de Mayo
Celebrated in U.S.

Cinco de Mayo is a minor holiday in Mexico, but heartily celebrated here in the United States. In fact, as a holiday, celebrating Cinco de Mayo actually began in California and celebrated for quite a while before it was observed in Mexico. Celebrating this year is likely going to be creative given the stay at home orders and social distancing. However, I think I can honestly say, that most partyers in America have no idea what they are celebrating. 

Care to hazard a guess? No, it is not Mexican Independence Day, that is on Sept. 16 and is not widely celebrated in the U.S. Literally “the Fifth of May,” Cinco de Mayo commemorates the Mexican army’s unlikely victory in the face of great odds over the French at the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862.
Dr. Lakin Named “Top Docs” Again For 2021!
Every year the Phoenix Magazine publishes a guide featuring over 597 of the Valley’s best physicians. The doctors are selected through a peer-review survey. The theory is that medical professionals are the best qualified to judge medical professionals.
The survey asks the doctors to nominate those doctors who, in their judgment, are the best in their fields.

Once again, Dr. Lakin has been chosen as a TOP DOC among his peers. In fact, Dr. Lakin received the most votes in his category, internal medicine, this year!

Please join us in congratulating Dr. Lakin!
Vaccine Register Here: https://podvaccine.AZDHS.gov
Dr. Osterholm is a world-renowned epidemiologist who was credited with first elucidating TOXIC SHOCK SYNDROME in the 1980’s, and he provides comprehensive and understandable/actionable ideas related to COVID.

Connect with all of
Dr. Osterholm Podcasts
How To Fly Safely A Year Into The Pandemic. . . .

Would-be travelers are crooning a new theme song: "Come fly with me, let's fly, let's fly away."
Bottled up yearnings to visit people and places -- perhaps even some Frank Sinatra made famous -- have vaccinated folks (and a bunch who aren't) setting pandemic-era records at US airport checkpoints .In the European Union, the UK and other corners of the globe, officials are currently considering ways to restart international travel this summer.

When that occurs, cinch up your seat belt -- traveler numbers will soar.
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently eased its domestic and international travel guidance for vaccinated people, stating that travelers who are fully vaccinated "can travel safely within the United States" but noted a greater risk for international travel.
However, the agency is still discouraging nonessential travel due to rising numbers of Covid-19 infections. Driven by extremely contagious variants that have invaded all 50 states, the virus is currently hitting healthier 30- to 50-year-olds hard.
Globally, Covid-19 cases climbed for the sixth consecutive week as of April 6, according to World Health Organization statistics, with over 4 million new cases and 71,000 deaths.
Is it truly safe to travel by air right now, even if you're fully vaccinated?

  • Case count, masks and ventilation are key
  • Not all planes have HEPA filters
  • Boarding and deplaning can pose ventilation challenges
  • What to do to fly more safely
  • Fly short distances.
  • Plan your ride to the airport.
  • Follow safety protocols.
  • Do doublemask and watch the fit.
  • Carry the essentials.
  • Stay in your seat if you can.

The Songs of Spring
Spring is here again, and you might be hearing the birds busting out their pipes. In this episode, scientists Elizabeth Derryberry and Jennifer Phillips take us on a listening tour to San Francisco to find out why some birds changed their tune during the pandemic.
Interest New Gadget: Your Pills at the Push of a Button!
How Hero works: Add a medication schedule and dosage one time, and Hero will handle the rest. See how Hero makes medication management easy. Learn more here...
Get Ready For Brood X:
The Once-Every-17-Years Cicada Swarm Is Coming!

By Sebastian Alejandro Echeverri, Science New, NBC

In a few weeks, a natural spectacle will take place across much of the United States — one that is not found anywhere else in the world. Billions of cicadas that have spent years patiently growing in complete darkness⁠⁠ will finally emerge, perfectly in sync, for a raucous party in the sun. 
It's been 17 years, and the periodical insects, also known as Brood X, are back. 
When the world last glimpsed the cicadas, Facebook was brand new, theaters were showing "Spider-Man 2," and the 2004 Summer Olympics were underway. 
Since then, they've been underground, eating.
"They're in the dark, they're feeding on roots⁠, just living their best lives until the time is right," said Matt Kasson, an associate professor at West Virginia University who studies cicadas and the fungi that zombify them. "And that's when they decide, you know what, it may be time to go up and find a partner."
Beginning in late April or early May, once the ground is warm enough, billions of Brood X cicadas will be seen across a dozen states⁠, stretching from Illinois to the west, Georgia to the south, and New York to the northeast⁠. The young cicadas, called "nymphs," claw their way out of the ground and climb up to shed their skins one last time and transform into adults. They will have only a few weeks to sing, mate and begin the cycle again.
Dental Updates From Marie

Our Sense of Taste -
How Does It Work?

Diminished or loss of our sense of taste or smell is an early warning sign of Covid-19. As a result, various topics on the loss of taste and smell have been discussed recently as symptoms of the COVID-19 virus. The material in the following article; however, does not address these issues and symptoms. 

Part One
While the senses of taste and smell are closely related, the information in this article will focus on the sense of taste, what we taste, and how we taste. Part Two, which will be included in a subsequent newsletter, will review changes in taste and the implications of changes, taste disorders and causes, and possible solutions and treatments for issues with taste. 

What is generally categorized as “taste” is basically a blend of a variety of different sensations: It is not only the qualities of taste perceived by the tongue, but also the smell, appearance, texture, “sound” (such as crunchy), and temperature that are important.  The enhancement of a taste happens through the nose. Only after taste is combined with smell is a food’s flavor produced. If the sense of smell is impaired, by a stuffy nose for example, perception of taste is usually dulled or modified as well.
Like taste, our sense of smell is also closely linked to our emotions. This is because both senses, you will note later in this article, are connected to the involuntary nervous system.

The Sense of Taste
“The sense of taste is a sensory system like the eye,” says Ilene Bernstein, PhD, a professor of psychology at the University of Washington. Based on the information that is transported from the tongue to the brain, there was thought to be a least four basic qualities of taste (sweet, sour, bitter, and salty); however, an additional basic taste has been established.  Taste as a sense is the perception of a combination of these chemical signals on the tongue.” While sounding simple, our experience of taste involves so much more than simply the five categories: Sweet, sour, bitter, salty, and, now, savory. 

The following are just some of the factors that contribute to the sensations of the five basic qualities of taste.
Sweet: Our perception of sweetness is usually caused by sugar or its derivatives such as fructose or lactose. However, additional substances can activate the sensory cells that respond to sweetness. These include, for example, amino acids (which function as the building blocks of proteins and proteins catalyze the vast majority of chemical reactions that occur within a cell). 
Sour: Acidic solutions like lemon juice or organic acids are what create a sour taste. They can present as a sharp or unpleasant taste. Acids such as acetic acid in vinegar, citric acid in certain citrus fruits can impart a sour taste – also, malic acid (an organic acid found in fruit often used in foods to add flavor and in some supplements to enhance absorption) and oxalic acid in cranberries or rhubarb.  
Salty: Food containing table salt is primarily what we taste as salty. The chemical basis of this taste is salt crystal, which consists of sodium and chloride. Mineral salts like the salts of potassium or magnesium can also cause a sensation of saltiness.
Bitter: Bitter taste is brought about by a number of fundamentally different substances. There are approximately 35 different proteins within the sensory cells that respond to bitter substances. (From an evolutionary standpoint, this can be explained by the many different bitter species of plants, some of which were poisonous. Recognizing which ones were poisonous was a matter of survival.)
Savory: The identification of flavor, savory, as an established basic taste is somewhat current. (It was discovered by a Japanese researcher around 1910 which is why the common Japanese term umami is often used for savory.) Two amino acids, glutamic acid (occurs in plants and animal proteins) or aspartic acid, are part of many different proteins found in food, and also in some plants. They present a taste which is somewhat similar to the taste of a meat broth. Ripe tomatoes, meat and cheese are sources of glutamic acid. Asparagus, for example, contains aspartic acid and glutamate. Glutamic acid salt is often used in Asian cuisines as a flavor-enhancer to increase the intensity of the savory taste of food.

What Else Can We Taste?
Researchers are looking for other sensory cells specialized for sensations in addition to the basic, established five. Considerations are that there appear to be more.
It was thought that preference for fatty foods was based solely on their smell and texture. However, more recent research suggests that there are likely receptors specifically for fat. This would make fatty the sixth basic taste. Certain fatty acids that enzymes in the saliva split from fatty foods are the cause. A specific receptor has been discovered that responds to part of triglycerides found in natural fats and oils.
Research is also currently being done seeking possible receptors for the following tastes: Alkaline (as in brine, and the opposite of sour), Metallic, and Water-like,
Note: The sensation of a food as “hot” or “spicy” is quite often described as a taste. Technically, this is just a pain signal sent by nerves that also transmit touch and temperature sensations and is not a taste. The substance “capsaicin” in foods seasoned with chili causes this sensation of pain and heat.

A Common Myth
A long-held misconception exists that the tongue has specific zones for each flavor where you can taste sweet or sour, for example, especially well.
All five tastes, sweet, sour, salty, biter, and savory, can be sensed by all parts of the tongue. Only the sides of the tongue are more sensitive than the middle overall. This is true of all tastes – with one exception: the back of the tongue is more sensitive to bitter tastes. This is considered a preventive measure to protect us so that one can spit out poisonous or spoiled foods or other substances before they enter the throat and are swallowed.

From Substance to Taste
What occurs in our body that enables us to taste, to perceive flavor?
- The process of taste begins when a substance responsible for the taste is received in the mouth and contacts a nerve receptor/sensory cell.
-This contact activates the receptor cell by changing specific proteins (amino acids) in the wall of the sensory cell.
-This change in specific proteins causes the sensory cell to transmit messenger substances, which in turn activate further nerve cells.
-These nerve cells then pass information for a particular perception of flavor on to the brain.

What Are Taste Papillae?
The taste papillae are a good number of wart-like bumps under the mucous membrane of the tongue. They increase the surface area of the tongue several times and make sure that individual tastes can be perceived more intensely. This is also called the “magnifying effect” of the tongue since the papillae contain several taste buds with additional sensory cells that are in turn connected to many nerve fibers.
While most taste buds are on the tongue, there are additional cells that can detect taste elsewhere inside the oral cavity.
The Final Step for Tasting
The final step in perceiving taste is transfer to the nervous system. This is done by several cranial nerves to part of the lower section of the brainstem. At that point, there is a split: Some fibers carry taste signals together with signals from other sensory perceptions including smell. They lead directly to the parts of the brain that are associated and connected with sensory perception and, significantly important, it is here that taste signals are combined with various smell signals.

Unlimited Palette of flavors
Approximately half of the sensory cells react to several of the five basic tastes. They differ only by having varying levels of sensitivity to the different basic tastes.
The full experience of a flavor is produced only after all of the sensory cell profiles from the different parts of the tongue are combined. Assuming five basic tastes and 10 levels of intensity, more than 100,000 different flavors are possible. In addition, together with the senses of touch, temperature, and smell, it is apparent that there is an enormous number of different possible flavors. Taste is indeed a complex process!

Please see the next newsletter for Part Two of Our Sense of Taste.

Here’s to your good health!

Marie C. Jacobs, D.D.S.
Professor Emerita Loyola University Chicago
Got Vaccinated? Here's All The Free Stuff
You Can Get. . . .

After surviving a fear-filled year of the Covid-19 pandemic, getting vaccinated is a cause for celebration. As Covid-19 vaccines become more readily available, companies want to reward Americans who've been vaccinated with special offers after getting their shots.
CNN Business put together a list of companies that are providing freebies when you show proof of vaccination.

Now through May 16, or while supplies last, Budweiser is giving a free beer to anyone 21 years old and up -- who provide their proof of vaccination on ABeerOnBud.com. Bud fans first have to first register at the company's mycooler.com website.

Krispy Kreme
You can get one free glazed doughnut every day if you take your vaccination card to any Krispy Kreme location in the US, the company said in a press release. The card must show one or two shots of any Covid-19 vaccine to qualify, and the offer must be redeemed in store. And no, you don't need to purchase anything to get your daily free doughnut.

Staples and Office Depot
Staples and Office Depot want vaccinated Americans to keep their vaccination record cards in good condition. So the office supply companies are offering free laminating services for those completed Covid-19 vaccination cards. A spokesperson for Staples told CNN that the service is available at all Staples locations in the US and currently has no end date.

By Alexis Benveniste, CNN Business
COVID-19: When to Clean and When to Disinfect
. . . CDC Guidelines
Cleaning with products containing soap or detergent reduces germs on surfaces by removing contaminants and may also weaken or damage some of the virus particles, which decreases risk of infection from surfaces.
When no people with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 are known to have been in a space, cleaning once a day is usually enough to sufficiently remove virus that may be on surfaces and help maintain a healthy facility.
) kills any remaining germs on surfaces, which further reduces any risk of spreading infection.
You may want to either clean more frequently or choose to disinfect (in addition to cleaning) in shared spaces if certain conditions apply that can increase the risk of infection from touching surfaces:
If there has been a sick person or someone who tested positive for COVID-19 in your facility within the last 24 hours, you should clean AND disinfect the space.

Routine Cleaning. . . . .
Develop Your Plan
Determine What Needs to Be Cleaned
Consider the type of surface and how often the surface is touched. Generally, the more people who touch a surface, the higher the risk. Prioritize cleaning high-touch surfaces.
Determine How Often To Clean
  • High-touch surfaces should be cleaned at least once a day.
  • More frequent cleaning might be needed when the space is occupied by young children and others who may not consistently wear masks, wash hands, or cover coughs and sneezes.
  • If the space is a high traffic area, or if certain conditions apply, you may choose to clean more frequently.
Determine If Regular Disinfection Is Needed
In most situations, regular cleaning (at least once a day) is enough to sufficiently remove virus that may be on surfaces. However, if certain conditions apply, you may choose to disinfect after cleaning.
Consider the Resources and Equipment Needed
Keep in mind the availability of cleaning products and the personal protective equipment (PPE) appropriate for cleaners and disinfectants (if needed).
Tom's Travels
"Oslo---A Norwegian Delight"
In 2010, I decided to explore Scandinavia which except for Denmark was unknown territory for me. I had no family connections there and didn’t think I would find it interesting but I was totally wrong. I arrived in Oslo and one look at the architecture like you see here in my hotel tells you it isn’t Paris.

Some apartment buildings were even done in green or blue. In spite of the sprinkling of rain I set out walking to nearby Frogner Park where about a hundred nude statues of men, women, and children at play line the paths. It’s a huge version of what you see in front of the Herberger Theater in Phoenix
As the month was August many schoolchildren were leaving on vacation with scoutmasters, teachers, and parents by train. I took a bus to the famous Norwegian Folk Museum to spend a day there. Architecture of past eras was abundant including a beautiful stave church all in wood.

Stores were manned by clerks and demonstrations of music and dancing took place every fifteen minutes. They even had a wonderful collection of midcentury modern furniture which has a rebirth of interest here in the Valley.
English is spoken everywhere as their second language but the cost of things translated to dollars is high, almost twice as much. For example in the States buying a meal of Chinese food and a glass of wine makes for a reasonable cost of $20. But in Norway the glass of house wine I found the cheapest was around $13 alone. I found people very helpful to tourists and I made my arrangements for a train/tram/boat/bus excursion across Norway into the beautiful fiord country and Bergen that you will see in my next article.

Happy travels when the Covid threat is no longer a deterrent!

What Everyone Gets Wrong About Cholesterol In Food

Many people worry about cholesterol, and with good reason. More than a third of Americans have high cholesterol, putting them at greater risk of stroke and heart disease, the leading cause of death in the United States. What you eat can play an important role in maintaining cardiovascular health, and it is reasonable to think that eating cholesterol-laden foods will raise your cholesterol levels. But the connection isn't quite that simple.

"I think for a lot of people it just makes sense, logically, even though the majority of the data, within the context of current intake, show that's not really the case," said Alice Lichtenstein, director of Tufts University's Cardiovascular Nutrition Laboratory.

The amount of cholesterol in your food doesn't necessarily translate to the amount of cholesterol in your blood vessels.

Insights By Steve
For more interest articles, Insights By Steve, see our website Favorite Link page or  CLICK HERE FOR THE CURRENT NEWSLETTER!
**There is a new newsletter every month with more interesting and up to date health information! Check it out!
Sleeping Less Than 6 Hours a Night In Midlife Raises Risk of Dementia 30%, Study Finds
Calling all those who are sleep-deprived: We interrupt your yawns with an important announcement.
If you're trying to get by on about six hours or less of sleep a night during the workweek, you're setting up your brain for future failure, according to a new study published Tuesday in the journal Nature Communications.

After following nearly 8,000 people for 25 years, the study found a higher dementia risk with a "sleep duration of six hours or less at age 50 and 60" as compared to those who slept seven hours a night.
In addition, persistent short sleep duration between the ages of 50, 60 and 70 was also associated with a "30% increased dementia risk," independent of "sociodemographic, behavioural, cardiometabolic, and mental health factors," including depression, the study said.
"Sleep is important for normal brain function and is also thought to be important for clearing toxic proteins that build up in dementias from the brain," said Tara Spires-Jones, who is deputy director of the Centre for Discovery Brain Sciences at The University of Edinburgh in Scotland, in a statement. Spires-Jones was not involved in the study.
"What's the message for us all? Evidence of sleep disturbance can occur a long time before the onset of other clinical evidence of dementia," said Tom Dening, who heads the Centre for Dementia at the Institute of Mental Health at the University of Nottingham in the UK, in a statement.

"However, this study cannot establish cause and effect," said Denning, who was not involved in the study. "Maybe it is simply a very early sign of the dementia that is to come, but it's also quite likely that poor sleep is not good for the brain and leaves it vulnerable to neurodegenerative conditions like Alzheimer's disease."

The Perfect Spring Recipe!
Creamy Shrimp Pasta Primavera

This is a fun family recipe.... It is really flexible, and you can swap out ingredients and change measurements to your liking.

  • ½ (8 ounce) package spaghetti
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • ¼ cup chopped onions
  • 1 large clove garlic, minced
  • ⅓ cup sliced fresh mushrooms
  • ¼ cup chopped red bell pepper
  • 1 pound uncooked medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 splash white wine (Optional)
  • 1 pinch dried oregano (Optional)
  • ½ cup heavy cream, or to taste
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour (Optional)
  • 1 pinch salt and ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated Parmesan cheese, or to taste (Optional)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil, or to taste (Optional)


Step 1 Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Cook spaghetti in the boiling water, stirring occasionally, until tender yet firm to the bite, about 12 minutes. Drain.

Step 2 Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add onions and cook until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in mushrooms and bell pepper; cook until bell pepper has softened and mushrooms are lightly browned, 3 to 5 minutes. Add shrimp, white wine, and oregano. Cook until shrimp are almost cooked through and turning pink, 3 to 5 minutes.

Step 3 Add cream and butter. Simmer, stirring constantly, for 8 minutes. Add cooked spaghetti, mix to combine, and turn off heat. If cream sauce is too thin, thicken with flour. Season with salt and pepper and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and basil.

Nutrition Facts
Per Serving:
495 calories; protein 24.1g; carbohydrates 26g; fat 31.6g; cholesterol 237.3mg; sodium 332.8mg.

By Littlechef, ALLRECIPES

Did You Know Dr Lakin Has an Online Gift Shop?
Welcome to our online store!
Thanks to CafePress.com, we can sell a number of products with unique graphics on them. Feel free to browse our store and buy anything you like!

**Please note:
100% of all profits from the shop are donated to the Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center, for breast cancer research.

Mother's Day May 9, 2021
10 Creative & Virtual Ways to Celebrate Mom from a Distance
Again this year, many of us are rethinking how to give extra recognition to moms, especially if we’re apart. Check out 10 fun ideas for spending time with Mom—from a virtual dinner date to a long-distance movie night to a Zoom talent show! Read more here. . .
Paradise Valley Medical Clnic
Douglas M. Lakin , MD
9977 N 90th Street, Suite 180 Scottsdale, AZ 85258
480.614.5800 (Ph) 480.614.6322 (Fax)