ASA, sushi, penis enlarger…

Can aspirin prevent stroke/heart attack?

Daily low-dose of aspirin (81 mg to 100 mg Acetylsalicylic Acid or ASA) is prescribed by physicians for the prevention of heart attack, stroke and blood clot formation among appropriately selected patients who can tolerate it and who do not have any contraindication (bleeding tendencies, stomach ulcer, etc) to aspirin ingestion. It is a simple, cheap, and convenient regimen which physicians themselves take for prophylaxis. But just like any other drug, aspirin is not good nor safe for everyone. There are potential serious complications from this seemingly harmless medication. Be sure to consult your physicians before starting yourself on aspirin, or on any other medications.

Are skin lotions useful, safe? 

Skin moisturizers, like drinking water for hydration, is vital to health. Popular skin moisturizing lotions and creams manufactured by reputable companies are in general safe and effective in fighting off, and soothing, dry skin. The usual ingredients in most of them are water, glycerine, aloe vera, palm glyceride, ceteareth-20, hydroxylated lanolin, dimethicone, alkyl benzoate, glyceryl dilaurate, mineral oil, stearic acid, petrolatum, sodium carbomer, methylparaban, dmdmhydantoin, fragrance, cetyl alcohol, prohylene glycol, etc. Each company varies its skin lotion it a bit, adding vitamin E or cocoa butter, etc.  For those with skin allergies, there are fragrance-free lotions and creams. The more expensive ones are not necessarily better. If they have the same formulations and both are made by reliable firms, the lesser expensive one is obviously the better bargain. Both women and men and children need skin moisturizers. Moisturizers are vital to our facial skin, to minimize aging and wrinkling.

Are penis enlargers true?

Lately the internet has been flooded with unsolicited ads about penis enlarger. We have received a few emails from our readers inquiring about its veracity and safety. We are amazed at the grave concern some men have about themselves, and their confusion in equating the size of their genital with the degree of their masculinity and potency. There seems to be an obsession among some men to have a “bigger one.” Being a student of magic and illusion, I have always said it is not the size of the wand that counts, but the magic it creates. The largest sex organ in the body is the brain and that’s where the magic begins. These so-called “guaranteed penis enlarger or your money back” offers are nothing else but a scam. There is no medical evidence or scientific basis for the claim, be they “the exercise,” the pill or lotion or potion. The only ones that will grow larger, if the ignorant public is duped into buying these worthless products, are the bank accounts of these unscrupulous companies. Guys, let’s use our brain instead.

Do painted cribs cause lead poisoning?

If the paints used in the crib have lead in them, yes they can cause Plumbism (lead poisoning) when the toddler chews on the crib or painted toys, etc. In the United States “leaded” paints are banned from use where children are exposed to them, among toy manufacturers, classroom/school paints, etc. Home-made cribs coated with “leaded” paints, are a constant cause of Plumbism, even today. Other sources at home are foods and beverages (fruits, fruit juices, cola drinks, tomatoes, tomato juice, cider, wine, etc) stored in improperly lead-glazed ceramic wares or any lead-lined containers, leaded glasses, etc. Some of the symptoms include persistent and forceful vomiting, abdominal pains, seizures, unstable gait (walking), mental retardation, varied levels of consciousness and coma, depending on the chronicity and severity of poisoning.

Are there pills that dissolve gallstones?

Presently, there is no medication (or any chemical safe for humans to ingest) that will dissolve gallstones, kidney stones or cholesterol plaques in arteries. There will always be claims for a “super-cure” from charlatans and opportunists, who are out there to make a quick buck, as long as there are willing victims. It behooves us, the public, to be well-informed and skeptically cautious (holding on to our wallet) when dealing with “panaceas.” It is always wise to verify the information with your physician.

Skin rash after sex?

Skin rashes that develop almost immediately after intimacy is usually due to allergy. The allergen (material or substance causing the reaction) could be the latex in condom, diaphragm, spermicidal agent, cosmetics, or in very rare instances, the semen itself. It is advisable to seek medical care if this happens to rule out other causes. In the meantime it will be helpful to the physician if the partners jointly analyze the circumstances and make a list of possible allergens.

Is sushi healthy food?

Provided they are clean and not contaminated by bacteria or toxic chemical, sushi (uncooked fish), just like raw Visayan kinilaw with all the omega 3 fatty acids in them, is healthy food and good for the cardiovascular system. Sushi has been very popular in its adopted country, the United States, especially among college students, white collar workers, professionals, the yuppies, etc. Some people do not like even the idea of eating raw fish, period, but those who have a taste for it simply salivate at the thought of having it, especially with wine or beer. Ingestion of contaminated sushi leads to gastroenteritis, with abdominal cramps, vomiting and diarrhea, the gravity of which depend on the dose of the bacterial contamination. The art of preparing sushi incorporates with it strict discipline in the choice of quality fish, meticulous observance of hygiene and an impressive artistic presentation of the dish. Patronizing only well-established and reputable restaurants that serve sushi or kinilaw is always a safer option for these particular items. Sushi is full of vital ingredients and disease fighting proteins and antioxidants like raw fresh vegetables, which are immune boosters and anti-cancer foods.

Can one survive on a red-meatless diet?

Yes, most definitely. And those who eat only fish, vegetables and fruits (absolutely no red meat like pork, beef, or other meat from four-legged animals, and even without poultry meat) can survive very well. As a matter of medical fact, most of these people will even outlive those who eat red meat regularly. Fish, vegetables and fruits, and a daily multivitamin/mineral supplement, is a healthy diet regimen for all of us, except for anyone who is allergic, or somehow intolerant, to any of these food items. We, humans, do not really need to eat red meat (and eggs!) to survive. We will even be healthier without them.

How much water do we need a day?

For daily normal activities, it is recommended that we drink at least 6-8 eight-ounce glasses of water a day, or a total of about 48 ounces (1440 ml) a day. Regular bottled water is about 16.9 oz or 500cc. Nowadays, 8-stage filtered water is preferred, where practical. For tourists and visitors from other countries, filtered water is a must to prevent gastrointestinal problems. Those manual laborers exposed to the hot sun have water higher body water loss, and therefore need more hydration. And so with those with fever or patients with diarrhea and/or vomiting from gastroenteritis. Proper hydration is very important in keeping our organs and tissues healthy, including our skin and complexion. Water is the best liquid for daily fluid replacement because soft drinks are toxic to our body. Natural fruit juices are better but contains a lot of sugar (albeit fructose) and those with diabetes or pre-diabetics must be conscious of this.

Philip S. Chua, MD, FACS, FPCS, a Cardiac Surgeon Emeritus based in Northwest Indiana and Las Vegas, Nevada, is an international medical lecturer/author, and Chairman of the Filipino United Network-USA, a 501(c)3 humanitarian and anti-graft foundation in the United States. Websites:,   Email: [email protected]