Wolfgang K Piller MD

Placebo, (genetic) Matter Over Mind

Placebo in medicine means that a drug or treatment is effective although it is not designed to be. It plays an important part in research because something ineffective is being compared to a new drug or treatment to see, whether there is a beneficial difference, thus proving that it works.

Health vs Poverty

“Approximately 1.2 billion people in the world live in extreme poverty. Poverty creates ill-health because it forces people to live in environments that make them sick, without decent shelter, clean water or adequate sanitation.” (WHO) This is also the reality in Nicaragua, where I had the opportunity to work in the mountains for six weeks.

Life is Tough

It does not seem that I am able to resist the subject of coffee at present and I have good and bad news for coffee lovers: you die younger, but not because of the coffee, but because coffee drinkers are more likely to have other unhealthy habits. The NIH-AARP Diet & Health Study which followed 400,000 people over 13 years has shown, that coffee drinkers are more likely to die, because they are more likely to smoke, drink alcohol, do little exercise and abstain from fruit and veg consumption.

Coffee Break Donations

Our co-writing Docs support the charity ‘German Doctors for the 3rd World’ www.aerzte3welt.de (English language option exists). Whilst one is keeping the house in order and the people of Almuñécar healthy, the other one will take a rather long coffee break in the hillsides of Northern Nicaragua. Many readers already know about the more eccentric…

Long (distance) Runner?!

Although it is only weeks since the scandal broke over our President’s bearings, it slowly starts to feel like years. Under every pebble lurks a new ‘scandal’ and I can’t help but think, that there are a lot of people out there who follow their own agendas even if it is only higher sales figures or ratings. Saying that the ongoing controversy partly is his fault, too; bad management – admitting news only after it breaks does not appear very trustworthy.

Bowel Cancer – Trust The Medics

Last month two meta-analyses were published about health strategies on how to reduce the chances of developing bowel cancer. A meta-analysis is not a new piece of research, but it looks at all the published research on a subject, thus unifying conflicting results and drawing a conclusion out of the whole body of existing evidence.

Food or Morals?

‘Food is the first thing, morals follow on’ is a famous quote from the song What Keeps Mankind Alive from Bertold Brecht’s Three Penny Opera. Maybe this is an appropriate phrase for a Boxing Day afternoon reflecting on the opulent Christmas dinner or a loose interpretation of the Pope’s Christmas message asking for more consciousness from a satisfied and saturated society.

Altering (gene) Behaviour

Our life depends upon a combination of our very own chromosomes and our environment (apart from all the events that happen and the choices we make).
But while the chromosomes with their genes (genome) are considered as the blueprint of life, many of those life experiences — the foods we eat, or the toxins we’re exposed to — indirectly affect the genes and tell them what to do.

Rich Pickings

In October the news was coming in like machine-gun fire, quite different to the last few months: for example 55 billion Euros was found in a state supported bank – ongoing accounting errors reported assets as losses.

Data and Dosh

To pass a comment is difficult, when others don’t provoke it, so from my point of view it was a dull month for the German corner. But if I would have to award a prize, it would have to go to the conservative Christian Social Union of Bavaria, which is the only federal state without a branch of Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union.