Thursday, November 4, 2010

DAY 30 – Tweeting Not for Twits Necessarily

Twitter, as you may know, is a very popular instant-messaging system that lets a person send brief text messages, called Tweets, up to 140 characters in length to a list of followers. My bet is that a huge percentage of Tweets are light on significance. Some folks, like my wife, think of them as worthless.

But, some Tweets, as it turns out, carry powerful messages.

My professional mentor, Jeffrey Bland, PhD, (pictured at left) the founder of the Institute for Functional Medicine, a biochemist by training, and a brilliant philosopher and educator by gift and diligence, tweets. I limit my Twitter following, but he is on my short list.

Today I looked at two of his Tweets. The first was a link to an article by neurologist, David Perlmutter, MD, on the brain’s ability to regenerate. One paragraph reads as follows:
““In 1998, the journal Nature Medicine published a report indicating that neurogenesis, the growth of new brain cells, does indeed occur in humans. As Sharon Begley remarked in her book, "Train Your Mind, Change Your Brain," "The discovery overturned generations of conventional wisdom in neuroscience. The human brain is not limited to the neurons it is born with, or even the neurons that fill in after the explosion of brain development in early childhood.””
For the complete article -> Synthesis (@FMUbyJBland) (via @HuffPostHealth)

The second Tweet, a quote from Dr. Bland, stated: “A hyperinsulin state can overdrive specific kinase-modulated pathways and increase the relative risk of a metastatic disorder.” In lay terminology, this means that elevated levels of insulin in ones blood (often caused by excess dietary intake of sugars and starches) can cause an overproduction of molecules involved in the process of inflammation, which themselves increase the risk of developing cancers that spread from the initial site in the body. In excessively simple terms this means that eating too much sugar and starch is a risk factor for developing aggressive cancers.

The first Tweet dealt with brain health and brain regeneration, the second with a mechanism of the genesis of metastatic cancers. This is not lightweight material. For busy doctors like myself, these data blasts help to keep me on the cutting edge. 

They may be packed into 140 characters or less, but these are not twit Tweets.


  1. I see your point. SOME tweets are worthwhile!

  2. Tweet, tweet, tweet!