The Scan by 2 Minute Medicine®: Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc, Taylor Swift, NBA rookie Chet Holmgren and Magic Mushrooms!


The Scan by 2 Minute Medicine® is a new pop-culture medical newsletter designed to bring a physician perspective to trending topics of the day. The Scan by 2 Minute Medicine® is an exclusive benefit for 2 Minute Medicine Plus subscribers, but enjoy the first few on us as we roll out! Issues published twice per month.

Too Much of a Good Thing…

The story: On Friday, August 26th, over 2,000 runners embarked on of the most grueling races to ever exist: the 171-kilometer Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc (UTMB). To put that in perspective: the race is equivalent to approximately four marathons. With the rise of ultra-endurance events, we have to wonder: is there such a thing as too much exercise?

The jury is still out…

The toll that ultra-distance athletes place on their bodies is quite meaningfuland it’s not uncommon for athletes to get sick in the weeks following marathons and other endurance events. But the real question is whether ultra-endurance events can have long-term consequences. Studies show that the hours spent with your heart pumping out on an ultra-marathon course can in fact result in changes to the heart. But don’t be too quick to rule out your next distance event! Despite the changes that may occur with ultra-events, studies still show a decrease in mortality in endurance athletes compared to the average person.

What about me?

But remember, we aren’t all ultra-marathoners and for most people, physical activity only comes with a host of health benefits like weight management, improved mood, and decreased risk of heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. But with so much research showing that a lack of physical activity is associated with poorer COVID-19 outcomes, such as hospitalization and death, thanks to the ongoing pandemic, we now know that exercise is more important than ever.

What now?

So what does all of this mean? Well, unless you’re preparing for UTMB, running multiple marathons, or training for the next Tour de France, exercise is likely only going to have positive impacts on your health. While there may come a day when medicine advises against extreme physical activity, right now we only know for certain the many benefits of exercise on the average person. So lace up your shoes, get outside, and start moving!

Masterpiece at Midnight?

While accepting her award for Video of the Year at the 2022 MTV Video Music Awards, Taylor Swift shocked fans with news of her newest album set to release this fall titled ‘Midnights,’ a collection of songs “written the middle of the night”. With so many famous artists who created masterpieces on minimal sleep, from the likes of Vincent van Gogh to modern day creatives like Lady Gaga who suffers from insomniawe have to wonder: are people most creative with minimal sleep?

Science says: probably not. While night owls may say they are most creative in the wee hours of the night, many studies have debunked this idea. In fact, studies show that sleep loss can negatively impact creative thinkingand that the more creative people tend to sleep more and later than others. So what’s the best way to pump out the next Grammy-winning album, New York Times bestseller, or other artistic masterpiece? Get those creative juices flowing with a nice, long sleep.

On the Sidelines

After being drafted 2nd overall in the 2022 NBA Draft by the Oklahoma City Thunder, Chet Holmgren, the 7’0 center out of Gonzaga University, was set to take the NBA by storm. But due to a recent injury, Holmgren will be sidelined for the entire season and miss out on this year’s rookie campaign. So what exactly is the injury holding back the NBA’s up-and-coming star?

An NBA release reported that Holmgren suffered a Lisfranc injury, AKA an injury to the mid football. While Lisfranc injuries aren’t very common in NBA players, many football players have been sidelined with similar injuries. The good news? Most NFL players who suffered Lisfranc injuries in the early 2000s eventually returned to play. The bad news? Most of those players took nearly a year to recover. While the injury is a set-back, Holmgren joins the likes of NBA all stars Joel Embiid and Blake Griffin who were sidelined during their rookie seasons. Like these stars, Holmgren will hopefully still get the chance to take the NBA by storm–but for now, will just have to wait until next season.

The Magic in Mushrooms

A ground-breaking new study highlights a potential solution to support those struggling with alcohol use : magic mushrooms. You might already be familiar with magic mushrooms from movies like Midsommar and Knocked Up, where the characters are showing taking the drug and experiencing intense hallucinations. While magic mushrooms get their name for their psychedelic effects, it turns out that the active ingredient, psilocybinmight actually be quite magical after all.

For those suffering with alcohol use disorders, psilocybin may be a new treatment to help them recover. In a recent study, patients who received psilocybin had a significant reduction in the number of heavy drinking days, and the average number of drinks consumed per day, compared to the control group. It might take some time for people to see past the way magic mushrooms are portrayed in our favorite movies. But when they do, we might have a new way to help those with alcohol use disorders. Turns out, mushrooms might be more magical than we ever thought!

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