Monday, June 12, 2006

Just a spoonful of jelly...

makes the medicine go down. The Dysphagia Research Society just slid down to Scottsdale for their annual meeting in search of better ways to swallow. Here's the latest:

Twenty elderly folks signed up for this study which involved swallowing big capsules filled with barium. Their skinny old torsos were then scanned to see if any barium which glows whitely on x-ray did not make it to their stomach in a timely fashion. Each volunteer swallowed six capsules in total, three with water, three with jelly. That's 120 hard-to-swallow pellets making their way down twenty aged esophagi (esophagusses?). Seven pills taken with water were 'retained in transit' as in stuck in the throat, whereas only two sent down with 'semisolid chasers--research code for jelly--didn't make it.

The lead author's conclusion? Anyone with even mild dysphagia or trouble swallowing should take pills with jelly or 'something similar.'

This is good news indeed. My guilty pleasure, well one of my guilty pleasures, is Smucker's Raspberry Preserves on Pepperidge Farm White Bread toast. There is nothing more likely to stick in an old esophagus than a wad of white bread unless it's steak or a barium pill. So the slidey pleasure of jam cancels out the nutritional worthlessness of white bread, and I am absolved of guilt in the early a.m.

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