A community for people who want to remain as healthy as possible as we age.

Slightly Underactive Thyroid May Be a Plus

(HealthDay News) Instead of being a medical problem in need of treatment, an underactive thyroid in old age might actually help you live longer, a new study says.

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Avoid Diabetes with This Vitamin

(RealAge.com) Turns out the vitamin K in greens like kale and spinach may reduce your chances of developing insulin resistance -- a major risk factor for diabetes.

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Appetite-stimulating Hormone Is First Potential Medical Treatment For Frailty In Older Women

(Science Daily) Older women suffering from clinical frailty stand to benefit from the first potential medical treatment for the condition, according to a study… Ghrelin, a hormone that stimulates appetite, was administered to older women diagnosed with frailty, a common geriatric syndrome characterized by unintentional weight loss, weakness, exhaustion and low levels of anabolic hormones which increases risk of falls, hospitalizations, disability, and death.

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On Fitness: Cross-Training

(U.S. News & World Report) Cross-training may have become a fitness buzz-phrase back in the 1980s, when Heisman Trophy winner Bo Jackson took part in a multitude of sports while pitching shoes for Nike. Now it's pretty much an accepted part of exercise wisdom; by doing different activities, you can fend off the overuse injuries and boredom that can accompany exclusive focus on a single sport. The New York Times's Well blog digs into the benefits this week, with columnist Liz Robbins talking about how runners are these days encouraged to keep up their fitness by running less often and doing things like cycling on other days.

One way to cross-train is to work out with your significant other or a friend and to take turns in picking the workout; here are 10 tips for exercising with a partner. Also, yoga is often mentioned as a great cross-training option for athletes.

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Patients Have Lower Health-related Quality Of Life After Cancer

(Science Daily) Cancer patients who are older than 65 years have poorer physical health and, in some cases, mental health when compared with people of the same age group without cancer, according to a study…

For patients diagnosed with prostate, breast, bladder, colorectal, kidney, or non-small cell lung cancers, or non-Hodgkin lymphoma, the researchers observed a statistically significantly greater decline in physical health of patients compared with control subjects without cancer…

"We expect this study to provide a benchmark for capturing the burden of cancer on HRQOL and an evidence base for future research and clinical interventions aimed at understanding and remediating these effects," the authors write.

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Personality May Not Predict Parkinson's

(HealthDay News) New research sheds light on two of the mysteries of Parkinson's disease: the spike in creativity that some people develop and a personality type that is thought to be shared by many with the disease.

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Good-Enough Health Tips

(Prevention Magazine) Perfectionism may seem like a desirable trait, but to boost your health, it’s OK to aim for "just enough."

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WHO: Swine flu pandemic has begun, 1st in 41 years

(AP) Swine flu is now formally a pandemic, a declaration by U.N. health officials that will speed vaccine production and spur government spending to combat the first global flu epidemic in 41 years. Thursday's announcement by the World Health Organization doesn't mean the virus is any more lethal — only that its spread is considered unstoppable…

The U.S. government has already increased the availability of flu-fighting medicines and authorized $1 billion for developing a new swine flu vaccine. In addition, new cases seem to be declining in many parts of the country, U.S. health officials say, as North America moves out of its traditional winter flu season.

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Community: What precautions do you take against flu?

Staying Sharp: New Study Uncovers How People Maintain Cognitive Function In Old Age

(ScienceDaily) Not everyone declines in cognitive function with age. Elderly people who exercise at least once a week, have at least a high school education and a ninth grade literacy level, are not smokers and are more socially active are more likely to maintain their cognitive skills through their 70s and 80s, according to research.

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Community: One of the objectives of this community is to provide some of the social contact that most people may lack as they get older. Please invite your friends to join and to contribute.

Stress Makes Your Hair Go Gray

(Science Daily) Those pesky graying hairs that tend to crop up with age really are signs of stress, reveals a new report.

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How Oxidative Stress May Help Prolong Life

(Science Daily) Oxidative stress has been linked to aging, cancer and other diseases in humans. Paradoxically, researchers have suggested that small exposure to oxidative conditions may actually offer protection from acute doses. Now, scientists at the University of California, San Diego, have discovered the gene responsible for this effect.

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10 Health Habits That Will Help You Live to 100

(U.S. News & World Report) [R]esearchers have discovered that centenarians tend to share certain traits in how they eat, move about, and deal with stress—the sorts of things we can emulate to improve our own aging process.

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Community: What do you think of these suggestions? How do your habits compare?

7 Brain Boosters to Prevent Memory Loss

(WebMD) To thwart age-related memory loss, many people have turned to brain exercises and brain games such as chess, crossword puzzles, reading aloud, brushing teeth, and computer games like MindFit and Posit Science that promise mental sharpness if you practice enough. But do those activities really work? To find out, WebMD turned to several experts who study the effect of aging on the brain. They say there are steps we can take to keep our brains younger.

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Deep brain stimulation: Expanding its reach to new patients

(Los Angeles Times) Electrical therapy, used for years to treat Parkinson’s and other movement disorders, may soon tackle depression and more.

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Scientists hail the first effective treatment for skin cancer victims

(The Independent, U.K.) Scientists have developed the first “personalised” drug shown to be effective against advanced melanoma, the deadliest type of skin cancer which is on the rise in Britain

The drug is the first of half a dozen agents which are in development, designed to target advanced melanomas that are "BRAF positive", meaning they have a specific genetic make-up containing the BRAF mutation. They are the harbingers of a revolution in cancer medicine which is seeing the development of an increasing number of drugs tailored to the genetic make-up of individual cancers, so treatment can be personalised for each patient, not just determined by the cancer's location or stage.

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Tomato pill 'beats heart disease'

(BBC) Scientists say a natural supplement made from tomatoes, taken daily, can stave off heart disease and strokes. The tomato pill contains an active ingredient from the Mediterranean diet - lycopene - that blocks "bad" LDL cholesterol that can clog the arteries.

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Community: The article mentions a specific brand, but there’s no need to pay extra for a named product. Any health food store (internet or otherwise) can sell you lycopene.

Healthy Living Still Eludes Americans

(WebMD) Americans know what they need to do to ward off cardiovascular disease and live longer, but despite health recommendations, most still aren’t making smart lifestyle choices, new research indicates. Only a small proportion of adults are engaging in physical activity on a regular basis.

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