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

First defense against swine flu - seasonal vaccine

(Reuters) U.S. health officials strengthened their recommendations for seasonal flu vaccines on Friday, saying all children aged 6 months to 18 years should be immunized -- especially because of the H1N1 flu pandemic.

The seasonal vaccine provides little or no protection against H1N1 swine flu, but immunization will help prevent people from being infected with both at once and can help minimize the effects of the pandemic on schools, workplaces and the economy in general, health experts say.

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One type of heart attack seen on decline in U.S.

(Reuters Health) The incidence of one type of heart attack has steadily decreased in the US since 1996, regardless of gender or ethnicity, to the lowest rates in years, according to a new study…

Acute ST-elevation myocardial infarctions, which afflict about half a million in the U.S. each year, result from prolonged blockage of one of the arteries that supply blood to the heart. The decline may be due to treatments as well as prevention of risk factors such as high cholesterol, according to the authors.

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Barry Popkin: Why the World Is Fat

(On Fitness, U.S. News & World Report) Why in the heck did the world's chief food problem shift from malnutrition to obesity? That's the question Barry Popkin, director of the University of North Carolina's Inter-Disciplinary Obesity Center, explores in his new book, The World Is Fat. From the book and a conversation with Popkin, we've extracted seven tidbits you might not have known about obesity, nutrition, and what we put in our mouths.

Americans aren't the only ones getting fatter…

The average American gets 400 calories a day from beverages…

You're not getting thinner; clothes are getting bigger…

At the end of the day, it's total calories that matter. If you put less in your mouth and exercise more, you can buck the trend. While hashing out what policies are best to curb obesity (Popkin, for his part, favors taxes on such things as sugary beverages or full-fat milk), we can all take responsibility for our own health by getting regular exercise (and making sure our kids do, too), and eating the way most nutrition experts recommend. That is, favor fruits and veggies, cut out fried and processed foods, opt for whole-grain breads and cereals, and choose lean sources of protein.

Read more.

Community: But it’s not a one-for-one correspondence, as those of us who have fought a weight problem all our lives know very well. I think it’s pretty well established now that we have a built-in mechanism for keeping fat in the body. It was important to survival in the hunting-gathering days of feast and famine, but that mechanism is a detriment to us in this day and age.

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Stress, Bad Bedtime Habits Cause Insomnia

(HealthDay News) Bad bedtime habits can keep you up at night and cause problems during the day, says the head of a Texas sleep study facility.

Stress, worry, caffeine, alcohol and watching TV in bed -- factors known as "poor sleep hygiene" -- are the major reasons why people can't shut down their bodies when it's time for sleep, explained Dr. Sunil Mathews…

A recent National Sleep Foundation poll found that 47 percent of people with sleep problems were likely to use caffeinated beverages to compensate for their daytime sleepiness, but these stimulants contribute to more difficulties sleeping.

"Insomnia can turn into a vicious cycle," he said in a news release from the medic.al center.

Click here to read Dr. Mathews’ recommendations for improving sleep.

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Consider a New Sugar Substitute

(RealAge.com) Think a healthy, natural sweetener with next to no calories is too good to be true? Read on.

New research is suggesting that stevia -- a natural compound isolated from the leaves of the plant Stevia rebaudiana -- may fit the bill. It’s low in calories and about 30 times sweeter than sucrose, and it’s been used as a sweetener in Japan for decades…

[E]xcessive levels may be toxic. But because stevia is so sweet, you don’t need much. Early research suggests it may even have some benefits to blood pressure and blood sugar.

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Community: It’s too expensive for my budget at the moment. I look forward to trying it when the price comes down.

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The Truth About bottled Water

(SouthBeachDiet.com) Head to any grocery store and you’re guaranteed to find an aisle full of bottled water. Some people claim it tastes better than tap water, while others buy it for the convenience of staying hydrated on the go. Whatever the reason, the truth is bottled water may come from several sources — it can originate from a public water source or naturally from the earth. Fortunately, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has strict labeling rules for bottled water, but it's up to you to learn the differences among various terms and what they mean.

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Community: We filter our drinking water at home, and we have refillable containers that we fill with that water when we want to bring water with us somewhere. We’re not adding to that continent of plastic trash in the Pacific.

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Agent Orange Linked to Parkinson's, Heart Disease

(HealthDay News) Exposure to Agent Orange and other herbicides that were sprayed far and wide by the U.S. military during the Vietnam War might put veterans at increased risk for heart diseaseand Parkinson's.

An Institute of Medicine report released Friday finds "suggestive but limited" evidence of an elevated risk for these two conditions among soldiers who served in that conflict.

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NZ researchers to implant pig cells in diabetics

(AP) A New Zealand biotech company began a trial Thursday of an experimental treatment for diabetes in which cells from newborn pigs will be implanted into eight human volunteers.

Living Cell Technologies hopes the cells may be able to delay the effects of Type 1 diabetes, including blindness, premature coronary illness and limb amputation resulting from poor blood circulation…

In Type 1 diabetes, the body mistakenly attacks and destroys cells in the pancreas that produce insulin, the hormone crucial to converting blood sugar to energy. It is different from the far more common Type 2 diabetes that is usually linked to obesity, in which the body produces insulin but gradually loses the ability to use it properly.

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Injection Reverses Heart-attack Damage

(Science Daily) Injured heart tissue normally can't regrow, but researchers … have now laid the groundwork for regenerating heart tissue after a heart attack, in patients with heart failure, or in children with congenital heart defects. In the July 24 issue of Cell, they show that a growth factor called neuregulin1 (NRG1), which is involved in the initial development of the heart and nervous system, can spur heart-muscle growth and recovery of cardiac function when injected systemically into animals after a heart attack.

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Buying a Hearing Aid? You’ve Got a Lot to Learn

(Well, New York Times) About 37 million people suffer from some form of hearing loss — from minor impairment to total deafness — in the United States. But less than a quarter of the people who could benefit from hearing aids actually use them. One reason is people’s reluctance to admitting a disability.

But cost is a big factor, says Lise Hamlin, director of public policy for the Hearing Loss Association, an advocacy and lobbying group. Hearing aids average about $2,000 each, Ms. Hamlin said, “but I’ve seen prices range from $1,400 to $5,000 apiece.”

Hearing aid technology has improved significantly in the last decade. Almost all hearing aids used today are digital; sound goes into a microphone and is digitally processed by a chip, amplified, then sent to the ear. Digital technology allows the aids to be programmed for an individual’s exact hearing loss needs — a big improvement from the old-fashioned analog varieties that were little more than an amplifier with a volume control.

But the technical leap is not the only reason for high prices. Traditionally, hearing aids have been sold through professionals who also fit and adjust the devices as part of the overall cost. The system, however, leaves room for plenty of inept or even greedy providers to take the reins.

That’s why choosing an audiologist or hearing aid technician can be just as important as choosing the aid itself. What follows is advice on how to do just that — as well for finding financial help when purchasing hearing aids.

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Community: My mother was taken to the cleaners by a representative of one of the biggest hearing aid companies. Make sure you deal with someone reputable, if you think you need a hearing aid.

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Congress Tackles Long-Term Care

(The New Old Age, New York Times) [T]he C.L.A.S.S. Act … creates a national insurance trust that people can voluntarily participate in. It’s a publicly sponsored insurance plan, to make it as low-cost as possible. You pay a monthly premium. If you become disabled and need assistance with activities of daily living [A.D.L.’s] at any age, you can qualify for a daily cash benefit on the order of about $50 to $75 a day, depending on your level of disability.

The legislation doesn’t set specific benefits. The Secretary of Health and Human Services will develop the details. It has to be actuarially sound and self-sustaining.

Read more.

But most of us will fight like hell to stay in place as long as possible. See below.

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Safer Homes for Seniors

(Lesley Alderman, The New Old Age, New York Times) When we moved into our row house in Brooklyn, N.Y. — with steep staircases, floor-to-ceiling windows and a working fireplace — my 15-month-old son was just learning to walk. Needless to say, we soon realized the house was a four-story danger zone. So my husband looked up “child-proofing” in the Yellow Pages and called in the installers. For a few grand, the service added stair gates, window guards and drawer locks throughout the house. And we had peace of mind.

When I was researching the story “A Safer Home for the Golden Years, Without a Golden Budget,” I expected to find similar services that would help seniors safeguard their homes. It turns out there are very few companies that perform this home-safety service for the elderly.

That surprised me. Each year 7,000 adults over the age of 65 die in home-related accidents and another 1.5 million experience injuries related to a fall, according to the Home Safety Council, a nonprofit group. In comparison, on average just 2,100 kids under the age of 15 die as a result of a home injury each year.

The number of adult injuries is staggering. Most of the experts I spoke with believe that if homes were safer, there would be far fewer accidents.

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Community: Part of the problem, too, is that our ability to balance ourselves deteriorates as we get older. I haven’t found any research on that topic. Have you read anything about efforts to restore our sense of balance?

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Longer Life For Milk Drinkers, Study Suggests

(Science Daily) Research undertaken by the Universities of Reading, Cardiff and Bristol has found that drinking milk can lessen the chances of dying from illnesses such as coronary heart disease (CHD) and stroke by up to 15-20 %...

“Our findings clearly show that when the numbers of deaths from CHD, stroke and colo-rectal cancer were taken into account, there is strong evidence of an overall reduction in the risk of dying from these chronic diseases due to milk consumption. We certainly found no evidence that drinking milk might increase the risk of developing any condition, with the exception of prostate cancer. Put together, there is convincing overall evidence that milk consumption is associated with an increase in survival in Western communities.”

The reviewers also believe that increased milk consumption is likely to reduce health care costs substantially due to reduced chronic disease and associated morbidity.

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Community: If you’re lactose intolerant, you can get lactose free milk and lactase-treated milk.

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Even Healthy Lungs Labor At Acceptable Ozone Levels

(Science Daily) Ozone exposure, even at levels deemed safe by current clean air standards, can have a significant and negative effect on lung function, according to researchers.

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New treatment for receding gums works long-term

(Reuters Health) A therapy that helps regenerate receding gum tissue seems to hold up over the long term -- and may offer patients an alternative to more-extensive dental surgery, a small study finds…

The study looked at a specific GTR technique, developed at Tufts, that involves drawing blood from the patient to retrieve blood cells known as platelets, which are rich in proteins called growth factors that aid in tissue repair and wound healing.

A membrane made of collagen is soaked in the platelets then sutured over the receding tooth root…

The long-term results are comparable to what is seen with traditional graft surgery, [a lead researcher] told Reuters Health.

"The new treatment reduces pain and discomfort, offers excellent root coverage, and results in increased patient satisfaction with the results," he said. "We now know that it is stable after three years."

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Elevated Insulin Levels Linked to Breast Cancer

(HealthDay News) Postmenopausal women with elevated insulin levels may be at higher risk of developing breast cancer, a new study says.

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Physical activity can be protective against dementia

(Science Daily) Though discoveries about Alzheimer's disease risk factors are often in the news, adults do not know about the relationship between Alzheimer's disease risk and heart health, nor that physical activity can be protective against dementia, according to new research…

"There's a strong and credible association between heart health and brain health. If people learn about and do some simple lifestyle modifications, such as being more physically active and eating a brain healthy diet, it could have an enormous impact on our nation's public health and the cost of healthcare," [said Maria Carrillo, PhD, Director of Medical & Scientific Relations at the Alzheimer's Association].

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Attention Training Might Help Stroke Victims

(HealthDay News) The inability to focus is a common problem for stroke survivors, and a new study finds they might benefit from attention-training.

New Zealand psychologists evaluated 78 stroke patients who underwent attention process training (APT) and found significant improvement on one test of attention compared to those who had standard stroke therapy, according to a report.

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Mice Research Shows Promise of Adult Stem Cells

(Time) Mice are bred all the time in laboratories around the world. So, generally speaking, the birth of a couple dozen more lab mice isn't worth noting.

But this week, two groups of scientists in China separately reported that they had created a new kind of mouse — grown entirely from a type of stem cell that originated from already mature cells, instead of from embryos. Researchers took skin cells from donor mice, reprogrammed them to revert back to an embryonic state, then programmed them again to develop into an entire mouse pup.

This feat has been achieved before using embryonic stem cells, but never using the new type of stem cells known as induced pluripotent stem cells, or iPS cells, which are typically derived from skin cells…

The fact that iPS cells can give rise to an entirely new mouse, and one that can sire offspring, as one of the studies showed, suggests that the cells are as versatile as those from embryos, and may prove useful in generating other kinds of functioning cells that can safely treat patients with conditions such as Parkinson's, diabetes and heart disease — or even prevent these diseases altogether.

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Random thoughts while shopping at the supermarket:

Why doesn’t the deli serve broiled chicken, in addition to the fried stuff, as KFC has done?

Why aren't there broiled Buffalo wings?

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Changing Behavior Is Challenging, but not Impossible

(Scientific American) Peter A. Ubel is professor of medicine and psychology at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, where he explores the quirks in human nature that influence our health, happiness and society. He is author of the book Free Market Madness(Harvard Business School Press, 2009), which investigates the irrational tics that lead people to overbid on eBay, eat too much ice cream and take out mortgages they cannot afford. In an interview with Jonah Lehrer, Ubel explains how innate optimism, greed and ignorance can depress financial and physical well-being—and how individuals can commit to change.

Scientific American Mind: You also argue that by taking our own irrationality into account, we can improve our health and well-being. Can you provide an example of a way to achieve such improvement?

Ubel: Precommitment! One reason we humans do not always behave rationally is that we have limited willpower. We know that exercise is good for us. We understand that junk food is bad. But we cannot follow through on our rational desires. We plan to run for 30 minutes, but after 10 we get off the treadmill and convince ourselves we are a bit stiff today. We try to cut down on empty calories and then grab a handful of M&Ms from a candy bowl, almost unaware of our action. No single M&M caused anyone to have diabetes. No one experienced a heart attack because he was 20 minutes short of his exercise goal. And yet our lives, our waistlines even, are the result of thousands of such decisions and behaviors.

To improve ourselves, we have to act as if each M&M matters, as if each decision has important consequences. To do this, it helps to make rules and follow them. Commit yourselves to no candy, no desserts, and you will become more mindful of M&M bowls. Run outside, rather than inside on a treadmill, and you will be forced to finish your running loop. Tell a friend you will walk with her for 30 minutes this afternoon, and you will be forced to show up. Do you want to save more money? Have some money automatically deposited into a savings account that you cannot access easily through ATMs, debit cards or checkbooks. Sometimes the best way to behave better when you are weak is to impose martial law on yourself when you feel strong.

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Community: I’ve been saving this one for you. If we grow this community, we can provide opportunities for precommitments to each other, to improve our chances of succeeding in making the behavioral changes we want to make.

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Tip of the Week: Take the Bite Out of Stress

(Shrink Yourself) Do you eat when you’re under stress or overwhelmed? Who doesn’t? Stress is actually the most common reason that people break their diets or make food choices that they later regret. If you eat when you’re under stress this week’s tip is for you.

Stress actually affects you on a physical level. Your heart pounds, your muscles tighten, your blood pressure rises, your breath quickens, and your senses sharpen. Even though you probably aren’t in the middle of the jungle you are not that different from an animal under attack. Everything becomes immediate and in the face of that kind of urgency who can rationally consider if a carrot is a better choice than a piece of coffee cake? The best thing to do is to avoid waiting until you’re in the midst of chaos to find a solution.

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Radical rest: Creative ways to (finally!) relax

(Oprah.com) -- It's four days into your vacation and you still haven't been able to let go: You're fretting about your end-of-month reports, answering e-mails from coworkers, and now your boss wants to know if she can conference you in on a call tomorrow.

Not that you really need another thing to worry about, but being unable to unwind can be dangerous, says stress expert Elissa Epel…

So how do you get real rest before sliding your feet back under the desk in a week or two?

One good way to start is to shut down the laptop, turn off your BlackBerry, and silence your cell phone, says Martin Batty, PhD, a relaxation researcher …

And you may want to mix in meditation or yoga -- you've probably heard of the numerous studies demonstrating how these activities can help you unwind…

But if you're looking for a new approach, the options below may deliver a much-needed break…

1. Indulge your interests…

2. Step into a different world…

3. Retrain your brain.

Read more.

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A Guilt-Free Frozen Dessert

(SouthBeachDiet.com) The best way to chill out at the end of a sizzling summer day is with a refreshing frozen treat. This guilt-free dessert is sure to keep you cool and satisfied.

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Community: I keep low-cal popsicles on hand. I tried freezing my yogurt, but it was hard as a rock. I saw an ad for a whipped yogurt that can be frozen, but it was only available in high-sugar, high-fat varieties at my supermarket. I passed. What frozen treats do you allow yourself?

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Cellular Protein Yields Clues to Diabetes, Alzheimer's

(HealthDay News) New information about a cellular protein might help in efforts to develop drug treatments for diabetes and Alzheimer's disease, researchers say.

In tests on rats, they found that humanin, which may prevent nerve cells from dying, also helps improve insulin action and lower blood glucose levels.

Read more.

Community: How fascinating is it that Alzheimer’s may be a form of diabetes?

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Close Caregiver Relationship May Slow Alzheimer's Decline

(Science Daily) A study led by Johns Hopkins and Utah State University researchers suggests that a particularly close relationship with caregivers may give people with Alzheimer's disease a marked edge over those without one in retaining mind and brain function over time. The beneficial effect of emotional intimacy that the researchers saw among participants was on par with some drugs used to treat the disease.

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Bad Mitochondria May Actually Be Good For You

(Science Daily) Mice with a defective mitochondrial protein called MCLK1 produce elevated amounts of reactive oxygen when young; that should spell disaster, yet according to a [new] study … these mice actually age at a slower rate and live longer than normal mice.

Mitochondrial oxidative stress is a popular theory explaining the aging process; over time, reactive oxygen species produced by mitochondria while they make energy slowly accumulate and begin damaging cells, including the mitochondria. Several recent studies have begun to question this theory, though…

In explaining this seeming paradox, [researchers] suggest that while MCLK1-defective mice produce more oxygen radicals from their mitochondria, their overall inefficiency results in less energy and fewer oxygen radicals being produced in other parts of a cell. Thus while these mice may have some higher risks of damage while young, they accumulate less damage as they age –a finding that seems to indicate the mitochondrial stress theory may not be correct.

Read more.

Community: Maybe that particular stress theory isn’t correct, but the study seems to corroborate that free radicals are greatly responsible for the aging process, which has also been called into question recently.

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Contact lens can dispense drugs to eyes

(WIRED) -- Dry-eye sufferers and glaucoma patients may soon be able to trade their messy eye drops for a contact lens that delivers medication gradually over time.

Although eye drops account for 90 percent of all eye medication, drops are irritating and inefficient. Doctors estimate that only 1 to 7 percent of the medication actually gets absorbed into the eye, while the rest drips down the cheeks or into the back of the throat…

Now, scientists report that they've created a contact lens that can deliver a high concentration of antibiotic at a constant rate for more than 30 days.

Read more.

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Stem Cells Used for 'Biological Pacemaker'

(HealthDay News) Stem cells from a type of human fat tissue may one day be able to reverse the electrical problems in the heart that pacemakers now correct, Japanese scientists report.

Researchers grew "beating" cells with properties similar to the heart's conductive tissue from stem cells taken from the brown fat tissue of mice. They then injected them into rodents with reduced heart rates caused by electrical signaling problems known as atrioventricular (AV) block.

After a week, the AV block was completely reversed or partially reversed in half of the test mice

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E-Cigarettes Pose a Health Hazard, FDA Warns

(HealthDay News) Testing of electronic cigarettes, known as e-cigarettes, has shown that they contain cancer-causing chemicals and other toxins, including a compound used in antifreeze, U.S. health officials said Wednesday.

E-cigarettes are battery-operated devices that contain cartridges filled with nicotine, flavorings and other chemicals. "The device turns nicotine, which is highly addictive, into a vapor that is inhaled," according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

And these products could encourage smoking, the agency warned.

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Medicare Drug Plan Still Needs Work

(HealthDay News) The number of older Americans with access to prescription drug coverage has ballooned since Medicare's Part D program was rolled out almost four years ago, a new analysis finds, yet seniors' ability to pay for needed medications remains a concern due to limitations in coverage and rising drug plan costs.

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Now I know I have a “sick” cat

A year and a half ago, we decided to get a cat. It had been a couple of years since we’d lost the two cats who kept us company for 17 years, and it was time to make a new friend.

He stepped out of the carrier after a long, noisy el/subway ride entirely confident, as if he owned the place, and promptly let the dog know that he wasn’t into all that licking stuff. He has become part of the family, a bit gradually, as he’s not the clingy type. He cheerfully monitors all we do, not being the least judgmental, but making sure we know he’s watching.

He’s not at all cuddly, which is why it surprised me to learn in the last few days that he’s a “sick” cat.

I was the one who was sick, not he—food poisoning, or something. For two days I slept almost constantly, but every time I woke up for one of my frequent trips to the bathroom, he was next to me, his back aligned with my lower leg. Reassuring but not enveloping. Supportive but not intrusive.

Altogether satisfying.

So once again, we know why pet owners live longer.

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Studies Affirm Value of Healthy Lifestyle

(HealthDay News) All that heart-healthy advice about eating the right foods, exercising and losing weight pay off in real life for both men and women, two new studies show.

Read more.

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Eating Habits in the Obese May Echo Drug Addicts' Patterns

(HealthDay News) -- When it comes to weight control, it might not be the kind of snack that matters, but who eats it.

When researchers gave similarly "sinful" snacks to obese and non-obese women, the healthy-weight women wanted less of the treat over time, but obese women kept wanting more…

In some cases, women reported still wanting the food even though they didn't like it.

The pattern is strikingly similar to that seen in drug addicts.

Read more.

Community: As I’ve long thought.

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Discovery May Open Door To Drug That Cuts Appetite And Boosts Energy

(Science Daily) In a major advance in obesity and diabetes research, Yale School of Medicine scientists have found that reducing levels of a key enzyme in the brain decreased appetites and increased energy levels.

Reductions in the levels of the enzyme prolylcarboxypeptidase (PRCP) led to weight loss and a decreased risk of type 2 diabetes in mice, according to new research.

Read more.

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10 Salt Shockers That Worsen Hypertension

Does too much salt cause high blood pressure, or doesn't it? That debate has raged for decades, with a slew of studies finding "yes" and a slew of others finding "no." Two new studies … tip the scales in favor of reducing sodium—particularly for those 1 in 4 Americans who have high blood pressure…

Lowering sodium intake, though, involves a lot more than setting aside the salt shaker. An April study from Emory University found that only one third of heart-failure patients succeeded in reducing their sodium intake to the recommended 2,000 mg a day even when they made an effort to follow a low-sodium diet. (Reduced sodium is recommended to prevent a dangerous retention of fluid common with this heart condition.) Bottom line: Unless you read every food label and never dine out, you're probably getting far more than the 2,400 mg sodium limit recommended for healthy adults. If you're unexpectedly getting too much sodium, here are some likely culprits:

Miso Soup… Cottage cheese… Salsa.

Read more.

Community: After a lifetime of right-at 120/80 blood pressure almost every time it was checked, my blood pressure was rather high when I saw my doctor in May. Maybe it had something to do with the tons of salt I would pour on all those French fries I shouldn’t have been eating. Anyway, I’m now monitoring it frequently and watching my salt intake for the first time in my life.

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Large Study Points to the Brain Benefits of Eating Fish

(New York Times) Many studies have suggested that a diet rich in fish is good for the heart. Now there is new evidence that such a diet may ward off dementia as well. One of the largest efforts to document a connection — and the first such study undertaken in the developing world — has found that older adults in Asia and Latin America were less likely to develop dementia if they regularly consumed fish.

And the more fish they ate, the lower their risk, the report found.

Read more.

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No Firm Evidence Green Tea Helps Prevent Cancer

(HealthDay News) Does drinking green tea really help prevent cancer? The answer is still unclear, according to a review of 51 previous studies done over two decades.

The review … found that green tea may offer some help against liver cancer, breast cancer and, in men, prostate cancer, but consumption may actually increase one's chances of developing urinary bladder cancer. Conflicting evidence was found in the case of gastrointestinal (esophagus, colon or pancreas) cancers, though the authors noted "limited moderate to strong evidence" of green tea protecting against lung, pancreatic and colorectal cancer."

"The substances found in green tea are certainly promising," Nagi Kumar, director of Nutrition Research at Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, Fla., said… "The field now has progressed to where we [can]…test the effectiveness and safety of green tea polyphenols using a drug form similar to the constituents in tea to see if we can prevent cancer progression. Time will tell."

Read more.

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Many doctors feel negatively about obese patients

(Reuters Health) In at least one large New York City healthcare network, more than 40 percent of doctors have a "negative reaction" to obese patients, according to a new study. And most physicians feel that treating obese patients was "very frustrating."

Read more.

Community: Gee, I wonder if they feel negatively about, and are just as frustrated with, their cancer patients. Sounds like doctors need to do some soul searching about whether they’re going to be able to provide the best care to these patients, and if not, how they’re going to change their perceptions. Besides, “When Weight Is the Issue, Doctors Struggle Too

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Probiotics Supplement May Help After Gastric Bypass Surgery

(HealthDay News) Taking a probiotics supplement after gastric bypass surgery helps patients lose weight faster and avoidvitamin B deficiency, a new study finds.

Probiotics are the "good" bacteria found in yogurt and in dietary supplements that aid digestion.

Read more.

Community: I’m going to continue to question these justifications for gastric bypass surgery. Why not try to lose weight with probiotics BEFORE doing something as drastic as surgery?

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In New York City, Trans Fat Ban Is Working

(HealthDay News) In December 2006, the city required that artificial trans fats be phased out of restaurant food, and the mandate was in full effect by November 2008…

Total saturated fat and trans fat in French fries, for instance, decreased by more than 50 percent in New York City restaurants, according to the report. Overall, the health officials found, the use of trans fats for frying, baking or cooking and in spreads declined from 50 percent to less than 2 percent.

Consumers didn't seem to mind. "It became clear that trans fats were being successfully replaced, and no one noticed the difference," [Dr. Lynn Silver, assistant commissioner of the department's Bureau of Chronic Disease Prevention and Control] said. "Foods tasted just as good, and diners are healthier."

Read more.

Community: It will be interesting to see if the heart attack and stroke statistics change favorably.

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