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

Strength workouts help seniors function better

(Reuters Health) Strength training can help older people function better and reduce pain for those suffering from arthritis, according to a review of the medical literature…

Progressive resistance training, in which a person uses weights, elastic bands or exercise machines to strengthen their muscles by doing progressively tougher exercises, offers promise in helping people to maintain their strength as they age, [researchers] report.

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USDA to expand testing to reduce E. coli in beef

(Reuters) The U.S. Agriculture Department said on Friday it will increase testing parts of steaks and other meat cuts used to make ground beef as the government steps up efforts to reduce the spread of E. coli bacteria in food.

USDA's Food Safety Inspection Service (FSIS) said it was issuing guidance for meat inspectors to begin testing of so-called bench trim for E. coli, which the department has not routinely done in the past.

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Food Additive May One Day Help Control Blood Lipids And Reduce Disease Risk

(Science Daily) Scientists … have identified a substance in the liver that helps process fat and glucose. That substance is a component of the common food additive lecithin, and researchers speculate it may one day be possible to use lecithin products to control blood lipids and reduce risk for diabetes, hypertension or cardiovascular disease using treatments delivered in food rather than medication.

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Eating High Levels Of Fructose Impairs Memory In Rats

(Science Daily) Researchers … have found that diets high in fructose — a type of sugar found in most processed foods and beverages — impaired the spatial memory of adult rats.

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Jury's still out on green tea for preventing cancer

(Reuters Health) Green tea is safe and may taste delicious, but if you're counting on it to prevent cancer, you may want to reconsider: A new review of studies including more than 1.6 million people has found "limited" evidence that green tea might help prevent some types of cancer.

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Exercise matters long after cancer diagnosis

(Reuters Health) The familiar "eat right and exercise" message is particularly important for overweight elderly survivors of breast, prostate, and colorectal cancers, because lifestyle factors can significantly affect their quality of life, new research shows…

[Researchers] interviewed 753 men and women, all at least 65 years old, who had survived 5 or more years after a breast, prostate, or colorectal cancer diagnosis…

[T]hose who exercised more and had better diet quality also had better physical quality of life outcomes (e.g., better vitality and physical functioning) than those who exercised less and ate poorly. Also, the greater the body weight, the poorer the physical quality of life.

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Risk Of Frailty In Older Women Dependent On Multisystem Abnormalities

(Science Daily) A [new] study … reports that the condition of frailty in older adults is associated with a critical mass of abnormal physiological systems, over and above the status of each individual system, and that the relationship is nonlinear.

This research is the first evidence that frailty is related to the number of abnormal physiological systems, rather than a specific system abnormality, a chronic disease, or chronological age. It suggests significant alterations in system biology with aging, and underlying frailty. Clinical implications are that prevention and treatment may be more likely to be effective if any given intervention improves multiple systems, not just one.

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Virus Linked To Some Cases Of Common Skin Cancer

(Science Daily) A virus discovered last year in a rare form of skin cancer has also been found in people with the second most common form of skin cancer among Americans, according to researchers.

If it proves to be a cancer-causing virus, and if it proves to be common in the general population, it might be something we should begin screening people for,” [principal investigator Amanda E. Toland] says.

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Gene Found for Age-Related Cataract

(HealthDay News) A gene associated with the formation of age-related cataract, a leading cause of blindness, has been identified by scientists.

Identifying the underlying causes of age-related cataract may help lead to new treatments and even ways to prevent the condition, the study authors noted.

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Reducing Levels Of Specific Protein Delays Aging Of Multiple Tissues In Lab Mice

(Science Daily) [Scientists] report research findings about the molecular mechanisms behind the aging process, which has up till now been poorly understood, that offer the possibility that a novel, pharmacological approach could be developed to combat age-related disorders.

In their research with lab rodents, the scientists found that the p38MAPK protein, already known for its role in inflammation, also promotes aging when it activates another protein p16, which has long been linked to aging.

In addition, they found that reducing the levels of p38MAPK delayed the aging of multiple tissues.

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Health Benefits Of Physical Activity More Pronounced In Women

(Science Daily) Many experimental studies have found that physical exercise can improve cholesterol levels and subsequently decrease the risks of cardiovascular disease; however, few of these studies have included enough participant diversity to provide ethnic breakdowns. Now, a long-term study of over 8,700 middle-aged men and women provides race- and gender- specific data on the cholesterol effects of physical activity, with the interesting result that women, particularly African-American women, experience greater benefits as a result of exercise than men.

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Sip This for Breakfast to Curb Hunger

(RealAge.com) If you often feel ravenous by noon despite a good breakfast, try drinking some of this with your morning meal: skim milk.


In a small study of overweight people, those who drank about 20 ounces of skim milk with breakfast ate less at lunch than the folks who drank fruit juice in the a.m…

The milk drinkers also felt fuller and more satisfied after their morning meal. Most likely thanks to the whey and casein proteins that are in milk; they’re better at quelling hunger than the carbs in fruit drinks.

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Online Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Is Effective In Treating Chronic Insomnia

(Science Daily) A study in the June 1 issue of the journal SLEEP demonstrates that online cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) for chronic insomnia significantly improves insomnia severity, daytime fatigue, and sleep quality. Online treatment also reduces erroneous beliefs about sleep and pre-sleep mental arousal…

[R]esearchers were surprised by the significant results in the absence of any ongoing support from a clinician. The treatment program consisted of psychoeducation about insomnia, information concerning sleep hygiene, stimulus control instruction, relaxation training, sleep restriction and cognitive therapy.

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Biomarker Could Predict Severe Osteoarthritis

(HealthDay News) -- Levels of a certain protein strongly predict the risk of hip and knee joint replacement as a result of severe osteoarthritis, a new study shows…

The study … is the first to establish a laboratory biomarker for the risk of severe osteoarthritis… Such biomarkers can lead to early diagnosis of the disease, before clinical symptoms appear. Improved prediction of severe osteoarthritis, experts say, could help identify people who would benefit from interventions such as weight loss, strength training and aerobic exercise.

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Muscle Density Linked to Disability

(HealthDay News) Exercise programs designed to increase muscle density in the elderly could help reduce rates of disability and hospitalization, new research suggests.

The contention stems from a study of 3,011 healthy U.S. residents, aged 70 to 80. During about a five-year span, more than 55 percent of them were hospitalized at least once. People most likely to be hospitalized were those who scored lowest on measures of physical function, such as walking speed, ability to stand up from a chair repeatedly, grip strength and leg strength.

The researchers also found that people with the least dense thigh muscles -- meaning more fat than lean tissue -- were more likely to be hospitalized than those with more dense thigh muscles.

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Getting personal: New tests aid drug performance

(Reuters) Better diagnostic tests and pressure to lower healthcare costs may finally usher in the era of personalized medicine, in which patients get drugs tailored to their genetic makeup, a new report suggests…

Drug companies and regulators are now looking for tests that increase the odds a high-cost biotechnology drug will work. They are using biomarkers -- such as specific proteins or genes -- to design better and cheaper clinical trials, lowering the cost of drug development.

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Drug Rescues Memory Lost To Alzheimer's Disease

(Science Daily) A drug similar to one used in clinical trials for treatment of rheumatoid arthritis and psoriasis has been found to rescue memory in mice exhibiting Alzheimer's symptoms.

The discovery by UC Irvine scientists offers hope that a new treatment may be on the horizon for people in the early stages of Alzheimer's.

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Potential New Drug Target For Diabetes And Alzheimer's Disease

(Science Daily) A cellular protein that may prevent nerve cells from dying also helps to improve insulin action and lower blood glucose levels, according to a study…

The study, which focuses on diabetic rodents, … is the first to show a role in glucose metabolism for humanin, a small protein (peptide). The researchers also demonstrated that humanin resembles the peptide leptin by acting on the brain to influence glucose metabolism…

"From these results, we conclude that the decline in humanin with age could help explain why Alzheimer's disease and type 2 diabetes are more common in older people," says [a co-senior author of the study].

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Brain Surgery Done With Sound

(LiveScience.com) Focused ultrasound surgery has now been performed successfully on nine human patients, according to a preliminary study done in Switzerland. Thirty years ago, this kind of technique was science fiction; today, it is science fact…

"The groundbreaking finding here is that you can make lesions deep in the brain--through the intact skull and skin--with extreme precision and accuracy and safety," says Neal Kassell, a neurosurgeon…

In the procedure, ultrasound beams are focused on a specific point in the brain; the exact location depends on the condition being treated. The small portion of brain tissue at the focus (about the size of a rice grain) absorbs the energy and converts it to heat; the temperature in this area rises to about 130 degrees Fahrenheit, killing the cells. The entire system is integrated with a magnetic resonance scanner, which allows neurosurgeons to make sure they target the correct piece of brain tissue.

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Simple Changes to Improve Your Mind, Mood, and Outlook

(Health.com) Feeling stuck in a rut? A few simple changes in your daily routine can sharpen your mind and improve your attitude. Here’s how to get started:

Switch hands
Use your nondominant hand to do daily tasks like brushing your teeth or clicking the computer mouse. This simple change promotes the growth of neurons in the brain, which can sharpen memory and thinking…

Engage your senses…

Try something fresh…

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Tip of the Week: Eliminate the Word "Should"

(Shrink Yourself) Do you hear a voice in your head that says things like, "you should’ve exercised today," or "you shouldn’t have eaten that?" If so, this week’s tip is for you.

The word "should" is defined as a word used to indicate obligation, duty, or correctness, typically when criticizing someone’s actions. When you hear the word "should" in your head you can be sure that you’re being overly critical of yourself… It’s better to motivate yourself by viewing eating well and exercising as loving self-caring actions. Remember how empowered you feel when you make those kinds of choices. Don’t do the right thing because you "should." Do the right thing because it’s what you deserve.

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Community: For me, it’s also about feeling good. I feel better when I’m doing the right things. Not that I always do them, mind you, but a positive motivation is more reliable than “shoulding” all over myself.

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The Mood Of Depressed People Improves With Weight Loss

(Medical News Today) Research … finds that after a 6-month behavioral weight loss program, depressed patients not only lost 8% of their initial weight but also reported significant improvements in their symptoms of depression, as well as reductions in triglycerides, which are a risk factor for heart disease and stroke.

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One week to a slimmer you: Seven daily tips

(Health.com) -- When it comes to losing weight, the little things add up -- trying just one new thing every day can quickly make a big difference. With that in mind, we've taken science's best weight-loss strategies and created a week's worth of slimming to-do's.

Sunday: Shoot it, and shed pounds.
Studies show that recording meals may help you lose up to 5 percent of your weight…

Monday: Pop a vitamin to kill hunger…

Tuesday: Speed up to burn more calories…

Wednesday: Triple your C and burn more fat…

Thursday: Have a gab session and drop pounds faster…

Friday: Color yourself slim.
An apple a day will do more than keep the doctor away -- it'll keep pounds off, too. Filling up with a range of fruits and vegetables is an easy way to cut your calorie load…

Saturday: Inhale and conquer cravings.

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Community: Deep breathing is one of the techniques I used to fight nicotine cravings.

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Organic food is no healthier, study finds

(Reuters) Organic food has no nutritional or health benefits over ordinary food, according to a major study published Wednesday.

Researchers from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicinesaid consumers were paying higher prices for organic food because of its perceived health benefits, creating a global organic market worth an estimated $48 billion in 2007.

A systematic review of 162 scientific papers published in the scientific literature over the last 50 years, however, found there was no significant difference.

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Community: Jerry, a friend of Many Years Young, finds that organic food taste better. What do you think?

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How to Avoid Heatstroke

(New York Times) Since much of the United States had a relatively cool start to summer this year, many of us remain under-acclimatized to what are generally the scorching temperatures of August. It requires at least five days and perhaps as much as three months of regular exposure to heat to fully acclimatize. So be wary during workouts this month, [Douglas Casa, who’s extensively studied athletic performance in the heat,] says. “If you feel at all off — dizzy or unusually fatigued or just, in any way, strange — ease back,” he says. If you’re running, slow to a jog. If you’re jogging, walk. Seek out shade.

Gulp the entire contents of your water bottle, too. “You don’t have to be dehydrated to develop heat stroke,” XA says. “That’s a myth. But that doesn’t mean we want people to skip drinking. Hydration can be protective” against heat illnesses, for most people.

Lacing your water bottle with plenty of ice cubes may help, too.

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Juices, tea and energy drinks erode teeth

(CNN) For years, dentists have warned patients about the decaying effects of cola and sugary, fizzy drinks on their teeth.

Research shows that other drinks thought to be better --fruit juices, teas and energy drinks-- can also have harmful effects on teeth, turning the pearly whites to shrinking, spotted yellows marred with pockmarks…

Basic tips to avoid tooth erosion

  • Drink the acidic beverage at once, instead of sipping it all day
  • Use a straw to avoid the teeth from being immersed in liquid
  • Substitute acidic beverages with water
  • Rinse mouth with water after drinking acidic beverage instead of brushing. The bristles of the toothbrush may damage the enamel.

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Calcium Scan of Arteries Helps Spot Big Trouble

(HealthDay News) Adding a scan for calcium in the heart arteries to a standard test of blood vessel function helps predict which people with known coronary disease are likely to develop serious problems, a new German study indicates.

"The combination of myocardial SPECT and coronary artery calcium scoring could help identify those who are at highest risk for subsequent fatal cardiac events in a long-term outcome," said study author Dr. Marcus Hacker

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Many heart disease patients not referred for rehab

(Reuters Health) Despite evidence that cardiac rehabilitation helps patients following discharge from the hospital, almost half of heart disease patients eligible for such rehabilitation are not referred for it, according to a new study.

Cardiac rehabilitation involves exercise and counseling on diet and other risk factors. It has been shown to decrease the likelihood of future heart problems.

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Scientists Find Way to Make 'Good' Brown Fat

(HealthDay News) Boston scientists have succeeded in making brown fat out of mouse and human cells, a feat that takes scientists a step closer to victory in the fight against obesity and type 2 diabetes.

Brown fat is "good" fat because it burns energy, acting as a furnace, to help regulate body temperature by generating heat. The more of this fat you have, the leaner you tend to be.

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'Corrective Genes' Closer Due To Enzyme Modification

(Science Daily) Scientists … have re-engineered a human enzyme, a protein that accelerates chemical reactions within the human body, to become highly resistant to harmful agents such as chemotherapy, according to a new study…

"We can now harness this insight to further advance therapies for genetic diseases such as leukemia."

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Secrets to Living Younger

(Heart Health, U.S. News & World Report) Two new studies published in the Journal of the American Medical Association identify specific health habits that help us live younger by avoiding heart failure and high blood pressure. The first study, involving nearly 21,000 male physicians, found that those who followed four or more healthful lifestyle approaches had a 10 percent chance of developing heart failure, compared with a 21 percent chance for those who didn't follow any. In the second study, of more than 83,000 female nurses, good health habits led to a nearly 80 percent lower risk of developing high blood pressure, compared with those who smoked, didn't exercise, and ate poorly.

The studies "underscore that healthy lifestyle will help prevent cardiovascular disease and greatly enhance health," Veronique Roger, a professor of public health at the Mayo Clinic, wrote in an editorial that accompanied the studies.

1. Follow a sensible diet…

2. Maintain a healthy weight…

3. Exercise vigorously on most days of the week…

4. Eat breakfast cereal…

5. Use pain relievers sparingly…

6. Get adequate amounts of folic acid…

7. Moderate your alcohol intake…

8. Don't smoke.

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Community: I’m thinking that the breakfast cereal shouldn’t be one of the ones with tons of sugar in it.

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U.S. states to get "significant" obesity money

(Reuters) The U.S. government plans to increase funding to battle obesity and views healthcare reform as an opportunity to encourage better eating habits, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said on Tuesday.

The Obama administration, as part of its economic stimulus package, will give states and local governments more money to control obesity, including investing in public transportation, Sebelius told an obesity conference in Washington.

She added that legislation in Congress to overhaul the $2.5 trillion healthcare industry could boost programs to get more fruits and vegetables into school lunches and encourage grocery stores to sell more fresh produce in poor communities.

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Painkillers are about to get safer

(New Scientist) PARACETAMOL (acetaminophen) is an effective painkiller but a risky one, making it the leading cause of acute liver damage in the US. Now there are two ways it could get a whole lot safer. A US Food and Drug Administration panel wants to slash the recommended dosage…

When used as directed paracetamol is safe, but it doesn't take much more than the recommended dose to cause permanent, possibly fatal, liver damage…

A more comprehensive solution may be on the horizon, in the form of drugs such as SCP-1, which is made up of a molecule of paracetamol joined to a saccharin molecule. In early tests in people SCP-1 does not seem to produce the same toxic by-products as paracetamol.

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Gloomy Days Dim Cognitive Powers of the Depressed

(HealthDay News) A new study shows that gloomy days are linked with memory and other cognitive problems in people suffering from depression.

Previous research has shown that many people feel their moods shift with shifting skies, with more depression linked with less sunlight, but this is the first time that light exposure and cognition have been paired, stated the authors of a study…

Light therapy, such as that prescribed for people with seasonal affective disorder (SAD), might also help people with cognitive impairments, the authors added.

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Nanotubes sharpen X-ray vision

(Nature) It's taken more than a century, but X-rays are finally getting a shake-up. A new way of generating them uses carbon nanotubes and could allow real-time three-dimensional scanning…

[Materials scientist Otto] Zhou's device has many nanotubes positioned around the subject in a 3D array. They are activated in sequence, generating a ripple of X-rays that sweeps around the body, he says. "Electronic switching can create a scanning beam without requiring any mechanical motion of the apparatus," he says…

This scanning technology is fast enough to provide real-time 3D imaging, which will help improve tumour targeting in radiotherapy treatments, says [a] team member.

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'Doctor' particle decides when to release drug payload

(New Scientist) Nanoparticles able to make basic decisions about whether to release their contents offer the prospect of delivering drugs exactly when and where they are needed, say chemists.

Their particles only respond to two distinct and simultaneous stimuli, acting like an "AND" computer logic gate that only produces an output signal if it receives two input signals.

"Our dream is to be able to use our mechanised nanoparticles for anti-cancer drug delivery," lead researcher Jeffrey Zink.

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Scientists Closer To Making Implantable Bone Material

(Science Daily) Scientists are closer to understanding how to grow replacement bones with stem cell technology…

Many scientists are currently trying to create bone-like materials, derived from stem cells, to implant into patients who have damaged or fractured bones, or who have had parts of diseased bones removed. The idea is that, ultimately, these bone-like materials could be inserted into cavities so that real bone could meld with it and repair the bone.

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Cancer Vaccines Led To Long-term Survival For Patients With Metastatic Melanoma

(Science Daily) [Researchers have] announced promising data from a clinical study showing patient-specific cancer vaccines derived from patients' own cancer cells and immune cells were well tolerated and resulted in impressive long-term survival rates in patients with metastatic melanoma whose disease had been minimized by other therapies.

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Study: Tanning beds as deadly as arsenic

(AP) International cancer experts have moved tanning beds and other sources of ultraviolet radiation into the top cancer risk category…

The new classification means tanning beds and other sources of ultraviolet radiation are definite causes of cancer, alongside tobacco, the hepatitis B virus and chimney sweeping, among others.

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Should you trust health advice from the web?

(New Scientist) People are increasingly turning to the internet for health advice, but experts worry about the quality of the information they are receiving.

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Community: The only information you will ever receive from me is from reputable and reliable sources.

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Almost 10 Percent of U.S. Medical Costs Tied to Obesity

(HealthDay News) Obesity in the United States now carries the hefty price tag of $147 billion per year in direct medical costs, just over 9 percent of all medical spending, experts report…

Hoping to turn the tide of the obesity epidemic, the CDC is taking several steps it hopes will alert people to the problem and get Americans to make the changes need to reduce obesity.

Among the strategies the CDC is promoting are making healthy food more available, promoting more choices of healthy foods, promoting breast-feeding, encouraging physical activity and creating sites in communities that support physical activity, Dr. William H. Dietz, director of CDC's Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity, said…

"These recommendations, I believe, set the foundation for the community interventions necessary to reverse this problem in the United States," Dietz said.

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Divorce Undermines Health

(Science Daily) Divorce and widowhood have a lingering, detrimental impact on health, even after a person remarries, research at the University of Chicago and Johns Hopkins University shows.

"Among the currently married, those who have ever been divorced show worse health on all dimensions. Both the divorced and widowed who do not remarry show worse health on all dimensions," said University of Chicago sociologist Linda Waite and co-author of a new study on marriage and health.

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Community: Again, and I’ll keep emphasizing this point, these circumstances in your life don’t mean you’re doomed to an unhealthy life. But this information should make it even more important for divorced and widowed people to take extra care with their health and well being.

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Many Cancer Survivors Don't Adopt Healthy Lifestyle

(HealthDay News) Most older, long-term cancer survivors struggle with good health habits, such as regular exercise and a proper diet, a new study shows.

Those who did exercise and eat well after their treatment, however, tended to have more vitality and a better quality of life, the study also found…

Most people expressed interest in pursuing healthy habits, but only 7 percent actually met national guidelines for exercise and diet. The majority reported exercising an average of 10 minutes a week -- far short of the recommended 150 minutes of exercise a week, the study said. Obese survivors had worse physical quality of life.

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In Study, Texting Lifts Crash Risk by Large Margin

(New York Times) The first study of drivers texting inside their vehicles shows that the risk sharply exceeds previous estimates based on laboratory research — and far surpasses the dangers of other driving distractions.

The new study, which entailed outfitting the cabs of long-haul trucks with video cameras over 18 months, found that when the drivers texted, their collision risk was 23 times greater than when not texting.

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Fractures heal more quickly with medication

(UPI) -- Broken bones heal more quickly if the patient is given thyroxine, a naturally occurring substance used to treat brittleness in bones, Swedish researchers said.

Thyroxine injections would benefit elderly people undergoing long rehabilitation from broken hips and younger people itching to get back to work.

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Common, safe blue food dye may treat broken spines

(Reuters) A common and safe blue food dye might provide the best treatment available so far for spinal cord injuries, U.S. researchers reported on Monday.

Tests in rats showed the dye, called brilliant blue G, a close relative of the common food dye Blue no. 1, crossed into the spinal fluid and helped block inflammation, Maiken Nedergaard of the University of Rochester Medical Center and colleagues reported.

"We have no effective treatment now for patients who have an acute spinal cord injury," Dr. Steven Goldman, who worked on the study, said in a statement.

"Our hope is that this work will lead to a practical, safe agent that can be given to patients shortly after injury, for the purpose of decreasing the secondary damage that we have to otherwise expect."

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Tooth Gel: Healing Power Of Aloe Vera Proves Beneficial For Teeth And Gums, Too

(Science Daily) The aloe vera plant has a long history of healing power. Its ability to heal burns and cuts and soothe pain has been documented as far back as the 10th century. Legend has it that Cleopatra used aloe vera to keep her skin soft. The modern use of aloe vera was first recognized the 1930s to heal radiation burns. Since then, it has been a common ingredient in ointments that heal sunburn, minor cuts, skin irritation, and many other ailments.

Recently, aloe vera has gained some popularity as an active ingredient in tooth gel. Similar to its use on skin, the aloe vera in tooth gels is used to cleanse and soothe teeth and gums, and is as effective as toothpaste to fight cavities, according to [a new report].

Aloe vera tooth gel is intended to perform the same function as toothpaste, which is to eliminate pathogenic oral microflora—disease-causing bacteria—in the mouth.

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4 Healthy Lunch-on-the-Go Suggestions

(SouthBeachDiet.com) Brown bagging it to work can be a challenge, especially when you’re trying to stick to a healthy eating plan. With a little forethought and planning, however, you can purchase and prepare South Beach Diet-friendly foods that will taste great and keep you on track anywhere you go. These nutritious lunch suggestions are also family-friendly, so your loved ones will enjoy the same health benefits whether you pack them up or serve them at home. Get 4 quick tips for healthy lunches. Keep these guidelines in mind the next time you’re preparing lunches:

Choose whole-grain breads…

Enjoy lean deli meats…

Prepare salads…

Consider bean-based soups.

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Home care should boom as baby boomers age

(McClatchy Newspapers) In a recent report, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics labels personal home care aides who offer basic help, and home health aides who offer medical assistance, as the second- and third-fastest growing occupations. Both are projected to double by 2016, as baby boomers age, and employ more than 3 million people.

Further driving the trend: Technology and better health practices keep people alive longer, and more seniors are opting to stay in their homes rather than move to nursing or assisted-living facilities. It's also a lot cheaper.

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