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

Restrictive Diet … May Backfire

(HealthDay News) Parents who try to battle the childhood obesity epidemic by forbidding their kids to eat certain foods are not going to keep them from gaining weight and may actually be making the situation worse, researchers say…

The researchers found that, among the study participants, the girls at the highest risk for weight gain were those with high levels of perceived parental food restrictions and low self-control…

A better idea for parents is to help their children learn some control by allowing them to choose between healthy options. And it is better to not keep restricted foods in the house, she added.

"That way," Anzman said, "it is not necessary to constantly tell children they cannot have the foods they want."

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Community: This advice can apply to us grownups, too. I find that whenever I try to deny myself something, I begin to obsess on it. A segment (“Obesity Begins at Home”, watch the video here) of a Scientific American Frontiers episode {“Fat and Happy?”} makes the same point—that children who are denied certain foods tend to gobble them down when allowed to eat them. One thing that has helped me is Paul McKenna’s “I Can Make You Thin” program (videos of his series on TLC are available here). McKenna’s idea is to eat what you want, but stop when you’re full. It’s the knowing when I’m full part that I’m still working on. But I also don’t keep in the house what I know isn’t good for me. If I really want it, I have to go out and get it. And then only the smallest amount possible.

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5 Foods That Pack Unexpected Health Benefits

(U.S. News & World Report) Here's a look at [some] foods whose health benefits might surprise you.

Blue M&M's. Rats given through-the-vein injections of the compound Brilliant Blue G soon after they received paralyzing spinal injuries regained the ability to walk, though with a clumsy gait, while injured rats that didn't get BBG were permanently paralyzed, researchers report…

Grapefruit. For years, dieters have befriended the fruit with a bitter bite. It's high in fiber and low in calories, and new research finds grapefruit is ripe with a type of antioxidant that may prevent obesity and protect against type 2 diabetes. Findings newly published in an online issue of the journal Diabetes showed that naringenin, a type of antioxidant called a flavonoid, decreased cholesterol production and stabilized metabolism in mice fed a fat-laden diet…

Garden peas. This lowly legume may have lofty potential to fight high blood pressure and chronic kidney disease…

Watermelon. Watermelon could behave as a natural Viagra, according to a study released last summer. That's because watermelon contains bounties of the plant nutrient citrulline, which can relax and dilate blood vessels and improve blood flow…

Chocolate. Poor chocolate—always getting a bum rap. Yet studies suggest that the dark variety may have health benefits, including the ability to reduce blood pressure and boost blood flow to certain organs. The best kind? Chocolate with a high cocoa content, most likely to contain beneficial compounds. Still, chocolate can be chock-full of calories, so eat with care.

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3 Common Questions About Fiber Answered!

(SouthBeachDiet.com) The South Beach Diet has always been a fiber-rich plan, designed to encourage eating plenty of legumes, whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. Why the emphasis on fiber? A high-fiber diet can help normalize your blood-sugar levels, improve your cholesterol, regulate your bowel function, and help keep you from feeling hungry, which aids in weight loss.

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More evidence that fish is brain food

(Reuters Health) Older adults in developing countries who regularly eat fish seem to have a lower risk of dementia, a new study suggests…

For each increase in participants' reported fish intake -- from never, to some days of the week, to most or all days of the week -- the prevalence of dementia dipped by 19 percent.

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Yoga linked to weight loss in overweight

(UPI) Regular yoga practice may help prevent middle-age spread in normal-weight people and overweight people may drop a few pounds, U.S. researchers said.

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Quitting smoking causes quick drop in inflammation

(Reuters Health) Just weeks after quitting smoking, women show major reductions in several markers of inflammation associated with heart disease risk, new research shows.

The findings point the way to a strategy for encouraging people at risk of heart disease to kick the habit, the study's authors say.

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Sex Hormone Levels Linked to Fractures in Men

(HealthDay News) Sex hormone levels affect the risk of broken bones in older men, says a new study…

The researchers found that men with low levels of estradiol or high levels of sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG) were more likely to suffer osteoporotic fractures.

In addition, men with low levels of testosterone and estradiol combined with high levels of SHBG were more than three times as likely to break a bone as men with average levels of the hormones, the study found.

Testosterone is the main male sex hormone. Estradiol provides most estrogen effects in men and women. SHBG is a protein that binds to testosterone and estradiol in the blood. It's known to reduce circulating sex steroid concentrations and has previously been linked with fracture risk.

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Wine May Shield Breast Cancer Patients From Radiation Side Effects

(HealthDay News) A glass of wine a day cut the risk of treatment-linked skin toxicity by two-thirds in women undergoing radiation therapy for breast cancer, Italian researchers report…

"If wine can prevent radiotherapy-induced toxicity without affecting antitumor efficacy, as we observed, it also has the potential to enhance the therapeutic benefit in cancer patients without increasing their risk of serious adverse effects," study author Dr. Vincenzo Valentini.

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Drug 'attacks cancer stem cells'

(BBC) A compound that appears to target the master cells which help breast cancers grow and spread has been discovered by US scientists.

In tests in mice, salinomycin killed breast cancer stem cells far more effectively than some existing drugs, and slowed tumour growth.

The drug, a farm antibiotic, has yet to be tested in humans, the journal Cell reports.

But UK experts warned a human version could be some years away.

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Bypassing Bypass Surgery: New Blood Vessels Grown To Combat Heart Disease

(Science Daily) Although open-heart surgery is a frequent treatment for heart disease, it remains extremely dangerous. Now groundbreaking research from Dr. Britta Hardy of Tel Aviv University's Sackler School of Medicine has shown the potential for an injected protein to regrow blood vessels in the human heart — eliminating the need for risky surgery altogether.

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Ready for Ragweed Allergy Season? These Tips Can Help Fight Pollen Allergy

No matter how long ragweed season lasts this year, experts suggest getting a jump-start on symptoms before you start to feel lousy. This should come as no surprise to people accustomed to dealing with seasonal allergy symptoms, but we offer eight refreshers for making this ragweed season as painless as possible.

Start taking prescribed or over-the-counter medications now, even if symptoms haven't kicked in yet…

Keep windows closed at home and in the car…

Call your doctor now for an appointment if you're ou t of prescription medication refills…

Bathe your pets frequently…

Shower before bed…

Consider allergy shots, also known as immunotherapy…

Check pollen counts in your area, and avoid being outdoors on days when counts are high.

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Osteoporosis drugs effective in killing flu viruses

(Reuters) Two existing drugs used to treat osteoporosis may be effective in killing influenza viruses, including the new H1N1 swine flu and the H5N1 bird flu viruses, researchers in Hong Kong have found.

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Make Low-Carb Healthier with This Switch

Here’s what worked with the low-carb Atkins diet: Lots of people lost loads of pounds. And here’s what didn’t work: It gave cardiologists the shivers.

But new research suggests you can peel off poundsand improve your heart health on an Atkins-esque diet . . . you just have to get your protein from plants instead of animals.

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Community: I’ve never found an extreme diet that worked both to take pounds off quickly and to keep them off permanently, but I decided to post this article because it bolsters a point from a recent post on saving money on food—that we don’t have to eat as much animal protein as we do. I’m not a vegetarian and probably never will be, but stretching the food budget by cooking casseroles and one-dish meals that include more plant protein and less animal protein than we’re used to can also be good for our health.

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Eat This for Less Blood Sugar Damage

(RealAge.com) Sulforaphane, a compound in broccoli, [helps] protect your organs against blood sugar damage…

When your blood sugar (glucose) is chronically high, the cells of your heart, eyes, kidneys, and nerves take a big hit. Hit after hit leads to permanent damage. When researchers looked at what glucose would do to blood vessel cells in a petri dish, they saw that sulforaphane muzzled damage -- or oxidation -- by as much as 73%.

If broccoli isn't already on your list of "go-to" vegetables, here are a few more good reasons (but not the only ones!) to put it there:

• It's a potent cancer fighter…

• It's rich in vitamin C and lutein, and high levels of those can cut your risk of eye damage…

• It tastes great, is inexpensive, is easy to cook, and is easy to find year-round. To get the most from your broccoli, steam it to preserve its health-giving compounds, and eat it with a little fat (canola oil enriched with DHA) to allow your body to absorb them best.

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Community: Click through for links to some recipes.

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Black Tea May Fight Diabetes

(Science Daily) Long known for its antioxidants, immune boosting and, most recently, antihypertensive properties, black tea could have another health benefit. Black tea may be used to control diabetes, according to a study…

Polysaccharides, a type of carbohydrate that includes starch and cellulose, may benefit people with diabetes because they help retard absorption of glucose.

The researchers found that of the three teas [green, oolong, and black], the polysaccharides in black tea had the most glucose-inhibiting properties.

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Supplement reverses glucose intolerance

(UPI) The supplement carnitine may offer hope for people with glucose intolerance, older people, and people with kidney disease and diabetes, U.S. researchers said…

The researchers said that after eight weeks of supplementation with carnitine, the obese rats restored their cells' fuel-burning capacity, which was shut down by a lack of natural carnitine, and improved their glucose tolerance -- a health outcome that indicates a lower risk of diabetes. Carnitine is made in the liver and recycled by the kidney, but in some cases it is insufficient

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Apple a day helps keep kidney stones away

(UPI) U.S. researchers say a healthy diet high in fruits and vegetables helps prevent kidney stones.

The study … finds those who eat healthy foods recommended in the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension diet may effectively ward off kidney stones. The DASH diet limits salt, red or processed meats and sweetened beverages, but has lots of fruits, vegetables, nuts, low-fat dairy products and whole grains.

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Treat Mind, Body in RA Patients: Study

(HealthDay News) Treating both depression and inflammation can reduce severe pain in people with rheumatoid arthritis (RA), Japanese researchers say…

The study found that inflammation and depression each independently increased the likelihood of severe pain. The combined effects of high CRP levels and depression predicted severe pain even more strongly.

"Results of our research demonstrate the potential for clinicians to improve pain control by addressing their patients' psychological symptoms in addition to conducting anti-inflammatory therapy," study leader Dr. Masayo Kojima said.

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Novel, Orally Inhaled Migraine Therapy Is Effective, Study Shows

(Science Daily) A new study … shows an investigational, orally-inhaled therapy is effective in treating migraines… [S]tudy participants had significant relief from symptoms such as pain, nausea and light and sound sensitivity when compared to placebo treatment.

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Synthetic Derivative Of Kudzu Vine Can Reduce Drinking And Prevent Relapse

(Science Daily) Kudzu and its extracts and flowers have been used in traditional Chinese folk medicine to treat alcoholism for about 1,000 years. Kudzu contains daidzin, an anti-drinking substance… A recent test … on rodents shows that [a synthetic version] reduces drinking and prevents relapse…

"Alcoholism is a medical disorder, not just a problem of will power," [corresponding author for the study Ivan Diamond] said. "Physicians treat medical disorders in order to prevent harm, while not necessarily curing the disease being treated – for example, drug treatment of hypertension, statins for high cholesterol, insulin for diabetes – and the same will become true for treating alcoholism. Heavy drinking causes harm. We need to prevent heavy drinking in order to prevent harm."

Diamond added that relapse may be the biggest problem facing physicians today. "We are talking about a patient who has the motivation to undergo a very unpleasant detoxification to try to stop drinking, and then gets into trouble afterward," he said. "Nearly 80 percent of abstinent alcoholics or addicts relapse within a year. Current therapies for alcoholism help, but we can do much better."

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Community: I don’t know if a pill can prevent or cure alcoholism. The only thing that has been shown to work is the program of Alcoholics Anonymous. Relapse is certainly a problem, but those who stick with the program can often conquer the disease.

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Anti-psychotic Drugs Could Help Fight Cancer

(Science Daily) The observation that people taking medication for schizophrenia have lower cancer rates than other people has prompted new research revealing that anti-psychotic drugs could help treat some major cancers.

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Multiple Types Of White Blood Cells Made Directly From Embryonic And Adult Stem Cells

(Science Daily) In an advance that could help transform embryonic stem cells into a multipurpose medical tool, scientists at the University of Wisconsin-Madison have transformed these versatile cells into progenitors of white blood cells and into six types of mature white blood and immune cells.

While clinical use is some years away, the new technique could produce cells with enormous potential for studying the development and treatment of disease. The technique works equally well with stem cells grown from an embryo and with adult pluripotent stem cells, which are derived from adult cells that have been converted until they resemble embryonic stem cells.

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High-fat diet affects stamina, thinking

(UPI) In a study in rats, after nine days of a high-fat diet, physical endurance and a decline in cognition appeared, British researchers found…

"We found that rats, when switched to a high-fat diet from their standard low-fat feed, showed a surprisingly quick reduction in their physical performance," Dr. Andrew Murray, who led the study at Oxford University but now at the University of Cambridge, said in a statement.

"After just nine days, they were only able to run 50 percent as far on a treadmill as those that remained on the low-fat feed."

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Canning not just for grandma anymore

(UPI) Home canning, fueled by movements to eat more fruits and vegetables, save money and eat locally, is gaining favor among younger people, a Seattle Web site says…

As the recession progresses and food prices continue to rise, 61 percent of canners say their greatest motivation is saving money.

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Study traces steady declines in U.S. cancer deaths

(Reuters) Improvements in cancer screening and better treatments have resulted in steady declines in cancer death rates over the past three decades, U.S. researchers said on Thursday.

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Morning colonoscopy may catch more polyps

(Reuters Health) People who undergo screening colonoscopy in the morning rather than afternoon may be more likely to have potentially cancerous growths detected, a new study suggests…

Polyps were found in 29 percent of patients who had a colonoscopy in the morning, versus 25 percent of those who were screened in the afternoon. There was also evidence that detection rates dipped as the day wore on.

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Community: Not to mention the discomfort of not being able to eat or drink anything all the way through to the afternoon.

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Weight Lifting Can Ease Arm Swelling in Breast Cancer Survivors

(HealthDay News) Lifting weights can help prevent flare-ups of lymphedema, a painful swelling of the arm that often occurs after breast cancer surgery, new research shows.

The finding runs counter to what women have been told for years -- that they should avoid stressing the arm during strength training or other exercise because muscle strain can cause lymphedema to worsen.

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Surgery for Neck Pain May Also Relieve Headaches

(HealthDay News) Surgery can significantly improve headaches associated with neck problems, according to the results of a patient survey…

"This is not a 'cure' for all headaches," lead author Joseph Riina … said in a news release. "But if you have headaches associated with neck pain and dysfunction, surgery for the neck problem can significantly improve the related headaches. And, any time overall quality of life can be improved with surgical treatment, that is something to note."

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Older Drivers Unaware Of Risks From Medications And Driving

(Science Daily) Most older drivers are unaware of the potential impact on driving performance associated with taking medications, according to new research… The findings … indicate that 95 percent of those age 55 and older have one or more medical conditions, 78 percent take one or more medications, and only 28 percent have an awareness of the risks those medications might have on driving ability.

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Not enough shut-eye may raise diabetes risk

(Reuters Health) An inadequate amount of nightly sleep on a recurring basis, coupled with a sedentary lifestyle and overeating, may fuel the development of diabetes, results of a new study hint.

"Our findings suggest that combining the unhealthy aspects of the Westernized lifestyle with insufficient sleep may add to the risk of overweight and sedentary individuals to develop diabetes," … a senior author of the study told Reuters Health.

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A Real Eye-opener: Researchers Uncover Which Gender Is Losing Sleep

(Science Daily) Even with growing progress toward gender equality in the workplace, women continue to carry the most responsibility for family care, a load that according to a new study could indicate why women report more sleep disruption than men…

The authors say that women were more likely than men to report more sleep disruption when they were concerned about their marriages, worked nonstandard schedules, when job demands spilled over into family lives and when family issues affected job performance. The authors found that men whose wives worked full-time reported more sleep disruption, and when jobs and family lives spilled into each other, but significantly less than women…

Men who considered their work/family roles on equal footing with their partner were also more likely to report sleep disruption.

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Studies: New osteoporosis drug cuts fracture risk

(AP) A first-of-its-kind osteoporosis drug lowers the risk of bone fractures better than some existing treatments, two studies suggest, and could soon add a more expensive but easier option to the booming market.

Amgen Inc. will stress that only two shots of its genetically engineered denosumab, which could be approved for sale this fall, are needed each year. That's important because many patients stop taking other drugs due to side effects or frequent dosing.

Wall Street sees denosumab as a potential blockbuster crucial to Amgen. But with many cheaper, heavily advertised treatments, doctors view its expected high cost as a drawback.

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Viral Mimic Induces Melanoma Cells To Digest Themselves

(Science Daily) Recent research has uncovered an unexpected vulnerability in deadly melanoma cells that, when exploited, can cause the cancer cells to turn against themselves. The study … identifies a new target for development of future therapeutics aimed at selectively eliminating this aggressive skin cancer which is characterized by a notoriously high rate of metastasis and treatment-resistance.

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Stem cells offer promise for damaged hearts

(CNN) In a field largely still in its infancy, scientists are making headway toward using stem cells to treat heart ailments.

The major focus of stem cell research in cardiology is promoting regeneration of the heart or preventing scar formation, said Jeffrey Karp, who runs a stem cell biology lab at Harvard University.

One study reporting successful results in humans involves harvesting patients' own stem cells, purifying them, and injecting them directly into the heart muscle. The stem cells have a surface marker called CD34, which means they are capable of growing new blood vessels.

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U.S. rules aim to help dying patients access drugs

(Reuters) The U.S. government finalized rules on Wednesday meant to make it easier for seriously ill patients to gain access to unapproved medicines when they have run out of other options.

The regulations spell out more clearly which patients are eligible for special access to experimental medicines, the Food and Drug Administration said. They also clarify when manufacturers can charge patients for the drugs.

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Community: It’s about time, isn’t it?

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The secret to happiness? Get old

(CNN) "Older people are better able to recognize what will bother them, and better able to negotiate their environment," said Susan Turk Charles, a psychologist at the University of California, Irvine

Several studies have found that older adults report fewer negative emotional experiences and greater emotional control than young adults do, Charles said.

One study looked at people's positive and negative emotions over the course of 23 years, and compared participants by age group. Researchers found that teenagers most frequently reported negative emotions, while octogenarians seemed to feel the least negative.

While older adults seem to be happier on the balance, that does not mean they are enthusiastic all the time, Charles said. The research strongly indicates that older people feel less negative emotion -- anxiety, sadness and anger, for example -- than younger people, but is less clear about whether positive emotion -- such as feelings of contentment, enthusiasm and pride -- increases with age.

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Mediterranean Diet Plus Exercise Lowers Alzheimer's Risk

(HealthDay News) Eating a Mediterranean diet, which emphasizes fruits, vegetables, legumes and healthy fats, and increasing physical activity levels can reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer's disease, a new study shows.

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How to stretch your food budget

(Cooking Light) While your food budget may have tightened , you need not sacrifice taste and freshness to save a few dollars. Aim for the best value in terms of quality, freshness, and good nutrition to feed your family healthful foods…

Eat more meatless meals.

Meat accounts for the most expense at grocery store visits, so make one or two vegetarian dinners a week to cut costs…

Make a meal plan.

This strategy may be the most challenging to consistently employ but can make the biggest dent in your budget…

Do it yourself.

For maximum savings, skip convenience products, as you pay a premium for the work that's done for you…

Learn to stretch meat, poultry, and fish.

Instead of making protein the center of the plate, use it sparingly for flavor and texture -- almost as if it's a condiment…

Eat in season.

Out-of-season produce is costly and lacks flavor. Skip it; instead choose fruits and vegetables that are in season. When produce is at its peak, there's an abundance of it -- and you can find it for a bargain.

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Aspirin May Stem Deaths From Colorectal Cancer

(HealthDay News) Taking aspirin might not only reduce the risk of getting colorectal cancer, but it also might lower the odds of dying if you have it, new research suggests.

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How Weight Loss Helps the Heart

(HealthDay News) Losing a lot of weight rejuvenates the physical structure of the heart, and it makes no difference whether the weight is lost by surgery or by dieting, a new British study shows.

The heart muscles of people who started with a body mass index (BMI) averaging 40 -- a BMI of 30 is the usual marker of obesity -- became noticeably thinner and more efficient when they brought their BMI down to 32.2 in a single year, according to a report.

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New Bone-Building Drug Promising Against Prostate Cancer

(HealthDay News) A new bone-building drug has worked well in a trial of men whose bones were weakened by the hormone therapy they were taking for prostate cancer, researchers report.

The drug, denosumab (Prolia), is a monoclonal antibody that Amgen Inc. hopes to market for fracture prevention, not only in men with prostate cancer but also for postmenopausal women who are taking hormone therapy for breast cancer.

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Urine Samples Could Be Used To Predict Responses To Drugs, Say Researchers

(Science Daily) Researchers may be able to predict how people will respond to particular drugs by analysing their urine samples, suggest scientists behind a new study…

The researchers say that this kind of 'metabolic profiling' could ultimately be a valuable tool for predicting how different individuals will react to drugs, enabling those developing drugs to match drug treatments to individuals' requirements and avoid adverse side effects. They argue that those developing new, personalised approaches to medicine will need to consider metabolic as well as genetic profiling when developing drugs, in order to produce a complete picture of different individuals' makeup.

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Antidepressant suicide risk varies by age: FDA

(Reuters) People under age 25 who take antidepressants have a higher risk of suicide, but adults older than that do not, an analysis by U.S. Food and Drug Administration researchers released on Tuesday showed.

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Guided care can save Medicare $15 billion

(UPI) Researchers at The Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore suggest chronically ill patients need fewer healthcare resources and cost insurers less when closely supported by a nurse-physician primary care team.

"While guided care patients received more personal attention from their care team and had more physician office visits, the avoided expenses related to care in hospitals, skilled nursing facilities and emergency departments more than offset all the costs of providing guided care," Dr. Bruce Leff, the lead author, said in a statement.

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Pneumonia vaccine may help limit swine flu deaths

(Los Angeles Times) Most of the serious consequences linked to the virus are the result of pneumonia, and an underused vaccine called Pneumovax can prevent, or at least limit, such complications in many patients. The vaccine, made by Merck & Co., stimulates the body's ability to neutralize the bacteria responsible for many cases of pneumonia, and it has the potential to prevent an estimated one-third of pneumonia deaths linked to swine flu.

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Community: Treatment with the pneumonia vaccine is covered by Medicare.

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More Evidence Healthy Living Brings Long Life

(HealthDay News) People who adopt four healthy behaviors -- never smoking, regular exercise, eating well and maintaining a healthy weight -- can dramatically reduce their likelihood for chronic disease and an early death, a new study confirms.

On average, healthy living may cut your odds for heart disease, cancer and diabetes by about 80 percent, the researchers said.

"We're talking about relatively straightforward behaviors that pretty much everyone knows about already," said study author Dr. Earl S. Ford… "But there's unfortunately a gap between people realizing what's good for them and doing what they might want to do."

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Community: One of the purposes of this community is to help us motivate ourselves to do what we know is good for us.

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Optimism Good for Heart and Longevity

(HealthDay News) Women who take a darker view of life are more likely to develop heart trouble than those with a cheerful, trusting outlook, a new study indicates…

Women within the highest 25 percent of optimism scores had a 9 percent lower chance of developing heart disease and a 14 percent lower chance of dying of any cause. Women with the highest degree of cynical hostility were 16 percent more likely to die than those with the most trust in their fellow humans.

The results most likely apply to men as well as women, [Dr. Hilary A. Tindle, lead author] said, citing several previous studies…

"Optimistic women had more stable risk profiles, with less high blood pressure and diabetes," Tindle said. "They didn't smoke as much and tended to exercise more. So their lower risk might just be associated with living healthier."

It's also possible that optimists are more likely to follow their doctors advice more faithfully. "Previous studies have shown that optimists tend to follow the diet they are told to follow," Tindle noted.

Or a woman's outlook on life might affect how she responds to stress, theb researcher said. Pessimism and cynical hostility might lead to higher blood pressure, higher heart rate and other physical risk factors, she said.

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Positive expectations may speed recovery

(UPI) Canadian and Swedish researchers say whiplash recovery was not related to injury severity and patients with positive expectations had shortened recovery times.

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Getting the best nutrition for your buck

(AP) Obesity experts say the lousy economy threatens to worsen Americans' already bulging waistlines because bad-for-you food happens to be the cheapest. But there are healthy cheap eats, and new research aims to show how to eke the most nutrition out of every buck.

"We wanted to make sure every calorie counted," says Dr. Adam Drewnowski, who directs the University of Washington Center for Public Health Nutrition and is pushing for the federal government to put more affordability into the calculation when it issues new dietary guidelines next year…

On his list, carrots trump peppers, and apples trump strawberries, as cheaper and longer-lasting. Canned tomatoes pack even more of the nutrient lycopene than pricier fresh ones. Canned or frozen corn kernels mean no paying for the cob.

Somewhere between expensive salmon and cheap bacon comes lean hamburger — just drain it well — and chicken that can be quick-cooked many ways besides artery-clogging deep-fried.

Then there is the potato, maligned by the anti-carb movement. It actually has more potassium than a banana, fiber and even vitamin C. Just no fatty fries: Boil or mash or bake, and go easy on the butter. "It got nations through famines," Drewnowski notes.

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