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

Swine flu: Chicago begins offering inoculations at airports

(Chicago Tribune) As they battle the holiday crowds this weekend, frazzled travelers at Chicago airports also will have the option of stopping to get protection against the swine flu virus.

A clinic at O'Hare International Airport run by the University of Illinois at Chicago began offering H1N1 flu vaccines in nasal mist form this week. City officials say the clinic also hopes to receive arm-shot vaccines this week and plans to open kiosks to administer the mist form of the vaccine at both O'Hare and Midway this weekend.

Read more.

[Click the title, above, to post a comment.]

Diabetes Cases Expected to Double in 25 Years

(HealthDay News) The number of people with diabetes in the United States is expected to double over the next 25 years, a new study predicts.

That would bring the total by 2034 to about 44.1 million people with the disease, up from 23.7 million today.

At the same time, the cost of treating people with diabetes will triple, the study also warns, rising from an estimated $113 billion in 2009 to $336 billion in 2034.

One factor driving the soaring costs: the number of people living with diabetes for lengthy periods, the researchers said. Over time, the cost of caring for someone with diabetes tends to rise along with their risk for developing complications, such as end-stage renal disease, which requires dialysis.

Read more.

Community: These numbers are just crazy, when you consider that type 2 diabetes is almost always preventable.

[Click the title, above, to post a comment.]

Doggone it! Walking the dog is exercising

(UPI) The average British dog owner gets more of a workout walking his dog than someone with a gym membership, a pet healthcare expert said.

Research indicates dog owners exercise their pets twice daily for 24 minutes each time, totalling more than five hours a week, The Daily Telegraph reported Friday. In addition, dog owners take Fido on three long walks a week, adding another two-plus hours to the total.

By comparison, pet-less people spend about an hour and 20 minutes exercising, whether in a gym or on their own, the British publication said.

Read more.

[Click the title, above, to post a comment.]

More Foot Power, Less Car Pollution Best for Health

(HealthDay News) Encouraging city dwellers to walk and bicycle instead of using cars would offer much greater public health benefits than increased used of low-emission vehicles, U.K. researchers have found…

"Important health gains and reductions in CO2 emissions can be achieved through replacement of urban trips in private motor vehicles with active travel," wrote James Woodcock… and colleagues. "Technological measures to reduce vehicle pollutants might reduce emissions, but the health effect would be smaller."

The researchers added that an "increase in the safety, convenience and comfort of walking and cycling, and a reduction in the attractiveness of private motor vehicle use (speed, convenience and cost) are essential to achieve" a major switch to active travel in cities.

Read more.

[Click the title, above, to post a comment.]

A side of balance

(Los Angeles Times) Incorporate this yoga pose into your routine to strengthen the muscles in your lower body while stretching the sides of your torso. Don't be surprised if you find that one side of your body is less flexible than the other side; just give adequate time to the tighter side to get in better balance.

Read more.

Community: Click the “Read more” link for instructions and a photograph.

[Click the title, above, to post a comment.]

Fast heartbeat not always danger sign

(Chicago Tribune) The feeling can be scary: During exercise, the heart begins to beat quickly and irregularly for a short period of time. No wonder that many people who experience it stop working out, afraid of a heart attack.

Studies had found a link between that type of rapid heartbeat, called nonsustained ventricular tachycardia, and sudden death in people who had prior heart attacks.

But a new report, presented last week at an American Heart Association scientific session, suggests that people without underlying heart disease may have little to fear.

Read more.

[Click the title, above, to post a comment.]

Umbilical Cord Blood Stem Cell Transplant May Help Lung, Heart Disorders

(Science Daily) Two separate studies published in the current issue of Cell Transplantation -- have shown that transplanted human-derived umbilical cord blood (UCB) stem cells transplanted in an animal model had positive therapeutic effects on specific lung and heart disorders the animal models.

Read more.

[Click the title, above, to post a comment.]

Happiest doctors treat children, elderly

(Chicago Tribune) The happiest doctors care for children and the elderly, according to a study on physician job satisfaction that found significant differences among medical specialties.

That doctors treating seniors are among the most satisfied contradicts trends in medical schools, where students mostly avoid the specialty because it's perceived to be unprofitable and unglamorous.

Read more.

[Click the title, above, to post a comment.]

When You Eat May Be Just as Vital to Your Health as What You Eat

(Science Daily) When you eat may be just as vital to your health as what you eat, found researchers… [E]xperiments in mice revealed that the daily waxing and waning of thousands of genes in the liver -- the body's metabolic clearinghouse -- is mostly controlled by food intake and not by the body's circadian clock as conventional wisdom had it.

"If feeding time determines the activity of a large number of genes completely independent of the circadian clock, when you eat and fast each day will have a huge impact on your metabolism," says the study's leader Satchidananda (Satchin) Panda, Ph.D…

"We believe that it is not shift work per se that wreaks havoc with the body's metabolism but changing shifts and weekends, when workers switch back to a regular day-night cycle."

Read more.

Community: So maybe there’s some truth to the claims that not eating after a certain time in the evening can help us maintain or lose weight.

[Click the title, above, to post a comment.]

Presence of fat hurts weight loss

(UPI) Increased body fat results in higher levels of inflammatory substances in the blood, which hinders the loss of weight, researchers in Spain said…

Some overweight or obese people have mutated or altered genes that initially make it difficult to lose weight and later make it easier to regain lost body weight in a period of six months or a year…

The researchers said genetic and plasma biomarkers may predict the response of obese patients to specific diets that could result in developing customized therapeutic strategies based on the genetic characteristics of each person.

Read more.

Community: So much for the jerks who say, “Oh, it’s simple! Calories in vs. calories burned is the only thing that makes any difference in weight loss.” I don’t need a DNA test to know that I’m one of the people with the altered genes. But the good news is that with persistence we can change patterns of behavior that facilitate the weight gain.

[Click the title, above, to post a comment.]

Loving Relationships May Help Block Pain

(HealthDay News) Thinking about a loved one might help reduce physical pain, according to U.S. researchers, who said their findings show the importance of social relationships and of staying emotionally connected.

Read more.

[Click the title, above, to post a comment.]

Brazilian Mint Tea Naturally Good for Pain Relief

(HealthDay News) An herb called Brazilian mint treats pain as effectively as some synthetic drugs, English researchers report…

In experiments with mice, the … researchers found that Brazilian mint tea (the traditional way of administering the medicine) was as effective at relieving pain as a synthetic aspirin-style drug called Indomethacin.

Read more.

[Click the title, above, to post a comment.]

Natural Soy Component May Help Treat Colon Cancer

(HealthDay News) Sphingadienes, natural lipid molecules found in soy, could become a key ingredient in treatments for colon cancer, California researchers have found.

The findings are preliminary, but the study authors pointed out that they could help explain why soy seems to provide protection against colon cancer.

Read more.

[Click the title, above, to post a comment.]

Some herbal supplements may raise blood lead levels

(Reuters Health) Some herbal supplements may boost the levels of lead in the blood of women, new research shows…

[Researchers] found that women using Ayurvedic or traditional Chinese medicine herbs had lead levels 24 percent higher than non-users, while those using St. John's wort and "other" herbs had lead levels 23 percent and 21 percent higher, respectively, than non-users.

Read more.

[Click the title, above, to post a comment.]

Salt Really Does Boost Health Risks

(HealthDay News) It's known that eating a lot of salt puts people at greater risk of high blood pressure. Now there's confirmation of a corollary: High salt intake also translates to significantly greater risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke.

A review … found that a difference of just 5 grams of regular daily salt intake spells a 23 percent difference in the rate of stroke and a 17 percent difference in the rate of cardiovascular disease.

According to the review, the World Health Organization recommends that people consume only 5 grams -- about a teaspoon -- of salt each day. But people in the West typically eat around 10 grams a day, and those in Eastern Europe consume even more.

Read more.

[Click the title, above, to post a comment.]

Bacteria in cigarettes may harm health

(UPI) Cigarettes are widely contaminated with bacteria, including some known to harm health, French and U.S. researchers said.

Read more.

[Click the title, above, to post a comment.]

You can't sweat off effects of alcohol

(UPI) Exercising the day after heavy drinking does little to minimize the effects of alcohol, British Public Health Minister Gillian Merron said.

Read more.

[Click the title, above, to post a comment.]

One Step Closer to New Diabetes Treatment

(HealthDay News) Mitochondrial damage causes people with type 2 diabetes to lose insulin-producing cells, a finding that could lead to new treatments, U.S. researchers say.

Read more.

[Click the title, above, to post a comment.]

New Device Enables Early Detection of Cancerous Skin Tumors

(Science Daily) Researchers … are developing a new device that detects cancerous skin tumors, including melanomas that aren't visible to the naked eye…

The OSPI biosensor uses safe, infrared wavelengths and LC devices to measure tumor characteristics, including contours and spread.

Read more.

[Click the title, above, to post a comment.]

Implant-Based Cancer Vaccine Is First to Eliminate Tumors in Mice

(Science Daily) A cancer vaccine carried into the body on a carefully engineered, fingernail-sized implant is the first to successfully eliminate tumors in mammals, scientists recently reported…

The new approach … uses plastic disks impregnated with tumor-specific antigens and implanted under the skin to reprogram the mammalian immune system to attack tumors.

Read more.

[Click the title, above, to post a comment.]

Hormone Ghrelin Can Boost Resistance to Parkinson's Disease

(Science Daily) Ghrelin, a hormone produced in the stomach, may be used to boost resistance to, or slow, the development of Parkinson's disease…

Parkinson's disease is caused by a degeneration of dopamine neurons in an area of the midbrain…

[Researchers] found that ghrelin is protective of the dopamine neurons.

Read more.

[Click the title, above, to post a comment.]

Cutting Greenhouse Pollutants Could Directly Save Millions of Lives Worldwide

(Science Daily) Tackling climate change by reducing carbon dioxide and other greenhouse emissions will have major direct health benefits in addition to reducing the risk of climate change, especially in low-income countries, according to a series of six papers.

Read more.

[Click the title, above, to post a comment.]

Put food safety on Thanksgiving menu

(Chicago Sun-Times) One of the most important ingredients for a successful Thanksgiving event is safe handling of the food you serve your family; with that on the menu, you can relax and enjoy your day.

Many cooks make a whole turkey only once a year and are therefore unsure how to tell when it is properly cooked. According to the United States Department of Agriculture, turkey meat is safely cooked when the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit, which should be measured by a meat thermometer inserted in the fleshy part (not touching the bone) of the inner thigh.

Read more. Click through for more safety tips.

Happy Turkey Day, friends, have a safe and fun holiday!

[Click the title, above, to post a comment.]

Avoid kissing, handshakes at Thanksgiving

(UPI) The American Red Cross advises families to make some changes in how they interact and eat at Thanksgiving, to prevent the spread of the swine flu virus.

Read more.

Community: You have the perfect excuse to avoid that sloppy smackeroo from Aunt Millie.

[Click the title, above, to post a comment.]

Multiple Health Concerns Surface as Winter, Vitamin D Deficiences Arrive

(Science Daily) On issues ranging from the health of your immune system to prevention of heart disease and even vulnerability to influenza, vitamin D is now seen as one of the most critical nutrients for overall health. But it's also one of those most likely to be deficient -- especially during winter when production of the "sunshine vitamin" almost grinds to a halt for millions of people in the United States, Europe and other northern temperate zones.

Analogs of the vitamin are even being considered for use as new therapies against tuberculosis, AIDS, and other concerns. And federal experts are considering an increase in the recommended daily intake of the vitamin as more evidence of its value emerges, especially for the elderly.

Read more.

[Click the title, above, to post a comment.]

Smokers Double Their Risk for Heart Disease

(HealthDay News) A new study offers yet more proof that smoking is a major risk factor for death from heart disease and cancer…

[C]urrent smokers were 4.16 times more likely to die of cancer, 2.26 times more likely to die of heart disease and 2.58 times more likely to die from any cause than were former or nonsmokers. Current smokers were also more likely to suffer a heart attack or stroke.

Read more.

[Click the title, above, to post a comment.]

Yoga Boosts Heart Health, New Research Finds

(Science Daily) Heart rate variability, a sign of a healthy heart, has been shown to be higher in yoga practitioners than in non-practitioners, according to research…

The team concludes that in their preliminary study of 84 volunteers, there is strengthening of parasympathetic (vagal) control in subjects who regularly practice yoga, which is indicative of better autonomic control over heart rate and so a healthier heart.

Read more.

[Click the title, above, to post a comment.]

Fat Around the Middle Increases the Risk of Dementia

(Science Daily) Women who store fat on their waist in middle age are more than twice as likely to develop dementia when they get older, reveals a new study…

This study shows that women who were broader around the waist than the hips in middle age ran slightly more than twice the risk of developing dementia when they got old.

Read more.

[Click the title, above, to post a comment.]

Polyphenols and Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids Boost the Birth of New Neurons, Study Finds

(Science Daily) [R]esearchers have confirmed that a diet rich in polyphenols and polyunsaturated fatty acids, patented as an LMN diet, helps boost the production of the brain's stem cells -neurogenesis- and strengthens their differentiation in different types of neuron cells.

Polyphenols can be found in tea, beer, grapes, wine, olive oil, cocoa, nuts and other fruits and vegetables. Polyunsaturated fatty acids can be found in blue fish and vegetables such as corn, soya beans, sunflowers and pumpkins.

Read more.

[Click the title, above, to post a comment.]

Antioxidants could help preserve muscle strength

(Reuters Health) In a study in older adults, dietary intake of vitamins C and E was linked with muscle strength, leading the researchers to suggest ... that a diet high in antioxidants could play an important role in preserving muscle function in older adults...

[The] decline [in muscle strength due to aging] is "a major risk factor" for becoming frail and disabled, [the study author] said, but certain strategies may slow down the loss…

The average daily dietary intakes of vitamins C and E in the study were 144 milligrams and 11 milligrams, respectively…

The team is trying now to determine "the optimal level of physical activity and optimal nutrients in the diet that will preserve muscle strength."

Read more.

[Click the title, above, to post a comment.]

Flaxseed Oil May Reduce Osteoporosis Risk

(Science Daily) Animal studies suggest that adding flaxseed oil to the diet could reduce the risk of osteoporosis in post-menopausal women and women with diabetes…

[The] results suggest that flaxseed oil has a beneficial effect on bone mineral density and reduces markers associated with osteoporosis, suggesting that this dietary supplement could be beneficial to women with diabetes in reducing their risk of osteoporosis.

The team explains that the presence of so-called "n-3 fatty acids" in flaxseed oil may play a role in protecting the processes of matrix formation and bone mineralization, which are apparently compromised by diabetes and the menopause.

Read more.

[Click the title, above, to post a comment.]

Ginkgo Won't Prevent Heart Attack, Stroke in Elderly

(HealthDay News) Among people aged 75 and older, the herbal supplement Ginkgo biloba does not prevent heart attacks, stroke or death, a new study finds.

There is some evidence that the popular herbal remedy might help prevent the leg-circulation problem known as peripheral artery disease, however.

Ginkgo contains nutrients called flavonoids, which are also found in fruits, vegetables, dark chocolate and red wine.

Read more.

[Click the title, above, to post a comment.]

Cholesterol Plays Role in Heart Failure Risk

(HealthDay News) Abnormal cholesterol levels can significantly increase the risk of heart failure, a new study has found…

When the researchers factored in age, sex, body mass index, blood pressure, diabetes and smoking, the risk of heart failure was 29 percent higher in participants with high non-HDL cholesterol than in those with lower levels, and 40 percent lower in those with high HDL-cholesterol than in those with lower levels.

Read more.

[Click the title, above, to post a comment.]

Road Rage: Fuel Vapor Heightens Aggression, Rat Study Finds

(Science Daily) Outrageous prices may not be the only thing causing anger at the petrol pumps. A new study, published in the open access journal BMC Physiology, has shown that rats exposed to fumes from leaded and unleaded gasoline become more aggressive.

Read more.

[Click the title, above, to post a comment.]

Protein from Pregnancy Hormone May Prevent Breast Cancer

(Science Daily) Researchers have found that hormones produced during pregnancy induce a protein that directly inhibits the growth of breast cancer. This protein, alpha-fetoprotein (AFP), may serve as a viable, well-tolerated agent for the treatment and prevention of breast cancer.

Read more.

[Click the title, above, to post a comment.]

Chronic Pain Trips Up Seniors

(HealthDay News) Falls are a leading cause of death among older Americans, and new research confirms that chronic pain contributes to those accidents.

"Pain contributes to functional decline and muscle weakness, and is associated with mobility limitations that could predispose to fall," the study authors wrote…

Patients should discuss pain and falling with their doctor and work out a plan to prevent falling, [they] added.

Read more.

[Click the title, above, to post a comment.]

Advertising to Consumers May Raise Drug Prices

(HealthDay News) Direct-to-consumer drug ads may contribute to higher Medicaid costs, according to a new study that examined sales of the widely used antiplatelet drug clopidogrel (Plavix).

The analysis of data from 1999 to 2005 for 27 state Medicaid programs found that direct-to-consumer advertising for clopidogrel did not increase people's use of the drug but appeared to be associated with increased drug costs and Medicaid pharmacy expenditures.

Read more.

[Click the title, above, to post a comment.]

Medical 'Pay for Performance' Programs Help Improve Care, but Not Always, Study Finds

(Science Daily) [Researchers] found evidence that certain kinds of financial incentives for the purpose of improving patient care, in combination with public reporting of medical group performance ratings, have a positive effect on patient care experiences. However, they also found that some types of incentives may have a negative overall impact on how patients experienced their care.

Read more.

[Click the title, above, to post a comment.]

Women Should Ignore New Mammogram Guideline, Ex-NIH Chief Says

(HealthDay News) The fallout from last week's controversial recommendation that women delay the start of routine mammogram testing for breast cancer continues, with a former head of the U.S. National Institutes of Health advising women to ignore the guidelines.

"I'm saying very powerfully ignore them, because unequivocally this will increase the number of women dying of breast cancer," said Dr. Bernadine Healy, who was nominated to head the federal agency in 1991 by then-President George H.W. Bush.

"Women in their 40s have a very aggressive kind of breast cancer. They tend to progress fast. And to not screen women in that age group is astounding to me, and it goes against the bulk of individuals who are actually caring for patients," said Healy.

Read more.

[Click the title, above, to post a comment.]

Drug-resistant bacteria on increase in U.S.: study

(Reuters) Cases of a drug-resistant bacterial infection known as MRSA have risen by 90 percent since 1999, and they are increasingly being acquired outside hospitals, researchers reported on Tuesday…

MRSA is one of the most common causes of hospital-acquired infections. It can also now be picked up in schools, at fitness centers and elsewhere.

Symptoms range from abscesses to bloodborne infections that can kill quickly.

The researchers estimate that 20,000 people in the United States die each year from MRSA, and treating MRSA can range from $3,000 to more than $35,000 per case.

Read more.

[Click the title, above, to post a comment.]

How NYC is trying to prevent diabetes

(UPI) The New York health officials say they are working to address diabetes and obesity among residents through a variety of initiatives…

Key initiatives in the past year include requiring chain restaurants to post calorie counts, maintaining a citywide registry of blood sugar readings to help physicians improve diabetes care and expanding access to fresh fruits and vegetables in underserved neighborhoods.

Read more.

Community: Click the “Read more” link, above, for a full list of known ways to prevent diabetes.

[Click the title, above, to post a comment.]

Tea may help control blood sugar

(UPI) Tea has long been heralded as promoting heart health and may reduce cancer risk but a U.S. researcher suggests tea may also help control blood sugar.

Dr. Jo Ann Carson … says studies from various countries suggest a lifetime consumption of at least two to four cups of tea per day -- black tea, in particular -- reduces the incidence of type 2 diabetes.

Read more.

Community: Well, as to those of us who haven’t drunk tea for a lifetime, we surely can get some benefit from it if we start late.

[Click the title, above, to post a comment.]

Skin Color Gives Clues to Health

(Science Daily) Researchers ... in the UK have found that the color of a person's skin affects how healthy and therefore attractive they appear, and have found that diet may be crucial to achieving the most desirable complexion…

Skin that is slightly flushed with blood and full of oxygen suggests a strong heart and lungs, supporting the study's findings that rosier skin appeared healthy. Smokers and people with diabetes or heart disease have fewer blood vessels in their skin, and so skin would appear less rosy.

The preference for more golden or 'yellow-toned' skin as healthier might be explained by the 'carotenoid pigments' that we get from the fruit and vegetables in our diet.These plant pigments are powerful antioxidants that soak up dangerous compounds produced when the body combats disease. They are also important for our immune and reproductive systems and may help prevent cancer.

They are the same dietary pigments that brightly colored birds and fish use to show off their healthiness and attract mates, and the researchers think that similar biological mechanisms may be at work in humans.

Read more.

[Click the title, above, to post a comment.]

Vigorous Exercise Cuts Stroke Risk for Men, Not Women

(HealthDay News) Moderate-to-high intensity exercise such as jogging, swimming or tennis may help reduce stroke risk in older men but not in women, researchers report…

"Taking part in moderate-to-heavy intensity physical activity may be an important factor for preventing stroke," study author Dr. Joshua Z. Willey … concluded in a news release.

Read more.

Community: There are still plenty of good reasons for women to exercise.

[Click the title, above, to post a comment.]

Stifled Anger at Work Doubles Men's Risk for Heart Attack

(HealthDay News) Men who bottle up their anger over unfair treatment at work could be hurting their hearts, a new Swedish study indicates.

Men who consistently failed to express their resentment over conflicts with a fellow worker or supervisor were more than twice as likely to have a heart attack or die of heart disease as those who vented their anger, claims a report…

In fact, ignoring an ongoing work-related conflict was associated with a tripled risk of heart attack or coronary death, the study of almost 2,800 Swedish working men found.

Read more.

[Click the title, above, to post a comment.]

Low amounts of alcohol may hurt health

(UPI) Even low amounts of alcohol consumption may be bad for health, Swedish researchers said…

The researchers said their study … challenged the conventional wisdom that low-alcohol consumption was good for health and caused fewer sick days and higher wages.

Read more.

[Click the title, above, to post a comment.]

Women can quit smoking, lose weight

(UPI) Women who quit smoking while receiving treatment for weight control are better able to control weight and quit cigarettes, U.S. researchers say…

[Their study] showed that women whose treatment addressed both smoking and weight control were 29 percent more likely to quit smoking in the short term, three months, and 23 percent more likely to quit in the long term, from six to 14 months, than those whose treatment addressed only smoking.

Read more.

[Click the title, above, to post a comment.]

Pelvic Floor Muscle Exercises Can Help Manage Urinary Incontinence In Older Women

(Science Daily) Researchers at Rush University Medical Center have found that a program of pelvic floor muscle exercises, combined with pelvic health education, can be an effective way to manage urinary incontinence in elderly women.

Read more.

Community: My gynecologist recommended these exercises years ago, and I’ve found them very helpful. The Mayo Clinic has the instructions.

[Click the title, above, to post a comment.]

Doctor-Pharmacist Teams Boost Blood Pressure Control

(HealthDay News) High blood pressure is better controlled by doctor-pharmacist teams working hand-in-hand than by doctors and pharmacists working alone, a new study shows.

"When physicians work with pharmacists, medications are intensified, dosages increased, medications used more effectively," said Barry L. Carter, … lead author of a report… "Medication compliance is lesser reason for the improvement."

Read more.

[Click the title, above, to post a comment.]

Paradoxical Protein Might Prevent Cancer

(Science Daily) One difficulty with fighting cancer cells is that they are similar in many respects to the body's stem cells. By focusing on the differences, researchers at Karolinska Institutet have found a new way of tackling colon cancer…

Imatinib has so far proved to inhibit cell division in intestinal tumour cells in vitro and in mice. The substance is a component of the drug Glivec, which is used, amongst other things, in the treatment of certain forms of leukaemia. Whether it can also be used against adenoma and colon cancer in humans remains to be seen. The company that manufactures the drug did not fund the study.

Read more.

[Click the title, above, to post a comment.]

Sedatives, Mood-Altering Drugs Related to Falls Among Elderly: UBC Study

(Science Daily) Falls among elderly people are significantly associated with several classes of drugs, including sedatives often prescribed as sleep aids and medications used to treat mood disorders, according to a study…

The study, published Nov. 23 in theArchives of Internal Medicine, provides the latest quantitative evidence of the impact of certain classes of medication on falling among seniors. Falling and fall-related complications such as hip fractures are the fifth leading cause of death in the developed world, the study noted.

Read more.

[Click the title, above, to post a comment.]

Go Healthy, Not Hungry for Holiday Eating

(HealthDay News) The holiday season means you'll be faced with a seemingly endless buffet of food temptation. While some people simply give in and eat too much, others deny themselves any holiday treats.

But there are ways to navigate between overindulgence and deprivation, according to Julie Redfern, manager of Nutrition Consult Services at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston

  • Eat a light snack before you go to a holiday party…
  • When you're invited to a party, offer to bring a healthy food dish.
  • Research how you can use healthy ingredients in your favorite holiday recipes.

Read more.

[Click the title, above, to post a comment.]

Eat This Crunchy Snack for Stronger Vision

(RealAge.com) A recent study showed that a weekly serving of nuts may reduce the risk of age-related macular degeneration (AMD)…

The nuts may help thanks to their inflammation-fighting omega-3s. (And for that matter, fish rich in omega-3s may be good for eyes, too.) But for the best eye benefits, you'll want to control your overall fat intake at the same time. And be especially sure you're not overdosing on omega-6s, found in vegetable oils and processed foods. They tend to encourage inflammation and may be particularly bad for eyes when it comes to AMD risk.

Read more.

[Click the title, above, to post a comment.]

Reduce High BP with This Creamy Breakfast

(RealAge.com) In a recent study, a diet that was rich in low-fat dairy seemed to help curb the risk of high blood pressure by as much as 31 percent…

Dairy foods like yogurt make your blood vessels happy -- but you've gotta go low fat. In the study, low-fat dairy was the only kind associated with a high blood pressure benefit. And don't stop at breakfast. You'll want a little low-fat dairy at every meal. In the study, the maximum blood pressure protection was achieved with 4 1/2 servings of low-fat dairy per day.

Read more.

[Click the title, above, to post a comment.]

Compound That Boosts Anti-Inflammatory Fat Levels Created

(Science Daily) UC Irvine pharmacology researchers have discovered a way to boost levels of a natural body fat that helps decrease inflammation, pointing to possible new treatments for allergies, illnesses and injuries related to the immune system…

[Researchers have] found that levels of PEA [palmitoylethanolamide] are tightly regulated by immune system cells. In turn, PEA helps control the activity of these cells, which are called into action to fight infection, disease and injury in the body.

In addition, they found that PEA -- also present in foods like eggs and peanuts -- is deactivated by a protein called N-acylethanolamine-hydrolyzing acid amidase, which is an enzyme that breaks down molecules controlling cell inflammation.

Using a combination of molecular modeling and chemical library screening, the researchers created a novel compound that blocks the action of this protein.

Read more.

[Click the title, above, to post a comment.]

Pill-Free Way to Help Knees Feel Fine

(RealAge.com) You may be able to use your own body to help ease arthritis symptoms in your knees and other creaky joints.

How? Through regular practice of tai chi. This gentle martial art integrates fluid movements with deep breathing -- and research shows it may help reduce arthritis pain and disability by about 10 points on a 100-point scale…
When it comes to improving balance and coordination, tai chi is hard to beat. And the slow, dancelike moves also stretch and strengthen the muscles tasked with supporting your joints, making you stronger and more flexible.

Read more.

[Click the title, above, to post a comment.]

Move all day to improve health

(Chicago Tribune) Extra steps here and there might not seem like much. But research bears out the long-term benefits. One rule of thumb, for instance, is that taking at least one flight of stairs every day can help you avoid gaining up to 5 pounds per year.

A March 2008 study from Danish researchers provides a tangible endorsement for moving more in the form of reverse physiology. Lead author Dr. Rikke Krogh-Madsen and colleagues at the Centre of Inflammation and Metabolism in Copenhagen found that requiring healthy young men to use their cars rather than walk or bike to work and making them use elevators and not take the stairs had adverse health effects in as little as two weeks.

Read more.

[Click the title, above, to post a comment.]

A desire booster for women?

(Los Angeles Times) An experimental non-hormonal drug appears to help women increase their sexual desire and satisfaction -- and reduce the distress associated with lack of desire.

About one in 10 women are thought to suffer from sufficient lack of sexual desire for it to be distressing for them. But few good therapeutic options exist. The most common treatments for female sexual dysfunction currently are creams spread on the vagina that lead to engorgement of blood vessels.

The results of a new clinical trial, reported Nov. 16, will provide Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals of Germany ammunition to approach the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for approval. It is not clear what that agency will do; an earlier hormonal drug that produced a similar success rate was rejected largely because advisors feared widespread abuse.

Read more.

Community: Well, yes. We wouldn’t want more women feeling that nasty sexual desire, now would we? What with all the Viagra abuse, you’d think they’d be happy to have this kind of abuse to match it. Doesn’t it take two to tango?

[Click the title, above, to post a comment.]

Some Germs Are Good for You: Surface Bacteria Maintain Skin's Healthy Balance

(Science Daily) On the skin's surface, bacteria are abundant, diverse and constant, but inflammation is undesirable. Research … now shows that the normal bacteria living on the skin surface trigger a pathway that prevents excessive inflammation after injury.

"These germs are actually good for us," said Richard L. Gallo, MD, PhD, professor of medicine.

Read more.

[Click the title, above, to post a comment.]

New Wound Dressing, Full of Antibiotics, Dissolves When Wound Has Healed

(Science Daily) Despite advances in treatment regimens and the best efforts of nurses and doctors, about 70% of all people with severe burns die from related infections. But a revolutionary new wound dressing developed at Tel Aviv University could cut that number dramatically.

Prof. Meital Zilberman … has developed a new wound dressing based on fibers she engineered -- fibers that can be loaded with drugs like antibiotics to speed up the healing process, and then dissolve when they've done their job. A study ,,, demonstrates that, after only two days, this dressing can eradicate infection-causing bacteria.

Read more.

[Click the title, above, to post a comment.]