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

6 Ways to Stress Less During the Holidays

(SouthBeachDiet.com) Everyone knows the holiday season brings plenty of joy — as well as the chaos and stress of last-minute shopping, multiple parties, and gatherings you're hosting for friends and family. What you may not know is that chronic stress can contribute to the development of numerous illnesses, including migraines, depression, and heart disease, not to mention interfering with your weight-loss goals… Reduce stress now with these easy ideas:

  • Eat a balanced diet…
  • Stay active…
  • Get enough sleep…
  • Practice relaxation or meditation…
  • Manage your to-do list…
  • Make time for yourself.

Read more.

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

Lose More Weight Using Healthy Strategies

(HealthDay News) Increased exercise, reduced soda consumption and self-weighing are among the most effective weight control strategies for adolescents, a new study shows.

Researchers surveyed 130 adolescents about their weight-control strategies and lifestyle habits. Sixty-two had succeeded in losing weight and 68 had not…

Overall, a higher percentage of participants who lost weight used six or more of the healthy weight control behaviors [eating fewer calories, increasing exercise, eating less high fat and junk food, drinking less soda, drinking more water, weighing oneself, eating more fruits and vegetables and doing different types of exercise], compared to those who didn't lose weight. A minority of adolescents who lost weight reported using any of the structured weight control behaviors [eating a certain amount of calories, counting calories, recording food intake and working with a professional] or extreme dietary changes…

"[O]ur findings suggest that there are no magical solutions, and that behaviors such as eating more fruits and vegetables and eating less fat and decreasing sedentary time seem to offer the most promise for success."

Read more.

Community: What works for teens can work for the rest of us, too.

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

Active commuting can take place of gym

(UPI) Active commuting -- walking, cycling or skating to and from work or school -- can make all the difference in being physically active, New York officials say…

"Just 10 minutes of exercise at a time can improve long-term health," Dr. Thomas Farley, New York City health commissioner, said in a statement. "Active commuting is an excellent way to incorporate more exercise into a daily routine."

However, the report pointed out that people become less active with age. Twenty-four percent of 18- to 24-year-old New Yorkers report fewer than 10 blocks of active travel during the past month, but the proportion grows to 27 percent among 25- to 44-year-olds, 34 percent among 45- to 64-year-olds and 46 percent among those age 65 and older.

Read more.

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

Widowed Facing Higher Mortality Risk

(Science Daily) Married people in the United States are living longer these days, but the widowed are experiencing a higher mortality rate, according to new research by a Michigan State University sociologist.

The widening mortality gap between the two groups is a disturbing trend that should prompt scholars and politicians to seek out strategies to better protect and promote health for the widowed, said Hui Liu, study author.

Read more.

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

Soy Peptide Lunasin Has Anti-Cancer, Anti-Inflammatory Properties

(Science Daily) Two new University of Illinois studies report that lunasin, a soy peptide often discarded in the waste streams of soy-processing plants, may have important health benefits that include fighting leukemia and blocking the inflammation that accompanies such chronic health conditions as diabetes, heart disease, and stroke.

Read more.

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

Scientists Rescue Visual Function in Rats Using Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells

(Science Daily) An international team of scientists has rescued visual function in laboratory rats with eye disease by using cells similar to stem cells. The research shows the potential for stem cell-based therapies to treat age-related macular degeneration in humans.

Read more.

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

Muscle Cell Infusion Shown to Strengthen Sphincters in Animals

(Science Daily) A new study shows that muscle cells grown in the lab can restore an intestine's ability to squeeze shut properly. The work, performed in dogs and rats, might ultimately help treat patients with conditions such as gastric reflux and fecal incontinence.

This technique may be used to strengthen sphincters, which are the bands of muscle that separate the major sections of your intestinal tract. Weakness in these areas can cause gastrointestinal esophageal reflux disease, or GERD, which affects 25 million adults in the United States. It is also a cause of fecal incontinence, or loss of control of the bowels, which afflicts more than 5 percent of adults under 40, especially women after childbirth; its prevalence increases with age.

Read more.

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

New Therapy Targets for Amyloid Disease

(Science Daily) A major discovery is challenging accepted thinking about amyloids -- the fibrous protein deposits associated with diseases such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's -- and may open up a potential new area for therapeutics…

Amyloid deposits can accumulate at many different sites in the body or can remain localised to one particular organ or tissue, causing a range of different diseases. Amyloid deposits can be seen in the brain, in diseases such as Parkinson's and Alzheimer's, whereas in other amyloid diseases deposits can be found elsewhere in the body, in the joints, liver and many other organs. Amyloid deposits are also closely linked to the development of Type II diabetes.

Read more.

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

Monkeys Recognize Their Pals in Photos

(HealthDay News) Monkeys can recognize photographs of other monkeys they know, proving that they can both detect differences in faces and figure out if they've seen them before, researchers report.

The study also shows that capuchin monkeys can decipher the two-dimensional nature of a photograph, the scientists authors noted.

Read more.

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

Get Great Winter Skin with 3 Essentials

(RealAge.com) Dry, dull skin doesn't have to be inevitable this season.

To keep your skin looking healthy and radiant no matter the weather, start with three winter essentials: a moisturizer, a lip balm, and an exfoliant. But, say the experts at our sister site RealBeauty.com, you've gotta choose the right ones.

Read more.

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

Slim Down with Green Snacks

(RealAge.com) Here's a simple way you can start living greener, and get slimmer in the process.

Reach for low-carbon-footprint snacks, suggests nutrition expert Kate Geagan, MS, RD, author of Go Green Get Lean

Geagan says the ideal snack should have about 100 to 175 calories. (Learn the secret to stopping out-of-control snack attacks.)They should also have just a few ingredients, have little packaging, and take minimal amounts of resources to produce (that tends to mean less processing).

Read more.

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

Cranberries -- soon to be in everything

(Los Angeles Times) Watch for more and more and more cranberries showing up in your food. This year so far, there have been 562 "cranberry product" launches, according to the first of a … four-part series on the cranberry at the trade website Nutraingredients.com…

Cranberries are showing up in bars, gum, chocolate and more and more drinks. Yes, the fruit has the well-known rep of helping with urinary tract infections, but they're now promoted as healthful because of their superfruit-y, loaded-with-antioxidant status.

Read more.

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

Study shows treatment after heart attack is getting faster

(USA Today) A national push to avert delays in heart attack treatment has sharply increased the percentage of people who get prompt care, a study shows.

Read more.

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

Heart care in rural hospitals matches urban ones

(Reuters Health) People treated for heart problems at rural hospitals fare about as well as those getting care at urban medical centers, a study of U.S. hospitals suggests.

Read more.

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

Blood Clot Threat After Surgery Worse Than Thought

(HealthDay News) Potentially fatal blood clots after surgery are a much greater risk than has previously been thought, a British study finds…

One of every 140 women who had surgery that required a hospital stay was readmitted for venous thromboembolism within 12 weeks of the operation…

By contrast, the incidence of venous thrombosis during a 12-week period for women who did not have surgery was one in 6,200.

Read more.

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

Smoking Exposure Now Linked to Colon, Breast Cancers

(HealthDay News) Add colorectal cancer to the list of malignancies caused by smoking, with a new study strengthening the link between the two.

And other studies are providing more bad news for people who haven't managed to quit: Two papers … strengthen the case for the dangers of secondhand smoke for people exposed to fumes as children and as adults.

Inhaling those secondhand fumes may raise a woman's odds for breast cancer or a child's lifetime risk for lung malignancies, the studies found.

All of the findings, while grim, could be useful in the war against smoking, experts say.

Read more.

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

Newly Discovered Fat Molecule: An Undersea Killer With An Upside

(Science Daily) A chemical culprit responsible for the rapid, mysterious death of phytoplankton in the North Atlantic Ocean has been found… This same chemical may hold unexpected promise in cancer research…

Both the virus and the newly found lipid deal their deadly blow by causing the upper-ocean plants to commit cellular suicide…

The lipid may help shed light on why cancer cells are unable to commit suicide. Someday, the researchers say, it might suggest ways to correct that defect.

Read more.

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

No Change in Brain Tumor Incidence During a Time When Cell Phone Usage Increased

(Science Daily) There was no substantial change in brain tumor incidence among adults 5 to 10 years after cell phone usage sharply increased, according to a new brief communication [from the] National Cancer Institute.

Although cell phone use has been proposed as a risk factor for brain tumors, a biological mechanism to explain this association is not known.

Read more.

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

Opinion: To cure Alzheimer's, invest in prevention

(Actress Kate Mulgrew, writing at CNN) Alzheimer's and other dementias cost Medicare, Medicaid and businesses $148 billion annually, a number that will grow quickly and substantially as baby boomers reach age 65.

Prevention. Cure. Hope. These are words seldom associated with Alzheimer's disease. But groundbreaking scientific research and an opportunity for powerful collaborations could lead to discovery of the ultimate cure for Alzheimer's disease: its prevention.

I know this is so because my friend Dr. Karen Hsiao Ashe, an internationally renowned Alzheimer's disease researcher at the University of Minnesota, has developed a research road map that calls for bringing together a group of the world's foremost laboratory and clinical investigators in the field to make prevention a reality by 2020…

Karen and her colleagues are homing in on a promising possibility: a pill containing the molecular compound that could block the chemical chain reaction in the brain that leads to Alzheimer's.

So what's the holdup? Well, money, of course, and attitude, perhaps. Finding a treatment within the next 10 years that will prevent Alzheimer's disease will require a major national investment to bring together the scientists to develop an effective, safe and affordable way to block the disease…

We must fight mightily now to prevent the shadow of this disease from darkening the lives of our children and grandchildren. We must invest today in research that will most swiftly lead to the ultimate cure: prevention.

Read more.

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

Tip of the Week: Holiday Parties and Celebrations

(Shrink Yourself) Are you dreading what the next month might do to your weight? Are you stressed about everything you need to plan and do? Are you wishing that the season wouldn't start so soon? If so, you're not alone. But just a few tips can help you keep things in perspective in the month to come…

Cutting back on calories in the days before holiday parties or celebrations can balance out a little overindulging on the actual day. Adding in walks this month can help to dial down stress, keep you trim, and give you the time and space to remember the reason for the season. Just a few minutes to breathe fresh air and contemplate the blessings in your life can take the focus away from food and put it back on gratitude. And lastly, knowing how certain people, situations, and feelings affect your eating patterns can make you understand what you're feeling instead of just mindlessly eating to stuff unknown or uncomfortable feelings down.

Read more.

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

What Your Waistline Says About Your Heart

(Arthur Agatston, MD, Everyday Health) There is an important medical condition so obvious that I can diagnose it without performing a single diagnostic test. I can spot it the instant a patient walks into my office. It's so common that I see it everywhere — at malls, in restaurants, on the golf course, and strolling down the street. It has reached epidemic proportions in the United States. I'm sure you've seen it, too, among your family and friends, and maybe when you look in the mirror.

The ailment has many names, including metabolic syndrome, insulin resistance, Syndrome X, and the name I will use,prediabetes. Why is it so easy to diagnose? There's one clue that's a dead giveaway: It's your waistline. One of my colleagues says that when a patient's belly is the first body part to enter his office, the diagnosis is made. If you have gained weight in middle age and most of it is in your belly, you are likely part of the American epidemic of prediabetes. And if you don't start eating better and exercising, full-blown diabetes will almost certainly be in your future.

Read more.

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

Brown Fat Cells Make 'Spare Tires' Shrink; Promising New Approach to Combat Obesity

(Science Daily) Scientists at the University of Bonn have found a new signaling pathway which stimulates the production and function of so-called brown fat cells. They propose using these cells that serve as a "natural heating system" in order to just 'burn' unwanted excess fat…

The researchers suspect that a disorder of the brown fatty tissue can lead to obesity in adults. If it were possible to turn on the 'natural heating system' on again, the problem of unwanted fat would be quickly solved: according to estimates, 50 grams of active brown fatty tissue is sufficient for increasing the basal metabolic rate by 20 per cent.

"With the same nutrition and activity the fat reserves would melt at a rate of five kilos [about 11 pounds] per year," Professor [Alexander] Pfeifer explains

Read more.

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

Chicken Capsules Good for Aching Joints, Arthritis Study Finds

(Science Daily) Chicken collagen can provide relief from rheumatoid arthritis (RA) symptoms. A randomised, controlled trial … has found that Chicken type II collagen (CCII), a protein extracted from the cartilage of chicken breast, is a safe and effective treatment for RA.

Read more.

Community: Chicken cartilage has been a folk remedy for arthritis for generations. We shortchange ourselves when we sneer at folk medicine without investigation.

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

In Women, Aspirin Might Ward Off Eye Trouble

(HealthDay News) Women who take low-dose aspirin to protect their heart might be helping their eyes as well.

A new study by Harvard University researchers found what they described as a modest benefit for aspirin in preventing age-related macular degeneration (AMD), an eye disease that destroys sharp, central vision.

Read more.

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

Good Stress Response Enhances Recovery from Surgery, Study Shows

(Science Daily) The right kind of stress response in the operating room could lead to quicker recovery for patients after knee surgery, according to a new study… The results could be used to develop methods for predicting how well patients will fare after they leave the hospital.

Read more.

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

How to Get the Very Best Cancer Care

(U.S. News & World Report) [T]he country's major cancer centers are a rich resource even for people who can't or don't want to receive all of their care there. That's particularly true of the cancer centers specially recognized by the National Cancer Institute and funded by taxpayers to support research into the disease.

There are a number of ways to take advantage of the expertise concentrated at the big centers, says Mark Fesen, an oncologist in Hutchinson, Kan., and author of Surviving the Cancer System,published earlier this year.

Read more.

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

Why Humans Outlive Apes

(Science Daily) In spite of their genetic similarity to humans, chimpanzees and great apes have maximum lifespans that rarely exceed 50 years. The difference, explains … Professor Caleb Finch, is that as humans evolved genes that enabled them to better adjust to levels of infection and inflammation and to the high cholesterol levels of their meat rich diets…

In addition to differences in diets between species of primates, humans evolved unique variants in a cholesterol transporting gene, apolipoprotein E, which also regulates inflammation and many aspects of aging in the brain and arteries.

ApoE3 is unique to humans and may be what Finch calls "a meat-adaptive gene" that has increased the human lifespan.

However, the minor allele, apoE4, when expressed in humans, can impair neuronal development, as well as shorten human lifespan by about four years and increase the risk of heart disease and Alzheimer disease by several-fold.

Read more.

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

Will Copper Keep Us Safe from the Superbugs?

(Science Daily) Three papers scheduled for publication … suggest that copper might have a role in the fight against healthcare-associated infections.

In a busy Birmingham teaching hospital, researchers swapped a conventional toilet seat, tap-handles and a ward door push-plate for similar items made from 70% copper. They compared the number of microbes on the copper surfaces against the number of bacteria on the same items from another ward and found that the copper surfaces had 90-100% fewer live bacteria than the non-copper surfaces.

Similar findings were reported from a primary healthcare facility in the Western Cape, South Africa.

Read more.

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

Western Diets Turn on Fat Genes

(Science Daily) Those extra helpings of gravy and dessert at the holiday table are even less of a help to your waistline than previously thought. According to a new research report…, a diet that is high in fat and in sugar actually switches on genes that ultimately cause our bodies to store too much fat.

This means these foods hit you with a double-whammy as the already difficult task of converting high-fat and high-sugar foods to energy is made even harder because these foods also turn our bodies into "supersized fat-storing" machines.

Read more.

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

Brain Scan Study Shows Cocaine Abusers Can Control Cravings

(Science Daily) When asked to inhibit their response to a "cocaine-cues" video, active cocaine abusers were, on average, able to suppress activity in brain regions linked to drug craving, according to a new study… The results … suggest that clinical interventions designed to strengthen these inhibitory responses could help cocaine abusers stop using drugs and avoid relapse…

Because inhibitory control is crucial for regulating emotions and desires, the findings from this study could have implications for other disorders involving loss of behavioral control, such as gambling and obesity.

Read more.

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

Any tan is a sign of skin damage

(UPI) ome people think a tan gives them a "healthy" glow, but any tan is a sign of skin damage, a U.S. expert on ultraviolet radiation and tanning warns…

"A tan is the skin's reaction to exposure to UV rays," [Sharon Miller, a U.S. Food and Drug Administration scientist,] says in a statement.

"Recognizing exposure to the rays as an 'insult,' the skin acts in self-defense by producing more melanin, a pigment that darkens the skin. Over time, this damage will lead to prematurely aged skin and, in some cases, skin cancer."

Read more.

Community: There are now skin lotions that can give you that “healthy glow”.

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

Loneliness May Be Catching

(HealthDay News) A new study suggests that lonely people attract fellow "lonelies" and influence others to feel lonely, too.

"Loneliness can spread from person to person to person -- up to three degrees of separation," said James H. Fowler, co-author of the study…

"For the mental health provider, this means treating not just the patient, but potentially also the patient's friends," he said. "For the employer, this means emphasizing activities that help their employees to connect to one another socially. For the family member, this means you should tend to your own networks, too, while you help your kin feel more connected."

Read more.

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

De-stressing in stressful times

(Harvard Healthbeat) Glance at the 10 leading causes of death in America, and you won’t find the word “stress” anywhere. Yet many well-respected studies link stress to a variety of ailments, including heart disease, stroke, and cancer. Depression and anxiety, which afflict millions of Americans, can be caused or exacerbated by stress. Stress also triggers flare-ups of asthma, rheumatoid arthritis, and gastrointestinal problems, such as irritable bowel syndrome.

Sometimes just thinking about embarking on a program of stress control can be stressful. Rather than freeze in your tracks, start small. Pick just one stumbling block or source of stress in your life, and see if these suggestions work for you.

Read more.

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

Fear of Anxiety May Lead to Depression

(HealthDay News) Fear of anxiety may push "above-average" worriers into depression, a new study suggests….

The [study] showed that anxiety sensitivity significantly predicted depression symptoms. The researchers also found that two of the four issues that comprise anxiety sensitivity -- the "fear of cognitive dyscontrol" and the "fear of publically observable anxiety symptoms" -- specifically predicted depression symptoms. The two other issues -- the "fear of cardiovascular symptoms" and the "fear of respiratory symptoms" -- weren't significant predictors of depression.

Read more.

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

Cocoa particles determine health benefits

(UPI) Antioxidants in chocolate and cocoa are highly associated with the amount of non-fat, cocoa-derived ingredients in the product, U.S. researchers say.

The study … found products with the highest level of flavanol antioxidants were cocoa powders, followed by unsweetened baking chocolate, dark chocolate and semi-sweet chips, milk chocolate and chocolate syrup

Cocoa flavanols -- such as epicatechin and catechin -- have been associated with cardiovascular health benefits. The researchers found large differences in the amounts of catechin and attributed them to differences in manufacturing processes.

Read more.

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

To Keep Muscles Strong, the 'Garbage' Has to Go

(Science Daily) In order to maintain muscle strength with age, cells must rid themselves of the garbage that accumulates in them over time, just as it does in any household, according to a new study… In the case of cells, that waste material includes spent organelles, toxic clumps of proteins, and pathogens…

The new findings highlight the importance of maintaining a normal level of autophagy to clear away the debris and keep muscles working properly…

The findings may have clinical implications, [the study author] says. There has been interest in developing therapies to block proteins' degradation for treating certain muscle-wasting disorders. But in some cases, at least, "it may be better to activate autophagy and remove the garbage in the cells," he said. The researchers think similar treatments might combat aging sarcopenia as well, noting that another study has shown a decline in the efficiency of autophagy during aging.

Read more.

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

Weak Muscles May Cause 'Runner's Knee'

(HealthDay News) Weak muscles may be the cause of the painful and debilitating condition known as "runner's knee," new research suggests.

People who develop the condition tend to have "weaker quads and hamstrings," study co-author Darin Padua, said in a news release. "As a result, they don't bend their knees as much when doing tasks, such as running or jumping. That means the contact area between the kneecap and the femur is smaller, so pressure is focused and pinpointed on a smaller area."

That, in turn, leads to runner's knee, also known as patellofemoral pain syndrome, said Padua… Runner's knee, which affects an estimated one in four people who are physically active, can lead to osteoarthritis.

Read more.

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

Can Heart Disease Treatments Combat Age-Related Macular Degeneration?

(Science Daily) Can treatments that reduce risks for cardiovascular disease (CVD) also help combat age-related macular degeneration (AMD), an eye disease that affects millions of Americans? CVD and AMD share some risk factors–such as smoking, high blood pressure, and inflammation–and a recent study found that people who have early-stage AMD are more likely to develop heart disease.

This month's Ophthalmology, the journal of the American Academy of Ophthalmology, reports on how two heart disease treatments, low-dose aspirin and statin medications, may impact AMD risk and disease progression.

Read more.

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

Heart Failure Linked to Gene Variant Affecting Vitamin D Activation

(Science Daily) Previous studies have shown a link between low vitamin D status and heart disease. Now a new study shows that patients with high blood pressure who possess a gene variant that affects an enzyme critical to normal vitamin D activation are twice as likely as those without the variant to have congestive heart failure…

[Said Robert U. Simpson, one of the authors of the study:] "If subsequent studies confirm this finding and demonstrate a mechanism, this means that in the future, we may be able to screen earlier for those most vulnerable and slow the progress of the disease." Such a screening test would be years away.

Read more.

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

Mammography may up cancer risk in some

(UPI)For women with a genetic predisposition for breast cancer, radiation from annual mammograms may increase breast cancer risk, Dutch researchers said.

Marijke C. Jansen-van der Weide … said women who are at high risk for breast cancer need to begin screening at a younger age, because they often develop cancer earlier than women at average risk.

However, at-risk women may want to consider alternative screening methods to mammography because the benefit of early tumor detection in this group may be offset by the potential risk of radiation-induced cancer.

Read more.

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

Elastography Reduces Unnecessary Breast Biopsies

(Science Daily) Elastography is an effective, convenient technique that, when added to breast ultrasound, helps distinguish cancerous breast lesions from benign results, according to an ongoing study…

Elastography improves ultrasound's specificity by utilizing conventional ultrasound imaging to measure the compressibility and mechanical properties of a lesion. Since cancerous tumors tend to be stiffer than surrounding healthy tissue or cysts, a more compressible lesion on elastography is less likely to be malignant.

Read more.

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

Folic acid won't ward off colon polyp comeback

(Reuters Health) Taking folic acid supplements doesn't appear to prevent colon polyps from coming back, new research shows, although it may be helpful for people who have low levels of the B vitamin in their blood.

These polyps, or adenomas, can develop into cancer if they are not detected and removed. While there's evidence that folate, the natural form of this nutrient, might help protect people from developing colon cancer, studies looking at whether folic acid supplements can ward off adenoma recurrence have had mixed results.

Read more.

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

Clinical Trials Launched for Treating Most Aggressive Brain Tumor With Personalized Cell Vaccines

(Science Daily) The University of Navarra Hospital has launched a series of clinical trials in order to assess the efficacy of an immunotherapy treatment. This approach involves the application of personalised vaccines -- produced from healthy and tumour cells from the patient him or herself -- and designed to combat glioblastomas, one of the most aggressive and frequent malignant tumours. The new therapy is administered to participating patients combined with the standard, first-line treatment.

Read more.

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

Why Females Live Longer Than Males: Is It Due to the Father's Sperm?

(Science Daily) Researchers in Japan have found that female mice produced by using genetic material from two mothers but no father live significantly longer than mice with the normal mix of maternal and paternal genes. Their findings provide the first evidence that sperm genes may have a detrimental effect on lifespan in mammals.

Read more.

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

U.S. Swine Flu Cases Chart Sharp Decline

(HealthDay News) U.S. health officials said Monday that H1N1 swine flu infections appear to be on the wane nationally, even as the number of American children dying from the illness continues to rise.

The latest report, released Monday by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), finds that "visits to doctors for influenza-like illness nationally decreased sharply this week over last week with all regions showing declines."

Read more.

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

Human-animal bond undervalued

(UPI) A U.S. researcher says the human-animal bond provides great health value and is often underestimated.

Froma Walsh of the University of Chicago says despite the well-documented value of the human-animal bond across cultures, attachments with companion animals have been undervalued…

In an article published in Family Process, Walsh describes the research showing the health and mental health benefits of companion pets. She also describes the emerging field of animal-assisted interventions in hospitals and in elder care as well as in school, prison and community programs.

Read more.

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

Patients Say 'No Thanks' to Risky Medical Treatments

(Science Daily) A recent study suggests that increasing patient responsibility for making medical decisions may decrease their willingness to accept risky treatment options…

A noval approach to doctor-patient interactions has emerged where both a patient and health care professional share information and jointly decide on course of treatment for the patient. This approach called shared-decision making (SDM) has been used in clincical settings to improve the quality of care for patients. Past studies have shown that increasing patient participation in decision-making decreases utiliztion of risky procedures. Other studies indicate that risk perception is increased under conditions that emphasize choice.

Read more.

Community: I’ve talked before about the experience I had with cancer treatment, where my oncologist explained the various treatments and then left it up to me to decide which ones to undergo. Cancer treatment is tough to go through, and I’m thinking that my commitment was stronger because the decisions were mine.

Research bears me out: “Evidence suggests that informed medical decision making strengthens the therapeutic alliance and improves patient satisfaction. It also reduces in many instances costly surgical interventions.”

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

Birth in South Raises Stroke Risk for Life

(HealthDay News) People born in the "stroke belt" of the southern United States have a lifelong higher risk of dying of stroke than others, even if they live elsewhere later, a new study shows.

Data on both black and white people born in the North and South Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee, Arkansas, Mississippi and Alabama show a consistently higher incidence of stroke compared to those born elsewhere, according to a report…

The higher stroke incidence in those seven states has been recognized for years, but why this is so, and why it persists, is not clear, said study author M. Maria Glymour…

"We think it's not genetic," Glymour said. "The hypotheses we have include the effect of social environment, what people eat and their access to medical care. There may be some element of socioeconomic risk."

Read more.

Community: I was born and grew up in Louisiana, and I have to wonder why it’s not included. I was raised on a fatty, salty, sugary diet, and I’m still trying to learn different habits. As always, we have to remember that these statistics are not a death sentence. We can improve our personal odds by changing our lifestyles.

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

Stroke and Heart Disease Trigger Revealed

(Science Daily) Scientists have identified the trigger that leads to the arteries becoming damaged in the disease atherosclerosis, which causes heart attacks and strokes… The authors of the study … say their findings suggest that the condition could potentially be treated by blocking the molecule that triggers the damage. The research also suggests that bacteria may be playing a part in the disease…

The trigger identified in the research is a molecule called TLR-2. This 'receptor' molecule lives on the surface of an immune cell and when it recognises harmful molecules and cells, including bacteria, it switches the immune cell into attack mode, to protect the body. It can also switch on the immune cells when the body is under stress.

Read more.

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

Exercise Guards White Blood Cells Against Aging

(HealthDay News) Studies have shown that exercise can help ward off heart disease and cancer, and now new research shows that the reason why may be found within cells themselves.

Endurance athletes had longer telomeres -- DNA at the tips of chromosomes that protect the cell -- in their white blood cells than healthy, nonsmoking adults who did not exercise regularly, German researchers report.

Telomeres can be thought of as the plastic tips on the end of shoelaces, which prevent the lace from fraying, explained Emmanuel Skordalakes…

Over the life span, cells continue to divide. Each time a cell divides, the telomere is shortened. When the telomere gets too short, the cell stops dividing. When this happens, people age -- gradually losing muscle strength, skin elasticity, vision, hearing and mental abilities, and so on, Skordalakes said.

Read more.

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

Rx for Office Pains: Strength Exercises

(HealthDay News) Strength exercises can reduce neck and shoulder pain caused by office work, a new study claims…

After 10 weeks, the women in the strength exercise group had a more than 50 percent reduction in neck and shoulder pain. They also had improved function in the trapezius muscle, which showed improved ability to respond quickly and forcefully.

Read more.

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

Lots of Exercise in Midlife May Lead to Osteoarthritis

(HealthDay News) If you're a middle-age weekend warrior who likes to hit the basketball court or hockey rink, take note: A new study suggests that high levels of physical activity boost the risk of internal knee damage that could lead to osteoarthritis…

The findings "speak to the importance of low-impact aerobic activity, especially in knees that are aging and may not be as resilient as they used to be," said Dr. Joseph Guettler.

Read more.

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

Study: Diet could slow Alzheimer's

(UPI) A diet rich in antioxidants could delay the onset of Alzheimer's disease or even slow down its evolution, researchers in Spain say…

[Their] research suggests the neural networks of the adult brain susceptible to being destroyed by age and neural diseases such as Alzheimer's disease can be strengthened through increasing dietary polyphenols and polyunsaturated fatty acids.

In the study, a cream rich in both polyphenols and polyunsaturated fatty acids -- a patented mixture of dried fruits, nuts and vegetable oils made by La Morella Nuts in Reus near Tarragona -- was added to the normal diet of mice.

Read more.

Community: Yes, but readers of Many Years Young know that we don’t have to eat a patented mixture to get this benefit. We know we can eat the fruits, nuts and vegetable oils themselves.

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

Protein Engineering Advancing Alzheimer’s Research

(Science Daily) No one has yet found a cure or a way to prevent people from developing Alzheimer's disease. Researchers … are breaking new ground in biotechnology to find new tools that can help provide new solutions. A protein constructed by these researchers has yielded experimental results that are promising when it comes to stopping the disease. And for the first time, using protein engineering, it seems they have successfully created the oligomer that is believed to trigger the disorder.

Read more.

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