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

As Swine Flu Ebbs, Officials Stress Importance of Vaccine

(HealthDay News) As the H1N1 swine flu outbreak eases to a point where it is now widespread in just one state, federal health officials are still urging Americans to get their swine flu shot.

"On Sunday we start National Influenza Vaccination Week," Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, said during a Friday afternoon teleconference. "It's a way to remind the public that getting the vaccine is still incredibly important."

Read more.

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

Baby Boomers Still Doing Drugs as Seniors

(HealthDay News) Almost 5 percent of aging Baby Boomers in the United States are abusing drugs, a new government report shows.

That's about 4.3 million adults over the age of 50 who are smoking marijuana, abusing prescription medication and engaging in other illicit drug activity -- a number that far exceeds that of their parents' generation…

The projected increase in the number of older drug abusers is expected to double the demand for treatment services by 2020, the report stated.

Read more.

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

High-tech sensors help people stay true to diet, exercise plans

(AP) The fight against fat is going high-tech. To get an inside look at eating and exercise habits, scientists are developing wearable wireless sensors to monitor overweight and obese people as they go about their daily lives.

The experimental devices are designed to keep track of how many minutes they work out, how much food they consume and even whether they are at a fast-food joint when they should be in the park. The goal is to cut down on self-reported answers that often cover up what's really happening.

Read more.

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

For Fitness, Cutting Calories May Not Be Enough

(HealthDay News) If you're vowing to lose weight this year, consider adding a regular exercise program while you're cutting calories.

Combining the two results in better health outcomes -- such as lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels -- than simply cutting calories alone, a new study finds.

Read more.

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

Ways to Cook Fish

(SouthBeachDiet.com) Grilling is not the only way to prepare fish. Here are … additional cooking techniques that will help you add more fish to your diet…

You can bake fish:
Lightly coat a baking sheet with cooking spray. Arrange seasoned fish filets on the baking sheet and bake for 7 to 10 minutes per inch of thickness. It's not necessary to flip the fish.

You can broil fish:
Works with any type of fish steak. Season steaks and brush with extra-virgin olive oil. Place them in a broiler pan and broil 4 to 6 minutes on each side or until golden. Allow more cooking time for steaks thicker than an inch.

How do you know whether your fish is done?
Simply test with a fork at its thickest point. Perfectly cooked fish should be opaque and flake easily when tested with a fork. Undercooked fish looks raw. Salmon and tuna are the exception, as both can be served pink on the inside as long as they are very fresh .Note: To maintain freshness and avoid overcooking, make sure to thaw frozen fish in the refrigerator — not at room temperature, under warm water, nor in the microwave.

Read more.

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

New Brain Scan Better Detects Earliest Signs of Alzheimer's Disease in Healthy People

(Science Daily) A new type of brain scan, called diffusion tensor imaging (DTI), appears to be better at detecting whether a person with memory loss might have brain changes of Alzheimer's disease, according to a new study…

"As better medicines for Alzheimer's disease become available, it will be important to identify people at high risk for the disease as early and accurately as possible so treatment can be most effective," said Norbert Schuff, PhD.

Read more.

Community: And speaking of new treatments, see below.

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

Nutrient 'Cocktail' Appears to Improve Dementia Symptoms

(HealthDay News) A combination of three nutrients might help improve memory in Alzheimer's patients by stimulating the growth of new brain connections (synapses), a new study shows.

Uridine, choline and the omega-3 fatty acid DHA (all found in breast milk) are precursors to the fatty molecules that make up brain cell membranes, which form synapses…

In a clinical trial, 225 Alzheimer's patients were given a cocktail of the three nutrients, along with B vitamins, phosopholipids and antioxidants. Patients with mild Alzheimer's showed improvements in verbal memory.

Read more.

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

Celebrex Might Thwart Inherited Skin Cancers

(HealthDay News) People with an inherited skin disorder could reduce their risk of developing skin cancer by taking the painkiller celecoxib (Celebrex), a preliminary study suggests.

The research has only reached the second of three phases, however, and the drug is not yet officially approved for this use.

Read more.

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

Technological Safety Net for Fall-Prone Elderly

(Science Daily) Falls are the main cause of injuries among elderly people, but until now doctors have had few ways of effectively monitoring and counteracting mobility problems among patients. Work by European researchers is set to change that…

The approach … involves using a wearable, wireless-enabled device equipped with motion sensors to monitor people susceptible to falls. The information can then be used to help patients perform rehabilitation exercises to improve their balance and mobility, evaluate the progression of a disorder or, crucially, alert emergency services, doctors or relatives in the event of a fall.

Read more.

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

Drug benefit expanded to 1 million more seniors

(AP) As of Jan. 1, more than 1 million low-income seniors are newly eligible for more generous prescription drug benefits under the "extra help" program. Benefiting from the new law are those with life insurance policies and those who regularly get money from relatives to help pay household expenses but were previously disqualified because of too many assets or too much income.

Read more.

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

"The keys to happiness are within everyone's reach."

From “This Emotional Life”, which aired this week on PBS:

Happiness is deceptively simple. It’s about being satisfied with life and experiencing more positive emotions than negative ones.

Still, many of us find the pursuit of happiness to be frustratingly difficult. A relatively new branch of psychology called positive psychology is studying what makes people happy—and what doesn’t. Researchers are learning that the keys to happiness are within everyone’s reach.

Read more, including some very practical suggestions on increasing happiness in our lives.

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

Paths to a better place

(Chicago Tribune) Your life is going nowhere, the thrill is gone and so is the will to shake things up. So how do you get yourself up off the couch?

"You have to change your mindset," says Gregory Petersen, a clinical psychologist with Northwestern Memorial Physicians Group. "People get stuck because they want to feel motivated before they get going. They want to feel differently before they behave differently, but we have to behave our way into feeling differently."

He cautions, "If you want to wait until you have more energy or more time or are better prepared, you could be waiting a lifetime."

Read more.

Community: As I’ve said before, what and how much I eat plays a big part in how hard or easy it is to do the things I know I need to do.

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

Foods to Help You Sleep Better

(RealAge,cin) The meal you choose tonight could mean the difference between counting sheep and getting some serious shut-eye. So order the salmon.

In her new book Eat Your Way to Happiness, Elizabeth Somer, RD, explains how nutrients in salmon, as well as in beans, yogurt, and spinach, could help make you a more satisfied sleeper.

Here are four other things the YOU Docs recommend you do right now to help you sleep better tonight.

Read more.

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

Getting more than just an apple a day

(Reuters Health) Less than a quarter of Americans eats the five daily servings of fruits and vegetables that the National Cancer Institute recommends, but online programs may help boost those numbers, a new study hints.

As part of the Making Effective Nutrition Choices study, some 2500 people logged on to a website providing information on the benefits of eating more fruits and vegetables and ways to incorporate these healthy foods into their diets.

Three months into the study about 70 percent of subjects were eating five or more servings of fruits and vegetables on an average day, up from 20 percent at the starting point. That increase held for the rest of the year-long study.

Read more.

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

Carbs may get stored as fats

(UPI) Mice studies by Australian scientists show burning fats will not -- as many hoped -- speed weight loss…

"Our data urges a correction in people's concept of a magic bullet -- something that will miraculously make them thin while they sit on the couch watching television," study author Greg Cooney said in a statement.

The take-home message, Cooney said, is the only reliable way to lose weight is to eat less or exercise more. Preferably both.

Read more.

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

Mozart Therapy: A Sonata a Day Keeps the Doctor Away

(Science Daily) The music they listen to doesn't have any lyrics that tell them to grow, but new research from Tel Aviv University finds that premature babies who are exposed to music by 18th-century composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart gain weight faster -- and therefore become stronger -- than those who don't.

Read more.

Community: And as we’ve seen, music is good for the rest of us, too.

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

When Smokers Call Quit Lines, Positive Approach May Be Best

(HealthDay News) Stressing the benefits of not smoking may work better than emphasizing the negative effects of cigarettes in persuading smokers to kick the habit, a new study has found.

Read more.

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

Old Antidepressant Offers Promise in Treating Heart Failure

(Science Daily) A team of Johns Hopkins and other researchers have found in animal experiments that an antidepressant developed over 40 years ago can blunt and even reverse the muscle enlargement and weakened pumping function associated with heart failure.

[Their report] describes in a dozen key laboratory experiments in rodents how the antidepressant clorgyline, which is no longer in use in humans, blocks the action of enzyme monoamine oxidase-A (MAO-A) and stops its breakdown of a key neurohormone. Norepinephrine, as it is called, controls the pace of blood pumping and makes the heart pump harder and faster in response to stress.

Read more.

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

Observation About How Nervous System Learns and Encodes Motion Could Improve Stroke Recovery

(Science Daily) Bioengineers have taken a small step toward improving physical recovery in stroke patients by showing that a key feature of how limb motion is encoded in the nervous system plays a crucial role in how new motor skills are learned.

Read more.

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

Liver Donations from Living Donors Increase 42 Percent After Educational Intervention

(Science Daily) A recent study found that living donation increased 42% and the number of individuals who presented for donation evaluation increased 74% at centers in New York. The surge in live donation and donor evaluation occurred after additional education was provided to liver transplant candidates. Those candidates exposed to the peer-based intervention (education) reported significantly greater knowledge, greater likelihood to discuss donation and increased self-efficacy compared to those not exposed to the intervention.

Read more.

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

Stored Fats May Make Cancer Cells More Aggressive

(HealthDay News) An enzyme that normally helps break down stored fats becomes highly active in some cancer cells and makes them more likely to spread, researchers have found…

The finding … offers a possible explanation for the reported link between obesity and cancer, according to the researchers… They also said [the enzyme] may offer a new target for treating aggressive forms of cancer or for preventing cancer progression.

Read more.

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

Diabetes Meds May Be Falling Through 'Doughnut Hole'

(HealthDay News) Medicare's so-called "doughnut hole" could be forcing many American seniors to skip their diabetes medications, a new study suggests.

The doughnut hole refers to a gap in the Medicare Part D prescription drug coverage plan. Medicare covers the cost of prescription drugs up to a certain amount each year. After that, people must pay for the drugs themselves until they've spent a specified amount. Then, coverage begins again…

Compared with those who had supplemental drug benefits, people with the doughnut-hole coverage had higher out-of-pocket drug costs and were more likely to skip their diabetes medications, the study found.

Read more.

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

Assisted Living More Accessible to Well-Off

(HealthDay News) Assisted living facilities for older people are most often located in areas with higher levels of income, education and home values, a new study shows.

These findings aren't surprising because private dollars have fueled the growth of assisted living facilities, write the researchers. However, the findings do mean that people with lower incomes, minorities and those living in rural areas have fewer living options as they age.

Read more.

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

Evolutionary Surprise: Eight Percent of Human Genetic Material Comes from a Virus

(Science Daily) About eight percent of human genetic material comes from a virus and not from our ancestors, according to researchers…

[Biology professor C├ędric] Feschotte said this virally transmitted DNA may be a cause of mutation and psychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia and mood disorders.

Read more.

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

Bitter Cold Poses Health Dangers

(HealthDay News) Frigid temperatures can pose health risks, especially for young children, seniors and people with chronic illnesses, warns the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention…

When the temperature plummets, stay inside in homes and buildings that are properly heated. If your home isn't heated, you should find other ways to keep warm:

  • Wear winter clothing indoors, including layers of warm clothes, as well as socks, shoes and hats. Use blankets for additional warmth.
  • Close off unused, exterior rooms and have people gather together in a single interior room.
  • Seek shelter in heated public locations, such as malls, libraries and homeless shelters.

The CDC also offered tips for people who have to go outside in frigid weather:

  • Wear proper outdoor clothing, including layers of light, warm clothing along with hats, scarves, mittens and waterproof boots.
  • Be aware of the wind chill factor.
  • Work slowly when doing outside chores.
  • Take a friend and an emergency kit when doing outdoor recreational activities.
  • Carry a cell phone.
  • Don't travel when the weather service has issued advisories. If you must travel, tell a friend or relative about your proposed route and expected time of arrival.
  • Sprinkle cat litter on icy patches.

Read more.

Community: Chicago has warming centers. If you have trouble with your heating during extremely cold weather, check to see if your city has something similar.

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

Strength Training, Self-Management Improve Outcomes for Knee Osteoarthritis

(Science Daily) Researchers participating in the Multidimensional Intervention for Early Osteoarthritis of the Knee (Knee Study) determined that physically inactive, middle-aged people with symptomatic osteoarthritis benefitted equally from strength training regimens, self-management programs, or a combination of the two…

Given the higher rate of compliance in the self-management group, the Knee Study researchers suggest that self-management may be a less intrusive and equally effective early treatment for knee OA. The CDC also recommends self-management activities to decrease pain, improve function, stay productive, and lower health care costs, including self-management education programs such as the Arthritis Foundation Self Help Program (AFSHP), or the Chronic Disease Self Management Program (CDSMP) to manage arthritis on a day-to-day basis.

Read more.

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

The antioxidant diet: Does it work?

(Chicago Tribune) Like every other diet program out there, Keri Glassman's antioxidant-based "O2 Diet" promises to make you thin and beautiful. And it's easy: Just eat foods that have high antioxidant levels.

Antioxidants are compounds that prevent free radicals from damaging the cells of your body. This type of damage, also called oxidative stress, can accumulate and eventually lead to the development of several chronic diseases, including cardiovascular disease and cancer, as well as age-related conditions, such as macular degeneration, said antioxidant researcher Diane McKay…

The bottom line: "Just because a food or beverage scores well with the ORAC test doesn't guarantee that it can cure, treat or even prevent disease," McKay said. "However, most of the foods or beverages that have been studied for their health effects are those that have high antioxidant activity - teas, wine, cocoa, etc. The data from these studies certainly suggest that incorporating these antioxidant-rich foods and beverages into our regular diet, in moderate amounts, may help improve some biomarkers of disease risk."

Read more.

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

Doctor urges an end to fitness myth

(UPI) Constantly linking exercise with weight loss may cause more people to fail at reaching their goals, a bariatric physician suggests.

Dr. Sasson Moulavi says exercise is ideal for maintaining weight once goals are met but is usually counterproductive in trying to lose weight…

Moulavi recommends eating healthy, nutritious foods, getting the weight off and then focusing on an exercise routine to keep it off.

Read more.

Community: For me, healthy eating and exercise go together for feeling better. I have to think of weight loss as a byproduct of the process, though, and not expect to lose more than two or three pounds a month. Otherwise, I get frustrated and want to give up.

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

A Solution to Obesity? Muscles That Act as an Energy Drain

(Science Daily) [W]hen it comes to our muscles, a little less efficiency might be just what the doctor ordered, suggests a report…

[R]esearchers … have new insight into an important "fuel gauge" in muscle. They've also uncovered evidence in mice that treatments designed to disrupt those … channels specifically in muscles might allow us to control our weight by increasing the number of calories our muscles will burn with regular activity or exercise…

"If you don't have the channel, you will consume more energy. The system normally has an energy-saving role, but with a sedentary lifestyle and excess of food, it favors obesity."

Read more.

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

Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?

(HealthDay News) Cell phone addicts of the world, listen up: Electromagnetic waves emanating from these ubiquitous gadgets may prevent or even reverse Alzheimer's disease, researchers say.

Normal mice who had long-term exposure to such electromagnetic waves avoided developing Alzheimer's, while mice who were already sick started getting better, scientists report…

The findings were actually the opposite of what the researchers were expecting.

Read more.

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

Alzheimer's 'Cocktail' Shows Promise

(HealthDay News) Targeting two different enzymes simultaneously may hold promise for treating people with Alzheimer's disease, researchers report.

This "cocktail" strategy … outperformed a one-enzyme-at-a-time treatment and also avoided the troublesome side effects seen with that strategy, Johns Hopkins scientists say…

Researchers and pharmaceutical companies hope to figure out how to inhibit these enzymes as a way to treat Alzheimer's.

Read more.

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

Using Light to Silence Harmful Brain Activity

(HealthDay News) New tools that use different colors of light to silence brain activity could lead to new treatments for disorders such as epilepsy, chronic pain, Parkinson's disease and brain injury, neuroscientists say.

These so-called "super-silencers" provide precise control over the timing of the shutdown of overactive brain circuits, something that's impossible with existing drugs or other conventional treatments, according to the research team.

Read more.

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

Experimental Drug Reduces Tumor Resistance to Breast Cancer Therapy

(Science Daily) Researchers … have found a way to cleverly override signals that tell breast cancer cells to keep surviving in the face of anticancer treatment. The investigational agent they used renews the sensitivity of these breast cancer cells to treatment by fulvestrant (Faslodex®) which had stopped working.

They add that this method will likely work equally well with tamoxifen, the world's most commonly used breast cancer drug. Both fulvestrant and tamoxifen are used in women with estrogen-receptor-positive metastatic breast cancer and both exhibit substantial issues with eventual tumor resistance. Fulvestrant is typically used when women stop responding to tamoxifen.

Read more.

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

Low selenium tied to throat, stomach cancers

(Reuters Health) Getting enough selenium in your diet could help protect you from cancer of the esophagus, a large new study suggests…

The amount of selenium in the soil where food is grown determines its selenium content…

The findings, conclude the researchers, suggest that low selenium levels may increase risk of ESCC [ esophageal squamous cell carcinoma] and GCA [gastric cardia adenocarcinom], as well as EAC [esophageal adenocarcinoma] in women, never-smokers, and people with low antioxidant intakes. [Emphasis added.] They caution, however, that the findings need to be confirmed by other researchers.

Read more.

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

Lower Vitamin D Levels in Blacks May Up Heart Risks

(HealthDay News) New research indicates that the darker skin of blacks may increase their risk of heart disease and stroke because it reduces production of vitamin D, which is made during exposure to sunlight.

Several studies have associated low levels of vitamin D with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease and "the biggest source of vitamin D levels is sunlight," said Dr. Kevin Fiscella… "People with dark skin who live at higher latitudes, where the intensity of sunlight is less, may be at greater risk."

But the issue abounds with unanswered questions, starting with whether there is a real cause-and-effect relationship of vitamin D levels and cardiovascular risk, and ending with whether supplements that increase blood levels of the vitamin lower that risk, Fiscella said.

"We don't truly know the answer," Fiscella said. "That is the really pivotal question, what happens to cardiovascular risk if you correct blood levels of vitamin D. We do know that small supplements for middle-aged people don't seem to have any effect."

Read more.

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

Two Methods Help Prevent Infections After Surgery

(HealthDay News) Two separate research teams report that surgery-related infections can be prevented using two different methods, one aimed at antibiotic-resistant Staphylococcus aureus growing in the nose, the other at microbes living on the skin.

While the skin-based approach was more efficient, and required fewer resources and less testing, both methods can be used together in some high-risk cases, said Dr. Rabih O. Darouiche.

Read more.

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

Need a New Hand? One Day, You May Be Able to Regrow One

(HealthDay News) [W]ouldn't it be great if humans could simply regrow missing parts on their own?

Within the space of a generation, this seemingly superhuman power might become a reality, scientists say, and people may have a lowly amphibian to thank for it.

Among the world's varied creatures, a Mexican salamander called the axolotl appears best at regrowing whole limbs lost to injury. And researchers are hot on the trail of finding out what the axolotl has that humans don't.

"The crux of what we are doing with this work is to be able to understand the basic biology of regeneration, and then translate that to regenerative therapies," said one pioneer in the field, biologist David Stocum…

As Stocum points out, humans do have a very limited capacity to regrow complex tissue -- namely the fingertip.

Read more.

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

Radiation risk low with whole-body airport scanners

(Reuters) The radiation risk from full-body scanners used to improve airport security is low and unlikely to raise an individual's risk of cancer, U.S. experts said on Wednesday.

Read more.

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

New Approaches Could Bring Better Depression Treatments

One team of scientists in Chicago believe[s] … that the reason about half of people who need antidepressants don't respond to available drugs is that researchers have been focusing on the wrong neurological targets.

Developing effective drugs will require a whole new paradigm of thought, contends Eve Redei, a psychiatry professor at the Feinberg School of Medicine of Northwestern University, in Chicago.

Read more.

Community: Perhaps that new paradigm might include a non-pharmaceutical approach.

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

Boomers: Why getting buff becomes tough

(UPI) A U.S. researcher says age-related muscle loss is caused by free radical damage to muscle cell mitochondria…

[In the study, they] used mice that were genetically manipulated to prevent them from having a protective anti-oxidant and as a result had very high levels of free radicals. These mice lose muscle mass and function at a much faster rate than normal mice.

Read more.

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

Running Shoes May Cause Damage to Knees, Hips and Ankles, New Study Suggests

(Science Daily) Knee osteoarthritis (OA) accounts for more disability in the elderly than any other disease. Running, although it has proven cardiovascular and other health benefits, can increase stresses on the joints of the leg. In a study…, researchers compared the effects on knee, hip and ankle joint motions of running barefoot versus running in modern running shoes. They concluded that running shoes exerted more stress on these joints compared to running barefoot or walking in high-heeled shoes.

Read more.

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

Restaurant and Packaged Foods Can Have More Calories Than Nutrition Labeling Indicates

(Science Daily) With obesity rising markedly, reliance on the accuracy of food labeling is an important weight management strategy. Since people who are trying to reduce their weight are encouraged to choose meals labeled as "lower in calories" or "reduced-energy" in restaurants and supermarkets, it is essential that the listed data are accurate. In a study…, researchers from Tufts University found that some commercially prepared foods contained more calories than indicated in nutritional labeling.

Measured energy values of 29 quick-serve and sit-down restaurant foods averaged 18% more calories than the stated values. Likewise, measured energy values of 10 frozen meals purchased from supermarkets averaged 8% more calories than stated on the label.

Read more.

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

The Anti-Cancer Diet

(Lifescript) A healthy, varied diet is an important part of your anti-cancer battle. Certain foods – particularly fruits, vegetables, whole grains and beans – are proven to have cancer-fighting vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, fiber and phytochemicals…

Here’s what to stock up on:

1. Stinky vegetables: Such sulfur-containing veggies – such as broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, kale and Brussels sprouts – “turn off signals to cancer cells to divide and conquer,” says registered dietitian and nutrition expert David Grotto…

2. Strawberries: The luscious red berries are rich in ellagic acid, a phytochemical that may function as an estrogen-blocker and reduce hormone-driven breast cancers. At only 50 calories per cup, they’re a cancer-fighter’s friend.

Not a strawberry fan? Enjoy a bowl of anything that ends with “erry,” Grotto says. That means raspberries, blueberries and cherries.

3. Pistachios: This green nut is full of gamma-tocopherol, a potentially cancer-fighting type of vitamin E…

4. Beans: The fiber, potassium, magnesium and folate in beans are tied to decreased cancer risk…

5. Green, yellow and orange fruits and vegetables: These colorful foods give us carotenoids, a powerful anti-cancer antioxidant…

6. Honey: …Studies have shown honey decreases tumor growth in mice and seems to have anti-bacterial properties that might decrease stomach ulcers, Grotto says…

7. Whole grains: People who ate a lot of whole grains had a 21%-43% lower risk of developing … cancers compared to people who ate less, according to a review of 40 studies of gastrointestinal cancer conducted by University of Minnesota researchers.

Read more, including foods to avoid.

Community: Isn’t it convenient that the anti-cancer diet is so close to the anti-obesity, anti-diabetes, anti-heart disease, anti-aging diet?

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

New Eating Device Retrains Dietary Habits and Helps Children Lose Weight

(Science Daily) A new computerised device that tracks portion size and how fast people eat is more successful in helping obese children and adolescents lose weight than standard treatments, according to research published online in the British Medical Journal.

The Mandometer device, a portable computerised weighing scale, was developed at the Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm. It helps to retrain individuals to eat less and more slowly by providing real-time feedback during meal times. The device plots a graph showing the rate at which food actually disappears from the plate, compared to the ideal graph programmed in by a food therapist.

Read more.

Community: Surely, the device could also help older folks, as well.

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

Pomegranate May Fight Some Breast Cancers

(HealthDay News) Laboratory tests suggest pomegranates contain chemicals that reduce the risk that women will develop hormone-dependent breast cancers, researchers report.

The key seems to be a phytochemical, ellagic acid, found in pomegranates. It inhibits aromatase, an enzyme linked to the development of estrogen-responsive breast cancer.

Read more.

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

Markers for Ovarian Cancer May Show Up Years Earlier

(HealthDay News) Concentrations of several biomarkers begin to grow three years before women are diagnosed with ovarian cancer, but only reach substantial elevation levels over the 12 months before diagnosis, new research finds…

"Serum markers likely will form a key element in any screening regimen, with the lead time and other parameters of each marker or combination of markers being taken into account. The careful evaluation technique applied in the current study fits into a staged approach necessary for testing performance of early markers of disease," Patricia Hartge, of the U.S. National Cancer Institute, wrote in a commentary accompanying the study.

Read more.

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

Alternative To Pap Test Does Not Appear To Be Better For Detecting Cervical Cancer

(Science Daily) A Dutch study that included nearly 90,000 women finds that liquid-based cytology, a commonly used alternative to conventional Pap tests, is not superior to Pap tests for the detection of cervical cancer precursors or cancer, according to a study.

Read more.

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

Why Circumcised Men Are Less Likely to Become Infected With HIV

(Science Daily) Circumcision, which substantially lowers HIV risk in men, also dramatically changes the bacterial communities of the penis, according to a study…

The study could lead to new non-surgical HIV preventative strategies for the estimated 70 percent of men worldwide (more than 2 billion) who, because of religious or cultural beliefs, or logistic or financial barriers, are not likely to become circumcised.

Read more.

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

New Virus Is Not Linked to Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Suggests New Research

(Science Daily) New UK research, published in PLoS ONE, has not reproduced previous findings that suggested Chronic Fatigue Syndrome may be linked to a recently discovered virus. The authors of the study … say this means that anti-retroviral drugs may not be an effective treatment for people with the illness.

Read more.

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

Key Protein May Fight Cocaine Addiction

(HealthDay News) Researchers have some good news for cocaine addicts: New findings suggest that a kind of protein could help them beat their addiction.

The protein, known as cocaine esterase, is a naturally occurring bacterial enzyme. It breaks down cocaine, which is thought to make cocaine less addictive, but it doesn't last for long in the body.

In a new study, … researchers report that they're moving toward a possible solution through the development of a longer-lasting version of the protein. In rats, it lessened the desire for cocaine and prevented the rodents from dying of overdoses.

Read more.

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

Technology New Gateway Into Treatment for Problem Alcohol Users

(Science Daily) A recent evaluation by the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) shows that online interventions for problem alcohol use can be effective in changing drinking behaviours and offers a significant public health benefit.

In the first evaluation of its kind, the study published in Addiction found that problem drinkers provided access to the online screener www.CheckYourDrinking.net, reduced their alcohol consumption by 30% -- or six to seven drinks weekly -- rates that are comparable to face-to-face interventions. This result was sustained in both the three and six month follow-up.

Read more.

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

Leptin-Controlled Gene Can Reverse Diabetes

(Science Daily) Researchers have found that even a very little bit of the fat hormone leptin goes a long way when it comes to correcting diabetes. The hormone controls the activity of a gene known as IGFBP2 in the liver, which has antidiabetic effects in animals and could have similar therapeutic effect in humans…

The new findings confirm what some at least had already suspected: that leptin's antidiabetic effects are independent of the hormone's well-known ability to reduce body weight.

Read more.

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

Discovery May Help Stop Age-Related Macular Degeneration at the Molecular Level

(Science Daily) Researchers at University College London say they have gleaned a key insight into the molecular beginnings of age-related macular degeneration, the No. 1 cause of vision loss in the elderly, by determining how two key proteins interact to naturally prevent the onset of the condition.

In a paper to be published in a forthcoming issue of the Journal of Biological Chemistry, the team reports for the first time how a common blood protein linked to the eye condition reins in another protein that, when produced in vastly increased amounts in the presence of inflammation or infection, can damage the eye.

"By starting to understand these interactions in greater detail, we can begin to devise methods that will ultimately prevent the development of blindness in the elderly," said Zuby Okemefuna, the lead author of the paper.

Read more.

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

Stem Cells Likely to Help Genetic Disorders First

(HealthDay News) With new rules in place that lifted restrictions on federal funding of human embryonic stem cell research, health-care advocates are looking down the line and wondering when the first medical advances based on stem cells might occur.

That will take some years yet, according to experts in the field. And when breakthroughs do come, they might not be what most people think of when they envision potential stem cell therapies…

[T]he first advances are more likely to come from stem cells used to research genetic diseases and develop therapies and cures for those diseases, said Story Landis, director of the U.S. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke.

Read more.

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

For Better Health in New Year, Add Exercise to Your Day

(HealthDay News) A professor of health and exercise science … says adding a half hour of exercise a day is the key to a healthier lifestyle…

[Peter] Brubaker, director of the healthy exercise and lifestyle programs at Wake Forest, has these suggestions about how to get more exercise each day:

  1. Don't feel like you need to exercise all at once. A few minutes here and there can add up to what you need.
  2. Walk. It's efficient and easy. If you wear a pedometer to track your mileage, studies suggest you'll boost your activity.
  3. Find ways to get exercise in your daily routine through things like taking the stairs.
  4. Track your exercise in a journal and don't worry so much about weight loss. If you do want to shed pounds, 60 minutes of exercise a day is a good place to start.
  5. Try a variety of activities and challenge your family and friends to join you in exercising 30 minutes a day.
  6. Set realistic expectations. Change takes time.

Read more.

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

Exercise Helps Patients With Peripheral Artery Disease

(Science Daily) Peripheral artery disease (PAD) affects 5 million individuals in the U.S. and is the leading cause of limb amputations. Doctors have long considered exercise to be the single best therapy for PAD, and now a new study helps explain why… [T]he findings demonstrate that a protein called PGC-1alpha plays a key role in the process.

"Exercise is a staple of healthy living," notes senior author Zoltan Arany, MD, PhD, an investigator in BIDMC's Cardiovascular Institute and Assistant Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. "One of the many benefits of exercise, endurance exercise in particular, is the generation of new blood vessels in leg muscles." Known as angiogenesis, this naturally occurring process comes to the rescue when an injury or artery blockage leaves normal tissue starved for blood.

Read more.

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