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

Healthy Aging, With Nary a Supplement

(Jane E. Brody, New York Times) You have no doubt heard much about the so-called Mediterranean diet, and with good reason. This eating style, in its classic form, is most closely linked to a healthy body and mind as people age: a lower risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, diabetes, breast cancer and Alzheimer’s disease. It is loaded with nutrient-rich vegetables and fruits, beans and grains, fish and shellfish, but relatively little meat and poultry. Olive oil is the primary fat for cooking and eating, even replacing butter as a smear on bread.

But the Mediterranean diet does not come in a pill or potion. You have to eat the foods to reap the rewards. Consider also taking supplements of two nutrients in otherwise short supply — calcium and vitamin D. In addition to protecting bones from age-related decline, vitamin D in amounts of 800 to 1,000 international units daily for middle-aged and older adults may improve muscle strength (and thus reduce the risk of falls and fractures), help prevent several common cancers, counter depression and enhance cognitive function, various studies have suggested.

The second crucial ingredient is regular physical exercise. I know, you’ve heard this song before and you know you should do it, but ... fill in the blank: you hate exercise, you have no time, the weather is lousy, the children are sick, you’re injured, you don’t get enough sleep as it is. It’s easy to find reasons not to exercise.

It’s time to stop making excuses and make regular physical activity an integral part of your life, like eating, sleeping and brushing your teeth. You don’t decide every day to do these things, you just do them. Likewise with exercise.

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Community: The title is a bit misleading, as the author does end up recommending some supplements. Some things our body just doesn’t get or manufacture enough of as we age.

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Fat owners linked to fat dogs--but not fat cats

(Booster Shots, Los Angeles Times) A study published in the journal Public Health Nutrition investigated the relationship between body weight in pet owners and body weight in their pets. Its finding: Overweight owners tend to have overweight dogs, as other studies have reported before. But no such relationship was seen between owners and pet cats.

Going out on a limb, the Dutch authors conclude that this difference may be due to the fact that dog owners either walk their dogs--or don't. The same relationship does not hold for cats…

Some, of course, have found ways to break down this relationship between exercise-the-dog and exercise-the-owner. At a Highland Park dog park not long back, we spotted a car, window open, with a leash trailing out of it. Attached to the end was a dog, huffing and puffing to keep up with the moving vehicle.

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Recession Weighs on Waistlines

(McClatchy Tribune Newspapers) The economic downturn is busting wallets and bursting waistlines as consumers shift their eating habits to help their budgets.

With unemployment in the double digits, consumers who find themselves increasingly strapped have turned to cheaper means to feed their families. And those who have jobs are working longer hours, forgoing exercise and searching for foods that are economical and convenient.As a result, more consumers are turning to processed foods, either prepared, frozen or canned and often filled with fat-generating calories, refined grains and sugars. Experts said that's making more Americans chubbier and prone to obesity-related illnesses such as diabetes in what has been dubbed "recession fat."

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Feed 4 for $10

(Cooking Light) Cooking on a budget? Don't skimp on nutrition! You'll feel good about feeding your family these creatively delectable recipes.

Roast Chicken with Potatoes and Butternut Squash

Shrimp Fra Diavolo

Grown-Up Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

Stewed Pork and Squash

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How to Sauté Chicken

(Cooking Light) Enriched by the browned bits from a sautéed chicken breast, a simple pan sauce can transform an everyday boneless, skinless breast into a variety of quick and delicious meals. Learn this basic technique, then customize the sauce with various ingredients for amazingly different results.

The process is simple: Cook chicken breasts, deglaze the caramelized juice and browned bits in the pan with liquid, add a few other seasonings, and you’ve got a tasty pan sauce. For best results, use a nonstick skillet, and scrape up the sauce thoroughly from the bottom of the pan to get the concentrated flavor left behind by sautéing.

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Your Complete Guide to Whole Grains

(SouthBeachDiet.com) Grains are an essential part of [a] healthy eating plan because carbohydrates provide fuel for the body. But not all grains are created equal. Whole grains (as opposed to refined grains) are considered good carbs because they contain important nutrients like fiber, which helps slow down digestion, stabilize blood-sugar levels, and ward off hunger and cravings. Studies show that eating whole grains instead of refined grains can help to lower total cholesterol, LDL (“bad”) cholesterol, and dangerously high triglyceride and insulin levels…

There are so many excellent whole-grain choices, how do you choose the healthiest? For starters, when buying whole-grain pastas, breads, and other products, be sure to check that the label says "100% whole wheat" or "whole grain." If the label uses words like "multigrain" or "100% wheat," there’s no guarantee that the product is truly whole grain. Also make sure that the product contains 3 g of sugar or less per serving and has no trans fats.

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When Hair Loss Strikes, a Doctor Is a Girl’s Best Friend

(Lesley Alderman, New York Times) The dermatologists I spoke with estimated that about half of the women they saw for hair loss had an identifiable trigger that could be addressed with medication, hormones or better nutrition…

If no trigger is present, it’s likely you have androgenetic alopecia, a hereditary condition that causes the hair follicles to get progressively thinner over the years. The most effective topical medication for the condition is minoxidil (brand name Rogaine), the only treatment for hair loss in women that has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration.

You can buy minoxidil over the counter, for about $25 for a three-month supply. But you’ll also need to invest some patience. Minoxidil can take six months or even a year to work…

Lots of over-the-counter products claim to promote hair growth, but probably only those with minoxidil do. Shampoos and vitamins might make your hair look and feel healthier, but they won’t put more hairs on your head…

Fads and gimmicks probably won’t hurt you, but they will waste time and money. When it comes to hair loss, a prompt medical consultation is the key.

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Creams Offering Lighter Skin May Bring Risks

(New York Times) Dermatologists nationwide are seeing people of Hispanic and African descent with severe side effects from the misuse of skin-lightening creams.

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Health Claims: Ab Circle Pro

(Julie's Health Club, Chicago Tribune) Both Consumer Reports and the Council of Better Business Bureau's Electronic Retailing Self-Regulation Program (ERSP) reviewed the $200 product…

Just three of the 13 Consumer Reports testers said they would buy the device which didn't cause much weight loss. It engages core muscles but "burns no more calories than brisk walking," CR said. The nutrition plan was so strict that weight loss could occur on that alone…

[T]here's no evidence that the Ab Circle is better than other exercise equipment products or that it takes just "3 minutes a day" to achieve results, the ERSP reviewers said.

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Studies Demonstrate Link Among Alzheimer's Disease, Down Syndrome and Atherosclerosis

(Science Daily) Nearly 20 years ago Huntington Potter kicked up a storm of controversy with the idea that Down syndrome and Alzheimer's were the same disease. Now the evidence is in: He was right.

And that's not all. Down syndrome, artery-clogging cardiovascular disease, and possibly even diabetes, appear to share a common disease mechanism with Alzheimer's disease, Dr. Potter and colleagues … recently reported.

The researchers' two papers … implicate the Alzheimer's-associated protein beta amyloid (amyloid protein), which damages the microtubule transport system responsible for moving chromosomes, proteins and other cargo around inside cells. Both studies were done in mice and humans cell cultures modeling Alzheimer's disease. Together, the laboratory discoveries suggest that protecting the microtubule network from this amyloid damage might be an effective way to prevent or even reverse Alzheimer's disease and associated disorders.

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Morphine May Help Traumatic Stress

(New York Times) Findings on combat casualties in Iraq could have implications for a wider variety of traumas, like those resulting from rape or muggings.

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Patients demand: 'Give us our damned data'

(CNN) While there are no statistics on how many patients have trouble accessing their own records, there have been "repeated" complaints to the Department of Health and Human Services, according to a senior health information privacy specialist at the department's Office for Civil Rights, which enforces the federal law that gives patients access to their records.

"It's crazy ridiculous when you can't walk out of a doctor's office or hospital with a copy of your medical records if you ask for them," says Deven McGraw, director of the health privacy project at the Center for Democracy and Technology.

"Lack of information kills people," she says. "Having your medical records can save your life."

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Old Wives' Cures to Fight the Flu

(Tribune Newspapers) While nothing stops a cold in its tracks, some of Grandma's remedies really do have the power to make you feel better…

Beyond rest and hydration doctors say these home remedies could work for you:

Chicken Soup

Neti Pots

Ginger Ale

[A positive] Attitude

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Community: My friend Susie at Suburban Guerilla recommends Sambucol elderberry extract.

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Men respond to a woman's natural smell

(UPI) Women spend billions annually on perfumes to help attract a mate, but no perfume may be better than natural hormones, U.S. researchers suggest…

"The present research is the first to provide direct evidence that olfactory cues to female ovulation influence biological responses in men" the researchers say in a statement.

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Study: Men make women fat

(Chicago Tribune) Hey ladies, if you want to stay thin, stay single. A new study finds saying "I do" or even living with a man may cause a larger waistline…

Studies also show married men pack on the pounds. Love may be blind but the scale isn't.

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Listen to This to Lose Weight

(RealAge.com) Weight loss books, online aides, and face-to-face weight loss education and support can help you on your way to weight loss. And add podcasts to that list, because when a group of overweight or obese people listened to enhanced weight loss podcasts twice a week for 12 weeks, each participant lost an average of 6.4 pounds. The podcasts inspired them to eat more fruit and veggies and exercise more. So listen up and your body will follow your ears! (Stay motivated to shed pounds with help from this free online Weight Loss Tracker.)

Losing weight is sort of like quitting smoking -- the more you try the greater your chances of success.

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Self-control is contagious

(UPI) Self-control -- or the lack of it -- is contagious, researchers at the University of Georgia found.

In a series of studies involving hundreds of volunteers, lead author Michelle vanDellen and colleagues found watching or even thinking about someone with good self-control makes others more likely to exert self-control.

The study found the opposite is true as well. The effect is so powerful that seeing the name of someone with good or bad self-control flashing on a screen for 10 milliseconds changed the behavior of volunteers.

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Sticking to Diets Is About More Than Willpower -- Complexity Matters

(Science Daily) Many people think the success of dieting, seemingly a national obsession following the excesses and resolutions of the holiday season, depends mostly on how hard one tries -- on willpower and dedication. While this does matter, new research has found that a much more subtle aspect of the diets themselves can also have a big influence on the pounds shed -- namely, the perceived complexity of a diet plan's rules and requirements.

Cognitive scientists … compared the dieting behavior of women following two radically different diet plans and found that the more complicated people thought their diet plan was, the sooner they were likely to drop it.

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Strategies for Taming Temptation

(SouthBeachDiet.com) Try these suggestions to “cleanse” your kitchen of foods that [don’t] help you maintain your healthy lifestyle:

  • Plan a monthly cupboard cleaning to throw away any unhealthy foods that have mysteriously sneaked backed in.
  • If foods are still packaged, consider bringing them into your office to give to coworkers.
  • Make it clear to your family that certain unhealthy foods must not be brought into the house.
  • Don’t allow yourself to succumb to impulse buys when shopping: Avoid the grocery aisles that contain chips, cookies, and other sweets. Instead, shop the perimeter of the store, where the fresh fruits and vegetables are typically sold.

However, the fact is that temptation will be present wherever you are — whether you’re at work, a friend’s house, or on the road. Learn how to face temptation head-on (even if “head-on” means turning your head away) since you won’t always be able to remove it. All it takes is a little self-confidence, and you’ll realize that you possess the strength to resist the urge to splurge.

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Community: I’m training myself to “just say no” when people offer me food.

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Three Myths That Sap Your Energy

(RealAge.com) Want to avoid that afternoon "please, caffeine and chocolate, rescue me" tiredness? Stay naturally energized by tossing these myths:

Myth #1: Afternoon energy dips are mainly caused by what you ate for lunch.
Truth: If some foods are a factor, it's likely that they magnify an afternoon slump rather than cause it… Follow these three steps to create a perfectly balanced energizing lunch.

Myth #2: Afternoon slumps are unnatural and mean something's wrong.
Truth: Not everyone's daytime sleepiness is the result of lunch habits or a sleep disorder. Your natural circadian rhythms create small ebbs and flows in functions, including temperature, hormone levels, blood pressure, appetite -- and sleep and alertness…

Myth #3: Lunchtime workouts make the afternoon dip worse.
Truth: Workers are less likely to suffer afternoon fatigue on days when they exercise during lunch.

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What Nighttime Bathroom Trips May Mean

(RealAge.com) Do you visit the bathroom two or more times a night? Here's something to consider: a checkup.

Nighttime trips can increase with age -- and quite often it's nothing to worry about. But a new study suggests it may be best to rule out any potential underlying problems. In the study, extra nighttime trips were linked to possible health issues…

Frequent nighttime trips to the bathroom could -- and probably do -- mean nothing for the majority of folks. So don't panic if this sounds at all familiar. Just be sure to bring it up at your yearly doctor exam.

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Benefits of Calcium and Vitamin D in Preventing Fractures Confirmed

(Science Daily) Taking both calcium and vitamin D supplements on a daily basis reduces the risk of bone fractures, regardless of whether a person is young or old, male or female, or has had fractures in the past, a large study of nearly 70,000 patients from throughout the United States and Europe has found…

"What is important about this very large study is that goes a long way toward resolving conflicting evidence about the role of vitamin D, either alone or in combination with calcium, in reducing fractures," said John Robbins, … a co-author of the journal article.

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More Evidence That Statins Cut Stroke Risk

(HealthDay News) One of the largest analyses of the effect of statin drug therapy on the risk of stroke confirms the benefits of these widely used drugs.

Much of the benefit from statins such as Crestor, Lipitor and Zocor appears tied to the drugs' lowering of blood levels of "bad" LDL cholesterol, the researchers found…

"Statins really ought to be our first choice for cholesterol reduction," [Dr. Brendan M.] Everett said. "That is true for heart disease and true for stroke. We showed that even patients with normal cholesterol levels may benefit from statins."

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Male hormones may ward off heart damage

(UPI) Australian researchers say male hormones may help vessels around the heart regenerate.

Study leader Daniel Sieveking … suggests males may suffer heart damage because their levels of male hormones -- collectively referred to as androgens -- have dropped.

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Diabetes ups risk of dementia for mildly impaired

(Reuters Health) Diabetes may hasten progression to dementia in older people with mild thinking impairment, new research shows…

There are several ways that diabetes could speed mental decline, the researchers say, for example through its effects on insulin, which plays a key role in how the brain uses glucose for fuel.

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Eye test may aid Alzheimer's detection

(UPI) British researchers say an eye test may help detect and monitor Alzheimer's disease.

The researchers … said the technique uses fluorescent markers that help in gauging brain cell death and can be observed through the retina using a customized laser ophthalmoscope.

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Toward a Less Expensive Version of the Anti-Flu Drug Tamiflu

(Science Daily) Scientists have developed an alternative method for producing the active ingredient in Tamiflu®, the mainstay for fighting H1N1 and other forms of influenza. The new process could expand availability of the drug by reducing its cost, which now retails for as about $8 per dose.

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Stress of Caring for Disabled Spouse Raises Stroke Threat

(HealthDay News) The stress of caring for a disabled spouse increases the risk of stroke substantially, and the increased risk is greater for husbands than for wives, a new study finds…

Caregivers who feel the strain can and should seek help, [the study author] advised.

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U.S. Obesity Rates Leveling Off, But Still High

(HealthDay News) Some good news in the war on weight: Obesity in the United States may finally be stabilizing instead of increasing, two new studies show.

But the rates of obesity remain high, with about one-third of Americans still falling into that weight category. And, rates of obesity among already heavy 6- to 19-year-old boys appear to be increasing.

"Obesity still remains a significant problem that we need to deal with, but recent data suggests the increasing trend of obesity may be slowing down," said the lead author of one of the studies, Cynthia Ogden.

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A Good Night's Slumber Won't Reverse Chronic Sleep Loss

(HealthDay News) Chronic sleep deprivation and the impact "sleep debt" has on functioning and thinking cannot be reversed by one good night's sleep, new research suggests.

While a night of good sleep can make you feel and operate better in the short run, the ill effects of long-term sleep loss linger much longer.

In fact, "chronic sleep loss from six hours of sleep per night for two weeks causes a similar level of impairment as staying awake for 24 hours," said the study's lead author, Dr. Daniel A. Cohen.

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Exercise Associated With Preventing, Improving Mild Cognitive Impairment

(Science Daily) Moderate physical activity performed in midlife or later appears to be associated with a reduced risk of mild cognitive impairment, whereas a six-month high-intensity aerobic exercise program may improve cognitive function in individuals who already have the condition, according to two reports…

Mild cognitive impairment is an intermediate state between the normal thinking, learning and memory changes that occur with age and dementia, according to background information in one of the articles. Each year, 10 percent to 15 percent of individuals with mild cognitive impairment will develop dementia, as compared with 1 percent to 2 percent of the general population. Previous studies in animals and humans have suggested that exercise may improve cognitive function.

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Yoga Reduces Cytokine Levels Known to Promote Inflammation, Study Shows

(Science Daily) Regularly practicing yoga exercises may lower a number of compounds in the blood and reduce the level of inflammation that normally rises because of both normal aging and stress, a new study has shown.

The study … showed that women who routinely practiced yoga had lower amounts of the cytokine interleukin-6 (IL-6) in their blood.

The women also showed smaller increases in IL-6 after stressful experiences than did women who were the same age and weight but who were not yoga practitioners.

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Thyme Oil Can Inhibit COX2 and Suppress Inflammation

(Science Daily) For those who do not drink, researchers have found that six essential oils -from thyme, clove, rose, eucalyptus, fennel and bergamot -- can suppress the inflammatory COX-2 enzyme, in a manner similar to resveratrol, the chemical linked with the health benefits of red wine. They also identified that the chemical carvacrol was primarily responsible for this suppressive activity.

These findings … provide more understanding of the health benefits of many botanical oils and provide a new avenue for anti-inflammatory drugs.

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How One Form of Natural Vitamin E Protects Brain After Stroke

(Science Daily) Blocking the function of an enzyme in the brain with a specific kind of vitamin E can prevent nerve cells from dying after a stroke, new research suggests.

In a study using mouse brain cells, scientists found that the tocotrienol form of vitamin E, an alternative to the popular drugstore supplement, stopped the enzyme from releasing fatty acids that eventually kill neurons…

Vitamin E occurs naturally in eight different forms. The best-known form of vitamin E belongs to a variety called tocopherols. The form of vitamin E in this study, tocotrienol or TCT, is not abundant in the American diet but is available as a nutritional supplement. It is a common component of a typical Southeast Asian diet.

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Community: Wheat germ is a source of tocotrienol. I've started putting a tablespoon of it on top of my morning oatmeal.

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Stress on Cells Can Turn Them Cancerous

(HealthDay News) New research in fruit flies offers insight into how cells turn cancerous…

The researchers looked at genes in fruit flies, including a gene linked to about a third of cancers in humans. They discovered that mutations don't need to be in the same cell to cause tumors and that environmental stresses, including wounds, can cause cancer to develop.

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Transplanted Trachea Grows Own Blood Supply in Patient's Arm

(HealthDay News) Belgian transplant surgeons are reporting a medical first: They coaxed a donor trachea to grow its own network of blood vessels before transplantation by first embedding it for months in the recipient's arm.

The innovative approach not only brought the patient a healthy, functional trachea (windpipe), but it did so without the need for taking lifelong immunosuppressive drugs, as is common with most transplant operations.

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Community: Sounds like a comedian’s dream – “Excuse me, is that a trachea on your arm?”

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Personalities of dog and cat fans differ

(UPI) There is a real difference between "dog people" and "cat people," a University of Texas at Austin psychologist says.

Sam Gosling … says that those who define themselves as dog people are more extroverted, more agreeable and more conscientious than self-described "cat people."

Meanwhile, fans of felines are more neurotic, but more open than their canine-loving counterparts.

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Community: Apparently, they didn’t study the characteristics of those of us who are equally appreciative of dogs and cats.

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To achieve resolutions, action plan needed

(UPI) Many New Year's resolutions have been forgotten by now but a U.S. therapist suggests every moment holds the possibility for positive change.

Dr. Kimberly Dennis, medical director of Timberline Knolls -- who treats women struggling from eating disorders, substance abuse and mood disorders - says she believes a New Year's resolution is simply a goal declared at the start of the year. However, by taking appropriate steps, resolutions can be realized at any time…

To reach goals, Dennis recommends:

-- Make specific, non-broad goals.

-- Commitment with a plan of action.

-- Set clear and achievable steps within this plan of action.

-- Allow other people to help.

-- Believe in a power greater than yourself.

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In women, exercise may keep high pulse in check

(Reuters Health) A speedy ticker could increase your chances of suffering a fatal heart attack, according to a new study. But in women, regular workouts might help keep the risk low.

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The Missing Ingredient for a Perfect Diet

(Shrink Yourself) Do you feel like your diet and exercise plan has to be brutal to work? Have you heard the hosts of The Biggest Loser yelling at the contestants and thought if you had someone to stay on your back with the same force, surely you'd succeed? Do you always chastise yourself for your lack of discipline, willpower, and strength?...

The missing ingredient for a perfect diet is: GENTLENESS. Look for ways that you can me more gentle with yourself… When you are gentle you begin to see sticking to a sensible diet, not as deprivation, but as an everyday way that you can love yourself.

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Community: Remember what we found out recently about smoking cessation call centers—they get better results when they stress the good things about not smoking than the bad things associated with continuing.

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Vitamin D Plus Calcium Guards Against Fractures

(HealthDay News) Daily supplements of calcium and vitamin D reduce the risk of fractures in women and men of all ages, even if they've suffered previous fractures, but vitamin D supplements alone don't offer significant protection, a new study has found.

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Pine bark relieves hemorrhoid symptoms

(UPI) An anti-oxidant plant extract Pycnogenol may be beneficial in patients with hemorrhoids, both for acute and chronic treatment, researchers in Italy said.

Pycnogenol, also known as pink bark, is from the bark of the French maritime pine tree and has important anti-inflammatory and anti-thrombotic properties…

"In this study, both topical and oral Pycnogenol treatment reduced the intensity and duration of hemorrhoidal pain and bleeding."

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Green Tea May Lower Lung Cancer Risk

(HealthDay News) Antioxidants in green tea appear to significantly lower the risk for developing lung cancer among smokers and nonsmokers alike, new research from Taiwan reveals.

The study suggests that smokers and nonsmokers who consume a minimum of one cup of green tea per day appear to have a nearly 13-fold and fivefold lower risk, respectively, for developing lung cancer than smokers and nonsmokers who don't drink any green tea.

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Long-Term Statin Use Best Way to Cut Cardiovascular Deaths

(HealthDay News) A 50 percent increase in patients adhering to long-term treatment with cholesterol-lowering statins could prevent twice as many deaths from heart attack and stroke, British researchers say.

It's estimated that only about half of patients prescribed statins to prevent cardiovascular disease are still taking them five years later, according to background information in the analysis.

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New Stroke Therapy Successful in Rats: Protein Completely Restores Motor Function

(Science Daily) People with impaired mobility after a stroke soon may have a therapy that restores limb function long after the injury, if a supplemental protein works as well in humans as it does in paralyzed rats.

Two new studies by UC Irvine biologists have found that a protein naturally occurring in humans restores motor function in rats after a stroke. Administered directly to the brain, the protein restores 99 percent of lost movement.

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Got Cognitive Activity? It Does a Mind Good

(Science Daily) If you don't have a college degree, you're at greater risk of developing memory problems or even Alzheimer's. Education plays a key role in lifelong memory performance and risk for dementia, and it's well documented that those with a college degree possess a cognitive advantage over their less educated counterparts in middle and old age.

Now, a large national study from Brandeis University published in theAmerican Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry shows that those with less schooling can significantly compensate for poorer education by frequently engaging in mental exercises such as word games, puzzles, reading, and lectures.

"The lifelong benefits of higher education for memory in later life are quite impressive, but we do not clearly understand how and why these effects last so long," said lead author Margie Lachman.

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Dementia Linked to High Blood Pressure Years Earlier

(Science Daily) High blood pressure may put women at greater risk for dementia later in life by increasing white matter abnormalities in the brain, report researchers.

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Loss of Smell Function May Predict Early Onset of Alzheimer's Disease

(Science Daily) A … links a loss of smell function in Alzheimer's disease (AD) model animals with amyloid (protein) accumulation in the brain, a distinguishing hallmark of Alzheimer's disease… [The research] suggests that olfactory dysfunction, a common symptom of AD, may serve as an early diagnostic tool for the disease…

Presently, much scientific interest exists in establishing methods to diagnose Alzheimer's prior to the irreversible deterioration of the brain characteristic of the disease.

"These novel results provide a two-fold benefit, not only in confirming that olfactory problems may serve as an early indicator of Alzheimer's, but that further validation in humans could facilitate testing of new therapies for the disease," remarked study co-author Ralph A. Nixon, MD, PhD.

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Some Blood Pressure Drugs May Stave Off Dementia

(HealthDay News) Blood pressure drugs that block the protein angiotensin appear to reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia, a new study finds.

"We think it [angiotensin] is one of the most important factors determining healthy blood vessels and also acts in the brain to help neurons to be a little more resilient," said Dr. Benjamin Wolozin.

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Scientists Create Super-Strong Collagen

(Science Daily) A team of University of Wisconsin-Madison researchers has created the strongest form of collagen known to science, a stable alternative to human collagen that could one day be used to treat arthritis and other conditions that result from collagen defects.

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As in Humans, Sleep Solidifies a Bird's Memories

(Science Daily) Sleeping is known to help humans stabilize information and tasks learned during the preceding day. Now, researchers have found that sleep has similar effects upon learning in starlings, a discovery that will open up future research into how the brain learns and preserves information.

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Scientists link plastics chemical to health risks

(Reuters) Exposure to a chemical found in plastic containers is linked to heart disease, scientists said on Wednesday, confirming earlier findings and adding to pressure to ban its use in bottles and food packaging.

Bisphenol A, known as BPA, is widely used in plastics and has been a growing concern for scientists in countries such as Britain, Canada and the United States, where food and drug regulators are examining its safety.

David Melzer, professor of epidemiology…, who led the study, said the research confirmed earlier findings of a link between BPA and heart problems.

The analysis also confirmed that BPA plays a role in diabetes and some forms of liver disease.

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U.S. medical research funding falls: analysis

(Reuters) Public and private funding for U.S. biological and medical research has slowed and resources from one major federal source shrank when inflation is taken into account, researchers reported Tuesday.

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"Extraordinary" increases in drug prices: report

(Reuters) Prices for hundreds of brand-name drugs have soared since the beginning of the decade, especially those that treat depression, infections and heart disease, according to a U.S. government report on Monday.

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Price rises are key to tackling alcohol abuse: WHO

(Reuters) Binge drinking and other growing forms of harmful use of alcohol should be tackled through higher taxes on alcoholic drinks and tighter marketing regulations, the World Health Organization (WHO) has recommended.

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Inactivity May Shorten Your Life

(HealthDay News) Every hour spent watching TV each day may increase your risk of an early death from cardiovascular disease by as much as 18 percent, Australian researchers say.

What's on the television is not the problem; it's the time spent sitting while watching.

"This research provides another clear link between too much sitting and death from disease," said lead researcher David Dunstan…

The good news is research has shown that moving the muscles frequently throughout the day is one of the most effective ways of managing weight and protecting against disease, Dunstan added.

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Community: I do isometric exercises while I’m watching TV, so that it’s not a total waste of time.

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Exercise May Stave Off Mental Decline

(HealthDay News) Exercise appears to help prevent and improve mild cognitive impairment, two new studies show.

Researchers found that people who did moderate physical activity in midlife or later had a reduced risk of mild cognitive impairment and that six months of high-intensity aerobic exercise improved cognitive function in people with mild cognitive impairment.

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