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

Scammers trying to sell bogus health ins.

(UPI) Healthcare reform was only days old when scammers began trying to sell consumers phony health insurance policies, a U.S. health insurance company warns.

Brien Shanahan, director of legal affairs at Medical Mutual of Ohio, says bogus health insurance policy pitches may come via e-mail, online ads, people going door-to-door, or telemarketers.

"The scam may include fake coverage, where you end up making huge payments for a worthless piece of paper with totally worthless benefits," Shanahan says in a statement.

"Some may even offer enticements such as 'medical discount' cards, which are also worthless."

Read more.

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

The dark side of loneliness: It can hurt the body and mind

(USA Today) [T]he pain of loneliness is caused less by being alone than by feeling alone, says John Cacioppo, director of the University of Chicago's Center for Cognitive and Social Neuroscience.

Researchers are studying the causes and health effects of loneliness — both on the body and mind — in the hope of helping people and communities stay healthy and connected. Lonely people tend to have higher blood pressure and weaker immune systems, he says. Loneliness may even affect our genes. In lonely people, genes that promote inflammation are more active, while genes that reduce inflammation are less active, he says…

Humans evolved to depend on one another. Those who fail to connect with others are more likely to die without passing on their genes, Cacioppo says. In many ways, he says, the drive to avoid being alone is as strong as the need to alleviate hunger, thirst and pain.

The desire for companionship — and the fear of being ostracized — even motivates people to behave better, Cacioppo says.

Read more.

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

Happily married men less fatal stroke risk

(UPI) Men who said they were in a happy marriage had less risk of dying from a stroke, researchers in Israel said…

The study found single men had a 64 percent higher risk of dying from a stroke than married men. However, being happy in the marriage made all the difference.

Men, who said they were unhappy in their marriage had a 64 percent higher risk of a fatal stroke than those who said they were in a happy marriage.

Read more.

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

Rheumatoid Arthritis Linked to Vitamin D Deficiency, Study Suggests

(Science Daily) Women living in the northeastern United States are more likely to develop rheumatoid arthritis (RA), suggesting a link between the autoimmune disease and vitamin D deficiency, says a new study…

"There's higher risk in the northern latitudes," Dr. [Verónica] Vieira said. "This might be related to the fact that there's less sunlight in these areas, which results in a vitamin D deficiency."

Read more.

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

People get hungrier when they're starved for sleep

(Reuters Health) People who are trying to stay trim may want to make sure they get plenty of sleep.

In a study, researchers found that normal-weight young men ate a Big Mac's-worth of extra calories when they'd gotten four hours of sleep the night before compared to when they slept for eight hours.

Given the findings, and the fact that people have been sleeping less and getting fatter over the past few decades, "sleep restriction could be one of the environmental factors that contribute to the obesity epidemic," they write.

Read more.

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

Magnetic Attraction of Stem Cells Creates More Potent Treatment for Heart Attack

(Science Daily) Researchers at the Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute have found in animals that infusing cardiac-derived stem cells with micro-size particles of iron and then using a magnet to guide those stem cells to the area of the heart damaged in a heart attack boosts the heart's retention of those cells and could increase the therapeutic benefit of stem cell therapy for heart disease.

Read more.

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

New Agent Chokes Off Energy Supply, Kills Cancer Cells

(Science Daily) Cancer cells grow so fast that they can outstrip their blood supply, leaving them short of oxygen. The cells then produce energy in a way that needs less oxygen but more sugar.

Researchers … have designed an experimental drug that chokes off that sugar supply, causing the cells to self destruct.

The agent, called OSU-CG12, is an example of a new class of anticancer drugs called energy-restriction mimetic agents.

Read more.

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

China scientists show how arsenic treats blood cancer

(Reuters) Scientists in China have demonstrated how arsenic -- a favorite murder weapon in the Middle Ages -- destroys deadly blood cancer by targeting and killing specific proteins that keep the cancer alive.

"Our study showed how arsenic directly targets these proteins and kills them," lead researcher Zhang Xiaowei … told Reuters.

"Unlike chemotherapy, the side effects of arsenic (in treating acute promyelocytic leukemia) are very low. There is no hair loss or suppression of bone marrow (function). We are interested in finding out how arsenic can be used in other cancers," Zhang said by telephone.

Read more.

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

Viral therapy for lung cancer

(UPI) U.S. researchers say they are testing a viral therapy for a lethal lung cancer…

Reolysin, an experimental treatment derived from a reovirus that replicates so prolifically in a cancer cell it causes the cell to burst, directly kills many types of cancer cells but leaves normal cells unharmed and works synergistically with other cancer therapies.

Read more.

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

Mild Exercise Good for the Critically Ill

(HealthDay News) Critically ill patients in the intensive care unit may reduce their use of sedatives and speed their recovery by engaging in mild exercise, a new study has found.

The amount of prescription sedatives had to be slashed by half to enable patients to exercise, which reduced the amount of muscle weakness caused by spending long periods of time in bed, and shortened ICU recovery times by as much as two to three days, the researchers said.

Reduced use of sedatives in patients who exercised also led to fewer bouts of hallucination and delirium, according to the report.

Read more.

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

How Ducks Host Influenza Unharmed: Could Findings Shield Humans from Bird Flu Viruses?

(Science Daily) A University of Alberta-led research team has discovered an influenza detector gene that could potentially prevent the transmission of the virus to humans…

The duck's virus detector gene, called retinoic acid inducible gene -- I, or RIG-I, enables a duck's immune system to contain the virus, which typically spreads from ducks to chickens, where it mutates and can evolve to be a human threat like the H5N1 influenza virus…

One potential application of this research could affect the worldwide poultry industry by production of an influenza-resistant chicken created by transgenesis.

Read more.

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

Yearly Chlamydia Screening May Be Ineffective for Some

(HealthDay News) Once-a-year screening for chlamydia isn't likely to protect women from developing pelvic inflammatory disease, researchers say.

A new study has found that most cases of pelvic inflammatory disease occur in women who didn't have chlamydia infection when they were screened, which suggests they may have become infected later…

Public campaigns should emphasize the need for screening whenever a woman has a new sexual partner, the study authors recommended.

Read more.

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

Gulf War Syndrome Is Real, But Causes Unclear: Report

(HealthDay News) The cluster of symptoms experienced by some veterans of the 1991 Gulf War is a real disease, but its causes, treatment and potential cure remain unknown, concludes a new report from U.S. experts at the Institute of Medicine (IOM).

However, newer medical technology, including the ability examine genetic mutations, may hold the key to finally unraveling the mystery of an illness that has plagued one-third of Gulf War veterans for two decades, the experts said.

Read more.

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

Some People Can't Stomach the New 3-D Movies

(HealthDay News) The new crop of 3-D movies hitting theaters are making some people sick -- literally. It's not the alien creatures bleeding off the screen or half-eaten humans spit out in your direction by fierce dragons. It's just the way 3-D plays tricks on your brain, mimicking symptoms of motion sickness…

[Dr. James J. Salz explained,] "Your eyes are having to work harder. The brain is sending extra impulses to keep the eyes in alignment. If you're asking your eyes to fuse in 3-D all the time, you will feel the extra strain, the motion sickness."…

Die-hard movie fans might benefit from dramamine or other motion-sickness medications, or you could take it as a clue that your eyes need a full exam, [Jeffrey] Anshel said.

For now, you still have to go to a theater to experience the stomach-churning realism of 3D. Soon, though, you may have the luxury of getting sick in your living room, because 3-D television is on its way.

Read more.

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

Low-Cal Diets May Make You GAIN Weight

(HealthDay News) If losing weight feels like a never-ending battle, new research may explain why: Diets that restrict calories can actually make it harder to lose weight and keep it off.

Cutting calories increases production of cortisol, the stress hormone, which is linked to added belly fat, a new study finds…

"We think this may be one reason dieters tend to have a hard time keeping weight off in the long-term," [lead researcher A. Janet Tomiyama] said.

People who count calories feel stressed, she said, but it's the reduction in calories that increases cortisol, which, in turn, stresses the body and leads to weight retention…

At any given time, 47 percent of U.S. adults are dieting, but up to 64 percent gain back more weight than they lost, according to background information in the report.

Read more.

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

Sleep Better Tonight!

(SouthBeachDiet.com) If you’re like most Americans, you’re not catching enough z’s, which can take a toll on your health. What’s more, recent studies also show being sleep deprived can affect your ability to lose weight and keep it off… Getting the recommended seven to nine hours of sleep each night will not only help you stick to your healthy eating plan, but you’ll also combat stress-related weight gain. If counting sheep isn’t working for you, try these five tips to help you sleep better soon:

  • Create a regular sleep routine…
  • Reserve your bed for sleeping and sex only…
  • Don’t go to bed hungry…
  • Avoid caffeinated beverages or other foods containing caffeine after about noon, and limit alcohol in the evening…
  • Refrain from exercise three hours before bedtime.

Read more.

Community: Don’t go to bed hungry, but I toss and turn when I go to bed too soon after eating food that’s hard to digest.

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

Wait to Exhale . . . You'll Feel Better

(RealAge.com) Your very next breath might bring relief from what ails you.

Just take that breath more slowly. Seems the deep, slow breathing used in Zen meditation and other mindfulness pursuits may help diminish aches and pains -- and lift your spirits to boot!...

Researchers think the slow breathing somehow triggers the parasympathetic nervous system to induce calm and counter the painful feelings produced by the sympathetic nervous system.

Read more.

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

U.S. sugar group says sugar not to blame for obesity

(Reuters) Sugar is being unfairly blamed for obesity problems in the United States at a time when per capita consumption of sweeteners has declined over the past decade, the head of an industry group complained on Wednesday…

Andrew Briscoe, the president and chief executive of the Sugar Association Inc., told Reuters linking sugar to obesity is misleading because most of the sweeteners used in the beverage industry are from high fructose corn syrup (HFCS).

"There has to be a scapegoat," said Briscoe, adding elimination of physical education programs in schools shares part of the blame by keeping children inactive.

Briscoe said that according to data from the U.S. Agriculture Department and the Centers for Disease Control, U.S. per capital sugar consumption has fallen 40 percent since 1970.

"Sugar is not part of the problem," he said.

Read more.

Community: Perhaps not surprisingly, Briscoe neglected to mention what percentage of sugar shipments go to the processed food industry. If an item is advertised as low in fat or low in salt, chances are it contains extra sugar. It’s the shift in the last 50 years from eating home cooked meals made from scratch to eating highly processed foods, in addition to sweetened drinks, that’s fueling the obesity epidemic. And then there’s the fact that we move around less than we did back then.

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

The Surprising Dish That Delivers Calcium

(RealAge.com) If your taste buds, your intolerance of lactose, or your politics keep you away from the dairy case, you can still get calcium from food…

For an easy way to remember what foods contain calcium, think Chinese food. Stir-fry dishes often include broccoli (62 milligrams of the bone-building mineral per cup), bok choy (158 milligrams in a cup), and edamame (soybeans, delivering 97 milligrams in a cup)…

Even better, these and other Chinese stir-fry favorites have a chemical makeup that allows your body to absorb calcium. Plenty of other leafy green vegetables, such as spinach and swiss chard, contain calcium. But they also contain oxalate, an acid that limits the amount of calcium your body can absorb.

Considering you need a daily dose of 1,500 milligrams of calcium (and 1,000 international units of vitamin D with that if you're under age 65; 1,200 if you're over that) plus 500 milligrams of magnesium (to keep you from hating us for recommending the calcium) a day, you'll probably still want a supplement. But it's smart for many reasons to get as much as you can from nutritious veggies. Find out which mineral pair helps cut fatty-food cravings.

Read more.

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

Steady Your Blood Sugar with This Kind of Fiber

(RealAge.com) [A] diet high in lentils, nuts, peas, and other legumes seemed to be more helpful than a diet high in wheat fiber when it came to tamping down blood sugar…

And, lucky for lovers of legumes, beans tend to have a low glycemic index -- meaning they are digested slowly by the body and have a stabilizing effect on blood sugar. So much so that when people with type 2 diabetes were told to emphasize legumes in their diet as part of a study, their average blood sugar over time was lower than that of the group who'd been directed to eat more whole grains…

The difference was modest for the two study groups but was still significant enough to translate into better protection from heart disease. Researchers suspect that the difference was because the legume-laden diet had a lower glycemic index -- and slightly more fiber -- than the diet that emphasized grains. The legume eaters were also encouraged to eat high-fiber fruits and veggies. Bottom line: A low-glycemic-index diet seemed to be best for blood sugar.

Read more.

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

MyRecipes.com

Roasted Chicken and Bow Tie Pasta Salad
Use rotisserie chicken from the deli to cut preparation time on this recipe. Make this the night before for a portable lunch.

Superfood: Bell Peppers

Sizzlin' Hot Chicken Sandwiches

15-Minute Scallop Dishes

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

Insight on Herbals Eludes Doctors, Patients Alike

(HealthDay News) Medical personnel tend to think that people in general -- themselves included -- are poorly informed about herbal medicines and that their patients' faith in the power of such remedies is misplaced, according to a new survey…

More than 85 percent of the survey participants indicated that they believe the public is poorly informed about herbal medicines. None considered the public to be well informed. However, 75 percent said that doctors also are poorly informed on the subject, with 22 percent indicating that doctors are "moderately well informed."

Read more.

Community: My doctor has a complete list of everything I’m taking.

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

Even Mild Sleep Apnea Raises Stroke Risk in Men

(HealthDay News) The nighttime breathing disorder known as obstructive sleep apnea more than doubles the risk for stroke in men who are middle age and beyond, new research has found…

Men with moderate to severe sleep apnea were nearly three times more likely to suffer a stroke than were those without sleep apnea or with mild sleep apnea.

In women, only severe levels of apnea were associated with increased risk for stroke.

The difference found between men and women may be because men are more likely to develop sleep apnea at a younger age, which means they tend to have untreated apnea for a longer time, the researchers explained.

"It's possible that the stroke risk is related to cumulative effects of sleep apnea adversely influencing health over many years," the study's lead author, Dr. Susan Redline, [said].

Read more.

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

People at Lower Socioeconomic Levels Have Higher Death Rates Within 5-10 Years After Heart Surgery

(Science Daily) People at lower socioeconomic levels die more often within five to 10 years after heart surgery than those at higher socioeconomic levels, regardless of race and gender, according to research…

[A]fter adjusting for existing risk factors such as high blood pressure and diabetes, patients in the lowest socioeconomic position had a 19 percent to 26 percent higher chance of dying within five years of surgery compared to their counterparts in the highest socioeconomic position.

Read more.

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

Tissue-Engineered Grafts Composed of Adult Stem Cells Could One Day Replace Synthetic Vascular Bypass Grafts

(Science Daily) Using adult stem cells, researchers have created functional blood vessels that could one day replace synthetic grafts often required in various vascular bypass surgeries, according to research…

"It was our idea to create a more biological conduit that would avoid the problems of synthetic grafts and give patients a better alternative," said [Stephen E. McIlhenny, Ph.D., lead author of the study.]. "The significant finding is that we can build a blood vessel from donor tissue and an animal's own adult stem cells. Potentially, patients requiring bypass surgery could receive optimized grafts that would reduce their future complications."

Read more.

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

Stem cell treatment shows early promise: Celgene

(Reuters) Celgene Corp said on Thursday its experimental stem cell treatment showed promise in a tiny, Phase I study of patients with Crohn's disease who failed to respond to prior therapy, according to initial results.

Read more.

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

FDA to Re-examine Anti-Bacterial Chemical in Soaps, Cleansers

(HealthDay News) The U.S. Food and Drug Administration Thursday acknowledged that there could be safety concerns regarding triclosan, an ingredient found widely in consumer products, such as antibacterial soaps, toothpaste and cosmetics, clothing and toys.

In an update to its Web site, the agency stated that "triclosan is not currently known to be hazardous to humans. But several scientific studies have come out since the last time FDA reviewed this ingredient that merit further review."

The FDA did not recommend that consumers change their behavior with respect to these products.

Read more.

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

States not using new tobacco tax for prevention

(Reuters) Fourteen states and the District of Columbia raised cigarette taxes in 2009, but none of the new money went to programs to cut smoking and prevent tobacco-related disease, U.S. health officials said on Thursday.

Read more.

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

Walking Associated With Lower Stroke Risk in Women

(Science Daily) Women who walked two or more hours a week or who usually walked at a brisk pace (3 miles per hour or faster) had a significantly lower risk of stroke than women who didn't walk, according to a large, long-term study…

The risks were lower for total stroke, clot-related (ischemic) stroke and bleeding (hemorrhagic) stroke, researchers said…

"Physical activity, including regular walking, is an important modifiable behavior for stroke prevention," said Jacob R. Sattelmair, M.Sc., lead author.

Read more.

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

Doctor Warns Against St. John's Wort for Anxiety

(Science Daily) In a broad-based review of studies focused on drugs that treat anxiety, a Saint Louis University doctor found no evidence supporting the use of so-called "natural" treatments in combating the effects of anxiety.

St. John's wort, kava extract and valerian, herbal remedies touted on the Internet, have not been proven to be effective in treating anxiety wrote Kimberly Zoberi, M.D.

Read more.

Community: Exercise, however, is a “natural remedy” that has been shown to reduce anxiety.

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

"Fat dissolving" spa treatment no such thing: FDA

(Reuters) So-called fat dissolving treatments offered by spas do not eliminate fat and the companies should stop saying so, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said on Wednesday.

The procedures, called by names such as lipodissolve, mesotherapy, lipozap, lipotherapy, or injection lipolysis all involve unproven injections of drugs, the FDA said in a statement.

"We are concerned that these companies are misleading consumers," Dr. Janet Woodcock, director of the FDA's Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, said in a statement.

Read more.

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

Scientists Believe Birds Can Teach Us About Healthy Eating

(Science Daily) Want to know what kinds of foods prevent disease? Then watch what migratory birds eat during their stopovers on Block Island.

Two University of Rhode Island scientists believe that birds choose certain berries because they offer protection against oxidative stress that occurs during long flights. Oxidative stress can lead to inflammation and a variety of diseases in birds and humans.

The team's preliminary findings show that birds stopping over on Block Island favor the arrow-wood berry, which contains more anti-oxidants and pigments than the 11 other island berries studied by the researchers.

Read more.

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

Omega-3: Healthy No Matter What?

(Science Daily) The health benefits of omega-3 fatty acids are widely accepted. But how can these nutrients be absorbed most effectively into the body? And do they have any potentially negative effects? Norwegian researchers are seeking answers to these questions.

Norway is a major player in the production of fish oils and omega-3. Over 40 per cent of the world's omega-3 oils in food and food supplements originate in Norway. Researchers have clearly documented the beneficial health effects of the marine omega-3 fatty acids, EPA and DHA, but beyond this, little is known…

[Livar] Frøyland and his colleagues are trying to find out if it is healthier to eat fish rather than ingest special products to which omega-3 has been added, or if it is best to down the quintessential spoonful of Norwegian cod's liver oil as opposed to taking other kinds of omega-3 supplements.

In addition, the project will examine the potential negative health effects of rancid fish oil. While it would seem obvious that fresh fish oil is healthier than old, rancid oil, the actual effects have never been adequately documented.

"Rancid fish oil smells bad and tastes so awful that no-one would want to swallow it. But if the fish oil is in capsules, it is impossible to smell if it is rancid or not. That is why it is important for us to examine whether rancid fish oil is less beneficial to health, or, at worst, harmful to anyone who takes it," asserts Frøyland.

Read more.

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

Recipes

Cooking Light:

5-Ingredient Salads
Using ingredients you likely have on hand already, these satisfying entrée salads are easy, quick, and delicious.

Salmon, Asparagus, and Orzo Salad (pictured)
Steak Salad with Creamy Horseradish Dressing
Chicken, Bean, and Blue Cheese Pasta Salad

MyRecipes.com:

Prosciutto, Lettuce, and Tomato Sandwiches
Update the traditional BLT sandwich with this scrumptious stacker. A toss-together fruit salad makes a speedy side.

Get-Fit Smoothies and Shakes

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

Supplement Your Stem Cells

(Science Daily) A nutritional supplement could stimulate the production of stem cells integral for repairing the body. Research … suggests that a commercially-available supplement can increase the blood circulation of hematopoietic stem cells, which can give rise to all blood cells, and endothelial progenitor cells, which repair damage to blood vessels.

Thomas E. Ichim from Medistem Incorporated, USA worked with a team of 13 researchers from industry and academia to further investigate whether this supplement, containing a cocktail of green tea, astralagus, goji berry extracts, 'good' bacteria Lactobacillus fermentum, antioxidant ellagic acid, immune enhancer beta 1,3 glucan and vitamin D3, was able to increase the number of stem cells circulating in the blood.

Hematopoietic stem cells and endothelial progenitor cells increased after taking the nutritional supplement, suggesting that the supplement may be a useful stimulator for both types of stem cells. In this study, the levels of these stem cells peaked at 2-7 days and started to drop at 14 days, suggesting that this supplement could be used for continuous treatment for conditions associated with decreases in these stem cells such as Alzheimer's Disease. Other therapeutic treatments used to recruit hematopoietic stem cells are not viable as long-term solutions due to costs and increased health risks caused by the extremely high levels of stem cells that these treatments maintain in the blood.

"To our knowledge, this is the first study demonstrating profound mobilization effect with possible clinical significance by a food supplement-based approach," say the authors.

Read more.

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

Casual Sex Increasing in U.S.

(HealthDay News) People in nonromantic sexual relationships today are likely to have multiple partners, researchers have found, and that behavior could promote the spread of sexually transmitted diseases, they note…

"People can make their own choices, but we hope this information will be useful as they weigh the risks and rewards of nonromantic sexual relationships," [study author Anthony] Paik said. "We encourage people to be aware of the potential for sexual concurrency and take appropriate precautions to avoid sexually transmitted infections."

Read more.

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

New Drug Shows Promise for Curing Hepatitis C

(HealthDay News) Adding the antiviral drug telaprevir to a second-round treatment for hepatitis cures about half the people who were not helped in the first round, new research shows.

"This is the first large study in patients who had not responded to standard treatment," said Dr. John G. McHutchison…

"There has been no alternative for people who have been treated and have not responded," he added. "So it holds great promise for them, that potentially something will be available in the future that can cure half of them."

Read more.

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

Carbon Dioxide May Explain 'Near Death Experiences'

(Science Daily) Near death experiences (NDEs), reported to include sensations such as life flashing before the eyes, feelings of peace and joy, and apparent encounters with mystical entities, may be caused by raised levels of carbon dioxide in the blood…

Zalika Klemenc-Ketis worked with a team of researchers… to examine patients who reported NDEs. She said, "…We found that in those patients who experienced the phenomenon, blood carbon dioxide levels were significantly higher than in those who did not."…

[NDE] occurrence did not correlate with patients' sex, age, level of education, religious belief, fear of death, time to recovery or drugs given during resuscitation.

Read more.

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

Inkjet-like device 'prints' cells right over burns

(Reuters) Inspired by a standard office inkjet printer, U.S. researchers have rigged up a device that can spray skin cells directly onto burn victims, quickly protecting and healing their wounds as an alternative to skin grafts…

"We literally print the cells directly onto the wound," said student Kyle Binder, who helped design the device. "We can put specific cells where they need to go."

Tests on mice showed the spray system, called bioprinting, could heal wounds quickly and safely, the researchers reported.

Read more.

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

Wireless technology helps manage diabetes

(UPI) Australian and Canadian researchers suggest wireless technology could aid the chronically ill.

Effectively managing long-term illnesses such as diabetes, high blood pressure and asthma using online and cellphone technology would not only empower patients but reduce costs, said researchers…

The researchers propose making use of social networks such as Facebook and Linkedin to provide patients with a network of family, friends and business associates -- similar to the Sermo network that now serves U.S. physicians.

Read more.

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

Lab-on-a-Chip Can Carry out Complex Analyses on the Spot

(Science Daily) Many illnesses can be reliably diagnosed through laboratory tests, but these in vitro analyses often use up valuable time. A system developed by Fraunhofer research scientists, which can carry out complex analyses on the spot, will soon be ready for the market…

The core element of the mini-laboratory is a disposable cartridge made of plastic which can be fitted with various types of sensor. For an analysis the doctor fills the cartridge with reagents – binding agents which indicate the presence of certain substances such as antigens in the specimen material. Various tests or assays are available for different types of analysis. To perform an assay, the doctor only has to place the relevant substances in the cartridge and the test then takes place automatically.

Read more.

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

Sitting Docs Have Happier Patients

(HealthDay News) When it comes to doctor-patient relationships, new research suggests that patients would be happier if their doctors would just sit down and stay awhile.

And for doctors, taking a seat doesn't necessarily have to add time to their day. The researchers found that when doctors sat down during a hospital visit, patients thought the doctors had stayed longer than they actually had.

Read more.

Community: Maybe a sitting doctor pays better attention to the patient. As with parenting, it may be that the depth of attention paid is more important than the amount of time spent.

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

Doctors with ownership in surgery center operate more often, study finds

When doctors become invested in an outpatient surgery center, they perform on average twice as many surgeries as doctors with no such financial stake, according to a new study from the University of Michigan Health System.

"Our data suggest that physician behavior changes after investment in an outpatient facility. Through what some have labeled the 'triple dip,' physician owners of surgery centers not only collect a professional fee for the services provided, but also share in their facility's profits and the increased value of their investment. This creates a potential conflict of interest," says study author John Hollingsworth, M.D., M.S…

"To the extent that owners are motivated by profit, one potential explanation for our findings is that these physicians may be lowering their thresholds for treating patients with these common outpatient procedures," Hollingsworth adds.

Read more.

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

Growing older = Becoming more original

(UPI) [A Swedish researcher] says older people are usually thought of as a rather homogenous group -- ill, lonely and unable to take care of themselves. However, differences among people actually grow with age and stereotypes of the aged are not based on reality…

[The] study found social mechanisms strengthened one's identity, helping maintain self-esteem through successful responses to challenges and promoting conversational support that may help promote longer life.

"Taken together, these mechanisms also contribute to increased everyday activity, which has some beneficial physical effects," [researcher Bo] Eriksson said.

Read more.

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

A healthy sex life — at any age!

(Harvard HEALTHbeat) No men or women over the age of 50 would argue that their sex life is just the same as it was when they were 20. Maybe it’s better. Maybe it’s worse. But either way, it’s bound to be different.

Just as the body changes with age, so does sexuality. This physical transformation usually includes declining hormone levels for both men and women, as well as changes in neurology and circulation. These shifts often lead to a variety of sexual problems such as erectile dysfunction or vaginal dryness. A wide array of medical treatments are now available to address these and other conditions.

Outward appearances also change with age, sometimes bringing a decline in self-confidence in the sexual arena. Nearly everyone experiences some of these changes. But they don’t spell the end of a sex life for most older people…

Greater experience, fewer inhibitions, and a deeper understanding of your needs and those of your partner can more than compensate for the consequences of aging. The physical changes of aging can provide an impetus for developing a new and satisfying style of lovemaking.

Read more.

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

Soccer Improves Health, Fitness and Social Abilities

(Science Daily) Soccer is a pleasurable team sport that provides an all-round fitness and can be used as treatment for lifestyle-related diseases. Men worry less when playing soccer than when running. Women's soccer creates we-stories and helps women stay active.

Read more.

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

The Skinny on Brown Fat

(Science Daily) Last year, researchers made a game-changing realization: brown fat, the energy-burning stuff that keeps babies warm, isn't just for the youngest among us. Adults have it, too (if they are lucky, anyway), and it is beginning to look like the heat-generating tissue might hold considerable metabolic importance for familiar and irritating trends, like our tendency to put on extra weight as we age. If we can find a way to hold onto, make more, or activate brown fat, it might be one way to help keep us slim, according to scientists who have written a series of minireviews…

The reviews suggest brown fat might be an answer to obesity, whether as a solution for those who are already overweight or as a strategy to prevent those who aren't from getting too heavy in the first place.

Read more.

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

The Truth About Bottled Water

(SouthBeachDiet.com) Head to any grocery store and you’re guaranteed to find an aisle full of bottled water. Some people claim it tastes better than tap water, while others buy it for the convenience of staying hydrated on the go. Whatever the reason, the truth is bottled water may come from several sources…

  • Purified water is essentially tap water that has been purified through a distillation, deionization, or reverse-osmosis process. Purified water may also be referred to as demineralized water.
  • Spring water is water that flows naturally from the earth and is collected directly from its natural source.
  • Mineral water is spring water that contains dissolved minerals and other trace elements (at least 250 parts per million) that come directly from the source…

Water is essential no matter how you drink it. Most people can safely (and inexpensively!) drink water straight from the tap. If you want to improve the taste of tap water, you can purchase a water-filtration pitcher, which reduces the amount of fluoride and chlorine in the tap water. And if you’re looking for a convenient way to stay hydrated and protect the earth, give up the disposable plastic containers entirely and treat yourself to a reusable water bottle made of polycarbonate or aluminum, which are both environmentally friendly.

Read more.

Community: We use the filtering pitcher. The water really does taste better.

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

Celebrity chefs lead the charge for healthier food

(USA Today) Chefs have always wanted us to eat something good. Now, it seems they're just as interested in seeing that we eat well…

"It became clear to a bunch of us that not only is it a good idea now, but people are ready to be receptive," says [Rocco] DiSpirito, author of the recent New York Times' bestselling healthy cookbook, Now Eat This!...

[Jamie] Oliver, for example, is headlining Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution, an ABC reality show documenting his efforts to change eating habits in a community the network calls the nation's unhealthiest.

Chefs are realizing they have a responsibility to use their influence to foster change, Oliver says. And celebrities often can do that with more panache than traditional nutrition advocates have.

"You don't want to food nazi the fun out of everything," he says. "You can still cook great things that are calorific, but you just need to intro it with kind of — Look, this is a special occasion, or this is for the holidays, or whatever."…

"One doesn't want to suck the life or fun out of food because that would be wrong. But, you know, I think the general world of food — chefs, celebrity chefs, fast-food industry, supermarkets, the 'government food gang' — they all need to do a bit. Hopefully, a bit more than a bit. And if they do, the world will change."

Read more.

Community: We tried Oliver’s recipe for roast chicken last Sunday, for Easter, and it was delicious.

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

MyRecipes.com

Grilled Cumin Chicken with Fresh Tomatillo Sauce
Bring the heat of the southwest to the dinner table with a delicious take on the weeknight meal of grilled chicken. Serve with chipotle rice.

7 Ways With Leftover Ham

25 Chicken Dinners for the Busy Cook

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