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

Cat Allergy Doesn't Have to Mean Giving Up Kitty

(HealthDay News) For many allergic cat lovers…, living without a feline companion isn't an option. According to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (AAAAI), nearly 10 million people choose to live with pets even though they're allergic to them.

"We feel most strongly about not living with a cat if you have asthma that's hard to control because that can lead to life-threatening situations," said [Dr. Robert] Wood.

For individuals who are not highly sensitive, living with a feline requires taking some simple steps to reduce allergens in the home and on the cat.

Veterinarian Vicki Thayer … recommends owners regularly bathe their pets with a mild shampoo or wipe them down with a damp wash cloth.

Weekly brushings done outside by a non-allergic person are a good idea, too. A spray-on formula available through veterinarians and pet retailers may also help to reduce the amount of dander found on coats.

Another option, with reportedly mixed results, Thayer said, is adding tiny amounts of acepromazine, a prescribed tranquilizer, to a pet's food or water. The diluted mixture is thought by some veterinarians to reduce or remove the protein that causes cat allergies.

Owners, depending on their symptoms, may also get relief from prescription nasal sprays, eye drops or pills. Wood said shots given for cat allergies provide a little bit more comfort but several studies have shown they're not hugely effective.

Inside the home, keep cats out of the bedroom and put allergy-proof covers on the mattress and pillows. Wash bedding materials in hot water, wash your hands after contact, and limit the amount of wall-to-wall carpeting, especially in the bedroom…

Frequent steam cleaning helps remove allergens hiding in carpets.

Allergy experts also recommend running a good quality HEPA (high efficiency particulate air) air cleaner; changing forced air heating filters monthly and using a vacuum with a HEPA filter.

"With those things, most people are able to co-exist with a cat," he said.

Read more.

Community: So why go to the trouble? Because pet owners live longer, and if your work hours are too irregular for you to be able to keep a dog, cats are an option for you. We have both.

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Med students get hands dirty growing food

(UPI) University at Buffalo medical school students are planting a vegetable garden to improve their own diets and learn more about nutrition for their patients…

The medical school students said they were determined to motivate their colleagues to change their fast-food eating habits after confronting what an unhealthy lifestyle can do to patients.

"During our hospital rounds we saw so much chronic disease -- diabetes, heart disease, obesity -- all lifestyle diseases that are preventable with a healthy, nutritious diet," [Jennifer] Chang said in a statement.

"Then we looked around at the medical school students, and realized that many of us opt for cheap processed foods that are full of fats and sugars, contrary to what we are taught to tell patients about the importance of daily fruit and vegetable intake."

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Value of B vitamins in cutting heart disease risk challenged

(Reuters Health) Two studies released this week reach contradictory conclusions on the value of B vitamins and folic acid (or folate in its naturally occurring form) in reducing the risks of heart disease. What are doctors and their patients to make of this?

"Not much," says Dr. Steven Woloshin of Dartmouth University's Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice…

Woloshin believes significant research now has settled the question of whether folic acid and B vitamin supplementation help reduce the risks of heart disease. "It doesn't," he said.

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Omega 3s may help cut colon cancer risk

(Reuters Health) People who eat plenty of fish oil and other omega-3 fatty acids could cut their risk of colon cancer, new research hints.,,

Among whites, the researchers found, those in the top fourth based on their omega-3 consumption had half the risk of colon cancer compared to those in the bottom fourth…

[A]nalysis of the black study participants didn't find this relationship…

In addition to fish oils, omega-3 fatty acid sources include seed oils, such as walnut oil and flax-seed oils, and leafy green vegetables.

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Tuscan Pork Kebabs
Coming in at under 200 calories per serving, this colorful grilled summer dish is perfect for a light picnic on the patio. Sautéed chard makes a simple side.

Roast Chicken with Balsamic Bell Peppers

Oven-Fried Chicken Parmesan

Asian Pasta Salad

7 Ways With Tilapia

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Salad Dressing Guidelines

(SouthBeachDiet.com) Some say the secret to a delicious salad is in the dressing. But with the numerous varieties of commercial dressings on the market, how can you be sure you're getting a salad dressing that's both tasty and healthful?

Know What to Watch Out For
When shopping for dressings, look for those with the fewest ingredients and very little sugar… Also, look for dressings made with heart-healthy monosaturated fats like extra-virgin olive oil and canola oil and avoid dressings made with trans fats. Just remember to be careful of low-fat or nonfat dressings, as these often contain added sugar to improve the flavor.

Prepare Dressings at Home
The healthiest salad dressings are homemade, using simple ingredients such as monounsaturated extra-virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegar, Dijon mustard, fresh lemon or lime juice, garlic, and fresh herbs. By making your own salad dressing, you have control over what you eat…

Learn How to Serve Salad Dressings
We recommend using no more than two tablespoons of dressing per serving, but go especially easy on the creamier options.

Read more.

Community: Mr. Many Years Young makes our salad dressings. Most of the time we eat a simple dressing of oil, vinegar, and spices. When bleu cheese is on sale, we get some, and he makes a really wonderful bleu cheese dressing.

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Injection Helps Treat Hard-to-Control Type 2 Diabetes

(HealthDay News) Patients with type 2 diabetes who can't control their blood glucose levels with the drug metformin alone do better after adding injections of the drug liraglutide compared to oral doses of another drug called sitagliptin, researchers report…

The researchers found that the patients did better on liraglutide, although between 21 percent and 27 percent of patients reported nausea, compared to 5 percent of those on sitagliptin, according to the report.

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Framingham test may miss many at risk

(UPI) U.S. researchers suggest the Framingham risk assessment tool may miss coronary disease -- especially in women…

Researchers at Yale University School of Medicine in New Haven, Conn., cautioned a low Framingham score should not exclude a patient from being tested further for the buildup of plaque inside the arteries.

The study … found detection of atherosclerosis using computed tomography was 98 percent sensitive in men and 97 percent sensitive in women.

"In comparison, the Framingham risk score was only 74 percent sensitive in men and 36 percent sensitive in women for the detection of atherosclerosis -- a substantial difference," study lead author Dr. Kevin Johnson said in a statement.

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Potential New Test for Early Diagnosis of Osteoarthritis Identified

(Science Daily) Researchers at King's College London's Department of Twin Research and Genetic Epidemiology, based at St Thomas' Hospital have discovered new ways of measuring biological markers in the blood which could be used to diagnose osteoarthritis earlier…

The new biochemical test called metabolomics allows the scientists to test for 163 chemical signals at the same time from a single blood sample.

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Cancer Drug Seems to Work by Activating Virus

(HealthDay News) The cancer drug cyclophosphamide activates a viral infection that helps anti-viral medications eliminate a virus-linked cancer, says a new study.

The drug is used to treat Burkitt lymphoma, an aggressive, fast-growing type of non-Hodgkin lymphoma that often occurs in children. In Africa, the cancer is caused by the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), which typically remains dormant inside tumor cells…

EBV infects more than 90 percent of people worldwide and is associated with a number of diseases including lymphomas, gastric cancer, and nose and throat cancer.

Read more.

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Cloud Technology to Combat Cancer

(Science Daily) Cloud services provided over grid technology are helping to treat cancer patients, thanks to an enormous effort by European researchers working closely with industry…

Radiotherapy has proven a particularly effective treatment [for cancer]… But treatment is complex. The direction, size and duration of dosages are all tailored to each case, and must be recalculated every time via simulation.

It is a phenomenally complicated computation, requiring lengthy processing time…

A cloud computing solution for radiotherapy developed by the BEinGRID project (http://www.beingrid.eu/) uses a computer grid. This type of infrastructure can share out resources like processors, storage, networking and software, wherever they are and on whatever platform.

Grids can deliver on-demand hardware and software, and because they are combined into a super system, they offer much more power at lower cost…

The upshot is that doctors can call on enormous computing resources without paying the full costs. It offers better performance, delivering faster results, and only when the service is required. Hospitals do not have to pay when the machines are idle.

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Death Rates Not Best Judge of Hospital Quality, Researchers Say

(Science Daily) Inpatient mortality rates, used by organizations to issue "report cards" on the quality of individual U.S. hospitals, are a poor gauge of how well hospitals actually perform and should be abandoned in favor of measures that more accurately assess patient harms and the care being provided, argue patient safety experts in a new paper…

[Researchers write] that hospital mortality rates take into account all inpatient deaths, not just the ones that could have been prevented with quality care. Since many patients are often too sick to be saved by the time they are admitted to the hospital, the researchers argue, hospital mortality rates shouldn't be the factor that determines whether hospitals are "good" or "bad."

Only one of every 20 hospital deaths in the United States is believed to be preventable…

[Researcher Peter Pronovost, M.D., Ph.D.] isn't arguing against making hospitals responsible for the quality of care they provide, but just the opposite. He wants to use selected measures that are accurate, that are used to examine events that can be prevented and that have been scientifically studied.

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WellPoint routinely targets breast cancer patients

(Reuters) WellPoint … has specifically targeted women with breast cancer for aggressive investigation with the intent to cancel their policies, federal investigators told Reuters…

The disclosures come to light after a recent investigation by Reuters showed that another health insurance company, Assurant Health, similarly targeted HIV-positive policyholders for rescission. That company was ordered by courts to pay millions of dollars in settlements.

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Biggest study on cellphone health effects launched

(Reuters) The biggest study to date into the effects of mobile-phone usage on long-term health was launched on Thursday, aiming to track at least a quarter of a million of people in five European countries for up to 30 years…

Most other large-scale studies have centered around asking people already suffering from cancer or other diseases about their previous mobile-phone use. They have also been shorter, since cellphones have only been widely used for about a decade.

"One of the limitations of research to date is that when you ask people about their mobile phone use say five years ago there's a lot of error," said Jack Rowley, director of research and sustainability at industry body the GSM Association.

About 5 billion mobile phones are in use worldwide. To date, groups such as the World Health Organization, the American Cancer Society and the National Institutes of Health have found no evidence that cellphone use harms health.

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Green tea may help fight glaucoma

(UPI) Researchers in China say studies in rats indicate substances in green tea may protect against eye diseases such as glaucoma…

The researchers analyzed the eye tissue of laboratory rats that drank green tea and found several "catechins" in green tea that contain antioxidants -- including vitamin C, vitamin E, lutein and zeaxanthin -- were absorbed by the eye in significant amounts.

The researchers said green tea catechins reduced harmful oxidative stress in the eye for up to 20 hours.

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Cranberry juice may prevent urinary infection

(UPI) A U.S. research chemist suggests daily consumption of a large glass of cranberry juice can help prevent urinary tract infections…

[Ronald Prior of the U.S. Department of Agriculture] explains proanthocyanides in cranberry products are molecularly linked together in polymers in such a way that prevents infection-causing bacteria from adhering to cells of the urinary tract.

Other foods such as grapes also contain proanthocyanides, but they lack the linkages that elicit the anti-adhesion effect of cranberry products, Prior says.

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Eat This Grain for Better Blood Pressure

(RealAge.com) In a study of folks with high blood pressure, eating soluble-fiber-rich whole-grain oats every day caused a significant dip in BP readings…

In the study, a diet supplemented with oats was not only more effective than wheat fiber at slashing blood pressure readings but also helped control cholesterol and blood sugar…

To get the amount of oats that the study participants got, you need only about three-fourths of a cup of whole-grain oatmeal at breakfast and an oat-based snack later in the day.

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Fish oil supplements may not aid old brain

(UPI) British researchers said fish oil supplements may not boost cognitive function in older people.

Researchers at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine said they found no evidence taking fish oil supplements over a two-year period helped study participants maintain cognitive health…

However, study leader Alan Dangour suggested caution when interpreting the results.

"It may be that it was not long enough for any true beneficial effects to be detected among this healthy cohort of older people," Dangour said in a statement.

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A Very Nice Berry for Your Colon

(RealAge.com) Help keep your colon healthy and happy with a bowlful of these: blueberries.

Research shows that there's something in these blue beauties that seems to quell the kind of gastrointestinal (GI) tract inflammation that's associated with colon disease…

Interestingly, the blueberries' soothing effects seemed to be magnified by probiotics (think yogurt). So if you're a fruit-and-yogurt nut, you may be on to something. Rye bran with probiotics seemed to help calm gut inflammation as well. But here are a few tried-and-true strategies for protecting your colon:

Cut back. On red meat, that is. Find out why too much cow is risky for your colon.

Get moving. A sedentary lifestyle may increase colon cancer risk. Start a walking regimen right in the comfort of your own living room with this video.

Quit smoking. Kicking the habit protects both your colon and your lungs. Get help with the RealAge Stop Smoking Center.

Read more.

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Vietnamese Beef-Noodle Soup with Asian Greens
Introduce your taste buds to Vietnamese cuisine with this quick and easy soup. The rich broth, aromatic herbs, and tender steak will leave you wanting more.

Cooking Light:

Superfast Stir-Fries
Twenty stovetop suppers, ready in 20 minutes or less

Superfast Vegetarian
Twenty meatless dishes, ready in 20 minutes or less

Superfast Salads
Eat healthy in 20 minutes or less with these 20 superfast main-dish salad recipes

Superfast Shrimp
Easy, versatile, and quick to cook, shrimp is a high-protein, low-calorie alternative to other meats and fish. It stars here in twenty 20-minute recipes.

Superfast Beef
Twenty beef dishes, ready in 20 minutes or less

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New Migraine Drug Might Be Safer for Some

(HealthDay News) A drug under development could help patients with migraines, while an existing epilepsy drug might prevent the headaches from developing in the first place, new research suggests.

The report, published April 21 in The Lancet, examines the migraine drug telcagepant, which is not yet available, and topiramate (Topamax), an epilepsy drug sometimes used to treat migraines when they occur.

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Remedy Needed for Overdiagnosis of Cancers

(HealthDay News) A new review suggests that doctors need to address the problem of overdiagnosis in cancer care -- the detection and possible treatment of tumors that may never cause symptoms or lead to death.

The review authors found that about 25 percent of breast cancers found through mammograms and about 60 percent of prostate cancers detected through prostate-specific antigen (PSA) tests may be examples of overdiagnosis. And about half of lung cancers detected through some screening tests may also represent overdiagnosis, they added.

For several types of cancer -- thyroid, prostate, breast, kidney and melanoma -- the number of new cases has gone up over the past 30 years, but the death rate has not, the authors noted. Research suggests that more screening tests are responsible for the increased diagnosis rate, they explained.

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Substance in Breast Milk Kills Cancer Cells, Study Suggests

(Science Daily) A substance found in breast milk can kill cancer cells, reveal studies…

Although the special substance, known as HAMLET (Human Alpha-lactalbumin Made LEthal to Tumour cells), was discovered in breast milk several years ago, it is only now that it has been possible to test it on humans. Patients with cancer of the bladder who were treated with the substance excreted dead cancer cells in their urine after each treatment, which has given rise to hopes that it can be developed into medication for cancer care in the future.

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Potential for New Cancer Detection and Therapy Method Described

(Science Daily) University of Missouri School of Medicine scientists explain a potentially new early cancer detection and treatment method using nanoparticles created at MU in [a recent] article… The article illustrates how engineered gold nanoparticles tied to a cancer-specific receptor could be targeted to tumor cells to treat prostate, breast or lung cancers in humans.

"When injected into the body, the Gastrin Releasing Peptide (GRP) cancer receptor serves as a signaling device to the gold nanoparticle, which allows for targeted delivery to the tumor site," said [the researchers]. "Consequently, the radiotherapeutic properties of such nanoparticles also provides valuable imaging and therapeutic tools that can be used for early cancer detection and therapy in various human cancers."

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Gene Test Shows Who Could Benefit from Statins to Reduce Colon Cancer Risk

(Science Daily) A genetic test can help determine in which patients cholesterol-lowering statin drugs might have the most benefit in also reducing the risk of colorectal cancer, a new study … finds.

The researchers had previously shown that statins -- which 25 million people worldwide take each day to reduce their risk of cardiovascular disease -- can cut risk of colorectal cancer by 50 percent. But statins do not appear to work equally well for everyone in reducing either colorectal cancer or cardiovascular disease risk.

The new study … found a genetic variant affects how statins control both colorectal cancer and cardiovascular disease risk.

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Brains, Worms and Computer Chips Have Striking Similarities

(Science Daily) An international team of scientists has discovered striking similarities between the human brain, the nervous system of a worm, and a computer chip…

They found that all three shared two basic properties. First, the human brain, the nematode's nervous system, and the computer chip all have a Russian doll-like architecture, with the same patterns repeating over and over again at different scales.

Second, all three showed what is known as Rent's scaling, a rule used to describe the relationship between the number of elements in a given area and the number of links between them…

Edward Bullmore … explained: "These striking similarities can probably be explained because they represent the most efficient way of wiring a complex network in a confined physical space -- be that a three-dimensional human brain or a two-dimensional computer chip."

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Doctor groups set new ethics codes to curb pharmaceuticals' influence

(AP) No more letting industry help pay for developing medical guidelines. Restrictions on consulting deals. And no more pens with drug company names or other swag at conferences.

These are part of a new ethics code that dozens of leading medical groups announced Wednesday, aimed at limiting the influence that drug and device makers have over patient care.

It's the most sweeping move ever taken by the Council of Medical Specialty Societies to curb conflict of interest — a growing concern as private industry bankrolls a greater share of medical research.

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Smell Your Way to a Longer Life?

(Science Daily) Specific odors that represent food or indicate danger are capable of altering an animal's lifespan and physiological profile by activating a small number of highly specialized sensory neurons, researchers … have shown…

Sensory perception has been shown to impact aging in species that are separated by millions of years of evolution, suggesting that similar effects may be seen in humans. "For us, it may not be the smell of yeast, for example, or the sensing of CO2 that affects how long we live, but it may be the perception of food or danger," says [researcher Scott] Pletcher. If so, a clever program of controlled perceptual experience might form the basis of a simple yet powerful program of disease prevention and healthy aging.

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Levels of Self-Esteem May Fluctuate Over Time

(HealthDay News) Self-esteem increases as people grow older, but dips when people are in their 60s, although those who make more money and are healthier tend to retain better views of themselves, researchers have found…

"Midlife is a time of highly stable work, family and romantic relationships. People increasingly occupy positions of power and status, which might promote feelings of self-esteem," study co-author Richard Robins, of the University of California at Davis, said in the news release. "In contrast, older adults may be experiencing a change in roles such as an empty nest, retirement and obsolete work skills in addition to declining health."

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Bottled up anger can be deadly

(Reuters Health) People with heart disease might want to take a careful look at how they handle their feelings of anger. A new study found that heart disease patients who suppressed their anger had nearly triple the risk of having a heart attack or dying over the next 5 to 10 years…

But this doesn't mean that angry outbursts are a better way to handle these feelings, Dr. Johan Denollet of Tilburg University in The Netherlands told Reuters Health. People tend to either vent angry feelings or hold them inside, "but I think it's important for (people) to find a midway solution to resolve these angry feelings -- but in a more constructive way, a more adaptive way," Denollet said.

Anger can strangle blood flow in the heart and lead to abnormal heart rhythms, and has been linked to an increased risk of heart disease…

For some people, according to Denollet, finding a way to speak up for themselves and discuss what's angering them with other people in a "sociable, nice way" will be enough; for others, professional help such as assertiveness training and social skills training may be warranted.

Read more.

Community: It’s not just heart patients who have to worry, sustained anger can also GIVE you heart disease. What this means is that the merchants of anger on the radio and on cable television are killing their audience.

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Why we eat when we’re not hungry

(MSNBC.com) [S]cientists have been investigating common triggers that cause overeating and keep people from shedding the extra pounds that dog them — and their findings suggest how we can bring those urges to heel.

The ‘I’ll have what she’s having’ effect
Who doesn’t want to be just like her thinnest friend, with her XS shirts and size 26 jeans (a waist size last seen by most of us during sixth grade)? The problem is, though, that we tend to emulate her when she’s stuffing herself and trying to fill her hollow leg…

The couch (sour cream-topped, butter-slathered) potato effect
This might seem as fresh and new as watching the same “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” episode for the millionth time, but bear with the repeat: TV viewing can make you fat…

Successful dieters, meanwhile, tend to watch far less television than the average adult’s four hours a day…

The Snackwell effect
So-called diet foods can sabotage the best weight-loss intentions — presumably because people think they’re free passes to indulge…

The surprising salad effect
As for fattening salads — and not just those that go by the names of Cobb or Caesar — there might also be some warped dieter’s psychology involved: If you always get a salad, and don’t give yourself the option of anything else, the caloric count will creep up as you try to sneak in an appetizing break from monotony…

The fattening room effect
You are what you eat — and you eat what you are seeing, smelling, or contemplating. “The sight, smell, and talk of food trigger real metabolic signals of hunger,” Roberts notes, “even when your stomach is full.”…

Given the relentlessness of findings that suggest that just about everything can lead to weight gain, it makes sense that your instinct might be to go bury your head in the sand (or a box of pecan sandies). Indeed, turning away from seductive images of food can help reduce hunger, [says Susan Roberts, author of “The ‘I’ Diet”]. If you live with people who insist on having junk food in the house, [Jennifer Warren of the Physicians Healthy Weight Center] advises keeping it on a high shelf. Double-bag ice cream in the freezer so you can’t see it when you open the door, and if you do feel its pull, you can keep your mouth busy with a Listerine breath strip or a sugar-free cough lozenge.

Maybe the most helpful adjustment, however, would be to your thinking. As [Lauren Slayton, a nutritionist and founder of foodtrainers.net] says, “People don’t reach their weight-loss goals simply because they focus on what they eat. They also look at the external factors that make them overeat and use them to their favor.”

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Food vs. fuel: Scientists say growing grain for food is more energy efficient

(Physorg.com) "It's 36 percent more efficient to grow grain for food than for fuel," said Ilya Gelfand, an MSU [Michigan State University] postdoctoral researcher and lead author of the study. "The ideal is to grow corn for food, then leave half the leftover stalks and leaves on the field for soil conservation and produce cellulosic ethanol with the other half."

Other studies have looked at energy efficiencies for crops over shorter time periods, but this MSU study is the first to consider energy balances of an entire cropping system over many years…

"It comes down to what's the most efficient use of the land," said Phil Robertson, University Distinguished Professor of crop and soil sciences and one of the paper's authors. "Given finite land resources, will it be more efficient to use productive farmland for food or fuel? One compromise would be to use productive farmland for both -- to use the grain for food and the other parts of the plant for fuel where possible. Another would be to reserve productive farmland for food and to grow biofuel grasses -- cellulosic biomass -- on less productive land."

Read more.

Community: I saw recently that cat litter is now being made from corn, and it’s being advertised as environmentally friendly. The corn growers seem to be using their subsidies from us taxpayers to find more uses other than food for their product. I’m not sure that’s in our best interest.

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Ask Dr. Arthur Agatston: Cholesterol-Lowering Snacks

(Everyday Health) Q: I can't stop snacking between meals, but I want to try to eat things that will help me lower my cholesterol (instead of raising it!). What would you recommend?

A: The good news — or the bad news, depending on what you're snacking on — is that "bad" low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol is sensitive to diet, though less sensitive than triglycerides and good high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol. Fortunately, the same foods that can help lower LDL may also improve HDL and triglycerides. So instead of snacking on chips and doughnuts, consider these healthier options:

  • Nuts and seeds…
  • Apples…
  • Oat bran…
  • Grapefruit…

Learn more in the Everyday Health High Cholesterol Center.

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Cooking Light

Nutrition Essentials: Ecofriendly Eating (video)
5 easy steps toward a more sustainable kitchen.

Dinner Tonight: Quick Chicken Dinners
Versatile and quick-cooking, chicken is a staple of a healthy weeknight pantry. Each of these menus can be ready in 45 minutes or less.

Roast Chicken with Balsamic Peppers
Chicken Carne Asada Tacos
Oven-Fried Chicken Parmesan

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Easy ways to reduce salt in the kitchen

(UPI) The U.S. government has decided against regulating salt, but chefs and public health researchers offer ways to reduce sodium in the kitchen…

To lower salt consumption, the experts suggest to:

-- Fill half of your plate with fruits and vegetables because they are good sources of potassium -- the body needs more potassium than sodium. Produce is naturally low in sodium and will displace high-sodium foods.

-- Use the right fats, such as healthy oils, nuts and avocados, which can enhance flavor.

-- Buy better quality raw ingredients, such as those at local farmer's markets that have maximum flavor and need less salt.

-- Searing, sauteing and roasting boost flavors, allowing for less salt.

-- Use spices, dried and fresh herbs, garlic, ginger, citrus, vinegars and wine to boost flavors.

Other suggestions on "Cutting Salt and Sodium," are online at hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/salt/.

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Resveratrol May Shield Brain from Stroke Damage

(Science Daily) Researchers at Johns Hopkins say they have discovered the way in which [resveratrol] consumption may protect the brain from damage following a stroke.

Two hours after feeding mice a single modest dose of resveratrol, a compound found in the skins and seeds of red grapes, the scientists induced an ischemic stroke by essentially cutting off blood supply to the animals' brains. They found that the animals that had preventively ingested the resveratrol suffered significantly less brain damage than the ones that had not been given the compound.

Read more.

Community: I am getting more and more uncomfortable at the pain we’re inflicting on animals for science.

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New Form of Painkiller May Fight Colon Cancer

(HealthDay News) Adding to previous research suggesting that painkillers can reduce the risk for colon cancer, researchers report that an investigational form of the drug naproxen blocks a molecular process that leads to the disease…

Researchers found that the new type of naproxen, known as NO-naproxen, appeared to block a signaling pathway that plays a role in the formation of colorectal cancer.

Read more.

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Toward a Urine Test for Detecting Colon Cancer

(Science Daily) Scientists are reporting an advance toward development of a urine test for detecting colon cancer, the third most common cancer in the United States. Such a test could eventually compliment or even reduce the need for colonoscopy, the mainstay screening test used today.

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Heavy Alcohol Use Linked to Cancer

(HealthDay News) Researchers say they've gained new insight into a link at the cellular level between alcohol consumption, aging and cancer.

The key appears to lie in telomeres, structures at the end of chromosomes that shorten as people get older. Telomeres are also thought to shorten because of excessive drinking…

Researchers found that telomere lengths were much shorter in those who drank a lot of alcohol.

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Studies Confirm Link Between Breast Density and Cancer

(HealthDay News) Having dense breasts has long been known to increase a woman's risk for breast cancer, and new research confirms that a decline in breast density over time does, in fact, decrease that risk.

New research also has found that women taking hormone replacement therapy are more likely to experience an increase in breast density, a finding consistent with previous research that found women taking the hormones had a 24 percent increased risk for breast cancer.

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Few Over 50 Get Skin Cancer Screenings

(HealthDay News) Too few middle-aged and older white Americans are being screened for skin cancer, a particular problem among those who did not finish high school or receive other common cancer screenings, a new study has found…

"With those older than 50 being at a higher risk for developing melanoma, our study results clearly indicate that more intervention is needed in this population," study author Elliot J. Coups…

Skin cancer is the most common of all cancers, according to the American Cancer Society. Melanoma accounts for about 5 percent of all skin cancer cases, but causes the most skin cancer deaths.

Read more.

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Drug could limit spinal injuries, researchers say

(Reuters) Shutting off a single gene can help stop the cascade of damage that can paralyze people with spinal cord injuries, U.S. researchers reported on Wednesday.

They propose using a common, generic diabetes drug in combination with a gene-silencing technique to stop spine injuries from getting any worse, and believe the approach may also work in people with stroke and traumatic brain injuries…

When the spinal cord or brain is injured, the capillaries can burst, bringing in an overwhelming wave of chemicals called inflammatory factors that are meant to heal but that often worsen the damage. This is why stroke patients do not always show immediate symptoms but can worsen in the hours afterwards.

[Marc] Simard's team demonstrated that a gene called ABCC8 starts this process. It controls a molecule called the sulfonylurea receptor 1 or SUR1…

[The] team blocked this gene in mice and rats using gene-blocking therapy called antisense and showed that after a spinal cord injury, the damage and effects were much less without ABCC8.

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Martial Arts Training for Elderly Patients Gets the Green Light

(Science Daily) Martial arts could be the key to helping osteoporosis sufferers fall more safely. A study … has found that martial arts training can likely be carried out safely.

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Contact Lens Capable of Correcting Hyperopia Without Surgery

(Science Daily) Jaume Pauné … has designed an innovative new contact lens that will improve the vision quality of thousands of people without surgery…

Pauné's design is the first contact lens capable of correcting hyperopia without refractive surgery by means of corneal reshaping, also known as orthokeratology or ortho-K. This technique uses rigid gas-permeable contact lenses to reshape the cornea to correct vision defects such as myopia, stigmatism and mild to moderate hyperopia without surgery. Each patient is fitted with unique lenses that are custom-made for his or her eyes.

For the sake of comfort, the patient wears the contact lenses only at night. The lens works by applying pressure to the tear film that coats the outside of the cornea. This pressure changes the shape of the cornea by about 20 µm, or about half the width of a strand of human hair. In the morning, the patient removes the lenses and is able to see perfectly. The results are the same as with refractive surgery, but are temporary.

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