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

How to Serve a Healthy Mother's Day Brunch

(SouthBeachDiet.com) There’s no better way to celebrate Mother’s Day than with a healthy, delicious brunch. Invite your Mom (aunts and grandmothers too!) and make it clear she won’t be doing a bit of cooking — or cleaning! We’ve made it easy for you to prepare a nutritious … brunch your whole family will love. Simply follow the healthy guidelines below:

1. Prepare a healthy frittata or quiche instead of a creamy casseroles, which tends to be high in saturated fat…

2. Avoid honey when glazing ham and use sugar-free fruit preserves or jams, such as apricot, orange, or … pineapple…

3. Season meat using fresh or dried herbs, such as parsley, basil, thyme, mint, oregano, and rosemary, to boost flavor without adding fat. Basil is also great for flavoring baked chicken, soups, and salads.

4. Add vinegars to flavor marinades

5. Roast or grill vegetables using healthy oils, not butter

6. Forgo the white rolls and bake some healthy scones.

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The Pill Turns 50

(HealthDay News) On May 9, 1960, an advisory committee to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration recommended approval of the birth control pill. The agency did just that 45 days later.

"Since the Pill was approved by the FDA, it has radically changed women's access to education, to employment and to having the size of family that they want," said Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, which led the effort to get the Pill approved. "It completely changed women's ability to control their own destiny."…

Since 1960, the size of the American family has almost halved, women have entered the workforce in record numbers and more are getting advanced degrees. The U.S. Census Bureau reported last month that nearly six out of 10 adults holding advanced degrees between the ages of 25 and 29 are women.

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Gulf Oil Spill Could Threaten Human Health

(HealthDay News) The massive oil slick menacing the Gulf of Mexico and now some barrier islands off the coast of Louisiana could prove devastating to the environment while posing risks to public health, experts say.

Some people along the coast are already reporting headaches, nausea, coughing and throat irritation, according to the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), an environmental action group.

"There are significant health risks associated with this oil spill and the risks aren't just to wildlife, they are also to humans," said Dr. Gina Solomon, senior scientist with the NRDC. "The risks include acute health effects from the air pollution from the oil itself. It also includes health effects from burning the oil and it also includes contamination of the food chain which can result in a long-term health concerns."

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Exercise Can Forestall Osteoporosis

(Science Daily) The stage for osteoporosis is set well before menopause -- but exercise can help rewrite the script, according to Medical College of Georgia researchers…
"Our work provides more evidence that physical activity is important for maintaining bone density. It's a case of 'use it or lose it,'" [Dr. Joseph] Cannon said, citing his team's findings that exercise seemed to promote inhibitory factors that help keep interleukin-1 and bone breakdown under control.
Community: There are a number of ways to maintain bone density without medication.
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No Link Between Coffee, Sodas and Colon Cancer

(HealthDay News) Got a cola habit or a coffee addiction? Good news: A new review suggests even high amounts of coffee and sugary soft drinks might not boost your colon cancer risk.

Previous research has been inconsistent about whether coffee and tea boost the risk of cancer. Sugary sodas, meanwhile, are linked to obesity and other conditions that are thought to boost the risk of colon cancer in particular.

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Couple of coffees may help some heart patients

(Reuters) A couple of cups of coffee a day may help some heart attack patients to avoid further serious problems, provided they have normal blood pressure, researchers said on Friday…

"Coffee contains several biologically active compounds, which may have either beneficial or harmful effects on the cardiovascular system," said investigator Christina-Maria Kastorini.

On the plus side, it is a rich source of chlorogenic acid and antioxidants, which are thought to be protective, but in people with hypertension its bad effect on blood pressure appears to cancel this out.

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Popular Antidepressants May Have Beneficial Side Effects for Cardiovascular Health

(Science Daily) A class of antidepressants known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) may provide a boost to cardiovascular health by affecting the way platelets, small cells in the blood involved in clotting, clump together, say researchers at the Loyola University Medical Center in Maywood, Ill.

In a study of 50 adults, the researchers found that platelets were slower to clump together, or aggregate, in participants who were taking an SSRI to treat depression. As depression is associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, this finding could indicate a beneficial side effect for people who take SSRIs to treat depression, said Evangelos Litinas, MD.

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Magnetic Fields Drive Drug-Loaded Nanoparticles to Reduce Blood Vessel Blockages in an Animal Study

(Science Daily) Scientists and engineers have used uniform magnetic fields to drive iron-bearing nanoparticles to metal stents in injured blood vessels, where the particles deliver a drug payload that successfully prevents blockages in those vessels. In this animal study, the novel technique achieved better results at a lower dose than conventional non-magnetic stent therapy.

Conducted in cell cultures and rats, the research is the latest in a series of studies at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia demonstrating the feasibility of magnetically guided nanoparticles as a new delivery platform for a variety of possible therapeutic cargos: DNA, cells and drugs. The findings may set the stage for a new medical tool, called vascular magnetic intervention.

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Genes Tie Blood Fat to Heart Disease

(HealthDay News) Scientists have long debated the role triglyceride levels might play in heart disease, and finally they have genetic evidence linking high concentrations of the blood fat to an increased risk of heart trouble…

Triglycerides, a major source of human energy, are produced by the liver or derived from foods. "Despite several decades of research, it has remained uncertain whether raised levels of triglyceride can cause heart disease," said lead researcher Nadeem Sarwar…

"We found that people with a genetically programmed tendency for higher triglyceride levels also had a greater risk of heart disease," Sarwar said. "This suggests that triglyceride pathways may be involved in the development of heart disease."

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Transplanted Adult Stem Cells Provide Lasting Help to Injured Hearts

(Science Daily) Human adult stem cells injected around the damage caused by a heart attack survived in the heart and improved its pumping efficiency for a year in a mouse model, researchers at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center report.

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Endometrial Stem Cells Restore Brain Dopamine Levels

(Science Daily) Endometrial stem cells injected into the brains of mice with a laboratory-induced form of Parkinson's disease appeared to take over the functioning of brain cells eradicated by the disease.

The finding raises the possibility that women with Parkinson's disease could serve as their own stem cell donors. Similarly, because endometrial stem cells are readily available and easy to collect, banks of endometrial stem cells could be stored for men and women with Parkinson's disease.

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Scientists find clues in search for dementia drugs

(Reuters) Scientists have identified changes in mouse brains that impair learning, and say the findings mean drugs being developed for some cancers may also help fight age-related diseases like dementia and Alzheimer's…

Andre Fischer…, who worked on the mouse study, said he now thinks more targeted versions of such medicines can be developed to treat patients with dementia or Alzheimer's.

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FDA Investigating Arizona Farm as Source of Tainted Lettuce

(HealthDay News) A team from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is investigating a farm in Arizona as a potential source of E. coli-tainted lettuce that has so far sickened 19 people nationwide, the Associated Press reported Friday.

Possible E. coli contamination prompted the recall of Freshway Foods' romaine lettuce, which is sold in 23 states and the District of Columbia, the FDA announced Thursday.

The agency said the lettuce may be linked to cases of E. coli illness in Michigan, Ohio and New York that involved the hospitalization of 12 people, three with potentially life-threatening symptoms, the AP reported.

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Naturally Occurring Microbe Fights Potentially Deadly Clostridium Difficile Infection

(Science Daily) A University of Alberta researcher is part of an international team that has discovered a naturally occurring micro-organism that directly targets a bacteria that causes a sometimes deadly intestinal disease in young children and the elderly.

John Vederas, a U of A chemistry researcher working with colleagues in Ireland, found that a strain of the common soil bacteria, Bacillus thuringiensis, produces thuricin CD, a 1:1 mixture of two compounds (peptides) that kills the potentially deadly bacteria, Clostridium difficile. But unlike other antibacterial agents, thuricin CD does no harm to other bacteria in the human gut, which are necessary for a balanced state of health.

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Community: Mr. Many Years Young is convinced that his father died from being weakened by continued bouts with C. difficile, which he caught when a patient in a hospital.

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Changes to meet boomer doctor demand

(UPI) Urgent changes are needed for physicians to meet the healthcare demands of aging baby boomers, U.S. researchers said.

[They] said to ensure a better trained physician workforce to meet geriatric care demands, while the number of geriatric specialists shrinks, policymakers should:

-- Increase funding for geriatrics in medical schools.

-- Use Medicare's educational subsidy to strengthen geriatrics in residency and fellowship programs.

-- Require practicing physicians to complete geriatric continuing education credits in order to maintain their state licensures and Medicaid provider certifications.

The researchers also propose amending Title VII of the U.S. Public Health Service Act to provide financial support for medical schools and (doctor) residency programs.

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Community: It’s going to become more and more important that we take responsibility for our health into our own hands, and not depend solely on doctors.

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Eating more protein may lower risk of hip fracture

(UPI) U.S. researchers say seniors can prevent fractures by including more protein in their diets…

"Study participants who consumed higher amounts of protein in their diet were significantly less likely to suffer a hip fracture," senior study author Marian Hannan said in a statement…

Hannan suggests older women daily consume at least 46 grams of protein and older men at least 56 grams, or 2 ounces, of protein from both animal sources such as meat, poultry, fish, eggs and dairy products and plants such as legumes, grains, nuts, seeds and vegetables. The study did not examine the type of protein consumed.

To reduce the risk of falls, Hannan recommends other regular exercising to build muscle and help balance.

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Vitamin D Best Taken With Largest Meal of Day, Study Finds

(HealthDay News) Your body may make better use of a vitamin D supplement if you take it with your largest meal, new research suggests…

"This is an important finding for patients being treated for vitamin D deficiency," study senior author Dr. Angelo Licata said in a news release… "By doing something as simple as changing when you take your vitamin D supplement, you can improve the level in your blood by over 50 percent."

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Get Happy with This Feel-Good Snack

(RealAge.com) Which nosh makes you happier -- carrot sticks or potato chips? If you want to feel happy for more than a minute, go for the sticks.

Why? Because research shows that the potato chips could be bringing you down. It seems that certain foods may bump up the risk of clinical blues. And junk food and sweets are high on that list, according to a recent study.

In the study, researchers characterized the typical diets of middle-aged volunteers as either "whole food" -- meaning he or she tended to eat plenty of fruit, vegetables, and fish -- or as "processed food" -- meaning the study participant favored fried foods, sweets, refined grains, processed meat, and high-fat dairy. For the next 5 years, the researchers tracked the participants to see who became depressed and who didn't. The results? The junk-food junkies were 58 percent more likely to be down in the dumps.

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Community: I can tell you from personal experience that I feel much better since I stopped eating so much animal fat and sugar.

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Top Foods for Younger Looking Hair

(RealAge.com) You look 46, you feel 32, and your RealAge is right in between. But somehow, your hair hasn't gotten the memo: It's getting thinner where you want it (on your head) and is sprouting up where you don't. Good trimmers and tweezers are all you need for the stuff that starts growing like kudzu. And for your mane, try the following. They help your locks look more like they did in your 20s -- minus the mullet:

Salmon. Omega-3-rich foods like salmon and sardines help seal in your hair's shine. Distilled fish oils or DHA supplements will work, too. We recommend 2 grams of fish oil if you're taking a supplement that contains both EPA and DHA…

Bran. Bran is rich in vitamin B, which may slow hair loss and promote hair growth. Other B-rich victuals include beans, peas, carrots, cauliflower, soybeans, nuts, and eggs…

Avocados. The whole fruit as well as avocado oil may prevent some funky stuff that kills hair follicles -- dihydrotestosterone (DHT) -- from getting where it wants to go…

Cut out any four-legged animal fat. Fat from four-legged animals, plus palm and coconut oil, leads to more DHT production and hair follicle damage…

Green tea. Brew a strong pot, cool it, then give your head a rinse to help kill off dandruff-causing fungus. Incidentally, if you drink green tea, the caffeine in it may help slow balding, too…

Black sesame seeds. There's no real data on this, but the Chinese swear that a teaspoon of these a day keeps hair darker.

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Recipes

MyRecipes.com:

Fresh Salmon-Cilantro Burgers
Skip the beef and serve a Mexican-inspired salmon burger topped with a fresh lime-cilantro mayonnaise sauce. Cook the salmon patties in a skillet to enjoy this hearty burger year-round. A spinach salad with a sweet, slightly spicy Asian-influenced dressing makes a tasty accompaniment.

Health.com:

4 Ways to Make an Extra-Special Summer Salad

Take a Taste Trip to the Big Easy With Cajun Shrimp and Catfish

Orecchiette With Chickpeas and Broccoli Rabe

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U.S. schools add fresh food without busting budgets

(Reuters) Thousands of U.S. public school districts are teaming up with local farmers to put more fresh fruits and vegetables on lunchroom menus, without breaking budgets or getting any help from celebrity chefs…

Local farmer Bob Knight supplies 23 Southern California school districts with competitively priced produce, giving poor children access to products sold to upscale customers via farmers' markets and direct sales.

"We're taking that elite food and we're getting it to kids who would never, ever have access to it," Knight said.

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Engineers to Improve Test for Cardiovascular Disease

(Science Daily) Two University of Houston professors are working to help keep your heart beating stronger and longer simply by monitoring the temperature of your fingertip.

VENDYS, a device mechanical engineering professors Stanley Kleis and Ralph Metcalfe helped develop, is allowing doctors to monitor how changes in blood flow affect finger temperature to measure an individual's risk for cardiovascular disease (CVD)…

"Cardiovascular disease is the most lethal disease in the United States and other developed countries, but one important aspect of it is that if it's caught at an early stage, then it's treatable," Metcalfe said. "You can actually prevent its progression by modifying your lifestyle to include a more healthy diet and exercise. In some cases, you can actually reverse it."

VENDYS is designed to be complimentary to other cardiovascular tests, but researchers are hopeful it can be more widely used to regularly monitor cardiovascular fitness. More specifically, for those known to be affected by the disease who are trying to stop its further progression through things such as diet and exercise, it could be a risk-free indicator of how they are doing. Additionally, Endothelix is working on ways to make the device portable.

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Your Arteries May Be Suffering Insulin Resistance, Too

(Science Daily) In people with insulin resistance or full-blown diabetes, an inability to keep blood sugar levels under control isn't the only problem by far. A new report … shows that our arteries suffer the effects of insulin resistance, too, just for entirely different reasons.

"We think about insulin resistance in liver, muscle, and fat, but insulin also works on vascular cells," said Christian Rask-Madsen of the Joslin Diabetes Center in Boston.

And what insulin does in our arteries sends a signal that helps prevent the buildup of fatty plaques that can cause arteries to harden, new research in mice shows.

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New Atherosclerosis Vaccine Gives Promising Results

(Science Daily) A new study … shows that the immune defence's T cells can attack the "bad" LDL cholesterol and thereby cause an inflammation that leads to atherosclerosis. By producing a vaccine against the T cell receptors, the researchers have managed to inhibit the development of atherosclerosis in animals.

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Prescription Drug Could Boost Effects of Vaccines for HIV and Other Diseases

(Science Daily) A prescription drug already approved to treat genital warts and skin cancer may have a new use in boosting the effectiveness of future vaccines for bacterial and viral diseases, such as hepatitis C and HIV (the AIDS virus)…

[V]accines containing living or weakened viruses cannot be used for HIV, hepatitis C, and other devastating diseases due to safety concerns.

Scientists are instead trying to develop a new generation of vaccines, made with DNA or proteins from infectious agents that can prevent illness without carrying a risk of causing the diseases. These vaccines will be weaker than conventional vaccines and require a new generation of "adjuvants," ingredients that boost a vaccine's immunogenicity.

The report identifies a promising candidate in the form of imiquimod, an immune-boosting drug already in general use.

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Mice Can Synthesize Their Own Morphine, Research Shows

(Science Daily) Traces of morphine in urine samples have been considered a clear proof of drug use or the consumption of food containing poppy in the past. Now a study by a team of scientists from the Institute of Environmental Research at TU Dortmund and the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center in St Louis, Missouri, point to another possible explanation: they managed for the first time to prove that mice -- and probably humans and other mammals as well -- produce their own morphine in their bodies…

The purpose of the body's own morphine production is still unclear. Morphine might help the nerve cells to communicate with each other. But it is also possible that animals, and possibly humans too, use the production of morphine, for instance, under shock or in case of severe injuries as the body's own painkiller.

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Near-Wins May Trigger Problem Gamblers

(HealthDay News) In problem gamblers, a near-win triggers an intense response in brain regions associated with reward, which may push them to gamble more, a British study finds…

"These findings are exciting because they suggest that [near-win] outcomes may elicit a dopamine response in the more severe gamblers, despite the fact that no actual reward is delivered," study author Luke Clark … said in a news release. "If these bursts of dopamine are driving addictive behavior, this may help to explain why problem gamblers find it so difficult to quit."

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Many Americans Say Stigma of Mental Illness Is Fading

(HealthDay News) A new survey finds that more than a third of Americans polled believe that the stigma of mental illness has declined and they attribute the change largely to openness by friends, family members and public figures about their own conditions…

Two thirds of those surveyed said they thought mentally ill people could get better.

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Unlicensed cosmetic procedures dangerous

(UPI) Unlicensed, non-medical providers for cosmetic surgery or body enhancement procedures can cause disfigurement and death, New York City health officials warn…

Unlicensed providers promote their procedures as cheap alternatives to cosmetic surgery by licensed professionals in their homes or offices that lack adequate infection control.

These procedures are not safe and can pose serious health risks, [Dr. Nathan] Graber said.

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Older Adults Have Lower Rates of Mood, Anxiety Disorders

(HealthDay News) A new report finds that older people have lower rates of mental illnesses related to mood and anxiety than younger people, but the conditions remain common, especially in women…

"Given the rapid aging of the U.S. population, the potential public health burden of late-life mental health disorders will likely grow as well," the researchers wrote. They stressed the importance of "continued epidemiologic monitoring of the mental health status" of older Americans, from the youngest in that age group to the oldest.

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Community: Don’t forget Dr. Stephen Ilardi’s advice on keeping depression at bay.

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One Sleepless Night Can Induce Insulin Resistance in Healthy People

(Science Daily) According to a new study…, just one night of short sleep duration can induce insulin resistance, a component of type 2 diabetes.

"Sleep duration has shortened considerably in western societies in the past decade and simultaneously, there has been an increase in the prevalence of insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes," said Esther Donga, MD… "The co-occurring rises in shortened sleep and diabetes prevalence may not be a coincidence. Our findings show a short night of sleep has more profound effects on metabolic regulation than previously appreciated."

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New Culprit in Muscle Defects, Insulin Resistance That Come With Age

(Science Daily) Type 2 diabetes is a widespread problem for many people these days, and our risk for insulin resistance and diabetes only grows as we age. Now, a new report … reveals a new contributor to the problem: The muscles of elderly people and of people with type 2 diabetes contain lower concentrations of a protein known as PARL (short for "presenilin-associated rhomboid-like").

PARL plays an important role within cells in remodeling power-generating mitochondria…

[Researcher Anthony] Civitarese said it's not clear why PARL levels decline with age, but the findings suggest that increasing PARL levels may bring metabolic benefits. There is some possibility that PARL could be used as a drug or drug target, but he cautions that such a path would likely be difficult. That's because PARL does its work in a hard-to-reach place-- inside mitochondria, which are encapsulated in a double membrane.

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Managing the Emotions Behind Eating

(Science Daily) How many times have you, after a particularly hard day, reached for some chocolate or ice cream? It's common for many people, but for those trying to lose weight, it can be detrimental to their long term success, and most weight-loss programs never even address it.

They focus on choosing healthier foods and exercising more, but they never answer a key question: how can people who have eaten to cope with emotions change their eating habits, when they haven't learned other ways of coping with emotions?

Researchers at Temple's Center for Obesity Research are trying to figure out the answer as part of a new, NIH-funded weight loss study. The new treatment incorporates skills that directly address the emotional eating, and essentially adds those skills to a state-of-the art behavioral weight loss treatment…

"The program doesn't just help you identify when you eat," said [study participant Janet] Williams. "It helps you recognize triggers that make you eat, to help you break that cycle of reaching for food every time you feel bored, or frustrated, or sad."

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Community: One program that does take emotional eating into account is Shrink Yourself.

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How Dark Chocolate May Guard Against Brain Injury from Stroke

(Science Daily) Researchers at Johns Hopkins have discovered that a compound in dark chocolate may protect the brain after a stroke by increasing cellular signals already known to shield nerve cells from damage.

Ninety minutes after feeding mice a single modest dose of epicatechin, a compound found naturally in dark chocolate, 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 epicatechin suffered significantly less brain damage than the ones that had not been given the compound.

While most treatments against stroke in humans have to be given within a two- to three-hour time window to be effective, epicatechin appeared to limit further neuronal damage when given to mice 3.5 hours after a stroke. Given six hours after a stroke, however, the compound offered no protection to brain cells.

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Community: Here we go torturing mice again. Honestly!

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MyRecipes.com

Mother's Day Menus

Grilled Balsamic Skirt Steak
For an easy al fresco meal, head outdoors and fire up your grill to prepare this budget-friendly cut of meat.

Are You Getting Enough Calcium?
Calcium is one of the key nutrients in the body and many Americans get far less than the amount recommended for good health.

Calcium-Rich Recipes:

7 Ways with Yogurt

Get-Fit Smoothies

7 Ways with Cheddar

Calcium Confidential: Secret Sources

7 Ways with Milk

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Think you're lactose intolerant? You might be wrong

(Reuters Health) If you've cut down on milk because you think your gut can't tolerate the sugar in it -- called lactose -- you might be doing your health a disservice, a new study suggests…

The new study adds to a body of evidence showing that perceived lactose intolerance may actually not be rooted in a biological inability to absorb the sugar…

[Nutritional scientist Carol J.] Boushey … said that cutting back on dairy products as a result of perceived lactose intolerance could have a negative health impact, including lower bone mass, higher blood pressure and colon cancer.

She recommends that people who think they are lactose intolerant try to drink small amounts of milk.

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Friendship and Confiding in Spouse Eases Stress Over Sexual Issues in Older Men

(Science Daily) A new study suggests that it may not help older men and women with sexual problems to talk to a doctor, but men who talk to their partner report greater happiness -- and those who talked with friends felt less depressed.

The research … shows that the way men and women deal with sexual health and stress in their later years varies greatly and that there is not one solution that can help ease unhappiness caused by sexual problems…

[T]he researchers said the result brings into critical focus the importance for men in middle and later life of confiding in family members and friends.

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Viruses Effective Against Brain Cancer in Animals: Human Trials Set to Start

(Science Daily) The treatment experiments were conducted in rats who had received brain tumors cells by implantation. Once the resulting brain tumors had reached a specified size, the animals were given parvoviruses, either by direct injection into the tumor or via the blood stream. In those animals in which the viruses had been injected directly into the tumor, the tumors shrank visibly after only three days and even disappeared completely in eight of twelve animals treated. The rodents survived without any symptoms, while untreated control animals suffered from severe disease symptoms within three weeks following tumor cell implantation. In the intravenously treated group, tumors regressed completely in six of nine animals. The animals have survived for more than one year now without any symptoms or late side effects of therapy.

The researchers found no infection-related damage in the nervous tissue surrounding the tumor…

"Parvoviruses pass the blood brain barrier so that they can be administered via the blood stream. In addition, they reproduce in cancer cells, which is particularly important for successful treatment of glioblastoma with its diffuse growth. Thus, the second generation viruses reach and eliminate even those cancer cells that have already settled at some distance from the primary tumor," [said Jörg Schlehofer].

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Discovery Prompts New Theory on Cause of Autoimmune Diseases

(Science Daily) The recent discovery of a protein fragment capable of causing diabetes in mice has spurred researchers … to propose a new hypothesis about the cause of diabetes and autoimmunity in general…

"The immune system normally deletes dangerous, autoreactive T cells that recognize 'self' peptides, which are a normal part of the organism," said Dr. [John] Kappler… "We believe autoreactive T cells in diabetes and other autoimmune diseases escape destruction in the thymus because they never see these poorly presented peptides there. But the T cells do encounter those peptides elsewhere in the body and trigger an autoimmune attack."

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Bar Codes Cut Down on Hospital Medication Errors

(HealthDay News) A system that checks medications and doses using bar codes significantly cuts down on hospital drug errors, researchers from Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston report.

"We had the opportunity to design and implement a bar code-scanning system to ensure that every patient in the hospital gets the right medication at the right dose at the right time," said lead researcher Dr. Eric G. Poon, the hospital's director of clinical informatics.

"After implementing that new system, we found dramatic reductions in errors made during the process of administering medications," he added. Poon estimates that using this system prevents 90,000 serious errors each year.

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Americans "bombarded" with cancer causes: report

(Reuters) Americans are being "bombarded" with chemicals, gases and radiation that can cause cancer, and the federal government must do far more to protect them, presidential cancer advisers said on Thursday.

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Tips for exercising safely

(Harvard HEALTHbeat) Almost anybody can safely take up walking, and light to moderate exercise is usually fine for healthy adults with no troublesome symptoms. But do you need to talk to your doctor before taking on a more strenuous regimen? It’s wise to talk to a doctor if you have any questions about your health or plan to start more vigorous workouts, especially if you haven’t been active recently…

Once your doctor gives you the go-ahead to exercise, the tips below can help you avoid injuries:

1. Take five to 10 minutes to warm up and cool down properly.

2. Plan to start slowly and boost your activity level gradually unless you are already exercising frequently and vigorously.

3. Be aware that training too hard or too often can cause overuse injuries like stress fractures, stiff or sore joints and muscles, and inflamed tendons and ligaments. Sports prompting repetitive wear and tear on certain parts of your body — such as swimming (shoulders), jogging (knees, ankles, and feet), tennis (elbows) — are often overuse culprits, too. A mix of different kinds of activities and sufficient rest is safer.

4. Listen to your body. Hold off on exercise when you’re sick or feeling very fatigued. Cut back if you cannot finish an exercise session, feel faint after exercise or fatigued during the day, or suffer persistent aches and pains in joints after exercising…

Delayed muscle soreness that starts 12 to 24 hours after a workout and gradually abates is a normal response to taxing your muscles. By contrast, persistent or intense muscle pain that starts during a workout or right afterward, or muscle soreness that persists more than one to two weeks, merits a call to your doctor for advice.

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Short Sleep Increases Risk of Death and Over-Long Sleep Can Indicate Serious Illness

(Science Daily) Research … has found that people who sleep for less than six hours each night were 12% more likely to die prematurely than those who get the recommended 6-8 hours.

The study … provides unequivocal evidence of the direct link between short duration of sleep (less than 6 hours sleep a night) and an increased chance of dying prematurely.

The research also notes that consistent over long sleeping (over 9 hours a night) can be a cause for concern. While, unlike short sleeping, over long sleeping does not in itself increase the risk of death, it can be a significant marker of an underlying serious and potentially fatal illnesses.

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Supplements may increase cancer risk

(UPI) High doses of antioxidant supplements such as vitamins C and E -- not foods -- may actually increase cancer risk, U.S. researchers said…

The study … found there is a danger zone for the cells exposed to antioxidants to develop genetic abnormalities that predispose to cancer.

"Taking one multivitamin daily is fine, but a lot of people take way too much because they think if a little is good, a lot must be better," [Dr. Eduardo] Marban said. "If you are taking 10 or 100 times the amount in a daily multivitamin, you may be predisposing your cells to developing cancer, therefore doing yourself more harm than good."

Marban stressed the finding applied only to excessive supplements -- not to foods that are rich in antioxidants such as oranges, blueberries and peanuts.

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Healthy Cinco de Mayo Guidelines

(SouthBeachDiet.com) Music, dancing, colorful decorations, and festive food are all part of Cinco de Mayo, the Mexican holiday celebrated [today] that commemorates the country’s victory over the French army during the Battle of Puebla back in 1862. It’s a spirited occasion that is fun to celebrate with a fabulous Mexican meal and a big group of friends. If you love Mexican food — you’re in luck! This cuisine can easily be part of [your diet] when each dish is prepared with the freshest, healthiest ingredients, such as avocado, tomatoes, and fresh lime juice. Whether you’re hosting a fiesta or dining out at a Mexican restaurant, here are some healthy guidelines to help you stay on track:

1. Opt for lean grilled meat, skinless chicken breast, or seafood dishes

2. Skip the corn tortilla shells

3. Enjoy a side of black or pinto (red) beans. Frijoles, or beans, are a signature ingredient in many Mexican recipes. Beans are rich in fiber, protein, and B vitamins. Avoid refried beans because they tend to be made with lard, which is high in saturated fat.

4. Choose healthy toppings and condiments, such as reduced-fat sour cream, guacamole, and fresh salsa…

5. Drink a homemade margarita

6. Steer clear of certain Mexican foods. For example, stay away from deep-fried tortilla chips; anything topped with full-fat cheese or regular sour cream; chimichangas (deep-fried flour tortillas filled with meat and cheese); the Mexican sausage called chorizo; and deep-fried taco-shell bowls.

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