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

Community effort lowers stroke rate

(UPI) Community-based programs to lower blood pressure successfully reduced cardiovascular disease in Canada, researchers say.

The community-based Cardiovascular Health Awareness Program significantly reduced both heart disease and stroke in seniors, the study found…

"Volunteer-led risk assessments combined with health information and linkages to primary care providers and community resources led to an impressive 9 percent reduction in their rates of hospitalization for stroke, heart attack, and congestive heart failure," Dr. Janusz Kaczorowski of the University of British Columbia and the Child and Family Research Institute said in a statement.

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Chronic insomnia link to higher death risk

(UPI) People who suffer from chronic insomnia may have a higher risk than others of dying, U.S. researchers found.

Lead author Laurel Finn, a biostatistician at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, said the study indicated the adjusted hazard ratio for all-cause mortality was three times higher in people with chronic insomnia than in people who report no insomnia…

The estimated mortality hazard ratios were adjusted for weight, age and sex, as well as for self-reported conditions including chronic bronchitis, heart attack, stroke, hypertension, diabetes and depression.

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Community: I’ve posted a number of articles on sleep, some covering ways to overcome insomnia. Here’s a list of them.

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Mental decline from diabetes can start in middle age

(Reuters Health) Diabetes can lead to a decline in memory, thinking speed, and mental flexibility in middle age, but controlling the blood sugar disorder might prevent some of these effects, new research from the Netherlands suggests…

Over a five-year period, decline in overall mental functioning in people with type 2 diabetes, while small, was nearly 3 times more pronounced than in non-diabetics.

But it didn't take many years for the impact to be felt. Even those who developed diabetes after beginning the study saw twice as much of a decline as their non-diabetic counterparts.

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Depression Could Play a Role in Added Belly Fat

(HealthDay News) New research provides more evidence of a link between depression and extra pounds around the waist, although it's not exactly clear how they're connected.

The study raises the possibility that depression causes people to put on extra pounds around the belly. The opposite doesn't appear to be the case: researchers found that overweight people aren't more likely to become depressed than their normal-weight peers.

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Smoking Linked to Aggressive Colon Polyps: Study

(HealthDay News) A new study has uncovered a strong link between smoking and the development of precancerous polyps called flat adenomas in the large intestine, a finding that researchers say may explain the earlier onset of colorectal cancer among smokers.

Flat adenomas are more aggressive and harder to spot than the raised polyps that are typically detectable during standard colorectal screenings, the authors noted. This fact, coupled with their association with smoking, could also explain why colorectal cancer is usually caught at a more advanced stage and at a younger age among smokers than nonsmokers.

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Cornmeal-Crusted Catfish
The bacon drippings used to cook the catfish lend this southern family favorite authentic flavor. Use the bacon in the coleslaw, or reserve for another use.

5 to Try: Pizza Getaways

Dinner Countdown

Simple Green Bean Sides

Week Eighteen: 1 List, 5 Meals International Week
Travel the world from your dinner table and experience five different cuisines made from this 30-ingredient or less shopping list. Safe travels!

Cooking Light:

New Foods at the Supermarket
Check out our picks for some of the hottest, tastiest, and healthiest food products on the market today.

Sodium and Your Health
Why everyone could do with a “less is more” approach to sodium.

Recipe Makeover: Crab Cakes
With less filler and no deep-frying to overwhelm the crab, this iconic seafood entrée is healthier and tastier.

Lighter Spaghetti Bolognese
This lightened Italian classic features a slowly simmered meat sauce that is rich, hearty, and delicious.

Healthy Pizza 101
From store-bought to homemade, our guide to healthy, nutritious pizza

Community: The catfish sounds good, but I do think I’d skip the bacon grease.

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Enjoying Cantaloupe

(SouthBeachDiet.com) If you’re looking for a refreshing, juicy fruit, pick up a sweet-tasting cantaloupe, which is in the muskmelon family (cantaloupes reach their peak ripeness between June and August). These melons, related to summer squash, are high in potassium and vitamin C…

Buying Cantaloupe
Cantaloupes are picked when ripe and stop ripening once they leave the vine. This makes it essential to choose a melon that was picked at just the right time. How can you tell if a cantaloupe is ready to eat? The rind should cover the whole fruit and be slightly golden under the mesh-like surface (avoid fruit with a dull-green appearance), but it's natural to see some bleaching on the side where it was lying on the ground. The stem end should have a slight indentation, and the other end should yield to gentle pressure. A ripe melon will not be flattened or lopsided.

Storing Cantaloupe
Though cantaloupes don't require further ripening, you can improve the taste by storing them at room temperature for a couple of days. The sweetness won't change, but they will become softer and juicier. Cantaloupe should be refrigerated once cut, and it's best to eat the melon within a couple of days. Store cut pieces in an airtight plastic bag.

Enjoying Cantaloupe
Cantaloupe is so easy to prepare — simply rinse it first (to remove any exterior bacteria) and then cut it open and remove the seeds. You can use a spoon to scoop out the flesh and eat it on the spot. For a more attractive presentation, cut the fruit into wedges or scoop it out with a melon baller. Cantaloupe can be consumed as is or tossed into a fresh fruit salad.


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Behavioral therapy plus exercise may ease fibromyalgia

(Reuters Health) For people with troubling cases of fibromyalgia, a combination of behavioral counseling and exercise therapy tailored to their specific needs may bring some symptom relief, a new study suggests…

The cause of fibromyalgia is unknown, and the condition can prove difficult to treat. Standard treatments include painkillers, antidepressants, cognitive-behavioral therapy and exercise therapy.

Recent studies have suggested that combinations of these therapies seem to work better than any treatment alone. A review of nine clinical trials, for example, found that at least in the shorter term, fibromyalgia patients treated with multiple therapies got more relief from pain, depression and fatigue than those given a single therapy.

Read more.

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Botox Eases Nerve Pain in Certain Patients

(Science Daily) Made popular for its ability to smooth wrinkles when injected into the face, Botox -- a toxin known to weaken or paralyze certain nerves and muscles -- may have another use that goes beyond the cosmetic.

Johns Hopkins researchers have found that patients with a painful and debilitating nerve compression disorder called thoracic outlet syndrome (TOS), which studies suggest may occur in up to 8 percent of the population, reported a significant reduction in short-term pain after receiving a single, low-dose injection of Botox in a muscle located in the neck.

Though the study … was small, researchers say it suggests Botox is a safe, noninvasive alternative to the syndrome's treatment of last resort: surgery to remove the first rib and sever one of the muscles in the neck.

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Inexpensive Drug to Stop Sight Loss Shown to Be Effective, Study Finds

(Science Daily) An inexpensive, but unlicensed drug to help prevent severe sight loss in older people has been shown to be safe and effective, finds a study…

Bevacizumab (Avastin) is licensed as a treatment for bowel cancer, but it is widely used "off label" as a considerably cheaper alternative to the approved drug ranibizumab (Lucentis) to prevent wet age related macular degeneration (AMD) and several large trials comparing the two drugs are now underway.

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Faulty gene leads to protein buildup in Alzheimer's

(Reuters) A brain mechanism that acts like a recycling plant for toxic proteins goes haywire in people with a gene mutation linked with Alzheimer's disease, U.S. researchers said on Thursday, unveiling a discovery offering a new lead for drug companies.

They said the gene presenilin 1, which is linked to the early development of Alzheimer's, plays a role in digesting toxic proteins.

In people with Alzheimer's-related mutations, this process is faulty. Fixing it could help prevent the buildup of toxins in the brain before they do damage.

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Drugmakers to share data to speed brain drug research

(Reuters) Major drugmakers will share data from their clinical trials for Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease in an effort to speed the development of new medicines to treat the brain disorders.

The database, a public/private partnership unveiled on Friday, will give academic and industry researchers worldwide access to information from more than 4,000 patients with neurodegenerative diseases.

Bringing the data together, rather than keeping pieces of it within each drug company, will give scientists a larger amount of information on how the diseases progress and how they differ in various patients.

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New Type of Human Stem Cell May Be Easier to Manipulate

(Science Daily) Researchers … have a developed a new type of human pluripotent stem cell that can be manipulated more readily than currently available stem cells… [T]hese new cells could be used to create better cellular models of disease processes and eventually may permit repair of disease-associated gene mutations.

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Free drugs may help more get chlamydia treatment

(Reuters Health) Vouchers for free medication might help the sexual partners of people being treated for chlamydia get treatment too, a new study says.

Treating partners is important, the researchers note, because patients who have been treated can get chlamydia again from a partner who has the infection. Going to a clinic and seeing a doctor is still the best option for those partners.

But the study's authors say the vouchers are an option for people who might avoid clinics and never get treated to get the drugs they need without a prescription.

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Newer devices often underestimate blood pressure

(Reuters Health) Automated blood pressure measuring devices are replacing old-fashioned mercury manometers in doctor's offices and clinics around the world. But a new head-to-head comparison of the two techniques suggests that the newer version isn't necessarily better -- and could even be missing some people with high blood pressure who are in need of blood pressure-lowering treatment.

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Exercise Helps Reduce Falls in Young and Old

(HealthDay News) Regular exercise reduces the risk of falls in both young and old, a new study shows.

Falls are a major hazard in the United States, with about 19,000 people dying from them each year and an estimated 8 million seeking treatment in emergency rooms annually…

In general, people need about two hours of exercise a week to reduce the risk of falls, the researchers found…

Although falls are the leading cause of injuries among people aged 65 or older, researchers also found that young people topple over as much as seniors.

"We were not surprised that people 65 and older were no more likely to report falling than younger people, given that younger people are more likely to engage in more risky activities, such as standing on ladders, running and playing sports," [lead author Dr. Kristin] Mertz said.

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Depression Can Make Pain Worse

(HealthDay News) Being depressed can make real physical pain feel worse, British researchers have found.

Noting that pain and depression often occur at the same time, the current observation blends two competing schools of thought, in which some believe that pain is "all in the head" while others contend that pain is "all in the body."…

[The University of Oxford's Dr. Chantal] Berna's team theorized that one's ability to control the negative emotions linked to pain are short-circuited by depression, leading to a bigger punch when pain hits. In other words, depression may not only be a consequence of being in pain. It might actually exacerbate pain, making it worse than it would be for those in a positive frame of mind.

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Manage Food Cravings with This TV Trick

(RealAge.com) You might be able to switch off food cravings just by pressing this button: "Mute."

Yep, just press the mute button on your remote control anytime a commercial comes on. Studies suggest that TV shows loaded with food advertisements could be a recipe for gaining weight.

In a new study of kids, researchers checked the TV-watching habits and weight of 0- to 12-year-olds in 1997 and then again 5 years later. It turned out that the more TV commercials the kids saw, the heavier they tended to be. Even if the kids watched lots of television, their weight tended to be healthier if their shows were light on commercials (a la public television programming). Scary stuff. And other research has shown that adults eat larger quantities of snack foods after watching food ads on TV. (Less is more! Find out how mindful eating can help you eat less and still feel really satisfied.)…

Here are three more ways to prevent TV-related weight gain without flipping your flat screen into a dumpster:

Be choosier. Here's how cutting your TV time in half can boost your calorie burn.

Sit on it. Find out how camping out on an exercise ball -- instead of a sofa -- can tone saggy muscles while you view.

Do laps. Use commercial time to take a quick lap around the house, which will turn this fat-burning enzyme back on.

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Pecans: Handful a day keeps aging at bay

(UPI) Eating pecans daily may delay age-related muscle nerve degeneration, U.S. researchers suggest…

The researchers found mice fed a diet supplemented with ground pecans had a significant delay in decline in motor function compared to mice receiving no pecans. Mice eating the diet with the most pecans -- 0.05 percent -- fared best.

Results were based on how the mice on the control diet vs. those on the pecan-enriched diet performed in specific tests.

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Polyphenols in Red Wine and Green Tea Halt Prostate Cancer Growth, Study Suggests

(Science Daily) In what could lead to a major advance in the treatment of prostate cancer, scientists now know exactly why polyphenols in red wine and green tea inhibit cancer growth. This new discovery … explains how antioxidants in red wine and green tea produce a combined effect to disrupt an important cell signaling pathway necessary for prostate cancer growth. This finding is important because it may lead to the development of drugs that could stop or slow cancer progression, or improve current treatments…

"The profound impact that the antioxidants in red wine and green tea have on our bodies is more than anyone would have dreamt just 25 years ago," [Gerald Weissmann, MD,] added. "As long as they are taken in moderation, all signs show that red wine and green tea may be ranked among the most potent 'health foods' we know."

Read more.

Community: Notice how the medical community immediately thinks about creating “drugs”, possibly because they can’t make as much money from natural substances. Red wine and green tea are readily available in the grocery store. If you don’t drink, you can eat raisins and/or red grapes. And if you can’t or don’t want to eat grapes, there are supplements that contain the important ingredients in red grapes. There’s even a green tea extract, if you don’t want to bother making the tea.

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Grilled Chicken with Fruit Salsa
Combine lemon juice, soy sauce, fresh ginger, lemon pepper, and garlic to make a kickin’ marinade for grilled chicken. Fruit salsa adds sweetness and crunch to this tropical dish.

Lamb Burgers with Sun-Dried Tomato Aioli
Give your everyday burger recipe a twist by using lean ground lamb. The homemade aioli can be made ahead to cut back on dinner prep.

Are You Getting Enough Water?

Mouthwatering Barbecue Sauces

Simple 5-Ingredient Dinners

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Bread Buying Tips

(SouthBeachDiet.com) Go for whole-grain varieties. Rich in B vitamins, iron, fiber, and protein, whole grains are essential in any healthy eating plan and provide you with sustained energy. Studies show that eating whole grains can also help lower your risk of diabetes and heart disease.

Be sure to check that the label says “100% whole wheat” or “whole grain.” If the label uses words like “multigrain” or “100% wheat,” there’s no guarantee that the bread is truly whole grain. Also, make sure that the bread contains no more than 3 g of sugar and at least 3 g of fiber per serving and has no trans fats. Avoid breads containing “enriched wheat flour” or “unbleached flour” because they can be made with refined flour.

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Diabetes May Double Cancer Risk in Women

(Science Daily) Type 2 adult-onset diabetes causes insulin-like hormones to circulate through the body. A new study finds this has a surprisingly positive effect on reducing the rate of prostate cancer in men, but is bad news for women: Type 2 diabetes may double the risk of female genital and other cancers…

Dr. [Gabriel] Chodick encourages diabetic women to be screened for colon cancer earlier and more often than those in the general population. As the occurrence of diabetes in America rises, primarily brought on by an unhealthy lifestyle, such screenings can save lives.

Type 2 diabetes, which is characterized by high blood glucose and an insulin deficiency, normally occurs in adulthood, and it can often be managed with a healthy diet, exercise, and oral medications. It affects more than 10% of all women in America over the age of 20, according to the American Diabetes Association.

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How to Overcome Resistance to One Group of Breast Cancer Drugs

(Science Daily) A team of researchers … has identified a mechanism by which human breast cancer cells can develop resistance to one group of drugs used to treat breast cancer, suggesting new approaches to treating the disease…

[T]he authors suggest that combining an endocrine therapy with a PI3K pathway inhibitor might help prevent the development of resistance to endocrine therapies in patients with breast cancer.

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Making Cancer Killers: Reprogramming Immune System Cells to Produce Natural Killer Cells for Cancer

(Science Daily) A team of researchers has developed a method to produce cells that kill tumour cells in the lab and prevent tumours forming in mouse models of cancer. Although the current work is in cells and mouse, if the research transfers to human biology, the new type of cell could be a new source for cell-based anticancer therapies.

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Plastic Antibody Works in First Tests in Living Animals

(Science Daily) Scientists are reporting the first evidence that a plastic antibody -- an artificial version of the proteins produced by the body's immune system to recognize and fight infections and foreign substances -- works in the bloodstream of a living animal.

The discovery, they suggest…, is an advance toward medical use of simple plastic particles custom tailored to fight an array of troublesome "antigens."

Those antigens include everything from disease-causing viruses and bacteria to the troublesome proteins that cause allergic reactions to plant pollen, house dust, certain foods, poison ivy, bee stings and other substances.

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Bacteria Converted Into ‘mini-Factories’ For Biofuels and Vaccines

(Science Daily) Scientists at the University of Kent and University College Cork have manipulated simple bacteria into constructing internal compartments where biofuels and vaccines can be produced.

These micro-compartments eventually occupy almost 70 percent of the available space in a bacteria cell, enabling segregation of metabolic activities and, in the era of synthetic biology, representing an important tool by which defined micro-environments can be created for specific metabolic functions.

Martin Warren, Professor of Biochemistry at the School of Biosciences, University of Kent, explained: 'Synthetic biology is really exciting because we can produce some important and useful products that can be difficult and expensive to make using traditional chemistry techniques. Bacteria can make these things very easily and in large quantities if we develop bacteria with the right characteristics to do so efficiently.

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Brain Stimulation With Ultrasound May Enhance Cognitive Function

(Science Daily) The ability to diagnose and treat brain dysfunction without surgery, may rely on a new method of noninvasive brain stimulation using pulsed ultrasound developed by a team of scientist…

[T]he study shows how ultrasound can be used to stimulate brain circuits with millimeter spatial resolution. "We've come a long way from the observations of Scribonius Largus, a Roman physician in the 1st century A.D. who placed electric torpedo fish on headache sufferers' foreheads to ease their pain," [neuroscientist William] Tyler quips. "Our method paves the way for using sound waves to study and manipulate brain function, as well as to diagnose and treat its dysfunction."…

Tyler says the fact that ultrasound can be used to stimulate action potentials, meaningful brain wave activity patterns, and BDNF leads him to believe that, in the future, ultrasound will be useful for enhancing cognitive performance; perhaps even in the treatment of cognitive disabilities such as mental retardation or Alzheimer's disease.

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Violence on the Rise at U.S. Health Care Centers

(HealthDay News) More and more violent crimes are occurring in America's hospitals, clinics and other health care facilities, according to a new alert issued by the Joint Commission, an independent health care oversight group…

[Russell L. Colling, a health care security consultant,] cited a number of reasons for the increase in violent outbreaks in health care settings, including an increase in drug and alcohol abuse and a lack of adequate care for psychiatric patients.

"In the last ten or fifteen years, the resources for the diagnosis and treatment of mental health patients have basically vanished, and that means hospitals often have to do intakes for all suspected psychiatric patients," he said. "In today's hospital environment, where there are often tremendous delays in treatment, these patients tend to get more agitated."

Another factor, said Colling, is that Americans are more likely to vent their frustrations about the flawed health care system.

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Is It Safe to Go in the Gulf Coast's Water?

(HealthDay News) Now that oil and tar balls from the massive Gulf oil spill have begun washing up on the beaches of four states, many are wondering: What, if any, are the health risks to beachgoers and residents of the region?...

On one point experts agree: Beachgoers need to exercise common sense. That means avoiding swimming in water that's visibly contaminated by oil.

Crude oil contains many toxic chemicals, including volatile and semi-volatile organic compounds, [Miriam Rotkin-Ellman, a staff scientist with the Natural Resources Defense Council,] said. Those compounds include benzene, ethylbenzene, xylene and naphthalene, all known carcinogens, she said.

While dangerous if ingested or inhaled, these chemicals tend to dissipate and evaporate over time, experts said. Research shows that the toxic potency of crude oil declines the longer the oil is floating in the water or in the air, a process called "weathering," [Robert Emery, vice president for safety, health, environment and risk management at the University of Texas Health Science Center,] said.

Still, beachgoers can't tell on their own if the oil they encounter is fresh or has been floating around awhile, Emery said.

Before heading to the beach, Emery said it's a good idea to check with local or state authorities about health conditions.

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Poor Health? Easier for Some to Blame Bad Genes Than Change Lifestyle

(Science Daily) Does knowing that genes are partly responsible for your health condition mean you are less likely to be motivated to find out about the benefits of behavioral changes? According to Dr. Suzanne O’Neill from the … National Institutes of Health, and her colleagues, people on the whole are still interested in how health habits affect disease risk. However, those with the greatest need to change their behaviors are more likely to favor genetic explanations for their diseases and the more behavioral risk factors they have, the less likely they are to be interested in behavior change information…

One possible explanation suggested by the authors is that behaviorally at-risk participants may have prior experience seeking and applying standard behavioral advice without success. As a result these individuals may see less value in this information.

Read more.

Community: That’s why I keep stressing here that genes are not destiny. There’s a lot we can do to counter what our genes have in store for us. And we CAN change behaviors. I’ve seen it happen too often to devalue it. See below for an example of how taking a supplement can thwart a genetic tendency.

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Scientists find gene links to vitamin D deficiency

(Reuters) Scientists have found three genetic differences that affect a person's risk of being deficient in the "sunshine" vitamin D and say their work helps explain why sunlight and a good diet aren't always enough…

Most vitamin D is made by the body as a natural by-product of the skin's exposure to sunlight. It is vital for health, as it helps cells absorb calcium and is key for bone strength.

Some recent studies have also suggested vitamin D may protect against cancer, artery disease and tuberculosis.

A normal level of vitamin D is defined as a concentration greater than 30 nanograms per millilitre (ng/ml), while vitamin D insufficiency is 20 to 30 ng/ml and vitamin D deficiency is less than 20 ng/ml.

Almost half of the world's population has lower than optimal levels of vitamin D and scientists say the problem is getting worse as people spend more time indoors or cover up too quickly and completely when they are exposed to sunshine.

Non-white populations in less sunny climates are at higher risk since dark skin can make it harder for the body to absorb ultraviolet light.

Hypponen said there was no doubt that sunshine and a good diet were still the most important factors for vitamin D levels, but the study helped explain why some people who should get enough from these sources still appear to be deficient.

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It's never too late to help prevent cancer

(UPI) It is never too late to adopt a healthy lifestyle, a U.S. cancer expert advises…

"Thanks to modern medicine, more people are living longer, but a longer life doesn't always equal a healthier one," [Dr. Therese] Bevers says in statement. "Quitting smoking is the most important thing anyone can do to improve their health."

Other ways Bevers suggests friends and family can help seniors make healthy changes include:

-- Encouraging exercise by educating all-too-often-sedentary seniors about the benefits of physical activity. Suggest a conversation with their doctor about what type of -- hopefully enjoyable -- activity like gardening, golfing, tennis or swimming they could do.

-- Going for a walk together.

-- Encouraging seniors to get the nutrients they need to maintain health and lower cancer risks by eating low-fat foods and lots of produce.

-- Making extra healthy food at home and sharing with seniors.

-- Helping seniors cope with financial stress by setting up bill-paying systems.

-- Encouraging regular checkups and screening exams.

Read more.

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Waiter, there's a potential carcinogen in my soup

(Reuters) BPA, or bisphenol A, is ubiquitous. Simply put, just about anything you eat that comes out of a can -- from Campbell's Chicken Soup and SpaghettiOs to Diet Coke and BumbleBee Tuna -- contains the same exact chemical.

The exposure to BPA from canned food "is far more extensive" than from plastic bottles, said Shanna Swan, a professor and researcher at the University of Rochester in New York. "It's particularly concerning when it's lining infant formula cans."

BPA is the key compound in epoxy resin linings that keep food fresher longer and prevents it from interacting with metal and altering the taste. It has been linked in some studies of rats and mice to not only cancer but also obesity, diabetes and heart disease.

Trade groups for chemical and can manufacturers say they stand behind the chemical, and point to some studies from governmental health agencies that deem BPA safe and effective for food contact. They also note that its use has substantially reduced deaths from food poisoning…

The chemical industry maintains that BPA metabolizes very quickly in the body and is excreted before it can even interact with cells…

A person weighing 135 pounds (61 kg) would need to ingest more than 14,800 12-ounce cans of a beverage in one day to approach the FDA's acceptable daily limit for BPA consumption, Coca-Cola said.

Read more.

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Several berries may help prevent cancer

(UPI) U.S. researchers, in a study of rodents, found black raspberries -- as well as red raspberries, blueberries and strawberries -- and inhibit esophageal cancer.

Researchers from Ohio … also found more expensive varieties like noni, acai and wolfberries inhibit the growth of cancer as well as black raspberries.

Read more.

Community: I buy strawberries, blueberries, and red raspberries when they’re on sale and freeze them. Three days a week, I put some on top of my morning oatmeal. The other days, I grate some apple on top of the oatmeal.

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New Evidence That Drinking Coffee May Reduce the Risk of Diabetes

(Science Daily) Scientists are reporting new evidence that drinking coffee may help prevent diabetes and that caffeine may be the ingredient largely responsible for this effect…

The scientists fed either water or coffee to a group of laboratory mice commonly used to study diabetes. Coffee consumption prevented the development of high-blood sugar and also improved insulin sensitivity in the mice, thereby reducing the risk of diabetes. Coffee also caused a cascade of other beneficial changes in the fatty liver and inflammatory adipocytokines related to a reduced diabetes risk.

Read more.

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Healthier diet may delay Alzheimer's

(UPI) Mice with early to moderate Alzheimer's disease had the disease delayed and even reversed with a healthier diet, U.S. researchers said.

Domenico Pratico, an associate professor of pharmacology in Temple's School of Medicine, had previously found a diet rich in methionine -- an amino acid typically found in red meat, fish, beans, eggs, garlic, lentils, onions, yogurt and seeds -- could increase the risk of developing Alzheimer's Disease…

"At the end of the study, when we looked at these mice, what we found -- very surprisingly -- was that switching to a more healthy diet reversed the cognitive impairment that had built up over the first three months of eating the methionine-rich diet," Pratico said in a statement. "This improvement was associated with less amyloid plaques -- another sign of Alzheimer's disease -- in their brains."

Read more.

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Cooking Light

Superfast Summer Recipes
Celebrate the season with 20-minute recipes that make use of fresh summer produce.

Corn & Veggie Sauté
Chicken Tostadas
Salmon Burgers
Summer Squash Pizza

See all summer recipes

Season's Best: Chowders (VIDEO)
Steaming bowls of rich, savory chowder are a regional summertime favorite.

Grilled Seafood Recipes
From shrimp to salmon, you'll find your favorite way to celebrate the season with seafood on the grill.

Healthy Convenience Store Foods
Planning a road trip? Make healthy choices when you're traveling by choosing these light snacks from the convenience store.

See all healthy snacks

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Long Sleep Duration Linked to an Increased Risk of Metabolic Syndrome in Older Adults

(Science Daily) Long sleep duration is associated with an elevated prevalence of metabolic syndrome in older adults, according to [research]…

Results indicate that participants who reported a habitual daily sleep duration of eight hours or more including naps were 15 percent more likely to have metabolic syndrome (odds ratio = 1.15). This relationship remained unchanged after full adjustment for potential confounders such as demographics, lifestyle and sleep habits, and metabolic markers…

The authors cautioned that the cross-sectional nature of the study did not allow for a determination of causality.

Read more.

Community: Not too little sleep, not too much sleep. Sounds like we should, like Goldilocks, get just the right amount.

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Health Plan Reports Major Drop in Heart Attacks

(HealthDay News) In the war against heart disease, here's some good news from the front lines: A large study reports a 24 percent decline in heart attacks and a significant reduction in deaths since 1999 in one northern California population.

The most impressive finding in the study of more than 46,000 hospitalizations between 1999 and 2008 is a striking reduction in the most serious form of heart attacks…

The report offers an example of what a highly organized, technologically advanced health-care plan can accomplish, [Dr. Robert Pearl, executive director of Permanente Medical Group,] said.

Read more.

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Fewer Heart Attacks After England Goes Smoke-Free

(HealthDay News) In the year after smoke-free legislation was introduced in England, there were 1,200 fewer emergency heart attack hospital admissions -- a 2.4 percent decrease, a new study shows.

The smoke-free law, enacted on July 1, 2007, prohibits smoking in all public places and enclosed workplaces. The researchers analyzed emergency department admissions for patients aged 18 and older from July 2002 to September 2008.

While the decrease may seem small, many public places and workplaces were already smoke-free when the legislation was introduced, the researchers noted.

Read more.

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