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

Applying Sunscreen: Are You Doing It the Wrong Way?

(HealthDay News) Sunscreen use has become routine for many Americans, but it's often applied incorrectly, according to a Saint Louis University expert…

[Dr. Quenby] Erickson offered the following advice:

  • Use enough sunscreen, for starters. Adults need the equivalent of a shot glass full of sunscreen to cover their whole body. Cover all the skin that's exposed to the sun, including your ears, the back of your neck, the tops of your feet and, if you're balding, the top of your head.
  • Apply sunscreen 30 minutes before going outdoors, and reapply every two hours and after swimming.
  • When using spray sunscreens, hold the bottle two to three inches away from the body. Rub spray sunscreens into the skin for full coverage.
  • Check your sunscreen's expiration date -- it can be less effective after that time.

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Smart Snacks for Traveling

(SouthBeachDiet.com) Traveling this summer? Whether you’re flying or taking a train or road trip, packing healthy snacks is key to achieving your weight-loss goals. If you don’t have time to pack some nutritious munchies at home, you may be left to forage through a convenience store, deli, airport, or train-station kiosk to grab a snack or two. All is not lost, though: The good news is that many of these places now have [diet–] friendly snack options. Whether you’re packing snacks at home or grabbing some quick ones on the fly, as a general rule it’s best to avoid all processed foods including chips, cookies, snack cakes, candy bars, nachos, and sugary frozen drinks. Instead, choose from this list of nutritious snacks for traveling:

• Lean deli meats

• Nuts

• 1% , 2%, or fat-free cottage cheese

• Part-skim mozzarella cheese sticks

• Plain fat-free or low-fat yogurt

• Sunflower and pumpkin seeds (stick to a 3-tablespoon serving)

• Vegetable-juice cocktail

• Diet soda

• Individual two-ounce hummus containers

• Hard-boiled eggs

• Raw vegetables, such as celery and bell peppers

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Chef: Outdoor cooking needs safety

(UPI) As the outdoor cooking season gets in full swing, backyard cooks need to keep safety in mind, a professional cooking instructor says…

If flames in the grill get too hot or high, [Ivan] Petkov says, don't use water -- cover it and cut oxygen to the fire.

Make sure to drain meats completely before grilling, he says, since fats in marinades can drip onto the fire and cause large flames…

Cooked meat left out for two hours in the "danger zone" -- between 39 degrees to 141 degrees Fahrenheit -- should be microwaved for a minute and a half or grilled for two minutes to kill all germs. As soon as it reaches a temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit, it should be safe to eat, Petkov said.

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Ingredient in Red Wine May Prevent Some Blinding Diseases

(Science Daily) Resveratrol -- found in red wine, grapes, blueberries, peanuts and other plants -- stops out-of-control blood vessel growth in the eye, according to vision researchers…

The formation of new blood vessels, called angiogenesis, also plays a key role in certain cancers and in atherosclerosis.

[Rajendra S. Apte, MD, PhD, the study's senior investigator,] says the pathway his laboratory has identified may be active not only in those blinding eye diseases, but in cancers and atherosclerosis as well. If so, then one day it might be possible to use resveratrol to improve eyesight and to prevent cardiovascular disease and some types of cancer, too.

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Curb Hunger With Lean Protein

(SouthBeachDiet.com) Lean protein not only curbs hunger, it also allows you to maintain muscle mass while losing weight, which keeps your metabolism running at top speed. Cutting back on protein during weight loss, on the other hand, contributes to a loss of muscle mass and a slower metabolism. Lean protein also helps keep blood-sugar levels steady, which is essential to avoiding cravings for sugary snacks.

When considering protein choices, be sure to include lean cuts of beef (such as eye of round), ground beef (sirloin, lean, and extra-lean), tenderloin, top loin, and top round, as well as skinless turkey, chicken, and duck breast, pork loin and pork tenderloin, fish and shellfish, and soy-based meat alternatives that contain fewer than six grams of fat per two-to-three-ounce serving. Protein sources that are high in saturated fat should be avoided. These include brisket, liver, rib steaks (like prime rib), chicken and turkey pieces with the skin (as well as dark-meat poultry), and goose.

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MyRecipes.com

Chicken and Summer Vegetable Tostadas
The tostadas can easily become soft tacos if you skip broiling the tortillas. Serve with black beans.

7 Ways With Fresh Peaches

Meals from the Microwave

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Small Amount of Common Preservative Increases Toxins from Harmful Bacteria in Food, Study Finds

(Science Daily) In response to consumer demand for more natural food, the food industry has reduced the amount of preservatives in food over recent years. A common preservative is acetic acid, which is used to stop bacterial growth in dressings, sauces, cheese and pickles.

However, new research shows that a small amount of acetic acid does not have the intended effect, but rather the opposite -- it increases the amount of toxin from the harmful bacteria in the food…

"If we know more about what it is in the food that enables the bacteria to thrive, we can then adapt the composition of the food product and thereby improve food safety. This is a new way to approach food safety," explains Nina Wallin Carlquist.

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Reverse in Death Rates Seen for Urban, Rural U.S. Residents

(HealthDay News) Over the past few decades, the number of deaths among rural Americans has been increasing compared to city dwellers, new research has found…

"This is a reversal of a century-long trend that may have long-term ramifications for rural health care policy. In fact, if this disparity continues on its current trajectory, it will grow larger than our racial disparity in mortality," lead researcher Jeralynn Cossman … said in a university news release.

Causes behind this shift may include: poorer standards of health care in rural areas; more people in rural areas without health insurance; and higher rates of disease in rural areas.

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Study: Spending cuts can increase deaths

(UPI) Levels of social spending in Europe are strongly linked with risks of death from heart attacks and alcohol-induced illness, British researchers say…

Using the mathematical models, the researchers estimated that for each $104 reduction in social welfare spending per person, alcohol-related deaths would increase by about 2.8 percent and cardiovascular mortality by 1.2 percent.

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U.S. Report Finds Too Few Clinics Target Diabetes, Obesity

(HealthDay News) Too few local health clinics in the United States offer diabetes screening or obesity prevention programs, according to a nationwide study from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The clinics, which tend to serve poor clients, need to be "armed and equipped" to respond to the increasing threat of obesity and diabetes in the nation, study co-author Ann Albright said in a Center for the Advancement of Health news release…ent of them offered obesity prevention programs, 51 percent offered diabetes screening, and only one third offered both.

The findings were of particular concern since the percentage of obese American adults has doubled from 1980 to 2004, and the percentage of Americans diagnosed with diabetes may have doubled as well, according to researchers. People with diabetes and lower incomes run a higher risk of dying of the disease, research has shown.

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Active caregiving may offer positives

(UPI) Those who actively help an elderly relative or sick spouse may be helping themselves feel better, a U.S. researcher suggests…

[Michael] Poulin and colleagues find caregivers who engaged in "active care" -- such as feeding, bathing and toileting -- experienced more positive emotions and fewer negative emotions.

The study, published in Psychology and Aging, finds caretakers experienced fewer positive and more negative emotions when giving passive care -- especially passive monitoring of the patient.

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Scientists Suggest Links Between Personality, Size of Brain Regions

(HealthDay News) An individual's personality appears to be linked partly to the size of different parts of the brain, new research from the University of Minnesota reveals…

Extroverts, for example, are generally more involved in the quest for rewards. Using a computer program to compare the relative sizes of different structures in each brain image, the authors noted that participants who described themselves as extroverted had a significantly larger medial orbitofrontol cortex -- a part of the brain active in considering rewards. Perhaps not surprisingly, those self-described as conscientious had a bigger lateral prefrontal cortex -- a section of the brain involved in planning and controlling behavior.

Being neurotic and agreeable, respectively, also corresponded to differences in regional brain mass, the authors noted.

In fact, the only personality factor seemingly not associated with the size of a specific brain part was openness/intellect, the research team noted.

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Your Intellect Might Be Reflected in Your Body Symmetry

(HealthDay News) Smarter people are apparently a bit more symmetrical in terms of the shape of their body than less-intelligent individuals, a review of prior research suggests.

Body symmetry, the study team noted, is measured by looking at those parts of the body that come in pairs, right and left -- such as fingers, toes, hands and feet -- and then measuring and comparing the width and length of each side…

The authors noted that past efforts have pointed towards intelligence as being a key indicator of future health, mortality and perhaps even overall fitness, a critical ingredient in boosting the chances for reproductive success and overall survivability.

It was this evidence of a connection between fitness and brains that sparked the notion among the VCU team that body symmetry might correlate with intelligence.

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Get Happy Quickly by Writing One of These

(RealAge.com) Want to feel a whole lot happier? Right now? Then grab a pen and a thank-you card, and share some gratitude with someone.

When a group of students wrote a series of one-page thank-you letters every 2 weeks for 6 weeks, measurements showed that their baseline happiness levels increased by 20 percent.

Science says that happiness is 50 percent genetic, 10 percent circumstances, and 40 percent intentional activity (i.e., what you do). With so much happiness attributed to your own actions, it makes sense to do things that make you feel good…

Here are a few more ways to boost feel-good feelings:

Get up! Exercise helps release endorphins. Get a mood boost by doing theYOU: On a Diet Beginner Workout.

Get talking! Spending time with happy friends will do warm, fuzzy favors for your mood. Find out how contagious happiness is.

Make a plan. Happy feelings don't always just happen by themselves. Practice these five simple steps to getting happy.

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Lose Weight: Eat Every Four Hours

(Tammy Beasley, R.D., MyRecipes.com) What we eat matters, but when we eat is just as important. Research has told us that eating every four hours helps our metabolism work better, controls blood sugar, and reacquaints us with our body's natural hunger and fullness signals. And now there appears to be another good reason to regulate your meal timing–eating every four hours actually decrease cancer tumor development…

In a study in which one group of rats was fed every day at the same four hour interval and a second group at random four hour intervals, the animals that could anticipate their meals every four hours had an increase in glucocorticoids, hormones that help direct glucose regulation. Studies have previously shown that an increase in glucocorticoids is positively connected with a decrease in tumor development. Also, only in the group that knew when their meals were coming (every four hours) did glucose decrease and insulin increase before each meal, preparing the rats' bodies to consume calories appropriately.

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Compound Found in Red Wine Neutralizes Toxicity of Proteins Related to Alzheimer's

(Science Daily) An organic compound found in red wine -- resveratrol -- has the ability to neutralize the toxic effects of proteins linked to Alzheimer's disease, according to research…

It is not clear that resveratrol is able to cross the blood-brain barrier, [Rensselaer Professor Peter M.] Tessier said. However, the molecule has garnered interest in recent years for its potential impact on cancer and aging.

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Using foods to prevent cancer a trend

(UPI) [C]hemicals from plants and other living organisms are the basis for almost one-third of today's prescription medicines and scientists have identified a variety of promising candidates that may prevent cancer.

John M. Pezzuto of the University of Hawaii in Hilo and his team, using terrestrial plants, have uncovered several molecules with promising cancer prevention activity, most notably resveratrol, the red-wine compound made by a range of plants.

Gary D. Stoner of Ohio State University has been studying cancer prevention potential of berries and beets and he and his team have used a freeze-dried and powdered black raspberry mixture that blocks formation of esophageal and colon cancers in rats.

However, "this food-based approach to cancer prevention has been hurt" by companies that have made health claims for foods "on the basis of very little research," Stoner says.

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Help Keep Skin Cancer Free with a Few Shaves of This

(RealAge.com) Be it to summer drinks, crisp salads, or sandwich spreads, adding a few shaves of this could be good news for your skin: lemon zest.

A compound in lemon peels appears to help ward off a common skin cancer -- squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) -- by up to 34 percent. And it's all thanks to a citrus compound called d-Limonene.

D-Limonene seems to help keep skin cancer cells from growing and multiplying. And you can find plenty of the stuff in citrus peels; d-Limonene makes up more than 90 percent of citrus-peel oil. In a study of people who lived in sunny Arizona, those who consumed the most citrus zest had the lowest rates of SCC. And the more lemon, orange, and grapefruit zest the people consumed, the more they were protected from SCC.

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MyRecipes.com

Pasta Primavera
Use fresh seasonal vegetables for a hearty meatless meal. For the meat lovers in the family, feel free to add chicken or shrimp to this pasta recipe.

15-Minute Scallop Dishes

7 Secrets to Easy Meal Planning

Easy Freezer Meals

Breakfast Benefits

Pack a Lunch with a Healthy Punch

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Most Americans Get Too Much Salt

(HealthDay News) Ninety percent of Americans are eating more salt than they should, a new government report reveals…

Too much salt can increase your blood pressure, which is major risk factor for heart disease and stroke.

[Dr. Elena V.] Kuklina noted that most of the salt Americans consume comes from processed foods, not from the salt shaker on the table. You can control the salt in the shaker, but not the sodium added to processed foods, she said…

Because salt is so ubiquitous, it is almost impossible for individuals to control, Kuklina said.

Read more.

Community: It’s not even remotely close to impossible to eat less salt. All we have to do is more cooking for ourselves, instead of eating processed foods and eating out.

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Diabetes May Double Risk of Heart Attack, Stroke

(HealthDay News) Diabetes appears to double the risk of dying from a heart attack, stroke or other heart condition, a new study finds.

The researchers implicate diabetes in one of every 10 deaths from cardiovascular disease, or about 325,000 deaths a year in industrialized countries…

These findings, [researchers said], highlight the need to prevent and control diabetes, a disease in which blood sugar levels are too high.

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Drug Helps Tackle Type 2 Diabetes in New Way, Study Says

(HealthDay News) A new drug, the first in its class, gives added blood sugar control to people with type 2 diabetes who are already taking the glucose-lowering medication metformin.

The new agent, dapagliflozin, which also helped patients lose weight, is novel in that it does not work directly on the body's insulin mechanisms, according to a study…

"It will probably be used as an add-on therapy," said study author Clifford Bailey, a chemical pathologist and professor of clinical science at Aston University in Birmingham, U.K. "If you don't quite get to target with [the first therapy tried], this approach would offer you an opportunity hopefully to maintain improved control."…

Dapagliflozin works by stimulating the kidneys to eliminate more glucose from the body via urine.

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Exercise may trump creatine for patients

(UPI) Exercise alone trumps exercise and creatine supplements for cardiac patients, researchers in Belgium found…

Since creatine supplements improve muscle strength -- particularly for short-term, high-intensity exercise -- and have been used by athletes to maximize their training, the researchers proposed using creatine to help with endurance and muscle strength for patients undergoing cardiac rehabilitation.

However, the 80 patients in the study showed no significant differences between those taking creatine and those taking a placebo.

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Antihypertensive Drugs May Protect Against Alzheimer's Disease

(Science Daily) Researchers at Mount Sinai School of Medicine have found that the drug carvedilol, currently prescribed for the treatment of hypertension, may lessen the degenerative impact of Alzheimer's disease and promote healthy memory functions…

"Ongoing clinical research is in progress to test the benefits of carvedilol, which may prove to be an effective agent in the treatment of symptoms of Alzheimer's disease," said [study author Giulio Maria Pasinetti, MD, PhD]. "We look forward to further studying this drug in the human population."

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Hallmark Alzheimer's Disease Changes Found in Retinas of Humans and Imaged in Live Animals

(Science Daily) The nerve cell-damaging plaque that builds up in the brain with Alzheimer's disease also builds up in the retinas of the eyes -- and it shows up there earlier, leading to the prospect that noninvasive optical imaging of the eyes could lead to earlier diagnosis, intervention and monitoring of the disease, according to new research.

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Bone-Building Pills Appear to Lower Invasive Breast Cancer Risk

(HealthDay News) Bone-building drugs known as bisphosphonates appear to reduce the risk of invasive breast cancer by around 30 percent, two new studies show.

"If a woman is considering bisphosphonate use for bone, this might be another potential benefit," said Dr. Rowan T. Chlebowski, a clinical oncologist…

Ninety percent of the women who were taking the bone-building drugs took alendronate (Fosamax), according to the study.

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Phone Reminders May Boost Colon Cancer Screenings

(HealthDay News) Automated telephone reminders can increase colon cancer screening rates by 30 percent, research shows…

"Most Americans who should be screened for colon cancer are not being screened. If everyone who is eligible for screening received reminder calls through a program like this one, we could screen millions of additional people. And because the calls are automated, they can be delivered to large numbers of people in a short period of time," lead author David Mosen, an investigator at the Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research, said in a Kaiser news release.

Each year in the United States, more than 52,000 people die of colon cancer, making it the second leading cause of cancer death in the country. Most Americans should begin colon cancer screening at age 50, but those at high risk should begin at a younger age, says the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force.

Screening methods include colonoscopy, sigmoidoscopy and the stool test.

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Getting Estrogen's Benefits Without Cancer Risk

(Science Daily) Researchers … have pinpointed a set of biological mechanisms through which estrogen confers its beneficial effects on the cardiovascular system, independent of the hormone's actions on cancer. Their investigation suggests that drugs targeting a specific subpopulation of estrogen receptors found outside the cell nucleus might activate the cardiovascular benefits of estrogen without increasing cancer risk…

Dr. [Philip] Shaul and UT Southwestern colleagues created and tested in mice a synthetic molecule to determine the mechanisms by which estrogen promotes blood vessel health…

Dr. Shaul said the findings strongly suggest that the molecule helps maintain vascular health without adverse impact on cancer risk. He noted that this approach is likely applicable to both men and women and not limited to older individuals.

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Progesterone may ease hot flashes

(UPI) Oral, micronized progesterone may help ease hot flashes in postmenopausal women, Canadian researchers say.

Researchers … say progesterone -- manufactured from a steroid found in yams -- provided significant improvement in symptoms in postmenopausal women experiencing hot flashes or night sweats severe enough to disturb sleep. The only other effective treatment has been estrogen.

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Community: Why not just recommend eating yams?

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Ignoring Stress Leads to More Cravings

(Science Daily) Recovering addicts who avoid coping with stress succumb easily to substance use cravings, making them more likely to relapse during recovery, according to behavioral researchers…

The researchers found that how addicts cope with stress -- either by working through a problem or avoiding it -- is a strong predictor of whether they will experience cravings when faced with stress and negative mood.

"Whether you avoid problems or analyze problems not only makes a big difference in your life but also has a powerful impact on someone who has worked hard to stay away from alcohol and other drugs," explained [H. Harrington] Cleveland. "When faced with stress, addicts who have more adaptive coping skills appear to have a better chance of staying in recovery."

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Community: I think the same could be said of us food addicts, also.

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Tip of the Week: Replace Foods Instead of Eliminating Them

(Roger Gould, M.D., Shrink Yourself) There are fuel foods (foods we need to thrive) and fun foods (food that are simply delicious to eat). Last year a series of best-selling cookbooks introduced ways for parents to hide healthy foods in kid-friendly foods (like broccoli in brownies). You can help your weight loss effort by doing something similar with the rebellious child inside of you.

For example, a Quizno's Tuna Melt has over 2,000 calories and 175 grams of fat. Hard to believe, I know. If you love Tuna Melts (or anything else) you don't have to deprive yourself, you just need to make educated choices. You can make yourself a tuna melt with as little as 500 calories and 10 grams of fat. No one ever said that you have to feel deprived to lose weight. You just have to understand that you might not be able to have everything you want, exactly when you want it, and in the exact same way. To soothe that child inside you that might feel deprived by the word "diet" offer him/her creative alternatives to your favorite foods.

This week look for ways to enjoy the things you like in new and improved ways that respect your health and well-being.

Source

Community: Or just eat healthy first. I find that since I started eating healthy, I don't have the same cravings I had before. Now, those ads for sugary, greasy food don't look appetizing at all.

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Recipes

Cooking Light:

The Healthiest Fast Food Breakfasts
Next time you're in a hurry, fuel up with these quick yet healthy fast food breakfast options. You'll be pleasantly surprised.

5-Ingredient Seafood Recipes
Fish and shellfish are quick cooking, nutritious, and delicious when prepared simply. These 17 recipes offer shortcuts that don't skimp on taste.

Season's Best: Peaches (video)
Learn how to buy perfectly ripe peaches with tips for peeling, storing, and cooking.

MyRecipes.com:

Pork Chops with Country Gravy
This savory pork chops and gravy recipe is a lightened version of the Southern-style classic. Plus, you can use the simple gravy technique in a number of other dishes.

Pork Tenderloin with Mustard Sauce

Top 10 Iced Tea Recipes

Grilled Chicken Menus

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Analyzing Food and Beverages With Magnetic Levitation

(Science Daily) Scientists are reporting development of a new use for magnetic levitation, or "maglev," the futuristic technology best known for enabling high-speed passenger trains to float above the tracks. In [a new article], they describe putting maglev to use in an inexpensive sensor for analyzing food, water, and other beverages.

George Whitesides and colleagues note that measurements of a substance's density are important in the food industry, health care, and other settings because they provide key information about a substance's chemical composition. Density measurements, for instance, can determine the sugar content of soft drinks, the amount of alcohol in wine, or whether irrigation water contains too much salt to use on a farmer's field. Existing devices for making those measurements are far from ideal, and a need exists for simpler, less expensive, easy-to-use technology.

The scientists describe development of a special sensor that uses maglev to meet those needs, suspending solid or liquid samples with the aid of magnets to measure their density.

Read more.

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Can START Stop Cholesterol Build-Up?

(Science Daily) A newly discovered group of proteins could help treat cholesterol build-up in arteries. This build-up leads to atherosclerosis or 'hardening of the arteries'…

[Researchers] report on the use of steroidogenic acute regulatory protein-related lipid transfer (START) proteins to remove excess cholesterol from macrophage foam cells (cells that form obstacles in the arteries) and stop atherosclerotic lesions growing and even shrink them.

The most promising protein in the START family is STARD3 and this will be used in further experiments to see if it can form the basis for a therapy which will reduce cholesterol synthesis and build-up.

Read more.

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Mouse Study Sheds Light on Diabetes-Heart Disease Link

(HealthDay News) A potential link between diabetes and a heightened risk of heart disease and sudden cardiac death has been spotted by researchers studying mice.

In the new study…, the investigators found that high blood sugar prevents critical communication between the brain and the autonomic nervous system, which controls involuntary activities in the body.

"Diseases, such as diabetes, that disturb the function of the autonomic nervous system cause a wide range of abnormalities that include poor control of blood pressure, cardiac arrhythmias and digestive problems," senior author Dr. Ellis Cooper … explained in a news release… "In most people with diabetes, the malfunction of the autonomic nervous system adversely affects their quality of life and shortens life expectancy."

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Poor Breast Cancer Survival in Blacks May Not Be Due to Race

(HealthDay News) Underinsured black breast cancer patients have worse survival outcomes than underinsured white patients, a new U.S. study has found…

"After adjustment for competing causes of death, the survival disparity between African American and non-Hispanic white women appears to be attributable in part to differences in clinical and socio-demographic factors between the groups," Dr. Ian K. Komenaka … and colleagues concluded in their report…

Socio-demographic factors include variables such as income, education level and access to health care, they explained.

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Jetting Off Without the Jet Lag

(Science Daily) Everyone hates the jet lag -- the nighttime insomnia, loss of appetite, decreased alertness, and depressed mood -- that accompanies travel to locations in different time zones. The symptoms of jet lag are caused by misalignment of a person's internal body clock (also known as the circadian clock) and external time.

Now, [researchers] have provided new insight into the molecular mechanisms responsible for resetting the internal circadian system in the mouse… The authors suggest that their data point to new potential therapies to overcome jet lag.

In an accompanying commentary, Mary Harrington … discusses how these data have implications not only for those who suffer jet lag but also for those who perform rotating shift work, which has been linked to many serious health problems, including breast cancer, stroke, and cardiovascular disease. She also cautions that it will be important to determine whether treatments for jet lag that allow the body clock to shift rapidly are actually better for one's health than the slower adjustments that occur naturally.

Read more.

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Drug Mitigates Toxic Effects of Radiation in Mice

(Science Daily) While radiation has therapeutic uses, too much radiation is damaging to cells. The most important acute side effect of radiation poisoning is damage to the bone marrow… While there are a few drugs that will decrease toxicity when given before exposure to radiation ("radioprotectants"); currently, no effective therapy exists to mitigate bone marrow toxicity of radiation when given after radiation exposure ("radiomitigants")….

[In a new study, researchers provide] a first example of successful radiomitigation in mammals. The investigators found that oral treatment of mice with a drug that inhibits enzymes involved in cell division caused certain groups of bone marrow cells to temporarily stop dividing… Several decades of work have shown that cells which are not dividing are resistant to agents that damage DNA, like radiation. [The researchers] were then able to show that the induction of [the drug] immediately before or up to 20 hours after radiation exposure were able to protect mice from a lethal dose of radiation. [The drug] protected all the normal cells of blood, including platelets, red cells and white cells.

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Stem-cell corneas last up to a decade: study

(Reuters) Italian doctors reported long-term success on Wednesday with a technique of fixing burn-related eye damage using corneas grown from stem cells.

They used stem cells plucked from the thin ring around the iris to make a clear cornea that allowed vision for at least 10 years.

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New Method of Peptide Synthesis Makes It Easier to Create Drugs Based on Natural Compounds

(Science Daily) A team of Vanderbilt chemists has developed a novel method for chemically synthesizing peptides that promises to lower the cost and increase the availability of drugs based on natural compounds…

The new approach addresses one of the key limitations of current methods of peptide synthesis: the difficulty of incorporating non-natural amino acids. That is one reason why most current pharmaceuticals based on "biologics" include active ingredients extracted from cells grown by the relatively difficult and expensive fermentation process instead of being synthesized "from scratch" in the laboratory.

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Disease risk higher for swingers than prostitutes

(Reuters) Scientists studying swingers -- straight couples who regularly swap sexual partners and indulge in group sex at organized meeting -- say they have higher rates of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) than prostitutes.

Dutch researchers … showed that older swingers -- those over the age of 45 -- are particularly vulnerable and yet are a group largely ignored by healthcare services.

With estimates that the swinger population could be many millions across the world, the scientists said there was a risk this untreated group could act as an STI "transmission bridge to the entire population."

Read more.

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Going Barefoot in Home May Contribute to Elderly Falls

(Science Daily) As summer rolls around, elderly people may want to think twice about taking their shoes off when they get home. Going barefoot in the home, or wearing slippers or socks with no shoes, may contribute to falls among the elderly, according to a new study…

[Says senior author Marian T. Hannan, D.Sc., M.P.H.,] "Therefore, older people should wear shoes at home whenever possible to minimize their risk of falling."

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U.S. scores dead last again in healthcare study

(Reuters) Americans spend twice as much as residents of other developed countries on healthcare, but get lower quality, less efficiency and have the least equitable system, according to a report released on Wednesday.

The United States ranked last when compared to six other countries -- Britain, Canada, Germany, Netherlands, Australia and New Zealand, the Commonwealth Fund report found…

Previous reports by the nonprofit Fund, which conducts research into healthcare performance and which promotes changes in the U.S. system, have been heavily used by policymakers and politicians pressing for healthcare reform.

Read more.

Community: The World Health Organization also ranks the U.S. behind all other industrialized countries, though their study hasn’t been updated since 2000. According to WHO’s report, “The U.S. health system spends a higher portion of its gross domestic product than any other country but ranks 37 out of 191 countries according to its performance, the report finds. The United Kingdom, which spends just six percent of GDP on health services, ranks 18th. Several small countries – San Marino, Andorra, Malta and Singapore are rated close behind second- placed Italy.”

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Yoga for a better sex life?

(Harvard HEALTHbeat) Rooted in Indian philosophy, yoga is an ancient method of relaxation, exercise, and healing… It has been shown to ease anxiety and depression, lower blood pressure, improve joint pain and function, and relieve pain and many other mental and physical complaints. It may come as no surprise, then, that yoga may also serve to enhance sexual function. According to a study…, regular yoga practice improves several aspects of sexual function in women, including desire, arousal, orgasm, and overall satisfaction…

If you’d like to try yoga, classes and video instruction are widely available. There are many different styles of yoga, and while many are safe, some can be strenuous and may not be appropriate for everyone. If you’re older, out of shape, or have physical limitations, you may want to check in with a clinician before trying yoga.

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Exercise May Combat Alcohol Cravings, Animal Study Suggests

(HealthDay News) Exercise may turn out to be an effective treatment option for alcoholism, a new animal study suggests.

Alcoholism disrupts normal daily circadian rhythms (such as when to sleep and eat), which leads to disrupted sleep patterns. As a result, alcoholics may begin to drink even more in an attempt to fall asleep easier. But this often leads to more sleep problems and an even greater craving for alcohol…

"In this study, we found that the more the hamsters ran, the less they consumed alcohol. The 'lazier' hamsters that did not run as much had a greater craving for and consumption of alcohol, suggesting that exercise may be an effective, beneficial, and non-pharmacologic treatment option for alcoholism," corresponding author J. David Glass, a professor of biological sciences at Kent State University, said in a journal news release.

Exercise seems to reduce alcohol consumption by stimulating brain reward pathways in a manner similar to alcohol.

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Community: Maybe regular exercise is one of the reasons I now have fewer food cravings.

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High Fructose, Trans Fats Lead to Significant Liver Disease, Says Study

(Science Daily) Scientists … have discovered that a diet with high levels of fructose -- levels equivalent to that in high fructose corn syrup -- and of trans fats not only increases obesity, but also leads to significant fatty liver disease with scar tissue…

"Fructose consumption accounts for approximately 10.2 percent of calories in the average diet in the United States and has been linked to many health problems, including obesity, cardiovascular disease and liver disease," says Dr. [Rohit] Kohli…

The investigators found that mice fed the normal calorie chow diet remained lean and did not have fatty liver disease. Mice fed high calorie diets (trans-fat alone or a combination of trans-fat and high fructose) became obese and had fatty liver disease.

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Community: Every time one of these studies is published, I start seeing the ads again that make anyone who questions the use of high fructose corn syrup look stupid.

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MyRecipes.com

Summer Corn and White Bean Soup
This quick, fiber-packed soup is a terrific way to use fresh corn. Add a slight kick with a sprinkle of Monterey Jack cheese with jalapeƱo peppers just before serving.

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