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

HHS creates Web site to find health plans

(UPI) The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has created a Web site to help people search for health insurance options, officials say…

"HealthCare.gov is a valuable resource for small businesses, consumers and their families to search for coverage options and understand the new benefits under the Affordable Care Act," Sebelius says in a statement. "By putting the power of information at your fingertips, HealthCare.gov is helping American families everywhere to take control over their healthcare and make the choices that are right for them."

Read more.

Community: See the link in the second column.

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

Medicare expands coverage to help smokers quit

(AP) Even though they've lived with the health warnings much of their lives and doubtless seen the ill effects on friends, relatives and even themselves, about 4.5 million older Americans continue to smoke.

Finally, Medicare is catching up to most private insurers by providing counseling for any beneficiary who's trying to quit smoking. Dr. Barry Straube, the program's chief medical officer, says it's never too late, even for lifelong smokers.

"The elderly can respond to smoking cessation counseling even if they have been smoking for 30 years or more," says Straube. "We do know we can see a reduction in the death rate and complications from smoking-related illnesses." Not only cancer, heart disease and lung problems, which can kill, but also gastric reflux, osteoporosis and other ailments that undermine quality of life.

Read more.

Community: It took many years of warnings, and even then it was more a matter of vanity, than one of health, that prompted me to quit smoking.

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

Two vision correction techniques look comparable

(Reuters Health) Two forms of laser vision correction sometimes used as an alternative to LASIK seem to have similar results for people with nearsightedness, a new research analysis finds.

The findings, published in the journal Ophthalmology, confirm results from smaller studies suggesting that patients fare about as well with either of the procedures -- namely, photorefractive keratectomy (PRK) and LASEK, a relatively newer technique that differs from its much more common sound-alike LASIK.

Since it was introduced in the U.S. in the 1990s, LASIK has become by far the most commonly used surgical technique for correcting nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism.

But PRK and LASEK are both options for people who cannot undergo LASIK because of certain factors, such as relatively thin corneas.

Read more.

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

Food Better Than Supplements for Cancer Prevention: Expert

(HealthDay News) Nutritional supplements are popular among Americans but people need to educate themselves and use caution when using these products to try to reduce their risk of cancer, says a University of Texas expert…

"If you eat lots of vegetables, fruits, whole grains and beans, you should get the nutrients, including fiber, vitamins and minerals, your body needs to lower your chances of getting diseases like cancer," [health education manager Sally Scroggs] said. "Taking a pill can't replace a healthy diet."

She suggested eating plenty of foods loaded with cancer-fighting nutrients such as beta-carotene, selenium, lycopene, resveratrol and vitamins A, C and E.

While Scroggs does advise caution, there are some situations where taking supplements may benefit people, especially those who aren't getting enough nutrients due to food allergies, genetics or chronic illnesses, she said.

Read more.

Community: Ms. Scroggs is talking about cancer prevention only, here. I have had doctors tell me to take a calcium supplement, a vitamin D supplement, and a glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate supplement.

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

Grapefruit's Bitter Taste Holds a Sweet Promise for Diabetes Therapy

(Science Daily) Naringenin, an antioxidant derived from the bitter flavor of grapefruits and other citrus fruits, may cause the liver to break down fat while increasing insulin sensitivity, a process that naturally occurs during long periods of fasting.

A team of researchers from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) report that naringenin activates a family of small proteins, called nuclear receptors, causing the liver to break down fatty acids. In fact, the compound seems to mimic the actions of other drugs, such as the lipid-lowering Fenofibrate and the anti-diabetic Rosiglitazone, offering the advantages of both. If the results of this study extend to human patients, this dietary supplement could become a staple in the treatment of hyperlipidemia, type-2 diabetes, and perhaps metabolic syndrome.

Read more.

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

Recipes

MyRecipes.com:

Chicken Panini with Fig Jam
If you do not have a sandwich press or cast-iron skillet, place a regular skillet on top of the sandwich and weigh it down with cans. Serve with pickle spears.

Sweet 'n' Smoky Grilled Seafood Dinners

Company-Worthy Chicken Recipes

EatingWell:

Tomato-Corn Pie
Tomatoes and corn have a natural affinity for one another: the slight acidity of tomatoes balances the sweetness of the corn. Here they partner in a delicious quiche-like pie. The dough is very forgiving and bakes up into a sturdy shell that’s great for just about any savory pie or tart. Perfect for a summer brunch or try it with a tossed salad for a light supper.

Sauteed Chicken Breasts with Creamy Chive Sauce

Roasted Pear-Butternut Soup with Crumbled Stilton

5 Things to Cook If You Never Cook
If you're the type who doesn’t cook, here are 5 simple recipes to get you started and bust your excuses for not getting into the kitchen.

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

Sodium MRI Gives New Insights Into Detecting Osteoarthritis

(Science Daily) Researchers at New York University have developed an innovative way to look at the development of osteoarthritis in the knee joint -- one that relies on the examination of sodium ions in cartilage. Their work … may provide a non-invasive method to diagnose osteoarthritis in its very early stages.

Read more.

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

Quality of Care After Joint Surgery May Affect Heart Health

(HealthDay News) The quality of care a patient receives immediately after orthopedic surgery has a major impact on long-term heart health, a new study shows…

The methods used to improve quality of care included tighter control of oxygen and glucose levels in patients' blood, along with consistency and continuity of care as hospital staff monitored and cared for patients, according to the report…

"An improvement of quality of postoperative care results in a twofold decrease of postoperative myocardial ischemia and a fourfold decrease of major cardiac events later on," [Dr. Sylvain] Ausset said in a news release from the American Society of Anesthesiologists.

Read more.

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

Frogs may solve antibiotics hunt

(UPI) Frog skins contain natural secretions that could lead to new antibiotics to fight infections that have become resistant to existing drugs, researchers say.

Scientists told a meeting of the American Chemical Society that more than 100 antibiotic substances were found in the skin of frog species gathered from around the world, a society release said Thursday…

Drug-resistant bacteria, which have developed the ability to resist conventional antibiotics, are growing problems worldwide and patients need new drugs to replace treatments that no longer work, one researcher said.

Read more.

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

Liver Cells Created from Patients' Skin Cells

(Science Daily) By creating diseased liver cells from a small sample of human skin, scientists have now shown that stem cells can be used to model a diverse range of inherited disorders. The University of Cambridge researchers' findings, which will hopefully lead to new treatments for those suffering from liver diseases…

[Said Professor Mark Thursz, who was not affiliated with the study,] "The development of patient specific liver cell lines from stem cells is a significant advance in the battle against liver diseases. This technology holds promise in the short term by providing new tools to explore the biology of liver diseases and in the long term as a potential source of liver cells for patients with liver failure."

Read more.

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

Surgical Robot Could Be Used for Long-Distance Regional Anesthesia

(Science Daily) An existing surgical robot could be used to perform complex regional anesthesia procedures -- in theory, allowing expert anesthesiologists to perform robot-assisted procedures from remote locations, according to a study…

Although robot-assisted regional anesthesia is "strictly experimental" for now, "This study demonstrated that a multipurpose surgical robot could be adapted for simulated nerve block placement," according to the report.

Read more.

Community: And absolutely nothing can go wrong … go wrong … go wrong …

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

Kidney stone surgeries may rise with physician ownership

(Reuters Health) - More physician-owned outpatient surgery centers may mean the surgical removal of more kidney stones, suggests a new study…

While barring physicians from referring Medicare and Medicaid patients to centers in which they have ownership, current federal law does allow physician investment in ambulatory surgery centers. The numbers of these centers are on the rise across the country.

Physician ownership can provide benefits to the patient, including convenience and less hospital time, but it might also reflect a "financial conflict of interest," [lead researcher Dr. John M] Hollingsworth said.

A separate study of insurance claims in the state of Idaho recently found that orthopedic surgeries, such as those performed on the rotator cuff or knee, also increased with physician ownership…

"To the extent that our findings and those of others reflect physician-induced demand," noted Hollingsworth, "policy remedies may include revisiting the federal law that permits physician ownership."

Read more.

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

Walking Boosts Brain Connectivity, Function

(Science Daily) A group of "professional couch potatoes," as one researcher described them, has proven that even moderate exercise -- in this case walking at one's own pace for 40 minutes three times a week -- can enhance the connectivity of important brain circuits, combat declines in brain function associated with aging and increase performance on cognitive tasks…

The researchers measured participants' brain connectivity and performance on cognitive tasks at the beginning of the study, at six months and after a year of either walking or toning and stretching.

At the end of the year, DMN [default mode network] connectivity was significantly improved in the brains of the older walkers, but not in the stretching and toning group, the researchers report.

The walkers also had increased connectivity in parts of another brain circuit (the fronto-executive network, which aids in the performance of complex tasks) and they did significantly better on cognitive tests than their toning and stretching peers.

Read more.

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

Long-Term Exercise Can Reduce Muscle Pain

(HealthDay News) A bout of exercise can worsen the aches of American military veterans suffering from chronic musculoskeletal pain, a small new study shows. But researchers say that it's only temporary.

Long-term exercise, they stress, can help reduce veterans' chronic pain.

Read more.

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

Lifestyle changes curb overnight bathroom trips

(Reuters Health) If you're frequently bothered by waking in the middle of the night to empty your bladder, there may be some simple and drug-free lifestyle adjustments that can help, a small study suggests.

So-called "nocturia" is the complaint of getting up at least once a night to urinate -- either due to a heightened production of urine or the inability of the bladder to hold it, sometimes as a result of an underlying medical problem. The condition can contribute to fatigue and depression, and raise the risk of heart disease and gastrointestinal disorders…

[Dr. Koji] Yoshimura and his colleagues studied 56 people complaining of nocturia who were about 75 years old, on average. They tested the effects of four easy lifestyle changes: fluid restriction, limiting any excess hours in bed, moderate daily exercise and keeping warm while sleeping…

After four weeks, the participants' average number of nighttime bathroom trips dropped. More than half of the patients experienced an improvement of more than one episode a night, Yoshimura and colleagues report…

Dr. Serge Marinkovic of St. Francis Hospital, in Indianapolis, who was not involved in the study, noted that the effectiveness of the lifestyle changes was comparable to that of drug interventions.

Read more.

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

Black Rice May Be Cheap Source of Antioxidants

(HealthDay News) Blueberries and blackberries have high levels of antioxidants, which help the body deal with potentially dangerous cellular oxidation, but scientists say they've also found a cheaper source of antioxidants for consumers: black rice.

"Just a spoonful of black rice bran contains more health promoting anthocyanin antioxidants than are found in a spoonful of blueberries, but with less sugar and more fiber and vitamin E antioxidants," study co-author Zhimin Xu said…

"If berries are used to boost health, why not black rice and black rice bran?" suggested Xu, associate professor at the food science department at Louisiana State University Agricultural Center in Baton Rouge. "Black rice bran would be a unique and economical material to increase consumption of health-promoting antioxidants."

Read more.

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

Enjoy Spot-Free Skin with This Dark Red Fruit

(RealAge.com) Sunscreen is step one in avoiding sun spots. But according to Allison Tannis, author of Feed Your Skin, Starve Your Wrinkles, nutrients found in deep ruby-red pomegranate seeds may hinder abnormal changes in skin color brought on by long-term sun exposure.

The main nutrient in question? Ellagic acid. But that's not all. The age-fighting antioxidants in pomegranates may be particularly skin-friendly as well. In fact, Tannis claims that the antioxidant capacity of pomegranates is so powerful that they're able to neutralize twice as many skin-damaging free radicals as red wine, and seven times as many free radicals as green tea. (Find out what else is on the oh-so-long list of pomegranate body-benefits.)

Read more.

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

Eat This Leafy Green for Your Colon

(RealAge.com) Keep your colon polyp-free by using this leafy green in your fresh summer salads: spinach.

This dark leafy green is loaded with magnesium -- and a recent Japanese study suggests that getting enough magnesium may be crucial when it comes to curbing the risk of colon cancer…

Not a fan of spinach? You can up your magnesium intake with halibut, almonds, cashews, soy, or potatoes instead.

Read more.

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

Recipes

MyRecipes.com:

Classic Steak House Rubbed Filet Mignon
This recipe uses a tasty rub of dry mustard powder, peppercorns and rosemary to add flavor to filet mignon. Serve with grilled asparagus and a baked potato for a meal ready in less than 30 minutes.

Heart-Healthy Chicken Recipes
Keep your heart healthy with these main-dish chicken recipes that are low-fat, low-sodium, and low-cholesterol, but high in convenience and flavor.

EatingWell:

Grilled Halibut Salad Niçoise
Salad nicoise, a classic French salad, is typically made with tuna. Here we use sweet grilled halibut (in season in midsummer) or striped bass. To make it quicker, substitute 2 or 3 cans of drained chunk light tuna. Or skip the fish altogether for a vegetarian main-course salad.

5-Ingredient Dinners
With a few staples, you'll have dinner in minutes.

Quick, Packable Low-Cal Lunches
Fast recipes for healthy midday meals.

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

Artificial Enzyme Removes Natural Poison

(Science Daily) For the first time ever, a completely artificial chemical enzyme has been successfully used to neutralise a toxin found naturally in fruits and vegetables.

Chemzymes are designed molecules emulating the targeting and efficiency of naturally occurring enzymes…

[T]he robust and designable compounds may turn out to be just what's needed for a wide variety of jobs. Not least in the pharmaceutical industries, where the need is massive for chemical compounds which can solve problems that no amount of designing could ever tweak the natural ones to work on, which are unaffected by industrial processes, and to top it of, cheap to produce.

Read more.

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

Fat Distribution Plays a Role in Weight Loss Success in Patients at Risk of Diabetes

(Science Daily) Why is it that some people lose weight and body fat when they exercise and eat less and others don't? German researchers say MRI and magnetic resonance (MR) spectroscopy can provide the answer -- and help predict who will benefit from lifestyle changes…

"The participants who improved their health status as a result of diet and exercise started out with lower baseline levels of abdominal and liver fat," [lead researcher and physicist Jürgen] Machann said. "In our study, these two factors predetermined whether or not a lifestyle intervention would be successful for a particular individual…

"Our results demonstrate that with MRI and MR spectroscopy, we can determine who will benefit from dietary changes and exercise and who will need other interventions," Machann said.

Read more.

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

Are allergies associated with heart disease?

(Reuters Health) Common allergies that bring on wheezing, sneezing and watery eyes could be next to join the list of factors linked to heart disease, suggests a large new study.

However, the researchers stress that the findings do not prove that allergies actually cause heart disease, the leading cause of death in the U.S…

[G]iven the nature of the study, the researchers are not yet able to say if allergies truly have a role to play in the development of heart disease.

Much more study is needed to "clearly see" whether there is a cause and effect relationship, [Dr. Jongoh] Kim said. "And even if there is a cause and effect, it is not clear whether treating allergic disease can reduce the risk," Kim noted.

Read more.

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

Nerve Cell Production Linked to Memory in Humans

(Science Daily) Production of new nerve cells in the human brain is linked to learning and memory, according to a new study from the University of Florida. The research is the first to show such a link in humans. The findings, published online and in an upcoming print issue of the journal Brain, provide clues about processes involved in age- and health-related memory loss and reveal potential cellular targets for drug therapy…

"The findings suggest that if we can increase the regeneration of nerve cells in the hippocampus we can alleviate or prevent memory loss in humans," said Florian Siebzehnrubl, Ph.D., a postdoctoral researcher in neuroscience in the UF College of Medicine, and co-first author of the study. "This process gives us what pharmacologists call a 'druggable target.'"

Read more.

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

Herbicide linked to prostate inflammation

(UPI) Male rats exposed in vitro to low doses of widely used herbicide are more likely than others to develop prostate inflammation, U.S. researchers say…

The study, published online in Reproductive Toxicology, finds prostate inflammation went from 48 percent in the control group to 81 percent in the male offspring who were exposed to a mixture of atrazine and its breakdown products prenatally.

Read more.

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

Use the Common Cold Virus to Target and Disrupt Cancer Cells?

(Science Daily) A novel mechanism used by adenovirus to sidestep the cell's suicide program, could go a long way to explain how tumor suppressor genes are silenced in tumor cells and pave the way for a new type of targeted cancer therapy, report researchers at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies.

Read more.

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

Motor vehicle crashes cost $99B a year

(UPI) Every 10 seconds, someone is treated in a U.S. hospital for a vehicle crash injury and 40,000 die each year from these injuries, health officials say…

Dr. Grant Baldwin, director of the CDC's Division of Unintentional Injury Prevention, says the annual cost of these motor vehicle injuries amounts to nearly $500 for each licensed driver in the United States.

"This study highlights the magnitude of the problem of crash-related injuries from a cost perspective, and the numbers are staggering," Baldwin says in a statement.

The study also finds of the total amount of motor vehicle injuries, 70 percent were by men.

Read more.

Community: So much for the myth that women are the bad drivers.

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

Digital Devices Deprive Brain of Needed Downtime

(New York Times) Cellphones, which in the last few years have become full-fledged computers with high-speed Internet connections, let people relieve the tedium of exercising, the grocery store line, stoplights or lulls in the dinner conversation.

The technology makes the tiniest windows of time entertaining, and potentially productive. But scientists point to an unanticipated side effect: when people keep their brains busy with digital input, they are forfeiting downtime that could allow them to better learn and remember information, or come up with new ideas…

At the University of California, San Francisco, scientists have found that when rats have a new experience, like exploring an unfamiliar area, their brains show new patterns of activity. But only when the rats take a break from their exploration do they process those patterns in a way that seems to create a persistent memory of the experience.

The researchers suspect that the findings also apply to how humans learn.

Read more.

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

Insulin resistance may cause Alzheimer plaques

(Reuters) People with insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes are more likely to develop plaques in the brain associated with Alzheimer's disease, researchers in Japan reported on Thursday…

"It is possible that adequate control of diabetes in midlife may contribute to ... prevention of Alzheimer's disease," wrote lead researcher Kensuke Sasaki.

Read more.

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

Foods to Boost Your Mind

(Cooking Light) If you think you’re destined to spend your golden years forgetting your kids’ names or wondering why you put the milk in the pantry, we have good news for you. Just like the right diet can prevent heart disease, high blood pressure and cancer, health experts are now finding that certain foods can also fend off Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. Load up on these mind-preserving eats and stay on top of your mental ball game.

Blackberries
They provide potent antioxidants known as polyphenols that zap inflammation and encourage communication between neurons, improving our ability to soak up new information according to a 2009 Tufts University study.

Coffee
A recent Finnish study of 1,400 longtime coffee drinkers reveals that people who sipped between three to five cups of coffee a day in their 40s and 50s reduced their odds of developing Alzheimer’s disease by 65% compared to those who downed fewer than two cups a day. Researchers believe that coffee’s caffeine and ample antioxidants are the keys to its protective affects.

Apples
Apples are a leading source of quercetin, an antioxidant plant chemical that keeps your mental juices flowing by protecting your brain cells… To get the most quercetin bang for your buck, be sure to eat your apples with their skins on…

Chocolate
You’ve heard the good news that chocolate can lower your blood pressure. Now researchers have discovered it can also keep your mind sharp. A 2009Journal of Nutrition study found that eating as little as one-third of an ounce of chocolate a day (the size of about two Hersey’s kisses) helps protect against age-related memory loss. They credit polyphenols in cocoa with increasing blood flow to the brain.

Cinnamon
Emerging research from the University of California at Santa Barbara reveals that two compounds in cinnamon - proanthocyanidins and cinnamaldehyde - may inactivate [harmful] tau proteins…

Spinach
[A] study reveals that eating three servings of leafy green, yellow and cruciferous vegetables a day can delay cognitive decline by 40%. Of these three, leafy greens were found to be the most protective. Try your spinach drizzled with a little olive oil. Its healthy fats boost absorption of fat-soluble vitamins E and K.

Extra Virgin Olive Oil
You may not have heard of them before but ADDLs (or amyloid B-derived diffusible ligands) are Alzheimer’s-inducing proteins that are toxic to the brain. In the initial stages of the disease they attach to brain cells rendering them unable to communicate with one another and eventually leading to memory loss. Extra virgin olive oil may be a potent foe against ADDLs according to research conducted at the Monell Chemical Senses Center in Philadelphia, PA last year. It’s rich in oleocanthal, a compound that disables dangerous ADDLs.

Salmon
Salmon is a top source of DHA, the predominant omega-3 fat in your brain, believed to protect against Alzheimer’s disease… It’s also nature’s number one source of hard-to-get vitamin D.

Curry
Turmeric, a cousin of ginger, is one of the principal spices in curry powder. Turmeric is especially rich in curcumin, a compound believed to inhibit Alzheimer’s disease in multiple ways according to experts… Not only does it block the formation of beta amyloid plaques, it also fights inflammation and lowers artery-clogging cholesterol which can reduce blood flow to your brain.

Concord Grape Juice
Alzheimer’s researchers like to say what’s good for your heart is good for your brain. Now they’re finding that the same heart-healthy polyphenols in red wine and Concord grape juice can give your brain a boost… Researchers believe that – just like blackberries - grape juice polyphenols improve communication between brain cells.

Read more.

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

Short-Term Overeating Could Make Long-Term Weight Loss Tougher

(HealthDay News) If you think a few weeks of slothful behavior and caloric overindulgence can be easily worked off at the gym, think again.

New Swedish research suggests that just a month's worth of unhealthy living changes physiology, making piled-on fat even harder to lose.

"A short period of [over-eating] can have later long-term effects," said study co-author Dr. Torbjorn Lindstrom… "Based on this, it can be recommended to avoid very high food-intake that might occur during shorter periods in normal life."

Read more.

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

Curb Hunger With Filling Foods

(SouthBeachDiet.com) The key to sticking to any healthy eating plan and keeping hunger at bay is to eat nutritious, filling foods. That’s why, on the South Beach Diet, we stress eating nutrient-dense, fiber-rich foods (such as vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and beans and other legumes), as well as good fats and lean protein.

It’s also why we tell you to avoid the highly processed (essentially fiberless) carbohydrates found in baked goods, many breads, snack foods, and other convenient favorites, which can have the opposite effect on satiety.

High-fiber foods, good fats, and lean protein (as well as acidic foods) all help to slow the digestion of the sugars in carbs. When you include a variety of these foods in your diet, your body produces less insulin, and less insulin means fewer swings in blood-sugar levels. It is these swings that are the cause of cravings and constant hunger in the first place. Once your blood sugar is under control, you’ll find that your cravings and hunger greatly diminish and that you’ll feel more satisfied after a meal. Read more about curbing hunger with foods that are filling:

Fiber…

Fat…

Protein…

Acidic foods…

Read more.

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

Recipes

MyRecipes.com:

Herbed Chicken Parmesan
This lighter version of an Italian favorite loses some of the fat but none of the taste. We recommend rice-shaped orzo pasta with this saucy chicken entrée, but you can serve spaghetti or angel hair pasta instead.

Slow-Cooker Pulled Pork

Seared Pork Tortas

EatingWell:

Turkey with Blueberry Pan Sauce
Blueberries have just the right mix of acid and pectin so that they're terrific in both sweet and savory dishes. They work especially well with thyme - so this easy turkey saute can be a delight whenever the berries are in season. To make this dish into a meal, dress some quick-cooking barley with lemon and pepper and offer steamed green beans on the side.

Pan-Roasted Chicken & Gravy

Lamb Chops with a Balsamic-Vinegar Pan Sauce

Pan-Fried Trout

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

Are The Eggs in Your Fridge Safe to Eat?

(HealthDay News) The first thing to do is to check the carton for the "Sell By" date and the two numbers below it, federal health officials say, to see if your eggs are involved in the recall. One number is the plant number, and the other is the packaged date, or Julian date, showing what day of the year the eggs were packaged. For example, Jan. 1 is 001 and Dec. 31 is 365. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has a list of what numbered designations are included in the recall.

Wright County Farms and Hillandale Farms, the companies involved in the recall, have identified more than 16 brand names under which the eggs were sold, but that information is incomplete. Some eggs were sold individually rather than in cartons, so they could be repackaged under other brands. If you are unsure about the source of your eggs, throw them away, the FDA advised.

Recalled eggs should have already been removed from your grocery store's shelves, but it can't hurt to doublecheck the carton on any new eggs you buy.

Read more.

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

Eggs from suspect farms will be processed, sold

(MSNBC.com) Eggs from the two Iowa farms at the heart of a salmonella scare could still make it into your shopping basket — but not in the way you'd think.

The producers responsible for a recall of some 550 million potentially tainted eggs have found another outlet for the inventory that just keeps coming: They’ll turn them into liquid eggs used in everything from cookies and cakes to egg substitutes and pet food…

FDA and animal science experts say the eggs will be pasteurized, a process that indisputably kills the salmonella bacteria responsible for infections that have sickened at least 1,300 people.

"We can be confident that the pasteurized eggs are safe," said Dr. Theresia Lavergne, an associate professor of animal sciences at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge.

Read more.

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

Banana Plantain Fibers Could Treat Crohn's Disease, Research Suggests

(Science Daily) Crohn's … causes chronic intestinal inflammation, leading to pain, bleeding and diarrhoea. Researchers are working with biotechnology company, Provexis, to test a new plantain based food product that could treat patients with the disease…

Dr Barry Campbell [said]: "This research shows that different dietary components can have powerful effects on the movement of bacteria through the bowel… Our work suggests that it might be important for patients with this condition to eat healthily and limit their intake of processed foods."

Read more.

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

Antihistamine use linked to extra pounds

(Reuters Health) People who use prescription antihistamines to relieve allergy symptoms may be more likely than non-users to carry excess pounds, a new study suggests, although the significance of the connection is not yet clear…

The researchers stress, however, that the findings do not prove that antihistamines are the cause of the extra pounds. This type of study, known as an observational study, can only point to an association between two variables -- in this case, antihistamine use and body weight -- and cannot prove cause-and-effect.

It's possible that some other factor explains the link, according to lead researcher Dr. Joseph Ratliff, a postdoctoral associate in Yale's department of psychiatry.

"There have been studies that show allergies and asthma themselves are associated with obesity," he told Reuters Health in an email, "so these conditions themselves may have an effect."

Read more.

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

Biosynthetic Corneas Show Promise in Transplants

(HealthDay News) Swedish scientists report that they've successfully implanted "biosynthetic" corneas in 10 patients, potentially paving the way for more accessible treatment for those with cornea-related vision problems.

"The patients' own cells and nerves grew back, and there was an overall improvement in vision," said study co-author May Griffith.

Currently, some cornea patients get transplanted corneas from donors who have died. "Human donor corneas work very well," Griffith said. "However, there is a shortage of good quality corneas that can be used for transplantation."

Read more.

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

Advanced Melanoma: New Targeted Therapy Successful in More Than 80 Percent of Patients

(Science Daily) Use of an experimental targeted drug to treat metastatic melanoma tumors with a specific genetic signature was successful in more than 80 percent of patients in a phase 1 clinical trial…

"Metastatic melanoma has a devastating prognosis and is one of the top causes of cancer death in young patients," says Keith Flaherty, MD…, lead and corresponding author of the … article. "Until now, available therapies were few and unreliable, so these findings can really change the outlook for patients whose tumors are fueled by this mutation."

Read more.

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

Up to One in Four Patients Reports More Physical Problems a Year After Surgery Than Before

(Science Daily) One in seven patients experience more pain, physical and emotional problems a year after surgery than before their operation and a quarter have less vitality…

"Our research found that 15% of patients were still reporting pain and physical and emotional problems a year after surgery and 24% felt they had less vitality than before their operation" says Dr [Madelon] Peters.

"The strongest predictor of pain intensity at follow-up was the level of pain in the first four days after the patient's operation. Higher levels of acute postoperative pain were also associated with poorer long-term physical functioning and overall perceived recovery."

Read more.

Community: I still have pain from breast cancer surgery, 11 years later.

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

Wired Homes Keep Tabs On Aging Parents

(NPR News) The boomer generation that has grown up with e-mail, cell phones and video cameras is now using all of these things to help care for their aging parents…

Some use motion sensors to monitor someone's movement around the house, and daily tasks like preparing coffee. If a sensor detects that, say, Grandpa has been in the bathroom too long, a relative can be notified by cell phone or text. Companies that specialize in this kind of monitoring -- such as SimplyHome, QuietCare and BeClose -- provide detailed activity information for loved ones to see on a private website.

Medical alert services like LifeStation and ActiveCare offer emergency help at the push of a button. A similar service offered by Philips Lifeline can also detect falls, instead of relying on the user to push the button.

Still other services like MedMinder and Philips Lifeline's ManageMyPills offer reminders to take medication or, in the case of FineThanx, provide automated daily check-in calls and will alert others when there's no answer.

Read more.

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

New York most bedbug infested U.S. city: survey

(Reuters Life!) New York has more unwanted nocturnal guests than other urban areas and has been named the most bedbug infested city in the United States.

It surpassed Philadelphia, Detroit, Cincinnati and Chicago, which rounded out the top five cities, according to extermination company Terminix, which compiled the list based on call volume to its offices around the country so far this year.

"In the past, offices might get a couple of calls a month for bedbug eradication," said spokesman Clint Briscoe. "Now, some of them are getting several dozen a week."

The company blamed international travel for the bugs' return 60 years after they were thought to have been eradicated in the U.S. But it said the appearance on its list of smaller cities shows the insects that live in furniture, clothing and luggage, are getting a grip on the U.S. heartland.

Read more.

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

"Stunned" government to appeal stem-cell ruling

(Reuters) Stunned and disappointed Obama administration officials said on Tuesday they would appeal a federal court ruling that temporarily barred federal funding of embryonic stem cell research.

The administration will ask the U.S. Court of Appeals to lift the preliminary injunction issued on Monday, Justice Department spokesman Matthew Miller said…

In his ruling, Judge Royce Lamberth said legislation tacked onto the Health and Human Services spending authorization every year, called the Dickey-Wicker amendment, bans federal funding of all such research…

Congress has come close in the past to passing bills that would explicitly encourage some types of human embryonic stem cell research, but many felt Obama's executive order blunted the need for legislation.

Read more.

Community: I am very much in favor of unrestricted use of embryonic tissue for stem cell research, but this judge is right. The president can’t just waive a Congressional restriction with a stroke of the pen, even if it’s in furtherance of something we approve of. Congress needs to fix this.

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