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

Music on Prescription Could Help Treat Emotional and Physical Pain

(Science Daily) New research into how music conveys emotion could benefit the treatment of depression and the management of physical pain.

Using an innovative combination of music psychology and leading-edge audio engineering the project is looking in more detail than ever before at how music conveys emotion…

The research could lead to advances in the use of music to help regulate a person's mood, and promote the development of music-based therapies to tackle conditions like depressive illnesses. It could help alleviate symptoms for people who are dealing with physical pain and even lead to doctors putting music on a prescription that is tailored to suit the needs of an individual.

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Use of Medication for Insomnia or Anxiety May Increase Mortality Risk, Study Suggests

(Science Daily) After controlling for personal factors that might affect mortality risk, notably alcohol and tobacco consumption, physical health, physical activity level, and the presence or absence of depressive symptoms among participants, Dr. [Geneviève] Belleville established that the consumption of sleeping pills or anxiety-relieving medications was associated with a 36% increase in the risk of death.

A number of hypotheses have been put forward to explain the link between use of these medications and increased mortality. Sleeping pills and anxiolytics affect reaction time, alertness, and coordination and are thus conducive to falls and other accidents. They may also have an inhibiting effect on the respiratory system, which could aggravate certain breathing problems during sleep. These medications are also central nervous system inhibitors that may affect judgment and thus increase the risk of suicide.

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Effects of Population Aging Have Been Exaggerated, New Analysis Suggests

(Science Daily) In a new study, [European scientists] have developed new measures of aging that take changes in disability status and longevity into account…

New measures of aging that include not just changes in longevity, but accurate numbers about disability rates, "can help educate the public about the likely consequences of improvements in health and longevity," the authors say. And such measures have policy implications because, "slow and predictable changes in pension [retirement] age justified by an increased number of years of healthy life at older ages, may be more politically acceptable than large, abrupt changes justified on the basis of budget stringency."

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Community: This study will no doubt be grist for the fine grinding mill of the president’s Let Grandma Eat Cat Food Commission.

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Appetite Hormones May Predict Weight Regain After Dieting

(Science Daily) According to a new study…, the levels of appetite hormones in the body prior to dieting may serve as a predictor of weight regain after dieting…

[The researchers] found that subjects with higher plasma leptin and lower ghrelin levels before dieting were more prone to regain weight lost after dieting and that these hormone levels could be proposed as biomarkers for predicting obesity-treatment outcomes.

"We believe this research is of foremost relevance in clinical terms as it may indicate that the outcome of weight therapy may be pre-conditioned," said [Ana Crujeiras, PhD]. "Furthermore, our findings may provide endocrinology and nutrition professionals a tool to identify individuals in need of specialized weight-loss programs that first target appetite hormone levels before beginning conventional dietary treatment."

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Community: Neurologist Dr. Daniel G. Amen discusses the balancing of ghrelin and leptin in his book, Change Your Brain, Change Your Body. Some of the information from the book is included in videos that Dr. Amen’s clinic has uploaded to YouTube. Some PBS stations have used his videos for pledge drives, but the content was not created or vetted by PBS. That doesn’t mean it isn’t worthwhile, however. I watched the whole program, “Change Your Brain, Change Your Body,” and I found nothing but sane, sensible, and useable information.

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Risks of diet drugs face U.S. scrutiny

(Reuters) On Thursday, Arena Pharmaceuticals Inc goes before an advisory panel that will consider if the pill, lorcaserin or Lorqess, should win approval…

Lorqess, like the now withdrawn fenfluramine in fen-phen, is designed to block appetite signals in the brain. But the Arena drug is more selective in the receptors it affects, and the company says studies have not found heart problems linked to the medicine.

Debate at the panel may focus on whether the company's data are statistically strong enough to rule out a certain level of heart-valve damage, [Hapoalim Securities analyst Jon] LeCroy said on Wednesday.

Arena faces "a higher safety bar" because the drug "is not super effective," he added.

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Stress Less About the Scale

(SouthBeachDiet.com) Do you weigh yourself every day? Do you worry about even the slightest change in your weight? If you answered "yes" to either of these questions, you may be too focused on the scale — and if you're trying to maintain healthy habits, this behavior can actually be counterproductive.

The truth is that your weight may change from day to day for a variety of reasons. Fluid retention, hormonal fluctuations, constipation, and even the food you ate right before stepping on the scale may cause daily weight fluctuations. These variations can be misleading and worrisome if you don't understand them. For an accurate measurement of your weight, weigh yourself only once each week and on the same scale every time (different scales may give different readings). An even better method of measuring your success is to let your belt be your guide. If your clothes fit better and you feel better, then you're getting healthier — even if the bathroom scale doesn't show big changes.

Ultimately, it's up to you to stop focusing on the scale. Weight loss takes time, so patience is required. Remember, if you're practicing good weight-loss habits…, you will enjoy better health and the extra pounds will come off along the way.

Source

Community: I can’t focus on the scale. When I do, I get impatient and discouraged if I don’t lose 10 pounds a week. I have to think about eating and exercising for health reasons, not for weight loss. The weight loss is slower, but it’s surer. I’m not dreaming of the day when I can eat all the fatty, sugary things I want to. So maybe this time the loss is permanent.

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MyRecipes.com

Light Tailgate Recipes
Score big points for your waistline with these lightened versions of the classic football fare

5-Star Appetizers from Cooking Light

Appetizers Under 100 Calories

Cumin, Honey, and Mint-Marinated Lamb Chops
A traditional lamb and mint combination is taken to the next level with balsamic vinegar and honey. The natural sugar in the honey helps the chops caramelize on the grill.

12 Breakfasts Under 250 Calories

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Drug Holds Promise to Halt Debilitating Condition of Diabetes

(Science Daily) A drug developed at the University of Kansas has the potential to stop a debilitating condition of diabetes that often leads to pain in the extremities and even amputations, KU researchers have found.

The researchers recently published an article showing that KU-32 can stop and even reverse diabetic peripheral neuropathy, or DPN, in mice. The condition leads to death of nerves in the extremities of individuals with diabetes…

"Our tests so far indicate that KU-32 is completely nontoxic and is absorbed in the blood stream very well," said [Brian Blagg, a professor of medicinal chemistry]. "It has long-term efficacy. It is a promising treatment."

There are only two FDA-approved drugs used for treatment of DPN, Blagg said. However, one is an anticonvulsant and the other is an antidepressant, and neither has the potential to reverse nerve degeneration.

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Brain Mechanism Linked to Relapse After Cocaine Withdrawal

(Science Daily) Addictive drugs are known to induce changes in the brain's reward circuits that may underlie drug craving and relapse after long periods of abstinence. Now, new research … uncovers a specific neural mechanism that may be linked to persistent drug-seeking behavior and could help to guide strategies for development of new therapies for cocaine addiction…

Although a clear correlation between rat and human behaviors of cocaine craving and relapse remains to be established, the cellular mechanism uncovered in this study does appear to have behavioral relevance and may represent a direct brain sensitization that is involved in triggering relapse.

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A Smart Use for Wisdom Teeth: Making Stem Cells

(Science Daily) For most people, wisdom teeth are not much more than an annoyance that eventually needs to be removed. However, a new study … shows that wisdom teeth contain a valuable reservoir of tissue for the creation of stem cells; thus, everyone might be carrying around his or her own personal stem-cell repository should he or she ever need some…

The soft pulp inside of teeth contains a population of cells known as mesenchymal stromal cells that are similar to cells found in bone marrow, a common stem-cell source. However, unlike bone marrow, tooth pulp is more easily obtained, especially in wisdom teeth, which most individuals have removed anyway.

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Researchers Pioneer Anesthetics Via Videoconferencing

(Science Daily) Videoconferences may be known for putting people to sleep, but never like this. Dr. Thomas Hemmerling and his team of McGill's Department of Anesthesia achieved a world first on August 30, 2010, when they treated patients undergoing thyroid gland surgery in Italy remotely from Montreal, Canada.

The approach is part of new technological advancements, known as 'Teleanesthesia', and it involves a team of engineers, researchers and anesthesiologists who will ultimately apply the drugs intravenously which are then controlled remotely through an automated system.

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USDA knew of problems at farm behind egg recall: report

(Reuters) U.S. Department of Agriculture experts knew about sanitary problems at one of the two Iowa farms at the center of a massive nationwide egg recall, but did not notify health authorities, the Wall Street Journal reported…

The Journal said USDA daily sanitation reports viewed by it underscored the regulatory gaps that may have contributed to delays in discovering salmonella contamination…

The USDA said it didn't give notice because "the conditions at the egg plant packing facilities were routine," according to the report.

WSJ said it was not clear whether the sanitation problems identified by the USDA experts had anything to do with the salmonella contamination.

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U.S. resumes funding controversial stem cell research

(Reuters) The U.S. government said it was resuming work on controversial human embryonic stem cell research on Friday after an appeals court ruled in its favor.

In the latest legal back-and-forth on the issue, a U.S. appeals court on Thursday granted an Obama administration request to temporarily lift a judge's ban on federal funding of research involving human embryonic stem cells.

More legal action is pending but the National Institutes of Health said it would resume work that had been suspended.

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Sebelius: Insurance increases unjustified

(UPI) Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius says U.S. insurers are engaging in misinformation and unjustified healthcare coverage rate increases…

[An] analysis of industry and academic experts shows any potential premium impact from the new consumer protections and increased quality provisions under the Affordable Care Act will be minimal -- 1 percent to 2 percent.

"I want AHIP's members to be put on notice: the administration, in partnership with states, will not tolerate unjustified rate hikes in the name of consumer protections," Sibelius said.

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Basic Physical Capability Can Predict Mortality in Later Life

(Science Daily) People who are better at simple physical acts such as gripping, walking, rising from a chair and balancing on one leg are more likely to live longer, according to a new study…

Measures of physical capability, such as grip strength, walking speed, chair rising time and standing balance ability, can predict mortality in older people living in the community, UK researchers found.

These measures are related to a person's ability to perform everyday tasks. There is growing interest in using such measures as simple screening tools to identify people who might benefit from targeted interventions such as strength training.

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Boredom and Early Death Linked

(RealAge.com) In a study, people who were most bored with their jobs had higher mortality rates at younger ages…

The study included a survey of more than 7,000 government workers in London in the 1980s, asking them how often they found themselves bored on the job. After a little more than 20 years had passed, the researchers checked back in with the participants and found that those who had been most bored with their jobs were more likely to have died in the interim. And the killer? More often than not, it was due to heart troubles…

Boredom itself wasn't the actual cause of death, but researchers noticed that the people who were most bored also exercised less and had worse overall health, leading the researchers to speculate that depression could be at play. Feeling chronically uninterested in things can be a sign of depression, and depressed people are less likely to feel motivated to take care of themselves.

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Community: And as we saw on Tuesday, we don’t have to spend any money to fight depression.

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Heightened Immune Response After Receiving Massage

(Science Daily) Researchers in Cedars-Sinai's Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neurosciences have reported people who undergo massage experience measureable changes in their body's immune and endocrine response…

"Massage is popular in America, with almost 9 percent of adults receiving at least one massage within the past year," said Mark Rapaport, M.D., chairman of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neurosciences. "People often seek out massage as part of a healthy lifestyle but there hasn't been much physiological proof of the body's heightened immune response following massage until now."

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Most Americans Still Not Eating Enough Fruits, Veggies

(HealthDay News) In 2000, the U.S. government set modest goals for the amount of fruit and vegetables people should eat, but a decade later the majority of Americans are not even close to reaching those thresholds, health officials said Thursday…

"Over the last decade we have looked at behavioral intervention, like counseling to get people to include their fruits and vegetables," said report co-author Dr. Jennifer Foltz, a researcher [at] the CDC…"But it's not so easy."

"In the next decade, we are going to work on making the healthy choice the easy choice," she said.

New programs will involve promoting gardening, farmer's markets and bringing more fruits and vegetables into schools and workplaces, Foltz said.

In addition, Foltz said there could be programs to help retailers increase the availability of fruits and vegetables through incentives like tax breaks as well as making it easier for low-income people to afford fresh fruit and vegetables.

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New Olive Oil Health Powers Revealed

(RealAge.com) You already know that olive oil is chock-full of healthy fats. But here's another reason to cook with it: Olive oil might actually help "turn off" genes that could harm your heart.

In a study, eating a diet with lots of polyphenol-rich olive oil helped suppress genes related to heart-damaging inflammation and oxidation. Quite the modern-sounding health benefit for an oil that's been around since the days of Homer…

DNA damage and atherosclerosis also were slowed in the olive oil group. But most of these good-for-your-heart changes were more pronounced in a select group of participants who were given an extra-polyphenol-rich version of olive oil, leading researchers to suspect it's the polyphenols that make olive oil so good for your heart. And the study results help confirm that olive oil is one of the key reasons Mediterranean diets are so good for overall health.

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Recipes

MyRecipes.com:

Chicken Stuffed with Spinach, Feta, and Pine Nuts
This chicken recipe is filled with Mediterranean flavors and pairs well with a couscous.

Xtreme Tailgating

Cowboy Caviar

BLT Wrap

EatingWell:

Shrimp & Pesto Pasta
The spring flavors of asparagus and pesto combine beautifully with fettuccine and shrimp in a light and simple pasta dish that works for family or casual entertaining. Make it a meal: Serve with a tomato-and-arugula salad tossed with mustard-balsamic vinaigrette and fruit sorbet for dessert.

Linguine with Escarole & Shrimp

Creamy Garlic Pasta with Shrimp & Vegetables

Fusilli with Roasted Tomatoes, Asparagus & Shrimp

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Simplified Heart-Risk Guideline May Miscalculate Risk for Millions

(Science Daily) A method that is widely used to predict the risk of a major coronary event may over- or underestimate risk for millions of Americans, according to a study …

For each subject, the researchers calculated risk based on the original Framingham model and on the simplified model, and compared the differences, "which turned out to be substantial for many patients," says [principal investigator Michael Steinman, MD] Steinman.

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Obesity May Up Death Risk in Older Women With Colon Cancer

(HealthDay News) Here's yet another reason to avoid obesity throughout your life: Doing so may improve your chances of survival if you're diagnosed with colon cancer.

Women past menopause who are obese and diagnosed with colon cancer appear to face a greater risk of dying from all causes than those who are at a healthy weight or merely overweight, a new study shows.

And trying to lose weight after the diagnosis may be too late, researchers cautioned.

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J&J widens access as prostate cancer drug helps survival

(Reuters) All patients in a study of a Johnson & Johnson drug for advanced prostate cancer will be offered the medicine after an independent monitoring committee found it demonstrated an improvement in patient survival.

The monitoring committee recommended that patients in the placebo arm of the Phase III trial be offered treatment with abiraterone acetate, according to a division of Cougar Biotechnology, which was acquired by J&J.

A program to provide early access to abiraterone acetate for patients who meet specified medical criteria is being initiated, the company said on Thursday.

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Frog Skin May Provide Antimicrobial Peptides Effective Against Multidrug-Resistant Infections

(Science Daily) Antimicrobial peptides from the skin of frogs may protect against life-threatening, multidrug-resistant infections such as Pseudomonas aeruginosa, say researchers from Italy…

P. aeruginosa is an opportunistic pathogen that causes some of the most prevalent life-threatening infections such as eye and ear infections, burn wound infections and lung infections in cystic fibrosis patients. Strains of the bacterium resistant to almost all antibiotics have already emerged causing researchers to seek new drug therapies.

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Substance Abuse Admissions Double Among Older Adults

(HealthDay News) The number of people aged 50 and older admitted for substance abuse treatment in the United States has more than doubled since the early 1990s, says a federal government study released Thursday…

The researchers also identified some significant changes in the sociodemographic characteristics of older admissions.

Unemployment in this group rose from 19.4 percent in 1992 to 31 percent in 2008, full-time employment decreased from 23.4 percent to 16.7 percent, wages/salary as a principal source of income declined from 32.3 percent to 24.4 percent, and the proportion with no principal source of income rose from 11 percent to 28.8 percent…

The proportion of those who said they'd never married increased from 13.2 percent in 1992 to 30.2 percent in 2008, those who were currently married decreased from 33.3 percent to 21.5 percent, and those who were divorced/widowed declined from 43.9 percent to 21.5 percent.

Homelessness in this group of people increased from 15.9 percent to 19.5 percent, while the proportion of those living independently decreased from 72.4 percent to 67.1 percent.

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In Elderly, Risks Differ for Indoor Versus Outdoor Falls

(HealthDay News) Different risk factors contribute to indoor and outdoor falls among the elderly and these differences need to be incorporated into fall prevention programs, a new study suggests…

The study found that those who fell indoors had inactive lifestyles, more physical disabilities, took more medications, and had lower cognitive function (or thinking skills) than those who fell outdoors.

Participants who fell outdoors were generally younger than those who fell indoors, were more likely to be male and better educated, and had lifestyles that indicated better health…

The findings show that falls are not necessarily an indication of poor health and that fall prevention programs require different approaches for those at risk for indoor or outdoor falls.

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Injury Risk Greater in Poorer Neighborhoods, Study Finds

(HealthDay News) People who live in poor neighborhoods experience far more injuries than those in more wealthy areas, a new study has found…

Compared to people in rich neighborhoods, those in poor areas had a more than 20 times greater risk of experiencing penetrating injuries, such as from guns and cuts, and were nearly six times more likely to suffer blunt injuries, such as from motor vehicle crashes, falls and assaults…

"These findings support the need to focus interventions to reduce injury rates in neighborhoods with the lowest socioeconomic status," said study author Dr. Ben L. Zarzaur.

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FDA Sends Warning to E-Cigarette Distributors

(HealthDay News) The U.S. Food and Drug Administration cracked down Thursday on five distributors of electronic cigarettes, citing them for a series of violations that included unsubstantiated claims and poor manufacturing practices…

"The device turns nicotine, which is highly addictive, into a vapor that is inhaled," according to the FDA…

The FDA said in July that its tests had shown that some e-cigarettes contain cancer-causing chemicals and other toxins, including a compound used in antifreeze.

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In Cities, Weak Social Ties May Boost Mental Illness

(HealthDay News) Weak social connections, or social fragmentation, may be one of the main reasons why people raised in cities are more likely to develop schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders than those who live in rural areas, the results of a study suggest.

"There is a substantial worldwide variation in incidence of schizophrenia. The clearest geographic pattern within this distribution of rates is that urban areas have a higher incidence of schizophrenia than rural areas," Stanley Zammit, of Cardiff University in Wales, and colleagues explained in their article…

"Our findings highlight the concern that physical integration alone is not sufficient but that some of the positive characteristics traditionally conferred by segregation, such as a localized sense of safety, cohesion and community spirit, must also be maintained to enhance the mental health of individuals within the population," Zammit and colleagues concluded.

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Addressing Negative Thoughts Most Effective in Fighting Loneliness

(Science Daily) Changing how a person perceives and thinks about others was the most effective intervention for loneliness, a sweeping analysis of previous research has determined…

Studies that used cognitive-behavioral therapy, a technique also used for treating depression, eating disorders and other problems, were found to be particularly effective, the authors reported.

"Effective interventions are not so much about providing others with whom people can interact, providing social support, or teaching social skills as they are about changing how people who feel lonely perceive, think about, and act toward other people," [psychology professor John] Cacioppo said.

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Working Overtime Adds to Heart Risk for Out-of-Shape Men

(HealthDay News) Out-of-shape men who work long hours more than double their risk of dying from heart disease compared to non-fit men working fewer hours, researchers report.

The study also found that when men are fit, working long hours doesn't boost heart risk at all.

Read more.

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Brain Cells -- Not Lack of Willpower -- Determine Obesity, Study Finds

(Science Daily) An international study has discovered the reason why some people who eat a high-fat diet remain slim, yet others pile on the weight.

The study … found a high-fat diet causes brain cells to become insulated from the body preventing vital signals, which tell the body to stop eating and to burn energy, from reaching the brain efficiently…

Professor [Michael] Cowley said the study findings provide a critical link in addressing the obesity epidemic…

"Obese people are not necessarily lacking willpower. Their brains do not know how full or how much fat they have stored, so the brain does not tell the body to stop refuelling. Subsequently, their body's ability to lose weight is significantly reduced."

Read more.

Community: So let’s stop with the shaming, shall we? But this news doesn’t mean the overweight who want to lose weight should give up hope. Most body processes can be reversed with changes toward a healthy lifestyle, and I’ll bet this is one of them.

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Reading Food Labels, Combined With Exercise, Can Lead to Weight Loss, Study Finds

(Science Daily) Although guidelines for the information of food labels have gotten a bad rap in recent years, a new study … suggests that observing them may lead to weight loss, especially for women entering their middle years…

Using information on whether consumers read food labels the first time they buy a product, the study's author found that people who observe the labels and do not exercise display a slightly greater likelihood of weight loss than those who do exercise but do not pay attention to food labels. By simply adding an exercise routine to their lifestyle regular food label readers can increase their changes of losing weight…

Weight loss programs and plans would do well in augmenting their client's weight loss goals with the recommended use of food labels, in order to maintain a healthy weight. This is particularly important as people enter middle age and are at a risk for heart disease, obesity-related diabetes, cancer and dementia.

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Recipes

Cooking Light:

Superfast Southwestern Recipes
Banish the humdrum weeknight routine with these speedy versions of Tex-Mex favorites.

Steak Tacos

Chicken Posole

Shrimp with Corn Relish

More

Budget Cooking: Feed 4 for Less Than $10
Cooking on a budget? Don't skimp on nutrition! You'll feel good about feeding your family these creatively delectable recipes.

MyRecipes.com:

Herbed Pork with Sauteed Wild Mushrooms
Serve over brown rice to soak up the mushroom sauce, or with instant polenta and Parmesan cheese. If you don't have steak seasoning - a blend of black pepper, crushed red pepper, salt, and garlic - use 1 teaspoon of cracked black pepper.

Pork Tenderloin Recipes

5 to Try: Wild Game

EatingWell:

Lemon-Dill Green Beans
This lemon and dill vinaigrette is a natural complement to green beans. It's also great tossed with steamed asparagus or drizzled over sliced fresh tomatoes.

Meatless Meals You Must Try
Eat healthy with these easy and satisfying vegetarian recipes, loaded with the season's best vegetables.

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Repeat DUI Offenders Have Reasoning Deficits: Study

(HealthDay News) Repeat impaired-driving offenders have subtle deficits in their decision-making abilities that may not be detected through conventional tests, says a new study.

Researchers assessed 34 male, second-time DUI (driving under the influence) offenders enrolled in a rehabilitation program and a control group of 31 healthy, non-offenders matched for age, education, and alcohol use…

"These findings suggest that second-time DUI offenders do not suffer from motor impulsiveness -- that is, a lack of impulse control in 'here and now' situations," [psychiatry professor David J.] Nutt said. Instead, he explained, "they suffer from cognitive impulsiveness, which depends on associating negative experiences with possible negative consequences."

In other words, "there are brain reasons for why people make poor choices regarding DUI," he added.

The researchers urged that such testing be expanded for people convicted of DUI, which they noted accounted for 40 percent of the fatal motor vehicle crashes in the United States. In addition, they said, 33 percent of the DUI drivers were recidivists, or repeat offenders.

Read more.

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Men Seem More Susceptible to Memory Problems Than Women

(HealthDay News) Elderly men are more likely to suffer memory problems than women, new research shows.

The study included 2,050 people, aged 70 to 89, in Olmsted County, Minn., who were interviewed about their memory and medical history, and who underwent testing of their memory and thinking skills…

"If these results are confirmed in other studies, it may suggest that factors related to gender play a role in the disease. For example, men may experience cognitive decline earlier in life but more gradually, whereas women may transition from normal memory directly to dementia at a later age but more quickly," [study author Dr. Ronald Petersen said].

Read more.

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B vitamins found to slow progression of dementia

(Reuters) Daily tablets of large doses of B vitamins can halve the rate of brain shrinkage in elderly people with memory problems and may slow their progression toward dementia, data from a British trial showed on Wednesday…

[The researchers] conducted a two-year trial with 168 volunteers with MCI [mild cognitive impairment, which in 50% of sufferers progresses to Alzheimer’s Disease within five years] who were given either a vitamin pill containing very high doses of folic acid, vitamin B6 and vitamin B12, or a placebo dummy pill.

These B vitamins are known to control levels of an amino acid called homocysteine in the blood, and high blood levels of homocysteine are linked to an increased risk of developing Alzheimer's disease.

Helga Refsum, who also worked on the trial, stressed that vitamins were given in extremely high doses.

"This is a drug, not a vitamin intervention," she said.

Read more.

Community: But, surely, taking lower doses of B vitamins can’t hurt.

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New Compound Safely Reduces Plaques in Mouse Model of Alzheimer's Disease

(Science Daily) A team of scientists … has synthesized hundreds of new compounds with the potential of reducing the production of the A-beta 42 peptide, a primary component of Alzheimer's disease (AD).

In mouse models, one tested compound specifically reduced levels of A-beta 42, which is believed to be responsible for the destruction of neurons, but left other essential enzymatic activities in the brain unaffected, said Steven Wagner, PhD.

Read more.

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Immune System Genes Show Links to Type 1 Diabetes

(HealthDay News) The exact cause of type 1 diabetes is still unknown, but international researchers have found a link between the blood sugar disorder and a network of immune system genes.

Using a genome-wide association study, the researchers found that a certain group of genes that react in response to viral infections were present in both rats and humans, and that those same genes were also associated with a susceptibility to type 1 diabetes…

"We used an approach to identify the major control points' central command of an inflammatory gene network. This led us to uncover hundreds of new genes that might cause diabetes and one major control gene that controls the whole network," said [Dr. Stuart] Cook.

He added that one of the genes belongs to a class of genes that might make a good target for drug therapy in the future.

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Wyeth paid writers to promote hormone therapy: study

(Reuters) Drugmaker Wyeth used ghostwriters to play up the benefits and downplay the harm of hormone replacement therapy in articles published in medical journals, U.S. researchers said on Tuesday.

Dr. Adriane Fugh-Berman of Georgetown University Medical Center in Washington and colleagues analyzed dozens of ghostwritten reviews and commentaries published in medical journals and journal supplements, many of them using documents from judicial trials.

They said Wyeth, now owned by Pfizer, paid a medical communication company called DesignWrite $25,000 to ghostwrite articles on clinical studies, including four testing low-dose Prempro, the company's combination estrogen-progestin therapy…

Pfizer challenged the report, noting in a statement that Fugh-Berman was a paid expert witness for plaintiffs in hormone therapy litigation.

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U.S. judge refuses to lift ban on government stem cell funds

(Reuters) A U.S. judge refused on Tuesday to lift a ban on federal funding of human embryonic stem cell research despite Obama administration warnings it would set back key research and cost more than a thousand jobs.

U.S. District Judge Royce Lamberth rejected the Obama administration's emergency request to lift his injunction while the government appeals his ruling that barred federal funding.

The administration was "incorrect about much of their 'parade of horribles' that will supposedly result from this court's preliminary injunction," Lamberth said in a brief order.

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Superstition easier than coping strategies

(UPI) People use superstition to deal with uncertainty and decrease feelings of helplessness because it's easier than using coping strategies, U.S. researchers say.

[They] defined superstition as the belief in a casual relationship between an action, object or ritual and an unrelated outcome. Wearing a lucky jersey in hopes of winning a sporting event, for example…

"People sometimes fall back on their superstitions as a handicap," Saucier said in a statement. "It's a parachute they think will help them out."

Read more.

Community: I would say it seems easier to use superstition, or give in to a feeling of powerlessness, but that’s only until we get in the habit of using coping strategies. Once we’re in the habit, it’s much easier—and effective—to use the coping strategies.

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Short Sleepers at Higher Risk of Type 2 Diabetes and Heart Disease, Study Finds

(Science Daily) People who sleep less than six hours a night may be three times more likely to develop a condition which leads to diabetes and heart disease, according to researchers at the University of Warwick.

A study by a team of researchers from Warwick Medical School and the State University of New York at Buffalo has found short sleep duration is associated with an elevated risk of a pre-diabetic state, known as incident-impaired fasting glycaemia (IFG).

IFG means that your body isn't able to regulate glucose as efficiently as it should. People with IFG have a greater risk of developing type 2 diabetes and are at an increased risk of heart disease and stroke.

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Cognition problems linked to physical ills

(UPI) People with diabetes and high blood pressure who walk slowly or lose balance or say they're in bad health may have cognition issues, Canadian researchers say.

Roger Dixon of the University of Alberta in Edmonton says the presence of those physical signs in patients can warn doctors the patients are more likely than others to have weaker memory and slower, more rigid cognitive function…

"Awareness of the link between diabetes and cognition could help people realize how important it is to manage this disease -- and to motivate them to do so," Dixon says in a statement.

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Excessive Drinking May Lead to Poor Brain Health Via Obesity

(Science Daily) Prior research has shown that alcohol abuse and dependence are typically associated with higher rates of obesity, as evidenced by a high body mass index (BMI). Findings from a new study of the relationship between BMI and regional measures of brain structure, metabolite concentrations, and cerebral blood flow suggest that alcohol-related brain injuries may result from a complicated fusion of hazardous drinking, chronic cigarette smoking, and even elevated BMI.

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