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

Study Confirms: Whatever Doesn't Kill Us Can Make Us Stronger

(Science Daily) [A] new national multi-year longitudinal study of the effects of adverse life events on mental health has found that adverse experiences do, in fact, appear to foster subsequent adaptability and resilience, with resulting advantages for mental health and well being…

"Our findings revealed," [Mark Seery, PhD,] says, "that a history of some lifetime adversity -- relative to both no adversity or high adversity -- predicted lower global distress, lower functional impairment, lower PTS symptoms and higher life satisfaction."

The team also found that, across these same longitudinal outcome measures, people with a history of some lifetime adversity appeared less negatively affected by recent adverse events than other individuals.

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Latest Findings Back Mammograms for Women in Their 40s

(HealthDay News) Women in their 40s who are thoroughly confused by recent moves to push back the recommended age for having mammograms to 50 may find clarity in a new study that found having the screening scans in the 40s can save lives…

Mammography in your 40s clearly saves lives, [said senior radiologist Dr. Daniel Kopans].

"The Swedish study, to me, should be the nail in the coffin [of the debate]," said Kopans, who is also a professor of radiology at Harvard Medical School. "This whole business of we don't know if works for women in their 40s that should end. Randomized controlled trials show a benefit beginning at age 40."

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Restless Legs Syndrome, Fibromyalgia Linked in Study

(HealthDay News) People with fibromyalgia are 11 times more likely to have restless legs syndrome (RLS) than those in the general population, according to a new study…

The findings suggest that treating RLS -- which is characterized by an unpleasant urge to move the legs, usually at night -- may improve sleep and quality of life for people with fibromyalgia, the researchers said. RLS is often treated with drugs such as pramipexole or ropinirole.

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Cut your grocery bill with these 8 healthy ingredients for $1

(Jessie Price, EatingWell) My pantry at home is always well-stocked. (Actually most people would probably call it overstocked.) I don’t feel right if my cupboards are bare. And once I started working on our new book, EatingWell on a Budget, I realized that my pantry-stocking obsession also had the benefit of helping me save money: when I have key ingredients on hand to make dinner, I’m much less likely to call for delivery or go out. (Plus cooking at home is almost always cheaper than going out.)

Here are five of my favorite ingredients to keep on hand that help stretch my food dollars further.

Potatoes
Cost:
about 44¢ apiece…

Beans
Cost:
52¢ or less for a ½-cup serving of canned beans…

Frozen Vegetables and Fruit
Cost:
30¢ for a ½-cup serving of frozen peas…

Pasta or Rice
Cost:
26¢ for 2 ounces of whole-wheat pasta…

Eggs
Cost:
23¢ for a large egg…

Ground Beef
Cost:
$1.02 per 3-ounce serving of 93%-lean ground beef

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Recipes

EatingWell:

$3 Ground Beef Recipes
It’s easy to make an inexpensive meal that tastes great when you start with lean ground beef. Whether you make a meatloaf recipe, a ground beef casserole or one of these other ground beef recipes, you’ll satisfy your appetite while sticking to your budget with these simple ground beef recipes. While ground beef often gets a bad rap for being unhealthy, anything labeled 90%-lean or leaner is considered “lean” by the USDA. Plus beef is a great source of iron and vitamin B12

Creamy Hamburger Noodle Casserole

Blue Ribbon Meatloaf

Broccoli, Beef & Potato Hotdish

EatingWell Sloppy Joes

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MyRecipes.com:

Steak and Cheese Sandwiches
Serve baked potato chips and coleslaw with these stick-to-your-ribs sandwiches for a quick and casual supper.

Grilled Vidalia Onion and Steak Sandwiches

Miso-Marinated Skirt Steak

Chipotle-Marinated Flatiron Steak with Avocado-Corn Relish

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Eat Safer: Novel Approach Detects Unknown Food Pathogens

(Science Daily) [Researchers] have developed a novel approach to automated detection and classification of harmful bacteria in food. The investigators have designed and implemented a sophisticated statistical approach that allows computers to improve their ability to detect the presence of bacterial contamination in tested samples. These formulas propel machine-learning, enabling the identification of known and unknown classes of food pathogens…

To detect and identify colonies of pathogens … based on the optical properties of their colonies, the researchers used a prototype laser scanner, developed by Purdue University researchers. Without the new enhanced machine-learning approach, the light-scattering sensor used for classification of bacteria is unable to detect classes of pathogens not explicitly programmed into the system's identification procedure.

"We are very excited because this new machine-learning approach is a major step towards a fully automated identification of known and emerging pathogens in real time, hopefully circumventing full-blown, food-borne illness outbreaks in the near future. Ultimately we would like to see this deployed to tens of centers as part of a national bio-warning system," said [M. Murat Dundar, Ph.D].

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Canada declares BPA toxic, sets stage for more bans

(Reuters) Canada has declared bisphenol A a toxic chemical, prompting calls for far-reaching curbs on the industrial chemical that is used in everything from the linings of aluminum cans to coatings on electronic till receipts.

Canada added the compound, known as BPA, to a list of substances deemed potentially harmful to health or the environment in a notice published in the Canada Gazette on Wednesday…

"Our science indicated that Bisphenol A may be harmful to both human health and the environment and we were the first country to take bold action in the interest of Canadians," Health Minister Leona Aglukkaq said in a statement.

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Obesity care may cost twice previous estimates

(AP) Nearly 17 percent of U.S. medical costs can be blamed on obesity, according to new research that suggests the nation's weight problem may be having close to twice the impact on medical spending as previously estimated.

One expert acknowledged that past estimates likely low-balled the costs and said the new study — which places obesity-related medical costs at around $168 billion — probably is closer to the truth.

"I think these are the most recent and perhaps statistically sound estimates that have come out to date," said Kenneth Thorpe, a health policy researcher at Emory University who has focused on the cost of health care.

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Molecular Switch Controls Melanin Production, May Allow True Sunless Tanning

(Science Daily) The discovery of a molecular switch that turns off the natural process of skin pigmentation may lead to a novel way of protecting the skin -- activating the tanning process without exposure to cancer-causing UV radiation. In their report…, researchers … describe how blocking the action of this switch -- an enzyme called PDE-4D3 -- in the skin of mice led to a significant increase in melanin production.

"The primary goal of inducing melanin production in human skin would be prevention of skin cancer, since all the common forms are known to be associated with UV exposure, " explains David Fisher, MD, PhD…, who led the study. "Not only would increased melanin directly block UV radiation, but an alternative way to activate the tanning response could help dissuade people from sun tanning or indoor tanning, both of which are known to raise skin cancer risk."

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Lack of sleep linked to risky colon polyps

(Reuters Health) People who slept less than six hours a night were more likely to have dangerous polyps in their colon or rectum compared to better-rested patients, in one recent study.

The polyps, called colorectal adenomas, progress to become cancerous tumors in about 10% of cases. As a result, they are considered to be "precancerous" polyps and a strong predictor of the disease.

The findings don't prove that lack of sleep causes these polyps to occur. The scientists note… that this is the first time anyone has ever found a link between sleep duration and risk of colorectal adenomas, and the findings need to be confirmed in other studies.

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FDA approves Botox to treat chronic migranes

(Reuters) The Food and Drug Administration on Friday approved Allergan Inc's anti-wrinkle injection Botox to treat chronic migraines.

Botox injections would be given to adult sufferers of chronic migraines around the head and neck every 12 weeks in an attempt to dull future headaches, said the FDA in a statement.

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Benefits of diagnostic radiation outweigh the dangers

(Los Angeles Times) Recent reports of patients accidently receiving much larger-than-normal doses of radiation from cancer treatments or CT scans have only added to widespread concerns about radiation.

But, in fact, in low doses — the kind that most of us will be exposed to in our lives — the risks of radiation are meager compared with lots of other, more mundane hazards in life, says William Morgan, director of radiation biology and biophysics at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in Richland, Wash.

"There's always some risk with radiation," he says. "Everything in life has some risk. But when you get down to low doses of radiation, the risks are very, very, very small."

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Yoga May Combat Fibromyalgia Symptoms

(HealthDay News) Yoga that includes gentle stretches and meditation may help alleviate the symptoms of fibromyalgia, a small study finds.

Twenty-five women diagnosed with fibromyalgia, a chronic pain syndrome, were enrolled in a two-hour yoga class that met once a week for eight weeks. Another group of 28 women diagnosed with the condition were put on a waiting list and told to continue their normal routine for dealing with fibromyalgia.

After eight weeks, the yoga group reported improvements in both physical and psychological aspects of fibromyalgia, including decreased pain, fatigue, tenderness, anxiety and better sleep and mood.

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Mediterranean diet may trim diabetes risk

(Reuters Health) Older adults who stick with a traditional Mediterranean diet rich in plant-based fats may help lower their risk of type 2 diabetes -- even without counting calories or shedding weight, new research hints…

The findings … back up previous work by the same researchers showing that the Mediterranean diet, even without weight loss, appeared to curb the risk of metabolic syndrome -- a collection of risk factors for diabetes that includes abdominal obesity, high blood pressure and elevated blood sugar and triglycerides.

However, even if the eating pattern brings benefits in the absence of weight loss, that does not negate the importance of regular exercise or calorie-consciousness, a spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association told Reuters Health.

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6 Powerful Health-Boosting Foods

(SouthBeachDiet.com) Dr. Arthur Agatston, author of The South Beach Diet Supercharged, recommends a wide variety of delicious fresh foods in a rainbow of colors that contain antioxidants and other disease-fighting nutrients. A few foods are true standouts, packing in exceptional amounts of nutrients and phytochemicals that help to prolong your life and lower your risk of diseases such as cancer and heart disease. Here, some top antioxidant-packed foods to incorporate into your Meal Plans.

1. Tomatoes (Phase 1): Studies show that eating tomato products may reduce prostate cancer risk, and the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) now allows tomatoes and tomato-based products, like tomato sauce, to carry that health claim. The key ingredient: a powerful antioxidant called lycopene, also found in pink and red grapefruit (Phase 2) and guava (Phase 3).

2. Kale and other dark leafy greens (Phase 1): Research shows that eating dark leafy greens, like kale, may help maintain good health by reducing one’s risk of heart disease and stroke, some cancers, and several other illnesses. Dark leafy greens are rich in beta-carotene, folate, and vitamins C, E, and K, which help protect against free radicals (unstable molecules that can damage cells). Regularly eating dark leafy greens may also help to lower blood pressure and cholesterol and promote normal eyesight. Spinach and Swiss chard also contain these disease-fighting nutrients.

3. Walnuts (Phase 1): Like all nuts, walnuts are a great source of protein, fiber, and healthy fats. Unlike other nuts, walnuts are high in heart-healthy omega-3 oils, which have been shown to have antioxidant properties. Enjoy up to 15 walnuts a day as part of your nut/seed allotment. Other South Beach Diet–recommended sources of omega-3s include flaxseed and, of course, oily fish, like salmon.

4. Blueberries (Phase 2): A study from the University of Illinois found that a number of compounds in blueberries, including pigment-producing anthocyanins, are powerful in helping to prevent cancer. Other berries have antioxidants in smaller quantities.

5. Pomegranates (Phase 2): These fruits are high in flavonoids, antioxidants also found in red wine (Phase 2) and cocoa (Phase 1, unsweetened). Recent studies show that pomegranate juice (Phase 3) may also help prevent heart disease.

6. Sweet potatoes (Phase 2): They're rich in beta-carotene and vitamin C, both powerful antioxidants that work to prevent and possibly reverse the cell damage caused by free radicals. Other good sources of beta-carotene are carrots and apricots (both Phase 2).

Source

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Crunch on This to Keep Your Arteries Clear

(RealAge.com) Keep the gunk out of your heart pipes with a fistful of this crunchy snack: toasted walnuts.

A new review of the literature shows that eating walnuts daily has the potential to drop LDL cholesterol -- the bad, artery-clogging kind -- by almost 7 percent! Pretty powerful nut…

Just about any nut you choose to nibble on will be a boon to heart health. But walnuts are great because they tend to have more polyunsaturated fatty acids compared with other nuts -- especially heart-friendly alpha linolenic acid, which is thought to do a great job of stymieing plaque accumulation in arteries. And if you're worried that walnuts will pad your waistline, don't be. Just use them to replace less nutritious foods in your diet.

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Relax with a Cup of This to Keep Your Lungs Young

(RealAge.com) It's warm, it's fresh tasting, and it's great with a little lemon and honey. And your lungs love it. It's green tea.

A review of 22 studies on tea confirms the lung benefits. People who drank the most green tea -- compared with drinkers of black tea or people who consumed little or no green tea -- had a 22 percent lower risk for lung cancer.

Green tea may help protect lungs better than black tea does because green tea has more cancer-fighting antioxidants called catechins. And green tea catechins appear to thwart cancer in myriad ways. Lab studies show that a special kind of green tea catechin called epigallocatechin gallate may slow the growth of human cancer cells and may even trigger their death. Other green tea catechins are great at neutralizing cell-damaging free radicals that open the door to the cancer process.

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Recipes

MyRecipes.com:

Glazed Chicken with Pecan Rice
With chicken cutlets and boil-in-bag rice, unique take on the chicken-and-rice dinner couldn’t be easier (or faster!) to make.

Apricot-Glazed Grilled Chicken

Honey-Glazed Carrots with Cumin

Hoisin and Bourbon-Glazed Pork Tenderloin

EatingWell:

Cajun Pecan-Crusted Catfish
Crunchy, battered catfish fillets have jumped out of the Louisiana backwaters to become a national favorite, thanks in large part to the Cajun cooking craze that started in the '80s. Here, the fillets are coated in a spicy melange of cornflakes and pecans and baked for a traditional yet surprisingly healthy take on this bayou favorite.

Catfish Amandine

Pecan-Crusted Chicken

Pacific Sole with Oranges & Pecans

Community: Cajun cooking didn’t start in the ‘80s, only the “craze”.

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Pine bark may reduce tinnitus symptoms

(UPI) Pycnogenol, an antioxidant extract from the bark of the French maritime pine tree, may relieve tinnitus symptoms by improving blood flow, researchers say.

"Impaired blood flow to the ear is a common cause for tinnitus, a disturbing and very debilitating condition that can considerably impact overall health and quality of life," lead researcher Dr. Gianni Belcaro … says in a statement. "With few options available for treatment, this study gave us the opportunity to explore a natural solution to tinnitus symptoms and its causes."

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Over-the-Counter 'Natural' Weight-Reducing Products Can Cause Harm and May Even Kill, Hong Kong Study Warns

(Science Daily) The desire for a quick-fix for obesity fuels a lucrative market in so-called natural remedies. But a study of medical records in Hong Kong revealed 66 cases where people were suspected to have been poisoned by a "natural" slimming therapy. In eight cases the people became severely ill, and in one case the person died…

"People like the idea of using a natural remedy because they think that if it is natural, it will be safe. There are two problems here. Firstly not all natural agents are harmless, and secondly the remedies also contain potentially harmful manufactured drugs," says Dr Magdalene Tang.

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FDA warns makers of chelation treatments

(Reuters) The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is cracking down on the over-the-counter sale of so-called chelation products that claim to treat conditions such as autism, heart disease and Alzheimer's by removing heavy metals from the body…

"These products are dangerously misleading because they are targeted to patients with serious conditions and limited treatment options," Deborah Autor, director of the Office of Compliance in the FDA's Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, said in a statement.

"The FDA must take a firm stand against companies who prey on the vulnerability of patients seeking hope and relief," Autor said.

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Magnet Therapy an Option for Tough-to-Treat Depression

(HealthDay News) A treatment for major depression that uses intense magnetic pulses to stimulate the brain, previously shown to reduce acute symptoms for brief periods, appears to work over the longer term when teamed with antidepressants, researchers report.

"We wanted to address the question of whether the benefit of TMS [transcranial magnetic stimulation] can be sustained over a reasonable time," said study leader Dr. Philip Janicak, a professor of psychiatry at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago. "Based on this trial, the answer is yes."

While the study is too small to be definitive, "it indicates that we can maintain the benefit of TMS over six months, and do it safely -- there were no further risks associated with the use of TMS in combination with antidepressant drugs," said Janicak.

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Key to Blood-Brain Barrier Opens Way for Treating Alzheimer’s and Stroke

(Science Daily) While the blood-brain barrier (BBB) protects the brain from harmful chemicals occurring naturally in the blood, it also obstructs the transport of drugs to the brain. In an article in Nature scientists at the Swedish medical university Karolinska Institutet now present a potential solution to the problem. The key to the BBB is a cell-type in the blood vessel walls calledpericytes, and the researchers hope that their findings will one day contribute to new therapies for diseases like Alzheimer's and stroke.

"Our new results show that the blood-brain barrier is regulated by pericytes, and can be opened in a way that allows the passage of molecules of different sizes while keeping the brain's basic functions operating properly," says Christer Betsholtz…, who has led the study.

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Crime group charged in $100 million Medicare fraud

(Reuters) Dozens of people alleged to be members of an Armenian-American crime group were charged in federal court on Wednesday with what prosecutors said was the country's largest single Medicare fraud, involving at least $100 million in false medical claims.

Authorities charged 44 people in New York, Los Angeles, Atlanta and Miami in what prosecutors described as a scheme that created 118 bogus medical clinics in 25 states and billed Medicare for imaginary treatments using identities stolen from doctors and patients…

Among those charged was Armen Kazarian, whom authorities described as a "vor" -- a member of a select group of high-level criminals from Russia and other former Soviet republics.

Court documents also alleged other activities carried out by the group such as the distribution of drugs and contraband cigarettes, credit card fraud and identity theft.

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Judge lets states' healthcare suit go forward

(Reuters) U.S. states can proceed with a lawsuit seeking to overturn President Barack Obama's landmark healthcare reform law, a Florida judge ruled Thursday…

Opponents of Obama's overhaul of the $2.5 trillion U.S. healthcare system have said it violates the Constitution by imposing what they consider unlawful taxes and requiring citizens to obtain healthcare coverage, among other issues.

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Walking may keep brain from shrinking in old age

(Reuters) Walking at least six miles a week may be one thing people can do to keep their brains from shrinking and fight off dementia, U.S. researchers said on Wednesday.

A study of nearly 300 people in Pittsburgh who kept track of how much they walked each week showed that those who walked at least six miles had less age-related brain shrinkage than people who walked less.

"Brain size shrinks in late adulthood, which can cause memory problems. Our results should encourage well-designed trials of physical exercise in older adults as a promising approach for preventing dementia and Alzheimer's disease," said Kirk Erickson of the University of Pittsburgh.

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Peppers, celery may reduce memory loss

(UPI) A substance found in carrots, peppers, celery, olive oil, peppermint, rosemary and chamomile may reduce elderly memory deficits, U.S. researchers suggest.

Study leader Rodney Johnson of the University of Illinois says luteolin, found in many plants, has anti-inflammatory effects in the body and the current study suggests it improves cognitive health by acting directly on the microglial cells to reduce their production of inflammatory cytokines in the brain.

Inflammation in the brain appears to be a key contributor to age-related memory problems, Johnson says.

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Watermelon Lowers Blood Pressure, Study Finds

(Science Daily) No matter how you slice it, watermelon has a lot going for it -- sweet, low calorie, high fiber, nutrient rich -- and now, there's more. Evidence from a pilot study led by food scientists at The Florida State University suggests that watermelon can be an effective natural weapon against prehypertension, a precursor to cardiovascular disease…

[The researchers] found that when six grams of the amino acid L-citrulline/L-arginine from watermelon extract was administered daily for six weeks, there was improved arterial function and consequently lowered aortic blood pressure in all nine of their prehypertensive subjects (four men and five postmenopausal women, ages 51-57).

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Front of Food Labels Should Focus on Calories, Salt, Fats: Report

(HealthDay News) Four big offenders of good nutrition -- calories, saturated fat, trans fat and sodium -- should appear prominently on the front labels of foods so consumers can make healthier eating choices, a new study suggests.

Other items, such as cholesterol, fiber, added sugars and vitamins, could be relegated to the back of the package, stated the Institute of Medicine (IOM) report, which analyzed front-of-package nutrition rating systems and symbols.

"The primary intent of front-of-package information is to provide the consumer with an easy way at point-of-purchase to select foods that are consistent with a well-balanced, high-quality diet," Alice Lichtenstein, vice chair of the committee that prepared the report.

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Recipes

MyRecipes.com:

Quick Fall Minestrone
Make the most of fall produce like butternut squash and kale in this hearty vegetarian soup. Pasta and beans make it especially filling.

Creamy Basil Zucchini Soup

Split-Pea Soup

Tomato Basil Soup

EatingWell:

Pork & Bok Choy Stir-Fry for Two
Cutting the bok choy into long, thin strips mimic the long noodles in this pork stir-fry. We like Japanese soba noodles because they are made with buckwheat, which gives them a nutty flavor and a boost of fiber. You can also use mild-flavored rice noodles or whole-wheat spaghetti. Serve with sliced cucumbers dressed with rice-wine vinegar.

Spicy Beef with Shrimp & Bok Choy

Vegetables & Pork over Chinese Noodles

Stir-Fried Chile-Garlic Duck

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Favorite Fall Fruits: Pears

(SouthBeachDiet.com) Juicy and sweet, with a soft, buttery yet somewhat grainy texture, pears … are a rich source of soluble fiber and other nutrients…

Most of the pears you find in the supermarket are not yet ripe. This is because ripe pears bruise easily and would probably not survive transport, so they are picked and shipped in an unripened state. When you purchase pears, avoid those with bruises or blemishes. Once you get them home, you can ripen them at room temperature. Ripe pears will yield to gentle pressure at the stem end.

Pears should be kept at room temperature until ripe and then placed in the refrigerator for a few days. Never put pears in a sealed plastic bag: The lack of oxygen will cause the fruit to brown to the core. To speed up the ripening process, place them in a perforated plastic bag. As with any other fruit, be sure to wash pears before eating…

Here are a few delicious and healthy ways to enjoy pears:

  • Add diced pears to your morning oatmeal.
  • Toss thinly sliced pears into an arugula and frisée salad with a Dijon vinaigrette.
  • Add diced fresh or dried pears to breads or muffins, such as traditional bran muffins.
  • Create a cheese and pear “sandwich,” using whole-grain crackers for a mid-morning or mid-afternoon snack.
  • Serve halved baked pears with a sprinkling of Parmesan cheese as a side dish.
  • Puree or dice pears for sauces for duck breast or lean pork
  • Poach pears for a sweet dessert.

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Soft Drink Could Enhance Effects of an Anti-Cancer Drug

(Science Daily) Experiments with an artificial stomach suggest that a popular lemon-lime soft drink could play an unexpected role in improving the effectiveness of an oral anticancer drug. The experiments produced evidence that patients will absorb more of the unnamed drug, tested in Phase I in clinical trials, when taken with "flat" or degassed Sprite…

Sprite seemed to control stomach acidity in a way likely to allow greater absorption of the drug into the body.

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Protein urine test may signal prostate cancer

(Reuters) A protein in urine could be a strong indicator of prostate cancer risk, according to British scientists who say their findings could one day be developed into a quick and simple test for the disease…

"The protein is easy to detect because it is found in urine and would potentially be a very simple test to carry out on men to identify those most at risk of developing the disease," said Hayley Whitaker of the Cambridge institute, who led the study.

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Vaccine against Alzheimer's being created

(UPI) U.S. researchers say they created an experimental vaccine to slow beta-amyloid, the protein forming brain abnormalities associated with Alzheimer's disease.

Senior author Dr. Roger Rosenberg … says the experimental vaccine fights beta-amyloid -- which forms abnormalities known as plaques that are associated with Alzheimer's disease.

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Nicotine Could Play Role in Alzheimer's Disease Therapy, Neuroscientists Discover

(Science Daily) A team of neuroscientists has discovered important new information in the search for an effective treatment for Alzheimer's disease, the debilitating neurological disorder that afflicts more than 5.3 million Americans and is the sixth-leading cause of death in the United States. Hey-Kyoung Lee … and her research team have shown that they may be able to eliminate debilitating side effects caused by a promising Alzheimer's drug by stimulating the brain's nicotine receptors…

Lee and her colleagues have been searching for a solution that could circumvent the abnormal brain function and behavioral side effects caused by BACE1 inhibition, and they think they may have found it. They pinpointed the receptor that is targeted by nicotine, the Alpha7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor, as a potential therapeutic target.

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FDA warns of thigh fractures with bone drugs

(Reuters) Osteoporosis drugs used by millions of women to prevent bones from breaking may increase the chances for an unusual type of thigh fracture, U.S. health officials warned on Wednesday.

The drugs known as bisphosphonates include Merck & Co Inc's Fosamax, Roche Holding AG's Boniva, Novartis AG's Reclast and Warner Chilcott Plc's Actonel…

The agency advised doctors to consider if patients on therapy for more than five years still need the drugs.

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Hormone may help diabetes patients

(UPI) Leptin -- a hormone formed in fat cells -- may help stabilize sugar levels in those with type 1 diabetes, U.S. researchers say.

Mouse studies led by Dr. Roger Unger at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas determined leptin helps in the conversion of simple sugars into fatty acids…

The researchers emphasize the goal is not to find a replacement for insulin, but to obtain stable glucose levels. The theory is that adding leptin might allow a reduction in insulin dose and lower the risk of low blood glucose levels.

"If it works in humans as well as it does in rodents, it will be a major step forward," Unger says.

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U.S. Hispanics Outlive General Population: CDC

(HealthDay News) Hispanics in the United States outlive whites by almost three years and blacks by almost eight years, according to a new report…

"It's probably not genetic," [said Jane L. Delgado, president and CEO of the National Alliance for Hispanic Health, who was not involved in the research]. "The longer people are in the United States they start to lose some of these health advantages."

As Hispanics adopt an American lifestyle they tend to become more sedentary and eat more snack foods, meats, fat and other things associated with unhealthy living, Delgado said. They also smoke more after living in the United States for a time, she said.

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Web site provides hospital safety data

(UPI) Comparative data on patient safety and hospital quality for nine U.S. states is available online at the Web site WhyNotTheBest.org, a non-profit group says.

Dr. Anne-Marie Audet … says the new measures … are available from data submitted by hospitals in nine states: Arizona, Florida, New York, Illinois, New Jersey, Rhode Island, Texas, Vermont, and Washington…

Patient safety indicators reflect quality of care for adults cared for in hospitals and focus on potentially avoidable complications and medical mistakes.

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Now this one's just silly ... a cancer-fighting bra

(Booster Shots, Los Angeles Times) A PR person called to tell us that her client was developing a special bra that you could wear day to day to protect your breasts from cancer. “In its final development stages, the bra is designed to offer protection from harmful radiation,” she wrote in an e-mail…

[L]eaving aside the fact that breast-cancer risk largely has to do with exposure to estrogen over one’s lifetime, it appears that this bra has been “in its final development stages” for quite a while. In 2009, CNN did a segment on the bra, inciting a blistering response from the Jewish Journal that is really quite funny (because it wasn’t aimed at us), so check it out.

Bottom line: It's just underwear, you know?

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Three Healthy Habits Cut Breast Cancer Risk, Study Finds

(HealthDay News) Women who maintain certain "breast-healthy" habits can lower their risk of breast cancer, even if a close relative has had the disease, a new study finds.

Engaging in regular physical activity, maintaining a healthy weight and drinking alcohol in moderation, if at all, was shown in a large study to help protect against breast cancer in postmenopausal women, the researchers said.

"Whether or not you have a family history, the risk of breast cancer was lower for women engaged in these three sets of behavior compared to women who were not," said study leader Dr. Robert Gramling.

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Community: These behaviors can help prevent other cancers, too.

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Consuming Vegetables Linked to Decreased Breast Cancer Risk

(Science Daily) Investigators from the … Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM) have reported that African American women who consume more vegetables are less likely to develop estrogen receptor-negative breast cancer than women with low vegetable intake…

According to the BUSM researchers, specific types of vegetables may play a greater role in reducing breast cancer risk. The investigators reported that high intake of cruciferous vegetables in particular may be associated with reduced risk of breast cancer overall. Cruciferous vegetables, which include broccoli, mustard and collard greens, and cabbage, are sources of glucosinolates, which may play a role in preventing the development of breast cancer through their effects on both estrogen metabolism and detoxification enzymes. The researchers also observed evidence suggesting that increased carrot consumption may be associated with lower risk of breast cancer. Carrots are rich sources of carotenoids, which may reduce cancer risk through their antioxidant properties.

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Community: Cruciferous vegetables seem to have a preventive effect for other types of cancers, too, and not just in African American women.

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Too Much Light at Night at Night May Lead to Weight Gain

(Science Daily) Persistent exposure to light at night may lead to weight gain, even without changing physical activity or eating more food, according to new research in mice.

Researchers found that mice exposed to a relatively dim light at night over eight weeks had a body mass gain that was about 50 percent more than other mice that lived in a standard light-dark cycle.

"Although there were no differences in activity levels or daily consumption of food, the mice that lived with light at night were getting fatter than the others," said Laura Fonken, lead author of the study.

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Pepper supplement may not work for weight loss

(Reuters Health) A chemical found in chili peppers that is being touted as a weight loss aid may not be as useful as its manufacturer would like people to think, a new study suggests.

Japanese food maker Ajinomoto claims that this chemical-called dihydrocapsiate-is "a great tool for weight management" that helps people burn calories, the company's Jun Tashiro told Reuters Health.

However, researchers found no change in body weight and only a small increase of around 50 more calories burned per day after people took a pill containing the compound.

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Community: But pepper keeps you warm, which is important to those of us who live in northern climes.

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Recipes

MyRecipes.com:

Beef Filets with Pomegranate Sauce
Pomegranate seeds make a pretty garnish (look for convenient, ready-to-eat seeds in the produce section). Serve with potato wedges.

Pan-Grilled Pork Tenderloin with Pomegranate Molasses

Lentil and Spinach Soup with Roasted Red Pepper and Pomegranate Molasses

Zesty pomegranate rice

EatingWell:

Black Bean Quesadillas
In a hurry? These satisfying quesadillas take just 15 minutes to make. We like them with black beans, but pinto beans work well too. If you like a little heat, be sure to use pepper Jack cheese in the filling. Serve with: A little sour cream and a mixed green salad.

Black Bean & Tomato Salsa

Roasted Corn, Black Bean & Mango Salad

Black Bean Dip

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Not-too-impressive results on the effect of menu labeling

(Booster Shots, Los Angeles Times) Laws requiring fast-food restaurant chains to include nutritional information, especially calories, on menus or menu boards have garnered a lot of support. California was one of the first states to adopt the policy. And, under the healthcare reform bill, the provision will be required nationally.

But do these regulations really change what people purchase? A few studies on the affect of the law so far have been mixed. In what is probably the most disappointing data so far, researchers attending the Obesity Society annual meeting in San Diego said Tuesday that their study found menu labeling had little effect on normal-weight children but did lead to modest, reduced calorie consumption in overweight or obese children.

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Community: It takes time, friends. Too many people wants quick fixes, but there just aren’t any.

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