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

Chipotle Boorito 2010

Dress to kill this Halloween. We'll treat you to a $2 burrito (or £2, if you're in London, $2 Canadian, if you're in Toronto), and you'll help raise $1 million for Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution.

Come in after 6 pm this Halloween dressed as a horrifying processed food product, and we'll give you a burrito, bowl, salad, or order of tacos filled with freshly cooked, naturally raised ingredients for only $2.

Plus enter our online costume contest for the most horrifying processed food costume. To enter, take a photo in your costume at a Chipotle restaurant on Halloween and post it at chipotle.com/boorito. One grand prize winner will receive $2,500, with five runners up getting $1,000 each. Twenty honorable mention winners will receive a burrito party for 20 guests at the Chipotle location of your choice.

Watch the video.

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Test shows no health risk to food from Gulf spill

(Reuters) Testing has helped confirm that chemicals used to disperse oil from the BP spill have not made their way into fish, crabs, shrimp or oysters from the Gulf of Mexico, U.S. officials said on Friday.

Tests of more than 1,700 samples show that fewer than 1 percent had any trace of chemicals at all, and the ones that did had extremely low levels, the officials from the Food and Drug Administration and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said.

"This additional round of testing has confirmed ... that Gulf seafood brought to market is safe," Dr. Vicki Seyfert-Margolis, FDA's senior adviser for science and innovation, told a telephone briefing.

Read more.

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Use This Spice to Curb Holiday Snack Attacks

(RealAge.com) Has the end-of-year parade of goodies started at your home or office? Make them easier to resist by cooking with this flavorful herb: saffron.

In a recent study, a compound in saffron appeared to help overweight women snack about 50 percent less. What better time than now to start nixing the munchies?... (Saffron will only get you so far. Here are four ways to make truly lasting changes in your eating habits.)…

What's the secret behind saffron's snack-snuffing powers? Researchers suspect that compounds in the herb may alter levels of stress-boosting brain chemicals and help decrease anxiety and depression. And that's good news for your waistline because anxiety, stress, and depression are all common triggers for unhealthy eating. Stress triggers cravings for not-so-good-for-you foods, like treats that are high in fat and sugar. And many people calm anxiety or assuage depression with munching, too -- seeking that temporary sense of "Ahhhhh." (Find out more about the psychology behind most people's weight problems.)

Looking for more easy ways to control your hunger and cut calories? Try these on for size:

Sip this beverage to save yourself 200 calories a day.

Sniff this fresh scent to curb your appetite.

Bolster your antisnacking willpower with this exercise.

Read more.

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Olive Oil Protects Liver from Oxidative Stress, Rat Study Finds

(Science Daily) Extra-virgin olive oil can protect the liver from oxidative stress. Researchers … exposed rats to a moderately toxic herbicide known to deplete antioxidants and cause oxidative stress, finding that those rats fed on a diet containing the olive oil were partially protected from the resulting liver damage.

Mohamed Hammami … worked with a team of researchers to carry out the experiments in a group of 80 rats. He said, "Olive oil is an integral ingredient in the Mediterranean diet. There is growing evidence that it may have great health benefits including the reduction in coronary heart disease risk, the prevention of some cancers and the modification of immune and inflammatory responses. Here, we've shown that extra virgin olive oil and its extracts protect against oxidative damage of hepatic tissue."

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Spice in Curry Could Prevent Liver Damage

(Science Daily) Curcumin, a chemical that gives curry its zing, holds promise in preventing or treating liver damage from an advanced form of a condition known as fatty liver disease, new Saint Louis University research suggests.

Curcurmin is contained in turmeric, a plant used by the Chinese to make traditional medicines for thousands of years. SLU's recent study highlights its potential in countering an increasingly common kind of fatty liver disease called non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH). Linked to obesity and weight gain, NASH affects 3 to 4 percent of U.S. adults and can lead to a type of liver damage called liver fibrosis and possibly cirrhosis, liver cancer and death.

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Some antioxidants may not be healthful

(UPI) A researcher in Taiwan says rat studies raise concerns about the safety of some "healthful" antioxidants touted to help prevent cancer…

The study … indicated two of these antioxidants found in plants -- quercetin and ferulic acid -- aggravated kidney cancer in severely diabetic laboratory rats…

The researchers say quercetin is especially abundant in onions and black tea and ferulic acid is found in corn, tomatoes, and rice bran.

Read more.

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Eat This Breakfast to Get Happy

(RealAge.com) That bowl of cereal you have for breakfast each morning? It just might be giving you an all-day edge when it comes to feeling happy.

Compared with cereal abstainers, people who regularly ate cereal had more energy, thought more clearly, and felt less stressed and depressed in a recent study.

Be it flakes, clusters, or toasted O's, cereal may have something more than fiber going for it. When researchers compared people who got equal amounts of fiber from cereal or from fruits and veggies, only the cereal eaters experienced improved well-being…

The feel-good feelings may have something to do with energy levels. The cereal eaters in the study reported about a 10 percent bump. And that energy surge comes from the breakdown of cereal in the gut. Cereal is broken down into short-chain fatty acids, which supply about one-tenth of the body's energy requirements. Another way cereal may work its magic? By stimulating the production of beneficial gut bacteria.

Read more.

Community: But most prepared breakfast cereals have an awful lot of sugar. And a lot of salt.

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Recipes

MyRecipes.com:

Steak, Pear, and Gorgonzola Sandwiches
Sharp Gorgonzola cheese, sweet pears, and savory seared flank steak make a scrumptious combination. For added convenience in making this open-faced sandwich, purchase presliced onions and prewashed bagged salad greens.

Baked Polenta with Mushrooms and Gorgonzola

Fettuccine with Gorgonzola and Broccoli

Baked Multigrain Elbows With Gorgonzola and Spinach

Cooking Light:

What's Your Lunch Really Costing You?
We crunched the numbers to learn the real cost of eating out. See what lunches from leftovers can save your waist (and your wallet).

Chicken Sandwich: Save 730 calories and $4.23
Steak Salad: Save 20.6g of fat and $8.50
Pizza: Save 252 calories and $2.16

See more ways you can save

EatingWell:

Mini Greek Pizza Muffins
All the flavors of a Greek pizza make these savory muffins bite-size treats for adults and kids alike.

Cheese Cornsticks

Fast Olive-Rosemary Bread

Poppy-Seed Breadsticks

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Dad's Family History of Breast, Ovarian Cancer Matters, Too

(HealthDay News) Women with female relatives who have had breast or ovarian cancer are often acutely aware of their own increased risk and may seek genetic counseling.

But they should also pay attention to their father's family history, one genetic counselor warns.

The inherited genetic predisposition to breast and ovarian cancer is mostly caused by a mutation in one or both of the BRCA1 or BRCA2 tumor suppressor genes, said Jeanna McCuaig, a genetic counselor at Princess Margaret Hospital in Toronto. And, she pointed out, "if your mom or your dad has a BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutation, you would have a 50 percent chance of inheriting it from either one."

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Good Marriages May Help Rheumatoid Arthritis Patients

(HealthDay News) A good marriage helps people with rheumatoid arthritis enjoy better quality of life and experience less pain, a new study suggests.

"There's something about being in a high-quality marriage that seems to buffer a patient's emotional health," said research leader Jennifer Barsky Reese, a postdoctoral fellow at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore.

But RA patients in distressed marriages were no better off in terms of quality of life and pain than the unmarried patients she studied.

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Year-Long Opiate Substitution for Drug Misusers Has 85 Percent Chance of Cutting Deaths

(Science Daily) Giving people opiate substitution treatment to help with their drug addiction can lead to a 85% plus chance of reducing mortality, according to a new study….

Researchers from Bristol and London found that the length of time people had opiate substitution treatment (OST) for had a large impact on its success and the likelihood of death.

Opiate users have a high risk of death, often from overdose.

Read more.

Community: If we legalize drug sales, we take the huge profit out of it, which means there’s less incentive to get people hooked. And we could re-direct the billions we spend on interdiction, which DOES NOT WORK, to addiction counseling. It just makes so much sense that I have to wonder whether the drug lords are involved somehow in making sure we elect candidates who don’t allow it to happen.

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Aging Pets Need Special Care: Expert

(HealthDay News) Old age seems to sneak up on pets just as it does in people.

Long before you expect it, Fido and Snowball are no longer able to bolt out the door or leap onto the bed. But with routine visits to the vet, regular exercise and good weight control, you can help your beloved pet ward off the onset of age-related disease, one veterinary expert suggests…

"Like people, routine exams and tests can help detect some of these problems earlier and make treatment more successful," [assistant professor Susan] Nelson added, making a special reference to heartworm prevention and general vaccinations…

Overall, Nelson advises owners to "give your senior pets lots of TLC -- tender, loving care." That, she said, can go a long way towards easing the aging process.

Read more.

Community: Ditto for us humans!

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Habit Formation Appears to Be an Innate Ability, Fine-Tuned by Experience

(Science Daily) [A] new study from MIT's McGovern Institute for Brain Research shows that habit formation appears to be an innate ability that is fine-tuned by experience -- specifically, the costs and rewards of certain choices…

The findings not only help reveal how the brain forms habits, but also could shed light on neurological disorders where amplified habit-formation results in highly repetitive behavior, such as Tourette's syndrome, obsessive-compulsive disorder and schizophrenia, says [neuroscientist Ann] Graybiel.

Read more.

Community: This information should help those who are trying to change lifelong habits. It shows that, as I’ve suspected, habits become physical connections in the brain. Changing a habit requires changing those physical connections. That’s why it takes repetition, and patience, to change behaviors.

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Why Sisterly Chats Make People Happier

(Deborah Tannen, New York Times) “Having a Sister Makes You Happier”: that was the headline on a recent article about a study finding that adolescents who have a sister are less likely to report such feelings as “I am unhappy, sad or depressed” and “I feel like no one loves me.”

These findings are no fluke; other studies have come to similar conclusions. But why would having a sister make you happier?

The usual answer — that girls and women are more likely than boys and men to talk about emotions — is somehow unsatisfying, especially to a researcher like me. Much of my work over the years has developed the premise that women’s styles of friendship and conversation aren’t inherently better than men’s, simply different…

[T]he key to why having sisters makes people happier — men as well as women — may lie not in the kind of talk they exchange but in the fact of talk. If men, like women, talk more often to their sisters than to their brothers, that could explain why sisters make them happier…

This makes sense to me as a linguist who truly believes that women’s ways of talking are not inherently better than men’s.

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"Evening types" more likely to smoke: study

(Reuters Health) Night owls may be more likely than early birds to smoke, and less likely to kick the habit over time, a new study suggests…

The findings … do not necessarily mean that there is something about being a night person that raises smoking risk.

One possibility is that nicotine, which is a stimulant, tends to keep smokers up at night, according to lead researcher Dr. Ulla Broms.

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B-Complex Vitamins May Help Slow Progression of Dementia

(Science Daily Large doses of B-complex vitamins could reduce the rate of brain shrinkage by half in elderly people with memory problems and slow the progression of dementia.

A two-year clinical trial in England has shown that B vitamins, including B-6, B-12 and folic acid, slow down mild cognitive impairment (MCI), a condition which is a major risk factor for Alzheimer disease and other forms of dementia.

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One Study Finds Green Tea Offers No Protection From Breast Cancer

(HealthDay News) Although some research has suggested that drinking green tea might help protect women from breast cancer, a new, large Japanese study comes to a different conclusion.

"We found no overall association between green tea intake and the risk of breast cancer among Japanese women who have habitually drunk green tea," said lead researcher Dr. Motoki Iwasaki…

[But] Jennifer J. Hu, a professor of epidemiology and public health … [said] that the problem with population-based studies is that when you try to look at one single factor you may not be taking into account other risk factors that can influence the result…

Hu doesn't think this study answers the question of whether or not green tea might help guard against breast cancer.

Read more.

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What to eat (and avoid) to beat breast cancer

(MSNBC.com) When it comes to reducing breast cancer risk, you can’t change your family history. But you can change your nutritional habits and that could go a long way in decreasing your risk…

ADD THESE FOODS TO YOUR PLATE

Extra virgin olive oil…

Cruciferous vegetables…

Dark green leafy vegetables…

Fatty fish…

Tomatoes…

GO EASY ON THESE FOODS

Red meat…

Grapefruit…

Vegetable oils…

Sweets…

Processed meats

Read more.

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Recipes

MyRecipes.com:

Prosciutto, Pear, and Blue Cheese Sandwiches
You’ll feel like you’ve entered a gourmet deli when you take a bite of these sandwiches. Bonus: They’re quick and easy to make.

Prosciutto-Wrapped Chicken Breasts

Sweet-Potato Soup with Prosciutto Crisps

EatingWell:

Salmon with Red Wine-Morel Sauce
Dried mushrooms give this rich red-wine sauce an almost meaty flavor. Look for them in the produce department of well-stocked supermarkets or specialty grocers. If you’re not a fan of salmon, try the recipe with halibut instead. Serve with barley tossed with parsley and steamed broccolini.

Grilled Salmon & Zucchini with Red Pepper Sauce

Tuna with Ginger, Papaya & Red Pepper Salsa

Salmon Panzanella

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6 Quick Beauty Fixes With a Lemon

(Reader’s Digest) Considering its size, the vitamin C powerhouse we know as the lemon provides an astonishing number of beauty benefits, six of which are listed below. (One word of caution: lemons can cause skin to be extra-sensitive to sunlight, so don't expose yourself to the sun for too long after a skin treatment.)

1. Exfoliate dead skin and bring new skin to the surface by washing skin with lemon juice mixed with a little sugar.

2. Smooth wrinkles by boiling 1 cup milk, 2 teaspoons lemon juice and 1 tablespoon brandy. Cool the mixture to room temperature, apply and let dry before wiping it off.

3. Lighten age spots by dabbing them with lemon juice and rinsing off after 15 minutes. Repeat once later in the day.

4. Create a facial that both exfoliates and moisturizes by mixing the juice from 1 lemon with ¼ cup olive oil or sweet almond oil.

5. Fight dandruff with a daily scalp massage with 2 tablespoons lemon. Rinse with water and follow with a rinse of 1 cup water mixed with 1 teaspoon lemon juice.

6. Whiten and clean fingernails by soaking them in 1 cup lukewarm water and the juice of 1/2 lemon for 5 minutes, then rub the inside of the lemon peel against the nails.

Source

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Noninvasive Test for Colon Cancer Shows Promise in Early Trial

(HealthDay News) A new noninvasive test to detect pre-cancerous polyps and colon tumors appears to be more accurate than current noninvasive tests such as the fecal occult blood test, Mayo clinic researchers say.

The search for a highly accurate, noninvasive alternative to invasive screens such as colonoscopy or sigmoidoscopy is a "Holy Grail" of colon cancer research.

In a preliminary trial, the new test was able to identify 64 percent of pre-cancerous polyps and 85 percent of full-blown cancers, the researchers reported.

Read more.

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Marilyn Monroe or Johnny Cash? How the brain chooses

(Reuters) Do you like Marilyn Monroe or Johnny Cash better? Researchers in California have homed in on the individual brain cells that help make that choice.

Their findings could eventually lead to new ways to control a computer using the mind alone, although the researchers do not see any immediate applications. More interesting to them is what their experiment reveals about how the brain works.

The brain can "choose" to notice one image over another by stepping up the activity of one brain cell and stopping the activity of another, the team … reported.

Read more.

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High deductibles keeping sick from seeking care

(Los Angeles Times) Three million Californians are enrolled in high-deductible health insurance plans because they can't afford to pay high premiums.

But the often excessive out-of-pocket costs could be causing some to delay seeking care, while jeopardizing the financial well-being of others, a new report from the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research has found.

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Early Humans More Advanced Than Thought

(HealthDay News) Early humans were using a highly skilled stone tool sharpening method 75,000 years ago in Africa, more than 50,000 years earlier than previously believed, a new study indicates.

This adds more evidence that modern behavior developed over time during the Middle Stone Age rather than after our ancestors migrated from Africa to Europe, as some scientists have thought.

Researchers from the University of Colorado at Boulder discovered that the delicate technique -- called "pressure flaking" -- was used by anatomically modern humans at Blombos Cave in South Africa during the Middle Stone Age. Previously, the earliest evidence of pressure flaking was from 20,000 years ago in France and Spain.

Read more.

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Tuesday's vote could change direction of healthcare reform

(Reuters) With most Americans ambivalent about President Barack Obama's signature healthcare overhaul or openly hostile to it, next Tuesday's elections could have a big impact on the reforms, experts said on Wednesday.

Major Republican gains could mean years of hold-ups on implementing the legislation -- but if Democrats manage to prevail against the odds, they may reward their base with even more extensive reforms, Robert Blendon and John Benson of the Harvard School of Public Health said…

Polls show that 31 percent want reform to go even further.

Read more.

Community: If better health care coverage is important to you, I suggest that you vote on Tuesday, and that you vote for Democrats.

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Portable Breast Scanner Allows Cancer Detection in the Blink of an Eye

(Science Daily) Women could have a fast test for breast cancer and instantly identify the presence of a tumor in the comfort of their own home thanks to groundbreaking new research from the University of Manchester.

Professor Zhipeng Wu has invented a portable scanner based on radio frequency technology, which is able to show in a second the presence of tumours -- malignant and benign -- in the breast on a computer…

Not only is this a quicker and less-intrusive means of testing, it also means women can be tested at GP surgeries, which could help dramatically reduce waiting times and in some cases avoid unnecessary X-ray mammography. The scanner could also be used at home for continuous monitoring of breast health.

Read more.

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Breast cancer survival tips offered

(UPI) A U.S. biobehavioral scientist advises breast cancer patients to create a plan, reduce risks, seek support, address fear, get active and manage symptoms.

Karen Syrjala of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle suggests patients get a summary of treatments -- surgery, radiation and chemotherapy -- and discuss monitoring their long-term effects. She says the patients should also deal with the fear the cancer could return and talk to their primary-care physician about other quality-of-life issues. Counseling may also be a good idea.

Syrjala also recommends breast cancer survivors plan healthy life-style choices to help lower risks. These include weight control through exercise and a diet high in fruits and vegetables, no smoking, limiting alcoholic drinks to one per day, using sunscreen to protect skin but getting enough vitamin D.

Lastly, Syrjala suggests confronting symptoms and discussing quality-of-life questions with doctors and cancer survivors, as well as making use of resources available in the community and online.

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Highly Targeted Radiation Technique Minimizes Side Effects of Prostate Cancer Treatment, Study Finds

(Science Daily) Men with prostate cancer treated with a specialized type of radiation called intensity modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) have fewer gastrointestinal complications compared to patients treated with conventional three-dimensional conformal radiotherapy (3D-CRT), according to a study…

"With survivors living many years after treatment, it is very important to minimize gastrointestinal and urinary side effects to allow patients to live a full life after treatment," Justin Bekelman, M.D., lead author of the study … said.

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Hidden Heart Attack Signs in Women

(RealAge.com) As a woman, you may feel that a heart attack is not the greatest risk you face. But the threat is very real, especially in the years leading up to and following menopause, when hormonal changes can open the door to heart disease. Knowing the symptoms that women often experience during the early stages of cardiac troubles, as well as your risk factors for cardiovascular disease, can significantly increase your chances of survival…

Studies on cardiac events in women reveal that many women may experience prodromal -- or early -- symptoms of cardiac distress in the days, weeks, or even months leading up to a heart attack. Unfortunately, many of these signs may be dismissed as nothing out of the ordinary -- by both women and their doctors. The most common early warning signs include:

Unusual fatigue

Sleep disturbances

Shortness of breath during normal daily activities, indigestion, and anxiety.

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Sodas, Other Sugary Beverages Linked to Increased Risk of Type 2 Diabetes, Metabolic Syndrome

(Science Daily) A new study has found that regular consumption of soda and other sugar-sweetened beverages is associated with a clear and consistently greater risk of metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes. According to the Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) researchers, the study provides empirical evidence that intake of sugary beverages should be limited to reduce risk of these conditions…

"Many previous studies have examined the relationship between sugar-sweetened beverages and risk of diabetes, and most have found positive associations but our study, which is a pooled analysis of the available studies, provides an overall picture of the magnitude of risk and the consistency of the evidence," said lead author Vasanti Malik.

Read more.

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Recipes

Cooking Light:

Healthy Halloween
Find sweet treats, fall menus, and kid-friendly snacks you can feel good about in this fun-filled recipe collection.

Peanut Butter Cookies
Spiced Pumpkin Biscuits
Candied Apples

See all Halloween recipes

Cooking with Pears
Fall is the season for pears, and from cocktails to salads, we're dishing on all the best ways to enjoy every last drop of the sweet bounty.

12 Healthy Snacks
Satisfy cravings with these healthy snacks recommended by our registered dietitians (chocolate included!).

MyRecipes.com:

Loaded Potato Soup
Make this the star attraction of your next soup night. Kids of all ages will enjoy topping it with bacon and cheese.

EatingWell:

Dijon Chicken Stew
This satisfying stew stars chunks of chicken and tender braised escarole in a flavorful Dijon wine sauce. Try it with boneless, skinless chicken thighs or pork tenderloin, if you prefer. It doubles easily in the same pot. Serve with rustic whole-grain bread.

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Too Much Glucosamine Can Cause the Death of Pancreatic Cells, Increase Diabetes Risk, Researchers Find

(Science Daily) High doses or prolonged use of glucosamine causes the death of pancreatic cells and could increase the risk of developing diabetes, according to a team of researchers …

In vitro tests conducted by Professor Frédéric Picard and his team revealed that glucosamine exposure causes a significant increase in mortality in insulin-producing pancreatic cells, a phenomenon tied to the development of diabetes. Cell death rate increases with glucosamine dose and exposure time.

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Percentage of U.S. Adults With Hypertension Holds Steady at 30%

(HealthDay News) Although many Americans are aware of the dangers associated with high blood pressure and many are controlling the condition, the prevalence of high blood pressure, also known as hypertension, hasn't changed in a decade, health officials report.

According to a new report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 30 percent of American adults suffer from hypertension.

"Overall, the prevalence of high blood pressure hasn't changed over the last 10 years," said lead author Sarah Yoon, an epidemiologist at CDC's National Center for Health Statistics.

In fact, the prevalence of hypertension did not change significantly, regardless of race, ethnicity, sex or age, she noted.

Read more.

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Pneumonia Often Misdiagnosed on Patient Readmissions, Studies Find

(Science Daily) Patients were misdiagnosed with pneumonia at an alarming rate when they were readmitted to the hospital shortly after a previous hospitalization for the same illness, according to two Henry Ford Hospital companion studies.

Researchers say the misdiagnoses led to overuse of antibiotics and increased health care costs. Pneumonia ranks second to congestive heart failure as the reason for readmission within 30 days of a previous hospitalization.

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Pancreatic cancer grows slowly, could be caught

(Reuters) Pancreatic cancer grows slowly, taking years and even decades to develop, a finding that offers the chance to catch it early and cure it, researchers reported on Wednesday.

They said their findings confirm that one of the most lethal cancers kills not because it spreads like wildfire, but because it does not cause symptoms until it is advanced.

"That provides a large window of opportunity to try to detect the presence of these cancers in the first 20 years of their existence, before they become lethal," said Dr. Bert Vogelstein of Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, who helped lead the study.

Read more.

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New Drug Shows Promise Against Certain Lung Cancers

(HealthDay News) An experimental cancer drug is proving effective in treating the lung cancers of some patients whose tumors carry a certain genetic mutation, new studies show.

Because the mutation can be present in other forms of cancer -- including a rare form of sarcoma (cancer of the soft tissue), childhood neuroblastoma (brain tumor), as well as some lymphomas, breast and colon cancers -- researchers say they are hopeful the drug, crizotinib, will prove effective in treating those cancers as well.

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Metal pollution tied to Parkinson's disease

(Reuters Health) People living near a steel factory or another source of high manganese emissions are at higher risk of developing Parkinson's disease, suggests a new study.

As many as one million Americans live with the degenerative disease, according to the Parkinson's Disease Foundation. Pesticides from farms have long been suspected of upping the chances of developing Parkinson's, but much less is known about the influences of city living.

Read more.

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Healthy Living Can Prevent Nearly 25% of Colorectal Cancers

(HealthDay News) As many as 23 percent of colorectal cancers could be prevented if people followed five simple healthy lifestyle recommendations, … which would improve overall health as well – includ[ing] exercise, a good diet, moderate drinking, no smoking and maintaining a healthy weight, the researchers say.

"Even a modest difference in your lifestyle habits may have a substantial impact on your colorectal cancer risk," said lead researcher Dr. Anne Tjonneland…

Specifically, the recommendations are:

At least 30 minutes of exercise a day.

No more than seven drinks a week for women and 14 for men.

Not smoking.

Eating a healthful diet, defined as one high in fiber, with more than six servings (3 cups) a day of fruits and vegetables, and low in red meat and processed meat (no more than just over a pound a week), with less than 30 percent of total calories derived from fat.

A waist size no more than 34.6 inches for women and 40.1 inches for men.

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Today's 70-year-olds smarter

(UPI) A Swedish researcher says today's 70-year-olds score better on intelligence tests than their predecessors, but dementia remains as common as 30 years ago.

Dr. Simona Sacuiu … said tests of mental ability worked well in detecting dementia for the group of 70-year-olds born in 1901-02. However, 70-year-olds born in 1930 performed better as a group in the intelligence tests and there were no differences in test results between 70-year-olds who developed dementia and those who did not.

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New Insight Into Links Between Obesity and Activity in the Brain

(Science Daily) Scientists have revealed that an anti-obesity drug changes the way the brain responds to appetising, high-calorie foods in obese individuals. This insight may aid the development of new anti-obesity drugs which reduce the activity in the regions of the brain stimulated by the sight of tasty foods.

Researchers at the University of Cambridge discovered that the anti-obesity drug sibutramine reduced brain responses in two regions of the brain, the hypothalamus and the amygdala, both of which are known to be important in appetite control and eating behaviour…

Professor Ed Bullmore … said: "Our results help us to understand more precisely how anti-obesity drugs work in the brain to change eating behaviour and hence, ultimately, to assist people in losing weight.

Read more.

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How to End Emotional Eating

(From The South Beach Diet) [I]t isn't always hunger that causes you to reach for your favorite foods. Our moods and emotions can play a big role in how we view food and in how well we are able to stick to a healthy eating plan.

Emotional-Eating Triggers

Fatigue caused by a hectic daily schedule or being overwhelmed by responsibilities can set off emotional eating. Depression and loneliness are other causes: Many people eat to fill a void or use food to keep themselves company. Some look to food as a distraction from a traumatic experience, such as the loss of a job, a death, or a breakup. But most who resort to emotional eating find that it can't be traced to one specific cause — it's simply a well-established pattern to fall back on food when needing comfort.

However, the good news is that it is possible to change patterns of behavior. There are ways other than eating to deal with complicated emotions, and it's much healthier to process feelings than to bury them under a mountain of food. It's important to realize that ultimately we do have power over our actions. Eating is something that can be controlled and enjoyed.

When you’re feeling overwhelmed and stressed out, here are some helpful ways to prevent your emotions from getting in the way of your weight-loss goals:

Write in a journal. Keeping a food journal not only helps you keep tabs on what you’re eating but also on how you’re feeling at the time. Knowing what your eating triggers are will keep you on track. To break bad habits, you should record not only what and when you ate, but also the circumstances that prompted you to overindulge and make unhealthy choices.

Keep yourself distracted. Instead of focusing on your cravings, engross yourself in a good book, listen to music, watch a movie, call a friend, or better yet, hit the gym or head outdoors and get some exercise.

Cook something healthy. If you take the time and make the effort to prepare a wholesome meal rather than grabbing convenience food, you’ll really enjoy eating it. Plus, cooking is a great way to take your mind off what’s bothering you.

Reevaluate your emotions. Before you grab that doughnut, take a moment to think, “Is this going to make me feel any better?” Oftentimes, you just need to step back and have that moment of clarity.

Source.

Community: I don’t have cravings as much as I used to, but when I do get them I first eat something that’s not as bad for me as what I’m craving. That usually works. When it doesn’t, I have to decide whether I want what I’m craving badly enough to go out and get it. Because I don’t keep in the house anything that’s really bad for me. If I do bestir myself to go out, I usually can’t find what I’m looking for, and I keep reminding myself that it’s just a temporary fix and won’t solve any problems. And if all that fails, the next day I go right back to healthy eating.

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Fish Oil Might Help Fight Gum Disease

(HealthDay News) Eating even moderate amounts of omega-3 fatty acids, typically found in foods such as salmon and other fatty fish, may help ward off gum disease, new research suggests…

[T]he researchers found that the omega-3 fatty acids docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) were associated with less gum disease. The association with linolenic acid (LNA) was not statistically significant.

"Eating a very feasible amount of fatty fish seems to have a lot of benefit," said senior study author Dr. Kenneth Mukamal… "But we found no benefits to eating tons of this stuff."

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Recipes

MyRecipes.com:

Mushroom and Provolone Patty Melts
Your family won’t believe this comforting sandwich is light. For the kids, use beef broth instead of beer, and try mild wheat bread.

Mushroom Burgers

Portobello Mushroom Pitas

Porcini Mushroom Meat Loaf with Mushroom Gravy

EatingWell:

Lemon-Garlic Sardine Fettuccine
Even sardine skeptics will enjoy this lemony pasta with crispy breadcrumbs. Substitute two 5- to 6-ounce cans chunk light tuna for the sardines if you prefer.

Lemon-Garlic Sardine Fettuccine for Two

Hanoi-Style Tuna Patty Salad

Spaghetti with Tuna & Tomato Sauce (Spaghetti al tonno e pomodoro)

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Study identifies potential stroke triggers

(Reuters Health) Downing a few drinks or contracting an infection such as the flu seem to be connected to a short-term spike in the risk of stroke, a new research review finds.

The findings, reported in the journal Stroke, do not prove that alcohol and infections act as stroke "triggers" in some people, but they "strongly support" the notion that they do, the researchers say.

On the other hand, there is insufficient evidence on whether other suspected triggers -- like extreme stress or physical exertion -- do in fact contribute to stroke, lead researcher Dr. Vincent Guiraud … told Reuters Health.

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Older People Advised That Taking an Afternoon Nap Can Lead to More Active Lives

(Science Daily) Experts at the University of Surrey discovered that many older people felt that they may be branded lazy for taking afternoon naps so they tried hard to avoid nodding off.

But the occasional nap can make older people more able to lead a fully active life by giving them enough energy to take part in recreational and social activities.

Susan Venn, of the Department of Sociology said: "Sleep is central to health and well-being, but as people get older, the quality of their sleep can deteriorate. They shouldn't feel guilty or think themselves lazy for having a nap."

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Common Anxiety Disorders Make It Tougher to Quit Cigarettes

(Science Daily) Researchers may have pinpointed a reason many smokers struggle to quit. According to new research published in the journal Addiction, smokers with a history of anxiety disorders are less likely to quit smoking…

Study results also showed that anxiety diagnoses were very common among participants -- more than a third of them met criteria for at least one anxiety diagnosis in their lifetime…

"Further research is needed to identify better counseling and medication treatments to help patients with anxiety disorders to quit smoking," [lead author Megan] Piper says.

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