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

As Clocks Fall Back on Sunday, Think About Better Sleep

(HealthDay News) When you turn your clocks back an hour this weekend, it might be a good opportunity to think about whether you're getting enough sleep…

Chronic sleep deprivation can affect attention levels, reaction time and mood, leading to decreased productivity at work, increased family stress, and potential health problems, according to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM)…

The amount of sleep needed for good health and optimum daytime performance varies by age: preschoolers need 11 to 13 hours a night; school-age children should get 10 to 11 hours; teens must have at least nine hours; and adults should get seven to eight hours each night.

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Sleep Appears to Aid Learning

(HealthDay News) If you're trying to learn a new word, you may want to sleep on it, a new study suggests.

Researchers taught volunteers new words in the evening and then immediately tested their recall of the words. The volunteers slept in the laboratory while their brain activity was recorded. Tests conducted the next morning showed that the participants could remember and recognize more words than they did immediately after learning them.

This improvement was not seen in another group of participants who learned new words and were tested in the morning and re-tested in the evening, with no sleep in between tests.

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Extroverts vulnerable to sleep deprivation

(UPI) Extroverts exposed to 12 hours of social interaction were more vulnerable to sleep deprivation than those exposed to isolated activity, U.S. researchers say…

The study … finds social interactions are cognitively complex experiences that may lead to rapid fatigue in brain regions that regulate attention and alertness and high levels of social stimulation may be associated with an increase in the need for sleep.

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Deeper Conversation Promotes Happiness

(RealAge.com) When you sit down to chat over coffee with a friend, spend a few minutes digging deeper than TV and the weather.

Why? Because doing so just might make you happier. Research shows that when people's socialization focuses on important issues and personal interests, a greater level of personal happiness may be the result…

Researchers aren't sure if some people are happier because they have more satisfying and meaningful conversations or if happier people are just more likely to dig deep when they converse. Regardless, we know that deep, meaningful social connections are good for your RealAge. It adds meaning to life and helps with stress reduction. (Check out these five keys to greater life satisfaction.)

Get a natural high. Try this one-foot-in-front-of-the-other approach.

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Red meat linked to esophageal, stomach cancer risks

(Reuters Health) Red-meat lovers may have a greater likelihood of developing certain cancers of the throat and stomach than people who limit their intake of steaks and hamburgers, a new study suggests.

Researchers found that among nearly 500,000 older U.S. adults followed for a decade, only a small number developed cancers of the esophagus or stomach. However, the risks were relatively greater among those who ate a lot of red meat, or certain compounds generated from cooking meat…

The findings … do not prove that red meat promotes the two cancers, the researchers emphasize.

But the results add to what has been an uncertain body of evidence on the link between red meat and esophageal and stomach cancers.

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Recipes

MyRecipes.com:

Steak and Blue Cheese Pizza
Blue cheese crumbles and a creamy horseradish spread highlight the meaty slices of sirloin. Keep the steak tender by adding it towards the end of the 6-minute bake time.

Fettuccine with Blue Cheese Sauce

Grilled Blue Cheese Burgers

Roast Beef and Blue Cheese Wraps

EatingWell:

Broccoli, Beef & Potato Hotdish
This easy casserole, full of ground beef, roasted broccoli and topped with hash browns, was inspired by the classic Minnesota Tater Tot hotdish. Roasting the broccoli before adding it to the casserole gives the whole dish a much more complex and exciting flavor, but it’s by no means necessary.

Beef & Potato Salad with Smoky Chipotle

Steak & Purple-Potato Salad

Steak & Potato Salad with Horseradish Dressing

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Breakthrough in Cancer Vaccine Research

(Science Daily) Researchers at the University of Cambridge hope to revolutionise cancer therapy after discovering one of the reasons why many previous attempts to harness the immune system to treat cancerous tumours have failed.

New research … reveals that a type of stromal cell found in many cancers which expresses fibroblast activation protein alpha (FAP), plays a major role in suppressing the immune response in cancerous tumours -- thereby restricting the use of vaccines and other therapies which rely on the body's immune system to work. They have also found that if they destroy these cells in a tumour immune suppression is relieved, allowing the immune system to control the previously uncontrolled tumour.

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Luminous Cells from Jellyfish Could Diagnose Cancers Deep Within Human Body

(Science Daily) Scientists in Yorkshire have developed a process that uses the luminous cells from jellyfish to diagnose cancers deep within the human body…

Professor Norman Maitland, believes it will revolutionize the way some cancers are diagnosed.

"Cancers deep within the body are difficult to spot at an early stage, and early diagnosis is critical for the successful treatment of any form of cancer," he said. "What we have developed is a process which involves inserting proteins derived from luminous jellyfish cells into human cancer cells. Then, when we illuminate the tissue, a special camera detects these proteins as they light up, indicating where the tumors are."

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Nanoshells Provide Golden 'Touch' in Killing Breast Tumors

(Science Daily) Using tiny gold "nanoshells" to deliver just a little heat to breast tumor cells already treated with radiation boosts the killing potential of the treatment -- not just shrinking the tumor but killing the cancer stem cells, said researchers…

In studies of tumor cells grown in the laboratory and of mice with the most aggressive mouse and human tumors, the researchers found that radiation plus gold nanoshells heated with a near-infrared laser not only shrank the tumors but dramatically decreased the population of cancer stem cells, said Rachel Atkinson…, first author of the report.

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'Nano-Drug' Hits Brain-Tumor Target: Unique Triggering Device Delivers Antitumor Drugs

(Science Daily) Nine years ago, scientists at Cedars-Sinai … detected a subtle shift occurring in the molecular makeup of the most aggressive type of brain tumors, glioblastoma multiforme. With further study, they found that a specific protein called laminin-411 plays a major role in a tumor's ability to build new blood vessels to support its growth and spread. But technology did not exist then to block this protein.

Now, employing new drug-engineering technology that is part of an advanced science called nanomedicine, the research team has created a "nanobioconjugate" drug that may be given by intravenous injection and carried in the blood to target the brain tumor. It is engineered to specifically permeate the tumor cell wall, entering endosomes, mobile compartments within cells.

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Self-employed urologists order more imaging

(Reuters Health) A patient may be twice as likely to undergo an x-ray, ultrasound or other diagnostic imaging test after seeing a self-employed urologist as opposed to an employed urologist on salary, suggests a new study.

While other factors may be at play, the finding builds on growing evidence for the role of financial incentives in physician behavior and the impact that this behavior may have on soaring health care expenditures in the U.S.

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Health insurance co-payments may disappear

(UPI) Reducing cost sharing -- such as co-payments on prescription drugs -- increases the number of people complying with doctor's orders, U.S. researchers say…

When [Pitney Bowes, which is self insured,] eliminated co-payments for cholesterol-lowering statins, employee adherence to the drugs increased 2.8 percent and when it reduced co-payments for the blood clot inhibitor clopidogrel, adherence rose 4 percent, the study finds…

"If these promising early results are validated in other settings, the trend of rising co-payments may be replaced with a long-term trend of decreasing or vanishing co-payments," [Matthew] Maciejewski says.

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No health insurance for 1-in-6 U.S. adults

(UPI) About one in six U.S. adults lack health insurance, with 16.3 percent saying they were uninsured at the time they were interviewed, a survey indicates.

However, this number is expected to drop as provisions of healthcare reform -- the Affordable Care Act -- are enacted, such as allowing having parents to retain coverage of children under age 26, prohibiting insurers from canceling coverage if a subscriber gets ill and ending lifetime dollar limits on coverage.

Nonetheless, the more significant measures designed to reduce the millions of the uninsured are not set to go into effect until 2014.

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Healthcare reform not factor in election

(UPI) Despite its divisiveness, healthcare reform legislation did not play a major role in the midterm elections, a U.S. professor says.

Timothy D. McBride … says the United States is still more or less a 50-50 country on health reform…

McBride says he expects the new GOP majority in the House of Representatives will attempt to repeal or slow down the implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

"It will not be easy to do this, most especially because the president has the veto pen," McBride says.

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Mediterranean diet tied to reduced weight gain

(Reuters Health) People who follow a diet typical of the Mediterranean region might dodge the added pounds that often come with aging, hints a new Spanish study.

However, the researchers can't be sure if it was the diet itself or related healthy behaviors that were responsible for staving off the weight.

The Mediterranean diet is generally rich in fish, fruits, vegetables, legumes and cereals, while low in red meats and dairy. Previous research has uncovered benefits for its followers, including protection from cardiovascular disease and diabetes, as well as weight loss among those who are already overweight or obese.

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Obesity rates will reach 42 percent: study

(Reuters) Americans will keep growing fatter until 42 percent of the nation is considered obese, and having fat friends is part of the problem, researchers said on Thursday.

The prediction by a team of researchers at Harvard University contradicts other experts who say the nation's obesity rate has peaked at 34 percent of the U.S. population.

The finding is from the same group, led by Nicholas Christakis, that reported in 2007 that if someone's friend becomes obese, that person's chances of becoming obese increase by more than half.

They now think this same phenomenon is driving the obesity epidemic, which will climb slowly but steadily for the next 40 years.

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Older Americans Sicker Than British Peers

(HealthDay News) New research suggests that middle-aged and older white Americans are sicker than their counterparts in the United Kingdom but they still manage to live as long as the Brits, thanks to doctors and drugs.

"Americans are taking worse care of themselves but getting better care from the health-care system," explained study co-author James P. Smith, a senior economist at the Rand Corp. "My fear is that unless we are able to improve ourselves in terms of sickness, making up for this with good medical care will be harder and harder to sustain in the future."

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Illness, injury trigger faster aging

(UPI) U.S. researchers have linked illnesses and injuries restricting the activity of older adults or landing them in the hospital to worsening functional ability.

The study … found frequent transitions between states of disability and recovery with diminishing functional ability usually begin with hospitalization in 90.7 percent of study cases and/or one month of restricted activity in 94.3 percent.

The researchers found fall-related injury led to the highest likelihood of developing new or worsening disability.

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Community: We can’t always avoid accidents or illness, but there are steps we can take to reduce the likelihood of falling and injuring ourselves. We can wear shoes in the house, improve balance, exercise (including strength exercises), keeping blood pressure in check, getting enough vitamin D and protein, and watching our drug intake.

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Ultimate Vitamin Cocktail for Healthy Joints

(RealAge.com) RealAge experts Michael Roizen, MD, and Mehmet Oz, MD, suggest this nifty little combo of nutrients for healthier joints.

Make sure you're getting enough magnesium and calcium as well as vitamins C, D3, and E. This grouping may have the power to minimize inflammation and joint damage.

Getting your vitamins and minerals from food is best, but if you're an eat-on-the-run junkie, you may want to add a supplement to your day to make sure you're getting enough of these joint boosters. Just ask your doctor first about safe doses and potential drug interactions if you're taking other medications.

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Community: But you might want to get your vitamin E from food, rather than a supplement. See below.

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Vitamin E May Pose Slight Bleeding-Stroke Risk

(HealthDay News) People who take vitamin E supplements may be putting themselves at a slight increased risk for a hemorrhagic stroke, researchers report.

Some studies have suggested that taking vitamin E can protect against heart disease, while others have found that, in high doses, it might increase the risk of death…

"Vitamin E supplementation is not as safe as we may like to believe," said lead researcher Dr. Markus Schurks…

"Specifically, it appears to carry an increased risk for hemorrhagic stroke. While the risk is low translating into one additional hemorrhage per 1,250 persons taking vitamin E, widespread and uncontrolled use of vitamin E should be cautioned against," he added.

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Enjoy These 3 Comfort Foods for Your Blood Sugar

(RealAge.com) Eating better-for-your-blood-sugar meals doesn't mean saying bye-bye to creamy, hearty, fatty comfort foods. Here are three blood sugar winners.

We're talking pasta, peanut butter, and fries. Sound too good to be true? Not if you pick the right kinds…

Pasta. The key to indulging in pasta and keeping blood sugar steady is to choose whole-wheat varieties. They raise your blood sugar much more slowly than refined-grain pastas. More important, whole-wheat pastas and other whole grains are a good source of magnesium. Recent research linked a 100-milligram increase in daily magnesium intake to lower diabetes risk. Half a cup of whole-wheat pasta has about 20 milligrams. Try this healthy pasta recipe from EatingWell: Creamy Garlic Pasta with Shrimp and Vegetables.

Creamy Peanut Butter. Nuts are members of the good fats family and a recent study revealed that peanut butter eaters averaging about 5 tablespoons a week may have a 21 percent lower risk of diabetes. All thanks to PB's healthy unsaturated fats that help stabilize blood sugar and improve insulin sensitivity. And it contains magnesium, too. Try EatingWell's Spicy Peanut Sauce on grilled meats or as a raw veggie dip.

Fries. Just trade the white potatoes for a more blood-sugar-friendly starch like sweet potatoes. They have a lower glycemic index than white spuds, making them easier on your blood sugar. And, according to John La Puma, MD, author of ChefMD's Big Book of Culinary Medicine, nutrients in sweet potatoes may also help fight insulin resistance. Whip up your own tasty sweet potatoes with this EatingWell recipe: Oven Sweet Potato Fries.

Source

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Recipes

MyRecipes.com:

Catfish Strips with Ranch Dressing
The inspiration for this dish is Buffalo chicken wings. We breaded and baked catfish strips, then drizzled them with a spicy sauce. If you don't like spicy foods, omit the hot pepper sauce.

15-Minute Fish Dinners

Grilled Whole Snapper

Trout Baked in a Salt Crust

EatingWell:

Thyme- & Sesame-Crusted Halibut
Quickly roasting fish at high heat keeps it moist and succulent. The thyme-and-sesame crust gives this halibut a distinctive finish.

Mustard-Crusted Salmon

Cajun Pecan-Crusted Catfish

Fennel-Crusted Salmon on White Beans

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U.S. Government Food Program Needs Improving: Report

(HealthDay News) Healthier foods should be served to children and adults in day care facilities that get meals and snacks through a federally sponsored food program, a new U.S. government report says.

The report from the Institute of Medicine calls for more fruits and vegetables and less fat, salt and sugar.

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No link seen between high-carb diet, colon cancer

(Reuters Health) Chinese women who eat a traditional diet rich in white rice and other starchy foods that spur a surge in blood sugar do not seem to have an elevated risk of colon cancer, a new study suggests.

The findings, reported in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, add to the conflicting body of evidence as to whether foods with a high "glycemic index" are related to an increased risk of colon cancer.

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Multivitamins don't reduce diabetes risk

(Reuters Health) Vitamins and supplements are big business in the US Half of Americans routinely take them to the tune of about $23 billion dollars every year.

Yet the science demonstrating health benefits to support such widespread use is often contradictory or lacking. In the case of a large NIH-backed study published in the journal Diabetes Care, the science shows little benefit, at least in reducing an adult's risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

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Proteasome Inhibitor Reduces Inflammation and Promotes Bone Healing in Arthritis Models

(Science Daily) A new study by Greek researchers suggests that the biologic drug bortezomib (Velcade), a proteasome inhibitor used to treat multiple myeloma (bone marrow cancer), may represent a promising treatment for rheumatoid arthritis (RA). In this study, bortezomib displayed favorable effects in an animal model of inflammatory arthritis that mimics RA, in reducing disease severity and inflammation, and promoting bone healing…

RA is a chronic, systemic, autoimmune disease characterized by inflammation and joint destruction.

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Built-in Timer for Improving Accuracy of Cost Saving Paper-Strip Medical Tests

(Science Daily) Scientists are reporting the development of a simple, built-in timer intended to improve the accuracy of paper tests and test strips for diagnosing diseases inexpensively at-home and elsewhere…

When fully developed, these low-cost paper tests may replace more expensive traditional tests for detecting biomarkers in urine, blood, and other body fluids, as well as for detecting pollution in water. Many types of tests that could be used on paper, however, require precise timing using a stopwatch to provide accurate results.

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Few want doctors deciding life or death

(UPI) Despite the moral and ethical enormity of ending life-support for incapacitated patients, most would prefer doctors not make the decision, U.S. researchers say.

Dr. Douglas B. White of the University of Pittsburgh says a study shows more than half of surrogate decision makers prefer to have full authority over the life and death choice than to share or cede that power to physicians.

"This report suggests that many surrogates may prefer more decisional control for value-laden decisions in intensive care units than previously thought," White says.

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Good Conversation Can Boost Brain Power, Study Finds

(HealthDay News) Friendly discussions with other people can help you solve common life challenges, but conversations that are competitive in tone aren't helpful, finds a new study.

"This study shows that simply talking to other people, the way you do when you're making friends, can provide mental benefits," lead author Oscar Ybarra, a psychologist and researcher at the Institute for Social Research at the University of Michigan, said in a university news release.

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Could Anger Make People Want Things More?

(HealthDay News) Anger can be a potent motivator in increasing a person's desire to obtain things, a new study finds…

The finding makes sense in terms of human evolution, [first author Henk] Aarts said. For example, in situations where there is limited food, people who associate food with anger and become aggressive in order to obtain the food are more likely to survive.

"If the food does not make you angry or doesn't produce aggression in your system, you may starve and lose the battle," Aarts explained.

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Community: So the anger-mongers on radio and cable TV are promoting a sense of scarcity when they attack illegal immigrants?

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Psychological Changes from Meditation Training Linked to Cellular Health

(Science Daily) Positive psychological changes that occur during meditation training are associated with greater telomerase activity, according to researchers… The study is the first to link positive well-being to higher telomerase, an enzyme important for the long-term health of cells in the body.

The effect appears to be attributable to psychological changes that increase a person's ability to cope with stress and maintain feelings of well-being.

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Community: We’re learning quite a lot about telomerase and telomeres, their part in aging, and how to slow their loss.

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Multifocal Contact Lenses May Reduce Vision for Night Driving

(Science Daily) A new study suggests that older adults who wear multifocal contact lenses to correct problems with near vision, a very common condition that increases with age, may have greater difficulty driving at night than their counterparts who wear glasses. Age-related problems with near vision, medically termed presbyopia, usually occurs after the age of 40 and results in the inability to focus on objects up close.

According to [the study], wearing multifocal contact lenses resulted in significantly slower driving speeds at night than wearing progressive addition glasses. While slower driving would seem to reduce the likelihood of hitting nighttime road hazards, the authors reported a reduced ability to recognize road hazards among multifocal contact lens wearers.

The study also showed that multifocal contact lens wearers were able to see road signs, but at a much shorter distance than those wearing glasses, potentially decreasing the reaction time required for a driver to make necessary navigational decisions.

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Online Feedback May Boost Weight-Loss Success

(HealthDay News) Providing feedback to users of online weight-loss programs can improve the outcomes for participants, a new study has found.

The study included 179 people taking part in Shape Up RI, an annual online 12-week community weight-loss competition in Rhode Island…

In one arm of the study, volunteers were assigned to the standard Shape Up RI program or to the program plus extra video lessons on weight loss. In the other study arm, participants were in either the standard Shape Up RI or the standard program plus video lessons, self-monitoring of weight, eating and exercise, and computer-generated feedback…

"The addition of videos alone did lead to a small increase in weight loss, but the combination of the three strategies produced much better outcomes," lead author Rena Wing…

"This finding would suggest that education about diet and activity changes alone is important, but not sufficient," she added.

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Recipes

Cooking Light:

Top-Rated Butternut Squash
Creamy soups, savory sides, and even a pizza—this fall favorite shines in these (mostly) vegetarian recipes.

Butternut Squash Risotto
Butternut Squash & Bacon Pasta
Pesto Pizza with Butternut Squash

See all butternut squash recipes

Superfast Soups
Warm up to these 22 soup recipes, all ready in 20 minutes or less.

Lighter Cheesy Chicken Enchiladas
We've made over this classic casserole by slashing calories, fat, and sodium so you can enjoy it more often.

MyRecipes.com:

Margarita-Braised Chicken Thighs
The test kitchen raved over this juicy, fruity dish inspired by the popular cocktail.

EatingWell:

Chili-Rubbed Steaks & Pan Salsa
Any cut of steak will work for this recipe, but we especially like the flavor and texture of rib-eye with these seasonings; look for steak that has been thinly cut. A cold ale, sweet potato fries and vinegary coleslaw can round out the meal.

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The Tart and Tasty Cranberry

(SouthBeachDiet.com) Cranberries are much more than just a traditional Thanksgiving side dish. These tart and tiny berries are among the top antioxidant-rich foods you can eat. Research has found that cranberries are a unique source of the phytochemicals (plant chemicals) known as proanthocyanidins, a significant source of antioxidants, and high in vitamin C. You can enjoy cooked cranberries as a sauce [or] as part of a fruit compote or crisp…

While frozen cranberries are available year-round, now is the perfect time to enjoy your cranberries fresh. If you're purchasing fresh cranberries, make sure they're firm and bright red, with no signs of discoloration. Fresh cranberries are usually packaged in 12-ounce plastic bags. If you're buying them frozen, make sure they are packaged without added sugars. You can find both at your local supermarket.

Keep fresh cranberries in the refrigerator, tightly wrapped, for up to two months, or freeze them in an airtight bag or container for up to a year. (Freezing is an especially convenient storage method for cranberries because they don't need to be thawed before cooking.)

Fresh cranberries, which are too tart to be eaten raw, are delicious cooked into a sauce with the addition of an artificial sweetener or agave nectar. Uncooked and chopped they make a tasty addition to home-baked, whole-grain breads. You can also add fresh cranberries to homemade compotes or combine them with other fall fruits, like apples and pears, to create delicious, fruity whole-grain crisps. Toss dried cranberries into wild rice or other whole-grain salads.

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Community: Cranberries are on sale at my local supermarket, so I’m buying them and putting the whole bag, unopened, into the freezer. Now I can use them the same way I use my other berries—taking out enough to use on my oatmeal, washing them, and defrosting them in the microwave. I put the cranberries in the microwave for 1-1/2 minutes on high, which is more than I do for the other berries, because of the tartness.

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Gastric Bypass Alters Sweet Taste Function; Finding Could Lead to Safer Treatments

(Science Daily) Gastric bypass surgery decreases the preference for sweet-tasting substances in obese rats, a study finding that could help in developing safer treatments for the morbidly obese, according to Penn State College of Medicine researchers.

"Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery is the most common effective treatment for morbid obesity," said Andras Hajnal, M.D., Ph.D… "Many patients report altered taste preferences after having the procedure."

This surgery involves the creation of a small gastric pouch and bypassing a portion of the upper small intestine. Unlike other weight-reduction methods, it produces substantial and durable weight loss and significant improvements in obesity-related medical conditions including diabetes…

"It appears that an uncontrolled appetite may get further boost from altered taste functions during development of obesity and diabetes," Hajnal said. "How much of this vicious circle is due to changes in the neurons inside the brain, which receive taste sensations from the tongue and report to the higher order motivational brain centers, we don't know."

Further research is needed to determine what causes the neural and behavioral changes, according to Hajnal.

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Liver Hormone Is a Cause of Insulin Resistance

(Science Daily) Researchers have identified a hormone produced and secreted by the liver as a previously unknown cause of insulin resistance. The findings … suggest a new target for the treatment of insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes, the researchers say…

[T]he researchers report the results of comprehensive gene expression analyses, revealing that the liver expresses higher levels of the gene encoding selenoprotein P (SeP) in people with type 2 diabetes who are more insulin resistant. Blood levels of SeP are also increased in people with diabetes compared to healthy people.

Further studies in mice added support to the notion that the connection between SeP and insulin resistance is causal. When the researchers gave normal mice SeP, they became insulin resistant and their blood sugar levels rose. A treatment that blocked the activity of SeP in the livers of diabetic and obese mice improved their sensitivity to insulin and lowered blood sugar levels.

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Novel Needle Technology Paves Way for Simultaneous Tissue Sampling and Cancer Treatment

(Science Daily) In a new study from Sweden's Karolinska Institutet, researchers present a novel technology to reduce the risk of tumor spread and bleeding associated with fine-needle biopsy in suspected cancer. The technology is called Anti-Seeding, and has been clinically tested in breast cancer on a small scale at St. Görans Hospital in Stockholm during a one year period…

Most deaths in cancer are due to metastases, which spread from the primary tumor to other organs in the body. It has been suspected for a long time that living cancer cells may detach from the primary tumor already during tissue sampling, and grow as daughter tumors in other parts of the body…

The new needle technology … prevents possible spread of detached cells directly when the tissue sample is taken. This is made possible by converting the needle movements made by the operator to an electric signal that is fed to a computer that automatically transforms the movements of the needle into heat pulses within the tissue. The heat is obtained by friction from radio frequent electric current in the needle, according to a similar principle as in a microwave oven.

Read more.

Community: I’m convinced that the needle biopsy that confirmed I had breast cancer created a pathway for cancer cells to progress to the one lymph node they were found in.

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Asthma Drug Prevents Spread of Breast Cancer, Study Finds

(Science Daily) A drug commonly used in Japan and Korea to treat asthma has been found to stop the spread of breast cancer cells traditionally resistant to chemotherapy, according to a new study…

"Tranilast, a drug approved for use in Japan and South Korea, and not in use in Canada or the U.S., has been used for more than two decades to treat asthma and other allergic disorders including allergic rhinitis and atopic dermatitis," Dr. [Gerald] Prud'homme says. "Now, our study is the first to discover it not only stops breast cancer from spreading but how the drug targets breast cancer cells."

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Why Brain Has Limited Capacity for Repair After Stroke: New Drug Target Identified

(Science Daily) Stroke is the leading cause of adult disability, due to the brain's limited capacity for recovery. Physical rehabilitation is the only current treatment following a stroke, and there are no medications available to help promote neurological recovery.

Now, a new UCLA study … offers insights into a major limitation in the brain's ability to recover function after a stroke and identifies a promising medical therapy to help overcome this limitation…

By studying stroke and stroke recovery in mice, the researchers found that since stroke causes a reduction in the normal clearance of an inhibitory brain chemical, it causes neurons in the tissue that borders the stroke to be less excitable. They found that by applying specific blockers of this inhibitory brain chemical, they could then "turn off the switch."

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Pricey Drugs May Not Mean Better Care

(HealthDay News) Higher levels of drug spending don't necessarily translate into better quality care for Medicare patients, a new study has found…

The researchers also found that regions where Medicare patients were more likely to get prescriptions for high-risk or potentially harmful drugs did not necessarily spend more on drugs overall than regions with lower use of high-risk or potentially harmful drugs.

In addition, the likelihood that Medicare patients would be prescribed high-risk or potentially harmful drugs was also higher in regions where non-drug medical spending was highest.

The findings contradict "the idea that high spending leads to better prescription practices," lead investigator Yuting Zhang … said.

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Use of Prostate Cancer Treatment Fell When Medicare Paid Docs Less

(HealthDay News) The Medicare Modernization Act that went into effect in 2004 and 2005 slashed physicians' reimbursement for androgen-deprivation therapy by about 50 percent…

Unnecessary use of androgen-deprivation therapy declined from 38.7 percent in 2003 to 30.6 percent in 2004, then to 25.7 percent in 2005, the study authors reported.

But there were no changes in appropriate use of the therapy, which stayed stable, the researchers said…

Research identifying some adverse effects of hormonal therapy may also have contributed to the reduction, the authors said.

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Lactate in the Brain Reveals Aging Process

(Science Daily) Researchers at Karolinska Institutet have shown that they may be able to monitor the aging process in the brain, by using MRI technique to measure the brain lactic acid levels. Their findings suggest that the lactate levels increase in advance of other aging symptoms, and therefore could be used as an indicator of aging and age-related diseases of the central nervous system…

"Our study was conducted in mice, but the same technique can be used in humans," says [study leader, professor ] Lars Olson. "So there is hope that one day physicians might be able to give your brain a check-up and help determine its age by using MRI."

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Community: So, uh, Professor Olson—how do we reduce the buildup of lactate in the brain?

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Daily Dose of Beet Juice Promotes Brain Health in Older Adults

(Science Daily) Researchers for the first time have shown that drinking beet juice can increase blood flow to the brain in older adults -- a finding that could hold great potential for combating the progression of dementia…

High concentrations of nitrates are found in beets, as well as in celery, cabbage and other leafy green vegetables like spinach and some lettuce. When you eat high-nitrate foods, good bacteria in the mouth turn nitrate into nitrite. Research has found that nitrites can help open up the blood vessels in the body, increasing blood flow and oxygen specifically to places that are lacking oxygen.

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Fish Oil Supplements May Not Slow Alzheimer's

(HealthDay News) One of the main components of fish oil doesn't help slow the development of symptoms in patients with early Alzheimer's, although experts aren't ruling out the possibility that supplementation given earlier might help prevent the disease.

The supplement, docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), is present in abundance in the brain and previous studies had suggested it might play a role in treatment.

But that turned out not to be the case in this latest study, which was funded by the U.S. National Institute on Aging.

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Black Raspberries May Prevent Colon Cancer, Study Finds

(Science Daily) Black raspberries are highly effective in preventing colorectal tumors in two mouse models of the disease, according to a University of Illinois at Chicago study…

Building on previous research that found black raspberries have antioxidant, anti-cancer, anti-neurodegenerative and anti-inflammatory properties, the researchers looked at the fruit's ability to prevent colon cancer…

The researchers found that … the black raspberry-supplemented diet produced a broad range of protective effects in the intestine, colon and rectum and inhibited tumor formation.

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Recipes

MyRecipes.com:

Beef and Vegetable Potpie
Brimming with chopped zucchini, carrot, and mushrooms, this meat-lover's potpie packs in a hearty serving of vegetables. Cook the filling in a skillet on the stove top, then spoon it into a baking dish. Finish the casserole in the oven to brown the breadstick-dough topping.

Chicken Pot Pie

Italian-Style Pizza Pot Pie

Chicken and Vegetable Pot Pie

EatingWell:

Cashew-Snow Pea Stir-Fry
Radishes add a burst of color to this easy snow pea stir-fry and cooking them tames their spiciness.

Shrimp & Snow Pea Stir-Fry

Vegetable Stir-Fry

Hot & Sour Carrots

Add spice to your meal with these healthy chile pepper recipes.
Hot chile peppers, cayenne and chipotle might awaken your taste buds and make you sweat, but these spices will add more than just heat to your next meal. You might not know that these zesty spices have health benefits, too, as they help trigger the body’s natural cooling system and rev up metabolism. Our healthy spice recipes featuring chile pepper, cayenne, chipotle and paprika are packed with flavor—but not calories. Enjoy Braised Paprika Chicken or warm up with the zesty flavors of our Middle Eastern Lamb Stew.

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Tackling Triglycerides

(Dr. Arthur Agatston, Everyday Health) Q: My doctor says my triglycerides are a bit high, but my cholesterol is within the normal range. Are triglycerides something I should worry about?

A: Yes, you need to keep an eye on triglycerides, which are the most common type of fat found in the body. When you eat, any calories not used immediately for energy are converted into triglycerides and stored in fat cells. Triglycerides also circulate in your bloodstream…

I call triglycerides and HDL lifestyle lipids because they are both very sensitive to changes in diet and exercise. Losing weight, taking prescription niacin and fish oil supplements, and avoiding starchy and sugary carbohydrates as well as saturated fat and trans fats are all effective ways of reducing elevated levels of this bad type of blood fat.

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Poor Diet May Make COPD Worse, Study Finds

(HealthDay News) Certain vitamin deficiencies may lead to decreased lung function in people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder (COPD), which includes emphysema and chronic bronchitis, says a new study…

"Our study, along with other research, suggests that strategies for dietary modification and supplementation should be considered in patients with COPD," Dr. M. Salman Khan … said.

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Compound in Daffodils Targets Brain Cancer

(Science Daily) When looking for new ways to treat aggressive brain cancers, an international team of scientists turned a new leaf and "discovered" the lowly daffodil. A new research study … offers hope that a natural compound found in daffodil bulbs, called narciclasine, may be a powerful therapeutic against biologically aggressive forms of human brain cancers.

"We are planning to move a narciclasine derivative toward clinical trials in oncology within a three to four year period in order to help patients with brain cancers, including gliomas, as well as brain metastases," said Robert Kiss, Ph.D., co-author of the study… "We hope narciclasine could be given to brain cancer patients in addition to conventional therapies."

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Peptide Being Tested to Treat Atherosclerosis Inhibits Ovarian Cancer Growth

(Science Daily) A drug in testing to treat atherosclerosis [hardening of the arteries] significantly inhibited growth of ovarian cancer in both human cell lines and mouse models, the first such report of a peptide being used to fight malignancies, according to a study…

The study follows previous discovery by the same group showing that a protein called apolipoprotein A-I (apoA-I) in patients may be used as a biomarker to diagnose early stage ovarian cancer, when it typically is asymptomatic and is much easier to treat. These earlier findings could be vital to improving early detection, as more than 85 percent of ovarian cancer cases present in the advanced stages, when the cancer has already spread and patients are more likely to have a recurrence after treatment, said Dr. Robin Farias-Eisner…, co-senior author of the study.

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