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

Coping When Tough Economic Times Taint Holiday Cheer

(HealthDay News) "During the holidays, it's important for families to think outside the expectation of everyone getting everything on their lists," said Mary K. Alvord, a clinical psychologist in private practice… "Otherwise, it just sets adults and children up for disappointment."
"If you're having financial difficulties, it can be helpful to look at the situation as an opportunity to get back to focusing on the things that are the most important, like family togetherness," noted Craig S. Fabrikant, a psychologist…
Alvord and Fabrikant offered the following advice for how families can make the best of the holidays, in good times and bad:
Be honest. Don't try to hide your financial problems from your kids and pretend to carry on as usual… "Children know when things are wrong, and they're actually better than adults at picking up the vibes because they can cut through all the defensive stuff," said Fabrikant…
Have a plan. "This helps us feel that we have some control over our lives, and that we're empowered," said Alvord. She recommended scheduling a family meeting and asking everyone to come up with inventive ideas for saving money during the holidays…
Tone it down. "You can still get a tree, but you don't have to buy the biggest one on the lot," said Fabrikant. Similarly, it's better to pare down the gift lists to just a few meaningful ones, rather than risk going into debt…
Come up with "outside the box" gift ideas… For example, family members can create gift certificates where one person offers to do someone else's chores for a week, or a parent gives a coupon for a future activity a teenager would like, such as a special movie. You can also make homemade gifts, which are often the most cherished anyway.
See the silver lining. "It sounds corny, but it's so important to frame the situation in ways of what we have, rather than what we don't have," Alvord said…
Learn more about how to cope with holiday stress from the Cleveland Clinic.
Community: This sounds like good advice for every year, not just when times are tough.
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Life's Little Questions Offer Big Brain Benefits

(RealAge.com) What's your goal today? And does it fit into your life plan? If these questions leave you scratching your head, then your brain might be suffering in more ways than one.
In a recent study, older adults who had a strong sense of purpose in their lives were significantly less likely to develop Alzheimer's disease or cognitive impairment over the long haul.
What does having a purpose in life got to do with the price of eggs?... Researchers think it may help positively alter immune-system functioning in a way that benefits your heart and blood vessels. And that's good for your noggin.(Find out how a sense of purpose can help you live longer, too.)
Lots of things can add purpose and meaning to your life, whether it's setting certain career goals, deciding to treat your body as a temple, choosing to be more in the moment in your everyday life, or striving to be a good parent, spouse, or friend. And in the recent study, orienting one's life around a personal philosophy or goal meant people were 2.4 times less likely to develop Alzheimer's disease. Mild cognitive impairment -- which is sometimes a precursor to Alzheimer's -- was less likely among purpose-driven folks, too. (Need a goal? Check out some of our health-transforming goal plans.)
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Sleep Makes Your Memories Stronger, and Helps With Creativity

(Science Daily) As humans, we spend about a third of our lives asleep. So there must be a point to it, right? Scientists have found that sleep helps consolidate memories, fixing them in the brain so we can retrieve them later. Now, new research is showing that sleep also seems to reorganize memories, picking out the emotional details and reconfiguring the memories to help you produce new and creative ideas, according to the authors of an article…
"In our fast-paced society, one of the first things to go is our sleep," [Jessica D.] Payne says. "I think that's based on a profound misunderstanding that the sleeping brain isn't doing anything." The brain is busy. It's not just consolidating memories, it's organizing them and picking out the most salient information. She thinks this is what makes it possible for people to come up with creative, new ideas.
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Want to look more attractive? Sleep more

(UPI) Sleep deprived people are not only less healthy, they are also less attractive, so a "beauty sleep" may help many, researchers in Sweden say…
The study … found sleep deprived people were rated as less healthy, more tired and less attractive than after a normal night's sleep…
To date, the concept of beauty sleep has lacked scientific support, but the biological importance of sleep may have favored a sensitivity to perceive sleep related cues in others, the researchers add.
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Avoiding Mother Nature's hand winter wrath

(UPI) Redness, blisters, cracking or itching on hands may lead to dyshidrotic eczema or hand eczema but a U.S. dermatologist says the conditions are preventable…
"Hands get worse in winter for two main reasons," [Dr. Kent] Aftergut says. "The air is dryer and the humidity is down, so skin dries out. Winter also coincides with flu season, so many people wash their hands more frequently. Soaps and hand sanitizers are very drying, especially with repeated use."…
"Using a non-detergent soap that will be less drying to hands and applying frequent moisturizers," he adds.
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Does lunch in front of a computer make us eat more?

(Reuters Health) Many of us eat lunch parked in front of a computer, but that habit might be boosting our appetite for dessert, a small study suggests.
In a lab study of 44 men and women, researchers found that those who ate lunch while playing a computer game ended up eating more cookies 30 minutes later than those who'd had their lunch with no distractions.
The reason? Researchers say the computer users had a fuzzier memory of their lunch and felt less full afterward compared with the computer-free lunch group.
This suggests, they say, that distractions like computers and TV muddy our memories of mealtime, which in turn may have real effects on appetite.
Community: Remember Paul McKenna’s advice to eat mindfully. He says it helps us eat less, but still be satisfied.
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Beetroot Juice Could Help People Live More Active Lives

(Science Daily) New research into the health benefits of beetroot juice suggests it's not only athletes who can benefit from its performance enhancing properties -- its physiological effects could help the elderly or people with heart or lung-conditions enjoy more active lives…
"What we've seen in this study is that beetroot juice can actually reduce the amount of oxygen you need to perform even low-intensity exercise. In principle, this effect could help people do things they wouldn't otherwise be able to do."
When consumed, beetroot juice has two marked physiological effects. Firstly, it widens blood vessels, reducing blood pressure and allowing more blood flow. Secondly, it affects muscle tissue, reducing the amount of oxygen needed by muscles during activity. The combined effects have a significant impact on performing physical tasks, whether it involves low-intensity or high-intensity effort…
Beetroot juice contains high levels of nitrate. The latest study has proved that this is the key ingredient which causes the increase in performance, rather than any other component of the beetroot juice.
Community: I’m really confused about nitrates. Here, we see good effects for the cardiovascular system, such as those found in nitroglycerin, the medication given for angina. But the nitrates used is preserving processed meats may cause cancer.
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Fresh Recipes for Oranges
Add more vitamin C to your diet with these healthy orange recipes. The citrus flavor of oranges brightens man dishes from main dishes to desserts. Because they are high in vitamin C, oranges are a healthy food to cook with. Used in a marinade or sauce, oranges add a sweet-tart flavor to meat, seafood and tofu. 
Steak Diane
This steak diane recipe will impress your family and guests with very little effort. For an easy side of roasted potatoes, start with precut potato wedges from the refrigerated section of the grocery store.
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Get Cooking With Buckwheat

(SouthBeachDiet.com) You may find it in breakfast cereals, breads, and even pancakes, but if you think buckwheat is a type of wheat or grain, think again. Buckwheat is actually the fruit of a plant related to sorrel and rhubarb. The good news about buckwheat is that it’s a rich source of all 8 essential amino acids — important molecules that help repair tissue and build cells…
Buying Buckwheat
You can find buckwheat in health-food stores either as whole groats (raw kernels with the shells removed), as flour (the darker the flour, the more fiber it contains), or as kasha (roasted kernels in coarse, medium, or fine granules). You may also be able to find kasha in the pasta aisle of your local grocery store. Whether you’re purchasing buckwheat in bulk or in a container, make sure there is no evidence of moisture.
Storing Buckwheat
Store loose buckwheat in an airtight covered jar or sealed plastic bag and keep in a cool, dry place, or in the refrigerator or freezer if you live in a warm climate. Buckwheat flour, however, should always be stored in a refrigerator. Buckwheat can last for one year, and the flour can be kept for a couple of months if stored properly.
Cooking With Buckwheat
Rinse buckwheat groats thoroughly under running water before cooking, and remove any dirt or debris. You can cook kasha and whole buckwheat as you would rice and serve as a side dish with meat, poultry, or fish dishes. Or combine it with a little sautéed chopped onion and fresh herbs and use as a stuffing for cabbage, bell peppers, or eggplant. It also makes a great stuffing for chicken or Cornish game hens. Use buckwheat flour in combination with whole-wheat flour to make tasty pancakes.
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Obesity May Interfere With Vitamin D Absorption

(HealthDay News) The more obese a person is, the poorer his or her vitamin D status, a new study by a team of Norwegian researchers suggests.
The study found an inverse relationship between excess pounds and an insufficient amount of vitamin D, which is critical to cell health, calcium absorption and proper immune function. Vitamin D deficiency can raise the risk for bone deterioration and certain types of cancer.
The researchers also suggest that overweight and obese people may have problems processing the vitamin properly.
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For Most, Chronic Heartburn Not a Big Risk for Esophageal Cancer

(HealthDay News) Contrary to popular belief, acid reflux disease, better known as heartburn, is not much of a risk factor for esophageal cancer for most people, according to new research.
"It's a rare cancer," said study author Dr. Joel H. Rubenstein, an assistant professor in the University of Michigan department of internal medicine.
"About 1 in 4 people have symptoms of GERD [acid reflux disease] and that's a lot of people," he said. "But 25 percent of people aren't going to get this cancer. No way."
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Popping a Pill Can Help Some Alcoholics Curb Drinking

(Science Daily) A little-used medication can help treat alcoholism, an updated review of studies confirms. At any given time, about 5 percent of the population suffers from an addiction to alcohol, often with devastating consequences to work, family, friends and health. Twelve-step programs have been the mainstay for helping alcoholics to quit drinking, but a significant number of people who try these programs do not find them helpful or suffer relapses.
The Cochrane review finds that the medication naltrexone -- brand names are Depade and ReVia -- when combined with counseling or interventions like Alcoholics Anonymous, can help cut the risk of heavy drinking in patients who are dependent on alcohol.
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Lung cancer screen: a license to smoke?

(Reuters Health) Dutch researchers have found that men who screen negative for lung cancer are a bit less likely to try to quit smoking than men whose scan is inconclusive and requires follow up.
The findings in the European Respiratory Journal add to the debate over whether patients will perceive negative results in a lung cancer screen as a license to smoke or a chance to quit.
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Interactions cause seniors to drop antidepressants

(Reuters) More than half of older Americans taking an antidepressant for the first time were already taking another drug that could interact with it and cause side effects, researchers reported on Friday.
And a quarter of patients who suffered side effects stopped taking antidepressants altogether, the study by a team at Thomson Reuters, the University of Southern California, Sanofi Aventis and elsewhere found.
"We found a concerning degree of potentially harmful drug combinations being prescribed to seniors," Dr. Tami Lee Mark of Thomson Reuters, parent company of Reuters, said in a statement.
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In U.S., New Low of 44.8% Get Healthcare From Employer

(Gallup) A new low of 44.8% of American adults report getting their health insurance through an employer in November, down from 50% in January 2008, when Gallup began tracking it. The percentage of Americans with government-based healthcare remains elevated, with the 26% who report having it last month similar to the high of 26.3% found in September…
Nearly one in six (16.1%) American adults report that they did not have health insurance in November, a figure that is down slightly from a high of 16.8% in May of this year.
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Majority of U.S. Adults Had Troubled Childhoods: CDC

(HealthDay News) Almost 60 percent of American adults say they had difficult childhoods featuring abusive or troubled family members or parents who were absent due to separation or divorce, federal health officials report…
"Adverse childhood experiences are common," said study coauthor Valerie J. Edwards, team lead for the Adverse Childhood Experiences Team at CDC's National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion. "We need to do a lot more to protect children and help families," she said…
Since the data are self-reported, Edwards believes that the real extent of child abuse may be still greater. "There is a tendency to under-report rather than over-report," she said.
Community: Suffering abuse as a child can affect one’s health as an adult. It’s in our best interest as a nation to start dealing with this huge problem. And those who suffered abuse as children need to take special care with their health.
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It's True: Money Can't Buy Happiness, Study Finds

(HealthDay News) People's happiness doesn't necessarily increase as their income rises, a new study suggests.
Researchers examined the link between economic growth and happiness in 37 countries over a minimum of 10 years and an average of 22 years. The countries included in the study were rich and poor, ex-Communist and capitalist.
The findings challenge "recent claims that there is a positive long-term relationship between happiness and income, when in fact, the relationship is nil," study author Richard Easterlin…
"Where does this leave us? If economic growth is not the main route to greater happiness, what is? We may need to focus policy more directly on urgent personal concerns relating to things such as health and family life, rather than on the mere escalation of material goods," Easterlin said.
Community: Really? I’d like to win the lottery and find out for myself, thank you very much.
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U.K. says time in sun vital for vitamin D

(UPI) British health advocates say they recommend short spells in the sun, at midday and without sun cream, to assure the body gets enough vitamin D from sunlight.
Vitamin D keeps bones strong and in good health and protects against conditions like osteoporosis. The recommendation comes as many medical experts say fears of skin cancer have made people too cautious about being in the sun, the BBC reported Thursday.
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Garlic Could Protect Against Hip Osteoarthritis

(Science Daily) Researchers at King's College London and the University of East Anglia have discovered that women who consume a diet high in allium vegetables, such as garlic, onions and leeks, have lower levels of hip osteoarthritis.
The findings, published in the BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders journal, not only highlight the possible effects of diet in protecting against osteoarthritis, but also show the potential for using compounds found in garlic to develop treatments for the condition.
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Grab This Cereal Topper for Better Blood Pressure

(RealAge.com) Hot or cold, cereal always tastes better with a little something on top. And for better blood pressure, the topper you should choose is blueberries.
In a recent study of people with health conditions, those who had freeze-dried blueberries added to their diets every day experienced significant improvements in both their systolic and diastolic blood pressure after just 8 weeks…
The amount of blueberries the people in the study consumed was pretty high -- the equivalent of over 2 cups of fresh berries per day. But blueberries aren't the only way to get some blood-pressure-friendly berry nutrition into your diet. Similar benefits have also been seen in studies with cranberries, strawberries, raspberries, and lingonberries as well as other fresh fruit. So get your winter fruit on! (Find out what other foods do your blood pressure right.)
Community: But remember that USDA researcher Dr. Xianli Wu found that the equivalent of ½ cup of blueberries per day on a human scale, fed to mice, helped clear their arteries.
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Pork and Hominy Chili
If you've never tried hominy before, you're in for a treat. Mix canned hominy—a nutty, tender ingredient made from dried, hulled corn kernels—with chunks of pork and bold spices in this hearty, Mexican-inspired chili.
Paprika Shrimp & Green Bean Saute
Green beans add snap and color to the garlicky shrimp and butter beans in this Spanish-inspired sauté. Slightly pricier prepeeled shrimp are worth it, given the amount of time they save on a harried weeknight. Serve with quinoa or brown rice.
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U.S. Spending Millions to See if Herbs Truly Work

(HealthDay News) People have been using herbal supplements for centuries to cure all manner of ills and improve their health. But for all the folk wisdom promoting the use of such plants as St. John's wort and black cohosh, much about their effect on human health remains unknown.
But the federal government is spending millions of dollars to support research dedicated to separating the wheat from the chaff when it comes to herbal supplements…
Some products contain less than the promoted amount of the supplement in question -- such as a 400-milligram capsule of echinacea containing just 250 milligrams of the herb. Other products are tainted by pesticides or heavy metals…
Researchers also are concerned that there just isn't a lot of evidence to support the health benefits said to be gained from herbal supplements. People may be misusing them, which can lead to poor health and potential interactions with prescription drugs.
"Consumers often are taking them without telling their doctor, or taking them in lieu of going to the doctor," [said Marguerite Klein, director of the Botanical Research Centers Program at the U.S. National Institutes of Health].
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MDMA (Ecstasy): Empathogen or Love Potion?

(Science Daily) MDMA -- commonly known as ecstasy -- increases feelings of empathy and social connection. These 'empathogenic' effects suggest that MDMA might be useful to enhance the psychotherapy of people who struggle to feel connected to others, as may occur in association with autism, schizophrenia, or antisocial personality disorder…
Dr. Gillinder Bedi, author, explained: "We found that MDMA produced friendliness, playfulness, and loving feelings, even when it was administered to people in a laboratory with little social contact. We also found that MDMA reduced volunteers' capacity to recognize facial expressions of fear in other people, an effect that may be involved in the increased sociability said to be produced by MDMA."
These data suggest that MDMA produces effects that make others seem more attractive and friendly, which may serve as a significant motivator in its use as a recreational drug. Importantly, it also makes others appear less threatening, which could increase users' social risk-taking.
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Plasma Therapy: An Alternative to Antibiotics?

(Science Daily) Cold plasma jets could be a safe, effective alternative to antibiotics to treat multi-drug resistant infections, says a study…
The team of Russian and German researchers showed that a ten-minute treatment with low-temperature plasma was not only able to kill drug-resistant bacteria causing wound infections in rats but also increased the rate of wound healing. The findings suggest that cold plasmas might be a promising method to treat chronic wound infections where other approaches fail.
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New Discoveries Make It Harder for HIV to Hide from Drugs

(Science Daily) [M]icrobiologist and biochemist Stefan Sarafianos, PhD, reveals new findings that shed light on how HIV eludes treatment by mutating. His discoveries provide clues into HIV's mechanisms for resisting two main families of drugs.
"These findings are important because identifying a new mutation that affects HIV drug resistance allows physicians to make better decisions and prescribe the proper drugs," Sarafianos said. "Without that knowledge, therapy can be suboptimal and lead to early failure."
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Docs Claim Transplant Cured Man of HIV, But Experts Urge Caution

(HealthDay News) In a rare case, a man living in Germany who had both leukemia and AIDS no longer has any detectable HIV cells in his blood following a stem cell transplant for his leukemia three years ago.
But experts were quick to caution that the case does not have practical implications for the treatment of AIDS worldwide.
As it turns out, the donor for that transplant carried a rare mutation in a gene that increases immunity against the most common form of HIV. 
[Said Dr. Margaret Fischl] "I would never give this to a healthy patient. I could never justify it. If you use this therapy, 30 percent of your patients could die from the intervention."
Fischl said the study does present new ways to look for an HIV cure, however. "This is leading to looking at gene therapy in a totally different way," she said.
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Scientists Discover Potential Strategy to Improve Cancer Vaccines

(Science Daily) The promise of vaccines targeted against various types of cancer has raised the hopes of patients and their families. The reality, however, is that these promising treatments are difficult to develop. One of the challenges is identifying a discrete cellular target to stop cancer growth without inactivating the immune system. Scientists [now] report a laboratory finding that has the potential to increase the effectiveness of therapeutic cancer vaccines.
The team found that the absence of the function of a protein called NLRP3 can result in a four-fold increase in a tumor's response to a therapeutic cancer vaccine. If this finding proves consistent, it may be a key to making cancer vaccines a realistic treatment option.
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Death Rate From Heart Disease, Stroke Drops Off Over Decade

(HealthDay News) The death rate from cardiovascular disease in the United States has declined 28 percent since the late 1990s, but heart disease and stroke still account for one-third of all deaths, a new study finds…
Meanwhile, millions of Americans continue to make poor health decisions that sabotage efforts to further reduce cardiovascular disease…
[H]ealthy lifestyle choices are crucial for longevity, and the way to become a healthier society is to do it "one individual at a time," [Dr. Veronique L. Roger, lead author of the report,] said. Controlling weight through diet and exercise will be key to achieving the Heart Association's 2020 goals of improving cardiovascular health by 20 percent and reducing deaths from heart disease and stroke by 20 percent.
Genetics play a significant role in the development of cardiovascular disease, the authors acknowledge… But genes aren't destiny. If you're at higher risk, take care of yourself, these experts advise.
"You can't really control your genes," Roger said, "but you can control how you play the deck of cards you've been dealt."
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Feast, Famine and the Genetics of Obesity

(Science Daily) In addition to fast food, desk jobs, and inertia, there is one more thing to blame for unwanted pounds-our genome, which has apparently not caught up with the fact that we no longer live in the Stone Age.
That is one conclusion drawn by researchers at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies, who recently showed that mice lacking a gene regulating energy balance are protected from weight gain, even on a high fat diet. These findings have implications for the worldwide obesity epidemic and its consequences, such as type two diabetes…
[A] team led by Marc Montminy, M.D., Ph.D, … reports that a gene known as CRTC3 decreases energy expenditure by fat cells. "Ideas about obesity are based on concepts of feast or famine," said Montminy. "As humans, we developed ways of coping with famine by expressing genes like CRTC3 to slow the rate of fat burning. Individuals with these active "thrifty genes" had an advantage-they could survive long periods without food."… In 2010, however, those genes have become a liability.
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Obesity Rising Across All Income Levels: CDC

(HealthDay News) Two reports from the U.S. National Center for Health Statistics show that the obesity epidemic is hitting young and older Americans across the economic spectrum…
Overall, "the prevalence of obesity increased in adults at all income and education levels," during that time, the authors said, and the same general trend held for American children. They noted that by 2008 more than a third of American adults were obese, as well as nearly 17 percent of children and adolescents aged 2 to 19 years.
There were some disparities based on income. For example, among adult males, obesity was similar across income levels, although for black and Hispanic men rates of obesity tended to rise along with income. On the other hand, higher-income women were less likely to be obese compared to their less affluent peers.
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Staying active really does beat middle-age spread

(Reuters Health) People who keep up an active lifestyle into middle-age gain fewer pounds and inches over time -- and the benefit may be even greater for women than men, a new study finds…
Most studies on physical activity and weight have focused on exercise as a way to shed excess pounds, rather than a way to ward off the padding that so commonly creeps up with age.
The new study … suggests that becoming active at a young age, and then keeping it up, can indeed thwart mid-life love handles.
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Strength Training for Seniors Provides Cognitive Function, Economic Benefits

(Science Daily) A one-year follow-up study on seniors who participated in a strength training exercise program shows sustained cognitive benefits as well as savings for the healthcare system…
"We were very surprised to discover the group that sustained cognitive benefits was the once-weekly strength training group rather than the twice-weekly training group," says [principal investigator Teresa] Liu-Ambrose… "What we realized was that this group was more successful at being able to maintain the same level of physical activity achieved in the original study."
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5 Easy At-Home Exercises

(SouthBeachDiet.com) Do you feel like you can’t fit in exercise during the busy holiday season? Have you decided to wait until the New Year to hit the gym? If so, think again. Exercise is an important component of [a healthy] lifestyle, and it’s a great way to help you maintain your weight during the holiday season (and also helps to offset the occasional indulgence). To help you squeeze in a workout, we came up with some simple exercises you can do at home. Remember, every little bit of activity can boost your health and help burn calories!
Interval walking. Bundle up and take a brisk 20-minute walk around your neighborhood (alternating periods of fast walking with slow) to take in the festive lights and decorations. Or if you’re hitting the mall for last-minute gifts, take a fast stroll around the perimeter before you leave.
Stair climbing. If you live in a multilevel house, stairs are the most readily accessible exercise tool. Make it a point to climb up and down them an extra 5 times each day. You can also climb the stairs at the office during your lunch hour: Finish eating 10 minutes earlier and sneak in this quick mini-workout.
Yoga. If you don't know any yoga exercises off the top of your head, pick up a video at your local rental store and do some yoga in front of the TV. Yoga not only calms you during these stressful times, it also improves strength, flexibility, and balance.
Weight lifting. If you own a set of hand weights, you can easily do 2 to 3 sets of each of your favorite arm exercises. If you don't have hand weights at your disposal, cans of pumpkin, cranberry sauce, or chicken broth make great stand-ins.
Off-the-couch crunches. Keep your abs in shape with this simple technique: Lie on the floor with your butt against the couch and your legs at a 90° angle on the cushions. Put your hands behind your head and crunch up toward the couch. Perform 2 to 3 sets of 15 or as many as you’re able.
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Milk not a heart risk

(UPI) Drinking three glasses of milk per day may lead to an 18 percent decreased risk of cardiovascular disease, a review by U.S. and Dutch researchers found…
Many avoid dairy products out of concern that dairy causes heart disease.
To the contrary, U.S. researchers examined 21 studies that included data from nearly 350,000 people and concluded that dietary intakes of saturated fats are not associated with increases in the risk of either coronary heart disease or cardiovascular disease, the review says.
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Cooking Light:
Best Holiday Menus
Rich with the flavors of winter cheer, we cooked up several menus for your holiday repertoire.
Superfast Appetizers
Whether it's an impromptu get-together with friends or a formal cocktail party, these 20-minute recipes will whet the appetite.
Biscuit-Topped Chicken Potpie
Serve a homemade potpie for dinner tonight. It tastes just like Mom's, but cooks in a fraction of the time.
Chicken & White Bean Soup
Once again, rotisserie chickens can really relieve the dinner-rush pressure-especially in this Italian-inspired soup that cries out for a piece of crusty bread and a glass of red wine.
Community: If you’re going to indulge in pre-mixed biscuits, for goodness sake buy the frozen Pillsbury Grands. They are incredibly good.
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CDC: Food sickens 48 million annually

(UPI) About 48 million people get sick from foodborne illnesses each year, 128,000 are hospitalized and 3,000 die each year, U.S. health officials estimate…
"We've made progress in better understanding the burden of foodborne illness and unfortunately, far too many people continue to get sick from the food they eat," [Dr. Thomas Frieden, director of the CDC,] says in a statement. "These estimates provide valuable information to help CDC and its partners set priorities and further reduce illnesses from food."
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Dannon to Settle Complaints over Yogurt Ads

(AP)  Dannon Co. Inc. has agreed pay $21 million and drop some health claims for its Activia yogurt and DanActive dairy drink in settlements with state and federal regulators.
The food company has claimed that beneficial bacteria in its Activia yogurt helps relieve irregularity and that its DanActive drink helps people avoid catching colds or the flu.
The Federal Trade Commission said Wednesday there is not enough evidence to back those claims. It announced that it has reached a settlement with the company that prohibits it from making such claims unless they are approved by the Food and Drug Administration. 
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'Tainted' Supplement Makers May Face Prosecution: FDA

(HealthDay News) U.S. health authorities Wednesday intensified pressure on makers of dietary supplements, warning individuals or companies marketing "tainted" products that they could face criminal prosecution, among other consequences.
The move comes after several reports of injury and even death from the use of illegal supplements that are deceptively labeled or contain undeclared ingredients…
"Some contain prescription drugs or analogs never tested in humans and the results can be tragic," said Dr. Joshua Sharfstein, principal deputy commissioner at the FDA, at a Wednesday news conference. "We have received reports of serious adverse events and injuries associated with consumer use of these tainted products, including stroke, liver and kidney damage, pulmonary failure and death."
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Belly Fat May Make Some Breast Cancers More Likely

(HealthDay News) Premenopausal women who carry excess fat around their abdomen or have a large waist relative to their hip size may face a higher risk for breast cancer that is estrogen receptor (ER)-negative, new research reveals.
The research team noted that such body fat distribution was linked more strongly to the risk for developing this particular type of cancer than it was to a risk for ER-positive breast cancer.
Body fat distribution of this kind was not associated with an increased risk for breast cancer generally, according to the study.
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Breast Inflammation Is Key to Cancer Growth, Researchers Say

(Science Daily) It took 12 years and a creation of a highly sophisticated transgenic mouse, but researchers … have finally proven a long suspected theory: Inflammation in the breast is key to the development and progression of breast cancer…
[T]he scientists say they can now definitively show that an inflammatory process within the breast itself promotes growth of breast cancer stem cells responsible for tumor development.
They also demonstrate that inactivating this inflammation selectively within the breast reduced activity of these stem cells, and stopped breast cancer from forming.
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Vaccine Boosts Immune System, Helps Prevent Chronic Inflammation

(Science Daily) Researchers … have discovered that the human body can create its own vaccine, which boosts the immune system and helps prevent chronic inflammatory diseases. The researchers' results … may have significant consequences in developing new medicine…
[They] discovered a protein normally found in the body that can act to prevent chronic tissue inflammation. When administered in the form of a therapeutic vaccine it is able to effectively prevent and treat a number of different inflammatory disease models for multiple sclerosis (MS), rheumatoid arthritis (RA), skin hypersensitivity and allergic asthma (AA).
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