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

Exercise Thwarts Premature Aging in Mice

(HealthDay News) Endurance exercise may be "the fountain of youth" -- or so a new study of mice suggests…
Mice who ran on a treadmill three times a week for five months looked as young as regular mice, while those who didn't exercise were graying, balding, socially isolated and less fertile, said the researchers…
"Exercise truly is the fountain of youth," lead author Adeel Safdar [said].
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Obesity and Diabetes Are a Downside of Human Evolution, Research Suggests

(Science Daily) As if the recent prediction that half of all Americans will have diabetes or pre-diabetes by the year 2020 isn't alarming enough, a new genetic discovery published online in the FASEB Journal provides a disturbing explanation as to why: we took an evolutionary "wrong turn." In the research report, scientists show that human evolution leading to the loss of function in a gene called "CMAH" may make humans more prone to obesity and diabetes than other mammals…
"The diabetes discovery is an important advance in its own right. It tells us a lot about what goes wrong in diabetes, and where to aim with new treatments," said Gerald Weissmann, M.D…, "but its implications for human evolution are even greater. If this enzyme is unique to humans, it must also have given us a survival advantage over earlier species. Now the challenge is to find the function of CMAH in defending us against microbes or environmental stress or both. This evolutionary science explains how we can win some and lose some, to keep our species ahead of the extinction curve."
Community: But as readers of Many Years Young know, there are ways to defeat these genes.
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Body weight influences death risk

(UPI) A study of more than 1 million Asians provides strong evidence excess weight contributes to a higher risk of death, researchers say.
Study leader Dr. Wei Zheng [and colleagues] found that those with a normal weight were far less likely to die from any cause than individuals whose body-mass index was too high or low…
In the Chinese, Japanese and Koreans, the lowest risk of death was seen among individuals with a BMI in the range of 22.6 to 27.5 -- normal to slightly overweight, but these East Asians with a raised BMI of 35 or higher had a 50 percent higher risk of death.
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Visualizing your way to better eating

(UPI) Elite athletes visualize their performance, and the same technique can help people visualize their way to healthier eating, Canadian researchers say…
"Telling people to just change the way they eat doesn't work; we've known that for a while," [Barbel] Knauper says in a statement. "But research has shown that if people make a concrete plan about what they are going to do, they are better at acting on their intentions. What we've done that's new is to add visualization techniques to the action plan.
Community: I used visualization to help me quit smoking. At first, I had a very hard time imagining myself as a nonsmoker. But I believe that doing so, along with purposely thinking about the advantages of being a nonsmoker helped me quit. And I’m using it to help me become an active, healthy person who doesn’t obsess about food.
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Train Your Brain to Think Like a Thin Person

(Dr. Judith Beck, MyRecipes.com) Thin people think differently in many ways. For example, they think that hunger is normal and to be expected. They know that hunger isn't an emergency, that at worst, it's mildly uncomfortable, that it actually comes and goes, and that food tastes better when they're hungry…
There is no magic diet. Don't believe all the false claims that are out there! Research shows that any diet works in the short-term if you're taking in fewer calories than you're burning off. There is no magic combination of foods, no magic formula in when you eat. But you won't be able to continue losing weight or keep it off if you're not eating a really healthy diet that is flexible and allows you to eat your favorite foods…
Many sabotaging thoughts start with the words: "I know I shouldn't eat this, but....." We then fill in the blank with all kinds of interesting phrases…
I ask people to write responses to these unhelpful thoughts, read them every morning, and pull them out when they're tempted to eat something they haven't planned. Here are some examples:
• If I eat this, I'll get momentary pleasure but I'll feel badly afterwards.
• If I eat this, I will build up my "giving-in muscle," which makes it more likely that the next time I'll give in and the next and the next–and I won't lose weight. If I don't eat this, I'll build up my "resistance muscle," which makes it more likely that next time I'll resist and the time after that and the time after that.
• If I feel it's unfair that I'm not eating exactly the way others are eating, remind myself that I probably am eating the way that successful dieters and maintainers are eating…
One important technique is to write down all the reasons you have for losing weight. Most people have at least 15 or 20 and keep adding to the list as they find more. You should read your list every morning and also pull it out just before the difficult times of the day. This is a way to constantly remind you why it's worth it to stick to your plan.
You can also create a distraction box for the times you are hungry or want to eat for emotional reasons. Place in the box a list of activities that are highly distracting to you, for example, a list of people to call or email, websites you like to visit, or computer games you like to play. Also include some objects that will distract you from eating such as crossword puzzle, a book of Sudoku puzzles, a DVD, CD, book, magazine, or bottle of nail polish. Polishing your nails is a great activity–by the time your nails dry, the craving has gone away!...
It's not intuitively obvious how to think like a thin person, but you can learn how through The Beck Diet Solution workbook or The Complete Beck Diet for Life. If you'd like to find a cognitive therapist who can help you go through the program, visit www.academyofct.org or find out more about cognitive therapy at www.beckinstitute.org.
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When Is It an Eating Disorder?

(SouthBeachDiet.com) If you're overweight, trying to shed unwanted pounds is certainly a step toward improving your health. But for people who suffer from an eating disorder, the desire to lose weight is an unhealthy obsession…
If you're concerned about your own health — or that of a friend or loved one —get to know these common signs and symptoms of eating disorders:
Obsessive thoughts about food, weight, and appearance
Binge eating, with or without purging (induced vomiting or laxative use)
Isolation at mealtimes or frequent disappearances during and/or after meals
Skipping meals or other restrictive behaviors around food
Significant and rapid weight loss
Frequently weighing in on the scale
Abuse of laxatives, diuretics, or weight-loss medications
Avoidance of activities such as social events or sports due to weight concerns
If you recognize these symptoms in yourself — or if you know someone who is experiencing these symptoms — consult with a health-care professional.
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Dairy intake may not reduce longevity much: study

(Reuters Health) Despite concerns over saturated fats in dairy products, the milk and cheese in your diet may not have much effect on your longevity, according to Dutch researchers.
Their study … showed no relationship between men's dairy intake and their risk of dying during the study period. Among women, meanwhile, a high intake of dairy fat -- from butter or other full-fat dairy -- was linked to a small increase in deaths, particularly those due to heart disease.
In contrast, eating full-fat sour dairy products, including yogurt and sour cream, was tied to a slight decrease in deaths among both men and women.
None of those relationships prove that dairy products were the reason for the higher or lower risks, however. And even if they were, the effects were tiny, the researchers say.
So the findings offer little reason for people to either boost or lower their dairy intake, lead researcher Dr. R. Alexandra Goldbohm … said in an email.
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Chicken-Orzo Soup
Nothing says comfort like a bowl of hearty chicken soup. Pair with a sandwich for a simple, heart-warming dinner option.
Fennel & Orange Salad with Toasted Pistachios
For this elegant salad, sweet-tasting fennel bulbs are thinly sliced and tossed with salty toasted pistachios, sweet oranges and tangy lime juice. Jícama or radishes add another layer of texture and earthy flavor.
Cooking Light:
Hot Trend: Restaurant Snack Menus
Snack menus are popping up at restaurants everywhere. But how healthy are they? We reveal the best and worst picks.
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Early Symptoms in Menopause Might Protect Heart

(HealthDay News) Women who begin to experience hot flashes and night sweats early in menopause appear to be at lower risk for heart disease, stroke and death, a new study suggests…
[W]omen with hot flashes and night sweats at the start of menopause had a 17 percent lower risk of stroke, an 11 percent lower risk of cardiovascular disease, and an 11 percent lower risk of death, compared to women without hot flashes.
Women who developed hot flashes and night sweats later in menopause had a 32 percent higher risk of heart attack and a 29 percent higher risk of death.
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Too much acetaminophen can be fatal

(UPI) During flu and snow-shoveling season, people seeking quick pain relief may reach for acetaminophen, but a U.S. liver expert warns not to take too much…
The average adult should avoid more than 4,000 milligrams total acetaminophen per day -- or eight extra strength tablets -- and no more than 2,000 mg to 3,000 mg for those with liver problems like hepatitis or those who drink regularly, Dr. William] Lee says.
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Cannabis Ingredient Can Help Cancer Patients Regain Their Appetites and Sense of Taste, Study Finds

(Science Daily) The active ingredient in cannabis can improve the appetites and sense of taste in cancer patients, according to a new study…
Loss of appetite is common among cancer patients, either because the cancer itself or its treatment affects the sense of taste and smell, leading to decreased enjoyment of food. This, in turn, can lead to weight loss, anorexia, a worse quality of life and decreased survival…
The majority of THC-treated patients (64%) had increased appetite…
In addition, THC-treated patients reported better quality of sleep and relaxation than in the placebo group.
Community: When I was undergoing chemotherapy, food tasted like cardboard.
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Redesign of US Donor-Liver Network Could Boost Transplants by Several Hundred Per Year

(Science Daily) A redesign of the nation's donor-liver distribution network developed by University of Pittsburgh researchers could result in several hundred more people each year receiving the transplants they need…
The Pitt researchers instead trimmed the network down to six regions that better account for urban and rural population differences, geographic distance, and the anticipated supply of and demand for donor livers. They calculated that their rearrangement could result in up to 14 percent more transplants each year, a sizable increase considering that more than 6,000 transplants were performed in 2009 alone.
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Study Finds Drop in Online Sales of Cigarettes

(HealthDay News) A 2005 voluntary federal ban on the use of credit cards to buy cigarettes online, coupled with a ban on all commercial shipping of such purchases within the United States, has effectively curtailed the popularity of Web sites that sell cigarettes, new research reveals.
The ban was the result of an agreement involving major credit card companies and private shippers, such as UPS and FedEx, made primarily to address the widespread flouting of cigarette taxation online.
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Hard times do not justify health aid cuts: study

(Reuters) The World Bank and World Health Organization have voiced fears that donor nations will slash health aid budgets because of the economic downturn, but experts said on Friday such a move could harm recovery prospects.
Researchers from Britain and the United States looked back over 30 years of economic ups and downs in Europe and found that most countries did not cut development funds during recessions. They said the findings suggest some governments may be using recession as a smokescreen for political decisions to cut aid.
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Optimism Boosts Immune Response

(RealAge.com) A new study shows that while too much stress can torpedo immunity, a fit of optimism may actually buoy it up.
In the study, researchers measured students' optimism with short tests. Then, over time, the students were pricked several times in the arm with a harmless virus or yeast -- and their skin reactions (a sign of immune-system strength) were checked. A bigger bump on the skin meant a bigger immune response. Surprisingly, the students whose optimism grew over the study period also saw their immune responses grow stronger with each prick. On the other hand, immunity dropped somewhat in students whose feelings were growing more pessimistic during the study period. And the students with an even keel throughout? Virtually no change in immune reaction…
Researchers aren't sure exactly how good feelings strengthen immune system response, but they suspect it could simply be that positivity makes taking care of yourself -- and controlling immune-dampening stress -- easier.
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High good cholesterol linked to long life in men

(Reuters Health) Men who reach their 85th birthdays tended to have high levels of good cholesterol while in their 60s, a new study says.
Researchers found that men with the highest good (HDL) cholesterol were 28 percent less likely to die before they reached 85, compared to men in the lowest HDL group.
Community: Increased HDL levels may also be protective against Alzheimer’s disease and cancer. Ways to increase HDL without medication are consuming chocolate, tomatoes, and “monounsaturated fat (MUFA), which are commonly found in nuts, seeds, avocados, and oils such as olive oil, canola oil and sunflower oil”. Also, a new drug is being tested to increase HDL levels.
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Slow Down Aging with This Dinner Choice

(RealAge.com) The fragile tips on the ends of your DNA … reveal exactly how young or old you are. And here's the dinner choice that can keep them in tip-top shape: fish.
In a new study, the good-for-you omega-3 fatty acids found in fish appeared to help those fragile DNA tips -- called telomeres -- stay younger longer.
Telomeres guard DNA the way plastic shoelace tips stop your sneaker laces from fraying. But telomeres grow shorter as part of the natural aging process. And stress, body inflammation, a lack of exercise, and extra pounds can shorten those tips even faster, essentially opening wider the window to all sorts of body-aging cell damage. We're talking extra wrinkles, gray hair, brittle bones, and even heart disease and cancer.
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Probiotic Identified to Treat Ulcers

(Science Daily) Researchers from Spain have identified a strain of probiotic bacteria that may be useful in treating ulcers caused by Helicobacter pylori
"H. pylori is considered one of the major risk factors underlying the development of gastritis and gastric and duodenal ulcers," write the researchers. "Currently, antibiotic-based treatment for H. pylori infection is neither sufficient nor satisfactory, with the most successful treatments reaching 75 to 90% eradication rates. The use of probiotics is a potentially promising tool to prevent H. pylori."
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If Oscar-Winning Movies Were Recipes...
The Oscars are all about glitz, glamour, and the best-of-the-best coming out for one night of cinematic celebration. And being the food-lovers we are, we couldn’t help but pose the question, “If these outstanding movies were recipes, what recipes would they be?”
The King’s Speech: Mangels House English Scones
The Social Network: Sour-Apple Spritzers
Shrimp Saganaki
Shrimp top a delicious saute of fennel, scallions and feta in this version of saganaki. A saganaki is a shallow, two-handled skillet that is one of the most traditional cooking vessels in Greece. Saganaki is also the fried cheese, made in the pan, that is one of Greece's most famous appetizers.
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Chemical Compounds in Trees Can Fight Deadly Staph Infections in Humans

(Science Daily) Most people would never suspect that a "trash tree," one with little economic value and often removed by farmers due to its ability to destroy farmland, could be the key to fighting a deadly bacterium. Now, a University of Missouri researcher has found an antibiotic in the Eastern Red Cedar tree that is effective against methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), a "superbug" that is resistant to most medications.
"I wanted to find a use for a tree species that is considered a nuisance," said Chung-Ho Lin… "This discovery could help people fight the bacteria as well as give farmers another cash crop."
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New Long-Acting Local Anesthetic Derived from Algae

(Science Daily) A U.S.-Chile collaboration is bringing surgical patients closer to having a long-acting local anesthetic. In a randomized, double-blind trial, patients given neosaxitoxin, a new local anesthetic derived from algae, had significantly less postoperative pain and recovered about two days sooner than those given the commonly used local anesthetic bupivacaine. ..
Current local anesthetics act for less than 8 hours; when they wear off, patients generally need opioid analgesics, which cause substantial side effects, including nausea, sedation, shallow breathing, sleepiness, constipation and itching. These side effects often delay recovery and can result in prolonged hospitalization.
Neosaxitoxin (neoSTX) provides local anesthesia for more than 24 hours. It is a site 1 sodium-channel blocker, part of a larger class of emerging anesthetics based on molecules derived from aquatic organisms.
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Spinal Fluid May Hold Clues to Lyme Disease, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

(HealthDay News) An analysis of proteins in spinal fluid can help distinguish patients with Lyme disease from those with chronic fatigue syndrome, a new study reports.
It also appears that both diseases, which can cause similar symptoms, involve the central nervous system and that protein abnormalities in the central nervous system are causes and/or effects of both conditions, said the research team…
[Said Dr. Steven E. Schutzer,] "[I]f a protein pathway is found to influence either disease, scientists could then develop treatments to target that particular pathway."
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Rapid Rise in PSA Levels a Poor Predictor of Prostate Cancer: Study

(HealthDay News) Blood tests that indicate prostate-specific antigen (PSA) levels are rising rapidly over time are of little use in detecting aggressive prostate cancer and should not be done, a new study indicates.
PSA is a protein produced by cells of the prostate gland. High levels of PSA can be a marker for prostate cancer, although it's far from a perfect screening tool, experts say. Men with both high and low levels of PSA can have cancer or not have cancer.
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Herceptin May Boost Long-Term Survival After Aggressive Breast Cancer

(HealthDay News) The cancer drug Herceptin produces significantly longer disease-free survival in women with an aggressive type of early-stage breast cancer who take the drug for a year after standard chemotherapy, a new study suggests…
Herceptin (trastuzumab) is a monoclonal antibody that suppresses the HER2/neu protein, which fuels 20 percent to 30 percent of breast cancers. These so-called HER2-positive cancers tend to be aggressive and fast-growing.
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Cell Pathway Key to Insulin Resistance in Type 2 Diabetes Illuminated

(Science Daily) A research team … has shed new light on the problem of insulin resistance, and identified the key participants in a molecular pathway that holds therapeutic promise for reducing the severity of type 2 diabetes.
The researchers looked at the role of adenosine, an immune system signaling molecule, in triggering inflammation, which significantly contributes to insulin resistance. Insulin resistance keeps the body from properly handling sugar and is one of the key factors underlying type 2 diabetes. Diabetes now affects nearly 26 million Americans and is the seventh leading cause of death in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control.
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Scientists Say Newborn Mice Can Regrow Damaged Hearts

(HealthDay News) A mouse heart rapidly regenerated itself after researchers removed a portion of the organ a day after birth, scientists report.
With this discovery, the scientists say there is renewed hope that ways can be found to help the human heart heal itself.
"In principle, mechanisms exist in a mammalian heart for regeneration, but they're somehow permanently switched off," said Eric Olson, co-senior author of a paper… "Now that we know [that this can happen], at least in principle, we can start to screen for drugs or genes or growth factors that might reawaken these mechanisms in adult hearts."
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Producing Clean Water in an Emergency

(Science Daily) Disasters such as floods, tsunamis, and earthquakes often result in the spread of diseases like gastroenteritis, giardiasis and even cholera because of an immediate shortage of clean drinking water. Now, chemistry researchers at McGill University have taken a key step towards making a cheap, portable, paper-based filter coated with silver nanoparticles to be used in these emergency settings…
"It works well in the lab," says [Prof. Derek] Gray, "now we need to improve it and test it in the field."
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U.S. may pay for sex disease tests for elderly

(Reuters) U.S. health officials are considering including tests for sexually transmitted diseases like syphilis and hepatitis B for the elderly and disabled covered under Medicare.
The national health insurance program, which already pays for HIV tests, said on Thursday that it was considering adding the additional STD exams as part of an initiative to cover more preventive care.
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Dirty air triggers more heart attacks than cocaine: scientists

(Reuters) Air pollution triggers more heart attacks than using cocaine and poses as high a risk of sparking a heart attack as alcohol, coffee and physical exertion, scientists said on Thursday.
Sex, anger, marijuana use and chest or respiratory infections and can also trigger heart attacks to different extents, the researchers said, but air pollution, particularly in heavy traffic, is the major culprit.
The findings … suggest population-wide factors like polluted air should be taken more seriously when looking at heart risks, and should be put into context beside higher but relatively rarer risks like drug use.
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The Most Common Fitness Mistake People Make

(SouthBeachDiet.com) Think fast: What’s your favorite type of exercise? If you’re like most people, cardio is at the top of your list. But focusing too much on cardio while neglecting core-strengthening exercises can result in weak core muscles and poor flexibility — and that can increase your chances of getting hurt. Even those who do conventional weight lifting may be vulnerable to injury, since this type of exercise tends to isolate muscle groups and neglect those all-important core muscles.
In his South Beach Supercharged Fitness Program, Dr. Arthur Agatston, leading preventive cardiologist and author of The South Beach Diet Supercharged, emphasizes the importance of functional fitness — core-strengthening exercises that mimic everyday activities, such as bending, lifting, and pressing — in addition to cardio conditioning. Here’s more on the benefits of functional fitness:
You’ll strengthen your core muscles…
You’ll tone your muscles and improve bone density…
No expensive equipment needed! 
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Vitamin D may help keep blood sugar under control

(Reuters Health) Drinking yogurt with extra vitamin D may help people with diabetes regulate their blood sugar, a study from Iran finds…
Past studies on the role of vitamin D in diabetes have not been able to show cause and effect.
It's noteworthy that this study does, and that it suggests vitamin D has a positive effect on people with type 2 diabetes, said Dr. Anastassios Pittas, assistant professor of medicine at Tufts University School of Medicine in Boston. He was not part of the study.
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High Vitamin-D Bread Could Help Solve Widespread Insufficiency Problem

(Science Daily) With most people unable to get enough vitamin D from sunlight or foods, scientists are suggesting that a new vitamin D-fortified food -- bread made with high-vitamin D yeast -- could fill that gap. Their study, confirming that the approach works in laboratory tests…
"Our results suggest that bread made with high vitamin D yeast could be a valuable new source of vitamin D in the diet," [the study authors] concluded.
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Pre-Workout Snack That Torches Extra Calories

(RealAge.com) Research suggests that a protein fix before a workout could boost your metabolic rate -- and thus your calorie burn -- for a full 24 hours after you strength train…
In a study done on exercisers, a protein-rich drink consumed 20 minutes before strength-training resulted in an 8 percent increase in metabolic rate -- and the increase lasted for a full day. But a carb-rich pre-workout beverage? It produced only a modest boost in calorie burn rate afterward -- just a 3 or 4 percent bump. All of which suggest that the extra protein in the first drink helped fuel a more powerful -- or extended -- muscle-rebuilding effort after the workout. So for extra calorie crunching, consider a little pre-workout protein fix, such as a slice of low-fat cheese, a hard-boiled egg, or a few ounces of Greek yogurt. (Did you know? Protein from dairy may offer a special advantage when it comes to building muscle.)
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Cooking Light:
10 Best Foods and Drinks for Exercising
Get the 411 on what to eat and drink before, during, and after exercise.
Healthy Lunchbox Tips (video)
Find easy tips on how to give your lunch a nutritional makeover from dietitian Holley Grainger.
Superfast Mediterranean Recipes
From Greece to the Middle East, these recipes are tasty and none take more than 20 minutes to make.
Chicken Tagine with Pine-nut Couscous
Most people think of traditional Moroccan tagines as being long-simmered lamb dishes. When prepared with quick-cooking chicken thighs, they're actually relatively fast to make. Fragrant spices give this dish vibrant layers of flavor, and the cooked-down dried fruits create a silken richness. 
Potato-Artichoke Soup
This luxurious potato-artichoke soup is simple enough to be served with a salad for dinner, yet turns into an elegant first course when you top it with a slice of garlic-rubbed crostini smeared with olive tapenade.
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High Triglyceride Levels Linked to Increased Stroke Risk: Study

(HealthDay News) Men and women with high triglyceride levels are at an increased risk of ischemic stroke, which typically occurs when blood flow to the brain is blocked by a build-up of fatty deposits within blood vessels, a new Danish study contends.
In fact, this stroke risk seems to be more pronounced for triglyceride fats than it is for cholesterol, even though cholesterol is currently the prime focus of current guidelines. These findings, the researchers said, suggest that triglyceride levels should be incorporated into stroke-prevention guidelines.
Community: Tomatoes and tomato juice can help lower triglyceride levels. And, according to Dr. Arthur Agatston, “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.”
If you want to prevent, delay, or reduce the severity of stroke, here are some ways to do it.
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Simple Spit and Blood Tests Might Detect Burnout Before It Happens

(Science Daily) Your blood and the level of a hormone in your spit could reveal if you're on the point of burnout, according to research …
Cortisol levels are often high in people suffering from depression, while it tends to be low in cases of burnout. Too much cortisol can be as bad as too little when it comes to both mental and physical health…
Critically, people with burnout are often treated with anti-depressant medications that lower cortisol levels. If cortisol is already lower than it should be, this course of treatment could represent a therapeutic mistake… "In the future, we need studies that track people over time to determine whether this profile of low cortisol and physiological dysregulations is indeed burnout's autograph. If so, science will be one step closer to helping distressed workers before they burn out," [Robert-Paul ] Juster noted.
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Hyperactive Nerve Cells May Contribute to Depression

(Science Daily) Scientists … have identified hyperactive cells in a tiny brain structure that may play an important role in depression…
The research provides evidence that inhibition of this particular brain region -- the lateral habenula -- using implanted electrodes can reverse certain behaviors associated with depression, and also provides a mechanism to explain this effect. These findings lend support to the use of deep brain stimulation as a clinical treatment for people with long-standing, treatment-resistant depression.
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Nanoparticles Increase Survival After Blood Loss, Study Suggests

(Science Daily) In an advance that could improve battlefield and trauma care, scientists at Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University have used tiny particles called nanoparticles to improve survival after life-threatening blood loss. Nanoparticles containing nitric oxide (NO) were infused into the bloodstream of hamsters, where they helped maintain blood circulation and protect vital organs…
The nanomedicine was successfully tested in hamsters that had lost half their blood volume. "Animals given the nanoparticles exhibited better cardiac stability, stronger blood flow to tissues and other measures of hemorrhagic shock recovery compared to controls receiving saline solution minus the nanoparticles," reported Dr. [Joel] Friedman.
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Microchip Spots Cancerous Tumors Within an Hour, Study Shows

(HealthDay News) Scientists say they have developed a microchip that can be attached to a smart phone and diagnose cancerous tumors within an hour, from the patient's bedside.
The so-called microNMR chip, which uses magnetic nanoparticles to measure proteins and other chemical compounds in tumors, requires only tiny amounts of tissue to make a diagnosis, researchers said. Instead of more invasive methods, the biopsy can be done with fine needle aspiration, which withdraws cells from suspicious lesions…
Using the microchip -- which can be hooked up to smart phones such as iPhones and Blackberrys -- researchers analyzed tissue samples from 50 patients with suspected malignancies, correctly diagnosing cancer in 44 patients within 60 minutes in 96 percent of cases by zoning in on four of nine protein markers.
In contrast, standard pathology methods typically require three or more days to produce a diagnosis and are only 84 percent accurate, the researchers noted.
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Bedside Ultrasound Becomes a Reality

(Science Daily) Clinicians have often referred to ultrasound technology as the "stethoscope of the future," predicting that as the equipment shrinks in size, it will one day be as common at the bedside as that trusty tool around every physician's neck. According to a new report…, that day has arrived.
[The report] … outlines how ultrasound use has moved beyond traditional specialties like radiology and is now being routinely employed by clinicians across myriad medical specialties and practice areas. From anesthesia to vascular surgery, [the authors] say, the use of ultrasonography has increased across the board, with the biggest growth seen among non-radiologists.
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High-Quality Care Associated With Lower Cost in Trauma

(Science Daily) High-quality hospitals deliver lower-cost care to trauma patients, according to a study… [H]igh-quality hospitals have death rates that are 34 percent lower, while spending nearly 22 percent less on trauma patient care than average-quality hospitals, suggesting high quality can coexist with lower cost…
One possible explanation for the new finding is that higher-quality hospitals may have fewer patient complications compared with lower-quality hospitals. Potentially preventable complications have been shown to result in greater rates of death, hospital length of stay and cost, so fewer complications could translate into cost savings.
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Car Ignition 'Interlocks' Thwart Alcohol-Impaired Drivers

(HealthDay News) Ignition devices that prevent people from driving after drinking greatly reduce the number of new arrests of drivers who were previously arrested for drunk driving, U.S. researchers report…
Ignition interlocks work by sampling a driver's breath before the vehicle can be started and periodically while the vehicle is being driven. The devices are often mandated for people who have been convicted of drunk driving, the CDC said.
The researchers' review found that the use of ignition interlocks led to a 67 percent decrease in the number of drivers who were re-arrested for drunk driving, compared to those whose licenses were simply suspended.
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Drinking Water: Nanomembranes Could Filter Bacteria

(Science Daily) New nanomaterials research from the University at Buffalo could lead to new solutions for an age-old public health problem: how to separate bacteria from drinking water…
Working with a special kind of polymer called a block copolymer, a UB research team has synthesized a new kind of nanomembrane containing pores about 55 nanometers in diameter -- large enough for water to slip through easily, but too small for bacteria.
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Equal access may cut some health disparities: study

(Reuters Health) Racial and economic disparities in the U.S. health care system may come down to access to medical care, hints a new report on appendicitis.
"Our study showed that in a system with equal access to care, the previously shown socioeconomic disparities in appendicitis outcomes are eliminated," Dr. Steven L. Lee and colleagues … write…
"This report should be useful to health care policymakers in their work to close the existing racial/ethnic and socioeconomic health disparity gap," they add.
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