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

Heart Disease Deaths Drop Dramatically in Norway

(Science Daily) Life was hard in occupied Norway during WWII, but the occupation had one surprising result: deaths from heart attacks dropped precipitously, because Norwegians ate less fat, smoked less and were more physically active.
Now, in the last half of the 20th century, Norway has seen a similar precipitous drop in heart attack deaths, but this time due to focused prevention programmes and improved treatment, reports a researcher…
There are many reasons that explain the numbers, [Professor Kaare Harald] Bønaa says. Reductions in cholesterol levels, smoking and high blood pressure can explain between 50 and 75 percent of the reduced mortality, he says. The remainder is explained by better medical treatment, where drugs have had the greatest impact, whether statins, beta blockers or other medicines.
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Heart disease screens don't change treatment

(Reuters Health) If you don't have signs of heart disease, there is no evidence to suggest that getting heart tests like CT scans or echocardiography will do you much good, researchers say..
CT scans may cost anywhere between a few hundred dollars to a couple of thousand, and expose patients to radiation. But like other tests for heart disease, they have never been proven to improve health in patients without symptoms.
Still, the number of Americans who get these tests has been climbing fast in recent years…
[Dr. Patrick] O'Malley said the tests shouldn't be used on people without chest pain and other symptoms of heart disease outside of clinical experiments.
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Asking about exercise leads to more exercise

(UPI) U.S. researchers studying personal habits found if people are asked in advance how much they plan to exercise, they will exercise more than those not asked…
Compared to the control group, those asked about future exercising did about 94 additional minutes, or 138 percent, more exercise than in the previous week.
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Less bladder cancer in frequent painkiller users

(Reuters Health) People who use painkillers such as ibuprofen on a regular basis may be less likely to get bladder cancer, according to a new review.
The researchers found a smaller chance of the cancer in people taking medications called non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, or NSAIDs, more than twice a week. That includes drugs such as naproxen, marketed as Aleve, and ibuprofen, or Advil.
They did not find a reduced risk of bladder cancer in people who regularly took aspirin, also an anti-inflammatory.
"There's quite a lot of (research) showing that NSAIDs do protect against a variety of cancers," Dr. Daniel Djakiew … told Reuters Health.
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Supplement can cut kidney stones risk

(UPI) Healthy post-menopausal women taking calcium citrate supplements are not at an increased risk for developing kidney stones, researchers say.
Dr. Khashayar Sakhaee … says adding a potassium citrate supplement provides even more protection.
"Post-menopausal women who need calcium to prevent bone loss but are at risk of or afraid of forming kidney stones might take both calcium supplements and potassium citrate," Sakhaee says in a statement. "When you give both together, the combination provides additional protection against both calcium oxalate and uric acid stones."
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Flank Steak with Cucumber-Pepperoncini Relish
Serve a simple steak dinner topped with a peppery veggie-and-cheese relish. Pepperoncini peppers are yellow, wrinkled, and slightly spicy; we use both the chopped pickled pepper and pickling liquid to flavor the crunchy relish.
Apricot-Espresso Glazed Roast Pork Loin
A little espresso gives a robust edge to the sweet-tart apricot glaze for this roasted pork loin.
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Allergies? Pollen Also Appears Outside Flowering Season

(Science Daily) Researchers from the University of Extremadura (Spain) have shown that the pollen levels of certain plants, such as grasses and cupressaceae, can appear before or after the peak moment of flowering. This phenomenon is caused by the "resuspension" of pollen, and its dispersal over large distances, and this is of great use in predicting allergies…
[The] team found delays or advances of up to a week between the time when the pollen of allergenic grass species (from genuses such as Poa, Agrostis, Bromus and Avena) and cupressaceae (cypresses and Arizona pine) are present in the air and their flowering period.
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Smoke-Free Environments Linked to Less Breast Cancer

(HealthDay News) Women in smoke-free homes and workplaces are less likely to develop or die from breast cancer, new research shows.
U.S. researchers compared rates of non-smoking homes and workplaces with state-specific rates of breast cancer incidence and death. States with higher numbers of smoke-free homes and workplaces had significantly fewer breast cancer deaths, particularly among younger premenopausal women.
Researchers estimate that about 20 percent of the change in breast-cancer death rates is due to changes in smoke-free home and workplace policies.
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Sleep Disorder May Spur Men to Head to Bathroom at Night

(HealthDay News) Obstructive sleep apnea may be the underlying cause of awakening and urination in men with enlarged prostates, a new study suggests.
The study included men aged 55 to 75 who were diagnosed with benign prostate enlargement (BPE) and reported nighttime urination (nocturia) at least once nightly. They were compared to a control group of same-age men who had no BPE and one or no nocturia episodes per night…
If patients with BPE report frequent nighttime awakenings to urinate, doctors should suspect obstructive sleep apnea as a possible cause and treat accordingly, [Dr. Howard] Tandeter recommended.
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Domestic Abuse Often Escapes Notice of ER Staff: Study

(HealthDay News) Three of four domestic violence victims treated in hospital emergency departments are not identified as victims of abuse, a new study reveals…
The findings highlight the need for emergency department staff to screen women who don't appear to be at risk for domestic violence, said the study authors…
"There is no reason in the age of information technology that we should not provide routine screening and referrals to the social services patients can use to protect themselves from future violence."
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Online messaging effective for patients

(UPI) Follow-up online messaging by trained nurses resulted in less depression among patients being treated for depression, U.S. researchers say…
In previous studies, [Dr. Gregory E.] Simon and his colleagues said they successfully tailored care for depression patients using telephone calls, but many attempts at phone contact resulted in the nurse and patient playing "phone tag." Online messages require no simultaneous live contact, so they boost the convenience and affordability of follow-up care.
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New Blood Analysis Chip Could Lead to Disease Diagnosis in Minutes

(Science Daily) A major milestone in microfluidics could soon lead to stand-alone, self-powered chips that can diagnose diseases within minutes. The device, developed by an international team of researchers from the University of California, Berkeley, Dublin City University in Ireland and Universidad de Valparaíso Chile, is able to process whole blood samples without the use of external tubing and extra components…
"The SIMBAS platform may create an effective molecular diagnostic biochip platform for cancer, cardiac disease, sepsis and other diseases…," said [principal investigator, Luke] Lee.
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Localized Delivery of an Anti-Cancer Drug by Remote-Controlled Microcarriers

(Science Daily) Soon, drug delivery that precisely targets cancerous cells without exposing the healthy surrounding tissue to the medication's toxic effects will no longer be an oncologist's dream but a medical reality, thanks to the work of Professor Sylvain Martel…
Known for being the world's first researcher to have guided a magnetic sphere through a living artery, Professor Martel is announcing a new breakthrough in the field of nanomedicine. Using a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) system, his team successfully guided microcarriers loaded with a dose of anti-cancer drug through the bloodstream of a living rabbit, right up to a targeted area in the liver, where the drug was successfully administered. This is a medical first that will help improve chemoembolization, a current treatment for liver cancer.
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Japanese Tsunami Underscores Need for Elder Disaster Preparedness

(Science Daily) The oldest segment of Japan's population will likely be the hardest hit as a result of the recent earthquake and subsequent tsunami, based on data from previous catastrophic events. Approximately 23 percent of Japanese citizens currently are age 65 and above…
[S]aid James Appleby, RPh, MPH, executive director of The Gerontological Society of America … "Our thoughts are with the people of Japan as this time. Many people have limited access to food and water, and there is concern that lifesaving medicines could soon be in short supply. A number of the tragic news stories we see call attention to the needs of older people and other at-risk populations."
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9 million lost healthcare in last 2 years

(UPI) An estimated 9 million working-age adults became uninsured in the last two years due to unemployment, a U.S. health insurance survey indicates.
The Commonwealth Fund Biennial Health Insurance Survey indicates 43 million adults age 65 and under who reported they or their spouse lost a job in the past two years had difficulty finding affordable healthcare.
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Bypass Surgery, Stents Seem to Bring Same Level of Relief

(HealthDay News) New research suggests that certain heart patients will fare about the same whether they have heart bypass surgery or a less-invasive procedure that uses drug-coated stents to prop open clogged arteries.
The findings may boost the appeal of stent procedures, which also require much less recovery time. However, patients with the most severe disease did do better with bypass surgery.
Community: But let’s go even further, shall we? How about avoiding the stenting, too? See below.
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How Not to Have a Heart Attack

(Dr. Arthur Agatston, Everyday Health) Following a trial involving more than 2,280 patients, researchers concluded that the use of surgical angioplasty and stenting (coupled with medication) provides no long-term advantage to a patient over a preventive treatment plan that includes appropriate medication, diagnostic testing, and lifestyle improvements…
According to Dr. [Arthur] Agatston … aggressive prevention is the more effective approach…
"The healer's approach that I present in The South Beach Heart Program is an aggressive prevention model that focuses on reducing the amount of soft plaque in the artery walls and improving the health of the arteries so that plaques do not form in the first place. Doctors who practice the healer's view, myself included, recommend a heart-healthy diet, regular exercise, advanced diagnostic testing to detect heart disease in its earliest and most treatable stages, and lifesaving medications," he says. This noninvasive approach was found to be more effective than stents in the latest study.
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Fewer pounds gained in dense urban areas

(UPI) African-American women who live in densely populated urban areas gain less weight than those in more sprawling auto-oriented areas, U.S. researchers say…
After six years, those with the high urban density scores had lower incidence of obesity versus the women who lived in suburban or rural neighborhoods with low urban scores -- mainly because they walk more.
Community: I live in downtown Chicago, and almost everything I need in life is within walking distance of my home. It’s easy to combine my errands with my exercise.
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Mindfulness classes help women with hot flashes

(Reuters Health) Women with severe hot flashes said their quality of life improved after taking mindfulness classes that included meditation and stretching exercises, according to a new study.
The findings also suggest that such classes could help improve sleep quality, stress, and anxiety in women during menopause.
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Older gardeners eat more vegetables

(UPI) Older people who garden eat more vegetables … researchers at Texas A&M University and Texas State University found…
The research also showed the length of time an individual reported having participated in gardening seemed to have no relationship to the number of vegetables and fruits they reportedly consumed.
"This suggests that gardening intervention programs late in life would be an effective method of boosting vegetable and fruit consumption in older adults," [researcher Tina] Waliczek said.
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Cut 120 Calories Daily with Sandwich Bags

(RealAge.com) Is a box of plastic sandwich bags all you need to easily shave 120 calories from each day? Research suggests it may be so.
As long as you use those bags to divide up your snacks -- be they nuts, pretzels, crackers, or popcorn -- into small servings. About 100 calories per bag. In a recent study, people whose snacks came prepackaged in low-calorie portions ate about 120 fewer calories each day compared with folks who munched from larger packages…
The larger the serving size offered, the more people tend to eat, going so far as to completely empty an overloaded plate or jumbo snack bag even though they'd feel satisfied with a smaller portion. So when you make an effort to eat less and slim down, keep in mind that it really starts with your serving spoon, not your dinner fork.
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Halibut with Coconut-Red Curry Sauce
Soak up the delectable sauce with a side of seasoned rice and bok choy.
Spinach & Frisée Salad with Tangerines & Coriander-Crusted Scallops
The flavors of coriander and tangerine complement the sweet scallops in this easy-to-make dinner salad. Frisée has a big flavor and a sturdy texture, which stands up to the warm scallops. If you can’t find frisée, make your own mix of greens; escarole and curly endive are great ones to include.
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'Dissolvable tobacco' may up mouth disease

(UPI) Dissolvable tobacco products -- pop-into-the-mouth replacements for cigarettes -- have the potential to cause mouth diseases, U.S. researchers say.
John V. Goodpaster … and colleagues say the first dissolvable tobacco products in pellet, stick and strip forms went on sale in 2009 in test markets in Indianapolis; Columbus, Ohio; and Portland, Ore. The products contain mainly nicotine, along with finely-ground tobacco and a variety of flavoring ingredients, sweeteners and binders.
They are marketed as smoke- and spit-free but nicotine, in particular, is a toxic substance linked to the development of oral cancers and gum disease, Goodpaster said.
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High Blood Pressure Linked to Drop in Walking Speed, Study Finds

(HealthDay News) High blood pressure is associated with a steeper drop in the average walking speeds of seniors, a new study finds.
Major decreases in walking speed can affect a senior's ability to remain independent and indicate possible health problems; it may also predict who will develop dementia or disabilities, the researchers said…
"The findings from this study suggest an additional reason to stress prevention of high blood pressure," [U.S. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute] Acting Director Dr. Susan B. Shurin said in an institute news release. "Even with medications to treat high blood pressure in older adults, it appears that the condition might be linked to a serious decline in average walking speed. As the mobility of seniors declines, there is an increased risk for falls."
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New Treatment for Thrombosis?

(Science Daily) Scientists from the University of Reading have announced a breakthrough in understanding how to control blood clotting which could lead to the development of new treatments and save the lives of thousands of people each year…
Professor Jeremy Pearson, Associate Medical Director at the British Heart Foundation, said: "Both anti-clotting and cholesterol-lowering drugs are vital in reducing the chance of a heart attack or stroke in high-risk patients, but are not always effective and don't suit all patients because of the risk of side-effects.
"This exciting discovery by Professor [Jon] Gibbins' team shows that drugs which lower cholesterol through targeting LXR protein can also reduce harmful blood clotting -- potentially opening up paths towards new, more effective treatments."
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Stem Cell Therapy Shrinks Enlarged Hearts

(HealthDay News) The promise of stem cell therapy may have gotten a little closer to reality, with researchers reporting that they've used the cells to help shrink hearts that were dangerously swollen after heart attacks.
The approach involves taking stem cells from a heart patient's own bone marrow, then injecting them into the patient's damaged heart.
The result: a significant improvement of heart performance within months, and a significant reduction in both scar tissue and heart size within a year after the initial therapy.
However, the study is small -- a phase one clinical trial involving just eight male patients -- and still described as "experimental." But the research team says that if confirmed in larger trials, the approach could be a big advance over current treatments for this type of enlarged heart.
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Analysis Confirms Avandia May Harm the Heart

(HealthDay News) A new analysis confirms that those who take the diabetes drug Avandia are more likely to develop heart problems and die than those who take a similar type of diabetes medication…
The researchers found a "modest but statistically significant increase" in the odds of certain heart conditions in those who took Avandia. The risk of heart attack rose by 16 percent and increased 23 percent for congestive heart failure. Overall, mortality rates rose 14 percent.
Avandia is a common drug, with about 3.8 million prescriptions a year in the United States.
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Not Even Experts Agree on Safety of Airport Scanners

(HealthDay News) Long-term health dangers from the type of airport body scanners that emit radiation are tiny, experts say, but disagreement lingers over the collective cancer risks…
Another type of scanner, which uses millimeter wave technology, does not emit ionizing radiation and has no proven health effects, which [some experts] agree is the ideal. But U.S. airports use a mix of both scanner types, with the only alternative being the controversial full-body pat-down.
The makers of the backscatter scanners, Rapiscan Systems, have said that the devices emit a dose of radiation equivalent to 1/1000 of a dental X-ray…
But [radiation expert David J.] Brenner noted that scientists have not been able to independently measure radiation doses from backscatter scanners because they have not been granted access to the machines to verify the manufacturer's stated doses.
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Integrity of the Brain's Reward System Is Linked to Relapse Following Treatment

(Science Daily) At least 60 percent of individuals treated for an alcohol use disorder will relapse, typically within six months of treatment Given that the brain reward system (BRS) is implicated in the development and maintenance of all forms of addictive disorders, this study compared thickness, surface area and volume of neocortical components of the BRS among three groups: light drinkers, alcohol-dependent (AD) individuals still abstinent after treatment, and those who relapsed. Findings support the influence of neurobiological factors on relapse…
"The BRS is a collection of regions/structures in the frontal and temporal lobes, limbic system, basal ganglia and other subcortical structures that form a functional network that is involved in determining if a substance or experience is pleasurable or aversive to use -- which includes alcohol, food and other substances," explained Timothy C. Durazzo…, corresponding author for the study…
Durazzo described this network as not only involved in the experience of pleasure and aversion, but also in the regulation of mood, higher-level cognitive abilities such as problem-solving, reasoning, decision-making, planning and judgment, as well as impulse control. "Abnormal BRS biology may also play a major role in the development and persistence of all forms of addiction," he said.
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Collecting can become obsession, addiction

(UPI) Collecting dolls, thimbles or toy soldiers can have good psychological effects, but a Spanish researcher says for some collecting can become uncontrolled.
Professor Francisca Lopez Torrecillas at the University of Granada says … collecting can become an obsession, especially among the vulnerable -- individuals with low self-esteem, poor social skills and difficulty in facing problems.
"When people have this feeling of personal inefficiency, compulsive collecting helps them in feeling better," Torrecillas said in a statement.
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Menthol Cigarettes Marketed as 'Healthier,' FDA Panel Says

(HealthDay News) Marketing messages for menthol cigarettes disproportionately target youths and blacks and are crafted to imply that menthols are safer than other cigarettes, although they are not, according to a newly released draft section of a long awaited FDA advisory committee's report.
While direct claims of menthol cigarettes' health benefits dwindled after the 1950s, marketing materials continue to depict menthols as "refreshing" and "soothing," while use of the color green on menthol packaging implies "nature" and healthfulness, according to the report.
"Analyses of tobacco industry internal documents and marketing messages the industry produced provide corroborating evidence of explicit and unwarranted claims that smoking menthol cigarettes would improve smokers' health," according to the draft report, which was released Thursday.
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Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

We dye our river green to celebrate the day:
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New health statistics show Americans living longer

(Reuters) Life expectancy in the United States has reached an all-time high, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said on Wednesday.
In 2009, life expectancy increased to 78.2 years, up from 78 years in 2008, it said…
Heart disease remained the top killer, although death rates dropped in that category and in nine of the other top 15 causes of death.
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Aging in place: Better outcomes, cheaper

(UPI) "Aging in place" is less expensive and provides better health outcomes for seniors than nursing homes and assisted-living facilities, U.S. researchers say.
Marilyn Rantz, professor in the Sinclair School of Nursing at the University of Missouri, says the conventional sequence of long-term care forces older adults to move from their homes to senior housing, to assisted living and eventually to nursing homes as health and abilities decline…
The aging-in-place model includes continuous care management, a combination of personalized health services with nursing care coordination.
A four-year analysis found the total care costs for residents aging in place were thousands less than traditional care options, while the aging in place residents had improved mental and physical health outcomes.
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Crossing Street While on Cell Phone Risky for Seniors

(HealthDay News) Older adults would be wise to avoid chatting on cell phones while crossing the street, because new research indicates this combination more risky for that age group than for college students…
Compared to the younger adults, the older group had far more difficulty crossing when walking while distracted by another task, with the most pronounced impairment occurring during cell phone conversations.
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Are high-protein diets bad for your colon?

(Reuters Health) The high-protein, low-carbohydrate diets many people turn to for weight loss might have potentially harmful long-term effects on the colon, a small study hints.
In a study of 17 obese men, UK researchers found that a protein-heavy, low-carb diet created certain changes in the colon that could, over time, contribute to colon cancer risk.
The study looked only at short-term shifts in certain compounds that are byproducts of metabolism, and not actual disease risk. So it does not show whether high-protein diets really raise the risk of any colon diseases.
But the findings raise that possibility, the researchers report.
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Lunch Matters

(Dr John La Puma) I’ve been preparing for a very exciting conference next week in Baltimore with CIGNA and Johns Hopkins.  I’m giving a keynote: The Food Rx:  Your Body’s Own Culinary Medicine for Healthy Aging.
The meeting planner has also asked me to work with the executive chef and catering manager at the Hyatt to design healthy conference meals.  Can you think of anything more fun?  I love doing this.
Attendees may be unaware that some food served at meetings impairs learning, and that some can improve it.
So, I looked it up. A medium carb/medium fat/modest protein lunch improves mood, performance on memory and cognitive tests, and reduces drowsiness.  Compared with either a high carb lunch or a low carb one.
The wrong lunch means mid-afternoon mental task slowing, poorer attention and memory…not revived until a late snack.
Community: You don’t have to be at a conference to prefer being alert, rather than sleepy, in the afternoon.
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Cooking Light:
Throw a St. Patrick's Day Feast
Rich stew, chewy brown soda bread, smoked salmon with horseradish, and more: find everything you need for a delightful St. Patrick's Day get-together.
The Secrets to Warm, Satisfying Stews
Nothing says comfort food like a hearty bowl full of stew. Follow our steps and you will be well on your way to mastering these one-bowl wonders.
Quick Seafood Dinners
Quick-cooking and light, seafood provides a variety of meals that are both delicious and nutritious.
In Season: Asparagus
Learn how to choose, prepare, store, and serve this quintessential spring vegetable.
Red Potato Colcannon
There are countless variations on this classic Irish potato-and-cabbage combination—ours is made with steamed red potatoes, sauteed cabbage and just a touch of butter.
Golden Potato-Leek Soup with Cheddar Toasts
Yukon gold potatoes are the key ingredient to give the soup rich, buttery flavor. This makes a generous amount, so share the bounty with friends or freeze half of the batch for a future meal.
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EU urges radiation tests on Japanese food imports

(Reuters) The European Union's executive arm has advised EU governments to check levels of radioactivity in food and feed imports from Japan, following the country's nuclear crisis.
The advice was issued to governments on Tuesday via the EU's rapid alert system for food and feed (RASFF), European Commission health and consumer spokesman Frederic Vincent confirmed on Wednesday…
Following the Chernobyl nuclear disaster in 1986, the EU adopted legislation fixing the maximum levels of radioactive contamination allowed in food and feed following a nuclear accident.
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Vitamin E users show lower ALS risk

(Reuters Health) People who regularly take vitamin E supplements over the years may have a decreased risk of developing the fatal neurological condition amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), a new study suggests.
ALS -- also known as Lou Gehrig's disease -- is an invariably fatal disease in which the nerve cells that control movement progressively degenerate, leading to paralysis and death from respiratory failure…
Some research has suggested that people with higher intakes of vitamin E have a lower risk of ALS. Those findings do not prove that vitamin E is the reason, but lab research has found that the vitamin -- which acts as a cell-protecting antioxidant -- can delay the onset of symptoms in mice genetically altered to develop an ALS-like condition.
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Does Selenium Prevent Cancer? It May Depend on Which Form People Take

(Science Daily) Scientists are reporting that the controversy surrounding whether selenium can fight cancer in humans might come down to which form of the essential micronutrient people take. It turns out that not all "seleniums" are the same -- the researchers found that one type of selenium supplement may produce a possible cancer-preventing substance more efficiently than another form of selenium in human cancer cells…
[T]he researchers studied how two forms -- SeMet and MeSeCys -- are processed in human lung cancer cells.
The researchers found that MeSeCys killed more lung cancer cells than SeMet did. Also, lung cancer cells treated with MeSeCys processed the selenium differently than than cells treated with SeMet. They say that these findings could explain why studies on the health benefits of selenium sometimes have conflicting results.
Community: The NIH’s fact sheet on selenium doesn’t differentiate between the two types.
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Herbal Derivative Wins Praise as Malaria Treatment

(HealthDay News) Artesunate should replace quinine as the drug of choice for treating malaria, according to an updated review of clinical trial results.
Derived from herbs used in Chinese medicine, artesunate was found to be more effective at preventing death in people with severe malaria.
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A Universal Flu Vaccine?

(Science Daily) A vaccine that helps against all types of influenza -- for several years? If all goes right for Norwegian company Bionor Pharma ASA, such a vaccine could exist within a few years…
[T]he vaccine will provide basic immunity to all of the most common flu viruses. It is also expected to have a long "memory" so that people do not need a new vaccination each year.
The vaccine will also work in a different way from other flu vaccines. Typical seasonal flu vaccines block the virus by triggering an antibody response. Bionor Pharma's vaccine, however, allows the virus to invade the cells, which are then quickly destroyed by the immune system -- preventing the virus from spreading.
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Altered Gene Protects Some African-Americans from Coronary Artery Disease

(Science Daily) A team of scientists at Johns Hopkins and elsewhere has discovered that a single alteration in the genetic code of about a fourth of African-Americans helps protect them from coronary artery disease, the leading cause of death in Americans of all races.
Researchers found that a single DNA variation -- having at least one so-called guanine nucleotide in a base pair instead of a combination without any guanine -- on a gene already linked to higher risk of coronary disease in other races is linked in blacks to decreased risk. Specifically, the study showed that otherwise healthy African-American men and women with the alternative genetic code had a fivefold reduction in the likelihood that their arteries would narrow or clog.
For African-Americans who inherited two copies of the guanine gene variant, one from each parent, the risk reduction was even more dramatic. They were 10 times less likely to have coronary heart disease, which disproportionately afflicts a greater number of African-Americans than whites or any other ethnic group.
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Gene Therapy Reverses Symptoms of Parkinson's Disease

(Science Daily) A gene therapy called NLX-P101 dramatically reduces movement impairment in Parkinson's patients, according to results of a Phase 2 study…
"Patients who received NLX-P101 showed a significant reduction in the motor symptoms of Parkinson's, including tremor, rigidity and difficulty initiating movement," says Dr. [Michael] Kaplitt, who pioneered the approach and helped design the clinical trial. "This not only confirms the results of our Phase 1 trial … but also represents a major milestone in the development of gene therapy for a wide range of neurological diseases."
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Stem cells used for bone grafts

(UPI) Surgeons are using new methods to get bone material, and even stem cells, right "off the shelf," a California foot and ankle surgeon says…
Grafts are helpful for patients who might not heal under normal conditions, such as smokers, diabetics, people who are obese or patients with nutritional deficits.
However, surgeons can now use stem cells, which are self-renewing cells found throughout the body, to assist the bone in healing.
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When Nurse Staffing Drops, Mortality Rates Rise: Study

(HealthDay News) When nurse staffing levels fell below target levels in a large hospital, more patients died, a new study discovered.
The finding may provide guidance in an era of nursing shortages and cost-cutting, in that the focus should shift from cost to patient safety, said the authors of the research
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Blue Shield California withdraws planned rate hikes

(Reuters) Blue Shield of California, a nonprofit health insurer, has withdrawn plans to raise rates for its individual and family policies this year, citing a commitment to make reform work and keep costs down.
The insurer, which has 340,000 individual and family-plan members in California, had filed with state officials earlier this year to raise rates by as much as 59 percent.
Blue Shield said the previously proposed increases reflected a two-year cumulative average increase of about 30 percent.
But the insurer said on Wednesday it has chosen not to raise those rates this year in order to help make coverage more affordable during tough economic times.
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No significant global spread of Japan radiation: WHO

(Reuters) There is no evidence of a significant spread of radiation from Japan's crippled nuclear plants, the World Health Organization said on Wednesday, calling on people to remain calm and not spread rumors…
Unfounded messages have circulated online and via text messages across parts of Asia that a radiation cloud from Japan was spreading rapidly. Weather forecasters, however, expect winds to blow the radiation out across the Pacific.
"The World Health Organization would like to assure governments and members of the public that there is no evidence at this time of any significant international spread from the nuclear site," Michael O'Leary, WHO's representative in China, said in a statement.
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Alzheimer's in U.S. claims $202 billion in unpaid care

(Reuters) Nearly 15 million people in the United States take care of a loved one with Alzheimer's disease or another form of dementia, amounting to 17 billion hours or more than $202 billion in unpaid care, Alzheimer's experts said on Tuesday…
"Alzheimer's disease doesn't just affect those with it. It invades families and the lives of everyone around them," Harry Johns, president and chief executive of the Alzheimer's Association, said in a statement…
[Beth Kallmyer, of the Alzheimer's Association,] said more than 60 percent of caregivers say they are stressed, and more than a third say they are depressed.
Treating the disease is expensive.
Community: It’s expensive and causes a lot of suffering, not just for the patient. So why wouldn’t we take the steps we think can help delay or even prevent the disease, such as following an epigenetic diet, eating certain herbs and spices, eating a diet rich in methionine, eating foods or taking supplements with bioactive polyphenols, such as those found in red grapes (and taking them daily), exercising regularly, and treating atrial fibrillation, if you have it?
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