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

Diabetes Nearly Doubles Risk for 'Geriatric' Ailments, Study Finds

(Science Daily) Middle-aged adults with diabetes are much more likely to develop age-related conditions than their counterparts who don't have diabetes, according to a new study…
Adults between 51 and 70 with diabetes developed age-related ailments like cognitive impairment, incontinence, falls, dizziness, vision impairment and pain at a faster rate than those without diabetes, the study found…
"Our findings suggest that middle age adults with diabetes start to accumulate these age-related problems," says lead author Christine Cigolle… "Because diabetes affects multiple organ systems, it has the potential to contribute significantly to the development of a number of issues that we associate with aging."
Community: All the more reason to do everything possible to prevent diabetes or minimize its effects, if you already have it.


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Fast-food + coffee = soaring blood sugar

(UPI) Eating a fatty fast-food meal can result in blood-sugar levels spiking, and chasing it with caffeinated coffee doubles the trouble, Canadian researchers say.
[They] discovered … that a healthy person's blood-sugar level spikes after eating a high-fat meal, and it doubles if caffeinated coffee is added -- jumping to levels similar to those of people at risk for diabetes.
Community: So I have to wonder about the effect on blood sugar of the fat and sugar laden concoctions available at most coffee bars.
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Vegetarians may be at lower diabetes, heart risk

(Reuters Health) A new study finds that a meat-free diet seems to lower a person's likelihood of having certain risk factors for diabetes or heart disease -- and therefore may lower the risk of one day developing those illnesses.
Researchers measured a suite of factors -- blood sugar, blood fats, blood pressure, waist size, and body mass - that when elevated add up to "metabolic syndrome," and found that vegetarians were lower than non-vegetarians on all counts except cholesterol.
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What's in your sandwich? U.S. wants you to know

(Reuters) Restaurant chains will have to tell you how many calories are in your sandwich, your milk shake and even your bag of chips by the middle of next year as part of the U.S. government's fight against obesity.
The Food and Drug Administration said on Friday that final rules requiring restaurants and retail food companies to divulge nutritional and calorie information are expected to be issued by the end of 2011.
It proposed that the rules, pertaining to food and drinks sold from menus and display cases, would become effective six months later.
In a country where two out of every three people are overweight or obese, the government hopes to influence food choices and ultimately lower healthcare costs.
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Three Square Meals a Day Paired With Lean Protein Help People Feel Full During Weight Loss

(Science Daily) Eating fewer, regular-sized meals with higher amounts of lean protein can make one feel more full than eating smaller, more frequent meals, according to new research from Purdue University.
"We found that when eating high amounts of protein, men who were trying to lose weight felt fuller throughout the day; they also experienced a reduction in late-night desire to eat and had fewer thoughts of food," said Heather J. Leidy…
"We also found that despite the common trend of eating smaller, more frequent meals, eating frequency had relatively no beneficial impact on appetite control. The larger meals led to reductions in appetite, and people felt full. We want to emphasize though that these three larger meals were restricted in calories and reflected appropriate portion sizes to be effective in weight loss."
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Recipes

MyRecipes.com:
Chipotle Sloppy Joes
Add Mexican-inspired spice to this traditional family favorite. Serve with your favorite coleslaw for an easy side.
EatingWell:
Smoky Black Bean Soup
This will probably be the most hauntingly delicious black bean soup you’ve ever tasted. The coffee adds a slightly toasty, woodsy background note. The optional ham hock adds smoky, salty ham flavor. Serve with a mixed green salad or a grilled cheese sandwich with pickled jalapeños.
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Micro-RNA Blocks the Effect of Insulin in Obesity

(Science Daily) Body weight influences the risk of developing diabetes: between 80 and 90 percent of patients with type 2 diabetes are overweight or obese. According to scientists…, short ribonucleic acid molecules, known as micro-RNAs, appear to play an important role in this mechanism…
The researchers discovered that the obese mice form increased levels of the regulatory RNA molecule miRNA-143. miRNA-143 inhibits the insulin-stimulated activation of the enzyme AKT. Without active AKT, insulin cannot unfold its blood-sugar-reducing effect and the blood sugar level is thrown out of kilter. This newly discovered mechanism could provide the starting point for the development of new drugs for the treatment of diabetes.
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Probiotic Bacteria Could Help Treat Crohn's Disease

(Science Daily) New research suggests that infection with a probiotic strain of E. coli bacteria could help treat an reduce the negative effects of another E. coli infection that may be associated with Crohn's disease…
Crohn's disease is a common chronic disorder that affects the gastrointestinal tract and is believed to develop as a result of an aberrant immune response to intestinal microbes in a genetically susceptible host.
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Exercise Is Key for People With Arthritis: Expert

(HealthDay News) Exercise is a good way for people with arthritis to control pain and improve physical function, says an expert.
"People who have arthritis are often scared to exercise because they think they will hurt themselves, but the condition will only get worse if people don't get moving," Valerie Walkowiak … said in a news release.
"The best way to start is to talk to your doctor about exercising and then work with a therapist or personal trainer to establish guidelines. Be proactive, and take it one step at a time," she advised.
Exercise offers a number of benefits for people with arthritis, including: increasing muscle strength and endurance to improve joint stability; preserving and restoring joint motion and flexibility; and boosting aerobic conditioning to improve mental health and decrease the risk of other diseases.
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Hands-free faucets not germ-free

(UPI) Hands-free electronic faucets, widely assumed to help fight the spread of germs, can harbor more germs than tradition manual faucets, researchers say…
Legionella bacteria were present in 50 percent of water samples from the electronic-eye faucets tested but in only 15 percent of manual faucets tested in the same part of the hospital.
Hospital officials say they believe bacteria counts are higher in the electronic faucets because they have a complicated system of valves that makes cleaning difficult.
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Doctor: Bad penmanship endangers patients

(UPI) A leading Canadian doctor says medical professionals' indecipherable writing on prescriptions and medical charts puts patients at "totally unacceptable" risk…
[Dr. Louis] Francescutti offered a simple solution to rid hospitals of the sloppy writing that has plagued the medical profession.
"If you pull out a physician's chart and you can't read what it says, they shouldn't get paid for that procedure," he said. "Patients' lives are actually in danger by misinterpretation of drug dosage or a procedure. It's totally inexcusable."
Community: All the more reason to have electronic records.
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Do At-Home Genetic Tests Tell Too Much and Explain Too Little?

(HealthDay News) The explosion of direct-to-consumer genetic tests over the past several years has made it seemingly simple to test for a wide variety of medical scenarios. A swab of the cheek or a vial of blood can discern whether one is a carrier of an inherited disorder such as cystic fibrosis, for instance, or predict the risk for diseases such as breast cancer or Parkinson's. Newer tests purportedly predict how people might respond to a specific drug or medical treatment.
But shelling out several hundred dollars or more for one of these tests -- which are widely available online -- does not equip consumers to understand the findings or their repercussions, genetic counselors say. Because people might base medical decisions on the results, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration decided this month to restrict the tests on a case-by-case basis…
[Genetic] counseling -- if done by qualified experts -- can help translate hard science into information that the average consumer can understand. For example, if a genetic test shows a low risk of diabetes, that doesn't mean that diet, exercise and other healthy lifestyle measures aren't necessary, said Dr. Robb Rowley…
Rowley said the ultimate scenario, which he predicts is five to 10 years out, is to be able to use each individual's unique DNA to optimize their care.
Community: And as we’ve seen, genetics is only part of the equation in developing disease. Lifestyle is often at least as big a factor. We can’t control our genes, at least not yet, but we can control our lifestyle.
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Republicans challenge influential seniors group

(Reuters) Republicans in the U.S. House Friday accused the AARP of gaining financially from President Barack Obama's healthcare overhaul, which the influential elderly advocacy group supported.
Republican members of a House Ways and Means subcommittee grilled AARP Chief Executive Officer Barry Rand and AARP President Lee Hammond on the non-profit organization's health insurance operations. Rand defended the group's policy positions and said money received from insurance licensing agreements is used to pay for its social-welfare mission.
Republicans argued that the group would gain financially by cutbacks in the law to the Medicare Advantage program that delivers Medicare health benefits through private insurers.

Community: It’s a rare occasion when I agree with Republicans, but they’re right about AARP. It’s not an advocacy organization for seniors, it’s an insurance company.
AARP really put me off when it supported George W. Bush’s Medicare Part D drug coverage, which
· included only private plans, meaning you have to pay the insurance company a profit if you get the coverage,
· didn’t allow Medicare to negotiate prices with the pharmaceutical companies, and
· had a ridiculous donut hole for payments—to fool people about what the program will eventually cost.
I thought then that AARP was only salivating at the amount of money they’d make from sponsoring their own Part D plan. I still think it.
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New Pill Safely Cures All Diseases (April Fool)

Sorry, there is no pill that cures all diseases, but if you read Many Years Young regularly, and use some of the information presented here, you may live a longer, healthier, happier life.
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April Fools' Day jokes not always funny

(UPI) Practical jokes are not a guaranteed way to generate laughter on April Fools' Day, a U.S. professor who studies the complexities of humor says.
Cindy Gendrich of Wake Forest University…, who teaches the seminar, "Why Do People Laugh?" explores the psychological, physical and social benefits of laughter…
The class studies what make someone or something an acceptable target for laughter.
"We may laugh more at April Fools' jokes if they seem somehow justified, but being the 'fool' is not always funny," Gendrich says. "Laughter has a lot to do with human relationships. We laugh to put people at ease, to show approval, to flirt, to contribute to the energy of an event or a moment, to tell people we are not dangerous, to show we 'get it'. We often laugh out of nervousness."
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Religiosity, spirituality impact health

(UPI) A person's religiosity and spirituality independently predicts health outcomes after a collective traumatic event like Sept. 11, 2001, U.S. researchers say…
The study found following Sept. 11, 2001, religious individuals -- those who participated in religious social structures such as attending services -- had a higher positive affect, fewer unwanted intrusive thoughts and lower risk of new onset mental and musculoskeletal ailments versus those who expressed no religious or spiritual proclivities.
However, those who were high in spirituality -- feeling a personal commitment to spiritual or religious beliefs -- had a higher positive effect, lower odds of new onset infectious ailments and more cognitive intrusions, but a more rapid decline in intrusions over time.
Community: Remember that you don’t have to be religious to be spiritual.
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Taking a break from problems may help

(UPI) Running away from your problems has never been considered the optimal strategy, but Canadian researchers say taking a break from a problem may work…
[S]tudents who used … avoidance, or simply setting aside some of their issues for a while -- experienced a reduction in conflict among life roles.
"This technique is traditionally seen as 'running away from your problems,'" says [researcher Julie] McCarthy. "But maybe by backing off and taking breaks, students are able to replenish their resources."
Community: I have my best ideas after a good night’s sleep, so I’ve learned to put problems aside and sleep on them.
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Slow Down Aging by Cooking with This Juice

(RealAge.com) A new study shows that marinating meats in lemon juice -- or vinegar -- can help greatly reduce the production of harmful compounds linked to aging and chronic disease.
All foods -- but especially ones derived from animals -- contain varying levels of compounds called advanced glycation end products (AGEs). These compounds are known to cause inflammation and may open the door to faster aging. Cooking -- especially high-heat methods -- increases formation of AGEs. But now new research suggests that marinating foods in an acidic, low-pH liquid -- like lemon juice or vinegar -- may help slow that formation down significantly. AGEs in beef were cut in half after marinating for an hour -- but shorter amounts of time may help, too…
Here's another tasty way to slow aging with the foods you eat: go international. Check out the best antiaging foods from around the world.
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Recipes

MyRecipes.com:
Gnocchi with Shrimp, Asparagus, and Pesto
Gnocchi--small Italian potato dumplings--are a hearty alternative to pasta. While making gnocchi from scratch could take more than an hour, premade vacuum-packed dumplings cook in a few minutes.
EatingWell:
Poached Cod & Asparagus
In this recipe, we poach the cod right on top of the asparagus. The result is perfectly cooked cod and tender-crisp asparagus. The sauce is our take on beurre blanc—a traditional French sauce made with wine and lots of butter. Ours uses a little cornstarch for thickening and a judicious amount of butter for flavor.
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Pine bark cuts metabolic syndrome symptoms

(UPI) The plant extract from the bark of the French maritime pine tree has kidney benefits in metabolic syndrome patients, researchers in Italy said…
The study … found average blood pressure in the [anti-hypertensive medication] Ramipril group was lowered to 128.2/90.2 millimeter of mercury, while those in the group taking Pycnogenol [pine bark] with Ramipril reached 122.2/85.3 mmHg after six months of treatment.
With Ramipril, urinary protein decreased by 22 percent and but with Pycnogenol it decreased by 52.7 percent -- with the high average fasting blood glucose level at 135.6 mg/dL at baseline, while those who took Pycnogenol reached a healthy value 102.3 mg/dL after six months, the study says.
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Fruit Fly's Response to Starvation Could Help Control Human Appetites

(Science Daily) Biologists at UC San Diego have identified the molecular mechanisms triggered by starvation in fruit flies that enhance the nervous system's response to smell, allowing these insects and presumably vertebrates -- including humans -- to become more efficient and voracious foragers when hungry.
Their discovery of the neural changes that control odor-driven food searches in flies … could provide a new way to potentially regulate human appetite.
By developing drugs to enhance or minimize the activity of nerve-signaling chemicals called neuropeptides released during starvation to enhance the sense of smell, scientists may be able to decrease the propensity among obese individuals to overeat when encountering delectable food odors, if similar molecular mechanisms exist in humans. They could also increase the appetites among the infirm, elderly and others who may have problems eating enough. The method could even be used to improve the growth of farmed animals or to reduce feed waste.
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Obese with strong heart beats thin and weak

(Reuters Health) For overweight people with heart disease, improving their physical fitness could pay big dividends.
A new study has found that fitness, not body weight, is a more important predictor of whether people with clogged blood vessels in their heart will die in the relatively near term.
Being overweight, or even obese, but having a heart that could tolerate heavy exercise was markedly better than being a lean person who panted from walking up a hill.
Not surprisingly, the study also showed that obese heart patients who were least physically fit, and those with large amounts of fat concentrated around their hips and abdomen, were much more likely to die during the 14-year study period compared to their fitter, more slender peers. The combination of poor fitness and that kind of so-called "central obesity" was even more dangerous, raising the risk for death roughly sevenfold, the researchers said.
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US NIH obesity plan focuses on real-world research

(Reuters) U.S. health officials Thursday announced a new effort to curb America's obesity epidemic by moving science from the lab into clinical trials to find practical ways for prevention and treatment.
"This plan is a bold blueprint that will encourage the research community to examine the epidemic of obesity from diverse perspectives," National Institutes of Health (NIH) Director Dr. Francis Collins said in a statement.
More than a third of adults and nearly 17 percent of children in the United States are obese, increasing their chances of developing health problems including type 2 diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, fatty liver disease and some cancers…
Obesity-related diseases account for nearly 10 percent of U.S. medical spending, or an estimated $147 billion a year.
Community: And then there’s the unnecessary suffering.
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Two drugs may revolutionize treatment of hepatitis C

(Los Angeles Times) Two experimental drugs promise to transform hepatitis C from a debilitating liver disease into a manageable condition for a majority of patients, researchers said Wednesday.
The new drugs work by blocking a key enzyme that the hepatitis C virus needs to make copies of itself and spread. They promise to revolutionize treatment for patients in much the same way as protease inhibitors did for HIV patients in 1995, experts said.
The two drugs, called boceprevir and telaprevir, nearly doubled the number of patients who achieve what is known as a sustained viral suppression — in effect, a cure — among those with new hepatitis C infections. For patients who did not respond to initial therapy or who suffered a relapse, the drugs tripled the odds of bringing the virus under control…
The Food and Drug Administration is expected to approve both medications in May.
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U.S. Cancer Rates Continue to Fall

(HealthDay News) The rate of new cancers in the United States has dropped by almost 1 percent a year and the rate of death from cancer has fallen 1.6 percent a year, a new report shows.
These declines, seen between 2003 and 2007, continue a trend that began in the 1990s, the researchers added.
Importantly, this is the first time a drop in the rate of deaths from lung cancer among women has been seen, coming a decade after lung cancer death rates started declining in men, they noted.
"The drop in lung cancer rates among women is due to women quitting smoking," said report co-author Lynn Ries… "Women started smoking a lot later than men, so the peak in the mortality rate occurred a lot later," she added.
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Prostate Cancer Screening Doesn't Cut Death Rates: Study

(HealthDay News) A 20-year study from Sweden suggests that screening for prostate cancer does not substantially reduce the risk of death from the disease.
On the other hand, a good many men might receive false-positive results and overtreatment, adding an element of risk to widescale screening, the researchers report…
"However," [said study author Dr. Gabriel] Sandblom, "the study was initiated more than 20 years ago, when PSA [prostate specific antigen testing] was not available and the treatment of localized prostate cancer was not as effective as it is today. I would thus not categorically advise against PSA testing based on an individual decision from a man who feels concern about prostate cancer."
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U.S. Medicare rules seek improved care, lower costs

(Reuters) U.S. Medicare regulators on Thursday launched a program for doctors to deliver more follow-up care to patients that they predict will save the government as much as $960 million over the next three years while providing better healthcare for the elderly.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services proposed rules under President Barack Obama's healthcare overhaul setting out guidelines for doctors and hospitals who form so-called accountable care organizations to deliver Medicare services.
The idea, called coordinated care, is to give primary care physicians a financial incentive to follow up on patients who are sent to the hospital or prescribed a course of treatment.
The traditional pay for service structure provides no such incentives, which take the form of a share of any cost savings.
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Japan must distribute iodine tablets now: expert

(Reuters) Japanese authorities grappling with a nuclear disaster must hand out iodine tablets now and as widely as possible to avoid a potential leap in thyroid cancers, the head of a group of independent radiation experts said.
France's CRIIRAD group says Japan has underestimated the sensitivity of the thyroid gland to radioactivity and must lower its 100 millisieverts (mSv) threshold for administering iodine.
Failure to do so quickly could lead to an even higher jump in thyroid cancer cases in coming years than is anticipated, Corinne Castanier told Reuters in an interview on Thursday.
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Antibacterial Soap Additive Accumulates in Fish: Study

(HealthDay News) An antibacterial agent that's an ingredient in some bar soaps has a "strong" tendency to accumulate in the bodies of fish, finds a new study.
The agent, triclocarban (TCC), is a source of environmental health concerns due to its potential hormone-disrupting effects.
Bioaccumulation occurs when fish or other organisms ingest certain chemicals and are unable to metabolize and excrete the chemical quickly enough, allowing it to build up in their bodies.
There is no evidence that TCC bioaccumulates in humans, the researchers pointed out.
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Diet along with exercise may be the best way for seniors to gain strength and fitness

(Los Angeles Times) The one-two punch of diet and exercise may be the best for obese seniors who want to be stronger and more fit, finds a study released Wednesday…
Almost across the board, the seniors in the diet and exercise group fared better than the diet group, exercise group or control group alone. Physical performance improved by 21% in the combination group, by 15% in the exercise group and by 12% in the weight loss group…
Quality of life scores also improved most in the combination group.
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Negative Attitudes Toward Fat Bodies Going Global, Study Finds

(Science Daily) Stigma against overweight people is becoming a cultural norm around the world, even in places where larger bodies have traditionally been valued…
Researchers from Arizona State University surveyed people in nine diverse locations around the world and found negative attitudes toward fat bodies in every one. The results suggest a rapid "globalization of fat stigma" in which overweight people are increasingly viewed as ugly, undesirable, lazy, or lacking in self control, the researchers say.
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Women's Body Image Based More on Others' Opinions Than Their Own Weight

(Science Daily) Women's appreciation of their bodies is only indirectly connected to their body mass index (BMI), a common health measure of weight relative to height, according to recent research.
The most powerful influence on women's appreciation of their bodies is how they believe important others view them, the study suggests. On the flip side, the more women are able to focus on the inner workings of their body -- or how their bodies function and feel -- rather than how they appear to others, the more they will appreciate their own bodies.
And the more a woman appreciates her body, the more likely she is to eat intuitively -- responding to physical feelings of hunger and fullness rather than emotions or the mere presence of food.
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Want to reduce BPA exposure? Cut canned foods from your diet, report says

(Greenspace, Los Angeles Times) Exposure to the chemical Bisphenol A, or BPA, through canned foods and other food packaging can be significantly reduced with simple dietary changes, according to a report released Wednesday by the nonprofit Breast Cancer Fund and the Silent Spring Institute, a breast cancer research group.
BPA is a chemical that is often used in clear, shatterproof plastics, such as baby bottles and food-storage containers, as well as the liners of metal food cans. Studies have shown BPA can leach from plastic and cans into food. 
Dozens of laboratory studies have also linked BPA exposure to breast and prostate cancer, infertility, early puberty in girls, obesity and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.
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Recipes

MyRecipes.com:
Spicy Asian Noodles with Chicken
Bring the flavor of your favorite takeout to the dinner table in no time. Add a snow pea sauté to complete the meal.
EatingWell:
Indian-Spiced Chicken & Asparagus
This easy chicken-and-asparagus sauté is boldly seasoned with aromatic cumin and fennel; the seeds are toasted in a skillet before grinding to bring out the most flavor. If you don’t want to buy a whole jar of the spices, look for them in the bulk spice section in natural-foods stores and buy just what you need for this recipe. Serve over brown rice, millet or quinoa.
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Diabetes Veterans May Show Ways to Prevent Complications

(Science Daily) Over time, diabetes can wreak havoc on the body's eyes, cardiovascular system, kidneys and nerves. A major study by Joslin Diabetes Center researchers, however, has found that some people who have survived diabetes for many decades exhibit remarkably few complications -- a discovery that points toward the presence of protective factors that guard against the disease's effects…
"Insights from [this study] are great motivators for patients who have just been diagnosed with diabetes or are early in the disease…," [first author Jennifer Sun, M.D.] says. "We can tell these patients that we encourage them to control their blood sugars and get their recommended diabetes care, because they can live many decades with excellent vision and the chance to avoid other severe complications."
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Common Yellow Lab Dye Profoundly Extends Lifespan in Worms

(Science Daily) Basic Yellow 1, a dye used in neuroscience laboratories around the world to detect damaged protein in Alzheimer's disease, is a wonder drug for nematode worms. In a study…, the dye, also known as Thioflavin T (ThT), extended lifespan in healthy nematode worms by more than 50 percent and slowed the disease process in worms bred to mimic aspects of Alzheimer's. The research, conducted at the Buck Institute for Research on Aging, could open new ways to intervene in aging and age-related disease…
[Silvestre Alavez, PhD] said curcumin, the active ingredient in the popular Indian spice turmeric, also had a significant positive impact on both healthy worms and those bred to express a gene associated with Alzheimer's. "People have been making claims about the health benefits of curcumin for many years. Maybe slowing aging is part of its mechanism of action," said Alavez. Curcumin is currently being tested in several human clinical trials for conditions ranging from colon cancer to rheumatoid arthritis to depression.
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Keeping Cancer Dormant

(Science Daily) The growth and spread of breast cancer tumors may be delayed with a promising treatment that combines two innovative strategies: blocking the enzyme needed to "energize" cancer cells and infusing a potent drug directly into the tumor, with minimum exposure to healthy tissues, according to researchers…
[Said researcher Jeff H. Geschwind, M.D.,] "Metastatic spread may occur in 50 percent of cases with apparently localized breast cancer, and nearly 30 percent of patients with lymph node-negative disease will develop distant metastases within five years -- underlining the importance of the development of novel, targeted, minimally invasive treatment strategies for tumor control and prevention,"
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Antioxidant Formula Prior to Radiation Exposure May Prevent DNA Injury, Trial Suggests

(Science Daily) A unique formulation of antioxidants taken orally before imaging with ionizing radiation minimizes cell damage, noted researchers at the Society of Interventional Radiology's 36th Annual Scientific Meeting in Chicago, Ill. In what the researchers say is the first clinical trial of its kind, as much as a 50 percent reduction in DNA injury was observed after administering the formula prior to CT scans.
"In our initial small study, we found that pre-administering to patients a proprietary antioxidant formulation resulted in a notable dose-dependent reduction in DNA injury," said Kieran J. Murphy, M.D.
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Many don't take prescriptions because of cost

(Reuters Health) A significant portion of people - perhaps as many as one in five - don't take drugs a doctor has prescribed because they can't pay for them, according to a new survey of people visiting an emergency room…
Among a group of more than 1500 people who volunteered to complete a questionnaire, more than 20 percent said they had previously not taken a prescribed drug on account of the price tag.
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Praying for Others Seems to Help Anger Fade

(HealthDay News) Saying a prayer for another person may help people control their negative emotions after being insulted by a stranger, researchers report.
A series of studies found that after people were intentionally provoked into anger, asking them to pray for a person who needs extra help or support (a cancer patient, for example), helped calm them down.
The researchers also suggested that the method seemed to be effective even in people who weren't particularly religious or regular churchgoers. Nor did religious affiliation make a difference in the ability of prayer to calm people.
Community: And I’m betting that it doesn’t have to be true prayer. Putting good thoughts out to the universe might accomplish the same goal.
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Study Illuminates the 'Pain' of Social Rejection

(Science Daily) Physical pain and intense feelings of social rejection "hurt" in the same way, a new study shows.
The study demonstrates that the same regions of the brain that become active in response to painful sensory experiences are activated during intense experiences of social rejection.
"These results give new meaning to the idea that social rejection 'hurts'," said University of Michigan social psychologist Ethan Kross, lead author of the article… "On the surface, spilling a hot cup of coffee on yourself and thinking about how rejected you feel when you look at the picture of a person that you recently experienced an unwanted break-up with may seem to elicit very different types of pain.
"But this research shows that they may be even more similar than initially thought."
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Study: How to have better friendships

(UPI) People who have more knowledge of what their friends might find annoying have better relationships with those friends, Canadian researchers said…
The study, published in Psychological Science, found people who had more knowledge of their friend's profile of triggers had better relationships, less conflict and less frustration.
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Natural Lawn Care for Everyone

(Chicago Tribune Local) Is it possible to have a lawn that looks good without using harmful herbicides and insecticides that can harm your family’s health and the environment? The answer, happily, is yes. Unlike conventional lawn care, which relies on chemical fertilizers and pesticides to artificially green your lawn, Natural Lawn Care focuses on restoring balance to the soil system—the microbes, organic matter, soil structure and nutrients that make a lawn healthy. Over time, your lawn will become naturally healthy, green and beautiful, with the added bonus that it will require less watering, fertilizing and mowing, saving you time and money…
Five practices for a healthy lawn:
1) Mow High: Keep your mower blades sharp and cut to 3 inches. Tell your lawn care provider to keep their lawnmower deck high. Don’t mow your lawn if it doesn’t need it!
2) Water deeply but infrequently: Water long and deep early in the morning or at dusk. Watering at night promotes disease. Make sure your lawn gets at least one inch of water per week. Conserve by not overwatering your lawn.
3) Fertilize correctly with organic fertilizers: Inorganic chemical fertilizers run off easily into our watershed and end up polluting our rivers and lakes. Organic fertilizers are stored in the soil and use only when needed.
4) Use hand tools to reduce your weed populations: Stop spreading herbicides all over your lawn! It’s so much easier to reduce your weed population by pulling by hand, spot spraying if absolutely necessary or using specialized tools.
5) Reseed at least twice a year: Fall and spring are the best times for reseeding.
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Media exposure to 'goodness' leads to more generosity

(UPI) Media exposure to extraordinary virtue can spur "moral elevation" -- thoughts and emotions about being a better person -- U.S. and Canadian researchers say.
[They] say people who experience moral elevation are more apt to take positive moral action, such as giving to charity…
"If more attention was devoted to recounting stories of uncommon acts of human virtue, the media could have a quantifiable positive effect on the moral behavior of a significant group of people," [researcher Karl] Aquino said in a statement.
Community: Instead, the media feed us a steady diet of the lowest levels of human behavior.
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Being conscientious can be worth $158,000

(UPI) Conscientious people are reliable, meet deadlines and pay their bills on time, which can add up to $158,000 in savings over a lifetime, U.S. researchers say…
The study found more emotionally stable adults earn more per year than the average American, but they don't necessarily save more. Agreeable people or those who are open to experience earn less and save less over their lifetimes, while extraverts earn about the same as introverts but save more, the study says.
"One of the exciting things about working on personality, as opposed to other aspects of the individual like IQ, is that there is some hope that conscientiousness can be changed, can be deliberately cultivated, particularly in children, but arguably across the entire life course," [psychologist Angela Lee] Duckworth says.
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Less Stress, Better Sleep May Help You Lose Weight

(HealthDay News) If you're looking to lose those extra pounds, you should probably add reducing stress and getting the right amount of sleep to the list, say researchers from Kaiser Permanente's Center for Health Research in Portland.
In fact, although diet and exercise are the usual prescription for dropping pounds, high stress and too little sleep (or too much of it) can hinder weight loss even when people are on a diet, the researchers report.
"We found that people who got more than six but less than eight hours of sleep, and who reported the lowest levels of stress, had the most success in a weight-loss program," said study author Dr. Charles Elder.
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Maple syrup: Only sweetener with nutrients

(UPI) North American Indians always used maple syrup as a medicine but today's doctors are catching up, a U.S. expert says…
Maple syrup has about three times the sweetening power of cane sugar and only 40 calories per tablespoon, but unlike any other sweetener, maple syrup is a great source of manganese and a good source of zinc," [food industry analyst Phil] Lempert says in a statement.
"Manganese protects your cells from free radicals, keeps bones strong, promotes optimal thyroid function, helps maintain blood sugar levels, and more. Zinc also helps balance blood sugar, supports the immune system as well as optimal smell and taste."
University of Rhode Island researchers found more than 20 compounds in maple syrup have been linked to human health --13 of which are newly discovered in maple syrup.
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