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

Study: Cancer risk increased by alcohol

(UPI) People who drink more than a pint of beer a day face a substantially higher risk of certain cancers, a European study suggests…
Previous studies have found links between alcohol consumption and cancers of the esophagus, liver, bowel and breast.
A chemical that can damage DNA is produced when alcohol is broken down in the body, increasing cancer risks, researchers say.
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More evidence painkillers lower colon cancer risk

(Reuters Health) A new study adds to growing evidence that regular use of painkillers like aspirin or ibuprofen may reduce a person's risk of developing colon or rectal cancers - sometimes by as much as 50 percent.
This latest report also shows that people with a family history of colon cancer - who are therefore at higher risk for the disease - also benefit from the pain relievers.
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Naproxen Reduces Tumors in a Mouse Model of Colon Cancer, Researchers Report

(Science Daily) Numerous studies show that non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) reduce the risk of colon cancer. However, animal studies testing the NSAID naproxen or its derivative, NO-naproxen, have focused primarily on chemically-induced tumor formation. Now, researchers at Fox Chase Cancer Center find that naproxen and NO-naproxen reduce tumor formation in a strain of mutant mice that spontaneously develop colon tumors. The data also suggest that naproxen blocks a gatekeeper step that initiates tumor formation…
"There is a major effect on the very small lesions, about a 90% reduction in the mutant mice treated with naproxen compared with control animals," says [Margie Clapper, PhD]. "That tells us this drug may be very appropriate for intervening early in people, far in advance of the development of large tumors. We might be able to have a significant impact on the very early and small lesions, thus reducing the morbidity associated with the disease."
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Reduce Colon Cancer Risk 65 Percent with This Meal

(RealAge.com) You could drop your risk of colon cancer by as much as 65 percent with this simple and delicious diet switch. Trade that meat-and-potato kabob for a fish-and-vegetable one…
A diet that's bursting with fruit, vegetables, whole-grains, and healthy protein choices like fish rather than meat is smart for a variety of health reasons. But it appears that the good things in this diet -- like fiber, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals -- may work synergistically to keep the colon healthy and free of cancer. For good measure, add beans and low-fat dairy -- two more diet choices that appear to be an important part of a healthy-colon diet.
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Protect Your Pancreas with This Vegetable

(RealAge.com) Make pancreatic cancer the scariest disease you never got by eating more of this bumpy green veggie: broccoli.
Seems that flavonol-rich diets could reduce your risk of pancreatic cancer by up to 23 percent, according to a recent study…
Flavonols are … found not only in broccoli but also in lots of other fruits and veggies, like apples, onions, and kale. And these compounds help fight cancer on many fronts. First, they ramp up your body's detox machinery, purging dangerous carcinogens from your system. Next, flavonols help prevent cancer cells from growing and dividing. And as if that weren't enough, flavonols encourage cancer cells to self-destruct, too.
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Vegetarian diet linked to lower cataract risk

(Reuters Health) Eating less meat and more vegetables is tied to a lower risk of cataracts, a British study says…
The results translated to a 30 to 40 percent lower cataract risk among vegetarians and vegans compared with the biggest meat eaters.
"People who don't eat meat have a significantly lower risk of developing cataracts," said Naomi Allen, an epidemiologist at the UK's University of Oxford who coauthored the study.
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Very high caffeine intake linked to leaky bladder

(Reuters Health) Women who down a lot of caffeinated drinks each day may have a slightly increased risk of developing urinary incontinence, a new study suggests. The results add to conflicting evidence on whether caffeine worsens a common condition…
Compared with women who got the least caffeine, those with the highest intake were 19 percent more likely to develop frequent problems with bladder control (at least once a week).
The study found no increased risk among women consuming 299 milligrams of caffeine - the equivalent of about three cups of coffee - or less per day.
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Balsamic-Plum Glazed Pork Chops
Port wine, plum preserves, and balsamic vinegar combine for a sweet and savory glaze. Couscous and green beans complete the meal.
Seared Strip Steaks with Horseradish-Root Vegetable Slaw
Steaks are often served with hearty accompaniments like mashed potatoes, which can make the whole meal seem heavy. Here we lighten things up by topping pan-seared steaks with a raw slaw dressed with pungent horseradish vinaigrette. We use shredded beets, turnips and carrots, but feel free to change up the combination of vegetables based on what you’re pulling from the garden.
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Discovery Points to New Obesity and Diabetes Drugs

(Science Daily) New research by scientists at The Scripps Research Institute and collaborating institutions has identified a key regulator of fat cell development that may provide a target for obesity and diabetes drugs.
In a paper…, the scientists describe a protein called TLE3 that acts as a dual switch to turn on signals that stimulate fat cell formation and turn off those that keep fat cells from developing. TLE3 works in partnership with a protein that is already the target of several diabetes drugs, but their use has been plagued by serious side effects.
"There is definitely a need for alternative drug targets," said [the researchers]. "Our goal is to understand how fat cells form so that we can develop better treatments for obesity and related disorders."
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Blood Protein Levels May Predict Risk of a Cardiovascular Event

(Science Daily) Increased levels of a protein that helps regulate the body's blood pressure may also predict a major cardiovascular event in high-risk patients, according to a study… Measuring the amount of the protein, known as plasma renin activity (PRA), in the blood stream may give doctors another tool to assess a patient's risk and help prevent a heart attack or stroke…
"This study makes a strong case for further study of PRA and its association with cardiovascular death," explains [senior author Dr. Subodh] Verma. "The next step will be to move into larger trials with PRA therapies and study whether or not this impacts the cardiovascular death rate. This could be a big step forward in our battle against heart disease."
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Fishes That Sleep Less Point to Genetic Basis for Slumber, Biologists Find

(Science Daily) Cave life is known to favor the evolution of a variety of traits, including blindness and loss of eyes, loss of pigmentation, and changes in metabolism and feeding behavior. Now researchers have added sleeplessness to that list.
Cave fish sleep significantly less than their surface counterparts, a finding by New York University biologists that reveals the genes involved in sleep patterns and disorders. Their study … may shed light on how genetic makeup contributes to sleep variation and disruption in humans.
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Simple Chemical Cocktail Shows First Promise for Limb Re-Growth in Mammals

(Science Daily) Move over, newts and salamanders. The mouse may join you as the only animal that can re-grow their own severed limbs. Researchers are reporting that a simple chemical cocktail can coax mouse muscle fibers to become the kinds of cells found in the first stages of a regenerating limb.
Their study [is] the first demonstration that mammal muscle can be turned into the biological raw material for a new limb.
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Report: Hospital Errors May Be Far More Common Than Suspected

(HealthDay News) A new method for identifying medical errors contends that as many as 90 percent of hospital mistakes are overlooked.
The actual error rate is 10 times greater than previously thought, despite a recent focus on reducing error rates and improving patient safety, a new study suggests.
"The more you look for errors, the more you find," said lead researcher Dr. David C. Classen…
"There is a large opportunity for improvement, despite all the work that's been done," he said. "And we need better measurement systems to assess how we are doing in patient safety."
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Medicare's Drug Coverage Gap to Shrink Away Under Health Care Reform

(HealthDay News) Starting this year, Medicare Part D's widely despised "donut hole" -- the gap in drug cost coverage enrollees encounter when they reach a certain spending threshold -- will start to disappear, one result of the health care reform package enacted last year, experts say.
In 2010, the donut hole kicked in after a beneficiary had incurred $2,530 in annual drug spending. They were then responsible for every dollar incurred up until $6,137 in spending, at which point "catastrophic" coverage kicked in.
However, experts say that under the new Affordable Care Act, this coverage gap will shrink considerably beginning this year, and completely disappear by the year 2020. But the process will be a step-wise transition -- and that doesn't include the possibility of Republican efforts to curtail or even dismantle the new legislation.
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Highway air linked to brain damage in mice

(UPI) In a study using mice, short-term vehicle pollution exposure showed brain damage and signs of memory loss and Alzheimer's, U.S. researchers say…
[They] developed a unique technology for collecting freeway particulates in a liquid suspension and recreating polluted air in the laboratory making it possible to conduct a controlled study on cultured brain cells and live animals…
"You can't see them, but they are inhaled and have an effect on brain neurons that raises the possibility of long-term brain health consequences of freeway air," [senior author Caleb] Finch says in a statement.
"Of course this leads to the question, 'How can we protect urban dwellers from this type of toxicity?' And that's a huge unknown."
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WHO warns drugs misuse weakens fight against diseases

(Reuters) The World Health Organization (WHO) said the misuse and irrational use of antibiotics has undermined the global fight against tuberculosis and malaria, warning of a possible return to the days before the drugs were developed.
An estimated 440,000 new cases of multidrug-resistant tuberculosis were reported last year in nearly 60 countries across the globe, Shin Young-soo, WHO regional director for Western Pacific area, said in a statement…
"Antimicrobial resistance is a global concern not only because it kills, but because it increases health costs and threatens patient care."
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Healthy Eating Leads to Longer Life

(Andrew Weil, M.D.) The idea that eating a healthy diet extends lifespan makes sense, but new research is revealing even more about the link between longevity and specific diets. A study team from the University of Maryland evaluated the diets of more than 2,500 men and women in the U.S. age 70 to 79. Not surprisingly, they found eating habits that emphasized fruits, vegetables whole grains, poultry, fish and limited amounts of meat, fried foods, sweets and high-calorie drinks were correlated with higher survival rates over a 10-year span. The individuals who ate this way also smoked less and were more active than those in other groups…
My take? The best prescription for healthy aging is an anti-inflammatory diet, designed to reduce the chronic low-level inflammation that contributes to heart disease, cancer, Alzheimer's and Parkinson’s diseases, type 2 diabetes, and many other diseases.
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Warning Labels Better Than a Fat Tax, Study Shows

(Science Daily) Warning labels on junk food would be more effective than a "fat" tax for deterring overweight people from making unhealthy purchases, a new University of Alberta study has found…
"The consumers who heeded the label didn't care about the price, but responded to the warning and were much less likely to buy the snack," said Sean Cash…, who led the study.
The researchers theorize that warning labels pack a bigger behavioural punch because they are far more noticeable than the price differences that would result from snack taxes. Therefore, including warning labels on unhealthy foods would be a better option than a fat tax, which has already been implemented in varying degrees in the United States, and is being considered for Canada.
Community: How about we do both?
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Could Stomach 'Pacemaker' Be New Weight-Loss Tool?

(HealthDay News) The device, not yet approved for use in the United States, is dubbed "abiliti" by its London-based maker, IntraPace. According to the company, the device is implanted in the stomach during a one-hour laparoscopic procedure via small insertions in the abdominal wall.
Once in place, the device uses its food-detection sensor to sense whenever a patient eats or drinks. This prompts it to emit low energy electrical pulses to nerves that trigger a feeling of rapid fullness…
An activity sensor also tracks the patient's food intake and physical exertion levels, sending that information automatically to a computer so patients and doctors can easily monitor (and adjust) eating and exercise habits.
Community: For addicts, it’s not a question of feeling full. If you still have any doubts that people can be addicted to food, take a look at a new series on OWN, “Addicted to Food”. The premiere was this week, but I’m sure there will be repeats.
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Vegans may have elevated heart risk

(UPI) Vegans -- strict vegetarians who eat no meat or animal products -- may have an increased risk of developing blood clots, a researcher in China says…
[T]heir diets tend to be lacking several key nutrients --including iron, zinc, vitamin B12 and omega-3 fatty acids, [Duo] Li says.
The study … concluded there is a strong scientific basis for vegetarians and vegans to increase their dietary omega-3 fatty acids -- found in oily fish, walnuts and other nuts -- and vitamin B12 -- found in seafood, eggs and fortified milk.
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Top 13 Snack Ideas With Crunch
Craving something crunchy? Give up the chips, and go for a healthier choice, like nuts, seeds, or raw veggies. Here are some … snack suggestions that pack a crunch!
Chicken Tamale Casserole
This Chicken Tamale casserole is a quick and easy swap for more traditional tamales - but just as delicious!
Arugula & Prosciutto Pizza
Sautéed onions, prosciutto and fontina cheese flavor this white pizza. Topping the hot-out-of-the-oven pizza with fresh greens and diced tomatoes gives it a delicious, summery twist. We use store-bought pizza dough to keep it quick. Serve with: Crunchy vegetables and your favorite dip.
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Link Between Chronic Depression and Accelerated Immune Cell Aging

(Science Daily) Certain cases of major depression are associated with premature aging of immune cells, which may make people more susceptible to other serious illness, according to findings from a new … study.
The findings indicate that accelerated cell aging does not occur in all depressed individuals, but is dependent upon how long someone is depressed, particularly if that depression goes untreated.
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Cold sores linked to Alzheimer's disease

(UPI) The herpes simplex virus type 1, which causes cold sores on the lips and mouth, has been linked to dementia, U.S. researchers suggest…
The findings … indicate that most intracellular herpes particles undergo frequent, dynamic interplay with amyloid precursor proteins, which facilitates viral transport.
This dynamic interaction reveals a mechanism by which herpes simplex virus type 1 infection leads to Alzheimer's disease, which strongly suggests a causal link between herpes and Alzheimer's disease, the researchers say.
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Chronic stress can impair memory

(UPI) University of Edinburgh researchers say high levels of the stress hormone cortisol in aging mice made them less able to remember how to navigate a maze…
The researchers are investigating a new chemical compound which blocks an enzyme -- 11beta-HSD1 -- that is involved in producing stress hormones within cells. The compound could be used to develop a drug treatment to slow the normal decline in memory associated with aging or even improve memory in the very old, [Dr. Joyce] Yau says.
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Memory Problems May Be Sign of Stroke Risk

(Science Daily) People who have memory problems or other declines in their mental abilities may be at higher risk for stroke, according to a study…
"Finding ways to prevent stroke and identify people at risk for stroke are important public health problems," said study author Abraham J. Letter of the University of Alabama at Birmingham. "This study shows we might get a better idea of who is at high risk of stroke by including a couple simple tests when we are evaluating people who already have some stroke risk."
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Antidepressants Aid Physical Recovery in Stroke, Study Suggests

(Science Daily) A University of Iowa study finds that patients treated with a short course of antidepressants after a stroke have significantly greater improvement in physical recovery than patients treated with a placebo. Moreover, the study is the first to demonstrate that this physical recovery continues to improve for at least nine months after the antidepressant medication is stopped.
[Said Robert Robinson, M.D., senior study author,] "What our study demonstrates is that not only does the beneficial effect last, but the improvement in physical recovery continues to increase even after the patients stop taking the medication."
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Video Games Might Aid in Stroke Rehab

(HealthDay News) Playing video games while recovering after a stroke appears to promote arm strength and function, Canadian researchers find.
"Stroke rehabilitation is rapidly evolving. Novel approaches -- including the use of virtual reality [gaming] systems -- may help improve motor impairment, activities and social participation," said lead researcher Dr. Gustavo Saposnik…
"Virtual reality may provide an affordable, enjoyable and effective alternative to intensify treatment and promote motor recovery after stroke," he added.
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Control the Cursor With Power of Thought

(Science Daily) The act of mind reading is something usually reserved for science-fiction movies but researchers in America have used a technique, usually associated with identifying epilepsy, for the first time to show that a computer can listen to our thoughts.
In a new study, scientists from Washington University demonstrated that humans can control a cursor on a computer screen using words spoken out loud and in their head, holding huge applications for patients who may have lost their speech through brain injury or disabled patients with limited movement.
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Weight Linked to Complications in Some Hysterectomy Patients

(HealthDay News) Compared with normal weight women, obese women are more likely to experience bleeding and infections during and after a hysterectomy, a new study indicates…
Women with a body-mass index (BMI) of 30 or more were three times more likely to experience heavy bleeding during surgery than normal weight women (BMI of 20 to 25). BMI is a measurement score that takes into account a person's height and weight…
But the investigators also found that underweight women (BMI under 20) who underwent either abdominal or laparoscopic hysterectomy were more likely than normal weight women to experience bleeding, infection and to require another operation.
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Fiscal woes to last decades for states, cities

(Reuters) The fiscal conditions of state and local governments will steadily decline through 2060 because of rising healthcare costs, a federal watchdog agency said on Wednesday, but it added that short-term pressures have eased over the last year.
"Although the sector's near-term fiscal picture has improved slightly since our March 2010 update, the economic downturn has created an unprecedented fiscal situation for states as revenues declined in tandem with the economy," the Government Accountability Office said in a report.
Community: With a single payer insurance system that had the ability to negotiate prices, we’d have complete control over health care costs. And we’re already a quarter of the way there. See below.
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Government healthcare coverage: 1 in 4 U.S. adults

(UPI) Almost 26 percent of U.S. adults get their healthcare coverage from Medicare, Medicaid and or military/veterans' benefits, a Gallup poll indicates…
The data collected from the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index indicates government health insurance has increased among all age groups -- one in 10 American adults has government healthcare -- not just seniors, which suggests the rise in the government rolls is tied more to joblessness than aging baby boomers.
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Most Americans Think Health Care System Needs Major Surgery

(HealthDay News) The U.S. health care system is in need of a major overhaul, according to 72 percent of American adults who took part in a national survey.
That opinion reflects respondents' concerns about lack of access to health care, poor coordination of care and increasing costs, according to researchers at the Commonwealth Fund…
For most, the future of health care seems uncertain, with 74 percent of respondents saying they're worried they won't receive high-quality care when they need it, or that they won't be able to afford their medical bills if they suffer a serious health problem.
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Frequent Shoppers Live Longer

(HealthDay News) A shopping trip-a-day may help keep the doctor away, not to mention the Grim Reaper, a new study from Taiwan suggests.
Researchers there found that elderly people who go shopping daily live longer than their less shopping-prone peers…
"Frequent shopping among the elderly is related to increased walking -- a low-impact physical activity that can improve heart health as well as balance and coordination," said Kelly D. Horton, a research and policy specialist at the Center for Healthy Aging in Washington, D.C.
"Shopping provides an enjoyable activity and helps older adults feel included in their community," continued Horton. "In addition to physical activity, frequent shopping among older adults has also been related to improved nutrition intake."
This last point may simply be because more trips to the store means more healthy food in the house, said the authors.
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Substance in tangerines fights obesity and protects against heart disease

(University of Western Ontario) New research from The University of Western Ontario has discovered a substance in tangerines not only prevents obesity, but also offers protection against type 2 diabetes, and even atherosclerosis, the underlying disease responsible for most heart attacks and strokes. Murray Huff [and a colleague] studied the effects of a flavonoid in tangerines called Nobiletin…
[M]ice were fed a "western" diet high in fats and simple sugars. One group became obese and showed all the signs associated with metabolic syndrome: elevated cholesterol and triglycerides, high blood levels of insulin and glucose, and a fatty liver. These metabolic abnormalities greatly increase the risk of cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes.
The second group of mice, fed the exact same diet but with Nobiletin added, experienced no elevation in their levels of cholesterol, triglycerides, insulin or glucose, and gained weight normally…
"The Nobiletin-treated mice were basically protected from obesity," says Huff… "And in longer-term studies, Nobiletin also protected these animals from atherosclerosis, the buildup of plaque in arteries, which can lead to a heart attack or stroke. This study really paves the way for future studies to see if this is a suitable treatment for metabolic syndrome and related conditions in people."
Community: I found two supplements that claim to contain Nobiletin: Sytrinol and PureWay C. They’re probably not available at your local grocery store. I buy my supplements online, anyway. They’re much cheaper.
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Strawberries May Slow Precancerous Growth in the Esophagus, Study Suggests

(Science Daily) Eating strawberries may be a way to help people at risk of esophageal cancer protect themselves from the disease, according to a new study…
Previously published research by [Dr. Tong] Chen and colleagues found that freeze-dried strawberries significantly inhibited tumor development in the esophagus of rats. Based on these results, the researchers embarked on a phase Ib clinical trial in China to investigate the effects of freeze-dried strawberries on patients with esophageal precancerous lesions.
"We found that daily consumption of strawberries suppressed various biomarkers involved in esophageal carcinogenesis, including cell proliferation, inflammation and gene transcription," Chen said.
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Coffee, tea may not affect leaky bladder much

(Reuters Health) Despite international guidelines that suggest cutting caffeine to counter urinary incontinence, a new study finds that coffee or tea may not have much effect on the condition.
In a study of more than 14,000 Swedish twins, researchers found that drinking tea did not significantly increase the odds of having a leaky bladder. When age was taken into account, coffee drinkers had a somewhat decreased risk of the urinary disorder.
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Reasons to Eat Asparagus

(Andrew Weil, M.D.) A good source of vitamins K and C, potassium and folate, asparagus is a perennial with 20 edible varieties. A springtime favorite, it may help support heart health, healthy fluid balance and prevent birth defects. Asparagus is prized worldwide as a gourmet vegetable, yet it is easy to grow, fairly inexpensive to buy and simple to cook…
When selecting asparagus, look for stems that are thin and firm, with closed tips that are deep green or purple in color. When preparing to eat, an easy way to determine where to cut the ends of asparagus stems is to hold one stalk and break it - wherever the break naturally occurs is your guideline for trimming the rest of the stalks.
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Cooking Light:
Vietnamese Beef-Noodle Soup with Asian Greens
Introduce your taste buds to Vietnamese cuisine with this quick and easy soup. The rich broth, aromatic herbs, and tender steak will leave you wanting more.
Spring Chicken & Blue Cheese Salad
This main-dish chicken salad has bright flavors of tarragon in a creamy blue cheese dressing with just a touch of sweetness from honey.
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The Best Ways to Thaw Food

(SouthBeachDiet.com) Here’s a tip from budget-conscious cooks: Take advantage of sales and maximize your freezer by buying food in bulk. Not only can this save you time, but it can also save you money — especially when buying meat. Just follow these tips for thawing frozen food, since leaving it out to defrost all day is dangerous.
The key to defrosting foods is to keep them at a safe temperature during the thawing process. As soon as food begins to defrost and become warmer than 40°F, bacteria can start to grow and spread. That’s why food should never be thawed and kept on the kitchen counter or placed in warm water.
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Lecithin and Intestinal Microbes Linked to Heart Disease

(Science Daily) A new pathway has been discovered that links a common dietary lipid and intestinal microflora with an increased risk of heart disease, according to a Cleveland Clinic study…
When fed to mice, lecithin and [its metabolite] choline were converted to a heart disease-forming product by the intestinal microbes, which promoted fatty plaque deposits to form within arteries (atherosclerosis); in humans, higher blood levels of choline and the heart disease forming microorganism products are strongly associated with increased cardiovascular disease risk…
[Said Stanley Hazen, M.D., Ph.D.,] "These studies suggest we can intelligently design a heart healthy yogurt or other form of probiotic for preventing heart disease in the future. It also appears there is a need for considering the risk vs. benefits of some commonly used supplements."
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Two Different Heart Drugs May Work Equally Well for High-Risk Patients

(HealthDay News) People with high blood pressure and impaired glucose tolerance seem to fare equally well when given two separate types of heart drugs, new research suggests.
Although an angiotensin II receptor blocker (ARB) and a calcium channel blocker were both effective in this patient population, one difference did emerge…: People taking Diovan (valsartan), an ARB, had a lower incidence of being hospitalized for congestive heart failure.
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Immune-Boost Treatment Might Help Some With Advanced Colon Cancer

(HealthDay News) By giving more intensive chemotherapy along with drugs designed to boost the body's own immune system, researchers were able to roughly double survival time for patients with advanced, metastatic colorectal cancer compared to patients receiving standard chemotherapy alone.
In fact, the trial, results of which are being presented at the annual meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research in Orlando, was stopped early because of the promising findings.
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Diabetes Treatment May Also Provide Protection Against Endometrial Cancer

(Science Daily) Research … has found that metformin, a drug treatment used to treat diabetes and also in women with polycystic vary syndrome (PCOS), may potentially provide protection against endometrial cancer.
Endometrial cancer is the most common malignancy of the female genital tract and the fourth most common cancer in women in the UK and the US.
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Overall Health May Be Key to Beating Breast Cancer

(HealthDay News) Poor overall health seems to be associated with worse outcomes for breast cancer survivors, according to the results of a new study…
Women with poor physical health scores had a 27 percent increased risk of experiencing either a recurrence of their breast cancer or a new breast cancer, and a 65 percent increased risk of death from any cause, the researchers said.
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Fish oil boosts breast cancer drug

(UPI) Omega-3 fatty acids -- fish body oils -- may be a safe and beneficial booster for tamoxifen therapy for women with breast cancer, U.S. researchers say…
The study found omega-3 fatty acids produced a sign of lower cancer severity, compared to corn oil, but the combination of fish oil and tamoxifen reduced the expression of genes linked to tumor growth and spreading of cancer.
"If a tumor was being treated with tamoxifen, the addition of an omega-3 fatty acid diet seemed to make the tumor, at least at the molecular level, more benign and less aggressive and responsive to tamoxifen," [Dr. Jose] Russo says in a statement.
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New Prostate Cancer Test Gives More Accurate Diagnosis

(Science Daily) In a large multi-center clinical trial, a new PSA test to screen for prostate cancer more accurately identified men with prostate cancer -- particularly the aggressive form of the disease -- and substantially reduced false positives compared to the two currently available commercial PSA tests, according to newly published research from Northwestern Medicine.
The only currently available Food and Drug Administration-approved screening tests for prostate cancer result in a high number of false positives and lead to unnecessary biopsies and possible over-detection and over-treatment of indolent cancer which never would have caused suffering or death.
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Can Diabetes or Lipid-Lowering Medications Treat Addiction?

(Science Daily) Thiazolidinediones (TZDs) are a class of medications that are commonly prescribed to treat type-2 diabetes, while fibrates are a structurally-related class of medications that are prescribed to modulate lipid levels in both diabetic and non-diabetic patients to help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. These drugs work by binding to peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors (PPARs)…
Another effect of TZDs and fibrates is to raise leptin levels, an effect that may reduce appetite. Recent studies also suggest that PPARs are expressed in the central nervous system, particularly in brain regions implicated in reward.
Two papers … now suggest that drugs that stimulate two different subclasses of PPARs … may play roles in the treatment of nicotine and alcohol addiction …
It is important to note that these exciting initial findings are only the beginning steps in a line of research that will need to be undertaken before TZDs or fibrates could be used in a clinical setting to treat people with addictions.
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Device Drops Blood Pressure in Patients With Difficult-to-Treat Hypertension

(Science Daily) A device designed to treat people with resistant hypertension helped lower blood pressure by 33 points, a substantial drop that would otherwise require patients to take an additional three or four drugs, on top of this subgroup's usual regimen of up to five drugs, to control their difficult-to-treat condition…
Though the therapy led to a considerable drop in blood pressure and had a good safety profile, it did not meet all of the study goals. Another, more focused trial testing the device is needed before the U.S. Food and Drug Administration will consider approving the treatment, according to physicians who led the study.
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Scientists Develop New Technology for Stroke Rehabilitation

(Science Daily) Devices which could be used to rehabilitate the arms and hands of people who have experienced a stroke have been developed by researchers at the University of Southampton…
Three tactile devices were developed and tested on patients who had had a stroke and on healthy participants. The devices were: a 'vibration' tactile device, which users felt provided a good indication of touch but did not really feel as if they were holding anything; a 'motor-driven squeezer' device, which users said felt like they were holding something, a bit like catching a ball; and a 'shape memory alloy' device which has thermal properties and creates a sensation like picking up a cup of tea.
Dr [Geoff] Merrett adds: "We now have a number of technologies, which we can use to develop sensation. This technology can be used on its own as a stand-alone system to help with sensory rehabilitation or it could be used alongside existing health technologies such as rehabilitation robots or gaming technologies which help patient rehabilitation."
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High pain med prescriptions raise risk of overdose

(Reuters Health) Patients prescribed higher doses of powerful painkillers are more likely to die of an accidental overdose on those drugs, according to a new study.
The finding is the latest addition to the debate in the medical community over how to balance the needs of patients in severe pain against the high potential for misuse and abuse of opioid drugs, which include Oxycontin and Vicodin.
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More people die of hatred than other cause

(UPI) More people have died because of human hatred than from any other human cause, a U.S. professor says.
"Yet we still do not know enough about how hatred works and how to prevent and combat it," John Shuford, director of the Gonzaga University Institute for Hate Studies, in Spokane, Wash., said in a statement.
The Gonzaga University Institute for Hate Studies is hosting the Second International Conference on Hate Studies Wednesday through Saturday in Spokane.
The conference purpose is to foster better understanding of the nature of hatred, develop more effective models and approaches for combating it and consider the implications for practice across many fields, Shuford said.
Community: There seems to be in humans some built-in fear of the “other”, or anyone outside the clan or tribe, but according to Robert Sapolsky, writing in Foreign Affairs in 2006, “Humans may be hard-wired to get edgy around the Other, but our views on who falls into that category are decidedly malleable.” So there’s hope that we can overcome hatred and its consequences. But we have to have the will to do it.
In the current climate, some people are promoting hatred, for their own political benefit. Sadly, we all lose when they succeed.
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Chimp, Bonobo Study Sheds Light on the Social Brain

(Science Daily) It's been a puzzle why our two closest living primate relatives, chimpanzees and bonobos, have widely different social traits, despite belonging to the same genus. Now, a comparative analysis of their brains shows neuroanatomical differences that may be responsible for these behaviors, from the aggression more typical of chimpanzees to the social tolerance of bonobos.
"What's remarkable is that the data appears to match what we know about the human brain and behavior," says Emory anthropologist James Rilling, who led the analysis. "The neural circuitry that mediates anxiety, empathy and the inhibition of aggression in humans is better developed in bonobos than in chimpanzees."
Community: We are more closely related to bonobos than to chimpanzees, though strongly related to both. This research adds to knowledge about the genetic bases of some of our behaviors. I’d write a book about these built-in drives and how they might benefit us all, if I could ever find a publisher.
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