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

Safely Dispose of Unused Prescription Drugs Today

(HealthDay News) Americans can turn in unused prescription drugs at more than 4,700 sites nationwide on Saturday as part of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration's National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day.
The free event, held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. local time, gives people an opportunity to safely dispose of expired, unused and unwanted prescription drugs that could be stolen and misused if left in a home's medicine cabinet.
Collection sites can be found [here].
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Mammograms Can Save Lives of Women in Their 40s: Studies

(HealthDay News) A pair of studies released Friday could shake up the debate on whether or not American women should begin regular mammography screening in their 40s.
One study … found that screening women aged 40 to 49 with mammograms detected smaller breast cancers, with less chance of spread to the lymph nodes, than relying on clinical breast exams alone…
A second study … suggests that the [most recently recommended] guidelines would unfavorably impact minority women in their 40s.
Dr. Paul Dale, … lead author of the study looking at early detection, said his view on the issue is clear: "I think women in their 40s should get mammography."
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Poll: Chronic disease swells in middle age, then declines

(UPI) From age 30 to 60, Americans are increasingly diagnosed with hypertension, high cholesterol and diabetes, but by age 75 cases taper off, a survey indicates.
The findings are based on 24 months of Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index daily tracking data from 2009 through 2010, involving 650,000 U.S. adults.
Community: The incidence of those diseases levels off because those who don’t control their symptoms are often dead by age 75.
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People want to 'do something' over nothing

(UPI) People prefer to be "doing something," even if the activity leads to no higher level of achievement, especially in the United States, researchers say…
"People have this inclination to do more, even if what they do is trivial," [researcher Dolores] Albarracin says in a statement.
Community: Oddly enough, however, that urge to do more doesn’t seem to apply to becoming more physically active and eating healthier. But financial incentives may help. See below.
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Study: Weight loss 'bribery' effective

(UPI) A British program that "bribed" people to lose weight was successful, with participants dropping an average 8.8 pounds and getting about $360, researchers said.
A study of 400 people who took part in a controversial "pounds for pounds" initiative by the National Health Service said almost half of them lost more than 5 percent of their body weight, The Daily Telegraph reported Friday…
Academic researchers analyzing the result said the program works as well as other weight-loss programs and could be extended nationwide.
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Stress Incontinence Treatments

(Andrew Weil, M.D.) Stress incontinence - urinary leakage that results from sudden pressure on the bladder by abdominal muscles - is often brought on by coughing, laughing, lifting or exercise. Many women experience stress incontinence, particularly after menopause, but it can also occur when pelvic muscles have been weakened by childbirth or abdominal surgery. There are a number of effective treatments:
1.    Kegel exercises: These exercises can strengthen the muscles that control urine flow. They involve squeezing the pelvic muscles (as if to stop the flow of urine), holding the tension for a count of 10, and relaxing for a count of 10. Repeat 20 times, three to four times a day.
2.    Biofeedback: This training teaches you to use signals from your body, and a visual or auditory cue, to help control symptoms.
3.    Electrical stimulation: Here, electrodes are used to stimulate and stabilize the urethral sphincter muscles that control urine flow.
Community: The Kegel exercises have worked for me.
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Swiss Enchiladas
Add a dash of cumin or paprika to the onions, if you'd like. You can also use purchased rotisserie chicken to cut down on the prep time.
Black Bean & Salmon Tostadas
Pickled jalapeños, cilantro and avocado perk up convenient canned salmon for a quick tostada topping. Skip store-bought and make your own crispy shells in the oven. Serve with: Brown rice cooked with diced tomatoes and onions or salsa.
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Low Vitamin D Levels Linked to More Aggressive Breast Cancers

(HealthDay News) Breast cancer patients with low levels of vitamin D have more aggressive tumors and poorer outcomes, a new study finds…
"There has been suspicion that vitamin D is related to breast health in some way, although the particular pathway is still unknown," noted Dr. Laurie Kirstein… "Many oncologists are already following vitamin D levels in their breast cancer patients, and recommending supplements for low levels," added Kirstein, who was not involved in the new study…
Vitamin D is found in certain foods, but humans synthesize most of the nutrient they need via the action of sunlight on exposed skin. Supplements can also boost levels of vitamin D.
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Could Chemicals in Wine Improve Stent Performance?

(HealthDay News) A new study in rats suggests that coating stents with two chemicals found in red wine may help them do a better job of propping open arteries after angioplasty…
Researchers from Louisiana State University coated stents with two chemicals, resveratrol and quercetin, that are found in red wine. They then inserted the stents into the arteries of rats.
The researchers found that the treated stents blocked the narrowing of blood vessels and led to less inflammation in the four weeks after they were inserted into the rats.
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Tall, Obese Men More Prone to Leg Clots: Study

(HealthDay News) Men who are both obese and tall face a much higher risk for developing potentially fatal blood clots, though overall the risk remains quite small, according to a new study.
The researchers report that extra weight and extra inches together seem to raise the risk more than either alone.
"Tall and obese men had more than a fivefold higher risk, compared to short and lean men," said the study's co-author, Sigrid K. Braekkan, who warns the vertically and horizontally gifted to avoid sitting in one place for too long.
Women also face a higher risk if they're both obese and tall, but just being tall alone doesn't seem to be a problem, the study found.
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Gene Therapy Shows Promise Against Age-Related Macular Degeneration

(Science Daily) A gene therapy approach using a protein called CD59, or protectin, shows promise in slowing the signs of age-related macular degeneration (AMD), according to a new in vivo study…
[Rajendra] Kumar-Singh and colleagues delivered CD59 to the eye using a deactivated virus similar to one previously shown to be safe in humans. Using an established mouse model of age-related macular degeneration, they found that eyes treated with CD59 had 62 percent less uncontrolled blood vessel growth and 52 percent less MAC [membrane attack complex] than controls.
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New Genetic Model of Premature Aging Diseases

(Science Daily) [Researchers] have developed a new genetic model of premature aging disorders that could shed light on these rare conditions in humans and provide a novel platform for large-scale screening of compounds to combat these and other age-related diseases.
In the new study…, the scientists found a way to use zebrafish … to model two rare human genetic disorders…
"This is a robust model system of human aging that corresponds directly to the human genes involved in these diseases," said Scripps Florida Assistant Professor Shuji Kishi, who led the study. "This model is ready now and can be used to screen and develop chemical compounds to treat these and other age-related diseases."
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Cotton Swabs Prove Problematic for Ear Health

(Science Daily) A study by Henry Ford Hospital shows a direct association between cotton swab use and ruptured eardrum. The study also shows that in most cases the rupture heals on its own and surgery is only necessary for the most severe cases.
"In the past, many otolaryngologists have wondered if surgery is really necessary to treat a ruptured eardrum. The results of this study show that 97 percent of cases healed on their own within two months, proving that most cases do not require surgery," says Ilaaf Darrat, M.D., … co-author of the study.
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Hair loss robot/computer FDA approved

(UPI) The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved a machine that combines a computer, a robotic arm, imaging technology and other devices to fight hair loss.
The Artas System is positioned over the man's scalp, to identify and "harvest" follicular units from the side and back of the head. The follicular units are stored until they are implanted into the patient's recipient area using manual techniques, Medical News Today reported.
Artas System officials say is a quicker and less invasive system that can improve hair extraction rates to 750 to 1,000 units an hour.
However, Artas officials say only males with brown or black hair are candidates for the system.
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Hospitals to get cash boost for better care

(Reuters) Hospitals that improve medical care for elderly patients, and reduce deadly errors, will get millions of dollars under an incentive program launched on Friday that aims to cut overall Medicare costs.
The government healthcare program for seniors spent about $4.4 billion in 2009 to care for patients who were harmed in the hospital, according to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).
Hospital readmissions because of faulty care cost Medicare, which is being targeted for budget cuts by both Democrats and Republicans, another $26 billion.
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Court backs federal embryonic stem cells funds

(Reuters) An appeals court ruled on Friday the Obama administration can continue using federal money to fund human embryonic stem cell research, a possible avenue toward new treatments for many medical conditions.
The appeals court overturned a ruling by a federal judge who found that the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) guidelines on such research violated the law because embryos were destroyed and it put other researchers working with adult stem cells at a disadvantage to win federal grants.
Opponents of human embryonic stem cell research, including many religious conservatives, argue that it is unacceptable because it destroys human embryos.
Such stem cells come from days-old human embryos and can produce any type of cell in the body. Scientists hope to be able to use them to address spinal cord injuries, cancer, diabetes and diseases such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's.
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Adults With Arthritis Suffer With Poorer Health Related Quality of Life

(Science Daily) A new study reports that the health-related quality of life (HRQOL) for U.S. adults with arthritis is much worse than for those without this condition. Both physical and mental health are affected by arthritis, which poses a significant health and economic burden as the number of those diagnosed continues to climb. ..
More than 1 million respondents were included in the analysis during the 3-year study period. Researchers found 27% of survey respondents with arthritis reported fair or poor health compared to 12% of those without arthritis…
Individuals who were physically active had significantly better HRQOL compared with those who were inactive. Furthermore, those who had arthritis and remained physically active were less likely to report fair or poor health.
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Rising Obesity Rates Add to Arthritis Woes in U.S.

(HealthDay News) Rising rates of obesity among the 50 million Americans with arthritis are cause for concern because excess weight is associated with increased problems for arthritis patients, a new study says.
In people with arthritis, obesity is associated with disease progression, reduced activity, disability, poorer quality of life, total joint replacement and poor outcomes after joint replacement…
The findings highlight the urgent need to expand programs to prevent obesity among arthritis patients and to promote treatment and management of the disease, the researchers said.
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Interval Training and Healthy Eating Is Solution to Obesity, Study Shows

(Science Daily) A program which combines interval training and healthy eating practices seems to be perfectly indicated for those suffering from obesity, according to the results of a new study…
Within the framework of this study, researchers analyzed the track record of 62 participants in Kilo-Actif, a 9-month program intended for obesity sufferers that focuses on weight loss and maintenance. The study showed significant improvements in participants' body mass, waist circumference, body mass index and effort capacity…
Kilo-Actif is a program which aims at modifying eating habits and promoting an active lifestyle through education on healthy practices…
"Kilo-Actif's success is largely based on the adoption of an interval training program," adds Valérie Guilbault, an ÉPIC Centre kinesiologist who oversaw the training of the participants. "It is proven that, compared to moderate-intensity continuous training, interval training is more appreciated by participants. This type of training is also more effective, because alternating between short periods of intense effort and rest periods allows for a longer training time."
Community: You can get more information on interval training from the Mayo Clinic.
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Tropical Blueberries Extremely High in Healthful Antioxidants, Study Suggests

(Science Daily) The first analysis of the healthful antioxidant content of blueberries that grow wild in Mexico, Central and South America concludes that some of these fruits have even more healthful antioxidants than the blueberries -- already renowned as "super fruits" -- sold throughout the United States. These extreme super fruits could provide even more protection against heart disease, cancer and other conditions, the report suggests…
[The researchers] found that two types of neotropical blueberries were extreme super fruits -- they had significantly more antioxidants than a type of blueberry commonly sold in U.S. supermarkets stores. The researchers say that these neotropical blueberries "have the potential to be even more highly promising edible fruits."
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Fish Livers Contain Beneficial Fatty Acids, Study Suggests

(Science Daily) The fishing industry usually discards fish livers, but a team of researchers from the University of Almeria (Spain) has confirmed that they are a good source of polyunsaturated fatty acids, which are beneficial to health. Anchovies are one of the fish whose livers contain the highest levels of these substances…
These fatty acids are used to prevent and treat various complaints, such as some kinds of cancer, depression, Alzheimer's disease, schizophrenia, behavioural problems and cardiovascular diseases.
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Chicken, Cashew, and Red Pepper Stir-Fry
This dish balances salty, sweet, tangy, and spicy ingredients. Spoon it alongside a quick rice pilaf.
Shrimp Veracruzana
Veracruzana is a dish full of onions, jalapeños and tomatoes from the Mexican state of Veracruz. Here we pair the zesty sauce with shrimp, but it can be served with any type of fish or chicken… For pepper flavor without the heat, use a thinly sliced green bell pepper in place of the jalapeños. Serve with: Rice or potatoes and an avocado salad.
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Bone Drug Plus Statin Better at Fighting Plaque in Aorta: Study

(HealthDay News) Taking both Lipitor and the bone-strengthening drug Didronel reduces plaque buildup in the aorta better than Lipitor alone, a small Canadian study suggests.
While Lipitor is a statin that lowers cholesterol, Didronel (etidronate) belongs to a class of drugs called bisphosphonates, which are typically taken by people with osteoporosis…
"Bisphosphonate plus statin combination therapy can be considered as the more effective therapeutic agents for atherosclerosis and cardiovascular disease than statin monotherapy in the near future," [lead researcher Dr. Tetsuya Kawahara] Kawahara said.
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Suffering From Back Pain?

(Andrew Weil, M.D.) If you are experiencing pain in the lower back or hip that radiates down into the buttock and back of the leg, possibly even to your feet, you may have sciatica. A result of a pinched or inflamed sciatic nerve, sciatica can occur following an injury, muscular strain or herniated ("slipped") vertebral disc that presses on the nerve.
Fortunately, sciatica usually goes away on its own within a few weeks - only 10 to 25 percent of all cases last more than six weeks and 80 to 90 percent of all people with sciatica recover without surgery. Simple measures such as applying hot and cold packs, stretching exercises and a short course of non-steroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen can help. Doctors may also prescribe a muscle relaxant or a stronger medication for pain lasting more than two to three months. If pain continues or worsens, an epidural steroid injection or even surgery may be recommended.
The best therapy for sciatica is prevention: maintain ideal body weight, engage in regular physical activity several times a week and avoid prolonged sitting as much as possible.
Read more, including several more treatment options.
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Thyroid Drugs May Raise Fracture Risk in Elderly

(HealthDay News) Many seniors may be at increased risk for fractures because they take "excessive" doses of drugs used to treat thyroid problems, a new study says.
The findings suggest that treatment targets may have to be modified in elderly patients with thyroid problems and that regular dose monitoring of thyroid drugs is essential into older age, the researchers said.
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After Treatment for Precancerous Cervical Lesions, Risk Drops to Normal for Some

(HealthDay News) Women who have been treated for precancerous cervical lesions should see their cancer risk drop to normal after three "all clear" screening test results, Dutch researchers say.
These women can then resume screening for cervical cancer on the same schedule as the general population, they added.
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Armadillos are source of leprosy in U.S. south

(Reuters Health) Armadillos, with their sharp claws and body armor, don't have a reputation for being cuddly. New research should make them even less so. They turn out to be a potential source of leprosy in genetically-susceptible humans.
Researchers report in the New England Journal of Medicine that a strain of leprosy found in humans in the southern United States is identical to the one common in nine-banded armadillos in the region.
The findings mean people should be discouraged from frequent contact with the animals, or cooking and consuming armadillo meat.
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Low-Cost Sensor Can Diagnose Bacterial Infections

(Science Daily) Bacterial infections really stink. And that could be the key to a fast diagnosis. Researchers have demonstrated a quick, simple method to identify infectious bacteria by smell using a low-cost array of printed pigments as a chemical sensor…
"Our approach to this problem has been to think of bacteria as simply micron-sized chemical factories whose exhaust is not regulated by the EPA," [chemistry professor Ken] Suslick said. "Our technology is now well-proven for detecting and distinguishing among different chemical odorants, so applying it to bacteria was not much of a stretch."…
Given their broad sensitivity, the chemical-sensing arrays also could enable breath diagnosis for a number of conditions. Medical researchers at other institutions have already performed studies using Suslick's arrays to diagnose sinus infections and to screen for lung cancer.
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Payment Rates May Affect Breast Cancer Treatment

(HealthDay News) Use of a costly breast cancer therapy called intensity-modulated radiation therapy is strongly influenced by what Medicare will pay for the treatment and where radiation oncologists practice, according to a new study…
The findings "confirm the suspicion of many, both within and outside of the health care industry, that medical decision making is too heavily influenced by reimbursement rather than medical necessity," Dr. Lisa A. Kachnic … and Dr. Simon N. Powell … wrote in an accompanying editorial.
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Republicans target state health insurance exchange funds

(Reuters) Republicans in the U.S. Congress are launching a fresh attack on the healthcare law by targeting grants to states for creating insurance exchanges, just as congressional budget analysts said on Thursday setting up the marketplaces may be delayed.
Next week, the U.S. House of Representatives is expected to take up a bill that would repeal funding for $1.9 billion in grants for establishing exchanges where individuals can purchase health insurance.
While the measure is expected to pass the Republican-controlled House, this latest attack against President Barack Obama's healthcare overhaul will likely go nowhere in the Democratic-led Senate.
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Mutations in Single Gene May Have Shaped Human Cerebral Cortex

(Science Daily) The size and shape of the human cerebral cortex, an evolutionary marvel responsible for everything from Shakespeare's poetry to the atomic bomb, are largely influenced by mutations in a single gene, according to a team of researchers…
The findings … are based on a genetic analysis of in one Turkish family and two Pakistani families with offspring born with the most severe form of microcephaly. The children have brains just 10 percent of normal size. They also lacked the normal cortical architecture that is a hallmark of the human brain. This combination of factors has not been seen in other genes associated with the development of the human brain, the authors note.
The researchers found that mutations in the same gene, centrosomal NDE1, which is involved in cell division, were responsible for the deformity.
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Monkey See, Monkey Remember

(HealthDay News) Memory in monkeys and humans is more similar than previously believed, a new study says.
Experiments with rhesus monkeys showed that, like people, they have both recognition and recall memory. Recognition is the ability to identify something when you see it. Recall is the ability to remember things you've previously seen…
Recall memory, which is needed for planning and imagining, can enhance social behavior, navigation and other cognitive skills, according to the researchers…
"It's exciting to speculate that they may be able to recollect the appearance of monkeys they know, what favorite foods look like, or the path they would have to take to get to a water source," [study author Benjamin Basile said].
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WHO warns of enormous burden of chronic disease

(Reuters) Chronic illnesses like cancer, heart disease and diabetes have reached global epidemic proportions and now cause more deaths than all other diseases combined, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Wednesday.
In its first worldwide report on so-called non-communicable diseases, or NCDs, the United Nations health body said the conditions caused more than half of all deaths in 2008 and pose a greater threat than infectious diseases such as malaria, HIV and tuberculosis (TB) -- even in many poorer countries…
NCDs, which include heart disease, lung diseases, cancer and diabetes, accounted for 36 million, or 63 percent, of the 57 million deaths worldwide in 2008. Millions of lives could be saved and much suffering avoided if people did more to avoid risk factors like smoking, drinking and being overweight, the WHO said.
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Factbox: WHO lists "best buys" for cutting chronic disease

(Reuters) [T]he WHO said many of these deaths could be prevented if policymakers channeled resources into the following areas -- measures it defines as its top 10 "best buys" for reducing rates of chronic disease.
* Protecting people from tobacco smoke and banning smoking in public places;
* Warning about the dangers of tobacco use;
* Enforcing bans on tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship;
* Raising taxes on tobacco;
* Restricting access to retailed alcohol;
* Enforcing bans on alcohol advertising;
* Raising taxes on alcohol;
* Reduce salt intake and salt content of food;
* Replacing trans-fat in food with polyunsaturated fat;
* Promoting public awareness about diet and physical activity, including through mass media.
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Some willing to spend all to extend life

(UPI) Minority groups, especially blacks, are more willing than white counterparts to exhaust their money to live longer if they have cancer, U.S. researchers say…
After factoring for income, disease stage, quality of life, age, perceived time left to live and other medical illnesses, blacks were 2.4 times more likely than whites to expend all personal financial resources to extend life, the study says. Hispanic patients were 1.45 times more likely and Asian patients were 1.59 times more likely than whites to expend all personal financial resources.
Those who were single, divorced or separated were more willing to spend all their financial resources than people who were married or living with a partner, the study says.
Community: I have to wonder how many of those same people would be willing to make the lifestyle changes necessary to prevent the diseases they’d spend all their money on.
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Read a Book, Stay Connected

(HealthDay News) Reading a book can satisfy the crucial human need for belonging, a new study has found…
The study also found that "belonging" to the fictional communities in the books gave the same mood and life satisfaction people get from association with real-life groups, according to the researchers…
"The study explains how this everyday phenomenon -- reading -- works not just for escape or education, but as something that fulfills a deep psychological need," [Ariana] Young said in a news release.
Community: Remember we also found out recently that TV shows may provide that same sense of belonging.
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Americans Still May Not Be Getting Enough Calcium

(Science Daily) Americans may not be getting enough calcium in their diets, according to a new study…
Using data collected from 9,475 adults during the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) of 2003 to 2006, researchers … found that while self-reported calcium density was highest in older age groups, it was still not sufficient to meet recommended levels.
Community: The National Institutes of Health recommends the following amount of calcium daily for older adults:
    Age                      Male             Female
51–70 years           1,000 mg         1,200 mg
71+ years               1,200 mg         1,200 mg
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Baked Shrimp with Feta
Dig into a delicious seafood bake topped with tomatoes and feta cheese for a company-worthy dinner in a flash. Orzo accented with fresh herbs completes this Mediterranean-inspired meal.
Steak Burritos
Here’s a burrito inspired by San Francisco’s super burritos that come packed with meat, beans, rice, cheese, guacamole and salsa. We’ve kept this home-style version a bit simpler to make and a whole lot healthier with brown rice, whole-wheat tortillas and a more reasonable serving size. We recommend wrapping it in foil—the traditional way to serve it—so you can pick the burrito up and eat it without it falling apart, peeling back the foil as you go. Serve with a cold beer and vinegar-dressed slaw.
Cooking Light:
25 Ways With Chicken Breasts
No more boring bird! We've pulled together more than two dozen ways to bring new life to a weeknight staple.
Whole-Wheat Flour Recipes
Whole-wheat flour recipes can have all the allure of regular baked goods. We have the breads, muffins, and cookies to prove it.
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Increased Metabolic Rate May Lead to Accelerated Aging

(Science Daily) A recent study … found that higher metabolic rates predict early natural mortality, indicating that higher energy turnover may accelerate aging in humans…
"We found that higher endogenous metabolic rate, that is how much energy the body uses for normal body functions, is a risk factor for earlier mortality," said Reiner Jumpertz, MD…, lead author of the study. "This increased metabolic rate may lead to earlier organ damage (in effect accelerated aging) possibly by accumulation of toxic substances produced with the increase in energy turnover."
"It is important to note that these data do not apply to exercise-related energy expenditure," added Jumpertz. "This activity clearly has beneficial effects on human health."…
"The results of this study may help us understand some of the underlying mechanisms of human aging and indicate why reductions in metabolic rate, for instance via low calorie diets, appear to be beneficial for human health," said Jumpertz.
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New Clues to How Gastric Bypass Surgery Combats Diabetes

(HealthDay News) Gastric bypass surgery has been known to improve blood sugar control, often sending people with type 2 diabetes into remission, but experts have long wondered exactly how that happens.
Now, a new study provides some clues.
Circulating amino acids linked with insulin resistance decline dramatically in those who have the bypass surgery, the researchers discovered…
The surgery, which reduces the stomach to the size of a small pouch, also modifies the junction between the stomach and small intestine. It leads to a dramatic reduction in the level of circulating amino acids that have been linked with diabetes.
Community: Regular readers of Many Years Young know my prejudice against surgery for obesity. I just can’t believe science can’t come up with a less drastic alternative to accomplish this same goal of reducing insulin resistance—a high fiber diet, for example.
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Topical Treatment May Prevent Melanoma

(Science Daily) While incidents of melanoma continue to increase despite the use of sunscreen and skin screenings, a topical compound called ISC-4 may prevent melanoma lesion formation, according to Penn State College of Medicine researchers…
Researchers targeted the protein Akt3, which plays a central role in 70 percent of melanoma…
Isothiocyantes were identified as inhibitors of Akt3. These are naturally occurring compounds found in cruciferous vegetables like broccoli and Brussels sprouts that have anticancer properties. Unfortunately, previous research showed they have low chemotherapy potency on melanoma cells because high concentrations are needed to be effective. To create a more potent version, Penn State Hershey Melanoma Center researchers previously developed isoselenocyanates (ISC-4), by replacing sulfur with selenium.
Researchers have now found that repeated topical application of ISC-4 can reduce tumor cell expansion in laboratory-generated human skin by 80 to 90 percent and decrease tumor development in mice skin by about 80 percent. The research also showed that the use of the compound is safe.
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A Less Painful Colonoscopy

(Science Daily) Colonoscopy is regarded as the most thorough way to screen for colon cancer but the potentially life-saving procedure can also be painful…
As an endoscopist navigates the scope through the bends and turns in the colon, its tip can impinge against the colon wall…
But by outfitting an endoscope with fiber optic bend sensors and digital electronics that display its position and shape on a video monitor, … engineers have built a system that could serve as a visual navigation tool.
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Cholesterol Drugs May Improve Blood Flow After Stroke

(Science Daily) Cholesterol-lowering drugs known as statins may help clot-busting drugs treat strokes, according to researchers…
The stroke team first established that patients were having an ischemic stroke and treated them with a clot-busting drug…
Within three hours after treatment, blood flow restoration in the 12 patients already on statins averaged 50 percent. In the 19 patients not taking statins, though, the average was 13 percent.
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New Sensor Glove May Help Stroke Patients Recover Mobility

(Science Daily) People who have strokes are often left with moderate to severe physical impairments. Now, thanks to a glove developed at McGill, stroke patients may be able to recover hand motion by playing video games. The Biomedical Sensor Glove was developed by four final-year McGill Mechanical Engineering undergrads under the supervision of Professor Rosaire Mongrain.
It is designed to allow patients to exercise in their own homes with minimal supervision, while at the same time permitting doctors to monitor their progress from a distance, thus cutting down on hospital visits and costs.
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Tobacco-Derived Compound Prevents Memory Loss in Alzheimer's Disease Mice

(Science Daily) Cotinine, a compound derived from tobacco, reduced plaques associated with dementia and prevented memory loss in a mouse model of Alzheimer's disease, a study led by researchers … found…
"We found a compound that protects neurons, prevents the progression of Alzheimer's disease pathology, enhances memory and has been shown to be safe," said Valentina Echeverria, PhD… "It looks like cotinine acts on several aspects of Alzheimer's pathology in the mouse model. That, combined with the drug's good safety profile in humans, makes it a very attractive potential therapy for Alzheimer's disease."
While the current drugs for Alzheimer's may help delay the onset of symptoms, none halt or reverse the processes of Alzheimer's disease. In addition, existing drugs may have undesirable side effects.
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Can Traumatic Memories Be Erased?

(Science Daily) Could veterans of war, rape victims and other people who have seen horrific crimes someday have the traumatic memories that haunt them weakened in their brains? In a new study, UCLA life scientists report a discovery that may make the reduction of such memories a reality…
[David] Glanzman, a cellular neuroscientist, and his colleagues report that they have eliminated, or at least substantially weakened, a long-term memory in both the marine snail known as Aplysia and neurons in a Petri dish. The researchers say they gaining important insights into the cell biology of long-term memory…
The research has important potential implications for the treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder, as well as drug addiction, in which memory plays an important role, and perhaps Alzheimer's disease and other long-term memory disorders.
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When Docs Own MRIs, Back Pain Scans Increase: Study

(HealthDay News) Doctors are far more likely to refer patients complaining of lower back pain for an expensive MRI scan if they own or lease such imaging equipment, a new study indicates…
The study author noted that MRI and surgery for lower back pain "are quite controversial" because there are no proven benefits.
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U.S. top court questions state drug data limits

(Reuters) U.S. Supreme Court justices sharply questioned on Tuesday whether a state may prohibit the use of prescription drug records for marketing, expressing concerns that it violated free-speech rights.
Chief Justice John Roberts said Vermont in adopting the law wanted to lower healthcare costs not by direct regulation, but by restricting the flow of information and "censoring" what doctors can hear from pharmaceutical companies so they prescribe generic drugs.
A number of other justices voiced similar concerns in hearing arguments about the law that restricts commercial use of prescription records.
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