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

Unhealthy lifestyle may kill sex

(UPI) Overweight, physical inactivity, high alcohol consumption, smoking and hard drugs are linked to sexual dysfunction in men, Danish researchers say…
"Knowing about possible negative consequences of an unhealthy lifestyle to one's sexual health may help people quit smoking, consume less alcohol, exercise more and lose weight," [Dr. Morten] Frisch says in a statement.
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Obesity May Increase Risk of Surgical Complications

(HealthDay News) Obese people who have elective surgery are nearly 12 times more likely to suffer from complications than those of normal weight, new research indicates…
Within 30 days of surgery, 18.3 percent of the obese group experienced at least one complication, compared to 2.2 percent of non-obese patients. More specifically, obese patients were 22 times more likely to have inflammation, 13 times more likely to develop infection and 11 times more likely to experience pain.
The findings are significant, given that 34 percent of adults in the United States are estimated to be obese -- up from just 15 percent a decade ago.
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U.S. Obesity Epidemic Continues, Especially in South

(HealthDay News) A new report outlining how obesity threatens America's future reveals that obesity rates climbed over the past year in 16 states, and not a single state reported a decline in the proportion of excessively overweight residents…
"We have seen a dramatic shift over a generation," he added. "This isn't just about how much people weigh, but it has to do with serious health problems like diabetes and hypertension. These are the things that are driving health care costs."
With the exception of Michigan, the 10 most obese states are in the South. The Northeast and West reported the lowest obesity rates. In addition, in eight states, more than 10 percent of adults suffer from type 2 diabetes, according to the report.
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Can too little sleep make you gain weight?

(Reuters Health) People who got very little sleep ate more but didn't burn any extra calories in a new study that adds to evidence supporting a link between sleep deprivation and weight gain.
Although the findings don't prove that sleeplessness causes people to pack on extra pounds, or exactly how the relationship between sleep and body weight might work, they do show that "sleep should be a priority," said Michael Grandner, who studies sleep and sleep disorders at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia.
"If you're making your diet a priority and trying to be healthy, don't forget that getting healthy sleep is probably an extremely important part of being healthy," Grandner, who was not involved in the new work, told Reuters Health.
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Losing Weight, Keeping It Off Can Be Two Different Worlds

(HealthDay News) Many dieters feel jubilant when they reach their weight goal, only to find that the pounds somehow return after that.
New research may help explain why that is so: The behaviors that help people lose weight don't overlap much with those that help them maintain their new shape, according to scientists from Penn State University…
The researchers found that strategies associated only with weight loss included participating in a diet program; looking for information about weight loss, nutrition or exercise; limiting sugar intake; planning meals beforehand; avoiding skipped meals; and thinking about how much better you feel when you are thinner.
Strategies associated only with weight-loss maintenance included eating plenty of low-fat protein; following a consistent exercise routine; rewarding yourself for sticking to your eating plan; and reminding yourself why you need to control your weight.
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Will the Right Tests Keep You From Having a Heart Attack?

(Arthur Agatston, MD, Everyday Health) I am constantly discouraged by much of the commentary in the popular press about the inevitability and unpredictability of heart attacks, including sudden death from one. The fact is the vast majority of heart attacks can be prevented. With much more aggressive diagnosis and treatment of early heart disease, we can save tens of thousands of lives every year…
I support the SHAPE (Society for Heart Attack Prevention and Eradication) Task Force recommendations that advise all asymptomatic men 45 to 75 years old and women 55 to 75 years old (except for those at very low risk) undergo a CT calcium scan for hidden coronary artery disease, with the treatment determined by the actual amount of disease individuals have, rather than by risk factors alone.
It is important to know that calcium scores accurately reflect the amount of atherosclerosis present in heart vessels. As I noted earlier, the greater an individual’s calcium score, the greater his or her risk of having a heart attack. And the sooner a person knows this, the better, particularly if there is a family history of heart disease or other risk factors…
Once heart disease is identified, advanced blood tests that go beyond conventional cholesterol testing can determine the causes of the plaque buildup and the best treatments to halt its progression…
Besides getting the correct tests and taking medications, such as statins and/or insulin sensitizers [for diabetes], as prescribed, the most important step people can take to minimize their risk of heart attack and sudden death is to engage in a healthy lifestyle. First, that means shedding any extra pounds. We now know that extra weight itself is a major risk factor for heart disease and heart attack. For those with prediabetes, or metabolic syndrome [typically indicated by increased waist circumference, high blood pressure, high triglycerides, low HDL, and a mildly elevated blood sugar], it is especially important to make lifestyle changes — particularly with diet and exercise — to reduce the risk of heart attack.
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Pan-Seared Shrimp Po' Boys
Serve a New Orleans classic[*] featuring a homemade five-ingredient tartar sauce made with pantry staples.
Caribbean Chicken & Pineapple Kebabs with Banana Salad
A Caribbean-inspired marinade for these chicken-and-pineapple kebabs is flavored with pineapple juice, soy sauce, plenty of spices and spiked with rum. It’s moderately spicy from the use of jalapeño, but not nearly as spicy as the well-known jerk marinade, which uses the extremely hot Scotch bonnet chile. If spicy-hot is not your thing, leave the jalapeño out or use half. The creamy banana salad is a soothing counterpoint, but skip it if you like.
Community: *The New Orleans classic way of cooking the shrimp, however, is battered and deep fried.
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3 Ways to Cook Mushrooms

(Andrew Weil, M.D.) Mushrooms are not only delicious, but many provide health benefits as well. A respectable source of protein on their own, mushrooms provide all the essential amino acids when combined with grains. Low in fat and carbohydrates, mushrooms also deliver useful amounts of some B vitamins and trace minerals.
Healthy cooking methods include:
1.    In a pan or wok - sauté in a bit of olive or grapeseed oil, preferably with mixed vegetables.
2.    In a pot - simmer in broth.
3.    On the grill - fresh shiitakes are delicious basted in a little teriyaki sauce. (Mix equal parts dry sherry or sake, one part reduced-sodium Japanese soy sauce, and one tablespoon of sugar for each cup of liquid.)
It's important to thoroughly cook mushrooms since their cell walls are tough and the digestive system may have to work hard to get their full nutritional benefits. Heat will help eliminate that problem, as well as bring out the best flavors and textures.
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Walnuts Are Winners

(Andrew Weil, M.D.) If you're looking for an all-natural, high-quality source of antioxidants, one of your best bets is walnuts. A new analysis has found that a handful of walnuts has nearly twice the antioxidants as an equivalent amount of any other nuts, and that the antioxidants in walnuts are two to 15 times as potent as vitamin E.
The analysis, by Joe Vinson, Ph.D., of the University of Scranton in Pennsylvania, ranked walnuts above eight other varieties of nuts… Vinson noted that nuts in general are packed with high quality protein as well as vitamins, minerals and dietary fiber. Even though nuts are high in calories, Vinson said only about seven walnuts a day are needed for the health benefits documented in earlier studies.
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Nuts instead of carbs may aid diabetes control

(Reuters Health) Replacing that daily muffin with a handful or two of nuts may help people with diabetes better control their blood sugar and cholesterol levels, a new study suggests.
Researchers found that when people with type 2 diabetes replaced some of their usual carbohydrates with about a half-cup of mixed nuts each day, the study participants' blood sugar and "bad" cholesterol levels dipped slightly over three months.
In contrast, no such improvements were seen among people who swapped their normal carbs for a daily whole-wheat muffin.
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Vitamin D may improve pancreas function

(Reuters Health) Vitamin D supplements reduced risk factors for type 2 diabetes by improving the function of insulin-producing cells in pre-diabetic volunteers, a new study has found.
"The results...suggest that vitamin D supplementation may help to improve the main defect in type 2 diabetes," co-author Dr. Anastassios Pittas … told Reuters Health in an email.
Type 2 diabetes, the most common form of the disease, affects millions of Americans. The condition is characterized by high blood-sugar levels resulting from the body's poor response to insulin, a chemical that removes sugar from the bloodstream and stores it in the liver and muscles. Insulin is made by beta cells in the pancreas.
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Drug Can Reverse Overgrown Hearts to Help Prevent Heart Failure, Study Suggests

(Science Daily) A promising cancer treatment drug can restore function of a heart en route to failure from high blood pressure, researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center have found.
The drug, a type of histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitor being evaluated in numerous ongoing clinical trials, has been shown to reverse the harmful effects of autophagy in heart muscle cells of mice. Autophagy is a natural process by which cells eat their own proteins to provide needed resources in times of stress…
"This opens the way for a new therapeutic strategy in hypertensive heart disease, one we can test for potential to promote regression of heart disease," said Dr. Joseph Hill.
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Stem Cell Injections May Offer Hope to Angina Patients With No Other Options

(Science Daily) An injection of stem cells into the heart could offer hope to many of the 850,000 Americans whose chest pain doesn't subside even with medicine, angioplasty or surgery, according to a study…
Patients who received the new treatment reported half as many chest pain episodes and improved exercise capability compared to those who received a placebo.
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Researchers Reprogram Brain Cells to Become Heart Cells

(Science Daily) For the past decade, researchers have tried to reprogram the identity of all kinds of cell types. Heart cells are one of the most sought-after cells in regenerative medicine because researchers anticipate that they may help to repair injured hearts by replacing lost tissue. Now, researchers at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania are the first to demonstrate the direct conversion of a non-heart cell type into a heart cell by RNA transfer…
This approach offers the possibility for cell-based therapy for cardiovascular diseases.
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To Combat Deadly Brain Cancer, Target the Stem Cells

(Science Daily) Researchers have uncovered a new target that could stop the growth of glioblastoma, a deadly form of brain cancer… [A] new study identifies an enzyme found in glioma stem cells that allows them to grow and seed tumors. Importantly, normal stem cells, including those in the brain, don't appear to share that same dependency.
"When thinking about therapeutics [targeting cancer stem cells], you have to be careful that you aren't interfering with normal stem cells," said Christine Eyler of the Cleveland Clinic. "Glioma stem cells are not derived from normal stem cells but they do share many features with them. The trick to therapy is to find pathways exhibited only by cancer stem cells."
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Gonorrhea's Growing Resistance to Antibiotics Concerns CDC

(HealthDay News) Gonorrhea appears to be growing increasingly resistant to drugs called cephalosporins, the only remaining class of antibiotics available to treat the sexually transmitted disease, according to a new report…
The researchers called for increased efforts to develop new treatments and a boost in gonorrhea surveillance in order to identify emerging patterns of antibiotic resistance in gonorrhea as they occur.
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Southern States Lag in Drop in Colon Cancer Death Rates

(HealthDay News) While there has been a significant decline in colon cancer death rates in the past two decades, a new report reveals that the downward trend is not spread evenly across the United States, with the southern part of the nation lagging far behind the north…
"One factor may be colorectal screening rates, state-by-state," [study co-author Ahmedin] Jemal observed, "with indications of a much lower utilization of screenings in the southern states. And secondly, although we didn't collect data on treatment for colorectal cancer by states, we already know from previous studies that those who live in poorer neighborhoods and more rural areas are less likely to have insurance coverage, and less likely to receive standard treatment for colorectal cancer."
"And the third factor," he added, "is that smoking and obesity are known risk factors for colorectal cancer. And for both prevalence is much higher in the southern states, compared to other regions."
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Exclusive: Healthcare tax break on debt talks table

(Reuters) Limiting the tax break for employer-provided health insurance became a bargaining chip on Friday in congressional negotiations to beat an August 2 deadline for averting a U.S. default.
"Limiting the deduction for the higher income brackets is something that is on the table," Representative Sandy Levin told Reuters. He is the senior Democrat on the tax-writing U.S. House Ways and Means Committee.
The employer-provided healthcare income exclusion cost about $117.3 billion this year. Limiting it could bring in considerably more new government revenues than other, smaller options that have been discussed by negotiators.
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Socialize for a Better Brain

(Andrew Weil, M.D.) We know that exercising the brain by doing puzzles, learning a language, reading or engaging in other mentally stimulating activities can lower the risk of Alzheimer's Disease. Now researchers at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago have learned that socializing can help as well.
The investigation team is studying 1,138 older adults (mean age 80) in an effort to understand what kinds of activities improve cognition as we age… The study has shown that the participants who were most socially active experienced only one quarter of the cognitive decline over an average of five years as those who were least active socially…
My take? Throughout life, connections to others are vital to our health and well being. I believe that we are not meant to be all alone, but rather parts of bigger families, bands, and tribes. We are naturally communal beings and derive great satisfaction from the experience of belonging to a group with a common purpose. I'm happy to know that the Rush study confirmed what many of us know intuitively - that it is better (at any age) to maintain our connections with others than to isolate ourselves. As we age, the more stimulation we receive - intellectual and social - the greater our chances of keeping our minds, and memories, as sharp as they are today.
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Brain Co-Opts the Body to Promote Moral Behavior, Study Finds

(Science Daily) The human brain may simulate physical sensations to prompt introspection, capitalizing on moments of high emotion to promote moral behavior, according to a USC researcher.
Mary Helen Immordino-Yang of the USC Brain and Creativity Institute and the USC Rossier School of Education found that individuals who were told stories designed to evoke compassion and admiration for virtue sometimes reported that they felt a physical sensation in response. These psycho-physical "pangs" of emotion are very real -- they're detectable with brain scans -- and may be evidence that pro-social behavior is part of human survival.
Immordino-Yang's hypothesis, borne out thus far by her research, is that the feeling or emotional reactions in the body may sometimes prompt introspection, and can ultimately promote moral choices and motivation to help or emulate others.
Community: We evolved as social beings, as Dr. Weil noted above, and keep finding more and more evidence that physical processes promote the empathy and help-thy-neighbor behavior that is needed for the survival of our species. That’s why those who subscribe to the belief that individual selfishness leads to the good of the species are, simply, wrong.
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Group-Think Can Influence Your Memory, Research Shows

(HealthDay News) You're probably familiar with how easy it is to remember things that never happened, especially if you're around people who recall things the same way…
"Social influence can efficiently manipulate existing memory traces, often creating long-lasting false memories," said study lead author Micah Edelson. The brain appears to do this by activating regions that control emotions, social interactions and memory processing, he added…
The findings of the research, which also involved the Wellcome Trust Center for NeuroImaging at University College London, are relevant to aspects of real life such as the legal system, where eyewitness accounts often sway juries, Edelson said.
Community: How many people still “remember” that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction? We need more research to find out how to inoculate people against lies like that.
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U.S. adults regrets: Love, missing college

(UPI) Regrets, Americans have a few -- mainly involving love lost or not pursued, or not going to college, U.S. researchers found…
The other common regrets involve family, education, career, finances and parenting. Women were more likely to have regrets about relationships, romance and family and men were more likely to have regrets about work, career and education.
"We tend to regret matters that are most important to us, people crave strong, stable social relationships and are unhappy when they lack them," [researcher Mike] Morrison says in a statement.
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Cuddling May Be Key to Long-Term Happy Relationship

(HealthDay News) Cuddling and caressing help boost satisfaction in long-term relationships, according to a new study of middle-aged and older couples.
The study also found that tenderness is more important to men than to women, that men are more likely to report being happy in their relationship, and that women are more likely to be satisfied with their sexual relationship, said the researchers from the Kinsey Institute.
Community: Yes, but does the cuddling cause the satisfaction, or is it a result of satisfaction with the relationship?
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Blame Game: Sleepier People Are More Likely to Blame Others and Plan Revenge

(Science Daily) Sleepier college students are more likely to think about what others could have done to make things better, even to the extent of planning revenge, suggests a research abstract…
Results show that sleepiness was positively correlated with counterfactual thinking, which involves thoughts about how events in the past could have been different. Sleepier people were more likely to imagine how outcomes could have been better than reality and think about how the behavior of others could have produced better outcomes…. Sleepiness also was positively correlated with all three subscales of displaced aggression: angry rumination, behavioral displaced aggression and revenge planning.
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Chi-Gong Your Way to Sleep

(RealAge.com) Next time you find yourself squirming like a disgruntled toddler as you're trying to fall asleep, try this relaxation and sleep-promoting move taken from chi-gong (qigong):
1.    Rub your hands together to warm them. Place your right palm over your right eye, left palm over left eye.
2.    Press the center bone above each eye with your index fingers.
3.    Press the outside corner of your eyes at the bone.
4.    Press the bottom center of your eyes on the inside of the bone.
5.    Press the inside of each eye.
6.    Use your thumbs to push where your jaw and cheekbone meet.
7.    Move to your ears and pinch along the edge of your ears from top to bottom.
8.    End the sequence with a move called "Beating the Heavenly Drum." Tap the back of your head nine times with the palms of your hands and your thumbs resting on your neck.
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Grilled Chicken and Tomato Salad
This salad recipe may sound ordinary, but you’ll think otherwise once you taste the fresh produce and flavorful goat cheese in every bite.
Fish Fillets with Cucumber Raita
Raita, a traditional Indian condiment consisting of cucumber and yogurt, makes a quick topping for simple sautéed fish fillets.
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Spinach Goma Ae: A Bento Box Staple

(Andrew Weil, M.D.) In Japanese, "goma" means sesame seed and "ae" means sauce. This cold, flavorful side dish (sometimes written as "gomae") features a sesame seed dressing and is often found in bento, or lunchboxes. It's a useful recipe when you need to use up a lot of garden-fresh spinach as it cooks way down. A light and refreshing addition to any summer meal!
Food as Medicine
Spinach contains nearly twice the iron of other leafy greens, making it one of the most available plant-based sources of iron. It's an excellent source of folic acid, potassium and magnesium, as well as vitamin K, carotenes and vitamin C.
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3 Edible Ways to Get More Energy

(RealAge.com) Research suggests that each of these items may have unique stamina-shifting powers that could boost your energy naturally.
Apples: These red (or green) beauties are one of the best food sources of quercetin, a plant-based phytochemical that's been linked to greater athletic endurance in some studies…
Sesame seeds: These little guys are chock-full of magnesium -- a mineral that cells need in order to turn the food we eat into energy our bodies can use…
Water: Getting dehydrated is one of the quickest ways to take the spring out of your step. In fact, being even just a little dehydrated can lead to unpleasant feelings like fatigue, crankiness, and foggy thinking…
Want more tips on eating your way to more energy? Try these pick-me-ups in your lunch box.
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Diabetes Drug Side Effects Traced to Fat Action

(Science Daily) For better or worse, a popular class of anti-diabetic drugs does more than lower blood sugar. One known as rosiglitazone (trade name Avandia) has been in the spotlight for its possible link to increased cardiovascular events, but it also seems to come with unexplained vascular benefits and an unwelcome tendency for weight gain. Now, two separate studies… explore those other effects of the drugs known collectively as thiazolidinediones (TZDs), both of which stem from their activity in fat.
The findings offer new biological insights into fat tissue and its role as a central component of metabolic control. They may also pave the way for the development of new and better drugs, according to the researchers.
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A Remedy for Ear Ringing

(RealAge.com) Are your ears ringing? Then you might want to take a break from your cell phone…
In a recent study…, researchers discovered that the risk of tinnitus was about 71 percent higher among people who used their mobile phones at least 10 minutes a day. The odds of having the condition were also doubled in people who'd been using a cell phone for at least 4 years. (Related: Invest two dollars in these to protect against hearing loss and heart attack.)
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Overlooked Peptide Reveals Clues to Causes of Alzheimer's Disease

(Science Daily) Researchers at the RIKEN Brain Science Institute (BSI) and their collaborators have shed light on the function of a little-studied amyloid peptide in promoting Alzheimer's disease (AD).
Their surprising findings reveal that the peptide is more abundant, more neurotoxic, and exhibits a higher propensity to aggregate than amyloidogenic agents studied in earlier research, suggesting a potential role in new approaches for preventing AD-causing amyloidosis.
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Discovery of Natural Antibody Brings a Universal Flu Vaccine a Step Closer

(Science Daily) Annually changing flu vaccines with their hit-and-miss effectiveness may soon give way to a single, near-universal flu vaccine, according to a new report…
[The researchers] describe an antibody that, in animal tests, can prevent or cure infections with a broad variety of influenza viruses, including seasonal and potentially pandemic strains.
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A Drugstore Within: Mesenchymal Stem Cells Protect and Heal

(Science Daily) A stem cell that can morph into a number of different tissues is proving a natural protector, healer and antibiotic maker, researchers at Case Western Reserve University and their peers have found.
Mesenchymal stem cells reaped from bone marrow had been hailed as the key to growing new organs to replace those damaged or destroyed by violence or disease, but have failed to live up to the billing.
Instead, scientists who'd been trying to manipulate the cells to build replacement parts have been finding the cells are innately potent antidotes to a growing list of maladies.
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Reported Costs of Drug R&D Questioned

(Science Daily) A policy specialist and a healthcare economist both say that the oft-quoted cost of $1.32 billion to bring a new drug to market does not hold up to close scrutiny… The researchers emphasize that available cost data cannot be trusted because the numbers are subject to numerous internal and external sources of variability…
[They] claim that pharmaceutical firms list their R&D costs as high as possible to garner greater prices for their products. Yet, continue the article's authors, a number of independent review groups report that 85% of new drugs exhibit few if any advantages over existing drugs.
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Rule aims to cut smog and soot from coal plants

(Reuters) U.S. environmental regulators finalized a rule on Thursday to slash air pollution from coal-fired power plants in 27 states east of the Rocky Mountains that result in unhealthy levels of smog and soot…
"No community should have to bear the burden of another community's polluters, or be powerless to prevent air pollution that leads to asthma, heart attacks and other harmful illnesses," said EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson.
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Medicaid improves health and budgets of poor

(Reuters) Medicaid, a government health insurance program designed to help the poorest of the poor, is giving people unprecedented access to doctors and also improving their finances, a study co-authored by the Harvard School of Public Health has found.
The study, released on Thursday, showed that new recipients of Medicaid reported better physical and mental health and were less likely to go into debt to pay their medical bills.
The fate of Medicaid -- the health program for people and families with low incomes and resources -- has been hotly debated for its role in the ballooning U.S. deficit. The Obama administration's healthcare overhaul passed last year requires all U.S. states to extend eligibility to millions more people by 2014.
Community: Apparently, the greed-is-good crowd wouldn’t mind seeing the poor die in the streets.
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Happiness a Key to Long Life for Humans and Orangutans

(LiveScience) Just like humans, happier orangutans live longer, scientists find…
Past research suggested that happy people live longer. To see if this also held true in our ape relatives, scientists asked zookeepers starting seven years ago to rate the happiness of 172 captive orangutans…
The scientists found that orangutans who scored happier were significantly more likely to be alive up to seven years later. This effect remained even when factors such as sex, age, species and number of times they were transferred to new facilities were taken into account.
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Satisfaction With Life Seems Good for the Heart

(HealthDay News) Being satisfied with your life can be good for your heart…
Satisfaction in four main areas -- job, family, sex and self -- was … associated with a 13 percent reduced risk of heart disease.
The reduced risk, however, was not associated with love relationships, leisure activities or standard of living, the researchers found…
The findings suggest that people at high risk for heart disease may benefit from programs to boost a positive state of mind, study author Dr. Julia Boehm, of Harvard School of Public Health, noted in the news release.
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Daily dose of happiness good for health

(The West Australian) Don't worry, be happy, live longer. Happiness protects the heart.
[A] study compared people who tend to express positive emotions - or "positive affect" - with people who tend to express negative emotions. It concluded that happier people were far less likely to develop heart disease, and that this protection extended to generally positive people who might feel depressed at times.
Lead researcher Karina Davidson of Columbia University Medical Centre in New York said the results might be due to factors such as happier people tended to get more sleep; were less inclined to smoke; and exercised more often - all of which leads to lower heart rates.
They also might have less stress in their lives and spent less time reliving the stress that they did confront, she said.
Ms Davidson suggests that even a 15- to 20-minute dose of daily happiness might improve people's health.
That doesn't mean you have to pretend you're on a paid holiday. It's the little things that make us truly happy, including reading, walking, working in the garden, scrapbooking or anything else that brings you joy.
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A New Gauge to See What’s Beyond Happiness

(New York Times) [The] feeling of accomplishment contributes to what the ancient Greeks called eudaimonia, which roughly translates to “well-being” or “flourishing,” a concept that Dr. [Martin] Seligman has borrowed for the title of his new book, “Flourish.” He has also created his own acronym, Perma, for what he defines as the five crucial elements of well-being, each pursued for its own sake: positive emotion, engagement (the feeling of being lost in a task), relationships, meaning and accomplishment.
“Well-being cannot exist just in your own head,” he writes. “Well-being is a combination of feeling good as well as actually having meaning, good relationships and accomplishment.”…
The best gauge so far of flourishing, Dr. Seligman says, comes from a study of 23 European countries by Felicia Huppert and Timothy So of the University of Cambridge. Besides asking respondents about their moods, the researchers asked about their relationships with others and their sense that they were accomplishing something worthwhile.
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Two ways to deal with negative emotions

(UPI) Confronted with high-intensity negative emotions, some choose to be distracted, but with lower-intensity emotions, they think it over, U.S. researchers say…
In an experiment, the researchers had participants chose how to regulate negative emotions induced by pictures that produce a low-intensity emotions, a snake in the grass, and high-intensity emotions, a picture of a snake attacking with an open mouth.
In another experiment, participants chose how to regulate emotions while anticipating unpredictable electric shocks, but they were told before each shock whether it would be of low intensity or more painful shock.
The study … found in both experiments, when the negative emotion was low-intensity, participants preferred to reappraise -- think through it, telling themselves why it wasn't so bad. However, when high-intensity emotions arose, they preferred to distract themselves, the study said.
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Eat More Healthy Fats!

(Cooking Light) Fat is the most feared nutrient in the American diet. Thirty years ago, most health and nutrition experts encouraged us to eat as little as possible—certainly no more than 30% of calories from fat. This was the mantra, and it informed Cooking Light’s approach to a healthy diet, as well. Now we know that total fat is no longer really the issue. Some fats are more healthy, some less. And while it’s important to keep an eye on your daily intake—fats are packed with calories—a naturally balanced diet should embrace the good-for-you fats.
What you need to know: Our bodies need fat to function properly—fat is an essential nutrient. But saturated fats—those found in foods such as butter and other high-fat dairy products, meat, and coconut milk—tend, when eaten too often, to raise LDL (“bad”) cholesterol levels and promote plaque buildup in your arteries. This is also true of the trans fats, which are often the product of the process that turns liquid fats solid for use in processed foods. Saturated fat intake should be kept to a reasonable level; trans fats should be avoided.
By contrast, healthy monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats help our bodies absorb vitamins and minerals from foods, lower LDL and total cholesterol, and keep us feeling full and satisfied. Replace unhealthy fats with good ones, which you’ll find in vegetable oils, fish, nuts and nut butters, seeds, and avocados.
Community: This article is July’s entry for Cooking Light's 12 Healthy Habits.
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Cooking Light:
13 No-Cook Meals
Our best fast and fresh healthy no-cook entrées for the hottest days in summer.
Make Fresh Tomato Sauce
This Italian staple tastes rich and delicious but only takes about 30 minutes to prepare.
22 Common Nutrition Mistakes
These common nutrition mistakes can lead anyone astray. Learn how to avoid them for better health.
Beef Lettuce Wraps
Fill crisp lettuce leaves with sliced flank steak topped with a zesty sauce made from lime juice, brown sugar, and minced pepper. Soba noodle salad complements the meaty wraps and brings another texture to the plate.
Korean Steak & Mushroom Tacos with Kimchi
The spicy, pickled flavor and crunchy texture of kimchi, the Korean cousin to sauerkraut, is just right on these Korean steak-and-mushroom tacos. Serve with steamed brown rice and sautéed bok choy with chile-garlic sauce.
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Green tea lowers cholesterol, but only a little

(Reuters Health) Drinking green tea seems to cut "bad" cholesterol, according to a fresh look at the medical evidence.
The finding may help explain why green tea has been linked to a lower risk of heart disease, the leading killer worldwide, Xin-Xin Zheng and colleagues from Peking Union Medical College in Beijing report.
Because few people in the U.S. drink green tea, encouraging Americans to down more of the brew could have significant health benefits, the researchers write in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
Still, one U.S. expert cautioned the drink shouldn't be used as medicine for high cholesterol, as the effect found in the Chinese study was small.
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