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

Grape seed extract may prevent, delay Alzheimer's

(UPI) Grape seed polyphenols -- an antioxidant -- may help prevent the development or delay the progression of Alzheimer's disease, New York researchers say.
Dr. Giulio Maria Pasinetti … and colleagues evaluated the ability of grape-derived polyphenols to prevent the generation of a specific form of beta-amyloid peptide, a substance in the brain long known to cause the neurotoxicity associated with Alzheimer disease…
"Since naturally occurring polyphenols are also generally commercially available as nutritional supplements and have negligible adverse events even after prolonged periods of treatment, this new finding holds significant promise as a preventive method or treatment, and is being tested in translational studies in Alzheimer's disease patients," Pasinetti says in a statement.
Community: I take a supplement that contains extracts from both the grape (resveratrol) and the seed.
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Meditation may be pushups for the brain

(UPI) Just as pushups help the physical body, meditation may be pushups for the brain by combating brain shrinkage, U.S. researchers suggest…
The researchers found people who meditate have stronger connections between brain regions and show less age-related brain atrophy -- brain shrinkage due to age which is linked to dementia.
Having stronger connections influences the ability to rapidly relay electrical signals in the brain and these effects are evident throughout the entire brain, not just in specific areas, Luders says…
However, a particular brain anatomy may have drawn an individual to meditation or helped maintain an ongoing practice, meaning that the enhanced fiber connectivity in meditators constitutes a predisposition towards meditation, rather than a consequence of the practice.
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Risk for Panic Attacks Reduced by High Levels of Physical Activity

(Science Daily) Regular exercise may be a useful strategy for helping prevent the development of panic and related disorders, a new study suggests.
People with an intense fear of the nausea, racing heart, dizziness, stomachaches and shortness of breath that accompany panic -- known as "high anxiety sensitivity" -- reacted with less anxiety to a panic-inducing stressor if they had been engaging in high levels of physical activity, said researchers…
"Exercise can be a powerful addition to the range of treatments for depression, anxiety and general stress," said [psychologist Michael] Otto. "And when people exercise to feel good, they are also taking the exact steps they need to benefit their general health."
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Reward Yourself!

(SouthBeachDiet.com) [Y]ou deserve a little reward from time to time — and it doesn’t have to mean taking a diet detour. Here are five guiltless ways to reward yourself for your accomplishments.
1.    Treat yourself ... to a day at the salon or spa…
2.    Hit the stores ... and purchase something you’ve been eyeing, like an outfit, a new book, or a piece of jewelry…
3.    Have a "night (or day) out"... that doesn't revolve around dinner. Instead, after a healthy meal at home, go out to a movie or play…
4.    Buy yourself ... some fresh-cut flowers to decorate your home or office. They’ll brighten up your day and serve as a reminder of your success.
5.    Take a bubble bath ... and enjoy some quiet "me" time to help you focus on your success and stay on track.
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Open-Faced Turkey Patty Melt
The traditional patty melt gets a makeover with ground turkey, but substitute ground chicken or ground sirloin, if you prefer. Pair sandwiches with vegetable chips.
Herbed Salsa with Grilled Chicken
This fresh tomato salsa, which doubles as a marinade for grilled chicken, is packed with flavor from lots of fresh oregano, chives and cilantro. The salsa would also pair wonderfully with just about any meat, fish or tofu. Serve the chicken and salsa with beans and brown rice or over greens for a colorful salad.
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Drinking Alcohol May Prolong, Not Relieve, Stress

(HealthDay News) Although many people think that having a cocktail will help them relax, the relationship between stress and alcohol is a two-way street, researchers say.
Alcohol can change the way the body manages stress, the authors of a new study pointed out. Meanwhile, stress can also reduce the intoxicating effects of alcohol, causing individuals to drink more to produce the same effect. As a result, turning to alcohol to alleviate anxiety or tension may actually make some people feel worse and prolong their stress, the findings indicate.
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Warm Weather Herb: Aloe

(Andrew Weil, M.D.) Looking for a cost-effective, natural treatment for a variety of outdoor-related ailments? Check out aloe (Aloe vera). The gel extracted from aloe leaves can be used topically for the treatment of sunburn, mosquito bites, and rashes from poisonous plants, as well as first and second degree burns, skin irritations or inflammation.
It’s a good idea to keep a potted aloe in your kitchen - just slice open a leaf lengthwise and apply the gel to the affected area. You can also keep aloe lotion (look for those with a high percentage of aloe gel) or a gel product in your first aid kit. Be aware that topical use can trigger rare allergic reactions and may delay surgical wound healing. Always contact trained medical personnel for burns with significant blistering.
Aloe vera is one of many ways to treat sun poisoning.
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Family History of Cancer Needs to Be Updated as You Age

(HealthDay News) Family history remains one of the best ways to identify people at high risk for breast, prostate and colon cancer, and now new research suggests that updating your doctor between ages 30 and 50 about any close relatives who develop these cancers may lead to lifesaving changes in how and when you are screened.
"Family history is very important, and it can give [individuals] a sense of whether they are at elevated risk for certain types of cancers, and this could impact how they are screened," said study author Dianne M. Finkelstein
Community: Heart disease and stroke updates are important, too.
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Most in U.S. want ban on smoking in public: poll

(Reuters) Most Americans want smoking banned in all public places but only 19 percent believe that cigarette smoking should be illegal in the United States, a Gallup poll published on Friday said.
The Princeton, New Jersey-based pollster found in its July 7-10 telephone survey that for the first time since it initially asked the question in 2001, a majority of Americans, 59 percent, support a public ban on smoking.
Ten years ago, 39 percent were in favor, a percentage that was about the same when Gallup did a similar poll on the subject in 2007, according to the survey published on the website www.gallup.com.
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Elderly get whooping cough vaccine

(UPI) The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the vaccine Boostrix against tetanus, diphtheria and whooping cough for those age 65 and older, officials say.,,
"A growing segment of our population, adults age 65 and older, can now help protect themselves from whooping cough, a serious and highly contagious respiratory disease," [Leonard Friedland, vice president for clinical and medical affairs at GlaxoSmithKline Pharmaceuticals,] says in a statement.
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Novel Compound Selectively Kills Cancer Cells

(Science Daily) Just as a cancer cell depends on a hyperactive metabolism to fuel its rapid growth, it also depends on anti-oxidative enzymes to quench potentially toxic reactive oxygen species (ROS) generated by such high metabolic demand.
Scientists … have discovered a novel compound that blocks this response to oxidative stress selectively in cancer cells but spares normal cells, with an effectiveness that surpassed a chemotherapy drug currently used to treat breast cancer…
The plant-based compound piperlongumine (PL), derived from the fruit of a pepper plant found in southern India and southeast Asia, appears to kill cancer cells by jamming the machinery that dissipates high oxidative stress and the resulting ROS…
While hopeful, the authors remain cautious. Much more work needs to be done to better understand how the ROS process differs between normal and cancer cells before clinical studies can even be launched.
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Cancer Gene Therapy from Camels

(Science Daily) Nanobodies produced by camels have unique properties, which can be used in future drug development. New research … confirms that nanobodies can help scientists in the fight against cancer.
Members of the camelid family have particular heavy-chain antibodies in their blood known as nanobodies, that may serve as therapeutic proteins. One of the most powerful advantages of nanobodies is that they can be easily attached to other proteins and nanoparticles by simple chemical procedures.
Scientists at the … University of Copenhagen … have designed nanoparticle systems of smaller than 150nm that are decorated with nanobodies expressing high specificity for the cancer marker Mucin-1, which is connected to breast and colon cancer.
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Freeze-Dried Gene Therapy System Avoids Virus, Potential Complications

(Science Daily) Researchers at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine have developed a technique that delivers gene therapy into human brain cancer cells using nanoparticles that can be freeze-dried and stored for up to three months prior to use.
The shelf-stable particles may obviate the need for virus-mediated gene therapy, which has been associated with safety concerns.
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Bettering Social Status Lowers High Blood Pressure Risk

(HealthDay News) Upward social mobility appears to help reduce the risk of high blood pressure in people who were born into poor or disadvantaged situations, according to a new study.
Previous research has shown that poor and disadvantaged people are at increased risk for high blood pressure, which contributes to heart disease and stroke…
But people with low socioeconomic status who moved up in society reduced their risk of high blood pressure by nearly 20 percent, compared to those who stayed on the lower rungs of society across two generations, the investigators found.
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Black men survive longer in prison than out: study

(Reuters Health) Black men are half as likely to die at any given time if they're in prison than if they aren't, suggests a new study of North Carolina inmates.
The black prisoners seemed to be especially protected against alcohol- and drug-related deaths, as well as lethal accidents and certain chronic diseases.
But that pattern didn't hold for white men, who on the whole were slightly more likely to die in prison than outside, according to [the study’s] findings.
Community: What an awful indictment of our society.
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Patients worse off with more-experienced docs?

(Reuters Health) In a study that flies in the face of common sense, sicker patients turned out to fare worse under the care of seasoned doctors than when newcomers to medicine looked after them.
According to findings in the American Journal of Medicine, patients whose doctors had practiced for at least 20 years stayed longer in the hospital and were more likely to die compared to those whose doctors got their medical license in the past five years.
The results highlight "issues that we have as a medical profession in keeping up to date" with the latest medical knowledge, said Dr. Niteesh Choudhry of Harvard Medical School, who was not involved in the new study.
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Individualizing Care Could Save Money, Experts Say

(HealthDay News) Cost-effectiveness is becoming an increasingly important aspect of medical treatment, and two researchers have found that individualizing therapies to smaller groups of patients may be one way to help control costs.
In the new report, the team from Stanford University School of Medicine suggested that when comparing the price of a treatment with its intended outcome (also known as the incremental cost-effectiveness ratio), health economists should assess smaller subgroups of people for a more precise analysis that is better tailored to individuals.
"Physicians need to think about what a particular intervention will offer for each patient, and how much it will cost," co-author Dr. John Ioannidis … said in a university news release. "What is at stake, and how might this patient's needs and expectations vary from the norm?"
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Medicare Part D sees falling drug costs: study

(Reuters) Cheaper generic drugs will continue to hold down costs for the U.S. government, insurers and patients enrolled in the federal prescription drug benefit, according to a report released on Friday.
Researchers said eight of the ten most commonly prescribed drug classes covered by the program known as Medicare Part D have fallen to an average daily cost of therapy of $1 in December 2010 from $1.50 in January 2006.
This trend toward cheaper generic drugs, as brand-name patents expire, is expected to continue through 2015, said the study.
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Secret to Successful Aging: How 'Positivity Effect' Works in Brain

(Science Daily) Whether we choose to accept or fight it, the fact is that we will all age, but will we do so successfully? Aging successfully has been linked with the "positivity effect," a biased tendency towards and preference for positive, emotionally gratifying experiences. New research … now explains how and when this effect works in the brain…
Lifespan theories explain that positivity bias in later life reflects a greater emphasis on short-term rather than long-term priorities. The study by [author Dr. Stefanie] Brassen and colleagues now provides another clue to how the brain contributes to this age-related shift in priorities.
This makes aging successfully sound so simple -- use your brain to focus on the positive.
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A Creamy Snack for Healthier Arteries

(RealAge.com) A creamy snack that won't clog your arteries? Yep, it exists. And you're probably familiar. It's yogurt.
In a study of senior women, those who ate at least half a cup of yogurt per day had healthier arteries compared with those who ate less of the tangy stuff…
The yogurt eaters in the study also ate more foods and nutrients linked to better heart health, such as fish, fiber, vitamin E, and fruit. So it might also be that the yogurt eaters tend to grab healthier options at the grocery store as well. Just be sure to reach for the low-fat versions, to help keep your intake of saturated fat down.
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3 Foods That May Fend Off Diabetes

(RealAge.com) These three simple diet tweaks may help you dodge diabetes.
Eat more leafy greens. Choose fat-free yogurt. And add nuts and seeds to your diet. Each of these changes may help lower your risk of diabetes anywhere from 10 to 20 percent…
Diabetes is a leading killer -- and over 25 million of us in the United States have it. But isn't it great to know that you could avoid being a statistic just by eating the right foods? (Related: Here's more straightforward advice on eating for better blood sugar.)
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Do tea, coffee drinkers have lower "superbug" risk?

(Reuters Health) People who regularly drink tea or coffee may be less likely to carry the antibiotic-resistant "superbug" MRSA in their nostrils, a new study suggests.
Researchers found that of more than 5,500 Americans in a government study, those who drank hot tea or coffee were about half as likely as non-drinkers to harbor MRSA bacteria in their nostrils.
Exactly what it all means, though, is unclear.
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'Super' blueberries from South America

(UPI) Wild blueberries native to the tropical regions of Central and South America have two to four times more antioxidants than U.S. blueberries, researchers say…
Antioxidants found in fruits and vegetables have been associated with lower incidence of some chronic diseases and may help protect against heart disease, inflammatory ailments such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and even cancer, the researchers say…
Although these super blueberries are wild species that are not currently commercially available, the scientists say they have the potential to become a popular food item or health supplement if their high antioxidant content becomes better known.
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Vitamin C from food tied to lower cataract risk

(Reuters Health) Older adults who get very little vitamin C in their diets may have an increased risk of developing cataracts, a study in India finds…
In Western countries, studies have come to conflicting conclusions as to whether people with high vitamin C intakes have a lower cataract risk.
What's more, clinical trials that have tested high doses of vitamin C and other antioxidants for preventing cataracts have failed to show a benefit…
Foods high in vitamin C include citrus fruits like oranges and grapefruit, green and red peppers, kiwifruit, strawberries, broccoli and tomatoes. In the U.S., the official recommendation is for men to get 90 milligrams of vitamin C per day, while women should get 75 milligrams.
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Honey-and-Lemon Baked Chicken
All you need are five ingredients and 25 minutes to make this super-easy chicken dish for dinner.
Crab Roll
This healthier take on a lobster roll uses crab because it’s usually easier (and less expensive) to buy. But by all means use lobster if you prefer. Serve with coleslaw and an ice-cold beer.
Andrew Weil, M.D.:
Toasted Grain Pilaf
Traditionally a Middle Eastern pilaf is made with white rice, but here we use a healthful grain, toasting it first to bring out its flavor, and mixing in aromatic vegetables to create a delicious, more nutritious dish.
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Exposure to Common Chemicals May Affect Thyroid Function

(HealthDay News) Chemicals called phthalates and bisphenol-A (BPA) that are found in solvents, plastics and numerous household products may alter levels of thyroid hormones in the body, according to a new study.
Thyroid hormones play a role in many critical bodily functions, including reproduction and metabolism…
The greater the exposure to phthalates and BPA, the lower the thyroid hormone levels.
Community: Another potential cause of the obesity epidemic?
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Certain Painkillers May Raise Odds of Stroke, Heart Attack: Study

(HealthDay News) Heart disease patients with high blood pressure who take a class of painkillers called non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are at greater risk for heart attack, stroke or even death, new research shows.
NSAIDS include popular medications such as such as aspirin, Celebrex, ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) and naproxen (Aleve)…
Patients with high blood pressure and coronary artery disease who took NSAIDs regularly had a 47 percent increase in the rate of death as well as nonfatal heart attack and stroke. After a period of five years, those rates jumped to 126 percent for death and 66 percent for heart attack, the investigators found.
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PSA may be used to detect breast cancer

(UPI) The prostate-specific antigen blood test for prostate cancer in men may get a second life as a much-needed new test for breast cancer, U.S. researchers say.
Chien Chou … and colleagues say the PSA also is a potential biomarker of breast cancer in women. However, levels of PSA in healthy women are usually so small that only ultrasensitive tests can measure them.
To improve PSA detection in women, the researchers built a tiny fiber-optic biosensor using gold nanoparticles and PSA antibodies to detect and report PSA levels via a fluorescent signal.
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Millions of Americans Lack Access to Dental Care: Report

(HealthDay News) More than 33 million Americans live in areas with too few dentists to meet their needs, and millions of children and retirees lack access to good oral health care because they can't afford it, a new report finds.
"Persistent and systemic" barriers continue to block many Americans' access to dental care, the report from the Institute of Medicine (IOM) and the National Research Council (NRC) has found. And poor oral health can have dire consequences, the expert panelists said.
"The consequences of insufficient access to oral health care and resultant poor oral health -- at both the individual and population levels -- are far-reaching," Frederick Rivara … said in an IOM/NRC news release.
"As the nation struggles to address the larger systemic issues of access to health care, we need to ensure that oral health is recognized as a basic component of overall health," said Rivara.
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Print Your Own Teeth: Rapid Prototyping Comes to Dentistry

(Science Daily) What if, instead of waiting days or weeks for a cast to be produced and prosthetic dental implants, false teeth and replacement crowns to be made, your dentist could quickly scan your jaw and "print" your new teeth using a rapid prototyping machine known as a 3D printer?
Researchers in Iran explain how medical imaging coupled with computer-aided design could be used to create a perfect-fit blueprint for prosthetic dentistry, whether to replace diseased or broken teeth and jaw bone. The blueprint can then be fed into a so-called 3D printer to build up an exact replica using a biocompatible composite material. 
Community: If you want to see how a 3D printer works, here’s a video.
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Stem Cells Restore Cognitive Abilities Impaired by Brain Cancer Treatment

(Science Daily) Human neural stem cells are capable of helping people regain learning and memory abilities lost due to radiation treatment for brain tumors, a UC Irvine study suggests.
Research with rats found that stem cells transplanted two days after cranial irradiation restored cognitive function, as measured in one- and four-month assessments. In contrast, irradiated rats not treated with stem cells showed no cognitive improvement.
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Researchers Demystify a Fountain of Youth in the Adult Brain

(Science Daily) Duke University Medical Center researchers have found that a "fountain of youth" that sustains the production of new neurons in the brains of rodents is also believed to be present in the human brain. The existence of a vital support system of cells around stem cells in the brain explains why stem cells by themselves can't generate neurons in a lab dish, a major roadblock in using these stem cells for injury repair…
"Understanding the environmental control of neuron production in the adult brain will be crucial for future therapeutic strategies using human stem cells to replace neurons," [senior author Chay] Kuo said.
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'Molecular Cap' Blocks Processes That Lead to Alzheimer's, HIV

(Science Daily) A new advance by UCLA biochemists has brought scientists one step closer to developing treatments that could delay the onset of Alzheimer's disease and prevent the sexual transmission of HIV.
The researchers report that they have designed molecular inhibitors that target specific proteins associated with Alzheimer's disease and HIV to prevent them from forming amyloid fibers, the elongated chains of interlocking proteins that play a key role in more than two dozen degenerative and often fatal diseases.
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Once-daily AIDS pill can slash HIV infection risk

(Reuters) AIDS drugs designed to treat HIV can also be used to reduce dramatically the risk of infection among heterosexual couples, two studies conducted in Africa showed for the first time on Wednesday…
AIDS drugs are available as generics in many poor countries at prices as low as 25 U.S. cents a tablet, according to the WHO. Prices could fall further and supplies increase following an agreement by Gilead, the leading maker of HIV drugs, to share intellectual property rights on its medicines in a new patent pool. The California-based group Tuesday became the first drugmaker to sign up to the Medicines Patent Pool.
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Soft Memory Device Opens Door to New Biocompatible Electronics

(Science Daily) Researchers from North Carolina State University have developed a memory device that is soft and functions well in wet environments -- opening the door to a new generation of biocompatible electronic devices.
"We've created a memory device with the physical properties of Jell-O," says Dr. Michael Dickey…, co-author of a paper describing the research…
The device's ability to function in wet environments, and the biocompatibility of the gels, mean that this technology holds promise for interfacing electronics with biological systems -- such as cells, enzymes or tissue. "These properties may be used for biological sensors or for medical monitoring," Dickey says.
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Can You Google Your Memory?

(HealthDay News) Before the advent of home computers and cell phones, you probably memorized a lot more information -- such as phone numbers and birthdays -- than you do now.
Not surprisingly, a new study has found that the brain just doesn't remember information as well if the person knows that the information has been saved on a computer. What people may remember, however, is where they need to look on the computer to access that information.
What isn't yet clear is how these changing memory patterns may change the brain in the long run.
Community: Before the invention of writing, people memorized a lot more. The only evidence we have of pre-writing history is from the sagas and other tales that were memorized and handed down from generation to generation. Personally, I like having a world of knowledge at my fingertips.
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Threat of gossip can curb selfishness

(UPI) Gossip can be hurtful, unproductive and mean, but it can be an part of ensuring people will share and cooperate, researchers in the Netherlands say…
[Participants in a study] were told they had been randomly chosen to distribute 100 tickets for a cash-prize lottery -- they could be generous and distribute the tickets to group members, or be selfish and keep a large share of the tickets for themselves.
Half of the time, the study participant was told the choice would be private and none of the group would know how many tickets they took for themselves. The rest of the time, people expected group members would know how many tickets they kept for themselves.
The study … found in every condition, people acted selfishly to some degree -- most kept more than an equal share for themselves, but when their actions were public and the chance for gossip was high, people behaved in a substantially less selfish way.
Community: How much worse is it when selfishness and superficiality are actually admired, as we find in so much of our culture today? See below.
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Fame most important value of kid TV shows

(UPI) In television shows popular with U.S. children ages 9-11, the top value emphasized was fame, which may reflect the culture, psychologists say…
The study … found the Top 5 values in 2007 were fame, achievement, popularity, image and financial success, while in 1997, the Top 5 were community feeling, being kind and helping others, image, tradition and self-acceptance.
"Popular television shows are part of the environment that causes the increased narcissism, but they also reflect the culture," Patricia M. Greenfield, a UCLA distinguished professor of psychology, says. "They both reflect it and serve as a powerful socialization force for the next generation."
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No link seen between cellphones, brain tumor

(Reuters Health) People who have used a cellphone for more than a decade do not appear to be at increased risk of a type of non-cancerous brain tumor, a large study suggests.
Looking at data on more than 2.8 million Danish adults, researchers found that those who'd used a cellphone for 11 to 15 years were no more likely than newer users or non-users to develop [a noncancerous] acoustic neuroma…
So it might be expected that if cellphones were a cause of brain tumors, people who've used them for a long time might have an increased risk of acoustic neuroma -- especially on the side where they typically hold their phone.
But that wasn't the case, [the research] team reports.
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Sometimes Sleeping on the Job May Be a Good Thing

(HealthDay News) Top U.S. officials who have taken a hard line against air traffic controllers napping on the job are missing an opportunity to improve air safety, sleep experts say.
Studies have shown that short "power naps" have a rejuvenating effect, improving reaction time and critical thinking for people impaired by drowsiness, said Dr. Alon Avidan…
"The data show if people take a short power nap, it actually makes them perform much better," Avidan said. "It doesn't disrupt their sleep. It doesn't make them wake groggy."
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Chicken Cordon Bleu
This lightened version of Chicken Cordon Bleu remains tres délicieuse despite a modest amount of butter. Fix mashed potatoes and a side of green beans while the chicken bakes.
Harissa-Rubbed Steak & Carrot Salad
Here we pair harissa-rubbed grilled steak with tangy North African-spiced carrots. Serve with whole-wheat couscous.
Cooking Light:
Turn one of summer's more humble fruits into dazzling salads, sauces, drinks, and sweet-tart desserts.
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Is Honey Healthy?

(Andrew Weil, M.D.) If you are trying to reduce your intake of refined sugar, honey is one alternative. Honey has some health benefits over sugar, as it:
·         Is sweeter than refined sugar, so you can use less.
·         Contains trace enzymes; minerals, including calcium, magnesium and potassium; amino acids; and vitamins, including a wide range of B vitamins such as riboflavin, pantothenic acid, niacin, thiamin and pyridoxine.
Raw honey may even help promote wound healing - research indicates it can be an excellent first aid measure when applied topically to burns, even very severe ones. (Don't treat a serious wound with the honey you get at the supermarket or health food store - you need a medicinal honey and someone with expertise to treat you.)
But honey also has its drawbacks. Its sticky consistency contributes to cavity formation, and can be worse for the teeth than refined sugar. Honey also should never be given to infants under one year of age, as it may contain bacterial spores that can cause infant botulism, a rare but serious disease that affects the nervous system.
While honey may not be much healthier than sugar, if you like it I recommend buying raw honey, which is tastier and has a better texture than heated and processed commercial honey.
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Molasses Extract Decreases Obesity Caused by a High-Fat Diet, Research Suggests

(Science Daily) Experimental results … [suggest] that dietary supplementation with molasses extract may provide a novel approach for weight management in humans…
"The addition of molasses extract to a high fat diet appears to reduce body weight and body fat levels primarily through reduced caloric absorption. Due to the increasing worldwide prevalence of obesity and associated health problems, supplementing food with molasses extract might be a way to address the escalating rates of overweight and obesity," said [study leader Richard Weisinger, Ph.D.]. Clinical trials scheduled next year will provide the opportunity to evaluate the efficacy of molasses extract for weight control in humans.
Community: I wonder if molasses is a better choice than other sweeteners.
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How to Get the Benefits of Vitamin D

(SouthBeachDiet.com) Are you getting enough vitamin D? Chances are, you may not be, even if you spend a lot of time in the sun. New research shows that many Americans are woefully deficient in this key nutrient, a deficiency that’s linked to a host of ailments, including type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol, hypertension, and — yes — obesity. In fact, studies have found that a deficiency in vitamin D can hamper a person’s ability to lose weight effectively. So how do you know if you’re deficient? And if you are, what should you do about it? Here are some suggestions.
1.    Get tested
2.    Catch some rays. Vitamin D is known as the sunshine vitamin because the body produces it after being exposed to sunlight…
3.    Eat vitamin D–rich foods. Eating a healthy diet can help increase your vitamin D levels. Foods that are natural sources of vitamin D are sardines, mackerel, herring, and salmon. Vitamin D–fortified foods, such as low-fat or fat-free milk, reduced-fat cheese, and some whole-grain cereals, can also help you get more of this vitamin into your body.
4.    Take a supplement. Consult with your doctor about taking a daily vitamin D supplement.
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Delving Into the Mystery of Placebos

(HealthDay News) A new study finds that the power of the placebo effect left asthma patients thinking that real and fake drugs were doing the same level of good, even though the real medication actually had a much greater physical effect on their lungs.
The effect was so strong that it convinced patients they were breathing much better even if they hadn't taken a real drug and hadn't actually improved much, as measured by a breathing test.
"The placebo doesn't change the actual breathing in asthma patients. But it changes people's experience of what's going on as much as a real drug does," said study co-author Dr. Ted J. Kaptchuk, an associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School.
Kaptchuk has noted that the ritual of treatment itself is very powerful, and that in the study "it was apparent that the placebos were as effective as the active drug in making people feel better."
Community: I’m really glad to see research that takes the placebo effect seriously.
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