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

CDC: Make Lifestyle Changes to Cut Stroke Risk

(HealthDay News) Americans need to take action to reduce their risk of stroke, U.S. health officials said Thursday.
Someone in the world dies of a stroke every six seconds and about 137,000 Americans die of stroke every year. That number is about equivalent to the population of Eugene, Ore. or Savannah, Ga., according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The agency's message about stroke prevention comes ahead of World Stroke Day on Oct. 29.
A new U.S. government program, called Million Hearts, seeks to prevent 1 million strokes and heart attacks over the next five years. The program encourages people to learn and follow their ABCs: aspirin for people at risk; blood pressure control; cholesterol management; and smoking cessation.
Community: I’m keeping a list of things we can do to minimize the risk of having a stroke.
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Vigorous exercise boosts vitamin D while lowering heart risk

(USA Today) Vigorous exercise significantly improves several risk factors for heart disease, including boosting vitamin D levels, a new study shows.
That's one of the surprising findings by Harvard scientists, who were trying to identify the reasons exercise lowers the risk of heart attacks.
People who do vigorous physical activity — such as running, jogging, playing basketball or soccer — for three or more hours a week reduce their risk of a heart attack by 22%, the study found. Among the reasons: They have higher levels of good cholesterol and vitamin D as well as better levels of other factors involved in heart disease.
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Commuting by walking or cycling better for health

(UPI) Commuting by car or public transportation, compared to walking or cycling, is associated with negative effects on health, researchers in Sweden found.
Erik Hansson of the Faculty of Medicine at Lund University tracked 21,000 people, ages18-65, who worked more than 30 hours a week and commuted either by car, train or bus, or were active commuters, who traveled by walking or cycling.
"Generally car and public transport users suffered more everyday stress, poorer sleep quality, exhaustion and, on a seven-point scale, felt that they struggled with their health compared to the walkers or cyclists," Hansson said in a statement. "The negative health of public transport users increased with journey time.
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6 Powerful Health-Boosting Foods

(SouthBeachDiet.com) Dr. Arthur Agatston, author of The South Beach Wake-Up Call, recommends a wide variety of delicious fresh foods in a rainbow of colors to get the maximum antioxidants and other disease-fighting nutrients. A few foods are true standouts, packing in exceptional amounts of vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients, including plant compounds called phytochemicals, that can help to lower your risk for numerous health conditions, including cancer and heart disease…
Tomatoes…: Studies show that eating tomato products may reduce prostate cancer risk…
Spinach and other dark leafy greens…: Research shows that eating dark leafy greens, like spinach, kale, and Swiss chard (which are technically cruciferous vegetables), may help maintain good health by reducing one’s risk of heart disease and stroke, some cancers, and several other illnesses…
Walnuts…: Like all nuts, walnuts are a great source of protein, fiber, and healthy fats. Unlike other nuts, however, walnuts are high in heart-healthy omega-3 oils, which have been shown to have antioxidant properties…
Blueberries…: Studies show that a number of compounds in blueberries, including pigment-producing anthocyanins, are powerful in helping to prevent cancer…
Pomegranates…: Recent studies show that pomegranate juice … may help protect against heart disease.
Sweet potatoes…: [S]weet potatoes can help reduce LDL cholesterol, lower high blood pressure, fight cataracts and age-related macular degeneration, and boost your resistance to colds and infections. Other good sources of beta-carotene are carrots and apricots.
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Watermelon may reduce atherosclerosis

(UPI) A study using animals found watermelon reduced atherosclerosis -- hardening of the arteries, U.S. researchers say…
A control group was given water to drink, while the experimental group was given watermelon juice.
By week 8 of the study, the animals given watermelon juice had lower body weight than the control group, due to decrease of fat mass, the researchers said…
A measurement of atherosclerotic lesion areas revealed that the watermelon juice group also experienced statistically significant reductions in atherosclerotic lesions, as compared to the control group.
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Recipes

MyRecipes.com:
Shrimp and Pine Nut* Spaghetti
Homemade cream sauce is a delicious and easy topper to this pasta toss. Not a shrimp fan? It's also good with rotisserie chicken.
EatingWell:
Baja Butternut Squash Soup
This silky-smooth butternut soup gets a hit of spice from chipotle, cloves and cumin.
Community: *Pine nuts are delicious, but they’re very expensive. You might want to find a substitute. For pesto, we substitute chopped walnuts for half of the pine nuts called for.
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Students Coax Yeast Cells to Add Vitamins to Bread

(Science Daily) Any way you slice it, bread that contains critical nutrients could help combat severe malnutrition in impoverished regions. That is the goal of a group of Johns Hopkins University undergraduate students who are using synthetic biology to enhance common yeast so that it yields beta carotene, the orange substance that gives carrots their color. When it's eaten, beta-carotene turns into vitamin A…
Team member Arjun Khakhar, a junior biomedical engineering major, grew up in Bombay, India, where he saw widespread poverty and malnutrition. "The major problem in developing countries right now is not that people are hungry and starving because they don't have enough food," he said. "What people don't have now is the [right type of] food that they need to survive. Vital nutrients like vitamins are just missing from their diets because they can't afford fruits and vegetables. That's what we wanted to provide through VitaYeast."
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Use of Over-the-Counter Thyroid Support Pills Is Risky, Researcher Finds

(Science Daily) People who use over-the-counter "thyroid support'' supplements may be putting their health at risk, according to a study… The supplements contain varying amounts of two different kinds of thyroid hormones apparently derived in large part from chopped up animal thyroid glands, says the study's senior investigator, Victor Bernet, M.D…
The hormones are known as T3, or triiodothyronine, and T4, or thyroxine. They are regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and intended for use only in prescription medication because they can cause significant health issues, such as an increase in heart rate, heart irregularities and palpitations, nervousness, and diarrhea, Dr. Bernet says…
Not only did nine of the 10 supplements studied have animal hormone, the amount of hormones in the products varied significantly, sometimes exceeding doses used for individual patients and comparable to levels found in prescription thyroid medication, Dr. Bernet says.
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Kidney stones tied to higher diabetes risk

(Reuters Health) People who've suffered bouts of kidney stones may have an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes later on, new research suggests.
A number of studies have observed that people with diabetes are more likely to form kidney stones than diabetes-free people are. But it hasn't been clear whether the reverse is true.
In the new study, researchers found that among more than 94,000 Taiwanese adults, those with a history of kidney stones were about 30 percent more likely to be diagnosed with diabetes over five years than people without stones.
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Using Therapeutic Cooling to Treat Cardiac Arrest Patients

(Science Daily) A Mayo Clinic study … provides guidance to physicians using therapeutic cooling to treat sudden cardiac arrest patients.
One relatively new approach to prevent or reduce brain damage involves the use of hypothermia -- forced cooling -- of the patient as soon as possible following sudden cardiac arrest. The aim is to slow the body's metabolism and reduce the cascade of undesirable events that can cause permanent brain damage. It is believed that mild therapeutic hypothermia suppresses harmful chemical reactions in the brain and preserves cell health.
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Python Findings Shed Light on Human Heart Health

(HealthDay News) Huge amounts of fatty acids that circulate in the bloodstreams of pythons when they feed promote healthy heart growth, a finding that may lead to new ways to treat heart disease in people, researchers report.
One day after eating, triglyceride levels in Burmese pythons increased by more than 50-fold. Triglycerides are the main component of natural fats and oils.
There was also an increase in the activity of an enzyme known to protect the heart from damage, the University of Colorado Boulder researchers found.
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Heart Disease Linked to Evolutionary Changes

(Science Daily) A new study … suggests that cardiovascular disease may be an unfortunate consequence of mammalian evolution. The study … demonstrates that the same features of blood platelets that may have provided an evolutionary advantage to early mammals now predispose humans to cardiovascular disease.
"The biology of platelets has been studied in great detail in the context of human disease, but almost nothing is known about why mammals have platelets, whereas no other species do," said lead study author Alec A. Schmaier, PhD… "This new line of research suggests that platelets could have allowed mammals to better survive traumatic injury by being able to form cellular clots in arterial blood vessels. The price for this evolutionary change may be modern cardiovascular diseases."
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Testosterone linked to muscle retention

(UPI) Higher testosterone levels are associated with reduced loss of lean muscle mass in older men, especially those losing weight, U.S. researchers say.
Lead author Dr. Erin LeBlanc of Kaiser Permanente Northwest in Portland, Ore., said loss of muscle mass and strength contribute to frailty and are associated with falls, mobility limitations and fractures.
Men lose more muscle mass and strength than women as they age, suggesting sex steroids -- and testosterone in particular -- may contribute to body composition and physical function changes.
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Slower Walking Speed Linked to Surgical Risk in Elderly

(HealthDay News) Older people who walk more slowly than their peers may be at greater risk for complications and disability following surgery, according to a new study.
Researchers from the University of Colorado said surgeons should assess the elderly differently than younger patients and take walking speed into account when determining surgical risks…
Frailty, a condition marked by muscle loss, fatigue and a lack of physical resiliency, can be revealed by a slow gait or walking speed, the researchers said. In these cases the stress of an operation could lead to serious complications, they said, which could be avoided by assessing walking speed in a simple test before surgery.
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High-Tech Suit Lets You Know What It's Like to Be Old

(HealthDay News) Plastic bands that restrict movement. Glasses that make vision dull and yellowed. Shoes that throw the wearer off balance. Harnesses that make the body hunch over. Gloves that make fingers clumsy and awkward.
These are all components of AGNES, a suit developed at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to help product designers prepare the world for the aging of the baby boom generation…
AGNES is part of an overall design trend focused on making the world easier for everyone to navigate through, but particularly people whose mobility or senses have been dulled by age, said Daniel Reingold, president and chief executive of the Hebrew Home at Riverdale, a New York City geriatric center.
"You're seeing it in almost every kind of consumer product -- things ranging from automobiles to utensils to even interior design," Reingold said. "You're seeing more thought given to baby boomers as they age, and adapting design to meet our needs."
Community: I think everyone approaching middle age should wear one of these suits for a day, to provide motivation for adopting a lifestyle that will eliminate, or at least delay, these kinds of limitations.
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Spousal Death Can Lead to Loss of Independent Living for Seniors

(Science Daily) The death of a spouse is always a tragedy, but for seniors, that tragedy can spur some significant life changes. And one University of Alberta researcher says the choices they make are something policymakers need to pay attention to.
Sociologist Lisa Strohschein says that losing a partner can precipitate the need for the surviving spouse to leave the residence they once shared. And the bereavement period is often key for them or their family members to decide whether it makes sense for that person to continue living alone or whether they give up living independently…
She says that developing processes and putting services in place would allow these people to retain their independence and their dignity in their twilight years, which is critical to ensuring the system does not become needlessly taxed.
"How do we delay that onset of moving a person to institutional care, care that tends to be quite costly, and can be depersonalizing for the person who's receiving it," Strohschein said…
"Coming up with other kinds of options that are going to maintain seniors' independence as long as possible and give them the services that they need to help maintain that are going to be absolutely critical."
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Drugmakers pool ideas to battle tropical diseases

(Reuters) The World Intellectual Property Organization launched a consortium on Wednesday that would allow the public and private sector to share intellectual property to promote the development of new drugs to treat diseases such as malaria.
The "WIPO Re:Search" initiative hopes to speed up development of medicines, vaccines and diagnostics that might otherwise go under-researched, or might never be developed because the potential market is not lucrative enough…
Pharmaceutical giants including AstraZeneca , GlaxoSmithKline, Novartis and Pfizer are among those who joined the consortium.
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Reused pacemakers safe option in poor countries

(Reuters) Recycled pacemakers donated from U.S. funeral homes could offer a safe way to get the heart devices to people in the developing world who otherwise might not be able to afford them, a U.S. study said.
An estimated 1 million to 2 million people around the world die each year because they have no access to a pacemaker, an implanted device that uses electrical pulses to the heart to maintain a normal heartbeat.
One potential, largely untapped source of pacemakers for the world's poor could be the significant number of people in the United States who die with a still-functioning device -- some 19 percent of the deceased, according to one survey of morticians in the states of Michigan and Illinois.
The large majority of those are buried with the body or, if removed, thrown away as medical waste. But a small percentage are donated to developing nations through charities.
Community: If they’re good enough for the poor in poor countries, why aren’t they good enough for the poor here?
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Burning off the Halloween calories

(UPI) People who indulge in Halloween candy can burn off calories and have fun, or even be productive, at the same time, a U.S. non-profit fitness organization says.
Leigh Crews, a fitness trainer for the American Council on Exercise, said the average amount of popular candy -- one Almond Joy Snack Size Bar, one Reese's Peanut Butter Cup or six Tootsie Rolls -- is about 100 calories.
To burn off the calories of one Halloween treat:
-- Dance for 20 minutes.
-- Jog in place for 12 minutes.
-- 15 minutes of intense weight training burns approximately 100 calories. These "tuned up" muscles will keep burning more calories even after the workout is over.
-- Bike for 10 minutes at 12-14 mph.
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Soda a day = eating 50 pounds of sugar/yr

(UPI) Drinking just one 20-ounce soda a day translates to eating 50 pounds of sugar a year, a New York City health department public education campaign says.
Dr. Thomas Farley, New York City commissioner of health, said the 30-second TV spot will air on major broadcast and cable TV stations during the next two months as a stark reminder to New Yorkers about how sugary drinks can lead to obesity, which can cause diabetes, heart disease, stroke, arthritis and some cancers…
The campaign encourages New Yorkers to avoid sugary beverages and quench their thirst with water, seltzer or low-fat milk instead.
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Exercise Eases Arthritis in Obese Mice Even Without Weight Loss

(Science Daily) Adding another incentive to exercise, scientists at Duke University Medical Center have found that physical activity improves arthritis symptoms even among obese mice that continue to chow down on a high-fat diet.
The insight suggests that excess weight alone isn't what causes the aches and pains of osteoarthritis, despite the long-held notion that carrying extra pounds strains the joints and leads to the inflammatory condition.
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8 Foods That Fight Pain

(RealAge.com) No single food can zap chronic pain, but a healthful diet is an important part of your pain-management strategy. The Mediterranean diet, for example, is rich in fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and healthful unsaturated fats. These edibles can help build strong bones and muscles, and -- in some cases -- can even short-circuit pain. A wholesome diet also helps prevent pain-aggravating weight gain and boosts your energy levels and mood so you can cope more comfortably.
Choose Whole Grains
Whole grains are rich in fiber, a good-for-you ingredient that curbs appetite and helps you manage your weight. Maintaining a healthy body weight is important to keep chronic pain at bay…
Hook Some Salmon
Reeling more salmon into your diet is a good bet for managing chronic pain. Salmon is rich in ache-busting omega-3 fatty acids, but it's also a great source of another potential pain fighter: vitamin D…
Pour on the Olive Oil
Olive oil is liquid gold when it comes to fighting pain. This elixir is rich in antioxidant polyphenols that help inhibit a common pain-causing mechanism in the body…
Spice Is Nice
When it comes to spices with potential pain-relieving properties, go for the gold: ginger and turmeric. Ginger contains a quartet of substances (gingerols, paradols, shogaols, and zingerone) that have analgesic qualities similar to aspirin or ibuprofen. Turmeric -- a spice used in Indian and Thai curry dishes -- contains curcumin, another ginger-family member that may also help nip pain in the bud…
Be Sweet with Strawberries
Grab a basket of sweet, juicy strawberries next time they're in season (or use frozen ones anytime). These red treats are chock-full of vitamin C, an antioxidant with powerful pain-reducing properties, according to research…
Get Your Greens
Toss a spinach or arugula salad for a jolt of vitamin K -- a nutrient with potential pain-soothing properties, according to some preliminary research. Vitamin K also helps maintain strong bones and healthy joints…
Dive Into Dairy
Can yogurt and other dairy foods dampen pain? Not directly, but they do contain two bone-building nutrients: calcium and vitamin D. Not only does vitamin D do more than buoy bone strength, it may also play a role in diminishing chronic pain, according to some study findings…
Sip a Glass of Vino
Can a nice glass of Bordeaux help soothe achy joints and muscles? It may help. The resveratrol in wine, grapes, and grape juice may have an analgesic effect similar to aspirin, according to a handful of animal studies.
Community: Resveratrol is also available as a food supplement.
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Food for thought: can fish lower your stroke risk?

(Reuters Health) People who eat fish a few times each week are slightly less likely to suffer a stroke than those who only eat a little or none at all.
That's the conclusion of an analysis of 15 studies, each of which asked people how frequently they ate fish, then followed them for between four and 30 years to see who suffered a stroke.
"I think overall, fish does provide a beneficial package of nutrients, in particular the omega-3s, that could explain this lower risk," said Dr. Dariush Mozaffarian, a Harvard School of Public Health epidemiologist whose research was included in the analysis.
"A lot of the evidence comes together suggesting that about two to three servings per week is enough to get the benefit."
Community: If you want to prevent, delay, or reduce the severity of stroke, here are some ways to do it.
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Drink this to Reduce Lung Cancer Risk

(RealAge.com) A review of 22 studies on tea confirms the lung benefits. People who drank the most green tea -- compared with drinkers of black tea or people who consumed little or no green tea -- had a 22 percent lower risk for lung cancer.
Green tea may help protect lungs better than black tea does because green tea has more cancer-fighting antioxidants called catechins. And green tea catechins appear to thwart cancer in myriad ways. Lab studies show that a special kind of green tea catechin called epigallocatechin gallate may slow the growth of human cancer cells and may even trigger their death. Other green tea catechins are great at neutralizing cell-damaging free radicals that open the door to the cancer process.
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Eat This to Maintain Your Muscles

(RealAge.com) Worried about losing muscle mass as you shed weight? The solution may be to add more protein to your diet.
Women naturally lose muscle and strength as they age, more so than men. For older women who are on a diet, consuming more protein may help preserve muscle mass and foster a better muscle-to-fat body composition.
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Recipes

MyRecipes.com:
Pork Chops with Cinnamon Apples
Warm flavors like sage and cinnamon play up the contrast between the juicy pork chops and caramelized apples. Tart Granny Smiths and slightly sweeter Braeburn apples both work well for this dish.
EatingWell:
Salmon with Pepita-Lime Butter
Lime juice, chili powder and pepitas give this salmon Mexican flair. Serve with wild rice and steamed vegetables.
Andrew Weil, M.D.:
Manhattan Clam Chowder
Clams are mineral powerhouses, with abundant amounts of phosphorus, potassium, copper and selenium.
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USDA revises meat temp recommendation

(UPI) The U.S. Department of Agriculture has revised its recommended cooking temperature for pork and other red meat.
Dr. Elisabeth Hagen, under secretary for food safety, said the department determined it is just as safe to cook pork, whole cuts of pork and other red meat to 145 degrees F with a 3-minute rest time as it is to cook them to 160 degrees with no rest time…
"During the 3 minutes after the meat is removed from the heat source, its temperature remains constant or continues to rise, which will destroy any pathogens," [Dr. Elisabeth Hagen, under secretary for food safety,] said. "And so lowering the cooking temperature of raw pork, steaks, roasts and chops by 15 degrees F with the addition of that 3-minute rest time will provide consumers with a product that is both microbiologically safe and at its best quality -- juicy and tender."
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Probiotics in the News

(Andrew Weil, M.D.) Probiotics, including foods or supplements containing "friendly" bacteria that normally inhabit the digestive tract (usually Lactobacillus or Bifidobacterium), may help prevent colds, a recent study suggests.
A review of 10 studies involving data on more than 3,400 participants ranging in age from infants to adults in their 40s showed that taking probiotics for more than a week was associated with 12 percent fewer colds. However, the review, by researchers at China's Sichuan University, found no evidence that taking probiotics could reduce the duration of colds. The only side effects seen among participants in the 10 studies who took probiotics were vomiting and flatulence, but these symptoms were equally as common in the studies' control groups.
The researchers noted that three previous investigations have examined how probiotics influenced upper respiratory infections in older adults. One found no reduction in incidence among those who took probiotics, but did report that the colds didn't last as long. Another found a 3.4-fold reduction in the risk of catching a cold or the flu, and the third found that upper respiratory tract infections had a shorter overall duration in those using probiotics compared to those who didn't use them.
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Food industry often self-polices chemicals

(UPI) One-third of the more than 10,000 substances that may be added to human food were made by food manufacturers and a trade association, U.S. researchers say…
"Congress established our food additive regulatory program more than 50 years ago, and it does not stand up well to scrutiny based on today's standards of science and public transparency," Tom Neltner, food additives project director in the Pew Health Group, said in a statement.
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Cheaper and Easier Isn't Necessarily Better in New Colon Cancer Screening Procedures

(Science Daily) Eventually, colon cancers bleed and so tests for blood in stool seem an inexpensive and noninvasive alternative to traditional colonoscopies. In fact, a recent article … showed that fecal immunochemical testing (FIT) is an accurate predictor of colorectal cancer and can provide a low-cost screening alternative for medically underserved populations.
However, Tim Byers, MD, MPH, … says that despite its ease, low cost, and one-time accuracy, FIT remains inferior to colorectal cancer screening the old-fashioned way, by colonoscopy…
"Testing for blood in the stool can find cancer and advanced adenomas, but it does not work well for finding most adenomas, therefore creates many missed opportunities for cancer prevention," Byers says. In other words, by the time a colorectal cancer bleeds, the window for successful treatment may be closed -- proverbially, this is discovering the barn door is unlocked after the horse has run away.
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Through-the-Nipple Breast Cancer Therapy Shows Promise in Early Tests

(Science Daily) Delivering anticancer drugs into breast ducts via the nipple is highly effective in animal models of early breast cancer, and has no major side effects in human patients, according to a report… The results of the study are expected to lead to more advanced clinical trials of so-called intraductal treatment for early breast cancer.
"Our results support the theory that by treating the breast tissue directly we can reach a much more potent drug concentration where it is needed, with far fewer adverse effects on tissues outside the breasts," says oncologist Vered Stearns, M.D.
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New Cancer Fighting Virus Shows Improved Effectiveness

(Science Daily) A new fourth-generation oncolytic virus designed to both kill cancer cells and inhibit blood-vessel growth has shown greater effectiveness than earlier versions when tested in animal models of human brain cancer.
Researchers … are developing the oncolytic virus as a treatment for glioblastoma, the most common and deadly form of brain cancer (average survival: 15 months after diagnosis).
The new oncolytic virus, called 34.5ENVE, improved survival of mice with transplanted human glioblastoma tumors by 50 percent in a majority of cases compared with the previous-generation oncolytic virus.
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Flu Vaccine Isn't Foolproof

(HealthDay News) The most widely used flu vaccine in the United States is only about 60 percent effective in healthy adults, new research indicates…
The findings are in line with other recent reviews and don't mean that people shouldn't get their annual flu shot, said Dr. Joseph Bresee … of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
"The findings are not that unexpected, but flu vaccines do work. They don't work as well as we'd like them to work all the time, [but] flu is a bad disease. It can cause death and hospitalization, and the flu vaccine is absolutely the best tool to prevent that," Bresee said. "While we all want them to be better, they're still the best thing we have."
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Obesity May Hinder Flu Shot's Effectiveness

(HealthDay News) The various health risks associated with being overweight or obese are well known, but a new study now suggests that this extra weight may also make your annual flu shot less effective.
What's more, obese and overweight people may be at higher risk for more severe illness if they do catch the flu, according to the findings.
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AARP fights Congress on Medicare age

(UPI) AARP and 20 other U.S. organizations say the federal budget should not be balanced on the backs of the elderly by raising the eligibility for Medicare to 67.
The groups sent a letter to U.S. congressional leaders urging them to reject any policy proposals that would increase the age of eligibility for Medicare.
"We're fighting to stop Congress from making a deal that would deny seniors their Medicare benefits until they turn 67, forcing them to pay more than $2,000 more per year for healthcare," Nancy LeaMond, executive vice president for AARP, said in a statement. "Rather than simply shifting costs to seniors and employers, we need to lower healthcare costs throughout the healthcare system."
Increased healthcare costs for those ages 65-67 may put coverage and care out of reach for many, and single women and minorities may be disproportionately affected, LeaMond said.
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Medicare Part B Premium Increase Lower Than Expected

(HealthDay News) The premium new Medicare patients will pay for part B benefits in 2012 will be less than expected and the Part B deductible will also be $22 lower, U.S. health officials said Thursday.
However, for those already on Medicare that premium will represent an increase. Since 2008, most people with Medicare have paid a monthly premium of $96.40, because a law froze Part B premiums in years when there was no cost-of-living increase in Social Security. In 2012, those people will pay $99.90.
"After two years of no increases in Medicare Part B premiums, premiums for most beneficiaries will go up next year, just $3.50 a month, far less than the $10 increase that was forecasted," Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, said during a noon news conference.
"That means that Part B premiums in Medicare have risen just over 3 percent in the last four years. That's pretty remarkable," she said.
The deductible will also drop down to $140. Part B is the part of Medicare that covers parts of doctor visits, outpatient care, some medical equipment and some preventive care.
Community: If the Medicare deductible is dropping, why is my Part B medigap insurance going up 36%?
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Impulse Control Depends on Prefrontal Cortex Activity

(Science Daily) If the front part of the cerebral cortex is less active then people have less control over their social behaviour and automatically follow their inclinations more [according to a recent study]…
Study subjects in whom the activity of the prefrontal cortex was temporarily suppressed could control their emotional impulses less well than normal. Their amygdala deep in the brain that is responsible for emotional reactions then becomes extra active…
This study is important for a good understanding of the role played by various parts of the brain and could in the future contribute to the treatment of aggression and social anxiety disorders.
Community: This research has implications for addiction recovery, including food addiction. Fortunately, there are ways to improve impulse control.
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'Hunger Hormones' May Drive Post-Dieting Weight Gain

(HealthDay News) Overweight people who diet and successfully shed pounds only to gain the weight back again within a year can blame their hunger hormones, new research suggests…
The authors said the findings … imply that drugs to suppress hunger may be useful in the long term, but behavioral factors linked to overeating should also be tackled… "Food addiction needs to be addressed. We've found that 50 percent of overweight people have food-addiction issues," [Dr. David Heber] said…
"The power is in your hands to get to a healthy body weight by eating a healthy diet and exercising and receiving proper medical supervision. We have lots of evidence showing people have lost weight this way," he said.
"There will never be a magical pill that allows you to eat what you want and lose weight. The idea of this is really a disservice to society," he said.
Community: Again, treatment of addiction involves building impulse control.
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Men not exempt from binge eating

(UPI) Binge eating is a disorder that affects both men and women, but men are underrepresented in research, U.S. researchers say…
"Binge eating is closely linked to obesity and excessive weight gain as well as the onset of hypertension, diabetes and psychiatric disorders such as depression," [lead author Dr. Ruth R.] Striegel said in a statement. "However most of the evidence about the impact of binge eating is based on female samples, as the majority of studies into eating disorders recruit women."
Community: And once again, treatment of addiction involves building impulse control.
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Living near fast food joints may not up weight

(Reuters Health) Adults who live close to fast food restaurants may not weigh any more than the rest of us, a new study suggests.
The findings, from a 30-year study of Massachusetts adults, add to a conflicting body of research. A number of studies have suggested that people living in fast food-heavy neighborhoods have a higher rate of obesity, while a few have failed to find a link.
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Western Diet Linked to Increased Colorectal Cancer Risk

(Science Daily) Researchers may have found a specific dietary pattern linked to levels of C-peptide concentrations that increase a woman's risk for colorectal cancer.
"High red meat intake, fish intake, sugar-sweetened beverage intake, but low coffee, whole grains and high-fat dairy intake, when taken as a whole, seemed to be associated with higher levels of C-peptide in the blood," said Teresa T. Fung, S.D., R.D…
C-peptide is a marker of insulin secretion that can be measured in a person's blood. High levels of insulin may promote cell growth and multiplication. One of the major characteristics of cancer is aberrant cell growth. Higher levels of C-peptide, and therefore insulin, may promote cancer cell growth.
"Colon cancer seems to be one of the cancers that are sensitive to insulin," Fung said. "This research has helped us to put together a fuller picture of what may be going on in terms of mechanisms and the relationship between food and colorectal cancer risk."
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Strawberries Protect the Stomach, Rat Experiments Suggest

(Science Daily) In an experiment on rats, European researchers have proved that eating strawberries reduces the harm that alcohol can cause to the stomach mucous membrane… [T]he study may contribute to improving the treatment of stomach ulcers…
The conclusions of the study state that a diet rich in strawberries can have a beneficial effect when it comes to preventing gastric illnesses that are related to the generation of free radicals or other reactive oxygen species. This fruit could slow down the formation of stomach ulcers in humans.
Gastritis or inflammation of the stomach mucous membrane is related to alcohol consumption but can also be caused by viral infections or by nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medication (such as aspirin) or medication used to treat against the Helicobacter pylori bacteria.
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Recipes

MyRecipes.com:
Chicken-Butternut Tagine
Sweet, smoky, and salty flavors blend beautifully in this quick adaptation of a classic Moroccan dish.
EatingWell:
Hamburger Buddy
Very finely chopping onion, mushrooms and carrots in the food processor is not only fast—it makes the vegetables hard to detect for picky eaters. They also form the base for the sauce of this ground beef skillet supper. Make it a meal: Serve with a green salad.
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Seasonal Food: Onions

(Andrew Weil, M.D.) Onions should be a staple in every kitchen, and not just because of the wonderful flavor they add to foods. They are also just plain good for you: allicin, a phytonutrient found in most varieties of onions, may help lower cholesterol and blood pressure, and onions are also an excellent source of chromium, vitamin C, folate and dietary fiber.
Whether you opt for red, yellow or white onions, choose those that are free of blemishes and have dry outer skins… Preparation tip: Help prevent crying by chilling the onions for sixty minutes before cutting, to slow the enzyme activity that can irritate the eyes.
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Get Carb Smart

(SouthBeachDiet.com) Carbohydrates often get a bad rap when it comes to a healthy eating plan. But not all carbs are created equal…
Good carbohydrates include those found in nutritious, high-fiber fruits and vegetables, legumes, and unrefined whole grains, including certain types of rice, such as brown and wild…
Besides being packed with vitamins and minerals, good carbohydrate foods typically contain plenty of fiber, which takes longer to digest, thus keeping blood-sugar levels steady — and cravings and hunger at bay.
When you pick up a product, be sure to first check out the Nutrition Facts panel. This will show you the total amount of carbohydrates and how much of that total comes from fiber (and/or sugar). The higher the fiber in a product the better it is (refined-flour products often have very little). Then look at the ingredients list to see where the fiber is coming from. The first ingredient should have the word “whole” (and ideally 100% whole) in front of a specific grain (like whole wheat and whole oats) or should list a lesser-known (but still whole) grain, like brown rice, bulgur, kamut, millet, or quinoa.
Finally, for the healthiest choices, look for whole-grain breads that contain no trans fats and at least 3g of dietary fiber per slice.
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