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

Tips to Manage This Weekend's Time Change

(HealthDay News) When the clocks go back an hour this weekend, some people may have trouble adjusting to the time change…
Exposure to light at an earlier time in the morning may cause some people to wake up earlier than planned. This could cause increased daytime sleepiness that results in impaired mental and physical abilities, Jean-Louis explained.
Those most likely to experience problems with the switch to standard time are people who tend to wake early in the morning and are sleepy early in the evening (morning types).
The National Sleep Foundation offers some tips to help you adjust to this weekend's time change:
·         Start changing your sleep schedule a few days ahead of the time change by gradually advancing bedtime and wake-up time by 15 to 20 minutes.
·         Give your body three to four days to adjust to the new time schedule.
·         If you want to enjoy an extra hour of sleep, go to bed at your regular time on Saturday night, and wake up at your regular time on Sunday morning.
·         Keep your bedroom as dark as possible and reduce the amount of light that will enter your room when sunrise occurs an hour earlier.
·         Reduce or avoid consumption of alcohol, nicotine and caffeine, all of which can make it more difficult for your body's internal clock to adjust to the time change.
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Drowsy Driving 'Unacceptable,' But One-Third Do It: Poll

(HealthDay News) Nearly one-third (32 percent) of American drivers admitted to drowsy driving in the past month, even though 96 percent of the respondents said drowsy driving is an unacceptable behavior, according to a new survey…
Drowsy driving can have serious consequences. These drivers are involved in one of every six deadly crashes and one in eight crashes resulting in serious injury, according to a study released last year by the AAA Foundation [for Traffic Safety].
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Drugs to Make You Look Beautiful -- But at What Price?

(HealthDay News) Skimpy eyelashes, balding pates and wrinkles aren't diseases, but they may as well be in a society that "medicalizes" normal conditions by producing drugs not to cure or heal, but to enhance, some health experts contend.
So the news that a cosmetic company is developing a pill to prevent hair from graying will offer Americans more options than ever to not only turn back the clock, but -- as experts note -- to eliminate common differences that make individuals distinct…
The anti-gray hair pill under development would join several other prescription-strength pills, potions or injections in the past two decades that concentrate solely on "fixing" conditions that -- depending on perspective -- can be perceived as a bane or simply a nuisance…
[F]ew drugs -- even those used for cosmetic advantages -- are without side effects, some of which are potentially dangerous. Because it alters pigmentation, L'Oreal's new anti-gray hair pill could be a problem if it affected body moles, making them harder to diagnose as possible melanomas, according to recent reports on ABC News.
Community: Why don’t we see the same kind of warning for cosmetic surgical procedures? Surgeries have unintended consequences, too.
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Diabetes, Prediabetes, and Metabolic Syndrome

(Arthur Agatston, MD, Everyday Health) If you are an American age 40 to 70, the odds are about 40 percent that you've been diagnosed with prediabetes, diabetes, or metabolic syndrome. Shocked by this statistic? You should be! Not long ago, diabetes and prediabetes were rare. Now they are virtual epidemics in the United States, putting tens of millions of Americans at high risk for heart disease. In fact, diabetes is such a strong risk factor for heart disease that medical professionals define it as a "coronary heart disease risk equivalent."…
Luckily, type 2 diabetes is largely a "man-made" disease that we can unmake if we set our minds to it. Exercise, weight loss, and strategic dietary changes — particularly eliminating the highly processed "bad carbs" found in baked goods, breads, snack foods, and other starchy and sugary favorites — are all very effective in reversing insulin resistance.
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Obesity, inactivity tied to common colon disease

(Reuters Health) Women who don't exercise or who are overweight are slightly more likely to be hospitalized for a common disorder of the large intestine called diverticular disease.
The findings, reported by a Swedish research group, come from the largest study yet to look at the relationship between lifestyle, weight and the intestinal abnormality, in which bulging pouches form in the lining of the colon.
"Since the early seventies, the only risk factor for diverticular disease that has been discussed is (the lack of) dietary fiber, but now we have understood that there are other significant contributors to the development of disease," Dr. Fredrik Hjern, the lead author of the study, wrote in an email to Reuters Health.
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More evidence obesity tied to colon cancer: study

(Reuters) Older adults who are heavy, especially around the middle, seem to have a higher risk of developing colon cancer than their thinner peers -- and exercise may lower the incidence of the disease, especially for women, a European study said…
"The study provides further evidence that excess body fat may contribute to a higher risk of colorectal cancer," said lead researcher Laura Hughes.
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No single food lowers cancer risk

(UPI) No single food protects against cancer, but there is strong evidence eating produce, whole grains and beans helps lower cancer risk, U.S. researchers say.
A report by the American Institute for Cancer Research said studies showed many individual minerals, vitamins and phytochemicals demonstrate anti-cancer effects.
However, evidence suggests it is the synergy of compounds working together in the overall diet that offers the strongest cancer protection, and institute recommends filling at least two-thirds of the plate with vegetables, fruit, whole grains and beans.
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Seafood Arrabbiata
Italian for "angry," arrabbiata is a spicy tomato sauce. For true fury, use 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper.
Cornmeal-Crusted Chicken Nuggets with Blackberry Mustard
Tossing chicken tenders with cornmeal gives these chicken nuggets great crunch without deep-frying. Blackberries (or raspberries, if you prefer) combined with whole-grain mustard make for a sweet-and-savory dipping sauce. Serve with: Steamed broccoli and carrots.
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6 Slimming Carbs You Should Be Eating

(Nicci Micco, EatingWell) I’ve never been a fan of low-carb diets: our bodies and our brains need carbohydrates to work effectively. Of course, not all carbohydrates are created equally.
First of all, fruits, dairy and vegetables are all sources of carbohydrates. And when it comes to starches, there are … “bad” ones that, if you eat them all the time, can raise your risk of developing diseases like heart disease and diabetes. (We’re talking about doughnuts, cakes and even refined white breads.)
On the flip side, eating “good carbs” in place of refined ones can reduce your risk of these very same diseases—and may even help you to lose weight because they’re generally rich in feel-full fiber. One study in the Journal of Nutrition found that eating three servings of whole grains a day helped people reduce their total body fat and abdominal fat. Here are 6 “great” carbs to keep in your diet.
1. Whole-Wheat Pasta
Because sometimes you just need pasta—and whole-wheat kinds offer two to three times more fiber than refined white varieties, but they’re just as versatile and delicious. (Similiarly whole-wheat bread and brown rice are healthier choices than their “white” counterparts.)…
2. Quinoa
Consider it souped-up couscous. A delicately flavored whole grain, it provides some fiber (2 grams per half cup) and a good amount of protein (4 grams). Note: Research shows protein can help you feel full for longer. Rinsing quinoa removes any residue of saponin, its natural bitter protective coating…
3. Barley
Barley is available “pearled” (the bran has been removed) or “quick-cooking” (parboiled). While both contain soluble fiber that helps keep blood cholesterol levels healthy, pearl barley has a little more…
4. Bulgur
Bulgur is cracked wheat that’s been parboiled so it simply needs to soak in hot water for most uses—a perfect low-maintenance grain. It’s also a good source of feel-full fiber: just 1/2 cup delivers 5 grams…
5. Wheat Berries
Wheat Berries are the whole, unprocessed kernels of wheat. They're terrific sources of B vitamins, iron, magnesium, zinc and, yes, fiber…
6. Popcorn
Popcorn. Because when you’re craving pretzels or potato chips...you’re certainly not going to reach for a bowl of oatmeal. Popcorn satisfies a snack craving and it’s a whole grain. No, I’m not kidding: Three cups of popped popcorn (what you get by popping 1 heaping tablespoon of kernels) equals one of your three recommended daily servings of whole grains and contains 3 grams of fiber.
Read more, including cooking instructions for each suggestion.
Community: The cheapest place in my neighborhood to buy the grains listed above is the bulk foods section of Whole Foods. Also, there are healthy ways to flavor popcorn without butter and a lot of salt. One example from EatingWell is Lemon-Parm Popcorn.
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New study says Chantix raises suicide risks

(Reuters) Pfizer's smoking cessation drug Chantix carries too many risks and should only be tried when other treatments fail, researchers said on Wednesday.
Chantix was eight times more likely to be linked with a reported case of suicidal behavior or depression than other nicotine replacement products, such as the nicotine patch, they said.
The findings contradict two studies released last month by the Food and Drug Administration that showed Chantix (sold as Champix outside the United States) did not increase the risk of being hospitalized for psychiatric problems such as depression.
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More Targeted Treatments Key to Progress in War on Cancer: Report

(HealthDay News) More targeted treatments and streamlining clinical trials are among the keys to speeding the pace of progress in finding more effective cancer treatments, a new report says…
Researchers have learned that certain cancer drugs work very well in one person, but not in another because of differences in the genetic makeup of the tumor, among other factors. Far more needs to be learned about the molecular pathways and biomarkers that determine who will response best to a particular therapy, and how to best identify those patients.
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Common Breast Cancer Gene Test May Be Flawed, Study Says

(HealthDay News) A widely used breast cancer test may not be accurate in identifying a gene that is critical in determining which life-saving treatment a woman should get.
The Oncotype DX, marketed by Genomic Health, results in a number of false-negatives for the HER2 gene, according to a study…
"Women could be getting the completely wrong treatment," said study lead author Dr. David J. Dabbs…
But, according to Dr. Lori J. Goldstein…, the Oncotype DX test, which actually measures 21 different genes, was not designed to test for HER2, nor is it intended as a substitute for two other widely used and accepted lab tests.
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Discovery may help produce stem cells

(UPI) A new way to rejuvenate old stem cells raises the possibility that patients' own stem cells may one day be rescued and banked, U.S. researchers say…
The study [found that old stem] cells that had been grown on a young extracellular matrix produced just as much bone as young cells, while old cells grown on an old extracellular matrix produced no bone.
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Veterans to use telemedicine for care

(UPI) U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs providers will care for veterans using telemedicine for behavioral health, oncology and perioperative care, officials say…
The initiative focuses on using American Well's Online Care system to make needed care more accessible, convenient and efficacious for veterans, particularly those remotely located from VA medical centers.
"VA is dedicated to providing veterans with the highest quality, most patient-centric care possible -- and we see technology as a critical enabler in our mission," Jonah Czerwinski, director of [VA Innovation Initiative], said in a statement.
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Nursing home residents face greater surgery risks

(Reuters Health) Elderly nursing home residents may suffer more complications from major operations than other people their age, a new study finds.
For example, 12 out of 100 nursing home residents who had their appendix removed died within a month of the procedure, compared to just two out of 100 elderly people living on their own.
That's despite the fact that this surgery is generally considered "low-risk."
"We may be too aggressive with surgery in nursing home residents," said lead researcher Dr. Emily Finlayson, who specializes in gastrointestinal surgery at the University of California in San Francisco.
"They are frail and often have advanced medical problems, which put them at high risk of dying after surgery."
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Heathcare CEO pay still healthy

(UPI) Until the past decade it was taboo to pay non-profit hospital heads large salaries, but a California hospital executive makes $750,000 a year, researchers say…
The report -- "Seven 7-figure paychecks" -- said an IRS survey found the average compensation for a U.S. non-profit hospital chief executive officer was about $490,000 per year in 2006, but dozens of top non-profit hospital executives at larger institutions take home seven-figure paychecks…
Samuel Downing, CEO of the Salinas Valley (Calif.) Memorial Healthcare System, had total compensation of $3.67 million in 2009. However, he retired with a $3 million lump sum in 2009, on top of his base pay in 2009 of nearly $670,000, the report said.
Salinas is located in one of the poorest large cities in the Golden State and it routinely spends eight figures a year on uncompensated care and loses even more on Medicare patients, the report said.
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Medicare beneficiaries sue U.S. over hospital stays

(Reuters) A group of Medicare patients and their families sued the Obama administration on Thursday, saying they were deprived of coverage by the government health plan because of a policy that allows hospitals to avoid admitting elderly people with chronic ailments as inpatients…
The plaintiffs, aged 74 to 96, suffered multiple health problems including cancer, Parkinson's disease and arthritis. Each entered the hospital as an emergency patient, usually after a fall, but remained on observation status for days of full hospital service.
None received hospital coverage under Medicare Part A for their stays. Instead they were relegated to the Part B section of the federal program that covers visits to doctors' offices and other outpatient facilities.
As a result, they and their families incurred medical charges as high as $30,000 for skilled nursing care, drugs and other costs that Medicare does not cover unless a patient has been admitted to a hospital for at least three days.
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Insurance exchanges could harm states' autonomy

(Reuters) Some of the federal healthcare law's requirements related to insurance exchanges threaten the autonomy of U.S. states, which need more support in establishing the marketplaces, state governors said in a letter released on Thursday…
"States would be required to cede many operations that have been traditionally handled at the state level, such as Medicaid eligibility," the governors wrote about all three exchange versions.
"States have invested taxpayer resources in state-based eligibility systems since the Medicaid program began and want to avoid duplication of effort," the letter added…
In the letter, the governors asked the federal government to take over areas where they do not have current operations, such as facilitating advance payment of premium tax credits to insurers. They also sought help in certifying technology and software, such as a benefits calculator, that states could build upon for their exchange systems.
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Preventing or Delaying Alzheimer's

(Andrew Weil, M.D.) Chronic low-grade inflammation has been linked to the development of many age-related health conditions, including Alzheimer's disease. Although this process may be barely noticeable, there are things you can do to prevent or delay health issues related to inflammation. In the case of Alzheimer's, making good choices in diet, exercise and lifestyle can all reduce risk. Taking natural anti-inflammatories is also a good move, especially turmeric and ginger.
Turmeric has excellent anti-inflammatory properties, and is a component of the Dr. Weil-recommended anti-inflammatory diet and Anti-Inflammatory Food Pyramid. The principal ingredient in mild yellow prepared mustard and in some exotic curries, turmeric may have a specific preventive effect against Alzheimer's disease (it has been shown to prevent amyloid plaque formation in animals) and may reduce the risk of many types of cancer as well.
You can find turmeric products in health food stores, but many are preparations of curcumin, which is only one of the active components. Instead, take a whole extract of turmeric, and look for those prepared by the process of "supercritical extraction" - which uses liquefied carbon dioxide to extract the natural components of turmeric, rather than chemicals such as hexane, which can leave a residue. Also look for turmeric supplements that contain piperine, an alkaloid from black pepper, which has been shown to improve turmeric's bioavailability. 
Community: I put about ½ teaspoon of turmeric in my almost-every-day Healthy Mary. I buy it in the bulk section of Whole Foods, which is the cheapest place in town to buy spices. And there are a lot of other ways to fight Alzheimer’s and other types of cognitive decline.
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Impulsive Versus Controlled Men

(Science Daily) Impulsive individuals tend to display aggressive behavior and have challenges ranging from drug and alcohol abuse, to problem gambling and difficult relationships. They are less able to adapt to different social situations. Impulsivity is also a common feature of psychiatric disorders. New research … shows that people may react this way, in part, because they have lower levels of GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid), the most important inhibitory neurotransmitter, in a specific part of their brain involved in regulating self-control…
[E]xplained Dr. Frederic Boy, who led the research, "What is clear is that the way people behave results from a complex interaction between a number of genetic, social and environmental factors."
The authors note that the next stages of research need to focus on further disentangling this relationship between GABA and the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex.
Community: Seems to me that the next stage of the research ought to be to determine how to increase GABA and, if it’s a substance, start putting it in the water supply. In the meantime, fortunately, there are some non-medicinal ways to increase impulse control.
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Rx for Heart Patients: Healthier Living, Medication

(HealthDay News) A healthy lifestyle and appropriate medications can help people with heart disease live longer and avoid a heart attack or stroke, according to new guidelines from the American College of Cardiology Foundation and the American Heart Association.
Following the updated recommendations can also improve quality of life, reduce the need for surgical procedures to open blocked arteries and lower the likelihood of a repeat heart attack or stroke if you've suffered one already, the authors said.
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Thousands of Lives Could Be Saved If Rest of UK Adopted Average Diet in England, Study Concludes

(Science Daily) Around 4,000 deaths could be prevented every year if the UK population adopted the average diet eaten in England, concludes research…
Death rates for cardiovascular disease and cancer are higher in Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland than they are in England, and it is well known that these diseases are associated with a poor diet that is high in saturated fats and salt and low in fibre, fruits and vegetables…
[The] data showed that people in Scotland and Northern Ireland consistently ate more saturated fat and salt and fewer fruits and vegetables every day than their English cousins, while the differences between Wales and England were less consistent over the three years…
The authors acknowledge that diet alone cannot close the mortality gap completely, and that the impact of other behavioural risk factors, such as smoking, alcohol, and lack of exercise, also need to be taken into account.
But they conclude: "Diet has a substantial impact on geographical variations in mortality from coronary heart disease, stroke and various cancers within the UK."
And they suggest that "fat taxes" which have been mooted as a way of nudging people into healthier behaviours, might only work if they are paired with subsidies for fruit and vegetables.
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Weighing Weight-Loss Programs

(HealthDay News) A new British study finds that commercial weight-loss programs are more effective and less costly than primary care-based programs led by specially trained staff.
University of Birmingham researchers compared weight loss among obese and overweight women and men enrolled in commercial weight-loss programs that lasted 12 weeks (Weight Watchers, Slimming World, Rosemary Conley) or in primary care-based programs (group-based dietetics, general practice one-to-one counseling, pharmacy one-to-one counseling).
The study also included a control group of patients who were given 12 vouchers for free use of a local fitness center…
After one year, statistically significant weight loss was evident in all groups except for the general practice and pharmacy counseling programs. However, participants in Weight Watchers were the only ones to achieve much greater weight loss than those in the control group.
An increase in physical activity was noted in all groups, with the smallest increase among those in the general practice counseling program.
The researchers also found that attendance was highest in Weight Watchers and lowest in the primary care programs, which were also the most costly.
Community: This isn’t the first study we’ve seen showing that commercial weight loss programs can be more effective than counseling by a general practitioner.
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Fast-Food Dining Is Most Popular for Those With Middle Incomes

(Science Daily) A new national [U.S.] study of eating out and income shows that fast-food dining becomes more common as earnings increase from low to middle incomes, weakening the popular notion that fast food should be blamed for higher rates of obesity among the poor.
"There is a correlation between obesity and lower income, but it cannot be solely attributed to restaurant choice," said J. Paul Leigh…, senior author of the study…
Leigh noted that the fast-food industry attracts the middle class by locating restaurants right off freeways in middle-income areas and by offering products that appeal to a large proportion of Americans.
"Low prices, convenience and free toys target the middle class -- especially budget-conscious, hurried parents -- very well," said Leigh.
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Pasta Fagioli Soup
Italian pasta fagioli soup is not only hearty, but also a great source of fiber. Serve with crusty Italian bread and a Caesar salad for a quick weeknight supper.
Chicken & Spinach Soup with Fresh Pesto
This fragrant, Italian-flavored soup takes advantage of quick-cooking ingredients—boneless, skinless chicken breast, bagged baby spinach and canned beans.
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Skip the Traditional Mashed Potatoes

(Andrew Weil, M.D.) Mashed potatoes make a hearty, honest dish. It has sometimes been referred to as comfort food because it evokes memories of both big, special-occasion dinners and the simple, family dinner intended for no other reason than to share a good meal. This version of mashed potatoes tastes good because it's dense with the mildly sweet flavor of parsnips and just enough butter to please, but without the extra calories you usually find in mashed potatoes.
Try this alternative to traditional mashed potatoes today!
Mashed Potatoes and Parsnips
Mashed potatoes make a hearty, honest dish. It has sometimes been referred to as comfort food because it evokes memories of both big, special-occasion dinners and the simple, family dinner intended for no other reason than to share a good meal. This version of mashed potatoes tastes good because it's dense with the mildly sweet flavor of parsnips and just enough butter to please, but without the extra calories you usually find in mashed potatoes.
Community: If you substitute cauliflower for the parsnips, you have a cancer fighting dish.
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Despite economy, more buying organics

(UPI) Seventy-eight percent of U.S. families say they are choosing organic foods, an increase from last year despite hard economic times, a survey indicates.
Christine Bushway, executive director of the Organic Trade Association, found four in 10 families indicate they are buying more organic products than they were a year ago.
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Loneliness Linked to Sleepless Nights

(HealthDay News) Loneliness can be harmful to a person's sleep and health, according to a new study…
"We wanted to explore one potential pathway for this, the theory that sleep -- a key behavior to staying healthy -- could be compromised by feelings of loneliness. What we found was that loneliness does not appear to change the total amount of sleep in individuals, but awakens them more times during the night," [lead author Lianne] Kurina explained.
"Whether you're a young student at a major university or an older adult living in a rural community, we may all be dependent on feeling secure in our social environment in order to sleep soundly," she added.
This type of research may improve "understanding of how social and psychological factors 'get under the skin' and affect health," Kurina added.
Community: Remember the 12-Step suggestion to never get Hungry, Angry, Lonely, or Tired (HALT)
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Study links heart disease to low testosterone

(Reuters Health) In the ongoing saga of testosterone and male aging, a new report concludes that low levels of the sex hormone might raise men's risk of dying from heart disease…
The results add to a confusing tangle of data. Some show low testosterone levels -- sometimes called low T -- are linked to earlier deaths, including those due to heart disease, while other data don't.
Pharmaceutical companies are also promoting testosterone therapy for problems like grumpiness, lack of energy and decreased libido, whose connection with the hormone is still unclear.
The main problem in this area -- the question of causation versus correlation -- is one that also mars the new report, according to Dr. Frederick Wu, who wasn't part of the study.
"Low T is associated with poor health," Wu, a hormone expert at the University of Manchester in the UK, told Reuters Health by email. "But it does not mean that low T is the cause of poor health or increased mortality."
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Overuse of Nitroglycerin Increases Severity of Heart Attacks, Study Shows

(Science Daily) When given for hours as a continuous dose, the heart medication nitroglycerin backfires -- increasing the severity of subsequent heart attacks, according to a study of the compound in rats by researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine.
"Basically it's a cautionary tale," said professor of chemical and systems biology Daria Mochly-Rosen, PhD, senior author of the study… "Here is a practice in medicine used for over 100 years. Nitroglycerin is so old that a proper clinical trial has never been formally done. Our study says it's time for cardiologists to examine the value of nitroglycerin treatment that extends for hours at a time."
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Diabetes Drug Has Rapid, Powerful Anti-Inflammatory Effect, Study Shows

(Science Daily) Exenatide, a drug commonly prescribed to help patients with type 2 diabetes improve blood sugar control, also has a powerful and rapid anti-inflammatory effect, a University at Buffalo study has shown…
"Our most important finding was this rapid, anti-inflammatory effect, which may lead to the inhibition of atherosclerosis [hardening of the arteries], the major cause of heart attacks, strokes and gangrene in diabetics," says Paresh Dandona, MD…, senior author.
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Radiation Plus Hormone Therapy Extends Life in High-Risk Prostate Cancer

(HealthDay News) A combination of radiation and hormone therapy prolongs survival among men whose cancer has spread beyond the prostate, Canadian and U.K. researchers report.
These men have what is called high-risk, or locally advanced, prostate cancer. Among men with prostrate cancer, up to 25 percent fall into this category. In the past, these men have often been treated with hormone therapy alone, the researchers noted.
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Starving Prostate Cancer: Scientists Discover How to Cut Off Cancer's Food Supply

(Science Daily) Researchers at the Centenary Institute in Sydney have discovered a potential future treatment for prostate cancer -- through starving the tumour cells of an essential nutrient they need to grow rapidly. Their work, with human cells grown in the lab, reveals targets for drugs that could slow the progress of early and late stage prostate cancer…
Current therapies for prostate cancer include surgical removal of the prostate, radiation, freezing the tumour or cutting off the supply of the hormone testosterone -- but there are often side-effects including incontinence and impotence.
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Improved Allergy Shots Might Be on Horizon

(HealthDay News) Allergy shots are time-tested treatments that reduce health care costs and can now provide relief to allergy sufferers within weeks instead of months, according to experts…
Conventional immunotherapy requires patients to receive an allergy shot once or twice a week for about five months. But "rush" and "cluster" immunotherapy methods feature accelerated schedules to shorten that treatment period.
Rush immunotherapy typically involves giving multiple injections to a patient two or three days in a row, but schedules may be shorter or longer based on circumstances. Cluster immunotherapy involves two to four injections, given 30 minutes apart, one day a week for three weeks.
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Too Many Meds May Be More Problem Than Cure

(HealthDay News) Barely a week goes by, it seems, without some company announcing a new pill designed to help you live a longer, healthier life.
Medication can, indeed, do a lot toward curing, preventing or easing many ills. But taking a fistful of pills each day creates its own set of medical risks, prompting concern among a growing number of physicians and pharmacists that people are simply taking too many medications for their own good…
It's a concept called polypharmacy, the use of more medications than someone actually needs. And that means not just prescription drugs but also over-the-counter medications and dietary supplements.
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Report Calls for Creation of a Biomedical Research and Patient Data Network for More Accurate Classification of Diseases, Move Toward 'Precision Medicine'

(Science Daily) A new data network that integrates emerging research on the molecular makeup of diseases with clinical data on individual patients could drive the development of a more accurate classification of disease and ultimately enhance diagnosis and treatment, says a new report from the National Research Council.
The "new taxonomy" that emerges would define diseases by their underlying molecular causes and other factors in addition to their traditional physical signs and symptoms. The report adds that the new data network could also improve biomedical research by enabling scientists to access patients' information during treatment while still protecting their rights. This would allow the marriage of molecular research and clinical data at the point of care, as opposed to research information continuing to reside primarily in academia.
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Prolonged sitting linked to breast, colon cancer

‎(USA Today) More than 90,000 new cancer cases a year in the United States may be due to physical inactivity and prolonged periods of sitting, a new analysis shows…
"This gives us some idea of the cancers we could prevent by getting people to be more active," says epidemiologist Christine Friedenreich… Calculations are based on U.S. physical activity data and cancer incidence statistics. "This is a conservative estimate," she says. "The more physical activity you do, the lower your risk of these cancers."
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Increased Motivation for an Active Life - Less Depression

(Science Daily) Regular physical activity is associated with a lower risk of suffering depression in old age. This is shown by one of the largest studies on elderly Europeans to have been carried out, by researchers at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, among others. Research also shows that self-determined motivation and perceived competence are important factors in persuading elderly people to exercise more.
"We do not yet know for sure what the causal relationship between physical activity and depression is like. What is clear is that elderly people who are physically active are less depressed, but higher levels of depression can also lead to less exercise, and this suggests there is a mutual influence," says Magnus Lindwall…
"Right now we are developing and testing a structured programme to increase motivation for physical activity among the elderly based on the theories that today has strong support in the research," says Lindwall.
Community: This isn’t the first research we’ve seen showing that a sense of efficacy can be an important factor in maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Maybe these scientists need to be looking at ways to increase people’s belief that they can make changes in their lives. Also, there are ways to prevent, or at least minimize, depression.
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Depression tied to higher stroke risk

(Reuters Health) Combining the results of 17 studies on depression and stroke, researchers found that people who had depression at some point in their lives were about a third more likely to suffer a stroke than those who haven't been depressed.
The analysis "seems very convincing," said Maria Glymour, a professor at the Harvard School of Public Health, who was not involved in the study.
What is not understood, she added, is whether depression is somehow causing the increased risk of stroke, or whether the two diseases have the same underlying causes.
Community: As mentioned above, there are ways to prevent, or at least minimize, depression.
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Is it mind over meds in depression treatment?

(Reuters Health) When it comes to the odds of getting better with depression treatment, people's beliefs may matter even more than the treatment itself, a new study suggests…
In the new study, researchers re-analyzed findings from a 2002 clinical trial that compared the antidepressant sertraline (Zoloft), the herbal depression treatment St. John's wort and a placebo…
[P]eople who thought they were using the antidepressant or St. John's wort were more likely to improve than those who thought they'd been assigned to the placebo group…
It's possible that people who felt better at the eight-week mark were more likely to guess that they were on active treatment -- and, specifically, the one they hoped they were getting, [lead researcher Dr. Justin] Chen pointed out.
But, he said in an interview, the findings add to a large body of evidence that patient beliefs are important in their responses to treatment -- and to depression therapy in particular.
Community: Can this result also be related to the sense of efficacy?
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A Surprisingly Powerful Drug-Free Pain Reliever

(RealAge.com) If any part of your body is making you go, "Ouch!" try this: Improve your posture. No, we're not talking about sitting up straight like your mother told you to (though that might not hurt).
We mean: Do something more expressive. Think confident and showy. Act like a peacock spreading its feathers -- and take up more space. When you assume an expansive, powerful position, you actually change your hormone levels. It boosts testosterone, which helps with pain tolerance, and decreases cortisol, a major stress hormone. Acting powerful makes you feel powerful, more in control, and better able to cope with any physical (or emotional) hurt that life throws your way. (Discover other ways to get a handle on pain.)
Community: Sense of efficacy, once again?
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Tacos al Carbon
Although "al carbon" means to cook over charcoal, bring this dish indoors by sautéing steak, onions, and peppers to make a one-pan taco filling reminiscent of fajitas. The piquant flavors of lime and garlic in the dressing enhance almost anything, so feel free to substitute chicken, lamb, or shrimp for the beef.
Penne with Vodka Sauce & Capicola
Our velvety tomato sauce is spiked with cubes of salty capicola and a few shots of vodka. Make it a Meal: Caesar salad and a glass of Pinot Noir will shine with this dish.
Secrets for Making Tasty Meals in Your Slow Cooker
If you have the time, browning meat or veggies adds loads of flavor. Find out what to do the night before.
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Top 5 Fall Foods for Weight Loss

(Nicci Micco, EatingWell) Say “fall” and “food” and the first things I think of are apples and squash—two foods that are most certainly in the arsenal of ingredients that help you to stay trim when the weather turns cool. Here’s why I love these slimming fall foods, plus three others you should be eating this season:
Apples:… Low in calories and high in fiber (95 calories and 4 grams of fiber per medium fruit), apples are satisfying and sweet. And in a recent study from Florida State University, dried apples also helped participants lose some weight…
Squash: No doubt squash (I love butternut) is good for you: 1 cup, cooked, delivers 214 percent of the recommended daily value for vitamin A and a third of your recommended daily dose of vitamin C. As far as “starchy sides” go, squash is a calorie bargain: just 80 calories per cup…
Broccoli:… Often, I use it to “bulk up” a whole-wheat penne recipe: studies show that incorporating vegetables into a dish like pasta help you to eat fewer calories. Why? You’re adding volume—which helps you to feel fuller—with very few calories. I also love it raw, dipped in hummus. A cup of broccoli (31 calories, 2.4 grams of fiber) plus 2 tablespoons of hummus (about 50 calories, 2 g fiber) is a satisfying low-cal snack.
Kale:… Like broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage, kale is a cruciferous vegetable, packed with those isothiocyanates that amp up your body’s detoxifying power; plus, it has tons of vitamin A and loads of fiber…
Cabbage: At 17 calories per cup—and no, that’s not a typo—cabbage pretty much counts as a “free food” in my book… Health bonus: Studies suggest that cabbage may help fight breast, lung, colon and other types of cancer.
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