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

Thanksgiving foods some of healthiest

(UPI) The traditional Thanksgiving meal has so many antioxidants and healthy foods, it's a shame Americans tend to only eat it on holidays, a U.S. dietitian said.
"Several foods we consume this time of year are actually good for you when prepared with minimal added fat, sugar and salt, and consumed in moderation," Stacey Snelling, a registered dietitian and associate dean at American University's School of Education, Teaching and Health, said in a statement.
The health benefits of some holiday food include:
-- White turkey meat is low in fat, high in protein, high in B vitamins, and low in fat and calories compared with dark turkey meat.
-- Cranberries are low in calories, fat-free, cholesterol free, high in fiber, and high in vitamins A and C.
-- Sweet potatoes, pumpkin and carrots are fat-free, cholesterol-free, and high in vitamins A and C, and fiber.
-- Red wine is fat-free and high in heart-healthy antioxidants, but only one alcoholic beverage per day for women and two per day for men is recommended.
-- Dark chocolate is high in antioxidants.
-- Broccoli is low in calories, fat-free, and high in vitamins A and C.
-- Green beans are low in calories, fat-free, high in vitamins C and K, and high in fiber.
-- Green peas are fat-free, high in vitamin K and high in fiber.
Holiday spices might also offer benefits, Snelling said.
"Some research has found that cinnamon may lower blood sugar, improve diabetes and aid in bacterial infections," Snelling said.
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Budget-Friendly Thanksgiving Dinner

(Andrew Weil, M.D.) Being on a budget doesn't have to mean giving up Thanksgiving traditions. There are simple ways to help cut the costs of holiday dinners; read on - your wallet and your health will thank you!
1.    Focus on vegetables. They are filling, nutritious and cost less than meat. Last Thursday's Daily Tip offered ideas for serving a vegetarian Thanksgiving dinner - read it for some delicious vegetable-based meal ideas.
2.    Make it a potluck. If you are having family and friends over, assign each to bring an item. It will help keep your costs - and stress levels - manageable.
3.    Make your own dessert. You can make pies a few days ahead of time and freeze or refrigerate them, eliminating the need for a more expensive store-bought version.
4.    Use your leftovers. Turkey soup, potato pancakes, casseroles that combine some of the side dishes, cranberry sauce on whole grain toast for breakfast - there are plenty of ways to use traditional Thanksgiving leftovers.
5.    Calculate how much food you really need. The more food you make, the more it costs. If you aren't a fan of leftovers, consider making just enough food to feed the number of people who will be eating.
6.    Clip coupons. Whether from your local paper or a website, there's no downside to the cost-savings coupons offer. Many stores offer double or triple the value around the holidays, so do some homework and take advantage!
Community: We have both a Dominick’s and a Jewel in the neighborhood, and they try to outdo each other with holiday meal specials. We eat really, really well for a reasonable amount of money.
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Thanksgiving Recipes

Cooking Light:
Your Best Thanksgiving Ever!
Pick a dish from each category and you've got the ultimate Thanksgiving menu.
Holiday Breads and Extras
Complete your table with these indispensable condiments and baked goods.
Gluten-Free Holiday Menu
With these tips and tricks, you can turn our traditional holiday recipes into a delicious gluten-free menu.
Your Guide to Buying Turkey
Thanksgiving is fast approaching, so now's the time to start talking turkey. When it comes to buying your bird, there are several types to choose from, so let us help you determine what kind of turkey is best for you and your family.
The Tart and Tasty Cranberry
Cranberries are much more than just a traditional Thanksgiving side dish. These tart and tiny berries are among the top antioxidant-rich foods you can eat. Research has found that cranberries are a unique source of the phytochemicals (plant chemicals) known as proanthocyanidins. They are also a significant source of antioxidants and they're high in vitamin C.
Healthy Holiday Pie Makeovers
From classic apple and blueberry to delicious pumpkin, pie has always been the quintessential American holiday dessert. And with a few healthy ingredient swaps, you can enjoy a slice of your favorite.
Easy Thanksgiving Casseroles
Healthier recipes for Green Bean Casserole, Sweet Potato Casserole and more!
Our Best Thanksgiving Sides
Get recipes for cornbread stuffing, creamy mashed potatoes & more healthy sides.
Quick Appetizers
Easy recipes for Thanksgiving appetizers.
Healthy Holiday Meals
Whatever your holiday occasion, from a post-caroling gathering to the main Christmas dinner, these healthy recipes provide loads of flavor and nutrients
Top 10 Tips for a Gluten-Free Holiday
Eating gluten-free is always a challenge, especially during the holidays. Use these 10 Tips to stay healthy and happy as you dine with family and friends.
Healthy Secrets of Holiday Foods
Your average pumpkin pie and sweet potato casserole are loaded with nutrition benefits. Here's why you should dig in.
Low-Sugar Party Foods
Holiday parties are no longer a challenge for people with diabetes when these festive, low-sugar appetizers and beverages are on the menu.
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Healthy and Unhealthy Holiday Drinks

(Andrew Weil, M.D.) With the holiday season coming up, parties and gatherings are sure to be part of your social calendar. As you make the rounds, you can help minimize empty calories by being aware of unhealthy drinks to avoid.
·         Eggnog: Made with milk, cream, sugar and eggs, eggnog can pack up to 460 calories in an eight-ounce serving - not including calories from alcohol. Think of it as an indulgent dessert and limit yourself during the holidays; sip it slowly to savor the taste.
·         Seasonal Cocktails: Watch your overall alcohol consumption during the holidays as its calories can add up after just a few glasses. Be especially aware of beverages that contain added sugars, creams and other unhealthy fats.
(Andrew Weil, M.D.) The best way to sidestep empty calories this holiday season is to limit sugary and alcoholic drinks or avoid them altogether…The following drinks are lower-calorie holiday options when you want something sweet or alcoholic: Sparkling non-alcoholic punch… Red wine… Hot toddy.. Champagne.
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Fresh or Canned Cranberries?

(Andrew Weil, M.D.) Cranberries - the basis of a traditional holiday side dish in North America - are more than just a tart and tasty meal accompaniment. A rich source of vitamin C and dietary fiber, cranberries are packed with healthy antioxidants and are used traditionally to help prevent urinary tract infections. Recent studies have also linked consumption of cranberries and cranberry juice with healthy cholesterol levels, improved gastrointestinal health, and the prevention of kidney stones - all good reasons to increase your intake of these healthy berries no matter what the season.
A typical can of store-bought cranberry sauce has about 21 grams of sugar, at least some of which is in the form of high fructose corn syrup. If canned cranberry sauce is a family favorite, consider making your own cranberry relish: it's simple, and you can control the amount of sugar that is added. To begin, choose a bag of fresh cranberries that are deep red in color and firm to the touch. Then simply follow the instructions on the package. You can vary the amount of sugar you add to make a tart or sweet sauce, and add orange or lemon zest, if you prefer. The smell is wonderful and the result is a homemade sauce that is sure to please.
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Soy eaters may have lower rates of lung cancer

(Reuters Health) People who eat a lot of unfermented soy products like tofu may have a smaller chance of getting lung cancer, a fresh look at past research suggests.
There is still no proof that soy itself is protective, but compounds in the soy called isoflavones have been shown to slow cancer cell growth in the lab.
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Flexitarians a growing U.S. phenomenon

(UPI) Few U.S. adults follow a strict vegetarian or vegan diets, but occasional vegetarians -- also called flexitarians -- are increasing in America, researchers say…
Semi-vegetarians follow a vegetarian diet part of the time, but still eat some meat and dairy products. Meat reducers are not trying to follow a vegetarian diet, but are just trying to reduce the amount of meat they eat.
Manufacturers are increasingly targeting these groups with better-tasting products, attractive packaging and product variety, [said Karen Nachay, associate editor of Food Technology magazine].
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Supplements linked to riskier behavior

(UPI) Researchers in Taiwan say people taking multivitamins may get a false sense of invulnerability that leads them to engage in riskier behaviors…
The study participants who thought they were taking multivitamins had a 44 percent higher tendency to engage in hedonistic activities such as casual sex, sunbathing, partying, binge drinking. There also was a 61 percent increased preference for all-you-can-eat buffets over healthy meals.
In addition, compared with the rest of the participants, the group told they were given a multivitamin reported exercising 14 percent less.
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Life-saving prescriptions lagging in heart patients

(Reuters Health) More than one in five people with heart disease aren't getting life-saving statin drugs despite guidelines saying they should, a new study shows.
Researchers looked at nearly 39,000 people who had experienced a heart attack or undergone heart surgery, and found about 8,600 people weren't prescribed the cholesterol-lowering medications.
Although there is still controversy over whether people should take statins to prevent heart attacks, research clearly shows the drugs benefit people who have already suffered a heart attack or a stroke.
"It's great that about 80 percent are on the medication, but we're short-changing almost 20 percent," said Dr. David Frid, a cardiologist at the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio who was not involved in the new work.
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FDA Revokes Approval of Avastin for Breast Cancer

(HealthDay News) Saying the risks outweigh the benefits in patients with advanced breast cancer, U.S. Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Dr. Margaret Hamburg said on Friday that the agency has rescinded its approval of the cancer drug Avastin for that use.
Avastin (bevacizumab), however, will remain available for treating some types of colon, lung, kidney and brain cancer.
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Medicare to still cover Avastin for breast cancer

(Reuters) The Medicare federal insurance program for the elderly and disabled will continue paying for Roche Holding's drug Avastin for breast cancer, despite the health regulator's decision to revoke approval…
The statement from the U.S. healthcare program could mitigate concerns that patients using the drug would lose insurance coverage should the FDA revoke approval for its use in breast cancer.
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Breast Cancer Chemo Tied to Memory Troubles

(HealthDay News) Researchers have homed in on which parts of the brain seem to be involved in "chemo brain," the memory problems and other impairments that often accompany chemotherapy treatments for breast cancer…
There are several hypotheses as to why chemotherapy might cause these problems. One is that chemotherapy is toxic to neurological stem cells; another is that chemotherapy increases the amount of inflammation in the body, which then gets into the brain, and chemotherapy also causes DNA damage.
Hormonal therapies can also affect cognitive function and although the authors took this into account, individual variations in estrogen levels may have influenced the results, the authors noted.
"People sometimes think women are exaggerating [chemo brain] but this study showed that self-reported impairment actually correlates with brain impairment pointing to the fact that they should not be ignored," [study lead author Shelli] Kesler said.
Although the new study showed an association between brain function and chemotherapy, it did not prove a cause-and-effect relationship.
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Old Drugs Find New Target for Treating Brain Tumor

(Science Daily) Scientists … say they have identified a novel gene mutation that causes at least one form of glioblastoma (GBM), the most common type of malignant brain tumor…
Perhaps more importantly, the researchers found that two drugs already being used to treat other forms of cancer effectively prolonged the survival of mice modeling this particular form of GBM. That could be good news for at least some GBM patients. More than 9,000 new cases of the disease are diagnosed each year in the United States and effective treatments are limited. The tumors are aggressive and resistant to current therapies, such as surgery, radiation and chemotherapy. The median survival rate for newly diagnosed GBM patients is just 14 months.
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Stop Signal Discovered for Skin Cancer

(Science Daily) An extraordinary breakthrough in understanding what stops a common form of skin cancer from developing could make new cancer treatments and prevention available to the public in five years…
[A]n international team of scientists … has discovered a gene that helps protect the body from squamous cell cancer (SCC) of the skin…
Identifying this driver of cancer in skin and other organs provides a clear direction for developing strategies for both prevention and treatment in the relatively near future.
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Cancer doctors score low on pain management: study

(Reuters) Many U.S. cancer doctors say they are good at managing their patients' pain, but most failed to choose the right treatment options in a test and say that figuring out the level of pain patients have is still a major barrier to care, a survey said.
The findings, published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, came from a follow-up to a survey that found a lack of good pain management among U.S. oncologists in 1990 and show that more work needs to be done to educate doctors about pain, researchers said.
"These data suggest that for more than 20 years, a focus on cancer pain has not adequately addressed the perception of treatment barriers or limitations in pain-related knowledge and practice within the oncology community," wrote study author Brenda Breuer.
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Healthcare is second-most important issue: survey

(Reuters) Healthcare and the national deficit tied as the second-most important issue after job creation in the 2012 U.S. presidential election, a new survey said.
Forty-two percent of the 1,000 adults nationwide surveyed by PwC's Health Research Institute said they would prefer lower healthcare costs over an economic rebound.
Nearly half said they made the decision to not seek healthcare or pay for medication at least once in the past year because of how much that care cost.
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Scenarios: What Supreme Court ruling could mean for healthcare

(Reuters) The U.S. Supreme Court agreed on Monday to decide the fate of President Barack Obama's healthcare reform law in the coming year, charting a course that will have an impact on the 2012 election campaign, the law, the healthcare industry and the states.
At issue is whether Congress overstepped its powers by requiring that all Americans buy health insurance by 2014 or pay a penalty, a provision known as the individual mandate.
The Obama administration asked the highest U.S. court to uphold the insurance provision, the centerpiece of the law, after 26 states separately asked that the entire law be struck down. Oral arguments would take place in March.
Here is a look at what the case could mean on several fronts:
* NOVEMBER 2012 ELECTIONS - The court is likely to issue a ruling by July, in the midst of a presidential election campaign in which Obama, a Democrat, seeks a second four-year term. A ruling striking down the law known as the Affordable Care Act would be a huge blow for Obama months before the election and a boost for his Republican opponents who derisively describe the healthcare reforms as "Obamacare."…
* THE LAW - The individual mandate is one of the more controversial issues. The Supreme Court could follow the example of one appeals court by maintaining the bulk of the reforms but throwing out the individual mandate…
* HEALTHCARE - Throwing out the individual mandate could influence how the healthcare industry approaches the reforms in the law, especially when considering how to price insurance policies…
* SMALL BUSINESSES – S… Small firms argue the law does not address underlying high insurance costs and instead forces new requirements and taxes on companies, raising the cost of doing business.
* BIG COMPANIES - The healthcare law includes fines for larger businesses where some employees seek subsidized coverage on state insurance exchanges that are to be up and running by 2014. It also penalizes companies that fail to provide minimum health coverage levels that will be determined by the law's essential benefits rule…
* DRUGMAKERS - Those in the industry have generally been on board with the new legislation, which will give them millions more patients who need drugs, hospitals and doctors… The pharmaceutical industry will have to pay more than $2 billion a year in taxes to help pay for the healthcare overhaul…
* MEDICAL DEVICE COMPANIES - Similar to the drugmakers, medical device companies also face higher taxes starting in 2013 to help pay for the law…
* PROVIDERS - The healthcare law is expected to give hospitals a flood of revenue from newly insured patients. It also cuts the cost of emergency care for uninsured patients, which hospitals are legally bound to provide. Hospitals are banking on that offsetting the payment cuts they have already started taking under the law. Obama's legislation increases payments to physicians, although hospitals get lower payments from Medicare and Medicaid.
* THE STATES - The states are charged with carrying out a bulk of the healthcare reforms… Along with worrying about the costs of implementation, the states say the law usurps their rights. Earlier this year, states that criticized the law, such as Missouri, adopted an attitude of "if you can't beat them, join them." They began setting up exchanges and moving ahead on implementation in hopes of influencing the reforms and limiting the reach of the law. But of late, they have taken a harder line, with Kansas sending back to the federal government a grant it had received to create an exchange.
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Supreme Court asked to broadcast healthcare case

(Reuters) A cable TV network and a senior Republican senator asked the Supreme Court Tuesday to allow its first live broadcast when it hears arguments in the legal dispute over President Barack Obama's sweeping healthcare overhaul law.
In a letter to Chief Justice John Roberts, C-SPAN, the cable network that broadcasts federal government proceedings, said live television coverage of the historic arguments in March would best serve the public interest.
In a separate letter, Senator Charles Grassley, the top Republican on the Senate Judiciary committee asked Roberts to provide live audio and video coverage of the proceedings.
"The constitutional questions are landmark. The public has a right to hear and see the legal arguments," Grassley wrote.
"A minimal number of cameras in the courtroom, which could be placed to be barely noticeable to all participants, would provide live coverage of what may be one of the most historic and important arguments of our time," Grassley added.
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More Americans Living to 90, U.S. Census Finds

(HealthDay News) More Americans are living to 90 and beyond, and by 2050 their ranks could reach almost 9 million, a new U.S. Census Bureau report finds…
"The older population is aging rapidly and people have to prepare for a higher probability of living to 90 and adapting their lifestyle and savings behavior to that fact," said Richard Suzman, director of the division of behavioral and social research at the U.S. National Institute on Aging, which commissioned the report.
"In addition, we need to redouble efforts at finding ways to prevent and treat dementia and frailty," he said.
Those people living to 90 and beyond are the fastest-growing group in the older population, Suzman said. "This is in part due to the size of older cohorts coupled with increases in life expectancy," he said.
Community: Actually, I plan to live well beyond age 90, and I’m doing everything I can to be healthy as long as possible.
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Some expect to work until retiring at 80

(UPI) Three-quarters of middle-class adults say they expect to work during retirement, with 25 percent saying they'll be punching the clock at 80, a U.S. survey says…
Americans have saved, on average, only 7 percent of their desired retirement nest egg -- a median of $25,000 in retirement savings versus a median retirement goal of $350,000, while three in 10 people in their 60s have saved less than $25,000 for retirement, [Joe Ready, director of Wells Fargo Institutional Retirement and Trust,] said.
Respondents estimated a median of $60,000 in retirement healthcare costs, but a 2010 study from the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College estimated the present value of lifetime uninsured healthcare costs for a typical married couple age 65 will be $197,000.
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Diabetes visual impairment declining

(UPI) The percentage of adults with diabetes who reported visual impairment dropped from 26 percent to 19 percent between 1997 and 2010, U.S. officials say.
A report, published in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said diabetes can lead to visual impairment and blindness, but early detection and treatment of many common eye diseases, such as diabetic retinopathy and glaucoma, can reduce the risk…
It's imperative to improve the declining trends in visual impairment and to increase rates of recommended eye examinations in the population with diabetes, CDC officials said.
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Smoking and Stroke

(Andrew Weil, M.D.) New data from Canada suggests that smokers’ risk having strokes or mini-strokes nearly a decade earlier than non-smokers.
After they reviewed the records and clinical courses of patients referred to a stroke clinic because they were at high risk after suffering either a stroke or a mini-stroke (called transient ischemic attack or TIA), investigators found that smokers were at risk at a younger age, 58, on average, as opposed to 67 for non-smokers.
Habitual smoking hardens and narrows arteries and makes blood stickier, the researchers noted, and added that these changes might explain the association seen between smoking and stroke. What’s more, they concluded that quitting has a big impact on stroke risk: within 18 months to two years of putting out that last smoke, the risk of stroke declines to that of a non-smoker.
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Smog pollutant may be tied to stroke risk

(Reuters Health) People who live in areas with high levels of traffic-related air pollution might have a slightly increased risk of dying from stroke, Danish researchers suggest in a new study.
They found people living in urban zones with high estimated concentrations of nitrogen dioxide were 22 percent more likely to suffer a fatal stroke than people in less-polluted neighborhoods.
Nitrogen dioxide is a component of car exhaust and is known to cause lung damage. Previous research also suggests spikes in air pollution over the course of days or weeks can trigger death and hospitalization from stroke.
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Cincinnati Turkey Chili
Ladle bowlfuls of inspired Midwestern chili for your next casual dinner party or football gathering.
Salmon Chowder
The flavor of this salmon chowder is greatly enhanced by adding either fresh dill or dried tarragon: each herb lends its own distinctively different and appealing character to the soup. Even if you don’t keep instant mashed potatoes in your pantry, it’s worth picking some up for this soup. They give the soup a thick, chowder texture without any heavy cream or butter. Leftover mashed potatoes work too, but give a slightly less-velvety texture.
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Cheap, Filling and Nutritious: Root Veggies

(Andrew Weil, M.D.) Root vegetables (with the exception of potatoes and carrots) are some of the most overlooked and underappreciated foodstuffs around. But these nutritional storehouses are hidden treasures worthy of your notice. Not only are they available in winter when other vegetables are hard to find, but they are also very inexpensive.
Experiment with turnips, rutabagas, beets and parsnips, and learn what they have to offer in taste and versatility. Rutabaga (also known as swede) is an accidental vegetable - the result of a chance hybridization of turnips and cabbage. Like carrots, they're low in sodium and high in vitamin C. The flavor of all root vegetables will be enhanced by selecting fresh, firm produce (preferably organically grown) and storing it carefully. Turnips and potatoes should be stored in a cool, dark place out of the refrigerator. The rest of these roots will keep well in the refrigerator for at least a week.
Food as Medicine
All root vegetables contain healthful fiber and slow-digesting carbohydrates, but beets have some special properties. Unlike most other red vegetables, which have anthocyanins to thank for their distinctive color (think red cabbage), beets derive their hue from pigments called betalains, which range in color from red-violet to yellow. Betalains, in addition to their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, trigger a family of enzymes that binds toxic substances in cells, neutralizing and allowing them to be excreted from the body. Garlic's health benefits, many of which come from its sulfur compounds, are widely documented. Some of these sulfur-containing molecules, polysulfides, are converted by red blood cells into hydrogen sulfide (H2S), which dilates the blood vessels, helping to regulate blood pressure.
Community: Roasted root vegetables are really delicious. Here’s a link to Dr. Weil’s recipe.
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Blood test better for coronary arteries

(UPI) A blood test is more effective to rule out obstructive coronary artery disease than a test that uses a radioactive agent, U.S. researchers say.
Dr. Gregory S. Thomas, clinical professor of medicine and director of nuclear cardiology education at the School of Medicine at the University of California, Irvine, said the blood test used gene expression, which provides valuable tissue and cell-specific information about the molecular mechanisms involved in disease processes.
Unlike genetic tests, which measure genetic variations, mutations, traits and predispositions -- factors that are constant over a person's lifetime -- gene expression testing assesses a dynamic process, integrating both genetic predisposition and additional behavioral and environmental influences on current disease state.
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Heart Patients Using Vitamins May Take Meds Improperly

(HealthDay News) People with heart conditions who take vitamins may be less likely to take some of their other medications properly, according to a new study.
Researchers from the Intermountain Medical Center in Utah asked 100 people with an irregular heartbeat -- known as atrial fibrillation -- what they knew about warfarin (Coumadin), a commonly prescribed blood thinner. The patients were also asked how well they followed their prescription for the drug, and whether or not they also took vitamins or other supplements.
People taking warfarin need regular monitoring because too much of the drug can cause bleeding, and too little can allow blood clots to form, increasing the risk for stroke. In addition, diet also plays a role in warfarin's effectiveness.
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New Medication Increases HDL Cholesterol and Decreases LDL Cholesterol Levels

(Science Daily) Among patients with sub-optimal low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) or high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) levels, use of the drug evacetrapib alone or in combination with statin medications was associated with significant increases in HDL-C levels and decreases in LDL-C levels, according to a study…
"These preliminary findings suggest that evacetrapib could be administered with statins and may yield potentially clinically important incremental effects on lipoproteins," the authors write. "The results of the current study provide the foundation for a large phase 3 clinical trial designed to assess the efficacy and safety of evacetrapib."
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Alcoholics' 'Injured Brains' Work Harder to Complete Simple Tasks

(Science Daily) Alcoholic brains can perform a simple finger-tapping exercise as well as their sober counterparts but their brain must work a lot harder to do it, according to a Vanderbilt study…
The new study, using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) during a finger-tapping exercise, found that the frontal lobe and cerebellum activities were less integrated in alcoholic individuals.
"The relationship was weaker in alcoholic people, even a week after they had stopped drinking," said lead author Baxter Rogers, Ph.D.
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New Way to Target – And Kill – Proliferating Tumors

(Science Daily) Researchers … have identified a new drug discovery approach enabling the destruction of the most highly proliferative tumors. The discovery … points to an effective, alternative method for killing fast-growing cancer cells without causing some of the negative effects of current therapies.
The scientists, led by David A. Cheresh, PhD…, used an innovative chemical and biological approach to design a new class of drugs that arrests division in virtually all tumor cells by binding to and altering the structure of an enzyme called RAF.
RAF has been long-studied, but its role in cell division -- critical to cell proliferation and tumor growth -- was a surprise. "By designing a new class of drugs that changes the shape of RAF, we were able to reveal this previously undiscovered role for RAF in a wide range of highly proliferative tumors," Cheresh said.
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New Drug Combo Targets Multiple Cancers

(Science Daily) Researchers … say a novel combination of a specific sugar molecule with a pair of cell-killing drugs prompts a wide variety of cancer cell types to kill themselves, a process called apoptosis or programmed cell death…
The new two-part therapy … focuses on depriving cancer cells of their fundamental need for sugar to fuel growth and multiplication.
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A new cancer causing virus confirmed

(UPI) U.S. researchers confirmed cytomegalovirus as a cause of the most common salivary gland cancers and it may be involved with more cancers.
"Cytomegalovirus is incredibly common; most of us likely carry it because of our exposure to it," [lead author Michael] Melnick said in a statement. "In healthy patients with normal immune systems, it becomes dormant and resides inactive in the salivary glands. No one knows what reactivates it."
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New 'Smart' Material Could Help Tap Medical Potential of Tissue-Penetrating Light

(Science Daily) Scientists are reporting development and successful initial testing of the first practical "smart" material that may supply the missing link in efforts to use in medicine a form of light that can penetrate four inches into the human body…
Adah Almutairi and colleagues explain that near-infrared (NIR) light (which is just beyond what human can see) penetrates through the skin and almost four inches into the body, with great potential for diagnosing and treating diseases. Low-power NIR does not damage body tissues as it passes. Missing, however, are materials that respond effectively to low-power NIR. Plastics that disintegrate when hit with NIR, for instance, could be filled with anti-cancer medicine, injected into tumors, and release the medicine when hit with NIR.
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New Mouthwash Targeting Harmful Bacteria May Render Tooth Decay a Thing of the Past

(Science Daily) A new mouthwash developed by a microbiologist at the UCLA School of Dentistry is highly successful in targeting the harmful Streptococcus mutans bacteria that is the principal cause tooth decay and cavities.
In a recent clinical study, 12 subjects who rinsed just one time with the experimental mouthwash experienced a nearly complete elimination of the S. mutans bacteria over the entire four-day testing period…
"With this new antimicrobial technology, we have the prospect of actually wiping out tooth decay in our lifetime," said [Wenyuan] Shi, who noted that this work may lay the foundation for developing additional target-specific "smart bomb" antimicrobials to combat other diseases.
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Asia's mobile tech-driven healthcare market seen at $7 billion

(Reuters) Mobile technologies will be increasingly deployed to enable people in Asia to monitor and manage their health, with the market expected to hit $7 billion by 2017, an industry official said.
In parts of Europe and the United States, diabetics can now have doctors monitor their blood sugar levels by punching daily readings into their mobile phones and doctors can provide answers to expectant mothers via short message services (SMS).
Jeanine Vos, who heads the mobile health unit at Global System for Mobile Communications Association (GSMA), said such technologies are finding their way into Asia.
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Ohio hospitals cut bloodstream infections

(UPI) By working together, 53 Ohio hospitals cut central line-associated bloodstream infections in intensive care units nearly in half, officials say…
During the 22-month study period, Ohio, combined with two other states, saved more than $4,558,000, prevented 86 bloodstream infections, saved 17 lives and saved 688 excess hospital days by preventing central line-associated bloodstream infections, the researchers said. The reduction in infections represented a 48 percent drop.
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5 Ways to Skirt Holiday Weight Gain

(RealAge.com) Want a guilt-free way to feast on holiday fare without loading up on all the button-popping, belly-bulging calories? No problem. Just use this 5-step holiday action plan.
Replace temptations. Piling up holiday "goodies" (think pumpkin pie, cookies, and fudge) in plain sight can prompt you to eat twice as much, twice as fast. Instead, keep alternate goodies, such as walnuts, pistachios, cinnamon-spice tea, juicy oranges, and ruby-red pomegranates, within easy reach…
Don't skip exercise. Just make it short and sweet. Sticking with your routine during the busy holidays can be tougher than finding a radio station not playing Jingle Bells. Go for three 10-minute walks each day for a total of 30 minutes, and you're good…
Choose libations wisely. Beer and red wine both raise your appetite-triggering hormones -- a sure-fire prompt for a return trip to the holiday buffet table. Choose a chardonnay or Riesling instead. These white wines didn't have the same hunger-boosting effect…
Use buffet-table strategies. You're less likely to inhale hearty helpings from every dish if you check out the entire spread first. We call it "eye your pie before you try." Stake out a seat where you can't see the feast, and choose only one or two specialties … instead of three or four. You eat more calories when you have more choices.
Practice moderation, not deprivation. Splurge a little at parties, but eat sensibly the rest of the week. Get the skim-milk latte at your coffee shop, not the fancy holiday-spice coffee drink. Tote fruit and nuts or veggies and hummus to work for snacks, so it's easy to bypass the latest cookie mountain in the break room.
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To Ditch Dessert, Feed the Brain

(Science Daily) If the brain goes hungry, Twinkies look a lot better, a study led by researchers at Yale University and the University of Southern California has found.
Brain imaging scans show that when glucose levels drop, an area of the brain known to regulate emotions and impulses loses the ability to dampen desire for high-calorie food, according to the study published online September 19 in The Journal of Clinical Investigation.
"Our prefrontal cortex is a sucker for glucose," said Rajita Sinha…
When glucose levels drop, an area of the brain called the hypothalamus senses the change. Other regions called the insula and striatum associated with reward are activated, inducing a desire to eat, the study found…
"Our results suggest that obese individuals may have a limited ability to inhibit the impulsive drive to eat, especially when glucose levels drop below normal," commented Kathleen Pag…, one of the lead authors of the paper…
"The key seems to be eating healthy foods that maintain glucose levels," Sinha said. "The brain needs its food."
Community: I’m keeping a list of things we can do to improve impulse control.
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Controlling the Chemistry of Emotional Eating

(RealAge.com) Keep your feel-good hormones level, so you're in a steady state of satisfaction and never experience huge hormonal highs and lows that make you search for good-for-your-brain-but-bad-for-your-waist foods.
Here are three tricks to try:
1. Use foods to your advantage. All foods have different effects on your stomach, your blood, and your brain. Choose turkey to cut carb cravings. Turkey contains tryptophan, which increases serotonin to improve your mood and combat depression and helps you resist cravings for simple carbs. Choose salmon to curb blue moods. Omega-3 fatty acids, which are found in certain fish (including salmon, canned tuna, halibut, and mahimahi), have long been known as brain boosters and cholesterol clearers, but they've also convincingly been shown to help with depression in pregnant women. Depression contributes to hedonistic and emotional eating.
2. Savor the flavor. If you're going to eat something that's bad for you, enjoy it, savor it, roll it around in your mouth. We suggest taking a piece of dark (70% cocoa) chocolate and meditating -- as a healthy stress reliever and as a way to reward yourself with something sweet. It's OK to eat bad foods -- every once in a while.
3. Go to sleep. Getting enough sleep can help with appetite control. That's because when your body doesn't get the 7 to 8 hours of sleep it needs every night to get rejuvenated, it has to find ways to compensate for neurons not secreting the normal amounts of serotonin or dopamine. It typically does that by craving sugary foods that will give you an immediate release of serotonin and dopamine.
Community: Remember we just learned that eating nuts can help raise serotonin levels in the brain. And I’m keeping a list of things we can do to improve impulse control.
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Even Without Weight Loss, Mediterranean Diet Helps Heart: Study

(HealthDay News) A new study offers further evidence that a Mediterranean-style diet is good for your heart.
The research found that unsaturated fats from foods such as avocados, olive oil and nuts increase the body's ability to use insulin. Reduced insulin action can lead to diabetes, which is a risk factor for heart disease…
The researchers said their findings show that dietary changes can improve heart health in those at risk for cardiovascular disease, even if they don't lose weight.
"The introduction of the right kind of fat into a healthy diet is another tool to reduce the risk of future heart disease," [Dr. Meghana] Gadgil said.
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