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

Rev Your Metabolism

(Andrew Weil, M.D.) As we age, our metabolism slows down, which can lead to weight gain. But small dietary adjustments can help minimize unwanted pounds in our middle years. Try these suggestions:
1.    Eat small meals throughout the day. This encourages steady caloric burn and a consistent metabolism.
2.    Choose healthy carbohydrates. Replace refined, high-glycemic-index carbs with unrefined, low-glycemic choices. The latter do not cause the spikes in blood glucose levels that encourage the storage of fat.
3.    Use spices. Capsaicin (the compound that gives chili peppers their bite), black pepper and ginger all boost the generation of heat in the body, leading to more calories burned.
4.    Drink green tea. The main antioxidant polyphenol in green tea, known as epigallocatechin gallate or EGCG, stimulates the body to help burn calories. Dr. Weil recommends drinking a few cups of quality green tea every day.
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The Benefits of Eating Mediterranean Style

(SouthBeachDiet.com) While research on the health benefits of Mediterranean-style eating is ongoing some studies stand out. One is the PREDIMED study… Spanish researchers gathered together more than 700 people at high risk for cardiovascular disease. They then compared those eating a Mediterranean-style diet (some with more olive oil, some with more nuts) to others following a low-fat diet. The results were noteworthy: Those on the Mediterranean diet had better blood sugar, better blood pressure, better LDL to HDL cholesterol ratios, and lower levels of C-reactive protein (a measure of inflammation) than those on the low-fat regimens.
And, as it turns out, they also lost weight. In a follow-up to the original study, researchers found that after three years of following a Mediterranean-style eating plan, study participants, especially those following the diet rich in olive oil, reduced their body weight and increased the levels of healthy, anti-inflammatory antioxidants in their blood (antioxidants help fight many diseases, including both heart disease and cancer).
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Cocoa may help heart failure, diabetes sufferers

(University of California - San Diego)  A small clinical trial … found that patients with advanced heart failure and type 2 diabetes showed improved mitochondrial structure after three months of treatment with epicatechin-enriched cocoa. Epicatechin is a flavonoid found in dark chocolate…
The trial participants consumed dark chocolate bars and a beverage with a total epicatechin content of approximately 100 mg per day for three months. Biopsies of skeletal muscle were conducted before and after treatment. After the three-month treatment, the researchers looked at changes in mitochondria volume and the abundance of cristae, which are internal compartments of mitochondria that are necessary for efficient function of the mitochondria, and measurable by electron microscopy.
"The cristae had been severely damaged and decreased in quantity in these patients," said one of the senior investigators, Francisco J. Villarreal, MD, PhD…"After three months, we saw recovery – cristae numbers back toward normal levels, and increases in several molecular indicators involved in new mitochondria production."
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Top 10 Foods for Lowering Cholesterol

(RealAge.com) If you have unhealthy cholesterol levels (or want to prevent them), one of the first things you should examine is your diet. Are you eating foods that help reduce cholesterol? Or avoiding the ones that cause unhealthy cholesterol levels to creep higher? If not, we've got 10 cholesterol-lowering foods you should grab next time you're at the grocery store. Bonus: Lowering your bad (LDL) cholesterol can make your RealAge 3.3 years younger if you're a man, 0.6 years younger if you're a woman!
Almonds…
Orange Juice…
Olive Oil…
Steamed Asparagus…
Oatmeal…
Pinto Beans…
Blueberries…
Tomatoes…
Avocado…
Dark Chocolate
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Recipes

MyRecipes.com:
White Bean-Rajas Soup
Sautéed onions, poblano chiles, and bell peppers form the foundation for this flavorful 30-minute soup.
EatingWell:
Slow-Cooker Braised Pork with Salsa
With just a few ingredients, you can produce a full-flavored, meltingly tender pork stew in your slow cooker. Serve over quinoa or rice.
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3 Big Benefits of Coffee

(RealAge.com) If you like coffee and it likes you (i.e., it doesn't give you migraines, jitters, an upset stomach, or irregular heartbeats), enjoy. Here's why:
1.    Coffee wards off Alzheimer's disease…
2.    Coffee fends off Parkinson's…
3.    Coffee fights diabetes…
No time to brew a fresh pot? No worries. Instant coffee holds its own because it starts out as brewed coffee and retains some of the healthy substances. Here's another bonus: Instant has two-thirds more fiber.
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Coffee drinking not linked to chronic illness: study

(Reuters) Coffee drinkers have no more risk of getting illnesses such as heart disease or cancer, and are less likely to develop type 2 diabetes, according to a German study involving more than 40,000 people over nearly a decade.
The findings … came in the wake of many previous studies that produced conflicting results, with some tying coffee drinking to an increase in heart disease, cancer, stroke and more.
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Caffeine Disrupts Sleep for Morning People But Not Night Owls

(MyHealthNewsDaily) Caffeine will get you going during the day but could leave you tossing and turning at night unless you're  a "night owl" to begin with, a new study suggests.
In the study, "morning people" who consumed caffeine during the day appeared more likely than late risers to awaken in the middle of their nighttime sleep.
The researchers said this is the first study to link caffeine intake with "chronotype," the categorizing of people by the time of day they are most alert and active. The findings are preliminary and more research is needed to confirm them, the researchers added.
Community: I’m a morning person, so I have to get all my caffeine in the morning and avoid it the rest of the day.
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Nearly 20 percent report food hardship

(UPI) A report by the Food Research and Action Center found in 2011, 30 states have more than 1 in 6 households reporting there were times they didn't have enough money to buy food that they or their families needed…
Nationally, 18.6 percent of respondents reported food hardship in 2011, up from 18 percent in 2010 and the highest annual rate in the four years that Food Research and Action Center tracked the data, the report said.
"Rising food prices, continuing high unemployment and underemployment, and flat food stamp benefit allotments all contributed to the high food hardship rate in 2011," Jim Weill, president of the Food Research and Action Center, said in a statement. "Particularly challenging was the increase in food inflation, especially for the foods the government uses to construct the Thrifty Food Plan, its cheapest diet. Food stamp beneficiaries lost more than 6 percent of their food purchasing power because of this increase."
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A Supercharged Protein Reduces Damage from Heart Attack

(Science Daily) Researchers from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill reduced damage from a heart attack by 50 percent by enhancing a protective protein found in mice and humans…
"This study shows that we can enhance existing cell survival pathways to protect heart cells during a heart attack," said Joan Taylor, PhD… Taylor added that the findings could lead to new treatment approaches for heart attacks and may have broad implications for scientists seeking to manipulate the body's natural defensive systems.
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Study Reaffirms That Pap Tests Save Lives

(WebMD Health News) Regular Pap tests can, and do, save the lives of women diagnosed with cervical cancer, a new study shows.
Women whose cervical cancers were found by a Pap test had a 92% cure rate. The cure rate fell to 66% among women who were diagnosed because of symptoms. 
Even those women who had symptoms when they went for a regular Pap test had a better chance of beating the cancer than women who were overdue for their screening test when diagnosed.
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New screening technique could provide more reliable breast cancer detection

(National Physical Laboratory) Scientists have successfully completed an initial trial of a new, potentially more reliable, technique for screening breast cancer using ultrasound…
Ultrasound … is safe, low cost, and already extensively used in trusted applications such as foetal scanning. However the quality of the images is not yet good enough for reliable diagnoses.
Part of the problem lies with the current detectors used. Different biological tissues have different sound speeds, and this affects the time taken for sound waves to arrive at the detector. This can distort the arriving waves, in extreme cases causing cancellation them to cancel each other out. This results in imaging errors, such as suggesting abnormal inclusions where there may be none.
The new method works by detecting the intensity of ultrasonic waves… This technique, when used in a Computed Tomography (CT) configuration, should produce more accurate images of tissue properties and so provide better identification of breast tissue abnormalities.
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Unnecessary cancer treatment in men on the rise

(Reuters Health) A new review of U.S. data on prostate cancer finds that despite established guidelines, a growing number of men who should not be getting aggressive treatment are getting it anyway.
Men with low-risk tumors and a life-expectancy of less than 10 years -- for instance, men in their 80s or 90s -- are not candidates for so-called curative therapies like radiation or prostate surgery because there's little evidence it would benefit them.
Yet the proportion of men in that category receiving curative treatment rose between the late 1990s and late 2000's, the study found…
"Given widespread concerns about the rate of increase in Medicare expenditures, it is notable that the most substantial increase in treatment in our sample was noted among the patients who were least likely to benefit," [the study authors] write…
"Patients and their families hear the word 'cancer' and think we need to treat it," [said Dr. Eric Klein of the Cleveland Clinic]. A prostatectomy can cost over $12,000. Klein, who was not involved with the new study, said patients should not only discuss their blood tests with their doctor. They should also discuss how other risk factors, such as age and race, could affect their outcomes.
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Treating Brain Cancer With Viral Vector

(Science Daily) UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center researchers and surgeons are among the first in the nation to treat patients with recurrent brain cancer by directly injecting an investigational viral vector into their tumor. The treatment is being developed by a local San Diego Company, Tocagen Inc.
"This clinical trial targets glioblastoma -- one of the deadliest forms of brain tumor," said principal investigator Santosh Kesari, MD, PhD,.. "Clinical trials of investigational therapies such as this may lead to new treatment options for patients battling this deadly disease."
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Parkinson's Disease Stopped in Animal Model

(Science Daily) Millions of people suffer from Parkinson's disease, a disorder of the nervous system that affects movement and worsens over time…
While it's not known what exactly causes the disease, evidence points to one particular culprit: a protein called α-synuclein. The protein, which has been found to be common to all patients with Parkinson's, is thought to be a pathway to the disease when it binds together in "clumps," or aggregates, and becomes toxic, killing the brain's neurons.
Now, scientists at UCLA have found a way to prevent these clumps from forming, prevent their toxicity and even break up existing aggregates.
[They] report the development of a novel compound known as a "molecular tweezer," which in a living animal model blocked α-synuclein aggregates from forming, stopped the aggregates' toxicity and, further, reversed aggregates in the brain that had already formed. And the tweezers accomplished this without interfering with normal brain function.
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Laboratory research shows promising approach to preventing Alzheimer's

(Medical Xpress) As scientists struggle to find an effective way to prevent Alzheimer's disease, researchers at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public health may have found a new approach to interrupting the process that leads to the devastating disease.
Building on their knowledge of two enzymes that control an "uber" enzyme critical to the development of the disease, the scientists found that the two enzymes are present in the brains of Alzheimer's patients. And by screening some 15,000 compounds, they discovered two that lower activity of the enzymes in test tubes…
The UW-Madison scientists are now testing the compounds in an animal model of Alzheimer's disease. Preliminary results are encouraging.
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Queen's professor urges health research to focus on the positive

(Queen's University) Political Studies professor Colin Farrelly wants to see more research into remarkable examples of health – such as why some people live 100 years disease-free.
He describes the current pathology-based approach that emphasizes what causes specific diseases as “negative biology” and suggest more resources should be focused on “positive biology.”…
“Periodically we should stand back and consider the possibility that the questions we are trying the hardest to answer (such as what causes disease) are perhaps not the most important questions to answer.”
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NYC gives out nicotine patches, gum

(UPI) New York City Health Department officials said they are distributing nicotine patches and gum to go with its ad campaign warning about smoking and cancer.
"The nicotine patch and gum program and hard-hitting, graphic education campaigns we've run over the last seven years have made a tremendous impact on smoking rates in New York City and have helped thousands of people quit smoking and improve their health," Dr. Thomas Farley, health commissioner of New York City, said in a statement. "Last year alone, almost 40,000 smokers participated in the program."
The ad campaign visually depicts three common cancers that smoking causes and describes the low survival rates of these cancers, Farley said.
The campaign's take-home message is "Quitting is much less painful," Farley said.
Community: Maybe we need a similar program for avoiding heart disease diabetes, and cancer—“Healthy living is much less painful.”
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I know (or don't know) that I know

(Medical Xpress) Dr. Steve Fleming is exploring the neural basis of metacognition: how we think about thinking, and how we assess the accuracy of our decisions, judgements and other aspects of our mental performance.
This kind of introspection is crucial for making good decisions. Do I really want that bar of chocolate? Do I want to go out tonight? Will I enjoy myself? Am I aiming at the right target? Is my aim accurate? Will I hit it? How sure am I that I'm right? Is that really the correct answer?...
A science of metacognition … has implications for concepts of responsibility and self-control. Our society currently places great weight on self-awareness: think of a time when you excused your behaviour with 'I just wasn't thinking'. Understanding the boundaries of self-reflection, therefore, is central to how we ascribe blame and punishment, how we approach psychiatric disorders, and how we view human nature.
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Incompetent People Too Ignorant to Know It

(Life's Little Mysteries) A growing body of psychology research shows that incompetence deprives people of the ability to recognize their own incompetence. To put it bluntly, dumb people are too dumb to know it. Similarly, unfunny people don't have a good enough sense of humor to tell…
With more than a decade's worth of research, David Dunning, a psychologist at Cornell University, has demonstrated that humans find it "intrinsically difficult to get a sense of what we don't know." Whether an individual lacks competence in logical reasoning, emotional intelligence, humor or even chess abilities, the person still tends to rate his or her skills in that area as being above average.
Community: I guess we all live in Lake Wobegon, where all the women are strong, all the men are good looking, and all the children are above average!
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Mitochondrial Dysfunction Present Early in Alzheimer's, Before Memory Loss

(Mayo Clinic) Mitochondria — subunits inside cells that produce energy — have long been thought to play a role in Alzheimer's disease. Now Mayo Clinic researchers using genetic mouse models have discovered that mitochondria in the brain are dysfunctional early in the disease…
The researchers hope that the panel of metabolomic biomarkers they discovered can eventually be used for early diagnosis, treatment, and monitoring of Alzheimer's progression.
Community: There are practical things we can do to prevent, delay, or reduce the severity of cognitive decline.
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How Exercise Jogs the Brain

(Scientific American) The lifelong mental benefits of exercising have long been known, from improving learning in kids to staving off dementia in seniors. Yet how working up a sweat leads to better cognition is much less clear. A study … reveals that the key may lie in the body’s power supply.
[O]ur muscles respond to the demands of exercise by producing new mitochondria, the tiny structures inside cells that supply the body with energy. J. Mark Davis … and his colleagues wondered if brain cells might do the same thing. While studying mice, they found that quantities of a signaling molecule, dubbed by researchers “a master regulator” of mitochondria production, increased in the brain after half an hour a day of treadmill running…
The finding could help scientists understand how exercise staves off age- and disease-related declines in brain function.
Community: There are more practical things we can do to prevent, delay, or reduce the severity of cognitive decline.
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Newly found culprit in memory decline

(Howard Hughes Medical Institute) In a mouse model of Alzheimer's disease, memory problems stem from an overactive enzyme that shuts off genes related to neuron communication, a new study says.
When researchers genetically blocked the enzyme, called HDAC2, they 'reawakened' some of the neurons and restored the animals' cognitive function. The results … suggest that drugs that inhibit this particular enzyme would make good treatments for some of the most devastating effects of the incurable neurodegenerative disease…
The clinical applications of this work are promising, [Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator Li-Huei] Tsai says, but it's important not to oversell the findings. "While all the data look very promising in animal models, human studies are a completely different ball game," she says. "We need to do clinical trials to see whether this concept holds up."
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Super-human brain technology sparks ethics debate

(Reuters) A British ethics group has launched a debate on the ethical dilemmas posed by new technologies that tap into the brain and could bring super-human strength, highly enhanced concentration or thought-controlled weaponry.
With the prospect of future conflicts between armies controlling weapons with their minds, the Nuffield Council on Bioethics launched a consultation on Thursday to consider the risks of blurring the lines between humans and machines.
Community: Resistance is fu-tile.
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Open your eyes and smell the roses: Activating the visual cortex improves our sense of smell

(Medical Xpress) A new study reveals for the first time that activating the brain's visual cortex with a small amount of electrical stimulation actually improves our sense of smell. The finding … revises our understanding of the complex biology of the senses in the brain…
The results demonstrate that visual cortex activity is incorporated into the processing of smells, proving for the first time a cross-wiring of the visual and olfactory systems in the brain. Interestingly, the team did not find evidence for similar cross-wiring between olfactory and auditory systems. This suggests that vision may play a special role in binding together information from the different senses, a possibility that the researchers are currently exploring.
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Recipes

MyRecipes.com:
Halibut with Coconut-Red Curry Sauce
Serve a Thai-inspired fish dish for a quick and easy dinner in minutes. Soak up the delectable sauce with a side of seasoned rice and bok choy.
EatingWell:
Curry Scallops & Cilantro Rice
This recipe pairs curry-coated scallops and brown rice seasoned with cilantro, scallions and lemon. For this recipe you’ll need 3 cups cooked brown rice. Serve with roasted carrots tossed with cumin and coriander.
Andrew Weil, M.D.:
Multi-Grain Scones
These scones are the perfect answer to the morning rush. Unlike a lot of low-fat foods, which can be so loaded with sugar that you feel hungry soon after eating them, these are quite filling - you can eat just half of one and still satisfy the need for morning sustenance. Plus, you'll get in a nice amount of bran for the day, an appropriate source of roughage.
Food as Medicine
One meta-analysis of seven studies, encompassing some 150,000 people, showed that those with the highest intake of dietary fiber - such as one finds in whole grains - had a 29 percent lower risk of cardiovascular disease compared to those with the lowest consumption.
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Is chocolate really heart-healthy?

(Reuters Health) That heart-shaped box of chocolate you got for Valentine's just might have some benefits for your real heart, a new study hints.
The study, which combined the results of 42 small clinical trials, found that people fed chocolate or cocoa for a few weeks to months had small dips in their blood pressure and improved blood vessel function. On average, chocolate eaters shaved a couple points from their blood pressure and showed a small improvement in "flow-mediated dilation" -- a measure of how well the blood vessels respond to increased blood flow.
They also had a dip in their levels of insulin, a hormone that regulates blood sugar. High insulin levels are linked to an increased risk of type 2 diabetes.
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Fiber: Start Roughing It!

(Harvard School of Public Health) Long heralded as part of a healthy diet, fiber appears to reduce the risk of developing various conditions, including heart disease, diabetes, diverticular disease, and constipation. Despite what many people may think, however, fiber probably has little, if any effect on colon cancer risk…
Some tips for increasing fiber intake:
·         Eat whole fruits instead of drinking fruit juices.
·         Replace white rice, bread, and pasta with brown rice and whole grain products.
·         Choose whole grain cereals for breakfast.
·         Snack on raw vegetables instead of chips, crackers, or chocolate bars.
·         Substitute legumes for meat two to three times per week in chili and soups.
·         Experiment with international dishes (such as Indian or Middle Eastern) that use whole grains and legumes as part of the main meal (as in Indian dahls) or in salads (for example, tabbouleh).
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Nutrient Found in Dark Meat of Poultry, Some Seafood, May Have Cardiovascular Benefits

(Science Daily) A nutrient found in the dark meat of poultry may provide protection against coronary heart disease (CHD) in women with high cholesterol, according to a study by researchers at NYU Langone Medical Center.
The study … evaluated the effects of taurine, a naturally-occurring nutrient found in the dark meat of turkey and chicken, as well as in some fish and shellfish, on CHD. It revealed that higher taurine intake was associated with significantly lower CHD risk among women with high total cholesterol levels. The same association was not seen in women with low cholesterol levels, however.
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Vitamin A May Slash Melanoma Risk, Especially in Women

(MyHealthNewsDaily) Vitamin A supplements could reduce the risk of developing the deadly skin cancer melanoma, according to a new study.
The results show that people taking vitamin A were 60 percent less likely to develop melanoma over the six-year study. People who had taken the vitamin, but weren't currently taking it, did not gain any protective effect. 
The reduced risk was more pronounced in women than men.
"This is promising evidence that in addition to sun protection, there's another option that can help prevent melanoma," said Dr. Mary Gail Mercurio, a dermatologist at the University of Rochester Medical Center, who was not involved with the study.  
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Trans Fats Linked to Stroke in Women

(WebMD Health News) Artery-clogging trans fats have been linked to heart disease in study after study, and now new research suggests that the fats may also increase stroke risk in women.
Middle-aged and older women whose diets contained the most trans fats in the newly reported study had the highest risk for stroke, but regular use of aspirin appeared to moderate this risk.
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Canadian scientist develops world's most advanced drug to protect the brain after a stroke

(University Health Network) Scientists at the Toronto Western Research Institute (TWRI), Krembil Neuroscience Center, have developed a drug that protects the brain against the damaging effects of a stroke in a lab setting… Over 1000 attempts to develop such drugs by scientists worldwide have failed to be translated to a stage where they can be used in humans, leaving a major unmet need for stroke treatment. The drug developed by the TWRI team is the first to achieve a neuroprotective effect in the complex brain of primates, in settings that simulate those of human strokes. ischemic stroke…
"We are closer to having a treatment for stroke than we have ever been before," said Dr. Michael Tymianski, TWRI Senior Scientist and the study's lead author. "Stroke is the leading cause of death and disability worldwide and we believe that we now have a way to dramatically reduce its damaging effects."
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Stroke Risk Triples After a Decade With Diabetes

(WebMD Health News) The longer a person has diabetes, the higher their risk of having a stroke, according to a new study…
“Over time, diabetes, probably through elevated blood sugar, injures the arteries. And [blockages] probably develop over time at a higher or more rapid rate in people who have diabetes,” says Uchino, who reviewed the study for WebMD, but was not involved in the research.
Community: There are practical things we can do to prevent, delay, or reduce the severity of diabetes.
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Study: Old flu drug speeds brain injury recovery

(Medical Xpress) Researchers are reporting the first treatment to speed recovery from severe brain injuries caused by falls and car crashes: a cheap flu medicine whose side benefits were discovered by accident decades ago.
Severely injured patients who were given amantadine got better faster than those who received a dummy medicine. After four weeks, more people in the flu drug group could give reliable yes-and-no answers, follow commands or use a spoon or hairbrush - things that few of them could do at the start. Far fewer patients who got amantadine remained in a vegetative state, 17 percent versus 32 percent.
"This drug moved the needle in terms of speeding patient recovery, and that's not been shown before," said neuropsychologist Joseph Giacino of Boston's Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital, co-leader of the study. He added: "It really does provide hope for a population that is viewed in many places as hopeless."
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Legislation introduced to guarantee free colorectal cancer screening for all medicare beneficiaries

(American Gastroenterological Association) Colonoscopy for colorectal cancer screening saves lives, but a loophole in current Medicare law may cause patients to think twice before undergoing this vital test. Legislation introduced today seeks to ensure that colorectal cancer screening for all Medicare beneficiaries is free, as intended.
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act waives the coinsurance and deductible for many cancer screening testsi, including colonoscopy, sigmoidoscopy and fecal occult blood testing (FOBT), which screen for colorectal cancer. Colonoscopy is a unique screening test because gastroenterologists are able to remove precancerous polyps and small cancers during the screening procedure. Under Medicare billing rules, removal of any polyp reclassifies the screening as a therapeutic procedure, for which patients will receive an unexpected coinsurance bill.
The Removing Barriers to Colorectal Cancer Screening Act of 2012 introduced [Thursday] by Rep. Charlie Dent, R-PA, waives the coinsurance for a screening colonoscopy regardless of whether a polyp or lesion is found.
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A checkup on Americans' views of healthcare reform

(David Lazarus,  Los Angeles Times) It's been almost two years since President Obama signed healthcare reform into law. And even now, it seems most Americans still have no clue as to what was approved or how it works…
"People don't seem to understand that the healthcare reform law already has a very significant impact on their lives," said Shana Alex Lavarreda, director of health insurance studies at UCLA's Center for Health Policy Research.
For example, she said, Medicare patients are now entitled to free preventive care, as well as more comprehensive coverage of prescription drugs. And there are other changes that touch virtually everyone in everyday ways.
"If you walked into a restaurant and looked at the calorie counts on the menu, and if you changed your order as a result, you were affected by the healthcare reform law," Lavarreda observed. "The law put those calorie counts in place."
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Obesity, Chronic Diseases Stable Across US States in 2011

(Gallup.com) The national obesity rate declined slightly to 26.1% in 2011, from 26.6% in 2010. Across states, obesity rates remained statistically unchanged from 2010 to 2011 in all but two -- New Jersey and Kentucky -- where they declined. This marks a positive change from the recent past. Obesity had inched up in 2009 and 2010 compared with 2008 nationwide and in some states…
No state registered statistically significant increases in the percentage of residents who said they have ever been diagnosed with high blood pressure or diabetes in 2011 compared with 2010…
Eating healthily, exercising frequently, not smoking, and having easy access to a place to exercise are among the behaviors or situations most strongly correlated with low obesity rates.
High blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol, heart attack, knee pain, headaches, and depression are among the most strongly correlated with high obesity rates. Residents' likelihood to say they have health problems that prevent them from doing things people their age can normally do is also strongly related to obesity.
Community: This is very good news. Maybe Americans are starting to pay more attention to their health.
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How to Lead a Healthy Lifestyle

(SouthBeachDiet.com) [T]he Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics recognizes March as National Nutrition Month. Two critical steps in leading a healthy lifestyle are to follow a healthy eating plan and to exercise regularly…
As you make [these]your lifestyle, you’ll also improve your health and energy and renew your confidence. That said, it’s always good to reflect on what it takes to get there. Here are 5 guidelines to take to heart:…
1.    Try new recipes to keep your diet fresh and exciting…
2.    Eat in moderation, but don’t deprive yourself…
3.    Pursue an exercise plan that you can maintain…
4.    Seek out the right support. Look to your friends and family for encouragement.
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Health counseling in doctors' office reduces obesity more effectively than doctor's advice

(Queen's University) A physical activity and diet program implemented by health educators working in a doctor’s office may be a more effective way to get obese people to lose abdominal fat than advice from a doctor alone, according to a study from Queen’s University.
Most primary care physicians do not have the time to provide high-intensity behavioral counseling to their patients, says the report by Robert Ross, a professor from the School of Kinesiology and Health Studies. “The cornerstone of health care delivery is the doctor’s office and the doctor doesn’t have a lot of time to counsel and adequately monitor patients to get them to adopt healthy lifestyles. So the study placed a kinesiology-trained, health care professional in the doctors’ office to see if they could produce better results – and they did,” says Dr. Ross…
“The study provides promising [results] and it heads us in the right direction. We still have a lot to learn about how to get obese, sedentary individuals to adopt and sustain healthy behaviors over the long term,” says Dr. Ross.
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Why It's So Important to Keep Moving

(Well, New York Times) [In a new study, researchers found that after] three days of inactivity, volunteers’ blood sugar levels spiked significantly after meals, with the peaks increasing by about 26 percent compared with when the volunteers were exercising and moving more. What’s more, the peaks grew slightly with each successive day.
This change in blood sugar control after meals “occurred well before we could see any changes in fitness or adiposity,” or fat buildup, due to the reduced activity, [study leader Dr. John P. Thyfault] says. So the blood sugar swings would seem to be a result, directly, of the volunteers not moving much…
“We hypothesize that, over time, inactivity creates the physiological conditions that produce chronic disease,” like Type 2 diabetes and heart disease, regardless of a person’s weight or diet.
To avoid that fate, he says, keep moving, even if in small doses. “When I’m really busy, I make sure to get up and walk around the office or jog in place every hour or so,” he says. Wear a pedometer if it will nudge you to move more. “You don’t have to run marathons,” he says. “But the evidence is clear that you do need to move.”
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Recipes

MyRecipes.com:
Spiced Pork Chops with Apple Chutney
Apple chutney is a heart-warming topping for pork in this family-friendly dinner of spicy, boneless chops.
EatingWell:
Stovetop Chicken & Broccoli Casserole
We trimmed 9 grams of fat and almost 100 calories in this makeover of cheesy chicken-and-broccoli casserole. All the raw ingredients are layered in a skillet, then simmered for a quick weeknight dinner.
Cooking Light:
25 Best Chicken Recipes
Our most popular ingredient, your top-rated recipes: Find 25 of Cooking Light's best chicken recipes from the past 25 years.
Lighter Philly Cheesesteak
Learn how we lightened deliciously messy, melty Philly cheesesteak
Quick Cook Waffles
Even homemade waffles can be a quick option if you make our healthy mix ahead.
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Many getting recipes from Web, not mom

(UPI) A U.S. study found social/digital media such as Twitter and Facebook is replacing mom as the go-to culinary source of knowledge for many people…
This interface of food and social media involves not only cooking, but eating and drinking as well. Nearly one-third of Americans use social networking sites while eating at home, but among those ages 18-32 this figure jumps to 47 percent.
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New USDA Nutrition Labels for Meat, Poultry

(WebMD Health News) Starting today, new nutrition labels will appear on raw meat and poultry.
A new USDA rule says nutrition information must be available for most ground meat and ground poultry, and for popular cuts of meat and poultry.
Before now, the USDA required nutrition labels only on meat and poultry with added ingredients, such as marinade or stuffing, says Elisabeth Hagen, MD, USDA under secretary for food safety.
"It is not that the labels are different, it's that you will be seeing them on products you haven't seen them on before," Hagen tells WebMD. "We think this is important for consumers because they often are building their entire meal around this protein component they are going to put on the plate."
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Is Tilapia Unhealthy?

(Andrew Weil, M.D.) Farm-raised tilapia is one of the most commonly consumed fish in America, yet it has very low levels of beneficial omega-3 fats compared to its content of omega-6 fatty acids. Omega-6's are essential, but the American diet typically includes far too much of this kind of fat. An overabundance of dietary omega-6 is pro-inflammatory, and inflammation is a key contributor to many chronic health conditions.
Tilapia is not necessarily as unhealthy as a doughnut, but I recommend reaching for the best fish of all - wild-caught Alaskan salmon. It has an impressive omega-3 to omega-6 fatty acid ratio, and is a species associated with fewer concerns about environmental toxins. While it is more expensive than tilapia, it is a worthy investment in your health (omega-3 fatty acids help to promote mental and physical well-being) that can reap dividends in the future.
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AHA: Almonds good for heart

(UPI) The American Heart Association certified almonds with its Heart-Check mark to signify to U.S. consumers they are a heart-healthy food, a trade group said.
"Nutrition research has long supported the heart health benefits of almonds," Jenny Heap of the Almond Board of California said in a statement. "Now consumers will be able to more easily identify almonds in the supermarket as a heart-smart food, helping take the guess work out of shopping."
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