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

Health advocates go sour on sugar

(USA Today) The American Heart Association says in a statement that research has tied a high intake of added sugars to many poor health conditions, including obesity, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes and other risk factors for heart disease and stroke…
The consumption of added sugars, especially from sugar-sweetened beverages, among some people in the country "is out of control," says Rachel Johnson, a spokeswoman for the American Heart Association and a nutrition professor…
Research about the effects of excessive intake of sugary foods and drinks is coming out all the time, and there's not much that's reassuring, says Marion Nestle, a nutrition professor at New York University and co-author of Why Calories Count: From Science to Politics
Others say not so fast… Sugar doesn't deserve to take the rap for the country's weight problem, says Andy Briscoe, president and CEO of the Sugar Association. "Sugar has been around for thousands of years. It's all natural. It's 15 calories (a teaspoon). It has been used safely by consumers by our grandmothers and our grandmothers' grandmothers."
The most important health concern about sugar intake is that it adds calories to the diet, which can be a ticket to weight gain and obesity, [says] Samuel Klein, … an expert on fatty liver disease…
Whether or not you're overweight, consuming high amounts of sugar can increase triglycerides (blood fats) and increase fat production in your liver, he says. Possible explanations: High amounts of fructose, found in both sugar and high fructose corn syrup, can cause chemical reactions in the liver that lead to health problems, he says.
Community: Our grandmothers didn’t eat a lot of pre-processed foods that contain hidden sugars.
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Healthy Foods, Healthy Skin

(Reader's Digest) New research suggests some foods have the power to guard skin from the damage caused by the sun's UV radiation. While a salad is no substitute for sunblock, these healthy foods could add inner protection against sunburn and wrinkles at the cellular level.
Citrus Fruits…
Green tea…
Red Peppers…
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Vitamin D Levels Linked with Breast Cancer Survival Rates

(MyHealthNewsDaily) The vitamin D levels in women when they are diagnosed with breast cancer may affect how long they will live, according to a new study from Belguim.
Women in the study who had the highest vitamin D levels (above 30 nanograms per millileter of blood) were about half as likely to die within five years of their diagnosis as women with lower vitamin D levels (below 30 ng/ml). And every 10 ng/ml increase in vitamin D levels at diagnosis was linked with a 20 percent reduction in women's risk of dying over the course of the study.
The link held even when researchers took into account factors known to influence women's cancer survival rates, such as body mass index and age.
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Selenium linked to lower diabetes risk

(Reuters Health) The chances of developing type 2 diabetes were as much as 24 percent lower among people with a diet rich in selenium than among those who consumed little of the mineral in a large new U.S. study…
"I wouldn't suggest, based on the findings from this study, that people start taking selenium supplements," said Dr. Dariush Mozaffarian, senior author of the new report, from the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston.
For one, he said, there are multiple different types of selenium, which may have different effects -- and supplements contain only a single type…
The mineral is … found naturally in foods like bread, meat and nuts.
In some places, it occurs in high concentrations in soil, affecting the direct exposure of people who live nearby and the selenium content of foods grown in the region.
Community: We’ve already seen that nuts can help control blood sugar. Their selenium content may be one of the reasons for that effect.
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Is Deli Turkey Healthier than Packaged Turkey?

(Monica Reinagel, MS, LN, The Nutrition Diva) Q. I buy packaged turkey breast for my sandwiches. My fiancée tells me that freshly sliced turkey from the deli would be healthier, and I'm sure she's right, but it's much more expensive. Am I walking through a nutritional minefield by eating packaged turkey?
A. How charming of you to assume that your fiancée is right! I predict a long and happy marriage. To be honest, the fresh-sliced turkey might taste a bit better. But I think the nutritional differences between the fresh and packaged sliced turkey are so minor that it’s fine to save a little money by choosing the packaged if you prefer. (You can save it for your honeymoon!)  Look for a brand that doesn’t have a long list of additives and keep an eye on the sodium content.  And if you eat it every day, be sure to avoid turkey “ham” or other versions that are cured with nitrites.
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White Bean and Roasted Chicken Salad
Users rave about this 5-ingredient salad that combines pre-cooked chicken breasts with white beans and fresh basil. For a quick finishing touch, drizzle with a lemon, vinegar, and Dijon mustard dressing and serve with a glass of iced tea or white wine.
Lime-Jalapeno Chicken
Tangy, mildly spicy and tender, this chicken is delicious with black beans and salsa.
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E. coli outbreak in six states

(USA Today) An outbreak of a less-common form of E. coli has sickened at least 14 people across six states and killed a 21-month old girl in New Orleans, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports.
As of Friday, state health officials in Alabama, California, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana and Tennessee reported cases of the Shiga toxin-producing E. coli strain called O145. The more commonly known form is E. coli O157:H7. The first illness report came April 15, and the most recent is from June 4, the CDC says…
Because the source isn't known, health officials can't give consumers specific advice on how to avoid the infection, but in general, E. coli can be prevented using these tips from the CDC:
• Wash hands [often]…
• Cook meats thoroughly…
• Avoid raw milk, unpasteurized dairy products and unpasteurized juices (such as fresh apple cider).
• Avoid swallowing water when swimming or playing in lakes, ponds, streams, swimming pools and backyard "kiddie" pools.
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To Quit Smoking, Try Eating More Veggies and Fruits

(Science Daily) If you're trying to quit smoking, eating more fruits and vegetables may help you quit and stay tobacco-free for longer, according to a new study published online by … public health researchers…
The … study found that smokers who consumed the most fruit and vegetables were three times more likely to be tobacco-free for at least 30 days at follow-up 14 months later than those consuming the lowest amount of fruits and vegetables. These findings persisted even when adjustments were made to take into account age, gender, race/ethnicity, education, household income and health orientation.
They also found that smokers with higher fruit and vegetable consumption smoked fewer cigarettes per day, waited longer to smoke their first cigarette of the day and scored lower on a common test of nicotine dependence.
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Internet tool to quit smoking

(UPI) An online program developed from the results of research findings, can help people quit smoking, British researchers said.
Robert West and Susan Michie of the University College London said StopAdvisor offers expert advice through a combination of interactive menus and personalized sessions, and encourages users to report important information the program will use to help them overcome difficulties they encounter as they try to quit…
"It is designed to be attractive and effective across social groups," the researchers said.
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California Cigarette Tax Proposal Sunk by Big Tobacco

(U.S. News & World Report) California's Proposition 29, a ballot initiative to add a $1 tax to packs of cigarettes, was defeated by a narrow margin in a statewide vote Tuesday…
In March, a statewide poll found 67 percent of Californians supported the tax, which would fund cancer and tobacco-related health research. The proposition had majority support across all age groups and political affiliations. But as the date of the vote approached, and money from Big Tobacco poured in, voter attitudes began to shift.
On March 1, spending by those opposed to Prop 29 totaled $9 million, according to state election filings. From March 1 to May 18, they spent $40 million.
That spending coincided with a significant shift in voter attitudes on the measure.
Community: We can expect exactly the same kinds of efforts from the food industry to stifle healthy food initiatives.
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4 Quick Fixes for Body Odor

(RealAge.com) Here are 4 common body odors and tips to control them:
Smelly feet: … After washing and drying your feet, apply a diluted solution of lemongrass oil or verbena oil.
Underarm odor: … Put on 20% aluminum at night and wash it off in the morning, or try antibiotic creams to kill multiplying bacteria. If you have hyperhidrosis, Botox turns off the faucet. Beta-blockers (high blood pressure medication) can help relieve chronic, stress-related sweating.
Bad breath and flatulence: … Remedy bad breath by flossing, brushing teeth and tongue, and drinking plenty of water. For flatulence, try Beano and probiotics (spore forms).
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Milk of Magnesia Solved Man's Underarm Rash

(The People’s Pharmacy) Q. My husband … will never go back to any deodorant and absolutely raves about the effectiveness of MoM.
A. We continue to be amazed at how well milk of magnesia (MoM) works as a gentle deodorant. People appreciate the fact that it is non-irritating and effective against body odor.
Many antiperspirants and deodorants on the market can be irritating to delicate tissue and stain fabric.
Community: Milk of magnesia doesn’t stain fabric?
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Ward Off Disease-Carrying Skeeters with… Chocolate Fragrance?

(MyHealthNewsDaily) You can slather on the DEET and light citronella candles this summer, but you still divulge your location to hungry mosquitos just by breathing. Like a smoke signal, mosquitoes can track a potential meal yards away by smelling the carbon dioxide we exhale in each breath. 
But now, researchers say they are close to developing fragrances that attract and stun mosquitoes' carbon dioxide sensors. "Some of them smell minty, some smell fruity, and some smell like caramelized chocolate," said Anandasankar Ray, an entomologist…
Mint-flavored fragrances that mimic carbon dioxide's attraction would help, [researchers do not] expect they would rid us of mosquito bites entirely. DEET, along with a push and pull system of lures, traps and repellants would mount the best defense.
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Heading Off Hot Flashes

(Andrew Weil, M.D.) Two new studies have zeroed in on lifestyle strategies for dealing with hot flashes and other menopausal symptoms.
The first, from Finland, found that women who exercised regularly complained less about their symptoms than a comparable group of women who didn't exercise. The researchers randomly assigned 74 women aged 45 to 63 who were experiencing menopausal symptoms to exercise for 50 minutes, four days a week for 24 weeks. After six months, the percentage of women in the study experiencing night sweats dropped from 60 percent to 50 percent; the percentage of women reporting mood swings and irritability, dropped from about 20 percent to 10 percent. These results were much better than those reported by the 77 women in a comparison group who attended health lectures instead of exercising.
The second study, from the UK, included 140 women who were divided into three groups, each receiving different levels of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), which aims to change unhealthy thought patterns. The researchers reported that for 65 percent of women in the first group, who participated in four sessions of group-based behavioral therapy for their hot flashes and night sweats, there was a significant difference. The second group received a self-help version of the treatment and 73 percent of the women in that group reported that their symptoms were less problematic after six weeks; the third group had no CBT treatment at all, and only 21 percent of these women reported a decrease in their symptoms.
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Men seek testosterone quick fix, with risks

(MSNBC.com) In record numbers, American guys are turning to testosterone boosters to repair their pep, revive their sex drive, even erase their erectile issues…
But the quick medical fix many seek for nagging male ills that come as naturally as receding hairlines also can bring on side effects including blood clots and infertility…
“The symptoms of low testosterone are kind of what many of us feel when we get older: maybe a little decrease in energy, a little erectile problem, a little drop in libido,” [urologist Dr. Edmund] Sabanegh said. “Often, those are normal” for men in their 40s, 50s or older.
“And when that’s the situation, we just talk about making lifestyle changes, taking a few pounds off, getting on a regular exercise program, improving their diets,” Sabanegh added. “Those sorts of things can, in many patients, give them the kind of effect they were hoping for in the testosterone.”
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HIV Drug May Slow Down Metastatic Breast Cancer

(Science Daily) The HIV drugs known as CCR5 antagonists may also help prevent aggressive breast cancers from metastasizing, researchers … suggest in a preclinical study…
Such drugs target the HIV receptor CCR5, which the virus uses to enter and infect host cells, and has historically only been associated with expression in inflammatory cells in the immune system. Researchers have now shown, however, that CCR5 is also expressed in breast cancer cells, and regulates the spread to other tissue.
What's more, blocking the receptor with the CCR5 antagonists Maraviroc and Vicriviroc … also prevents migration and spread of basal breast cancer cells, the researchers found.
"These results are dramatic," said Richard Pestell, M.D., Ph.D., FACP… "[I]t may prove to be a viable adjuvant therapy to reduce the risk of metastasis in the basal breast cancer subtype," he added.
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Nearly 550,000 Hospitalized Adults Have Blood Clots Yearly

(MyHealthNewsDaily) More than half a million of hospitalized U.S. adults will experience a serious blood clot during their hospital stay, according to a new government report.
There were nearly 350,000 cases of blood clots that developed deep in the veins, called deep vein thrombosis, and nearly 280,000 cases of clots that developed in the lungs, called pulmonary embolism, according to the report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (In about 80,000 cases, both types of clots developed; these cases were counted in both categories.)
In addition, researchers reported that the risk of experiencing either type of blood clot increases substantially for hospital patients over age 60.
Community: There are more and more reasons to avoid being hospitalized, if at all possible.
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Rewarding Docs For Efficiency Reaps Savings For Insurer

(Kaiser Health News) Can bonuses of $10,000 or more spur primary care doctors to cut expensive hospital admissions and emergency room visits without harming care?
CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield says the answer is yes. The insurer, which covers people in Maryland, Washington and Virginia, says its “patient-centered medical program” shaved $40 million — or 1.5 percent — off expected costs last year, its first in operation. Much of the savings came from reducing unnecessary hospital visits by patients with diabetes and other chronic illnesses, the company said…
While the insurer is still analyzing the savings, [company CEO Chet ] Burrell said they generally came from cutting unnecessary hospital use by patients with diabetes, heart conditions and other chronic illnesses.
“The cycle of  breakdown, admission, readmission and ER visit was lessened,” he said. “A year doesn’t make a definite pattern. What seems to have started to occur is that these patients were better stabilized.”
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Japan 'diet glasses' fool wearers into eating less

(AFP) Goggles that trick the wearer into thinking the plain snack in their hand is a chocolate cookie, or make biscuits appear larger have been unveiled in Japan, offering hope to weak-willed dieters everywhere…
In experiments, volunteers consumed nearly 10 percent less when the biscuits they were eating appeared 50 percent bigger.
They ate 15 percent more when cookies were manipulated to look two-thirds of their real size.
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Fewer food choices don't help people lose weight

(Reuters Health) Reducing people's options for junk foods gets them to cut back on the amount of calories they take in from junk food, but it doesn't help them to lose weight, according to a new study…
[P]eople tend to make up for the fewer calories in the restricted food group by eating more calories from other types of foods.
The results offer a cautionary note to dieters limiting their food variety, such as on a low-carbohydrate diet, to be watchful of all calories coming in and not just those from the targeted food group.
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A Few Red Chips in the Stack Cut Snacking in Half

(Science Daily) Once you pop the top of a tube of potato chips, it can be hard to stop munching its contents. But Cornell researchers may have found a novel way to help: Add edible serving size markers that act as subconscious stop signs.
As part of an experiment carried out on two groups of college students…, researchers from Cornell's Food and Brand Lab served tubes of Lays Stackables, some of which contained chips dyed red…
Unaware of why some of the chips were red, the students who were served those tubes of chips nonetheless consumed about 50 percent less than their peers.
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New Brain Target for Appetite Control Identified

(Science Daily) Researchers at Columbia University Medical Center (CUMC) have identified a brain receptor that appears to play a central role in regulating appetite…
"We've identified a receptor that is intimately involved in regulating food intake," said study leader Domenico Accili, MD… "What is especially encouraging is that this receptor is belongs to a class of receptors that turn out to be good targets for drug development, making it a highly 'druggable' target. In fact, several existing medications already seem to interact with this receptor. So, it's possible that we could have new drugs for obesity sooner rather than later."
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Gastric bypass patients keep the weight off: study

(Reuters Health) People who lose weight after stomach-shrinking surgery are typically able to keep the pounds off for two years or longer, suggests a new analysis of the evidence.
"There is no question there is some weight regain, but I think the durability of the results (in terms of weight loss) is pretty well expected and confirmed by this particular paper," said Dr. Nicolas Christou, a bariatric surgeon … who did not participate in the study.
Gastric bypass reduces the absorption of nutrients in food by shrinking the stomach and creating a detour around part of the small intestine.
Community: You’ll never convince me that surgery for weight loss is a good thing. I’ve had three surgeries, with unexpected consequences from each. Besides, it’s the regimen that precedes and follows the surgery that has all the health benefits. Keep the regimen, lose the surgery, is my belief.
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4 Simple Strategies for Weight-Loss Success

(SouthBeachDiet.com) You’ve made the decision to lose weight — now what?... Making healthy changes to your daily routine doesn’t have to be a challenge. Here are four simple strategies to help you get started:
·         Eat a balanced, nutrient-dense, high-fiber diet…
·         Exercise often and maximize your workout…
·         Get more quality sleep…
·         Seek out support.
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Pepper and Garlic-Crusted Tenderloin Steaks
Carve into a company-worthy beef tenderloin with a dynamic pan sauce that cooks in about 10 minutes.
Crab Cake Burgers
These burgers have a true crab flavor that isn't masked by fillers or strong seasoning. Serve on a bun with tartar sauce or with a lemon-juice-dressed salad of greens, sprouts and sliced peaches. This recipe works best with convenient pasteurized crabmeat, usually found in the refrigerated case near the fish counter. If you prefer lump crabmeat, cut it into small, uniform pieces.
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Food-Trade Network Vulnerable to Fast Spread of Contaminants

(Science Daily) [Researchers] have recently published a rigorous analysis of the international food-trade network that shows the network's vulnerability to the fast spread of contaminants as well as the correlation between known food poisoning outbreaks and the centrality of countries on the network…
The new paper maps the international agro-food trade network (IFTN) -- a highly complex and heterogeneous system formed around a core group of seven countries, each trading with more than 77 percent of the world's nations. Since any two countries in the IFTN have only two degrees of separation on the network, the IFTN is capable of spreading a foodborne contaminant very efficiently. It also tends to mask the contaminant's origins once the system is compromised, since so many network paths run through the central nodes.
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Food Safety -- What You Can Do

(USA.gov Team, via email) Each year, about one in six Americans gets sick from food poisoning. Although most will recover without any lasting problems, some types of food poisoning can lead to kidney failure, chronic arthritis, brain and nerve damage, and even death.
When you prepare food at home, be sure to follow 4 basic steps to help prevent food poisoning: clean, separate, cook, and chill.
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Big Cuts to Food Stamps Loom in Farm Bill, but Gillibrand Vows Fight

(U.S. News & World Report) Senators overwhelmingly supported the the Agriculture, Reform and Jobs Act of 2012 Thursday in a preliminary floor vote even as one lawmaker decried as "unacceptable" a provision in the bill that would cut $4.5 billion from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or food stamps, over 10 years…
New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand has already offered an amendment to the bill that would keep SNAP off the chopping block…
The Congressional Budget Office anticipates that the $4.5 billion in cuts will, on average, mean families needing assistance will receive $90 less a month for groceries.
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Medication and drug abuse | Could you be at risk?

(NIHSeniorHealth.gov, via email) Most older adults take their medications as prescribed, but some people may take them incorrectly without meaning to, and others may abuse medications or drugs on purpose. Find out about medication and drug abuse in older adults at “Prescription and Illicit Drug Abuse,” the newest topic on NIHSeniorHealth.gov.
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Vicodin-Type Painkillers May Face Tougher U.S. FDA Regulations

(Bloomberg) Vicodin and other hydrocodone- combination painkillers may face tighter U.S. oversight following repeated reports of misuse and addiction that have been cited by the Drug Enforcement Administration.
Advisers to the Food and Drug Administration, which regulates pharmaceutical sales, will meet in October to discuss the risks and benefits of hydrocodone preparations used as pain relievers or cough suppressants, the agency said in a notice [yesterday] on its website…
Consumers have easier access to hydrocodone through combination drugs, such as the acetaminophen-mixed Vicodin, which have fewer regulations than pure hydrocodone.
The DEA is seeking to change the drug classification in a way that would require more interaction with doctors in order for people to obtain those combination products.
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Opiate addiction: How prescription painkillers pave the way to heroin

(NBC News) The use of prescription painkillers recreationally is at epidemic levels, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. What is it about the pills that makes them so dangerously addictive and a potential gateway for heroin?
The surprising answer, at least to many non-medical professionals, is that the common painkillers that doctors and dentists prescribe to patients after injuries and surgeries have the same active ingredient as the drug that alleyway users inject into their arms. And both act in similar ways on the human brain to produce a sense of pleasure that can overwhelm its reasoning functions.
While many who abuse prescription painkillers think of heroin as a low-class drug that will never make its way into their lives, they don’t realize, they’re already addicted to a form of it.
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Crackdown on pills fuels heroin addiction

(NBC News) Experts say [people in Lancaster, a small town in Ohio] are on the leading edge of a frightening new drug abuse trend – one that is ironically being fueled by a national crackdown on prescription painkillers. While new regulations and law enforcement efforts have significantly reduced the supply of these drugs, they say, those efforts have inadvertently driven many users to another type of opiate that is cheap, powerful and perhaps even more destructive – heroin.
“It’s an epidemic,” said Dr. Joe Gay, director of the regional addiction and mental health clinic Health Recovery Services, who has studied patterns of drug use in the state.
A flood of cheap heroin from Mexico, which is now one of the leading sources of the drug to the United States, is one reason for the return of the scourge. According to the Justice Department, the drug is showing up in new areas, including upscale suburban towns where heroin was once rare. 
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First trial of vaccine to treat Parkinson's disease begins

(Los Angeles Times) The Austrian company AFFiRiS A.G. of Vienna said this week it has begun the first-ever clinical trials of a vaccine to treat Parkinson's disease. The study of as many as 32 patients is designed to test the safety and tolerability of the vaccine, called PD01A…
The accumulation of alpha-synuclein disrupts the production of the neurotransmitter dopamine in the brain, impairing movement and causing tremors. The disease is ultimately fatal.
Reducing concentrations of the protein is thought to have a beneficial effect on disease progress. PD01A is designed to stimulate the production of antibodies against alpha-synuclein without affecting closely related proteins…
The clinical trial is funded in part by a $1.5-million grant from the Michael J. Fox Foundation.
Community: We’ve seen recently that the flavonoids found in berries, tea, and red grapes, and vitamin K2 may help prevent Parkinson’s.
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Alzheimer's vaccine in humans promising

(UPI) In a second clinical trial on humans, a vaccine against Alzheimer's disease was 80 percent effective, researchers in Sweden said…
In this trial, the patients involved in the trials developed their own protective antibodies against [the destructive protein fragment] beta-amyloid without suffering any side effects during the three-year study.
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The Downside Of Health Care Job Growth

(Kaiser Health News) Health care employment has been the bright spot in the otherwise lackluster recent jobs reports. As overall employment decreased by 2 percent from 2000 to 2010, employment in the health care sector actually increased by 25 percent.
But that’s not necessarily a good thing, according to an opinion piece published in the most recent edition of the New England Journal of Medicine.
“Treating the health care system like a (wildly inefficient) jobs program conflicts directly with the goal of ensuring that all Americans have access to care at an affordable price,” write Katherine Baicker and Amitabh Chandra, two researchers from Harvard…
As the country wrestles to reduce health care spending, which already consumes about 18 percent of GDP, those extra jobs could be a step in the wrong direction.
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Wallack On Vermont's Goal: 'Universal, Affordable Coverage'

(Kaiser Health News) KHN's Marilyn Werber Serafini talks to Anya Rader Wallack, tapped to move Vermont toward a single payer health care system, who is confident the state would enact its own individual mandate requiring people to buy insurance if the Supreme Court strikes down the federal mandate. Still, finding the money to replace the lost federal subsidies won't be easy. Wallack says, "We'll have to cover [people] without adding new resources to the system or raising taxes at the state level. Both of those are difficult for a little state."
Read an edited transcript of the interview.
Community: Medicare for all!
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10 Healthy Summer Vacations

(U.S. News & World Report) Summer has arrived, bringing with it endless vacation opportunities. But while traveling may sound exciting, getting out of town isn't always good for you. With the desire to splurge lurking around every corner, vacationers often abandon their healthy eating habits and exercise routines, undermining the effort they put into preparing for bathing-suit season.
But just because you're leaving the gym behind doesn't mean you can't keep up the hard work. Gayl Canfield, director of nutrition at the Pritikin Longevity Center in Miami, claims that it's just as easy to stay on the wagon as it is to fall off. "Look at it as a challenge," she says. "Ask yourself: 'What are the things that you can do in this location? What's going to get you out and active?'"
Canfield insists that finding enjoyable alternatives to the gym is easy. "If you're going someplace tropical, you can rent kayaks," she says. "And if you're going someplace like San Francisco, you can simply bring a sturdy pair of tennis shoes and walk everywhere." U.S. News has come up with 10 vacation spots that are both fun and good for your health.
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Is there such a thing as "airplane headache"?

(Reuters) Flying is a headache for many people, but for some that figure of speech becomes literal with "airplane headache," a form of pain that flares up during landing, researchers said…
It's not clear what might trigger the headaches. One theory is that the pain may be related to pressure changes in the sinus cavities, based on the idea that passengers with colds or sinus infections can get severe headaches during take-off or landing.
Another question is why only some passengers get them. But Purdy said that over half the people in the current report also had a history of other headache problems including migraines and frequent tension headaches.
[Federico] Mainardi's team says airplane headache is distinct from migraines and other well-known headache types.
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How to avoid disease and injury while traveling abroad

(Consumer Reports) Here's a sobering statistic to keep in mind this summer: One in five Americans who take a trip out of the country suffer an illness or injury while abroad. Follow our tips for avoiding the most common travel woes so you return home safe and sound.
Be informed. Check out the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's free 2012 International Travel Yellow Book to find out about recommended vaccinations, notices about diseases, and other tips for staying healthy during your travels…
Bring your own meds…
Take the right malaria meds…
Stretch on the plane…
Protect your skin…
Avoid injuries…
Wear protective gear.
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Don't get burned when using a spray sunscreen

(Consumer Reports) You may have seen the recent news about a Massachusetts man who reportedly got second-degree burns from a grill after applying a spray sunscreen to his back…
Consumer Reports does not test for flammability when we review sunscreens, but in general we recommend applying sunscreen about 20 minutes before you head outside so that it has time to soak in before you go out into the sun. Waiting that 20 minutes could also mean you avoid the scenario reported yesterday from Massachusetts.
An expert from the Burn Prevention Network said that in that instance, the sunscreen might not have absorbed completely into the man's skin and that droplets from the spray could have still been in the air. When he approached the grill, the flame on the charcoal caught the vapor trail and followed it to his body.
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Catching a Cold When It’s Warm

(NIH News in Health) Most everyone looks forward to summer—time to get away, get outside and have some fun. So what could be more unfair than catching a cold when it’s warm? How can cold symptoms arise when it’s not cold and flu season? Is there any way to dodge the summertime sniffles?...
“Generally speaking, summer and winter colds are caused by different viruses,” says Dr. Michael Pichichero, a pediatrician and infectious disease researcher at the Rochester General Hospital Research Institute in New York. “When you talk about summer colds, you’re probably talking about a non-polio enterovirus infection.”…
To prevent enterovirus infections, says Pichichero, “it’s all about blocking viral transmission.” The viruses travel in respiratory secretions, like saliva or mucus, or in the stool of an infected person. You can become infected by direct contact. Or you might pick up the virus by touching contaminated surfaces or objects, such as a telephone, doorknob or baby’s diaper. “Frequent hand washing and avoiding exposure to people who are sick with fever can help prevent the spread of infection,” says Pichichero.
The summer colds caused by enteroviruses generally clear up without treatment within a few days or even a week. But see a health care provider if you have concerning symptoms, like a high fever or a rash. 
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How to keep furry friends safe in summer heat

(Chicago Sun-Times) With summer on the way, it’s a good time to think about outdoor and warm-weather safety for pets…
The first and most important safety tip is to never leave a pet unattended in a car. Even with the windows open, a car can heat up like a furnace in hot weather. Not only can this be life threatening for your pet, but it is also illegal in Illinois.
On all outings, make sure to provide plenty of shade for you and your pet, taking breaks often, especially on hot days. Also, offer plenty of fresh, cool water. It is best to bring your own water, since water from puddles, lakes or streams can upset your dog’s digestive system.
Be careful of walking your dog on asphalt on hot days. The asphalt absorbs heat that can burn the pads of your dog’s feet. Also, stay on grass whenever possible — walking on asphalt can elevate your dog’s body temperature.
Don’t forget car safety, a tip that is useful year-round. It is always best to secure your pet in a crate or with a safety belt in the back seat.
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Summer Squash and Corn Chowder
Enjoy soup in the summertime by making this satisfying chowder with the season's produce. Top with cheese and bacon for kid appeal.
Gnocchi with Tomatoes, Pancetta & Wilted Watercress
We use just a touch of pancetta—cured Italian-style bacon—to balance the sweet tomatoes and peppery watercress. Make it a meal: A salad tossed with a red-wine vinaigrette completes dinner.
Cooking Light:
15 Ways with Yogurt
Yogurt isn't just for serving à la carte anymore. Make dressing creamier, baked goods more moist, and smoothies—well—smoother.
How to Freeze Fresh Berries
Enjoy berries year-round: Stock up now on your favorite seasonal fruits and freeze them.
11 Fish Taco Recipes
Quick-cooking fish makes for a light and flavorful taco filling that's perfect for weeknights or entertaining.
Our Favorite Energy Bars
These energy bars are low in sugar, but high in protein and fiber. See our favorites.
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Calorie-Restricted Diet Keeps Heart Young

(Science Daily)  People who restrict their caloric intake in an effort to live longer have hearts that function more like those in people who are 20 years younger.
Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have found that a key measure of the heart's ability to adapt to physical activity, stress, sleep and other factors that influence the rate at which the heart pumps blood, doesn't decline nearly as rapidly in people who have significantly restricted their caloric intake for an average of seven years.
Community: Not practical for most people. So how can we use this information to increase longevity without drastic calorie restriction?
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Tips for Avoiding the Restaurant Portion-Control Trap

(MyHealthNewsDaily) According to U.S. Department of Agriculture guidelines, a main entrée should contain no more than 667 calories, with less than 35 percent of those calories from fat, and fewer than 767 milligrams of sodium. But, a study published in May in the journal Public Health Nutrition study found that a startling 96 percent of main dishes sold at the top chain restaurants in the U.S. exceed those limits – especially in sodium content…
The portions are large and the plates are larger, so it's hard to tell when you should really stop eating. You want to stick to your diet, but you feel like you've been trapped. What do you do?
Here are some tips for controlling portions when you dine out at a restaurant:
1.    Avoid appetizers at all costs…
2.    Keep a careful watch at family-oriented restaurants…
3.    Ask for a smaller second plate. Before you eat anything, separate out a portion that you estimate to be a healthy size…
4.    Fight the urge to eat dessert, or opt for a fruit cup instead.
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