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

I Love You, Have Another Helping

(David L. Katz, MD, MPH, FACPM, FACP, U.S. News & World Report) It's time to update the way we express love in the United States…
We have, for as long as any of us can remember, shown one another love with treats, foods, and feasts. Parents love their children with French fries, and ice cream… Families gather for holidays in a spirit of love, and they sit, and eat. Grandparents love grandchildren by slipping them candies when Mom and Dad are looking away. Men woo women (and, perhaps, these days vice versa) by wining and dining.
In an age of epidemic obesity and diabetes, we are in other words, loving one another to death…
We should not love one another any less than ever. We should not show love any less emphatically. But given a choice between love that helps you stay fit and vital—or love that accelerates your visit by ambulance ride to the local coronary care unit—which would you prefer?
In unity there is strength. It is easier to eat well when we support and encourage each other to do so, rather than indulging ourselves in anachronistic love that bears striking resemblance to sabotage. It is easier to be physically active when some of the love we get from others involves an invitation to do so in a way that is sociable and appealing, be it a walk, hike, bike ride, game of tennis or softball, dance class, or…whatever.
Community: My mother used to undermine my attempts to lose weight. If I told her I was on a diet, she’d go straight to the kitchen and bake an apple pie. And the smell of the pie cooking would totally destroy my intentions. Needless to say, my mother was greatly overweight.
There was a time when alcohol was shoved down our throats. You were pressured to drink. I think 12-step programs helped change that attitude, to the point where no one is expected to drink alcohol.
Now we need to change the thinking on food. But expect the food-industrial complex to kick back. See below. They’re entitled to keep us sick.
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U.S. adults don't know they're overweight

(UPI) Although most U.S. women worry they are overweight and men are catching up, neither men nor women may be concerned enough, a U.S. survey indicates…
The inconsistency between the percentage who said they were overweight and the percentage who ... were overweight according to BMI calculations might be due to Americans' own reluctance to describe themselves as fat, Gallup officials said.
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Lose Weight to Lower Your Risk of Dementia

(RealAge.com) A new study reveals that obesity can put people older than 60 at greater risk for dementia. The good news is we have some tips that can spare your aging brain from weight-gain brain-drain:
·         Take a walk for at least 45 minutes a day, six days a week. Also do strength-building exercises two to three days a week…
·         Add friends, family, and lovers to your social mix…
·         Substitute heart-stopping saturated fats (think burgers) with healthy fats, such as salmon or monounsaturated olive oil. Losing weight is about healthy eating, not starving.
·         Combine these steps with Dr. Mike's secret for weight control: walnuts and almonds. Starting a meal with six walnut halves or 12 almonds can help you shrink belly fat by 50%. The walnuts are good for your brain and heart, too.
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Practical Advice on Losing Weight

(U.S. News & World Report) Before you have that snack, assess whether your food cravings stem from hunger or something else.
(UPI) Segmenting food -- providing a visual cue to divide up food -- results in people eating less of the food offered, U.S. researchers found.
(U.S. News & World Report) Snacks are important, once you know what to nibble on—and when.
(RealAge.com) Hungry before bed? You don't have to reach for junk food. Here are a few snacks that won't disturb your sleep or your diet.
(EatingWell) Follow this easy 7-day diet meal plan to help you shed pounds healthfully.
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Latest Weight Loss Research

(Reuters Health) Fiber-enriched processed foods promise a healthier version of your favorite snacks, but do not expect them to keep your hunger at bay, a small study suggests.
(Los Angeles Times) Remember the experimental weight-loss drug rimonabant, touted as a potential "miracle pill" that could help obese smokers kick the habit, lose weight and keep it off for two years?
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Coconut and Basil Steamed Mussels
Impress guests with this elegant and easy main dish. Pair with spinach and scallion rice for a complete meal in about 20 minutes.
Maple-Mustard Baked Chicken
Enjoy this crunchy chicken at home for a family supper or take it along on a picnic to eat cold—no forks and knives required!
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Meatless Monday flap: USDA gets into trouble with beef industry

(Booster Shots, Los Angeles Times) Who would have thought that something as .. well, bland ... as encouraging employees to consider going meatless for one day a week  would blow up into a scandal -- with calls for people to be fired and accusations of “treasonous” behavior?
That’s just what happened after some person (pity him or her!) within the U.S. Department of Agriculture cheerfully suggested Meatless Monday in an internal memo to staff…
Here is the outraged reaction by the National Cattlemen’s Beef Assn., posted Wednesday. In it,  the organization’s president J.D. Alexander stated that Meatless Monday is “an animal rights extremist campaign to ultimately end meat consumption” and that since the USDA’s mission is to promote U.S. farming, “this move by USDA should be condemned by anyone who believes agriculture is fundamental to sustaining life on this planet.”
Community: And then there’s this: “Drink lobby gears up to fight soda tax plan in California city”. How long will it be before doctors who provide a certain treatment start raising hell and lobbying Congress to stop a better treatment that comes along?
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Curcumin capsules found to curb diabetes risk

(Reuters Health) Supplements containing a compound in curry spice may help prevent diabetes in people at high risk, a small clinical trial suggests…
Curcumin is a compound in turmeric spice, and lab research has suggested it can fight inflammation and so-called oxidative damage to body cells. Those two processes are thought to feed a range of diseases, including type 2 diabetes.
Community: Here are some of the other benefits of curcumin. I put turmeric in my almost every day Healthy Mary. I crack some black pepper on top to help absorb the curcumin.
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Amarin Wins Approval for Debut Drug to Treat High Blood Fats

(Bloomberg) US approval for Amarin Corp. (AMRN)'s first product, a drug to combat high levels of blood fat that can lead to stroke and heart attack, included limits on its use that may have disappointed investors…
About 40 million people in the U.S. have elevated triglyceride levels, which are associated with an increased risk of developing coronary artery disease, according to Amarin. The company’s drug is a prescription-grade omega-3 fatty acid.
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Talon’s Flower-Powered Cancer Medicine Driving Talks of a Deal, CEO Says

(Bloomberg) Talon Therapeutics Inc.’s experimental blood-cancer treatment, based on a compound from the rosy periwinkle flower, is attracting potential partners and buyers, Chief Executive Officer Steven Deitcher said.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is set to decide by Aug. 12 whether to approve the medicine, a treatment called Marqibo for acute lymphoblastic leukemia, for patients who have failed at least two other therapies, giving the South San Francisco-based company its first marketable product.
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High Testosterone Linked to Prostate Cancer Risk

(MyHealthNewsDaily) Older men with high levels of testosterone may have an increased risk of prostate cancer, a new study from Australia says. In the study, men ages 70 to 88 with higher testosterone levels were 9 percent more likely to develop prostate cancer over a seven-year period than men with lower levels.
Testosterone is needed for the normal growth of the prostate, and it's possible that high levels of the hormone accelerate the growth of prostate cancer, the researchers said.
However, the new study found only an association, not a cause-effect link. And previous studies on the topic have had conflicting results.
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Rapamycin Effective in Mouse Model of Inherited Heart Disease and Muscular Dystrophies

(Science Daily) An FDA-approved drug improves cardiac and skeletal muscle function and extends lifespan.
Rapamycin, an immunosuppressant drug used in a variety of disease indications and under study in aging research labs around the world, improved function and extended survival in mice suffering from a genetic mutation which leads to dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) and rare muscular dystrophies in humans…
Rapamycin has been shown to extend healthspan in normal mice.
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Shift Work Linked to Increased Risk of Heart Attack and Stroke

(Science Daily) Shift work is associated with an increased risk of major vascular problems, such as heart attacks and strokes, concludes a study…
The authors say their findings have several implications. For example, they suggest screening programs could help identify and treat risk factors, such as high blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Shift workers could also be educated about symptoms that could indicate early heart problems.
Finally, they say more work is needed to identify the most vulnerable groups of shift workers and the effects of modifying shift patterns on overall vascular health.
Community: There are a number of practical things we can do to prevent or reduce the severity of stroke.
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Football Player Who Killed Himself Had Brain Disease

(New York Times) An autopsy report released this week, just before N.F.L. training camps opened, concluded that the former Atlanta Falcons safety Ray Easterling, who committed suicide in April, had a degenerative brain disease widely connected to athletes who have absorbed frequent blows to the head…
The autopsy by the medical examiner in Richmond found signs of chronic traumatic encephalopathy, progressive damage that has been linked to blows to the head, and determined that it was the underlying major condition that accounted for Easterling’s difficulties.
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Organ recipients show off new health at Transplant Games

(USA Today) Born with cystic fibrosis, Ronda Passon struggled with sickness her whole life, spending three to four hours daily on treatments to clear her airways.
Eleven years ago, the 45-year-old respiratory therapist from Grand Rapids, Mich., received the gift of life, a lung transplant. She answered a midnight phone call, packed her things and boarded a private plane that carried her to an awaiting donor organ and her chance to live with health and energy. Passon says nobody experiences a transplant the same way, but she is far from alone. Saturday, she will join about 800 other transplant recipients testing their athleticism in the Olympic-style Transplant Games of America, held in Grand Rapids, Mich., Saturday through Tuesday.
"Now I know what it's like to feel healthy, and that's incredible," says Passon, who works as a respiratory therapist with Spectrum Health Medical Center, whose corporate parent is one of the event's organizers. "The donor families and the people who donate are so important and generous, and I know it's a difficult time for them, but I hope they know how appreciative people are of their decisions."
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HHS: Health Law Has Saved Seniors Nearly $4B On Medications

(The Hill) The Obama administration touted the healthcare law Wednesday for saving seniors billions of dollars on prescription drugs.
The Medicare agency released figures showing that millions of seniors and people with disabilities have saved $3.9 billion on medications since the law was enacted.
The data also showed that since the beginning of the year, more than 1 million Medicare beneficiaries have saved an average of $629 on prescriptions in the "doughnut hole" coverage gap.  
"Millions of people with Medicare have been paying less for prescription drugs thanks to the healthcare law," said Marilyn Tavenner, the head of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. 
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Hospitals Are Worried About Cut in Fund for the Uninsured

(New York Times ) President Obama’s health care law is putting new strains on some of the nation’s most hard-pressed hospitals, by cutting aid they use to pay for emergency care for illegal immigrants, which they have long been required to provide.
The federal government has been spending $20 billion annually to reimburse these hospitals — most in poor urban and rural areas — for treating more than their share of the uninsured, including illegal immigrants. The health care law will eventually cut that money in half, based on the premise that fewer people will lack insurance after the law takes effect.
But the estimated 11 million people now living illegally in the United States are not covered by the health care law. Its sponsors, seeking to sidestep the contentious debate over immigration, excluded them from the law’s benefits.
As a result, so-called safety-net hospitals said the cuts would deal a severe blow to their finances.
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GOP Says Coverage For The Uninsured Is Not Their Priority

(Shots, NPR) For decades, the primary goal of those who would fix the U.S. health system has been to help people without insurance get coverage. Now, it seems, all that may be changing. At least some top Republicans are trying to steer the health debate away from the problem of the uninsured…
“Conservatives cannot allow themselves to be browbeaten by failing to provide the same coverage numbers as Obamacare,” Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, told a conference at the conservative American Enterprise Institute. “To be clear, it is a disgrace that so many American families go without health insurance coverage. But we cannot succumb to the pressure to argue on the left’s terms.”
So if getting more people coverage isn’t the goal, what is?
“Your goal should be reducing costs, and expanding individual liberty,” said Dean Clancy, who also spoke at the AEI conference. He’s legislative counsel for Freedomworks, a group that supports and trains Tea Party activists.
Community: Every day in every way Republicans show they don’t give a damn about those who are struggling to survive.
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Hunter-Gatherers, Westerners Use Same Amount of Energy

(Science Daily) [Researchers] measured daily energy expenditure (calories per day) among the Hadza, a population of traditional hunter-gatherers living in the open savannah of northern Tanzania. Despite spending their days trekking long distances to forage for wild plants and game, the Hadza burned no more calories each day than adults in the U.S. and Europe…
These findings upend the long-held assumption that our hunter-gatherer ancestors expended more energy than modern populations, and challenge the view that obesity in Western populations results from decreased energy expenditure. Instead, the similarity in daily energy expenditure across a broad range of lifestyles suggests that habitual metabolic rates are relatively constant among human populations. This in turn supports the view that the current rise in obesity is due to increased food consumption, not decreased energy expenditure.
The authors emphasize that physical exercise is nonetheless important for maintaining good health. In fact, the Hadza spend a greater percentage of their daily energy budget on physical activity than Westerners do, which may contribute to the health and vitality evident among older Hadza. Still, the similarity in daily energy expenditure between Hadza hunter-gatherers and Westerners suggests that we have more to learn about human physiology and health, particularly in non-Western settings.
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Promote healthy aging with regular exercise

(NIH Senior Health, via email) To get the full benefit from exercise, you need to do it regularly and stick with it. Here are 6 ways to make exercise and physical activity a habit.
For tips and sample workouts, visit Go4Life, a campaign from the National Institute on Aging to help older adults make exercise and physical activity a regular part of their lives.
 This information on Exercise and Physical Activity was provided by NIHSeniorHealth and developed by the National Institute on Aging.
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Physical function poorer after menopause

(Reuters Health) As women go through menopause, they may see a decline in their ability to carry groceries, climb stairs and get other routine tasks done, a new study suggests.
Exactly why is not clear, though extra pounds and depression symptoms seemed to account for some of the link.
"There is something going on during menopause. There is definitely a connection between menopause and the physical limitations women perceive themselves as having," said lead researcher Lisa Tseng.
Community: I saw this happening to me, and I fought back. Now I’m much better at performing tasks that were so easy when I was young, but became difficult. It takes work, but I refuse to just waste away.
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Hot-Weather Workout Tips

(U.S. News & World Report) Going for your usual run or bike ride in hot temperatures can bring scary health hazards if you aren't adequately prepared. Heat can place strain on the cardiovascular system and cause serious illnesses such as dehydration, heat cramps, heat exhaustion, or heat stroke…
Exercising indoors to stay cool may not always be an option. But you can still get in a good workout on warm-weather days by taking these precautions:
Acclimatize at low intensity
Adjust your workout when the heat wave hits. "The biggest mistake people make is that they don't work up to the heat and acclimate. It takes about one to two weeks to acclimatize to perform the best in the heat," says Samantha Clayton, a personal trainer and track coach…
Don't wait until you're thirsty to hydrate. Two hours before heading out the door, down 16 ounces of an electrolyte-fueled drink such as Gatorade, Clayton says. Drink another 6 to 8 ounces of water 10 to 15 minutes into your workout (yes, you should always run with water), he says. Even if you exercise briefly, replace fluids early in your workout…
Stay cool
Keep cool even before you hit the pavement. Olympic athletes will take a cold shower, cool off in an air-conditioned room, or even sit in an ice bath before exercising in the heat, [pediatrics professor Michael] Bergeron says. Eating crushed ice before a long workout will help delay a rise in body temperature as well, he adds…
Rise and shine early
Be like an Olympian, and get an early start. Pre-dawn runs or bike rides can help you beat the heat, and you'll benefit from better air quality before the mercury rises. "You need quality oxygen to help cool you down, so take a nice deep breath before you exercise," Clayton says. "Then your blood can do its work and get to the surface of your skin to cool you down."
Slather on sunscreen
Prevent sunburns, which can raise your body temperature. Apply sunscreen, but be sure it's not so thick that it blocks your pores and prevents you from sweating.
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Why You Should Work Out with a Friend

(RealAge.com) Friends with workout benefits make your daily routine more fun whether they join you for your outing or stay in daily contact through e-mail or phone. No buddy to exercise with? You can sign up with a doctor for fitness coaching through the Internet or use RealAge’s walking tracker to monitor your progress. A virtual exercise partner -- say, a digital coach -- may boost your output 24%...
Still, nothing makes activity as much fun as plus one. Searching for the right exercise group or partner?
·         Post a notice at your gym with your schedule to get others to make a “see-you-there” pact.
·         Put an ad in your favorite organization’s e-mail or paper and start your own walking group.
·         Get your kids or spouse to commit to an ironclad workout date once a week (or more).
Remember, 10,000 steps every day (no excuses) makes your waist thinner and brain younger!
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Yoga Steadies Stroke Victims

(MedPage Today) A yoga-based rehabilitation workout may help improve balance following stroke, a pilot randomized study found.
At 8 weeks, the yoga group showed significant progress in static and dynamic balance, as assessed by the 14-item Berg Balance Scale… In contrast, the controls who underwent usual rehab care had less improvement in balance.
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Cooking Light:
Healthy British Fare
We're following the torch to England for the 2012 Summer Olympics. So, take a jaunt across the pond with us as we explore lighter versions of classic British recipes.
300-Calorie Dinners
We gave these recipes a real workout: very satisfying food, very light.
Use Your Basil Bounty
The season's most versatile herb enlivens dishes from classic (pesto) to contemporary (sorbet). Use it with abandon.
Grilled Chicken and Tomato Salad
This salad recipe may sound ordinary, but you’ll think otherwise once you taste the fresh produce and flavorful goat cheese in every bite.
Summer Corn & Scallop Pasta
The naturally sweet taste of scallops partners beautifully with summer corn at its peak in this corn and scallop pasta recipe. To get the most corn flavor into the creamy pasta sauce for this summer pasta recipe, we use the dull side of a knife to remove the extra bit of the corn kernels and the sweet corn “milk” from the ear after cutting off the fresh kernels. Try this technique anytime you are adding fresh corn to sauces or soups.
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Simple Steps to a Tasty (and Healthy) Sandwich

(Keri Gans, MS, RD, CDN, U.S. News & World Report) For me, the perfect lunch consists of a sandwich and I couldn't imagine going without one. So instead of thinking you can't eat healthfully and have your sandwich too, I suggest you simply learn how to make a healthier sandwich.
1.    Choose 100 percent whole-wheat or whole-grain bread…
2.    Add lean protein…
3.    Include healthy fat…
4.    Pile on the vegetables.
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High-carb diet tied to breast cancer risk for some

(Reuters) Older women who eat a lot of starchy and sweet carbohydrates may be at increased risk of a less common but deadlier form of breast cancer, according to a European study…
Specifically, the study found a link between high "glycemic load" and breast cancers that lack receptors for the female sex hormone estrogen, so-called "ER-negative" breast cancers.
A high glycemic load essentially means a diet heavy in foods that cause a rapid spike in blood sugar, such as processed foods made from white flour, potatoes and sweets.
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Alcohol Could Intensify Effects of Some Drugs in the Body

(Science Daily) Scientists are reporting another reason -- besides possible liver damage, stomach bleeding and other side effects -- to avoid drinking alcohol while taking certain medicines…
Christel Bergström and colleagues explain that beverage alcohol, or ethanol, can cause an increase in the amount of non-prescription and prescription drugs that are "available" to the body after taking a specific dose.
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Two apples a day keep cardiologist away

(UPI) U.S. researchers found post-menopausal women -- a group at high risk of heart attack and stroke -- who ate two apples a day had 25 percent lower cholesterol…
The study … showed that after three months total cholesterol levels in the group that ate apples dropped by 9 percent and low-density lipoprotein, the "bad," cholesterol, dropped by 16 percent, The Daily Telegraph reported.
Levels were even lower after six months, with total cholesterol down 13 percent and low-density lipoprotein levels dropped by 24 percent, the study said.
[P]runes lowered cholesterol levels slightly but not to the same extent as the dried apple.
Community: Apples may also protect against diabetes, stroke, and colon cancer, and may promote weight loss.
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Lower Vitamin D Could Increase Risk of Dying, Especially for Frail, Older Adults

(Science Daily) A new study concludes that among older adults -- especially those who are frail -- low levels of vitamin D can mean a much greater risk of death.
The randomized, nationally representative study found that older adults with low vitamin D levels had a 30 percent greater risk of death than people who had higher levels.
Overall, people who were frail had more than double the risk of death than those who were not frail. Frail adults with low levels of vitamin D tripled their risk of death over people who were not frail and who had higher levels of vitamin D.
"What this really means is that it is important to assess vitamin D levels in older adults, and especially among people who are frail," said lead author Ellen Smit.
Community: During my first Medicare wellness visit, my doctor found I was low in vitamin D, and I’ve been taking a supplement ever since.
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4 Ways to Prevent Nighttime Leg Cramps

(RealAge.com) Everything from quinine to medications such as anti-anxiety drugs, muscle relaxers, and vascular dilators are prescribed, but for most people, most of the time, four simple steps will prevent this late-night, foot-stamping samba.
1.    Get plenty of vitamin D3, magnesium, potassium, and calcium…
2.    Stretch before you go to sleep…
3.    Stay hydrated…
4.    Try 900 mg of DHA omega-3 fatty acids.
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The Latest from The People’s Pharmacy

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Pig Tissue Seen Rebuilding Damage Knee

(Bloomberg) The removal of damaged meniscus tissue is the most common orthopedic procedure in the U.S. and is a major cause of osteoarthritis. While replacing damaged meniscus with donor tissue helps reduce pain and restore normal range of motion, a shortage of donors has limited the scope of such operations. That may soon change. Tissue Regenix Group … is developing a new product using material from pigs that holds the hope of producing abundant quantities of tissue…
Tissue Regenix’s dCELL technology involves taking animal tissue and removing cellular material from it that would cause humans to reject the implant. That allows doctors to use the stripped tissue without anti-rejection drugs to replace worn out or diseased body parts. Once implanted, the cellular scaffold is repopulated with the patient’s own stem cells.
This decellularization technology may also potentially be applied to heart valves and wound care.
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Some in Congress Eager to Revive Gun Control Legislation

(U.S. News & World Report) There is no evidence to suggest existing gun laws could have prevented James Holmes, the 24-year-old who authorities say walked into a midnight showing of "The Dark Knight Rises" clad in black body armor and a gas mask, from killing 12 and injuring nearly 60.
Holmes had no criminal record or known history of mental illness that would have shown up on a routine background check. He legally possessed the AR-15 semi-automatic rifle, Remington 870 12-gauge shotgun, and the .40 caliber Glock handgun he is suspected of using in the attacks.
And in the months prior to the shooting, Holmes purchased 6,000 rounds of ammunition just as easily as one could buy sneakers over the Internet without raising any suspicions.
"People who are so bent on doing that kind of destruction, there is probably no law on the books that could just stop them cold," says New York Democrat Rep. Carolyn McCarthy whose husband was murdered and son severely injured in the 1993 Long Island train massacre. "But why are we making it so easy for them to get this kind of equipment?"
On Capitol Hill, the Aurora tragedy has no doubt reignited the topic of gun control.
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Government signs on insurers to fight healthcare fraud

(Reuters) President Barack Obama's administration launched a new partnership with private insurance companies, state officials and other stakeholders to scale up efforts to tackle widespread and increasingly sophisticated healthcare fraud…
The project increases a focus on data sharing between public and private health insurers, using new technology that helps track medical claims in real time. Many large insurers have already signed onto the program, including Humana Inc, UnitedHealth Group and WellPoint Inc.
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What We Can Learn From Third-World Health Care

(Pauline W. Chen, M.D., New York Times) [T]he American health care system has become the great international paradox, spending more but getting less.
With all the most advanced technology and equipment, spending far more on health care than any other nation — a whopping $2.6 trillion annually, or over 17 percent of our gross domestic product — the United States consistently underperforms on some of the most important health indicators. Our infant mortality rates, for example, are worse than those in countries like Hungary, Cuba and Slovenia. Our life expectancy rates are not much better; in global rankings, we sit within spitting distance of Cuba, Chile and Libya…countries traditionally viewed as needing our aid and learned from their successes in facing challenges similar to our own.
Rebecca D. Onie, a founder and the chief executive of Health Leads, a domestic health care organization; Dr. Paul Farmer, a founder of Partners in Health, a Boston-based medical nonprofit group; and Dr. Heidi Behforouz, medical and executive director of the Prevention and Access to Care and Treatment project, a community-based health care initiative in the United States that is part of Partners in Health, argue eloquently for “reverse innovation.”
They contend that for decades, several nongovernmental and nonprofit medical organizations have delivered high-quality care in some of the most challenging circumstances possible. Applying the solutions these medical organizations have already discovered could allow us to bypass or at least foreshorten what has become an interminable trial-and-error search for the answers to our country’s health care woes.
Community: As long as we think we know everything, we can’t learn anything.
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It is possible to overeat healthy foods

(UPI) It is possible to overeat healthy foods, such as fruit and vegetables, a U.S. registered dietitian said.
Brooke Schantz, a registered dietitian at the Loyola University Health System near Chicago, said overeating healthy foods is easy to do, but the same rules apply to healthy food as junk food.
"While fruits are nutritious, too much of even a healthy food can lead to weight gain," Schantz said in a statement. "The key is to remember to control the portion sizes of the foods you consume."…
There is one exception -- non-starchy vegetables are difficult to overeat unless they are accompanied by calories from sauces, cheeses and butter, Schantz said.
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5 Ways to Sneak More Veggies Into Your Diet

(Katherine Brooking, MS, RD, U.S. News & World Report) Studies show that a diet rich in vegetables may reduce risk for heart disease, diabetes, and certain types of cancers. Vegetables high in potassium may lower blood pressure.
Veggies are also one of your best allies in the battle against "the bulge." Because they are lower in calories per cup, when you eat them in place of other higher-calorie foods you can lower your total calorie intake. Research shows that in addition, their high water and fiber content can help keep you fuller for longer, reducing the likelihood of overeating.
Given their importance to your overall health, eating more veggies should be a top priority. Try these tips to ensure you're getting enough:
1. Start a garden
2. Veggies for breakfast… Stuff an omelet with broccoli, spinach, peppers, asparagus, or any other vegetable that suits your taste buds…
3. Soups. Add more flavor and nutrition to your favorite soups with veggies…
4. Don't forget frozen… If time is tight or if convenience is an issue, don't overlook frozen vegetables… The "flash-freezing" process tends to leave them in a nutrient-rich state…
5. Move your veggies to the top shelf of the refrigerator. You've heard of "out of sight, out of mind" right? Try doing the opposite.
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The New Health Foods: What to Eat Now

(Liz Miersch, U.S. News & World Report) Here are the ones you should get to know:
Matcha (pronounced MAH-cha), is whole-leaf green tea that's been ground into fine powder and boasts absurdly impressive health benefits. Traditionally whisked with hot water, it's Japan's veritable "cup of Joe," and serves up a host of health benefits…
Sea buckthorn is a major antioxidant, packing 10 times the amount of vitamin C found in oranges, as well as a variety of healing agents including vitamins, carotenoids, flavonoids, polyphenols, and omega fatty acids, which have anti-inflammatory properties. It contains not just omega 3, 6, and 9, but the more rare omega 7, says naturopathic doctor and nutritionist Lindsey Duncan. "Omega 7 has been a hero nutrient in clinical trials because it helps rebuild connective tissue," she says. "This makes it great for athletes with any tendon or ligament issues—and suggests it could even help with cellulite."
Beets might help take your workouts to the next level. A recent study from Saint Louis University in Missouri reveals that when fit men and women ate a cup of cooked beetroot about an hour before running three miles, they achieved a pace 3 percent faster than runners who were given a pre-race placebo…
Maca (lepidium meyenii) grows high in the Andes mountains and is fast becoming a favorite among the health-food elite due to the energetic, but natural kick it provides (it's been called Peruvian ginseng).
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High-salt diet depletes body of calcium

(UPI) Canadian researchers say people who eat high-salt diets tend to develop kidney stones and osteoporosis because when sodium leaves the body, so does calcium…
When sodium intake becomes too high, the body gets rid of sodium via urine, taking calcium with it, which depletes calcium stores in the body -- leading to the development of kidney stones, while inadequate levels of calcium in the body lead to thin bones and osteoporosis.
Community: I wonder if Professor Alexander included potassium levels in his study (see here and here).

His email response to my question: "Yes - they were not altered by the presence or absence of NHE3. Although potassium certainly affects calcium homeostasis."
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3 Cholesterol-Busting Foods

(MyHealthNewsDaily) Consider cutting back on high-cholesterol foods like cheese and fatty meat, and add more foods that have been shown to have a positive impact on cholesterol levels.  
Soy: Soy protein improves the blood fat levels of healthy adults, but any old protein won't do the same, according to study published in April in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition. The researchers compared milk and soy proteins and found that only the soy protein had a positive effect. Try adding some organic tofu to your stir-fry, instead of chicken or beef.
Almonds: In a 2011 study published in the journal Metabolism — Clinical and Experimental, researchers found that eating almonds as part of a healthy diet has a positive effect on blood sugar control and total cholesterol levels. This could not only reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, but also Type 2 diabetes, they said.
Oatmeal: Women who increased their fiber intake also reduced their total cholesterol levels, according to a 2010 study in the American Journal of Epidemiology. With just one cup of oatmeal each day, you can add eight grams of fiber.
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Fish Oil Doesn't Cut Diabetes Patients’ Heart Risk

(WebMD Health News) Fish oil supplements contain omega-3 fatty acids. The American Heart Association says omega-3s have been shown to benefit the hearts of people at high risk for heart disease.
But in the new study, people with type 2 diabetes or prediabetes who took omega-3 fatty acid supplements were no less likely to die or suffer a heart attack or stroke than patients who did not take the supplements.
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