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

Some health experts sour on fructose

(Chicago Tribune) Most experts agree that Americans eat too much sugar, period. But studies in recent years suggest that a simple sugar called fructose might contribute in unique ways to pre-diabetic conditions, obesity and cardiovascular disease.
Fructose, which makes up about half of table sugar and standard high-fructose corn syrup, is metabolized solely by the liver. The other major simple sugar, glucose, can be used by all organs. Researchers are finding that bombarding the liver with high levels of fructose can produce excess internal fat and elevate levels of uric acid, effects that can contribute to insulin resistance, diabetes and heart disease. Some animal studies also link fructose to reduced sensitivity to leptin, a hormone that signals the body to stop eating.
Not all researchers are convinced that fructose poses a unique threat. But the surge in the U.S. of Type 2 diabetes, fatty liver disease, kidney stones and other weight-related ailments has led the National Institutes of Health to convene a conference in November that will explore the role of fructose consumption in liver function, obesity and diabetes.
"I think that generally speaking we are moving toward a consensus that fructose is the component of sugar that matters," said Barry Popkin, a professor of global nutrition at the University of North Carolina who has looked closely at sugar and obesity. "The conference may help explain a lot of mechanistic issues related to fructose and a whole series of cardiometabolic diseases."
Community: There are many practical things we can do to prevent, delay, or reduce the severity of diabetes.
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People Dying of Diabetes Who Never Knew They Had It, Study Finds

(MyHealthNewsDaily) People who don't know they have Type 1 diabetes may account for a surprising number of deaths from one complication of the condition, a new study says.
Nearly a third of people in Maryland who died over a six-year period from diabetic ketoacidosis, a condition of severe insulin deficiency, had no known history of diabetes, the study of autopsy results found…
The finding highlights the need for regular physicals that include checking blood sugar levels, especially if warning signs of diabetes are present, the researchers said.
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Genetic diabetes counseling may not inspire change to reduce diabetes risk

(Reuters Health) Counseling people about their personal risk of diabetes based on their genes may not motivate them to take steps to prevent the blood sugar disease, a new study suggests.
Overweight and obese research participants lost the same amount of weight and were similarly dedicated to a diabetes-prevention program whether they learned their genes put them at high or low risk - or when they hadn't been counseled at all.
"It's very, very hard to change behavior," said lead researcher Dr. Richard Grant.
Community: We can change behaviors more easily if we learn to improve impulse control. There are many practical things we can do to prevent, delay, or reduce the severity of diabetes. And the CDC has this: “Fotonovela Gives Tips to Prevent Type 2 Diabetes.”
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20 Breakthroughs to Reverse Diabetes

(Reader's Digest) The latest science to improve your blood sugar, whittle your middle, eat healthier, and more.
Choose Dairy Daily
Women who ate the most low-fat dairy products had a lower risk of type 2 diabetes—and obese women benefited the most…
Eat the Rainbow
[A]dults with the highest fruit and vegetable intake (about six servings daily) had a 21 percent lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes than people who ate the least (about two servings a day)…
Get Personal
New guidelines on managing blood sugar levels from the American Diabetes Association and the European Association for the Study of Diabetes say your blood sugar goals should be based on individual risk factors, such as age, health status, complications, and so on… Use the new guidelines as a jumping-off point to check in with your doctor on your treatment regimen…
Skip This Side Dish
[T]he greater a person’s white rice intake, the higher his or her risk for developing type 2 diabetes…
Protect Yourself from Plastics
High blood levels of common chemicals called phthalates are associated with about double the risk of type 2 diabetes…

Because phthalates are found in so many products, it’s hard to avoid them entirely. But you can reduce your exposure with the following tips: Avoid plastic containers with the recycling symbol #3 on the bottom (it designates products that contain PVC, a type of plastic that contains the additives). Buy phthalate-free beauty products and skip those that contain “fragrance” as an ingredient. Ventilate your home: Indoor air tends to have higher phthalate levels than outdoor air (the chemicals can leach into air and dust from building materials and household items). 
Take a Stand
Researchers studied overweight and obese middle-aged adults and found that when they broke up a long bout (five hours) of sitting with two minutes of walking, their bodies had better control of postmeal glucose and insulin levels throughout the day compared to when they didn’t take such breaks…
Simply get up from your desk every 20 minutes or so. Stretch, fill up a glass of water, speak to a colleague in person, or stand up during meetings. 
Say “Om”
In a study from India, 123 people with diabetes who took yoga classes lost a few pounds and kept their glucose levels steady. In contrast, a control group that didn’t do yoga saw their levels rise. The bonus? Levels of cell-damaging free radicals—which play a role in diabetes complications like vision loss and kidney damage—fell 20 percent.
Up Your Omega-3s
Dutch researchers report that people with diabetes who take [heart] rhythm-protecting drugs plus a daily dose of omega-3 fatty acids cut their odds for fatal heart trouble by a whopping 84 percent… You’ll find plenty of the third type of omega-3, ALA, in ground flaxseed, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, and canola oil, and small amounts in kale, spinach, and salad greens…
Beat a Mid-Afternoon Slump
[Scientists] say protein is a better choice for blasting out of that slump. In a new study, amino acids like those found in foods like egg whites and grilled chicken stimulated “wake-you-up” brain cells called orexin cells. In contrast, sugar blocked them…
Love It, Lose It
Overweight women who took classes about body image and emotional eating lost 3 ½ times more weight in a year than those who got typical diet advice…
Get Label Savvy
Renew your commitment to giving packaged foods a nutritional once-over when you shop. Know the serving size, then check calories, then fat (look for items low in heart-threatening saturated and trans fats). Make sure the carbohydrate count fits your meal plan. And look for good-for-you stuff like fiber and monounsaturated fats. 
Rethink Daily Cocktails
Just one to two alcoholic drinks a day can significantly blur your vision if you have diabetes, report Dutch researchers…
Combine Sneakers and Dumbbells
It pays to make time for both cardio and strength workouts. People who got aerobic exercise (walking, riding an exercise bike, or swimming) and did strength-training exercises lost more fat and were twice as likely to see a 0.5 percent drop in their A1c (a test of long-term blood-sugar levels) than those who did just one type of exercise, according to a new study…
Don’t Go It Alone
Teaming up with family members, the doctor, and the doctor’s staff helped people with diabetes increase their success at hitting healthy blood sugar, cholesterol, and blood pressure by a whopping 40 percent or more…
Skip That Venti Latte
Despite its growing reputation as the popular pick-me-up that also lowers diabetes risk, coffee may not be beneficial for people who already have diabetes…
Snag More Shut-Eye
A bad night’s sleep raised morning blood sugar 23 percent and boosted insulin resistance by 82 percent in the largest study yet of sleep’s effects on diabetes control…
Relish the Magic of Salad and Citrus
Fiber, magnesium, and polyphenols in these leafy greens help your cells stay sensitive to insulin, the hormone responsible for blood-sugar absorption…. Tangerines and grapefruit may help too…
Beware the Fat Bombs
High-fat diets may program your brain for weight gain… Eating good fats like nuts, olive oil, and fish in moderation is still a healthy move that helps your heart and blood sugar…
Don’t Let Aches Slow You Down
[H]alf of all women and 40 percent of all men with arthritis are virtually couch potatoes… [F]ind out more about Arthritis Foundation-sponsored walking, Tai Chi, fitness, and water exercise programs at arthritis.org
Protect Your Emotional Health
Depression and diabetes commonly occur together, but treating them simultaneously can mean a better recovery on both fronts.
Community: There are many practical things we can do to prevent, delay, or reduce the severity of diabetes. And there are ways to prevent or reduce depression—luckily, those same measures tend to be diabetes preventers, as well.
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More Recent Research on Diabetes

(Science Daily) Obese patients with type 2 diabetes who consume higher amounts of fructose display reduced levels of liver adenosine triphosphate (ATP) -- a compound involved in the energy transfer between cells. The findings … indicate that elevated uric acid levels (hyperuricemia) are associated with more severe hepatic ATP depletion in response to fructose intake.
(MyHealthNewsDaily) Infection with a common virus may increase the risk of Type 2 diabetes in older adults, a new study from the Netherlands suggests. In the study, adults ages 85 and over who were infected with cytomegalovirus were about twice as likely to have Type 2 diabetes compared with those not infected. Cytomegalovirus is a type of herpes virus found in 50 to 80 percent of adults over age 40; most people experience no symptoms of the infection.
(Science Daily) The first single gene cause of increased sensitivity to the hormone insulin has been discovered by a team of Oxford University researchers. The opposite condition -- insulin resistance -- is a common feature of type 2 diabetes, so finding this cause of insulin sensitivity could offer new opportunities for pursuing novel treatments for diabetes.
(Science Daily) Using a new method, diabetes researchers … have been able to reveal more of the genetic complexity behind type 2 diabetes. The new research findings have been achieved as a result of access to human insulin-producing cells from deceased donors and by not only studying one gene variant, but many genes and how they influence the level of the gene in pancreatic islets and their effect on insulin secretion and glucose control of the donor.
(Consumer Reports) Giving blood for your job sounds a little extreme, but it's exactly what our panel of volunteer staffers did for our latest tests of 21 blood-glucose meters. For our tests, phlebotomists took blood from staffers with and without diabetes and compared multiple readings from the meters against those from our lab glucose analyzer. But there were some perks for the 15 panelists, including Angry Birds and SpongeBob bandages and Oreo cookies!
(Human Factors and Ergonomics Society) Maintaining control of blood glucose levels is one of the most important actions diabetics can take to control their illness. New technology is designed to make self-monitoring easier and more accessible than ever before, but often tech products fail to accommodate some older users… Examples of potential design problems include pages with small text and poor color contrast, icons that enter into an alternate mode if the user holds the button too long, scroll wheels that obscure the page view, and a font size that decreases when the length of the text exceeds one line. Adults with poor vision, memory limitations, or declining motor skills are especially likely to encounter usability problems.
(Science Daily) If you're diabetic or prone to diabetes, having a steady job appears to be good for your health, and not just because of the insurance coverage.
(MedPage Today) The FDA has approved the first opioid painkiller for neuropathic pain associated with diabetic peripheral neuropathy, according to the drug maker.
(Science Daily) An innovative new optical diagnostic tool … may soon make it easier to diagnose and monitor one of the most serious complications of diabetes, peripheral arterial disease (PAD). PAD, which is marked by a narrowing of the arteries caused by plaque accumulation, frequently results in insufficient blood flow to the body's extremities and increases a person's risk for heart attack and stroke.
Community: There are many practical things we can do to prevent, delay, or reduce the severity of diabetes.
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Grilled Redfish with Andouille & Shrimp Couche Couche
New Orleans chef Chuck Subra turns couche couche, a Cajun breakfast food where a cornmeal batter is cooked in oil until browned, into a savory stuffing for grilled redfish. If you prefer not to make cornbread from scratch, use 4 cups diced prepared cornbread.
Quick Fall Minestrone
Make the most of fall produce like butternut squash and kale in this hearty vegetarian soup. Pasta and beans make it especially filling.
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Sesame Oil Blend Battles Hypertension

(MedPage Today) Using a blend of sesame and rice bran oils for cooking and dressing foods may help lower blood pressure in hypertensive patients, a clinical trial showed.
Blood pressure dropped an average of 14 mm Hg systolic and 11 mm Hg diastolic with about 2 tablespoons of the oil per day for 8 weeks, Devarajan Sankar, MD, PhD…, and colleagues found.
The effect was additive to that of a calcium channel blocker and came with cholesterol and triglyceride benefits as well, the group reported.
Community: There are many practical things we can do to lower blood pressure.
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Women Who Eat Soy May Have Lower Heart Disease Risk

(MyHealthNewsDaily) Women who consume higher levels of soy may have a lower risk of coronary heart disease, a new study suggests.
Researchers found that women in China with the highest levels of a soy compound called equol in their urine were 54 percent less likely to have heart disease, compared with the women in the study who had the lowest levels.
"Our results suggest that higher urinary equol excretion is related to a lower risk of coronary heart disease in women," said study author Dr. Xianglan Zhang, an assistant professor of medicine at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tenn. "Our results provide some clues to further evaluate the role of soy in preventing heart disease," she said.
Community: Having had breast cancer, I was leery of eating soy products, but once I found out they’re probably safe, and may even reduce the risk of a recurrence, I started putting edamame on my daily salad.
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Dietary Antioxidants Associated With Lower Risk of Myocardial Infarction in Women

(Science Daily) Coronary heart disease is a major cause of death in women. A new study has found that a diet rich in antioxidants, mainly from fruits and vegetables, can significantly reduce the risk of myocardial infarction…
[Lead investigator Alicja Wolk, DrMedSci,] notes that trials testing high doses of antioxidant supplements have failed to see any benefit on coronary heart disease and, in fact, in one study higher all-cause mortality was reported. "In contrast to supplements of single antioxidants, the dietary total antioxidant capacity reflects all present antioxidants, including thousands of compounds, all of them in doses present in our usual diet, and even takes into account their synergistic effects," she explains.
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Avoid This Common Bread Ingredient

(Andrew Weil, M.D.) Bromated flour contains potassium bromate, an oxidizing agent widely used in commercial baking to strengthen dough and promote rising. Some brands of flour sold in supermarkets for home use contain potassium bromate.
Studies dating back to 1982 found that the chemical causes several types of cancer in lab rats. For that reason, potassium bromate is considered "possibly carcinogenic to humans" by the International Agency for Research on Cancer. Bromated flour is banned by a number of governments including the European Union, Canada, Brazil, Peru and China.
In the U.S., the FDA has encouraged bakers to voluntarily stop using bromated flour, but many have not.
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Sugary Drinks Linked to Increased Genetic Risk of Obesity

(Bloomberg) Sugary soda may increase the effect of genes putting people at risk for obesity, according to one of several studies analyzing how the drinks influence weight gain.
People genetically predisposed to obesity were more likely to gain weight from the beverages than those without the traits, according to the study.
Community: The obesity gene is extremely common, but as we know, our genes are only part of our destiny.
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Do You Have a Cold or an Allergy? Our Fact Sheet Can Help Distinguish

(National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, via email) As the weather turns cooler, you may think that a sore throat, stuffy head, and runny nose are the beginnings of a fall cold. But you might want to check again—cold and allergy symptoms can easily be confused. Talking to your doctor is the best way to determine if you have a cold or an allergy, but our fact sheet can help shed light on your seasonal sniffles.
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Topical NSAIDs Provide Relief from Arthritis Pain

(Science Daily)  For those suffering from osteoarthritis of the knees or hands, applying topical non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) -- in the form of creams, gels and patches -- can bring weeks of pain relief, finds a new review…
The reviewers found the topical NSAID diclofenac was as effective as oral NSAIDs for arthritis in the knee or hand and it gave more participants good pain relief compared to the placebo in studies lasting 8-12 weeks.
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Free Bus Passes Have Health Benefit, Say Researchers

(Science Daily) Free bus passes for over-60s may be encouraging older people to be more physically active, say the authors of a study…
Researchers … found that people with a bus pass are more likely to walk frequently and take more journeys by "active travel" -- defined as walking, cycling or using public transport. These associations cut across socio-economic groups, suggesting that wealthier and poorer people are benefitting from the scheme equally.
Keeping physically active helps to maintain mental wellbeing, mobility and muscle strength in older people and reduces their risk of cardiovascular disease, falls and fractures.
Community: We seniors in Chicago had free transit passes until the recent budget crisis. We still get a discount, which is helpful.
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Generic-Drug Fee Plan at FDA Caught Up in Budget Impasse

(Bloomberg) A $300 million program to speed U.S. reviews of generic drugs made by Mylan Inc., Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. and other companies may not start as planned on Oct. 1 because of a budget impasse in Congress.
The industry’s deal with the Food and Drug Administration to pay user fees for the first time was to mimic long-standing arrangements for brand-name drugs and medical devices. The snag for generics is that because their program is new, lawmakers must pass legislation authorizing the FDA to collect the money, Donald Beers, associate chief counsel for drugs at the agency, said…
While Congress has been working on a fix, most lawmakers are preparing to leave Washington this week and not return until after the Nov. 6 elections. The fees were part of legislation passed in June that was meant to help the FDA clear a backlog of 2,700 generic-drug applications and cut review times for copycat medicines to 10 months from an average of almost three years.
Community: No wonder Congress is so unpopular.
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Health reform: 6M penalty, 19M tax break

(UPI) Nearly 6 million U.S. adults may face a tax penalty of about $695 in 2016 for not buying health insurance, congressional analysts said…
However, the Center for American Progress, a progressive think tank in Washington, said the Affordable Care Act is a large tax cut for middle-class families.
"Beginning in 2014, the Affordable Care Act would give millions of middle-class families large tax cuts to make health insurance premiums. In size and scope these tax credits far outstrip the tax penalty paid by the tiny percentage of Americans who will voluntarily turn down affordable health insurance," the Center for American Progress said in a statement.
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Through the Affordable Care Act, Americans with Medicare will save $5,000 through 2022

(U.S. Department of Health & Human Services) Because of the health care law – the Affordable Care Act – the average person with traditional Medicare will save $5,000 from 2010 to 2022, according to a report today from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. People with Medicare who have high prescription drug costs will save much more – more than $18,000 – over the same period.
HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius also announced that, because of the health care law, more than 5.5 million seniors and people with disabilities saved nearly $4.5 billion on prescription drugs since the law was enacted…  Also in the first eight months of 2012, more than 19 million people with original Medicare received at least one preventive service at no cost to them.
“I am pleased that the health care law is helping so many seniors save money on their prescription drug costs,” Secretary Sebelius said.  “A $5,000 savings will go a long way for many beneficiaries on fixed incomes and tight budgets.”
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Obama, Ryan Offer Dueling Visions Of Medicare To AARP

(Kaiser Health News) GOP vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan was booed and heckled on Friday when he told an AARP convention in New Orleans that he would repeal President Barack Obama's health law.
In contrast, Obama's remarks about Medicare -- delivered by live satellite an hour earlier -- were warmly received.
Both candidates presented themselves as the protectors of seniors' health benefits and accused the other of being untruthful as they sought to galvanize support among one of the most important voting blocs.  The remarks came as a USA Today/Gallup found the president remains more trusted to address Medicare's challenges in several swing states. In the nation's 12 top battlegrounds, including Florida, voters by 50 percent to 44 percent say they have more faith in Obama than his Republican challenger on Medicare. 
Obama told seniors that repealing his health law and adopting Republican strategies on Medicare would boost the profits of insurance companies at the expense of seniors.
"No American should ever spend their golden years at the mercy of insurance companies," Obama told the conference via live satellite.
Community: Jeff Danziger:
My message to Kaiser Health News: Your front-page teaser for the article "Obama, Ryan Offer Dueling Visions Of Medicare To AARP" contains an error. Medicare is NOT an entitlement program, it's a pay-as-you-go system. Shame on you for passing on right-wing lies.
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It may be a record year for exercise

(UPI) Frequent exercise may decline in fall and winter, but if the current trend continues, this year may be a record year for U.S. exercise, a survey indicates.
Gallup and Healthways found almost 55 percent of U.S. adults exercised frequently in August -- more than any August of the past four years.
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Exercise may reduce anxiety

(UPI) Moderate exercise may help people cope with anxiety and stress for an extended period of time after the workout, U.S. researcher say…
The study … found exercise and quiet rest were equally effective at reducing anxiety levels initially. However, once they were emotionally stimulated by being shown 90 photographs used in emotion research for about 20 minutes, the anxiety levels of those who rested went back up to their initial levels, while those who had exercised maintained their reduced anxiety levels, the study said.
"We found that exercise helps to buffer the effects of emotional exposure," [researcher J. Carson] Smith said in a statement. "If you exercise, you'll not only reduce your anxiety, but you'll be better able to maintain that reduced anxiety when confronted with emotional events."
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Working Out Cuts Seniors’ Falls

(MedPage Today) Exercise programs, whether done in a group or at home, can lower the risk of falling among elderly patients, researchers found.
Group exercise lowered fall risk by 15% and at-home physical activity reduced it by 22%, Lesley Gillespie, MD, … and colleagues reported.
Community: NIH Senior Health has information on balance and lower body strength exercises to reduce your risk of falling. And the NIH has a tip sheet, “Preventing Falls.”
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Signs that Your New Fitness Routine Won't Last 6 Months

(Chelsea Bush, U.S. News & World Report) Getting regular exercise is tough for a number of reasons: fatigue, busy schedules, the money factor. The last thing we need is to further doom a regimen by packing it with exercises we won't stick to…
Below are [some] of the most common routine-killers (cure them and you'll have activities that practically push you out the door):
1. It's high maintenance…
2. You're going solo…
3. There's no formal commitment…
4. You can't conquer it.
According to research on long-term exercise motivation, an activity you love is the stickiest of all.
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Is Exercise Exhausting You?

(Martha McKittrick, R.D., C.D.E., Appetite for Health) Whether you love working out or not, I bet most of you love the exhilarating feeling you get when it’s over! But for some of you, just the thought of exercise is exhausting. And if you are able to drag yourself to the gym, it’s a struggle to get through your workout. Forget about post-exercise exhilaration – all you want is a nap! While it is normal to feel some fatigue in your muscles when exercising, it shouldn’t be overwhelming. Read on to learn about causes of exercise- related fatigue and what you can do about it…
1. Problem: Inadequate sleep
I know that everyone has a busy schedule, but make it point to get in an extra hour or so of sleep a night. Make it a priority!
2. Problem: Eating too few calories in a day.
Eat a healthy balanced diet during the day, especially pre and post exercise. If you’re trying to lose weight, cut back on alcohol, processed foods and foods high in added sugar and fats.
3. Problem: Eating too few carbs
Avoid carb phobic behavior. Focus on eating healthier carbs like whole grains, whole grain cereals and bread, fruit, legumes, yogurt, etc. To maximize your energy levels, eat some carbs before and after your workout to help fuel and replenish your muscles and energy stores…
4. Problem: Not consuming adequate protein
Include protein rich foods in your diet several times a day. Examples include: meat, fish, poultry, eggs, yogurt (especially Greek yogurt), cheese, milk, tofu and other soy products, legumes, nuts, seeds, quinoa, etc…
5. Problem: Overtraining
Take a day or two off a week. Rest is an important part of improving your performance as well as maximizing muscle growth. In addition rest days are important to prevent you getting burned out from a psychological standpoint.
6. Problem: Boredom
Sign up for a race. Hire a personal trainer. Find an exercise buddy to help motivate you.
7. Problem: Medical reason
Make an appointment with your physician!
Community: I always thought I was a naturally lethargic person. But since I cut down on saturated fats and sugars, I have no trouble getting up and getting out for my (almost) daily walk.
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Cooking Light:
Family Dinner Recipes
Find 46 delicious, easy, and nutritious dinner recipes the whole family will love.
Stir-Fried Chicken Salad
A light, weeknight dinner can be on the table in a flash thanks to quick-cooking chicken tenders.
Arctic Char on a Bed of Kale
Arctic char, related to salmon and trout, is sustainably farmed, making it a “best choice” for the environment. It has a mild flavor and cooks up quickly. We like the taste and texture of Lacinato (a.k.a. Dinosaur) kale in this dish. Serve with mashed potatoes.
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FDA, Illinois Attorney General find levels of arsenic in rice comparable to Consumer Reports' findings

(Consumer Reports) The U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the Illinois Attorney General's office said on Wednesday that their own tests of rice and products such as infant rice cereals have detected the most toxic form of arsenic at levels that were consistent with Consumer Reports' results.
While there are federal limits for arsenic in drinking water, no such limits exist for most foods. Consumer Reports' food-safety experts have asked the FDA to set standards, starting with rice and fruit juices. Our previous tests found some apple and grape juices also can contain high levels of inorganic arsenic, the form that is known to cause cancer of the bladder, lung, and skin…
While arsenic can get into rice and other plants from soil or water due to weathering of arsenic-containing minerals in the earth, humans are more to blame than Mother Nature for arsenic contamination in the U.S. today, in part due to residues of past arsenical insecticide use and continuing use of fertilizers that contain arsenic.
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5 Foods and Vitamins to Sharpen Your Memory and Prevent Alzheimer's Disease

(RealAge.com) Fond of your memory? Treasure your brain? Don't want to lose them to Alzheimer's? If you didn't hear this the first 99 times, we hope the hundredth time will do it. Here's how to nurture your mind and keep those memories:
1.    Take 900 milligrams of DHA omega-3s a day…
2.    Eat plenty of foods rich in DHA…
3.    Eat oodles of fruits and vegetables…
4.    Take 1,000 international units (IU) of vitamin D3 a day; 1,200 IU after age 60…
5.    Season foods with turmeric…
While you're eating more of those memory-boosting foods, be sure to avoid unhealthy ones that take a toll on your brain. Items with saturated and trans fats, or added sugars or syrups are criminals. They steal your memories, among other bad things.
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Value of Omega-3s: Not Up for Debate

(David L. Katz, MD, MPH, FACPM, FACP, U.S. News & World Report) A meta-analysis published last week… reported no effect of omega-3 fatty acid supplements—often referred to as "fish oil"—on cardiovascular event rates…
What if the true benefit of omega-3 fats to cardiovascular risk is not about treatment, but prevention? What if those anti-inflammatory effects are most important over a span of years to decades by preventing the inflammation that propagates vascular injury and plaque formation in the first place? The meta-analysis in JAMA last week would have been blind to any such effects.
That doesn't mean we can or should dismiss the study. It does indeed indicate that the effects of fish oil supplements, when added to state-of-the-art conventional care for high-risk cardiac patients with established vascular disease, are apt to be modest at best. But going from that to headlines announcing "no cardiac benefit" from omega-3 fats is rather a fish story.
I remain convinced of the health benefits of omega-3 fats across an array of conditions, likely including cardiovascular health. It is established fact that these nutrients are essential, and that the typical American diet provides a relative deficiency of them. It is all but established fact that an imbalance in our dietary fats contributes significantly to inflammation. And it is established fact that inflammation is one of the key processes propagating all chronic diseases—cancer, diabetes, and heart disease alike—as well as many others. I make a concerted effort to include sources of omega-3 in my diet regularly; take a supplement myself; and routinely recommend omega-3 supplements to my patients.
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Cranberry juice may lower blood pressure

(UPI) A preliminary study funded by Ocean Spray Cranberries suggests regularly drinking cranberry juice may reduce blood pressure, U.S. researchers say…
The study found after eight weeks, blood pressure levels dropped from an average of 121/73 mmHg to 118/70 mmHg for those drinking the low-calorie cranberry juice. The placebo group showed no change, the study said…
[S]ince cranberry juice is tart, it is often sweetened, and [study leader Dr. Janet] Novotny suggested drinking the low-calorie juice or subtract something from the diet so the extra calories don't add weight.
Community: There are a number of practical things we can do to reduce blood pressure.
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Study challenges abdominal artery screenings

(Reuters Health) A Medicare program to screen certain beneficiaries for potentially dangerous bulges on the main abdominal artery has had only limited impact, according to a new study.
Researchers found that a year after the program took off, there was only a modest increase in screening rates. What's more, there was no drop in artery repairs and ruptures or overall deaths, they report.
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Bayer CEO decries pressure to lower drug prices

(Reuters) Pressure from governments to lower drug prices risks undermining medical innovation, Bayer AG's chief executive said on Wednesday, echoing complaints of other drug company executives.
Speaking at the Boston College Chief Executives' Club, Marijn Dekkers said there was "tremendous pressure" on drugmakers to lower prices.
"The danger of pushing the prices of prescription drugs down, down, down is that at some point the business model of developing these drugs will lose its attractiveness," he said.
Community: Great, let’s put the NIH and the FDA in charge of developing drugs. I don’t like having a profit motive in any aspect of health care.
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Is Big Pharma getting too much flak from doctors?

(Reuters Health) Big Pharma's image problem, fueled by numerous high-profile scandals, may have made doctors so skeptical of the industry that it's warping their judgment, a new survey suggests.
Researchers found that doctors shown summaries of hypothetical drug tests lost their confidence in the results when a pharmaceutical company had paid for the studies.
Doctors were less willing to prescribe the drug under study, and they even downgraded the very scientific methods they would praise when drugmakers hadn't backed the research.
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Pharma group urges broader U.S. market approach to Medicare

(Reuters) The role of the U.S. pharmaceutical industry within Medicare should be expanded as a way to reduce the popular healthcare program's contribution to the federal deficit without resorting to drug rebates, the chief of the industry's trade group said on Thursday.
John Castellani, head of the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, or PhRMA, proposed applying elements of the Medicare Part D prescription drug program more broadly, to other areas of Medicare.
He cited Medicare Part B, which covers drugs that are purchased and administered by physicians rather than obtained by beneficiaries with a doctor's prescription.
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Is A Competitive Health Care Model All It’s Cracked Up To Be?

(Kaiser Health News) Republican vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan says his proposal to overhaul Medicare would use market competition to tame costs in the government health program relied on by almost 50 million people.
As models, he often cites the health program for federal employees – including members of Congress -- and Medicare’s prescription drug program. "It works with federal employees, it works with the prescription drug benefit, and more to the point, it saves Medicare," Ryan said on "Meet the Press" in April.
Both of those programs get high marks from beneficiaries for the choices they offer. But their track record on cost control is more complicated, raising questions about whether the competitive model is in fact the silver bullet that backers have suggested.
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Bipartisan Report Focuses On Issues Driving Up Costs

(Kaiser Health News) Among the reasons behind the nation’s seemingly inexorable rise in medical spending are the practice of rewarding doctors and hospitals for volume rather than efficiency of care and the tax break given to consumers for their job-based health insurance, according to a report out Thursday from the Bipartisan Policy Center, a think tank in Washington.
The report highlighted more than a dozen issues which are helping to drive up the U.S. health care bill. None will surprise policy wonks: expensive new technology, an aging population beset by chronic illness and high prices for medical services…
Thursday’s report is the first from the center’s cost containment initiative, which is led by former Senate Majority Leaders Tom Daschle (D-S.D.) and Bill Frist (R-Tenn.), former Sen. Pete Domenici (R-N.M.) and former Congressional Budget Office Director Alice Rivlin. The center says its next report, due out early next year, will include specific strategies for dealing with each of the issues.
Community: Why is the word “bipartisan” in the name of this outfit? Are they trying to fool us into thinking they’ll recommend what’s really best for most of us, as opposed to what further enriches the Disease Care Industrial Complex? Where do they get their funding?
The inclusion of Republicans and only conservative Democrats in the management makes me suspicious that the recommendations will include more ways to rob us.
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