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

Exercise Does a Body -- And a Mind -- Good

(Science Daily) A new article … explores whether certain psychosocial factors may help to explain the benefits of daily physical activity for adolescents' mental health…
"We think that these findings are important for policymakers and anyone who works in healthcare or prevention. Our findings indicate that physical activity may be one effective tool for the prevention of mental health problems in adolescence," says [Karin] Monshouwer.
Monshouwer and her colleagues hope that future studies will be able to examine similar questions while following participants over time. Such longitudinal studies could help researchers to understand how physical activity type and context might influence the relationship between exercise and mental health.
[Click the title, above, to post a comment.]

Exercise, blue light combat seasonal depression

(DoctorOz.com) Exercising outside provides exposure to sunlight (lack of sunlight can cause an imbalance of two key mood-regulating neurotransmitters — serotonin and melatonin). It also improves your outlook by stimulating release of mood-boosting endorphins, helps you sleep better and makes it easier to eat more healthfully — all powerful ways to combat SAD.
Blue-light therapy for one hour a day can improve your mood significantly during the winter months, and coupling it with exercise amps up its benefits.
Vitamin D-3 helps boost mood, the immune system and heart health! Most folks rely on sun exposure to get their daily dose of vitamin D. We recommend you take a D-3 supplement of 1,000 IU a day if you’re under age 60, and 1,200 if you’re older.
Community: There are many practical things we can do to prevent or alleviate depression.
[Click the title, above, to post a comment.]

Melatonin and Exercise Work Against Alzheimer's in Mice

(Science Daily) A study … shows the combined effect of neuroprotective therapies against Alzheimer's in mice.
Daily voluntary exercise and daily intake of melatonin, both of which are known for the effects they have in regulating circadian rhythm, show a synergistic effect against brain deterioration in the 3xTg-AD mouse, which has three mutations of Alzheimer's disease.
[Click the title, above, to post a comment.]

Taking time out for exercise pays in spades

(James S. Fell, Body For Wife) [I]nactivity is a major health burden. The longer you stay glued to that couch, the greater the risk of heart disease, diabetes, osteoporosis and some cancers, according to Bill Kohl, a professor of epidemiology and kinesiology at the University of Texas at Austin. "Continued inactivity into the 60s and 70s results in balance insufficiencies and lack of strength," Kohl told me. "Daily living becomes much harder."…
"It's never too late to start exercising," Kohl says… But Kohl admits that after a lifetime of inactivity it's hard to get started…
"Just getting started is the biggest barrier," Kohl told me. "But a little goes a long way." Kohl is a fan of just trying to spend less time sitting as a way to start…
Brisk walking for 45 minutes three times a week offers tremendous brain-boosting benefits and prevents mental deterioration, studies show… [And] Kohl recommends [to make] it social.
"Never underestimate the power of social support," Kohl told me. "It's critical." The more of a situation you can create where people rely on you to be there, or will at least give you some grief if you don't show, the better.
"Walk down the block. Walk the dog. Walk with a group," Kohl said. "Look for ways to build activity into your day: Take the stairs; park farther away from your destination; get off one bus stop earlier … " (He suggests people suffering from joint issues consider cycling.)
Just remember: It is very possible that you are not yet in the best shape of your life. So start finding time to spend on yourself and reap the rewards.
[Click the title, above, to post a comment.]

Five fitness tips to improve your sex life

(James S. Fell, Body For Wife)  [S]ex expert and radio host Emily Morse [lists] what us sex commoners can do to shape up for better sex overall…
1.    Do yoga…
2.    Electronically-motivated kegels…
3.    Do pushups…
4.    Train your midsection…
5.    Do any exercise that makes you feel good…
“More importantly, lack of self-esteem is a big killer of sex drives and it’s often tied to body image issues...exercise gives you confidence in yourself because your body is not like this alien to you if you exercise. You’re more in touch with it and feeling more confident about how it moves and how to use it.”
[Click the title, above, to post a comment.]

More Fitness Tips

(Reuters) The procrastinators, the super-busy, and the easily bored in pursuit of a manageable fitness routine may find what they seek in the 10-minute workout… "You can get a good enough workout that can make real metabolic changes to your body," said Liz Neporent, co-author of "The Thin in 10 Weight-Loss Plan" along with fitness instructor Jessica Smith. "It can help you lose weight, reduce stress and basically give you all the benefits that we know come from exercise."
(Boston Globe) [A] study … in which 18 children ages 11 to 15 tried out boxing and dancing on Kinect for the Microsoft Xbox 360 … found that the games increased calorie-burning by 150 percent for the game Dance Central and 263 percent for Sports Boxing, which burned up to 172 extra calories per hour compared with when they were sitting and playing a traditional video game… “Whether [the heart rates achieved] are adequate for increasing cardiovascular fitness is debatable,” wrote the British study’s authors. But most likely they’re comparable to light-intensity exercise such as ballroom dancing, bowling, and walking.
(InsuranceQuotes.org) If you sit down all day, you’re killing yourself. It’s just a fact. Those that sit static in their work desks throughout the work day greatly increase their risk of premature death and health problems. We’ve found eight simple ways to add exercise to your workday. Get moving!
[Click the title, above, to post a comment.]

Getting Paid to Stay Fit

(U.S. News & World Report) If more people were paid to stay fit, America would look like a very different nation. Becoming a personal trainer offers that incentive—and it's one of the country's fastest-growing careers, predicted to increase 30 percent between 2010 and 2020, according to the U.S. Department of Labor…
Apart from leadership skills, personal training involves creativity and empathy—and could be described as a professional buddy system, says Stephen Rodrigues, a longtime trainer who has watched the business evolve from a rich person's past-time to something of a mainstream luxury. The public's push to get fit—coupled with rising obesity levels—has made personal training a sought-after service. Getting certification has become much easier as a result, says Rodrigues…
"Now you can literally go online and be certified within a month. Many people do it as a second job or part-time," Rodrigues says, adding that some colleges and universities now offer degrees in personal training. The American Council on Exercise (ACE) and the American Fitness Aerobics Association (AFAA) are among the most popular certifying organizations, but there are at least 12. ACE scientific officer Cedric Bryant says demand for certification has increased 30 percent since 2007. Baby boomers' desire to stay active is driving some of the demand for personal training, he says—and some boomers are even becoming trainers themselves in their retirement through organizations like AARP.
[Click the title, above, to post a comment.]

More Recent Research on Exercise

(Fitbie) If you want to kill cravings, schedule an early sweat session, suggests new research… Researchers found that slim and obese women both produced lower brain responses to the food images and participated in more total physical activity over the course of the day when they exercised in the morning. However, despite moving more, the women ate the same amount of food as they did on the non-exercise day.
(Vitals, NBC News) Couch potatoes may have an increased risk of chronic kidney disease, even if they take time out from sitting to exercise vigorously, a new study suggests. British researchers found that people who spent the least amount of time sitting were also the least likely to have chronic kidney disease. And that was especially true for women who spent less than three hours a day seated, according to the study 
(UPI) Officials at the American Council on Exercise encourage breast cancer survivors to incorporate regular physical activity into their everyday routines. ACE officials said it has been showed physical activity helps prevent recurrence of breast cancer and increase survival rates.
(MedPage Today) Achieving high levels of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity may help overcome a genetic predisposition for obesity during adolescence, researchers found.
[Click the title, above, to post a comment.]


Steak Salad with Creamy Ranch Dressing
Topped with homemade croutons and juicy slices of spice-rubbed steak, this salad is macho enough to satisfy the most dedicated meat-eaters.
Smothered Green Beans with New Potatoes
This green bean recipe from chef Alex Patout of Landry’s restaurant in New Iberia, Louisiana, gets plenty of flavor from bacon and onions.
Appetite for Health:
Healthy Fried Chicken
I may be a registered dietitian, but I love fried food. There, I said it. Fortunately there are some “smart” fried choices out there… like this fantastic Walnut Coated Fried Chicken recipe courtesy of the California Walnut Board. Try this version instead of the usual fried chicken… your heart, taste buds, and waistline will be very satisfied!
[Click the title, above, to post a comment.]

Reducing acrylamide levels in french fries

(UPI) The process in which par-fried potato strips are prepared may affect the formation of acrylamide, a probable human carcinogen, U.S. and British researchers say.
The findings … identified potential ways of reducing levels of acrylamide including minimizing the ratio of fructose to glucose in cut potato strips might reduce the amount of acrylamide that ends up in the french fries.
[Click the title, above, to post a comment.]

Melatonin helps heart patients sleep longer, study finds

(WLS TV, Chicago) High blood pressure medications can cause some people to lose sleep, but a nightly dose of melatonin may make a difference.
A small study … found people being treated for high blood pressure or hypertension who also took melatonin slept longer, fell asleep sooner and had more restful sleep than people taking an inactive placebo. They slept an average of 36 minutes longer per night.
[Click the title, above, to post a comment.]

Sleeping pills may be linked to dementia

(UPI) A study involving 1,063 men and women who took the sleeping pill benzodiazepine increased the risk of dementia within 15 years, U.S. and French researchers say.
The study … found for every 100 people studied for a year -- 4.8 who had taken the drugs developed dementia compared with 3.2 who had not.
"Our data add to the accumulating evidence that use of benzodiazepines is associated with increased risk of dementia, which, given the high and often chronic consumption of these drugs in many countries would constitute a substantial public health concern," [University of Bordeaux doctoral student Sopie] Billioti de Gage said in a statement.
[Click the title, above, to post a comment.]

Review Finds Cost Effectiveness of Complementary and Integrative Medicine

(John Weeks, Integrator Blog News & Reports) Even when research finds that complementary and integrative medicine (CIM) or approaches are effective, these still may be shunned by health care's major stakeholders. Employers, private insurers and government agencies like Medicare that pay for services often block inclusion due to concerns about costs.
The findings of an exhaustive, systematic review of cost studies on complementary and integrative medicine from 2001-2010, … begins to provide definitive guidance. The report, led by Patricia Herman, M.S., N.D., Ph.D., will not immediately please every integrative health advocate. Nor will it serve as marching orders for every health care benefits decision maker.
Yet, according to Herman, the research sets a new baseline in our societal grappling with CIM's prospective cost value to health care systems. The headline conclusion was that the "the higher-quality studies indicate potential cost-effectiveness, and even cost savings across a number of CIM therapies and populations."…
The heart of the paper is a five-page chart detailing 28 studies the team found to be of a "similar or better quality to those (cost utility studies) published across all medicine." Ten of these showed some frank cost savings, "from at least one perspective," as Herman points out. The studies that found cost savings ranged from acupuncture for breech delivery and for low-back pain, to manual manipulation for neck pain, natural products for various conditions, and a study of the whole practice of naturopathic medicine for chronic low back pain.
[Click the title, above, to post a comment.]

Should women with pre-osteoporosis take Fosamax or related drugs?

(Consumer Reports) Q: Do postmenopausal women with osteopenia, or "pre-osteoporosis", really need to take Fosamax or similar drugs?
A: No. Our medical consultants say skip alendronate (Fosamax and generic) and related drugs if you have osteopenia, or bone density that is lower than normal but not severe enough to be called osteoporosis. While bisphosphonate medications, which along with Fosamax include ibandronate (Boniva and generic) and risedronate (Actonel and generic), can modestly reduce the risk of fractures in people with outright osteoporosis, there's little evidence they help those who only have osteopenia, according to an analysis from the federal Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality released earlier this year.
Even more concerning, all bisphosphonates can actually increase the risk of thigh fracture. They are also linked to other serious side effects, including jawbone damage, ulcers in the stomach and esophagus, eye inflammation, and severe, incapacitating muscle, bone, and joint pain.
Those risks might be worth it if you have osteoporosis because the condition carries a higher risk of fractures. But our medical consultants say it is not worth it if you have only osteopenia.
[Click the title, above, to post a comment.]

Doctors Grow New Ear on Cancer Victim's Arm

(ABC News) When Sherrie Walter lost her ear to cancer two years ago, she told herself she'd never be one of those survivors attaching a prosthetic ear every day.
"The concept of having to tape something to my skin every day didn't feel like that was who I was," the 42-year-old mother of two told ABC News. "I could just see my kids running around with it, yelling, 'I have mommy's ear!'"
But doctors at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore offered Walter a chance at a new ear -- a permanent one built from her own tissue.
The groundbreaking procedure, described as one of the most complicated ear constructions in the U.S., involves removing cartilage from the rib cage to form a new ear, which is then placed under the skin of the forearm to grow.
Community: Imagine the comedians: “Is that an ear on your arm?”
[Click the title, above, to post a comment.]

Hospital Observation Units Could Save the Health Care System $3.1 Billion

(Science Daily) [Researchers] estimate that maximizing the potential of an observation unit in a hospital could result in $4.6 million in savings annually for the hospital and $3.1 billion in overall savings for the health care system in the United States…
An observation [unit], a dedicated space typically near or within the emergency department, is an alternative to inpatient admission and is dedicated to caring for patients, usually for a 24-hour period, who have been discharged from the emergency department (ED) but require further observation and are not ready to safely leave the hospital. Previous research has shown that care in these units is equal or better in quality compared to inpatient care for certain patient populations.
[Click the title, above, to post a comment.]

Free healthcare clinic at L.A. Sports Arena draws 4,800

(Los Angeles Times) On one side of the Los Angeles Sports Arena on Thursday morning, doctors treated patients for swollen feet, breathing problems and high blood pressure.
On the other side, county health workers began enrolling them in a free coverage program in preparation for the federal healthcare overhaul.
Many of the 4,800 people seeking care at the annual massive free clinic this weekend will become eligible for health insurance in 2014 when the national law takes effect. Organizers said raising awareness about the healthcare changes is crucial.
"It's as important as the care being delivered this year," said Howard Kahn, chief executive at L.A. Care Health Plan, one of the main sponsors. "We need to let people know about the coverage."
[Click the title, above, to post a comment.]

FDA warns of risks of online pharmacies

(USA Today) The Food and Drug Administration is warning U.S. consumers that the vast majority of Internet pharmacies are fraudulent and likely are selling counterfeit drugs that could harm them.
The agency on Friday launched a national campaign, called BeSafeRx, to alert the public to the danger, amid evidence that more people are shopping for their medicine online, looking for savings and convenience.
Instead, they're likely to get fake drugs that are contaminated, are past their expiration date or contain no active ingredient, the wrong amount of active ingredient or even toxic substances such as arsenic and rat poison. They could sicken or kill people, cause them to develop a resistance to their real medicine, cause new side effects or trigger harmful interactions with other medications being taken.
[Click the title, above, to post a comment.]

Work stress can raise risk of heart attack by 23%, study finds

(The Guardian‎) People with highly stressful jobs but little real control over decision making are running a 23% increased risk of a heart attack, according to authoritative research…
This sort of stress is to be found among all sorts of people, holding down all sorts of jobs on both high and low salaries, said one of the authors of the study, Professor Andrew Steptoe of the department of epidemiology and public health at University College London.
"It is the coupling [of high demand and low control] that is problematic," he said. "It is more common in low income jobs where people are doing the same thing again and again, such as assembly line work, but it is across the whole social spectrum.
Community: So maybe stress due to lack of control explains why “Blue-collar workers top charts for worst employee health.” But that’s not the only cause of job stress: “Job Insecurity Affects Health, Michigan Study Finds.” We’ve also seen that discrimination causes stress, as well, maybe for the same reasons—lack of control and induced feelings of insecurity.
[Click the title, above, to post a comment.]

Stressful at the top? Not really, study finds

(Los Angeles Times) A new study reveals that those who sit atop the nation's political, military, business and nonprofit organizations are actually pretty chill. Compared with people of similar age, gender and ethnicity who haven't made it to the top, leaders pronounced themselves less stressed and anxious. And their levels of cortisol, a hormone that circulates at high levels in the chronically stressed, told the same story.
The source of the leaders' relative serenity was pretty simple: control.
Compared with workers who toil in lower echelons of the American economy, the leaders studied by a group of Harvard University researchers enjoyed control over their schedules, their daily living circumstances, their financial security, their enterprises and their lives.
[Click the title, above, to post a comment.]

Why incompetent people are often promoted

(UPI) The lure of social status promotes overconfidence and helps explain why there is such an abundance of delusional confidence, U.S. and Spanish researchers say…
"Our studies found that overconfidence helped people attain social status," [study co-author Cameron] Anderson said in a statement. "People who believed they were better than others, even when they weren't, were given a higher place in the social ladder. And the motive to attain higher social status thus spurred overconfidence."
In a work environment, higher status individuals tend to be more admired and listened to, and have more sway over the group's discussions and decisions, Anderson said…
"In organizations, people are very easily swayed by others' confidence even when that confidence is unjustified," Anderson said. "Displays of confidence are given an inordinate amount of weight."
[Click the title, above, to post a comment.]

Reduce Stress at Work for a Healthy Heart

(RealAge.com) Try these strategies to reduce stress on the job:
1.    Don’t mutter, "Calm down." Move
2.    Add color. Take charge of your space. Splashes of color from posters, photos, flowers, or even a throw rug can improve your mood and your productivity…
3.    Take time for tea. Polyphenols in black tea may reduce stress hormones in your blood and help your body shed tension faster.
4.    Laugh.
Reader’s Digest has “10 Fast Fixes to Manage Stress,” RealAge.com has more “Easy Ways to Soothe Stress,” and “Fast and Easy Way to De-stress,” Healthfinder.gov has ways to “Keep Stress Under Control.”
I’m keeping a list of stress reducers, as well.
[Click the title, above, to post a comment.]

More Recent Research on Stress

(Science Daily)  Chronic stress, prompted by major life stressors and type A personality traits, is linked to a high risk of stroke, finds research… Chronic stress, manifested as physical and/or mental symptoms in response to stressors lasting longer than 6 months has been linked to a heightened risk of heart disease. But its impact on the risk of stroke has not been clear.
(Science Daily) When stressed, about 30 percent of blacks hold onto too much sodium, the equivalent of eating a small order of fast food French fries or a small bag of potato chips, researchers say. "This response pattern puts you under a greater blood pressure load over the course of the day and probably throughout the night as well, increasing your risk of cardiovascular disease," said Dr. Gregory Harshfield.
(Science Daily) Boredom at work may cause serious accidents when safety depends on continuous vigilance, as in medical monitoring or long-haul truck driving. On a behavioral level, boredom has been linked with problems with impulse control, leading to overeating and binge eating, drug and alcohol abuse, and problem gambling. Boredom has even been associated with mortality, lending grim weight to the popular phrase "bored to death [video]."
(University of Wisconsin-Madison) By watching individual neurons at work, a group of psychologists at the University of Wisconsin–Madison has revealed just how stress can addle the mind, as well as how neurons in the brain's prefrontal cortex help "remember" information in the first place.
[Click the title, above, to post a comment.]


Appetite for Health:
Game Day Strategies for a Penalty-Free Party Menu
Ready, Set Tailgate! Game Day Strategies for a Penalty-Free Party
U.S. News & World Report:
Fall for These Fall Recipes
Fall brings roasted lentil veggie salad, squash soup, and other seasonal favorites.
Cashew Chicken Salad Sandwiches
This sandwich goes together as fast as an ordinary turkey sandwich but is much more interesting. Serve with sliced fresh fruit for a casual dinner for two.
Cooking Light:
150+ Delicious Chicken Recipes
We revisit America's favorite weeknight staple. Find fresh new ways to cook with chicken.
Salmon with Pepita-Lime Butter
Lime juice, chili powder and pepitas give this salmon Mexican flair. Serve with wild rice and steamed vegetables.
Andrew Weil, M.D.:
Grilled Salmon With Mustard Sauce
Here is simple grilled salmon dressed up with a strongly flavored sauce that complements the natural oiliness of the fish… Salmon is an excellent source of heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids. Choose wild-caught Alaskan salmon to avoid potential contaminants in farm-raised fish.
The Supermarket Guru:
Chef Jamie's Wild Mushroom Soup
Chef Jamie says: Wild mushroom soup never fails to please. From cremini to porcini…. each mushroom adds its own distinct flavor, shape and texture to the soup. Serve with a fresh baguette and some aged cheddar or pecorino. Uncork a bottle of Sauvignon Blanc and enjoy.
[Click the title, above, to post a comment.]

Hey, Trader Joe's: Stop selling meat raised on drugs!

(Consumer Reports) Our recent report on antibiotics in meat found that Trader Joe's offered a good selection of chicken, beef, and turkey products without antibiotics, but it didn't carry any pork products. Eighty percent of its products are private label, which means it has direct control over its suppliers.
"Trader Joe's has shown its commitment to its customers by taking a stand against genetically modified organisms, artificial colors and trans fats in the products it sells," says Jean Halloran, director of Food Policy Initiatives for Consumer Reports. "We are calling on Trader Joe's to help move the livestock industry away from the overuse of antibiotics by selling only meat without drugs."
[Click the title, above, to post a comment.]

New Way of Fighting High Cholesterol Upends Assumptions

(Science Daily) Atherosclerosis -- the hardening of arteries that is a primary cause of cardiovascular disease and death -- has long been presumed to be the fateful consequence of complicated interactions between overabundant cholesterol and resulting inflammation in the heart and blood vessels.
However, researchers [now] say the relationship is not exactly what it appears, and that a precursor to cholesterol actually suppresses inflammatory response genes. This precursor molecule could provide a new target for drugs designed to treat atherosclerosis, which kills tens of thousands of Americans annually.
[Click the title, above, to post a comment.]

Gout Guidelines Arm Patients and Physicians With Tools to Fight Painful Disease

(Science Daily) Gout is one of the most common forms of inflammatory arthritis, affecting nearly 4% of adult Americans. Newly approved guidelines that educate patients in effective methods to prevent gout attacks and provide physicians with recommended therapies for long-term management of this painful disease are published in Arthritis Care & Research, a peer-reviewed journal of the American College of Rheumatology (ACR)…
Part I guidelines focus on the systematic non-pharmacologic and pharmacologic therapeutic approaches to hyperuricemia and include:
Educating patients on diet, lifestyle choices, treatment objectives, and management of concomitant diseases; this includes recommendations on specific dietary items to encourage, limit, and avoid.
Community: Dr. Weil has a good writeup on gout and some natural remedies to prevent and treat it. I found tart cherry juice very helpful.
[Click the title, above, to post a comment.]

Scientists Prevent Heart Failure in Mice

(Science Daily) Cardiac stress -- for example, a heart attack or high blood pressure -- frequently leads to pathological heart growth and subsequently to heart failure. Two tiny RNA molecules play a key role in this detrimental development in mice, as researchers … have now discovered.
When they inhibited one of those two specific molecules, they were able to protect the rodent against pathological heart growth and failure. With these findings, the scientists hope to be able to develop therapeutic approaches that can protect humans against heart failure.
[Click the title, above, to post a comment.]

'Melt in the body' electronics devised

(BBC News) Ultra-thin electronics that dissolve inside the body have been devised by scientists in the US and could be used for a range of medical roles.
The devices can "melt away" once their job is done, according to research… The technology has already been used to heat a wound to keep it free from infection by bacteria.
The components are made of silicon and magnesium oxide, and placed in a protective layer of silk…
Getting the electronics to fade away in a controlled manner relies on two scientific developments - getting the electronics to dissolve at all and using a shell to control when that happens.
[Click the title, above, to post a comment.]

Liver Cells, Insulin-Producing Cells, Thymus Can Be Grown in Lymph Nodes, Team Finds

(Science Daily) Lymph nodes can provide a suitable home for a variety of cells and tissues from other organs, suggesting that a cell-based alternative to whole organ transplantation might one day be feasible, according to researchers…
They injected healthy liver cells from a genetically-identical donor animal into lymph nodes of mice at various locations. The result was an enlarged, liver-like node that functioned akin to the liver; in fact, a single hepatized lymph node rescued mice that were in danger of dying from a lethal metabolic liver disease. Likewise, thymus tissue transplanted into the lymph node of mice that lacked the organ generated functional immune systems, and pancreatic islet cell transplants restored normal blood sugar control in diabetic animals.
[Click the title, above, to post a comment.]

African spiny mouse may hold key to scar-free skin regeneration

(CBS News) An African mouse with skin regeneration properties may hold the key to scar-free procedures for humans.
The African spiny mouse is known for its ability to allow its skin to rip off its tail when being grabbed by predators because it can regenerate the missing bits. But, what scientists discovered was this ability extended to the entire mouse's body and that the skin could look exactly as it did before, right down to regrowing the exact hair color at the site of the injury…
Scientists want to further examine the mice's regenerative properties as well as any immune system benefits they may have that can help prevent infection.
"These studies suggest that the pathways leading to regeneration, at least of the skin, that are normally associated with amphibians are also accessible in mammals." Elly Tanaka … said in her commentary of the study.
[Click the title, above, to post a comment.]

Deadly Complication of Stem Cell Transplants Reduced in Mice

(Science Daily) Studying leukemia in mice, researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have reduced a life-threatening complication of stem cell transplants, the only curative treatment when leukemia returns.
About 50 percent of leukemia patients who receive stem cells from another person develop graft-versus-host disease, a condition where donor immune cells attack the patient's own body… Now, the scientists have shown they can redirect donor immune cells away from … vital organs. Steering immune cells away from healthy tissue also leaves more of them available for their intended purpose -- killing cancer cells.
[Click the title, above, to post a comment.]

’Normal’ CO2 Levels Slow Brain Function

(MedPage Today) Indoor concentrations of carbon dioxide within the normal range correlated with significant declines in human decision-making performance, results of a small clinical study showed.
As the median CO2 concentration increased from 600 to 2,500 ppm, performance on seven of nine scales of decision-making decreased significantly…, Mark Mendell, PhD, … and colleagues reported. A post-hoc pairwise comparison showed that performance deteriorated significantly between CO2concentrations for all seven scales.
[Click the title, above, to post a comment.]

Helicopter Heroes Save Lives of Severely Injured Patients

(Science Daily)  New research … shows that for severe blunt trauma, patients transported by helicopter had a lower risk of death, compared to those transported by road.
In a multi-centre study, based in university hospitals across France, researchers compared initial patient status at the scene of the accident, with time taken to get to hospital, type of treatment received pre-admission, and to health at discharge, or after 30 days.
At first there seemed to be no difference in mortality between those transported by helicopter and those by road, however once the data had been adjusted for severity of injury the results became clear. Patients transported by helicopter stood a better chance of survival than those transported by road.
[Click the title, above, to post a comment.]

Patient Safety Improves When Leaders Walk the Safety Talk

(Science Daily) When nurses feel safe admitting to their supervisors that they've made a mistake regarding a patient, they are more likely to report the error, which ultimately leads to a stronger commitment to safe practices and a reduction in the error rate, according to an international team of researchers.
In addition, when nurse leaders' safety actions mirror their spoken words -- when they practice what they preach -- unit nurses do not feel caught between adhering to safety protocols and speaking up about mistakes against protocols.
[Click the title, above, to post a comment.]

Support for Affordable Care Act Up, Poll Finds

(MedPage Today) Although Americans remain divided in their opinions on the Affordable Care Act, support for the law appears to be rising, according to a poll published Thursday by the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation.
Among 1,534 adults surveyed, 45% expressed support for the law -- a 7-percentage-point increase from August -- while 40% opposed it.
Much of the increase comes from uninsured Americans, among whom support rose from 36% in August to 51% this month, and from those making less than $40,000 a year, with approval rising by 16 percentage points, to 51%.
These two groups are "arguably the most likely to benefit from [the law's] provisions," wrote Mollyann Brodie, PhD, a public opinion researcher at the foundation, and colleagues.
[Click the title, above, to post a comment.]

Gut Bacteria May Have Role in Developing Type 2 Diabetes

(Science Daily) The 1.5 kilograms [4.85 pounds] of bacteria that we each carry in our intestines have an enormous impact on our health and well being. The bacteria normally live in a sensitive equilibrium but if this equilibrium is disrupted our health could suffer.
In [a] new study, scientists examined the intestinal bacteria of 345 people from China, of which 171 had type 2 diabetes. The team managed to identify clear biological indicators that someday could be used in methods that provide faster and earlier diagnosis of type 2 diabetes.
The research … also demonstrated that people with type 2 diabetes have a more hostile bacterial environment in their intestines, which can increase resistance to different medicines.
Community: There are many practical things we can do to prevent, delay, or minimize the severity of type 2 diabetes.
[Click the title, above, to post a comment.]

Walkable neighborhoods tied to lower diabetes risk

(Reuters Health) People living in communities that lend themselves to walking had a significantly lower risk of developing diabetes than those living in the least walkable neighborhoods in a large new study from Canada…
The most walking-friendly places are more densely populated, have streets that connect with one another, and have stores, schools, work places and other destinations within walking distance of homes…
Although the new study could not prove that walking was responsible for the lower diabetes risk in certain neighborhoods, [Dr. Ethan] Berke, who was not involved in the research, thinks that something in the neighborhood environment is likely responsible for the findings…
Other research has linked walking to a lowered chance of having diabetes. One recent study showed that people who are at high risk for diabetes and who walk more are less likely to ultimately develop the blood sugar disorder.
Community: There are many practical things we can do to prevent, delay, or minimize the severity of type 2 diabetes.
[Click the title, above, to post a comment.]

Curcumin May Drop Diabetes Risk

(Andrew Weil, M.D.) A new study from Thailand suggests that taking curcumin supplements may help delay or prevent the development of type 2 diabetes in people at high risk… After nine months, 19 of the 116 participants in the placebo group had developed type 2 diabetes; none of those who took the curcumin capsules developed the disease…
[The spice turmeric, which contains curcumin] is emerging as a promising disease-preventive agent, and its benefits are likely due to curcumin’s potent anti-inflammatory activity. A growing body of published scientific literature suggests that turmeric may help prevent Alzheimer’s disease, arthritis and some types of cancer.
Turmeric has been used traditionally in India as a treatment for diabetes, so the results of the Thai study do not come as a complete surprise… We’ll need more studies to confirm these promising findings. In the meantime, a proven strategy - diet and exercise - can help those at risk of type 2 diabetes avoid the disease.
Community: There are many practical things we can do to prevent, delay, or minimize the severity of type 2 diabetes.
[Click the title, above, to post a comment.]

More Recent Diabetes Research

(Science Daily) Researchers … have now shown that the increased activity of one particular iron-transport protein destroys insulin-producing beta cells. In addition, the new research shows that mice without this iron transporter are protected against developing diabetes.
(Science Daily) The antidiabetic drug metformin is not prescribed for patients with reduced kidney function because the risk of adverse effects has been regarded as unacceptably high. A study… has found that the risks have been substantially overrated. As a result, many more patients with diabetes may be able to enjoy the benefits of the medication.
(Science Daily) The daily sticking of the finger may soon become a thing of the past, thanks to a diagnostic system with Fraunhofer technology built-in. The underlying concept is a biosensor that is located on the patient's body. It is also able to measure glucose levels continuously using tissue fluids other than blood, such as in sweat or tears. The patient could dispense with the constant needle pricks.
(Wellcome Trust) Half of all people of South Asian, African and African-Caribbean descent in the UK will develop diabetes by age 80, according to a new study. The study also provides some answers about the causes of the increased risk.
Community: There are many practical things we can do to prevent, delay, or minimize the severity of type 2 diabetes.
[Click the title, above, to post a comment.]