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

What happens to your brain if you don't let it sleep?

(The Guardian) Recent research at Harvard and Berkeley has just revealed a very dangerous side effect of pulling an all-nighter – short term euphoria.
After missing a night's sleep, the mesolimbic pathway (the neural circuit that controls pleasure and reward) is strongly stimulated. The process is driven by a chemical called dopamine. The higher dopamine levels that result from your sleepless night may mean you enjoy a boost in motivation, positivity, even sex drive. You may think that sounds good; unfortunately you'd be wrong.
Not only are these feelings brief, but the dopamine surge also encourages addiction and impulsive behaviour. The regions of the brain responsible for planning and evaluating decisions simply shut down once deprived of sleep, meaning that you're inclined to be overly optimistic and happy to take risks.
Some research indicates that if the mesolimbic pathway is frequently over-stimulated by sleep deprivation, there could be permanent brain damage. This is because of the brain's "neural plasticity" – which means its ability to adapt to new situations. When it's forced to operate in a different state on a regular basis, it permanently alters itself.
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Sleep loss links to illness studied

(San Francisco Chronicle) Nearly one-third of U.S. workers - 41 million people - get less sleep than the recommended seven to nine hours of sleep a day, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported this spring.
The health consequences can be significant. Sleeping fewer than six hours a night can weaken the effectiveness of vaccinations, an August study found, while other studies have shown that sleep loss changes the body's bacteria-fighting mechanisms, sometimes in ways that can actually do harm. These discoveries are opening up avenues of study that scientists hope will lead them to someday understand the precise ways sleep loss causes sickness.
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Want a blissful night? Try these sleep aids

(TODAY.com) [Here are] the top (non-medicinal) sleep aids, courtesy of Dr. James Walsh, executive director and senior scientist at St. Luke's Sleep Medicine and Research Center in St. Louis.
Lights out…
White noise…
Keep it cool…
Counting sheep
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What to eat (or drink) to get a good night's sleep

(TODAY.com) TODAY diet and nutrition editor Madelyn Fernstrom, Ph.D, Certified Nutrition Specialist (CNS), says getting a good night's sleep is much more about what you don't eat before you hit the hay. "You want to avoid high fat meals or eating a lot of food before you go to bed because digestion interrupts comfortable sleep," she says. "You should also avoid highly spiced foods because when you lay down, you may have reflex." Sugary foods are also bad before bed, [she says]…
The best sleepy-time snacks are palatable, comforting, warm and around 150 to 200 calories, she says, and should be consumed no closer than a half hour before you go to bed. Her suggestions:
Caffeine-free tea or sugar-free hot chocolate. Fernstrom says something that you sip slowly, with your feet up, will generally help you relax.
A handful of dry cereal or slice of whole wheat toast. "Starch is typically good because it's low in fat and has a soothing quality. Most people don't want to crunch on raw vegetables before bed."
Graham crackers. Low in fat and moderate in sugar, these puppies are fairly low in calories and may bring on warm, fuzzy childhood memories -- and zzzzs.
Yep, warm milk."Warm milk doesn't put you to sleep because of its biological effect," says Fernstrom. "It puts you to sleep because of the soothing effect. Someone will say, my mom used to bring me hot milk and read me a story. You sip it slowly and you automatically have a down time before going to sleep."
Community: And don’t forget tart cherry juice. It also fights gout and other joint pain.
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More Recent Research on Sleep

(Queensland University of Technology) Nodding off at the wheel could be easier than you think. All participants in a QUT study showed extreme levels of sleepiness 40 minutes into a simulated driving test after waking early that day.
(American Academy of Sleep Medicine) A new study suggests that when prescribed by physicians in routine practice and used appropriately by patients, treatment for obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) could reduce blood pressure in men with hypertension. "All types of patients may benefit from this treatment, even those with other chronic medical conditions," said Bharati Prasad, MD, MS, the study's principal investigator. "It's important to now do a prospective study enrolling different types of patients with sleep apnea."
(MedPage Today) Obstructive sleep apnea has been linked with cardiovascular disease, but it also may be linked with the deadliest type of coronary artery plaque, a small study suggests.
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Ancho Pork Medallions
Pepper jelly and aromatic spices give your average pork tenderloin a bold new flavor. Serve with a spinach salad for a complete meal.
Mushroom & Cheddar Stuffed Onions
In this recipe for stuffed onions, mild onion layers are filled with a tasty mushroom and Cheddar cheese blend spiked with sage and a splash of dry sherry. Serve as a vegetarian main dish for 4 or as a vegetable side dish for 8.
The Supermarket Guru:
Chef Jamie's Root Beer Braised Short Ribs
Chef Jamie says: The creative twist to use root beer in this recipe adds a sweet, spicy depth of flavor and the sauce has a barbeque piquancy that is utterly delicious. Serve the short ribs with roasted or mashed sweet potatoes and a bottle of good Cabernet.
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Guidelines on Nuts

(SouthBeachDiet.com) When you’re looking for a midmorning or midafternoon munch, nuts are a healthy go-to choice. They are excellent sources of protein, heart-healthy monounsaturated and polyunsaturaged fats, vitamins, minerals, and fiber. When substituted for saturated fat in the diet, nuts in particular can help to lower total cholesterol as well as bad (LDL) cholesterol without affecting levels of good HDL cholesterol…
Try to limit them to one serving per day as specified below, keeping in mind that while nuts are good for you, they are calorie dense and eating too many might cause your weight loss to stall.
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3 Reasons to Keep Taking Fish Oil Supplements

(RealAge.com) [D]on't let misleading headlines such as "Fish Oil Benefits Don't Pan Out" come between you and these amazingly good fats for your heart, brain, and vision. Here's why:
Omega-3 fatty acids are still heart-smart. No doubt you saw the flurry of negative news the fish oil report stirred up… Here's what you may not know:
·         The report followed people for 4½ years or less. For some, it may take longer to see the benefits.
·         Most also took heart drugs. Older studies show a big advantage for fish oil takers who don't also take drugs, suggesting they really do help!
·         The report didn't factor in what people ate. Fish oil capsules can't cancel out a triple cheeseburger and milk shake…
Meanwhile, there's ever more evidence that DHA omega-3 fatty acids do great things for your grey and white matter…
DHA omega-3 fatty acids help protect your vision. They also slash your risk for low vision and blindness.
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Dry Eye Bothering You?

(Andrew Weil, M.D.) One more reason to take your omega-3s: these essential fatty acids can help prevent dry eye syndrome, a painful condition in which not enough tears are produced to keep the eyes lubricated. Dry eye syndrome affects about eight million Americans, mostly women, and research has demonstrated that a high daily intake of omega-3 fatty acids can protect against its uncomfortable symptoms.
To support general eye health, try increasing your intake of oily, cold-water fish such as wild Alaskan salmon, mackerel, herring and black cod, as well as walnuts and freshly ground flaxseeds. If you suffer from dry eye syndrome, you may also want to consider supplementing with a high-quality fish oil product.
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Seaweed: An Alternative Protein Source

(Science Daily) [R]esearchers are looking to seaweed for proteins with health benefits for use as functional foods. Historically, edible seaweeds were consumed by coastal communities across the world and today seaweed is a habitual diet in many countries, particularly in Asia. Indeed, whole seaweeds have been successfully added to foods in recent times, ranging from sausages and cheese to pizza bases and frozen-meat products.
Researchers have previously shown that protein-rich red seaweeds such as Palmaria palmata (common name Dulse) and Porphyra (common name Sleabhac or Laver) species may potentially be used in the development of low-cost, highly nutritive diets that may compete with current protein crop sources such as soya bean…
In addition to its use as a protein source, the researchers have found that some of these seaweed proteins may have health benefits beyond those of basic human nutrition -- for use in functional foods.
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Miraculous Magnesium

(The Supermarket Guru) Magnesium is often forgotten when we talk about vitamins and minerals, but it is largely important. It is the fourth most abundant mineral in the body and is essential to good health; in fact about half of our body’s total magnesium is found in bone. The other half is found predominantly inside our cells and organs. Magnesium is critical because it is needed for over 300 biochemical reactions in the body…
Eating a variety of whole grains, legumes, and vegetables especially dark-green, leafy vegetables every day will help provide recommended intakes of magnesium and maintain normal storage levels of this mineral. Other great sources of magnesium include, pumpkin seeds, spinach, Swiss chard, soy beans, sesame seeds, black beans, sea veggies, flax seeds, buckwheat, kidney beans and more!
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Folic acid doesn't cut risk of colon polyps

(Reuters Health) Taking extra folic acid and other B-vitamin supplements may not help protect against colon polyps, a new study has found.
Some so-called observational studies have suggested people who get more of the vitamins in their diet, or have higher levels in their blood, are less likely to get colon cancer… But that type of analysis can be influenced by other diet and lifestyle differences between participants.
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Prostate Cancer: Curcumin Curbs Metastases, Study Shows

(Science Daily) Powdered turmeric has been used for centuries to treat osteoarthritis and other illnesses. Its active ingredient, curcumin, inhibits inflammatory reactions.
A new study … now shows that it can also inhibit formation of [cancer] metastases.
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New Antibiotic Cures Disease by Disarming Pathogens, Not Killing Them

(Science Daily) A new type of antibiotic can effectively treat an antibiotic-resistant infection by disarming instead of killing the bacteria that cause it…
"Traditionally, people have tried to find antibiotics that rapidly kill bacteria. But we found a new class of antibiotics which has no ability to kill Acinetobacter that can still protect, not by killing the bug, but by completely preventing it from turning on host inflammation," says Brad Spellberg…, a researcher on the study.
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Hospital infections still high among Medicare patients

(Consumer Reports) Several years ago, Medicare came up with an idea that seemed like a no-brainer: Stop paying hospitals to treat infections that patients pick up while they are in the hospital. That, the agency hoped, would both save money and cut back on preventable infections.
Unfortunately, a new study suggests that effort has not yet translated into fewer hospital-acquired infections, or saved much money.
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Hospitals That Cooperate on Infection Control Fare Better Than Hospitals Acting Alone

(Science Daily) An individual hospital's infection control efforts have a ripple effect on the prevalence of a deadly and highly infectious bacterium in hospitals throughout its surrounding region, a multi-center research group led by the University of Pittsburgh demonstrated in a computer simulation-based study…
Hospitals working alone do not achieve the same level of infection control, according to the results of the study.
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Post-Hospital Choice Can Save Medicare Billions

(MedPage Today) Directing Medicare beneficiaries into the most cost-efficient setting possible after a hospital stay could save the program $35 billion to $100 billion over the next decade, the Alliance for Home Health Quality and Innovation, a home care trade association, reported Wednesday.
"This isn't a silver bullet to fix Medicare but it could make a difference," Rep. David McKinley (R-W.Va.) said at a press conference where the report was issued. "Better post-acute care leads to less frequent hospital readmissions, plain and simple."
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Fact vs. Fiction: Medicare is Not Going “Bankrupt”

(Center for Medicare Advocacy) Medicare Trustees issued their annual report on Medicare's financial status on April 23, 2012.  According to this year's report, the Hospital Insurance (Part A) Trust Fund has sufficient reserves to pay out the full amount of Medicare Part A benefits until 2024 – the same projection made in last year's report.  Should nothing else change, and the Trust Fund reserves be depleted in 2024, the Trust Fund would still receive sufficient income from the payroll taxes and other revenue through which it is funded to pay 87% of anticipated Part A expenses.
As described in previous Alerts, the Trust Fund is a victim of the economy. Health care costs typically rise at a much faster rate than general inflation.  This, combined with a high unemployment rate which means that fewer people are working and contributing payroll taxes into the Trust Fund, leads to the changes in the projected solvency of the Trust Fund. Since 1970, the trustees have projected Trust Fund insolvency in as little as 4 years or as much as 28 years.  The longest projected solvency period occurred in years in which the country experienced high economic growth and budget surpluses.
In short, contrary to assertions made by some, Medicare is not going "bankrupt" or running out of funds. Medicare does, however, face funding challenges.  While changes to the Medicare program pursuant to the Affordable Care Act (ACA) have improved Medicare's cost outlook by extending trust fund solvency by 8 years, more needs to be done to bring down program costs.
Community: So don’t listen to the right wingers who want to destroy Medicare. It’s a government program, yes a government program, that works.
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Exercise Could Fortify Immune System Against Cancer

(Science Daily) A preliminary study suggests that when cancer survivors exercise for several weeks after they finish chemotherapy, their immune systems remodel themselves to become more effective, potentially fending off future incidents of cancer. The finding may help explain why exercise can significantly reduce the chances of secondary cancers in survivors or reduce the chances of cancer altogether in people who have never had the disease…
[The researchers] analyzed T cells in the blood of cancer survivors before and after a 12-week exercise program. They found that a significant portion of these immune cells converted from a senescent form, which isn't as effective at combating disease, to a naïve form, ready to fight cancer and infections.
Community: It’s not news to MYY readers that exercise can help prevent cancer.
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10 Tips to Help Lower Your Cancer Risk

(SouthBeachDiet.com) The South Beach Diet helps improve your overall health, and that includes reducing your risk of cancer. Eating a wide variety of vegetables, fruits, and whole grains, along with lean sources of protein and low-fat dairy are guidelines we recommend that mirror those established by the American Cancer Society. Here are some other lifestyle changes you can make today to help lower your risk of developing cancer in the future:
·         Quit smoking.
·         Avoid fried foods.
·         Choose products made with whole grains over refined-flour products.
·         Eat more cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cabbage, brussels sprouts, cauliflower, kale, and bok choy.
·         Cut down on sweets.
·         Avoid processed foods that contain trans fats.
·         Watch out for saturated fats — steer clear of fatty meats, remove the skin from poultry, and choose fat-free or reduced-fat cheeses and other low-fat dairy products.
·         Eat a diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids from plant and animal sources, including avocado, walnuts, flaxseeds, chia seeds, and oily cold-water fish (such as salmon and herring).
·         Limit consumption of alcoholic beverages to no more than one drink a day if you’re a woman or two if you’re a man.
·         Exercise regularly to maintain a healthy weight.
Taking control of your health by following these suggestions will help reduce your risk of developing many kinds of cancer. That said, some people are genetically predisposed to cancer because of family history or environmental influences. If you think you may be at high risk for cancer, consult with your physician about screenings and other preventive measures.
Community: Appetite for Health has a similar list, adding the importance of getting enough vitamin D.
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Cancer-Fighting Foods

(Cooking Light) Single foods like green tea and tomatoes are touted as cancer fighters, but the reality is it’s your overall eating habits that offer the strongest protection. The best strategy: a diet rich in plant-based foods like vegetables, fruits, and whole grains. Also good: eating more omega-3 fats like those found in salmon and flax, and cutting back on saturated fat, trans fat, and sugar. Cultivating the right kind of eating actually changes your “internal terrain” and makes it inhospitable to cancer, say experts at the Block Integrative Cancer Center. So start building your cancer-fighting arsenal with these eight cancer blockers. And keep in mind, the more fruits and vegetables on the plate, the better.
Cruciferous Vegetables [broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, and cabbage]…
The Allium Family [garlic, onions, scallions, leeks, and chives]…
All Types of Berries…
Dried Beans & Legumes…
Nuts & Seeds…
Dark, Leafy Greens…
Community: Dr. Weil puts special emphasis on whole soy products. And all of these foods help fight heart disease, too. What’s not to like about that?
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More Cancer News

Inflammation and Cancer
(Science Daily) New research shows that women who regularly use pain relief medications, particularly aspirin, have a decreased risk of [serious] ovarian cancer -- an aggressive carcinoma affecting the surface of the ovary. The study … reports that non-aspirin non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), paracetamol (acetaminophen), or other analgesics did not decrease ovarian cancer risk.
Community: And as we’ve seen, aspirin may help prevent colon cancer and prostate cancer.
(Science Daily) Researchers … report the discovery of microbial–dependent mechanisms through which some cancers mount an inflammatory response that fuels their development and growth… “This is a very nice demonstration of how tumor-elicited inflammation in cancers that arise in the absence of underlying chronic inflammatory disease can be induced,” [said first author Sergei Grivennikov, PhD]. “The next step is to look for the upregulation of Interleukin-23 and related cytokines in colon cancer patients, inhibit these cytokines and determine whether these impact cancer progression and response to therapy.”
(Science Daily) In a development that may lead to new drugs to treat cancer, scientists at the University of Kent have discovered the process by which a key vitamin (B12) is made in cells… Significantly, the team were also able to alter some of the molecular machines on the conveyor belt and change the form of the vitamin that is made. It is hoped that these novel variant forms of the vitamin will act as important new drugs to treat diseases such as cancer and infections such as tuberculosis (TB).
Breast Cancer
(HHS HealthBeat) A study links a lack of sleep with more aggressive breast cancer. At University Hospitals Case Medical Center in Cleveland, Cheryl Thompson saw that in data on 101 women with breast cancer, who were asked about their average sleep hours. “Women who reported on average before diagnosis fewer hours of sleep per night had a higher likelihood of recurrence, so therefore a more aggressive breast tumor.” These more dangerous tumors were more common among women who reported 6 hours or less of sleep per night.
(MedPage Today) Use of the long-acting insulin glargine (Lantus) doesn't appear to carry an increased risk of breast cancer, according to a large but short-term study.
(Science Codex) New research from the Netherlands shows that the switch from screen film mammography (SFM) to digital mammography (DM) in large, population-based breast cancer screening programs improves the detection of life-threatening cancer without significantly increasing detection of clinically insignificant disease.
More . . .


Cooking Light:
22 Ways with Butternut Squash
Creamy soups, savory sides, and even a pizza—butternut squash shines in these delicious fall recipes.
Chicken and Bacon Roll-Ups
Made hearty with shredded chicken, these easy sandwiches can be endlessly adapted to suit any taste. Substitute chopped fresh basil or chives for tarragon, use flavored wraps, or try an applewood-smoked bacon for a smoky punch.
Jamaican Curried Shrimp & Mango Soup
Transport yourself to the islands with this Jamaican-inspired soup, full of fresh shrimp and sweet mangoes. We loved this soup with regular store-bought curry powder, but if you happen to have Jamaican-style curry powder, which has a hint of allspice, this is a great place to use it. Serve with brown basmati or jasmine rice with sliced pineapple for dessert.
Andrew Weil, M.D.:
Spicy Garlic Broccoli with Pine Nuts
Garlic and broccoli seem to go hand in hand, one flavor beautifully complimenting the other. A light soy dressing and toasted pine nuts round out this savory dish. Opinions vary as to whether broccoli is neutral or cooling. It is often prescribed by Chinese doctors for eye inflammations and nearsightedness.
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7 Eggcellent Reasons to Eat Eggs

(Appetite for Health) Did you know it's World Egg Day? To celebrate, here is what you need to know about one of nature's perfect foods and 7 eggcellent reasons to eat eggs… They’re delicious, convenient, versatile, inexpensive, nutrient-rich and are a dieter’s BFF…
Eggs are Nutrient-Packed…
Eggs are Diet-Friendly…
Egg Protein is High-Quality…
Eggs Are Perfect Post-Exercise…
Eggs are Choline-Rich…
Eggs are a Good Source of Vitamin D…
Eggs are Good for Your Eyes
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Nutritionists Say Sarah Palin's Likely New Diet Could Lead to Heart Disease, Diabetes, and Cancer

(Whispers, U.S. News & World Report) Sarah Palin responded to criticism of her very thin appearance in new photos online this week by telling People magazine that she was working on a fitness book. "Our family is writing a book on fitness and self-discipline focusing on where we get our energy and balance as we still eat our beloved homemade comfort foods!" she told the celebrity magazine in an E-mail. "We promise you what we do works and allows a fulfilling quality of life and sustenance anyone can enjoy."…
Though Palin, who is 48, has not released the details of her new diet, she has previously spoken out a number of times in support of low-carb, high-protein diets. In 2008, she told the Wall Street Journal that she and her family ate a diet "heavy in wild Alaskan seafood, moose, caribou and fresh fruit." Throughout her campaign, the former Alaska governor professed a love of moose cheese dogs and moose chili.
[Gabrielle Shaughness, a nutritionist based both in New York and Washington,] says she does not promote low-carb, high-protein diets to her clients because of their health risks. "High animal protein diets are high in saturated fat and cholesterol," she says. "They are damaging to the arteries, and can cause diabetes, cancer, and cardiovascular disease."
Community: See below for more evidence on the dangers of a high saturated fat diet.
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Satiation Hormone Could Increase Risk of Diabetes, Heart Attack and Breast Cancer in Women

(Science Daily) One of the body's satiation hormones, neurotensin, could raise women's risk of suffering one of three common and serious conditions: diabetes, cardiovascular disease and breast cancer. There is also a connection between the hormone and premature death in women, especially from cardiovascular disease…
The connection between neurotensin and these conditions in women was seen to be so strong that it has a clear impact on the patient's life expectancy. The strong connection also means it is appropriate to use neurotensin as a clinical risk marker for the conditions, in the view of the researchers. This provides new opportunities for early identification of women who are likely to develop cardiovascular disease, which cannot be predicted with the current known risk factors. This makes it possible to initiate preventive treatment at an early stage…
A low-fat diet reduces neurotensin production and could therefore be one way to regulate neurotensin levels, believe Olle Melander and Marju Orho-Melander. However, they point out that if neurotensin is to work as a target for treatment, a causal relationship must first be established. They hope to be able to identify this relationship through genetic studies that are currently underway.
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How Food Marketers Can Help Consumers Eat Better While Improving Their Bottom Line

(Science Daily) [Study findings] point to ways in which smart food marketers can use the techniques that peak consumer appetite for calorie-dense fast foods to help people eat better -- and improve their bottom line as well.
"People generally want food that tastes good while being affordable, varied, convenient and healthy -- roughly in that order. Our research suggests that consumption of healthy and unhealthy food respond to the same marketing tactics, particularly price reduction.
"In this study we present food marketers with a 'win-win' situation in which they can turn the tables, compel consumers to eat healthier foods, and maintain profitability. For example, marketers can steer consumers away from high-calorie sugary drinks by offering meal discounts if a person buys a diet drink -- or by offering a healthy habit loyalty card when consumers opt for milk, juice or water instead of sugary drinks. When all sides win, no one resists," [study co-author Dr. Brian] Wansink said.
Community: There’s always initial resistance to any kind of change. Think about how long it has taken us to see the kinds of improvements listed below. It just takes time.
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5 Food Trends to Watch

(Keri Gans, MS, RD, CDN, U.S. News & World Report) I just got back from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics' Food & Nutrition Conference & Expo, the world's largest annual meeting of food and nutrition professionals. Registered dietitians (RDs), like myself, from all over the country (and even overseas) attend for up to four days of cutting-edge nutrition science research, educational presentations, lectures, debates, panel discussions, and culinary demonstrations…
Here are four [food trends] that I would like to see stick around, and a fifth that I'd like to see clarified:
1. Individual Serving Sizes
As the waistlines of Americans continue to expand, companies are manufacturing products that can be sold in individual serving sizes. Personally, I love this…
2. Low Sodium
I don't really see a downside to this effort, since most companies were probably using more than they needed to begin with.
3. Less Added Sugar
I'm happy to report that this trend is still going strong…
4. Whole Grains
There's so much research to support the benefits of eating whole grains, from lowering the risk of cardiovascular disease to decreasing diabetes. Whole grains that are high in fiber have been shown to help promote fullness and weight loss.
5. Natural Foods
"Natural" is probably one of the biggest buzzwords in the food arena today, yet the Food and Drug Administration has not officially defined it. At this time, the agency has not objected to any product using the term, as long as it doesn't include added color, artificial flavors, or synthetic substances. Here again, I tell my patients to read ingredient labels carefully, looking especially for words that they don't recognize or can't pronounce. In this scenario, I don't care if the label says "natural": Skip it.
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Ad blitz drains support for California GMO-labeling plan

(Reuters) An intense advertising blitz, funded by Monsanto Co and others, has eroded support for a California ballot proposal that would require U.S. food makers to disclose when their products contain genetically modified organisms.
If California voters approve the measure on November 6, it would be the first time U.S. food makers have to label products that contain GMOs, or ingredients whose DNA has been manipulated by scientists.
The United States does not require safety testing for GM ingredients before they go to market. Industry says the products are safe, but there is a fiery debate raging around the science.
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Latest Incidents of Food Borne Illness

(UPI) The New York state Department of Agriculture and Markets alerted consumers it is recalling Fillet Atlantic Recipe in Oil due to the presence of Listeria.
(Bloomberg) William Beach loved cantaloupe -- so much so that starting in June last year he ate it almost every day. By August, the 87-year-old retired tractor mechanic from Mustang, Oklahoma, was complaining to his family that he was fatigued, with pain everywhere in his body.
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The Latest on the Man-Made Meningitis Outbreak

Community: They think they have a right to poison us, friends.
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The Latest from The People’s Pharmacy

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Health care law increases access to primary care through the National Health Service Corps

(U.S. Department of Health & Human Services) Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius [has] announced that $229.4 million was invested in the National Health Service Corps in 2012 to support more doctors and nurses and increase access to primary care.  These investments included nearly 4,600 loan repayment and scholarship awards to clinicians and students, and grants to 32 states to support state loan repayment programs.
“Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, the National Health Service Corps is providing loans and scholarships to more doctors, nurses, and other health care providers, so more people get the care they need,” said Secretary Sebelius. “National Health Service Corps clinicians are providing care to approximately 10.4 million patients across the country.”
The National Health Service Corps provides financial, professional and educational resources to medical, dental, and mental and behavioral health care providers who bring their skills to areas of the United States with limited access to health care.
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Biden, Ryan Trade Barbs and Claims

(MedPage Today) Dueling plans for the future of Medicare took stage Thursday night in the only vice presidential debate, with the candidates' words mostly reflecting their campaigns' messages thus far.
Vice President Joe Biden denounced the Republican plan to transform Medicare into a premium-support model for those 54 and younger, saying it would shift the escalating costs of healthcare away from the government and onto beneficiaries.
Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) countered by charging that the Obama-Biden approach is bankrupting Medicare.
The plan offered by Ryan would offer on average $8,000 to those who turn 65 in 2023 or later to offset the cost of buying health insurance. The plan has drawn criticism from opponents who say the amount seniors would receive wouldn't rise fast enough to keep pace with the cost of insurance, forcing seniors to pay as much as $6,400 a year themselves.
"You are jeopardizing the program. You're changing the program from a guaranteed plan to a premium support, whatever you call it. The bottom line is people are going to have to pay more money out of their pocket," Biden said at the end of the only 10-minute segment dedicated to healthcare. "The families I know, where I come from, they don't have the money to pay out of their pocket."
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Romney: People Don't Die For Lack Of Insurance

(Shots, NPR) In a discussion of that plan with editors of The Columbus Dispatch, Romney said this:
"We don't have people that become ill, who die in their apartment because they don't have insurance. We don't have a setting across this country where if you don't have insurance, we just say to you, 'Tough luck, you're going to die when you have your heart attack.' No, you go to the hospital, you get treated, you get care, and it's paid for, either by charity, the government or by the hospital."…
[The idea that the U.S. doesn't have people who become ill or die because they don't have insurance … is belied by a large and growing body of academic studies, starting with a landmark study from the nonpartisan Institute of Medicine in 2002 that found 18,000 people died in the year 2000 because they lacked health insurance. Various updates of that study have come up with even larger numbers, mostly because of a growing number of uninsured people, combined with the increasing cost of medical care. In other words, there's a growing gap between what you can get with insurance and without.
And it's not just deaths. Studies also show people who get sick have worse outcomes if they don't have insurance than if they do, across a wide array of ailments, from cancer to heart disease to asthma.
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Unscientific poll: MDs favor GOP vouchers

(UPI) An unscientific online poll of U.S. physicians who head hospitals and health systems indicates most favor former Gov. Mitt Romney's plan to reform Medicare.
The poll was sent via email to about 10,000 physician leaders who are members of the American College of Physician Executives, after the first presidential debate between Romney, the Republican nominee for president, and President Barack Obama, the Democratic nominee.
The survey drew 422 responses and of those, 47.2 percent said they believed Romney's plan would be more effective in shoring up Medicare financial processes and serving the Medicare population.
Community: Of course they prefer vouchers over forced cost control. They want the freedom to raise prices and bloat their profits.
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