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

Holiday Stress vs. Holiday Blues: Coping With the Hype

(John Tsilimparis, Psychotherapist) The holiday hype that starts at the end of Halloween and goes through Jan. 2 is loaded with high hopes and heavy anticipation. For example, we have high expectations that family gatherings have to go smoothly and everyone has to get along, that holiday decorations have to look perfect or we have to buy the perfect gift for everyone. And speaking of gifts, in this depressed economic time, the pressure to spend a lot of money on gifts, especially if we don't have the money, can be a huge stressor.
Another expectation is we feel compelled to be merry and cheerful all the time. That puts a lot of undue stress on us and makes us feel guilty because we think everyone else looks so happy all the time. And that makes us ask: "What's wrong with me? Why am I not happy too?"
In addition, we suffer holidays stress because we overextend or [overcommit] ourselves and put too much pressure to take on too many obligations. This can cause us to go into overwhelm.
Another reason is we also forget what is important and abandon the true nature of the holiday season. The holiday hoopla can easily overtake the true sentiment of the holidays, which is about reconnecting with friends, family and being good to each other.
Read more, including tips on avoiding and overcoming the stress and the blues.
Community: I used to be very unhappy during the holidays. But once I started concentrating on what I was giving, instead of what I might be getting, I started to enjoy the season. And the Today Show has this video: “How to stay healthy, happy through the holidays.”
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7 Smart-Eating Strategies for the Holiday Season

(SouthBeachDiet.com) The holiday season is always filled with tasty temptations, so it's not surprising that seasonal party fare, including decadent desserts, can lead to overdoing it in the diet department if you're not careful… Maintain your willpower and your healthy lifestyle this season by following these South Beach Diet smart-eating strategies.
·         Start every day right… An important way to sustain your energy and avoid overeating is to never skip breakfast…
·         Don't skimp to "save up" for a big, multi-course meal
·         Eat before a party… Make a mental note of the different selections, and then seek out the dishes made with the healthiest ingredients. Look for lean meat, poultry, or seafood mains and healthy vegetable and whole-grain side dishes, and take reasonable servings of each…
·         Go easy on the alcohol
·         Enjoy dessert...in moderation
Community: Dr. Weil has these posts: “Holiday Appetizers Part 1: Healthy Choices,” and “Holiday Appetizers Part 2: Unhealthy Apps and Good Substitutes,” and The Reader’s Digest has this: “6 Healthy Eating Tips for Thanksgiving.”
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Safe Cooking Tips for the Holidays

(USA.gov Team, via email) Get advice on preparing and serving a variety of meats and side dishes during the holidays without spreading foodborne illness.
You'll find online publications about roasted meats, stuffing, mail order food, and other topics.
You can also order a free print kit that includes Let's Talk Turkey, Cooking for Groups, and a handy magnet that tells you the recommended internal temperatures for some common foods.
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How to Burn 700 Calories Cooking Thanksgiving Dinner

(EatingWell) Anyone who's ever hoisted a turkey out of the oven or chopped countless veggies for Thanksgiving dinner knows that preparing the turkey-day menu can be hard work.
We wanted to find out how that hard work translates into calories burned. So we used the Mayo Clinic's research on working metabolic rates to estimate how much you burn while you're cooking a traditional Thanksgiving dinner menu. Here's what we found. (Bonus savings: cook EatingWell's healthier menu and save 1,724 calories compared to traditional Thanksgiving dinner!)
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Cooking Light:
Best-Ever Thanksgiving Recipes
Plan the ultimate Thanksgiving menu consisting of crowd-pleasing classic recipes with creative tweaks.
The Supermarket Guru:
Steal This Recipe® Thanksgiving Dinner | Pritikin Longevity Center & Spa
'Stolen with permission' from Chef Anthony Stewart, Executive Chef at Pritikin Longevity Center & Spa, this low-fat, low-calorie, low-sodium version of the Thanksgiving feast will have your waistband giving thanks this year! As the average American eats about 3,000-3,500 calories during the Thanksgiving meal, SupermarketGuru.com thought we could all use a healthy, but oh-so-tasty, alternative menu - that's why Chef Stewart put together the perfect Thanksgiving Feast with just 500 calories or less - still leaving room for wine and dessert.

Essential Recipes for Your First Thanksgiving
Hosting Thanksgiving is a right-of-passage for any cook.  We've hand-selected our favorite Thanksgiving recipes that keep things simple, while making sure your first Turkey Day meal is truly memorable.
How to Roast the Perfect Turkey
Roasting a turkey for Thanksgiving can be challenging, whether you’re a cooking novice or a culinary whiz. But by following these 8 easy steps for slow-roasting the bird, you’ll prepare a tender, juicy turkey that your whole family will be thankful for.
Roasting frozen turkey is actually safer
Experts at Iowa State University say it's actually safer to cook a turkey under 15 pounds when it's still frozen, but it will take longer.
Wellness, Washington Post:
Guilt-free Thanksgiving sides
Don’t blame the turkey for all those calories over the holiday. Look at what sits next to it. We offer ways to eat more healthy.
U.S. News & World Report:
Happy Thanksgiving! Hold the Gluten, Nuts, Dairy, Etc.
How to tolerate food intolerance on Thanksgiving
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Thanksgiving Tips: A Budget-Friendly Dinner

(Andrew Weil, M.D.) Being on a budget doesn't have to mean giving up Thanksgiving traditions. There are simple ways to help cut the costs of holiday dinners. Read on - your wallet and your health will thank you! 
1.    Focus on vegetables. They are filling, nutritious and cost less than meat. Tomorrow's Tip offers ideas for serving a vegetarian Thanksgiving dinner - read it for some delicious vegetable-based meal ideas.
2.    Make it a potluck. If you are having family and friends over, assign each to bring an item. It will help keep your costs - and stress levels - manageable.
3.    Make your own dessert. You can make pies a few days ahead of time and freeze or refrigerate them, eliminating the need for a more expensive store-bought version.
4.    Use your leftovers. Turkey soup, potato pancakes, casseroles that combine some of the side dishes, cranberry sauce on whole grain toast for breakfast - there are plenty of ways to use traditional Thanksgiving leftovers.
5.    Calculate how much food you really need. The more food you make, the more it costs. If you aren't a fan of leftovers, consider making just enough food to feed the number of people who will be eating.
6.    Clip coupons. Whether from your local paper or a website, there's no downside to the cost-savings coupons offer. Many stores offer double or triple the value around the holidays, so do some homework and take advantage!
Community: And EatingWell has this: “How to Save $150 on Thanksgiving Dinner.”
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Thanksgiving foods healthy all year long

(UPI) Each of the traditional Thanksgiving foods is healthy in its own right and deserves to be eaten many times during the year, a U.S. registered dietitian says.
Amy Moore, a registered dietitian and instructor in the department of nutrition and dietetics at Saint Louis University, said turkey, the centerpiece of most Thanksgiving dinners, is low in fat, high in protein and rich in minerals such as iron, zinc, potassium and B vitamins. Plus, it's relatively inexpensive.
"From a dietitian's point of view, sweet potatoes are a dream come true because they're packed with vitamin A and beta-carotene, and are naturally sweet. I like to see sweet potatoes instead of mashed on Thanksgivings," Moore said in a statement.
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Even Low-Level Radioactivity Is Damaging, Scientists Conclude

(Science Daily) Even the very lowest levels of radiation are harmful to life, scientists have concluded…
Reporting the results of a wide-ranging analysis of 46 peer-reviewed studies published over the past 40 years, researchers from the University of South Carolina and the University of Paris-Sud found that variation in low-level, natural background radiation was found to have small, but highly statistically significant, negative effects on DNA as well as several measures of health.
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Probiotics May Prevent C. Difficile Diarrhea

(MedPage Today) Patients at risk for Clostridium difficile-associated diarrhea had a 66% lower infection rate when they received prophylactic probiotics, results of a meta-analysis showed.
Treatment with multispecies probiotics products was associated with a 75% reduction in the risk of C. difficile diarrhea, whereas single-species products reduced the risk by 50%. Serious adverse events were uncommon in patients who received probiotics.
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Analyzing Blood Samples on the Spot

(Science Daily) New technology aims to help doctors analyze patients’ blood samples on the spot and provide immediate results…
In SpinChip, the blood sample is drawn directly from the patient's fingertip into small analytical chips that are placed in a microcentrifuge. Inside the chip, the fluids and dry components of the sample are separated, launching a number of reactions that take place in a series of tiny channels without any need for pumps or valves; i.e. high-level microfluidics. The results are read out optically within a couple of minutes.
While current solutions have only a limited repertoire of analyses and are sometimes unreliable, the SpinChip technology has the potential to perform a wide range of analyses rapidly, simply and reliably.
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Exclusive: U.S. drug testing firm probed for alleged fraud, intimidation

(Reuters) A federal grand jury in Boston is investigating Millennium Laboratories of San Diego, a fast-growing private company selling urine drug testing services to pain clinics across the United States.
The company not only is under investigation by the Justice Department for allegations of health care fraud but also for intimidating former employees, one who was portrayed in a slideshow at a company meeting as a corpse in a body bag.
Two of the ex-employees, who had raised concerns about Millennium's sales practices, also say they were followed for weeks by private investigators they believe were hired by the company.
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Compounder Tied to Tainted Eye Meds, Lost Sight

(MedPage Today) All but one of 12 patients given injections of contaminated bevacizumab (Avastin) prepared by a compounding pharmacy permanently lost vision in the affected eye, researchers reported…
Neither early nor late vitrectomy improved visual outcomes, and seven patients lost the eye completely in the endophthalmitis outbreak that occurred in Miami in July 2011, Roger Goldberg, MD, of the University of Miami, and colleagues reported.
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Is it OK to use a compounding pharmacy? (And what is one anyway?)

(Consumer Reports) A: Until other much-needed changes occur, you should only use a medication from a compounding pharmacy if no other FDA-approved product is available, say our medical advisers.
Compounding pharmacies create individual, customized drugs. They can, for example, omit ingredients such as lactose or gluten for people with allergies, flavor drugs to make them easier to take, create lower doses for children, or prepare a liquid, dissolvable lozenge, or suppository for those who can't swallow a capsule…
The major risk from compounding lies with drugs that are injected, delivered through an intravenous (IV) line, used in the eyes, or inhaled through a nebulizer. Such medications must be completely germ-free in order to prevent infection, and the meningitis tragedy demonstrates the harm that can occur if they're not.
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Camel Genome Holds Desert Survival Secrets

(Scientific American) Sky-high blood glucose levels, a diet loaded with salt and a tendency to pack away fat sounds like a recipe for a health disaster in a human. But in a Bactrian camel, these are adaptations that may help it survive in some of the driest, coldest and highest regions of the world.
Researchers in Mongolia and China have begun to unravel the genomic peculiarities behind the physiological tricks that camels use to survive in the harshest of conditions…
The work shows that camels can withstand massive blood glucose levels owing in part to changes in genes that are linked to type II diabetes in humans. The Bactrians' rapidly evolving genes include some that regulate insulin signaling pathways, the authors explain. A closer study of how camels respond to insulin may help to unravel how insulin regulation and diabetes work in humans…
The researchers also identified sections of the genome that could begin to explain why Bactrian camels are much better than humans at tolerating high levels of salt in their bloodstreams. In humans, the gene CYP2J controls hypertension: suppressing it leads to high blood pressure. However, camels have multiple copies of the gene, which could keep their blood pressure low even when they consume a lot of salt, suggest the authors of the latest work.
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One in three open to traveling for medical treatment, poll finds

(Reuters) Looking for an affordable face lift without breaking the bank? Want to combine a tummy tuck with two weeks in the sun? You're not alone.
Nearly a third of people surveyed around the world say they are open to the idea of medical tourism - traveling abroad to enjoy cheaper medical or dental treatment, according to a new Ipsos poll of 18,731 adults in 24 countries…
[Nicolas Boyon, senior vice president of Ipsos Public Affairs,] was intrigued by the percentage of people in developed nations such as Italy, where 66 percent said they would definitely or probably consider medical tourism, along with Germany (48 percent), Canada (41 percent) and the United States, where 38 percent of people were open to the idea.
"It is a reflection that the medical profession is no longer protected from globalization," Boyon said.
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End the Obamacare Wars

(David Brodwin, American Sustainable Business Council) Obamacare goes a long way to help small business lower their costs…
The act gives small businesses (up to 100 employees) the opportunity to purchase their coverage through insurance exchanges, run at the state or federal level. These exchanges will start operating in 2014 and will provide small business with the same negotiating power and discounts that big businesses enjoy today. This will cut costs, boost profit, and promote hiring…
The Affordable Care Act will help strengthen our still-weak economy. By closing the coverage gaps that currently leave 40-50 million Americans uninsured or badly underinsured, the act enables people to be more productive and focused when they're at work. By taking high health insurance costs off the back of small business, the act helps U.S. companies to compete with companies that operate in countries where healthcare is free…
But resistance continues, largely from those who still seek to kill the whole program, or to make the program fail in its implementation. This entrenched, uncompromising resistance is the enemy of economic progress, of human compassion, and of common sense.
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Administration Expected to Release Many New Rules For Health Law Shortly

(Kaiser Health News) With the national health law’s political future now entrenched, a deluge of new rules is expected in the coming days and weeks as the Obama administration fleshes out the law’s complex components.
Most of the anticipation so far has been focused on rules that determine how the new state-based insurance marketplaces called exchanges will operate. But also closely awaited are decisions about how the government will tax medical devices, allot the shrinking pool of money for hospitals that treat the uninsured, and determine how birth control insurance coverage can be guaranteed for employees of religious schools, universities and charities…
Other key decisions will be determined outside the rulemaking process, as the Obama administration selects participants in several experimental programs, including a new payment method for doctors, hospitals and other providers.
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Computer Issues May Complicate Launch Of Health Insurance Exchanges

(Shots, NPR) Online insurance markets set to begin selling health coverage to consumers next October may be hampered by software delays.
State regulators learned late last week that an electronic system most insurers will use to submit their policies for state and federal approvals won't be ready for testing next month, as originally planned. The lag is being blamed on the wait for several regulations from the Obama administration that are needed to update the software…
"The timeline is definitely getting crunched," said Joel Ario, a consultant with Manatt Health Solutions who formerly served as the Obama administration's head of exchange planning. "Insurers tell me they will need final approval of their products by July 1 so they will have three months to actually get set up to market them."
Community: I’m glad to hear there’s going to be one major software platform. I had visions of every state using a different one, costing billions more dollars than necessary.
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Being a Good Friend Keeps You Young

(RealAge.com) [S]ocializing and laughing it up with best buds can cut your odds for memory loss in half, as well as make you twice as likely to avoid disabilities that could seriously cramp your late-life style…
Researchers can't pinpoint exactly what makes friends such a mini fountain of youth. But it's clear that staying mentally, physically, and socially active helps keep both your brain and your body pumped up and tuned in.
Start putting this into action if you want to stay young. Make walking with friends and downloading a joke a daily pleasure. Set dates with one another: Go to a game, take an overnight trip, join theater or faith groups, volunteer.
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Six health reasons to have more sex

(Chatelaine) There is an anti-aging, immune-boosting, stress-reducing, mood-enhancing and hormone- balancing secret out there—and it’s not just for the stars! It’s sex. Did you know that having regular sex will give you a host of physiological and psychological benefits? Here’s why:
1.    It’s a natural pain reliever…
2.    It’s a stress reliever…
3.    It boosts immunity…
4.    It’s good for your heart…
5.    It turns back the clock…
6.    It gives you a glow…
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Health Lessons From... Horses?!

(David Katz, M.D., Yale Prevention Research Center) [T]he predominant efforts of health promotion might reasonably be catalogued in terms of carrots, sticks, and leading people to water -- whether or not we can make them drink it. Which leads, naturally, to horses.
Whenever I visit [my horse Troubador], I bring carrots, which he clearly loves. Whenever I ride, I carry a stick. And out on the trail, every now and then, by design or happenstance, I lead him to water…
People, of course, are not horses. But people's routine references to carrots, sticks and water -- and the lessons they imply -- derive directly from our interactions with horses. So, minimally, it behooves (I couldn't resist...) us to know what those lessons are.
I think the lessons argue for very limited use of sticks, mostly to get ourselves past obstacles that seem bigger than they actually are. I think they argue for a bounty of carrots.
And I think they remind us that we can't decide when or what someone else will drink. We can, though, make sure pure water is readily available -- and do our utmost to cultivate a collective thirst for it.
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Creating A Living Lab For Health And Wellness

(FastCompany) If you’re venturing to Orlando, Florida, there’s a decent chance that you’re one of the 51 million-plus tourists that goes there every year, mainly to one of the city’s theme parks. But over the next decade, a planned community in Orlando called Lake Nona will become something of an attraction as well--not for tourists, but for researchers and medical professionals.
Today, Lake Nona is a health-focused community that has about 7,000 people living and working in its borders. It’s home to the Orlando VA Medical Center, the University of Central Florida’s Health Sciences Campus, and the Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute. In the coming years, that number will balloon to 40,000 to 50,000 people as the community grows its "innovation cluster" of "health and life science innovation," according to Thad Seymour, president of the Lake Nona Institute.
But here’s where things get interesting: Johnson & Johnson’s Wellness & Prevention Inc. is teaming up with the Lake Nona Institute to create a longitudinal health and wellness study of people living and working the community. "Traditionally [longitudinal studies] have always looked at disease progression, but we want to understand how people are healthy and how to keep them healthy," explains Ben Wiegand, vice president of science and innovation at Wellness & Prevention Inc.
That means looking at biomarker and genetic assessments to predict the likelihood of disease, but also studying online personal health assessments from the residents. Wellness & Prevention isn’t just sitting on the sidelines, observing people throughout their lives--it also plans on intervening with real-time coaching and advice. Says Wiegand: "We want to understand the cohort first. If we see there is a propensity for obesity, we can provide access to weight-loss counseling."
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More Recent Research on Aging

(Philip Moeller, U.S. News & World Report) According to a phalanx of liberal seniors' groups—foundations, think tanks, women's groups, and other Social Security "preservationists"—the longevity rationale for raising the retirement age is not a story that applies to lower-income and less-educated men and, especially, women. They would get hammered by raising the retirement age. And they are precisely the group of Americans—and a pretty big group at that—which depends desperately on Social Security benefits for the bulk of their retirement incomes.
Community: Employers are going to have to stop discriminating against people in their 50s and older if we want older people to keep working. But it can be good for us to keep working, at least part time: “Why a Part-Time Job Will Improve Your Retirement.”
(Science Daily) Many baby boomers want to improve the way people view aging, but an Oregon State University researcher has found they often reinforce negative stereotypes of old age when interacting with their own parents, coloring the way those seniors experience their twilight years.
(New America Media) Women's longevity took an unprecedented nosedive during the past decade, researchers recently discovered, with their life expectancy tumbling or stagnating in one of every five counties in the country…While many scientists believe that smoking and obesity are driving the downward spiral, a growing chorus of experts contends that chronic stress may be a key culprit, too — especially the stress of juggling work and family.
(Science Daily) Higher neighborhood education is associated with better self-rated health among Asian Americans who live in Asian ethnic neighborhoods, but this correlation between individual health and neighborhood education levels does not exist for Asian Americans living in non-Asian neighborhoods, according to a recent study.
(Science Daily) An African-American or Mexican-American senior living in a community where many neighbors share their background is less likely to have cancer or heart disease than their counterpart in a more mixed neighborhood.
(Science Daily) New research from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) underscores the widespread disparities associated with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) mortality by state, poverty level, and urban vs rural location. The study … found that COPD mortality is highest in rural and poor areas.
(Science Daily) A team of researchers … has identified a significant relationship between mortality and the length of telomeres, the stretches of DNA that protect the ends of chromosomes, according to a presentation… According to the … results, telomere length was positively correlated with such factors as level of education and body mass index (BMI), and negatively correlated with cigarette smoking and alcohol consumption. However, telomere length was not associated with major depression or stress-related disorders, although other studies have reported an association between telomere length and depression and stressful events.
(Science Daily) When people get older, more and more of their stem cells lose the ability to proliferate and thus to form new cells. aging tissue cannot regenerate any more, which is why for example muscles decline. Elderly people tend to feel weaker because their heart muscles are affected by this aging process as well. If it were possible to influence these aging processes, humans could feel physically better for much longer. Studying animal tissue such as those of Hydra -- an animal full of active stem cells during all its life -- may deliver valuable insight into stem cell aging as such.
(Science Daily) A small study of older and younger men … suggests that a build-up of a fat molecule known as ceramide might play a leading role in muscle deterioration in older adults… [Said Roger A. Fielding, Ph.D., senior author,] "Previous research done at Tufts and other institutions suggests that even with limited exercise older adults can maintain and build some new muscle. Until there is enough research to develop specific exercise and dietary interventions, staying as physically active as deemed safe by your health care provider can only benefit aging muscle."
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7 Foods for Aging Gracefully

(Andrew Weil, M.D.) Aging gracefully is a healthy goal for everyone: accepting and embracing what time and experience brings us, while actively working to prevent and minimize the health concerns that naturally come with aging. In addition to regular low-impact exercise and proper supplementation, your diet is a good place to start your graceful aging endeavors. Add these foods to your plate for health – no matter what your age!
1. Vegetables…
2. Berries…
3. Soy…
4. Salmon…
5. Whole Grains…
6. Spices…
7. Dark Chocolate.
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Mini Meat Loaves
Cook mini meat loaves in single-serving portions for super juicy meat loaf in half the usual cooking time.
Seared Tuna & Watercress with Scallion-Ginger Relish
Here's a salad that's as beautiful as it is delicious. The spicy orange-ginger dressing is so good, you'll want to double (or triple) it to serve on your salad throughout the week.
Los Angeles Times:
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Fabulous Fall Foods: Sweet Potatoes

(SouthBeachDiet.com) Sweet potatoes are a major player in the world of superfoods. They’re rich in beta-carotene and vitamin C, both powerful antioxidants that work to prevent and possibly reverse the cell damage caused by free radicals…
To cook, you can boil and mash them as you would regular potatoes, or you can roast or bake them in the oven. Steaming or microwaving also works. If you choose to bake sweet potatoes whole, pierce the skin several times with a fork to prevent an explosion. Sweet potato “fries” are also delicious. Just be sure to bake — not fry — them! Try this delicious Baked Sweet Potato Fries recipe.
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New Health-Economic Model Shows Benefits of Boosting Dietary Calcium Intake

(Science Daily) European researchers have published a study which analyses the health economics of increased dairy foods and related reduction in risk of osteoporotic fractures in the population aged over 50.
The study was based on a new analytical model that links nutrition and fracture risk, and health economics. It was based on data from the Netherlands, France and Sweden, countries which have varying levels of dairy products intake in the population.
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Why You Should Invite Charles Darwin Over for Dinner

(Yoni Freedhoff, MD, U.S. News & World Report) The key to an evolutionary kitchen is to ensure you truly follow Darwin's rule of natural selection. You need to be prepared to let the weakest, unhealthiest meals experience horrible, permanent, extinction-style deaths, just as we did with the boxed pierogi and chicken fingers of our kitchen's yesteryear.
So please, invite Darwin to dinner one night a week. One night where you cook a meal from scratch using fresh, whole ingredients. One night where if the fruits of your cooking efforts are better than your unhealthy go-to meals, they earn their way into your kitchen's future.
Even better, make cooking that dinner a family affair—where each week a different family member not only picks the new recipe to audition, but is actively involved in its preparation.
Remember too that evolution isn't a rapid process. Take a flying leap at evolving your entire kitchen and you're liable to land squarely on your face. Small, incremental change is the very definition of evolution as we know it.
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Food Is Medicine

(David Waters and Karen Pearl) The passage of the Affordable Care Act and its implementation gives us a rare opportunity to change the way we see nutrition: food is medicine, and we have the chance to codify that belief into our health care system. We strongly believe that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) should consider the specific inclusion of food and nutrition services, when delivered as part of a doctor's recommendation and prescribed by a registered dietitian, as an allowable service category within the prevention and wellness services and chronic disease management category of the Essential Health Benefits. Currently, the language allows each state to decide what will be in the package, which we think will lead to variability of coverage, undermining the purpose of the ACA -- which is to provide greater access to health care while lowering medical costs.
Barring action by HHS, we will have to work state-by-state to educate policymakers on why funding nutritious services is smart health and good public policy for the long-term. Let's learn the hard-won truths of the AIDS crisis -- food is medicine and many Americans would heal if only they had better access to a good meal.
David Waters is CEO of Community Servings in Boston. Karen Pearl is President and CEO of God's Love We Deliver in New York City.
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Fast Food Menu Options Double: Calorie Counts Remain High

(Science Daily) With increased scrutiny over the past decade by the mass media and several legislative efforts by local governments, you might think fast food has come a long way nutritionally. But has it really?
You can now find some healthier choices on fast food menus such as oatmeal with fruit, fruit smoothies, side salads and grilled chicken sandwiches. However, a study led by Katherine W. Bauer … found that the average calorie content of foods offered by eight of the major U.S. fast food restaurants changed very little between 1997 and 2010.
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The Latest from The People’s Pharmacy

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Discovery Could Lead to Faster Diagnosis for Some Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Cases

(Science Daily) For the first time, researchers have landed on a potential diagnostic method to identify at least a subset of patients with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), a complex disorder with no known definitive cause or cure.
In a pilot study of six patients, scientists detected specific antibodies linked to latent Epstein-Barr virus reactivation in blood samples from people who had experienced classic CFS symptoms and responded to antiviral treatment. Control blood samples from 20 healthy people showed no such antibodies.
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First-of-Its-Kind Program Improves Outcomes for Seniors Admitted for Trauma

(Science Daily) A first-of-its-kind program at St. Michael's Hospital lowers risk of delirium in elderly patients admitted for trauma and decreases the likelihood they will be discharged to a long-term care facility.
The Geriatric Trauma Consultation Service is a program where every patient over 60 admitted to the trauma service is seen by a member of the geriatric team within 72 hours.
This is a big change from previous practice, where only 4 per cent of elderly patients admitted to trauma were seen by a geriatric team member during their stay in hospital.
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Evolving Roles of Hospice and Palliative Care

(Science Daily) Many people think hospice and palliative care come at the end of life, and while both often play a key role then, palliative care also can provide pain relief, symptom control, emotional comfort and spiritual support as patients recover from serious illnesses… Donna Kamann, a palliative care nurse practitioner at Mayo Clinic Health System in La Crosse, explains these growing and evolving medical specialties and how they can help patients and their loved ones.
At Mayo, for example, palliative care teams include physicians, advanced-practice nurses, chaplains, licensed clinical social workers, pharmacists and physical and occupational therapists. Starting with their individual expertise, the members build a care plan that carefully considers each patient's unique needs. Palliative care can segue into hospice care if the illness becomes terminal.
"Respecting the desires of patients -- as well as their families and their caregivers -- palliative care seeks to improve quality of life in the face of serious illness," Kamann says. "Palliative care treats people suffering from serious and chronic illnesses such as cancer, cardiac disease such as congestive heart failure, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, kidney failure, Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and many more."
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Early end-of-life talks tied to less aggressive care

(Reuters Health) Terminally-ill cancer patients are less likely to get aggressive end-of-life treatment, such as chemotherapy in the last two weeks of life, when they talk with their doctors early on about how they want to die, according to a new study.
Treatment aimed at keeping those patients alive at the end is often expensive and may not improve patients' quality of life or comfort. Such therapies usually involve more time in the hospital rather than at home or in hospice care.
"Aggressive care at the end of life for individual patients isn't necessarily bad, it's just that most patients who recognize they're dying don't want to receive that kind of care," said Dr. Jennifer Mack, the study's lead author.
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Miss. Builds Exchange Despite Objections Of Gov, Tea Party

(Kaiser Health News) The Mississippi Insurance Department officially told the federal government that it will run its own health insurance exchange and plans to file the exchange blueprint Friday.
If the state had not set up an insurance exchange, which is an online marketplace for comparison shopping for health insurance called for by the health overhaul law, the federal government would have set one up in Mississippi instead.
Insurance Commissioner Mike Chaney says doing a state-run exchange gives Mississippi control over what type of health insurance plans will be sold in the state…
Mississippi is one of the states leading the way toward an exchange, despite the objections of Republican Gov. Phil Bryant and local tea party activists.
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