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

U.S. Doctors May Order Office Workers Out of Their Chairs

(Bloomberg) Sitting in front of a computer monitor all day may soon be officially against doctors’ advice.
The American Medical Association, which represents 225,000 doctors in the U.S. and recommends ways to improve public health and medical care, will consider whether to recognize the dangers of sitting all day -- at work, in the car or at home -- at its annual policy meeting…
The resolution cites a 2006 study of 222,000 Australians that found sitting for more than four hours a day, often at work, caused 6.9 percent of deaths. That was after controlling for things such as obesity and physical activity. Other research has determined that sitting or being sedentary most of the day can raise the risk of heart disease, obesity, diabetes, cancer and low sperm count in men…
The doctors call for work breaks, standing work stations, use of isometric balls instead of chairs and other ways of making time spent at a work desk less harmful to long-term health.
Community: RealAge.com has some ideas: “Take a Chair Break,” and the Huffington Post has this advice: “Sit At A Desk All Day? Do These Stretches Today.”
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Pain, exercise and fibromyalgia

(HHS HealthBeat) People with fibromyalgia have pain in muscles, joints and tendons. But a study indicates exercise might help.
Researcher Dennis Ang of Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center followed 170 patients over 36 weeks. They took part in moderate activity, such as brisk walking 20 minutes a day. He says patients who could stick it out for 12 weeks had improvement in symptoms:
“If they just sustained their level of physical activity past 12 weeks, their pain severity, which is a major symptom of fibromyalgia, would actually also get better.”
But he says people need to ease into it, starting with a couple of weeks of very light exercise a couple of days a week…
Learn more at healthfinder.gov.
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Exercise: Alternative reward for those battling addiction

(James Fell, Tribune Newspapers) The human brain experiences a chemical reward when we exercise. There is evidence to show that this can be used as an alternative reward for those battling addiction, which can make staying clean easier…
In 2011 researchers from Vanderbilt University did a study published in PLOS ONE that involved making a dozen marijuana users run on treadmills for 30 minutes 10 times over a two-week period. These were very heavy users, and they saw a dramatic drop in their cravings and their use of marijuana (a decrease of more than 50 percent) after just a few exercise sessions. Exercise was the only intervention. What's interesting is that these people were deemed cannabis-dependent, and they didn't even want treatment to help them stop smoking pot. The exercise alone made them cut their marijuana use by more than half.
And it's not just pot. A 2011 analysis of research published in Frontiers in Psychiatry revealed how exercise is a powerful tool for reducing self-administered use of a host of other mind-altering substances, including cocaine, meth, nicotine and alcohol.
And beyond recovery, exercise can mitigate the brain damage.
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Walking Away from Hot Flashes

(Andrew Weil, M.D.) Get moving if you want to dial down the effects of hot flashes.
New research … showed that more activity meant better sleep, despite the hot flashes. The exercise the women reported was mainly related to household chores, not sports or exercise. Improved sleep occurred most often in white women who were not obese.
The investigators said that more research is needed to see why African-American women and obese women didn’t seem to get the benefits of physical activity connected with housekeeping and caregiving.
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Finding it hard to stick with regular exercise? Check out these tips.

(NIH Senior Health, via email) Sometimes people start exercising with the best intentions, but then “life happens,” and the walks, workouts, or visits to the gym fall by the wayside. Learn some tips for sticking with exercise over the long haul.
For more ways to stay motivated, check out this tip sheet on Overcoming Barriers to Exercise: No More Excuses! from Go4Life® , the exercise and physical activity campaign from the National Institute on Aging.
The information on Exercise: How to Stay Active was provided by NIHSeniorHealth and developed by the National Institute on Aging (NIA) at NIH.
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Chicken Tacos
Your family will thank you when these chicken tacos hit the table. We left the seeds in the jalapeño for a spicy kick; omit them if you prefer a mild salsa.
Grilled Lobster Rolls
All around Maine's Penobscot Bay, lobster rolls set the standard for homey, simple, Down East fare. Uncooked lobster tails are available in the freezer section of most supermarkets.
Mediterranean Foods Alliance:
Sun-Dried Tomato Torte
This quick and easy special-occasions recipe makes use of traditional Mediterranean dips that you can find in the refrigerated section of the grocery store.
Homemade Hummus
Janet Helm, MS, RD shared this classic hummus recipe with us. When you feel comfortable with the original recipe, try experimenting with different flavors.
Oleana Tapenade
This easy meal is sure to please everyone in the family. Store any leftovers in the refrigerator for a delicious cold lunch the next day.
This tasty walnut-pomegranate caviar strikes the perfect balance of sweet, sour, salty, hot, and bitter flavors. Serve with crackers or toasted pita wedges.
Appetite for Health:
Quick & Healthy Potato Salads!
Looking for a perfect side dish for your next cookout, party, or dinner? Check out these healthy (and super delicious!) versions of a traditional potato salad.
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Potatoes: The Most Nutritious Bang For Your Buck

(The Supermarket Guru) Potatoes, usually thought of as an indulgent unhealthy side dish, as most of the time they are fried, or topped off with an excess of cheese, bacon, or sour cream etc, are actually a great source of vitamins and minerals. A recent study led by Dr Adam Drewnowski from the University of Washington, revealed that potatoes offer one of the best nutritional values per penny.
The study used a combination of nutrient profiling methods and national food price data to create an “affordability index”. The index then used to examine the nutrients per unit cost of 98 individual vegetables as well as five vegetable subgroups including dark green, orange/red, starchy, legumes, and 'other' vegetables.
Results indicated that while dark green vegetables have the highest nutrient density scores, after accounting for cost, starchy vegetables (including potatoes) and beans provided better nutritional value for the money. Potatoes, in particular, provide one of the lowest cost options for four key nutrients including potassium, fiber, vitamin C, and magnesium. 
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'Rapeseed oil makes the best roast potatoes'

(Interview with “Mrs Middleton”, The Guardian) Cold-pressed rapeseed oil is much healthier than olive oil, with half the saturated fat and a far higher content of natural omega oils and vitamin E, but the market for it is still quite small. We sell to restaurants, delis and farmshops, and I also do a few farmers' markets, in particular the one in Hexton, about half a mile from the farm. It's lovely to be able to point across the fields to where the oil comes from.
Our oil has a very distinct flavour: creamy and nutty. I don't have olive oil in the house anymore – I use rapeseed oil for everything. It makes the best roast potatoes. The oil has a very high smoke point, so you can heat it until it is sizzling hot, chuck the potatoes in and you get all those lovely crunchy bits in the bottom of the pan
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Find Your Local Farmers' Markets

(USA.gov Team, via email) Search for farmers' markets near you.
The products vary from market to market--based on what's locally grown or raised--but many farmers' markets sell fruits, vegetables, cheeses, meats, and other items.
Using USDA's directory of farmers' markets, enter your ZIP code to find a market in your area. If you'd like to narrow down the options, specify the items you're seeking and your payment and location preferences.
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Unusual Uses for Greek Yogurt

(U.S. News & World Report) Thick, creamy Greek yogurt is a nutrition rock star – so if you’re gobbling it down by the spoonful, good work. But why not get a little creative? Greek yogurt lightens, moistens and adds flavor, and it works as a stand-in for mayonnaise. Consider these unusual uses for our protein-packed friend:…
Substitute for mayonnaise
Greek yogurt is an ideal substitute for mayo. Mix it into your tuna or chicken salad – you’ll cut down on calories and fat, while adding protein to your meal without sacrificing flavor…
Yogurt cheese
You’ll need a strainer and double layer of cheese cloth to make this healthier alternative to cream cheese…
Substitute for sour cream
Add the tangy taste of sour cream to your dish – without all the extra calories and fat…
Frozen treats
Blend vanilla or plain Greek yogurt with some fruit – or even spinach – until it’s smooth, and then pour it into ice pop molds. Freeze and enjoy...
There are plenty of tasty options, including chocolate mousse…
Yogurt ranch dressing
Mix dry ranch seasoning into plain Greek yogurt, and use it as veggie dip…
Pancake topper
Puree fresh fruit with maple syrup, and stir it into some Greek yogurt. Drizzle the mixture on top of your stack of pancakes – or even waffles and oatmeal…
Ice cream alternative
Add a teaspoon of cow’s, soy or rice milk to a single serving of Greek yogurt, Enke says, along with a few drops of vanilla extract. Stir and place it in the freezer…
Greek yogurt tenderizes meat while adding flavor.
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British group drops advice to eat oily fish after heart attack

(UPI) An independent body in Britain that develops guidance on high-quality healthcare says it no longer recommends eating oily fish to prevent a second heart attack.
The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence said it also is dropping its recommendation of taking omega-3 fatty acid capsules or omega-3 fatty acid supplemented foods specifically for the prevention of further heart attacks.
"New evidence shows that the risk of further cardiovascular events such as heart attacks or strokes is very different today because of the new treatments that are now available," a statement said.
"This means that any impact an oily fish diet may have on preventing further heart attacks or strokes could be minimal."
Community: So be good little boys and girls and go for expensive medications instead of changing your diet.
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Sugar Overload Can Damage Heart

(Science Daily) Too much sugar can set people down a pathway to heart failure, according to a study…
A single small molecule, the glucose metabolite glucose 6-phosphate (G6P), causes stress to the heart that changes the muscle proteins and induces poor pump function leading to heart failure, according to the study… G6P can accumulate from eating too much starch and/or sugar.
The study has opened doors to possible new treatments. Two drugs, rapamycin (an immunosuppressant) and metformin (a diabetes medication) disrupt signaling of G6P and improved cardiac power in small animal studies.
"These drugs have a potential for treatment and this has now cleared a path to future studies with patients," Taegtmeyer said.
Community: OR STOP EATING SUGAR, heart failure patients! What will it take for people to stop depending on drugs, and start depending on leading a healthy lifestyle?
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Nutrition Guidance: Public or Private?

(David L. Katz, Yale Prevention Research Center) I am the principal inventor of the Overall Nutritional Quality Index (ONQI) algorithm, used in NuVal – a nutritional guidance system that stratifies foods from 1 to 100 on the basis of overall nutritional quality: the higher the number, the more nutritious the food…
The ONQI, and NuVal, are a private sector innovation because the public sector said: no thanks…
As a scientist, and not a businessperson, my preference would be to put the ONQI on a billboard for all the good it would do. But on this, I must defer to the businesspeople who have made the relevant investments and are entitled to safeguard potential returns…
We should all care that the military-industrial establishment seems opposed to putting the blunt truth about nutritional quality, as best we know it, on at-a-glance display. We should care that federal authorities responsible for nutrition guidance are also responsible, if only indirectly, for food politics and supply-side profits.
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Response to New York Times Opinion Piece "Don't Take Your Vitamins"

(Life Extension®) The New York Times published an opinion piece by Dr. Paul Offit on June 8th, 2013 titled Don’t Take Your Vitamins.1 The article calls into question the benefit of vitamin supplementation. The opinion posits that most people get the nutrition they need from food and should not take supplemental antioxidant vitamins. Dr. Offit also suggests that vitamins could be harmful if taken in supplemental form.
Offit’s argument that eating a healthy diet supplants the need for dietary supplementation contradicts a large body of published scientific literature. It is very difficult to obtain optimal nutrition from diet alone…
In stark contrast to Offit’s opinion piece, protective effects of multivitamin supplementation have been seen in major studies…
In his essay, Dr. Offit cited only studies suggesting negative effects of supplementation. However, important evidence to the contrary was excluded from the discussion. Dr. Offit’s choice to focus only on negative data while ignoring positive findings may have been influenced by the fact that he will soon be publishing a book bashing alternative medicine. Thus, his views on antioxidants and multivitamins may be biased in order to promote interest in his new book.
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FDA Weighs Caffeine Limits in Foods

(The Supermarket Guru) The Food and Drug administration is still in the midst of developing regulation for the addition of caffeine to common food products, reports The Food Institute. According to EUROMONITOR INTERNATIONAL, caffeinated foods created more than $1.6 billion in domestic retail sales last year. Sales are up nearly 50% compared with five years ago. The FDA however, has only approved the addition of caffeine once since 1950, for cola.
“It’s a trend that raises real concerns,” stated Michael Taylor, one of the FDA’s top food safety officials. “We have to figure out, what are the right ways to approach this? Isn’t it time to pause and exercise some restraint?”
With the voluntary halt in production by WM. WRIGLEY JR. Company’s, ‘Alert Energy Caffeine Gum,’ the company is only stopping production “out of respect for the FDA,” stated Wrigley. “A new regulatory framework,” is needed regarding caffeinated food and drinks.
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Study finds nearly half of Americans not drinking enough water

(Chicago Tribune) [A]ccording to a study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Forty-three percent of adults drink less than four cups of water a day. That includes 36 percent who drink one to three cups, and 7 percent who drink none.
Although the CDC does not say how much water is "enough," because our needs vary, less than four 8-ounce cups usually falls short, said Dr. Alyson Goodman, a CDC epidemiologist and lead author of the study.
On the upside, 35 percent of Americans drink four to seven cups a day, while 22 percent drink eight or more.
Water intake varies by demographics. People 55 or older, who are non-Caucasian or who live in the Northeast are more likely to drink four cups or less.
It also varies by health habits. People who drink less water are the same folks who consume a cup or less of fruits and vegetables a day, exercise less than 150 minutes a week, smoke or used to smoke, eat fast food more than once a week, eat fewer than five family dinners a week and do not shop at farmers markets.
"Understanding these associations helps us identify populations that can benefit from interventions," said Goodman.
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The Supreme Court’s Gene Patent Ruling Is Already Leading To Cheaper Cancer Tests

(ThinkProgress) Myriad Genetics, the biotech company whose patents on naturally-occurring human genes were invalidated on Thursday by the Supreme Court, saw its public stock tumble as competitors announced that they would be offering cheaper alternatives to Myriad’s BRCAnalysis cancer test…
Modern Healthcare reports that Ambry Genetics blasted out an email to genetic counselors across the United States in which they promised a far cheaper BRCA test. The company says that its most expensive and detailed BRCA analysis will only cost $2200 — about half of what Myriad charges.
Other biotech firms such as Quest Diagnostics and GeneDx also said they would be getting into the cancer testing business as a consequence of the Supreme Court’s decision. 
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This AP Article Is Everything That’s Wrong With Sensationalistic Obama[s]care Stories

(ThinkProgress) Employers will struggle to comply with the new health care mandates, drop insurance coverage, increase costs, and lay off workers! Low-income employees will be subject to sky high premiums, a health care mandate they can’t afford, or go uninsured altogether!...
Sounds troubling.
But skip down to the end of the piece and you’ll find a curious quote from Neil Trautwein of the National Retail Federation, which represents the very employers the AP claims are going to take advantage of the health law’s impurities to increase health care costs for low-income workers while avoiding its penalties.
He appears to disagree entirely with the AP’s premise, telling the wire service that there is no “grand scheme to avoid responsibility.” ThinkProgress spoke with Trautwein, who stressed that “it is manifestly not in [employers'] interest to try to choose a benefit level that is beyond their employees’ means. No good comes of it.”
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Volunteering reduces risk of hypertension in older adults

(Science Daily) It turns out that helping others can also help you protect yourself from high blood pressure.
New research from Carnegie Mellon University shows that older adults who volunteer for at least 200 hours per year decrease their risk of hypertension, or high blood pressure, by 40 percent. The study … suggests that volunteer work may be an effective non-pharmaceutical option to help prevent the condition. Hypertension affects an estimated 65 million Americans and is a major contributor to cardiovascular disease, the leading cause of death in the U.S.
"Everyday, we are learning more about how negative lifestyle factors like poor diet and lack of exercise increase hypertension risk," said Rodlescia S. Sneed, a Ph.D. candidate in psychology in CMU's Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences and lead author of the study. "Here, we wanted to determine if a positive lifestyle factor like volunteer work could actually reduce disease risk. And, the results give older adults an example of something that they can actively do to remain healthy and age successfully."
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What Random Acts Of Kindness Can Do For Your Health

(Huffington Post) Research reveals that doing good deeds, or kind acts, can make socially-anxious people feel better. For four weeks, the University of British Columbia researchers assigned people with high levels of anxiety to do kind acts for other people at least six times a week. The acts of kindness included things like holding the door open for someone, doing chores for other people, donating to charity, and buying lunch for a friend. The researchers found that doing nice things for people led to a significant increase in people's positive moods. It also led to an increase in relationship satisfaction and a decrease in social avoidance in socially anxious individuals.
"People who engage in kind acts become happier over time," says Sonja Lyubomirsky, Ph.D., a professor of psychology at the University of California, Riverside. "When you are kind to others, you feel good as a person -- more moral, optimistic, and positive," she says. Lyubomirsky has studied happiness for over 20 years. Her research, presented at the recent annual meeting of the Society for Personality and Social Psychology in New Orleans, found that performing other positive acts once a week led to the most happiness.
According to Dr. David R. Hamilton, acts of kindness create an emotional warmth, which releases a hormone known as oxytocin. Oxytocin causes the release of a chemical called nitric oxide, which dilates the blood vessels. This reduces blood pressure and, therefore, oxytocin is known as a "cardioprotective" hormone. It protects the heart by lowering blood pressure.
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Stand straighter, live longer: Good posture can help you age better

(South Florida Sun-Sentinel) Turns out "stand up straight" isn't just good advice from your mother.
Aging experts increasingly believe posture is, in some cases, an indicator of how well you will age. They suggest seniors in particular, who sometimes begin to stoop or shuffle as they grow older, should be more aware of their body alignment and take action if their posture is out of whack…
Posture tips
Take posture pictures: Wearing gym clothes, relax and stand in what you think is your best posture. Have someone take full-length photos of you from side, front and back. Do this once a year to monitor any changes.
Be posture conscious: Check yourself in your posture photos or in a full-length mirror from top to toes. Is your head level and balanced above your shoulders? Are your shoulders level and even over your hips? Are your hips level or is your pelvis tilted forward or backward? Are thighs, knees and feet aligned?
Keep moving: Bad posture in part comes from weak muscles. And controlled motion is critical. Exercise daily, even if just a little. Do exercises that improve balance, flexibility and strength.
Monitor your pain: Neck and back pain often are caused, in part, by poor posture.
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The 5 Keys To A Longer, Happier Life

(Dr. Carmen Harra) We hear it all the time: "Health is everything." And while there are many actions we can take to promote great health, we tend to overlook some of the simplest and most obvious. Wholesome foods and regular exercise are, of course, crucial factors, but I stress the importance of several longstanding, often-forgotten solutions that have improved the quality and duration of human life since the dawn of humankind. Implement my five keys to health and longevity into your day-to-day life and reap the benefits of a more sound state of being:
Live with a purpose:… Remind yourself each day that you aren't anywhere near finished with your special mission.
Know your genetic code:… Understanding your genetics can be critical in preventing disease, as anticipating certain illnesses that run in your family can literally save your life…
Perform sacred rituals:…  No matter how hectic your schedule, take 30 minutes out your day, each day, to enjoy "me" time. Breathe deeply, meditate, relax in a quiet place, walk in the outdoors, or practice your favorite hobby…
Bask in the company of others:… Being around other people can enhance your mood and increase your lifespan. This is because being in good company rewires your neurons and can downright change your brain chemistry. "Feel-good" neurons interact and multiply, and you begin to reflect a more positive attitude with time…
Everything in moderation: Nothing holds more truth than this ancient phrase which reminds us to calm exaggerative tendencies…
Contrary to popular belief, your health is in your hands. And when you become conscious of this fact and perform actions that encourage wellness, you can live the long, joyful, and extraordinary life you deserve.
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How Healthy Are You for Your Age?

(Science Daily) New research … describes a technique to measure the health of human genetic material in relation to a patient's age… [The technique] measures telomere length…
[T]elomeres have gained attention because they serve as "caps" to chromosomes. As such, they mark the ends of genetic material and ensure that genes do not degrade as cells divide. Starting with the first replication of DNA and division of a fertilized egg, chromosomes shorten because the DNA replication process is imperfect. Certain organs, like the stomach or skin, are composed of tissues that reconstitute themselves frequently. In these organs, and in young individuals, the telomerase enzyme extends telomeres with each division, negating chromosomal shortening that would otherwise occur. Telomerase activity declines as people age, and as a result telomeres shorten and can be responsible for age related afflictions and some cancers. Overall health can impact how quickly these telomeres degrade…
Adoption of this technique will allow clinicians to monitor a patient's health as they are treated, by comparing telomere degradation of a sick patient to other patients with that disease and to determine if treatment is slowing degradation.
Community: Some ways to protect the telomeres are caloric restrictionendurance exercise, and, for women, hormone replacement therapy.
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More Recent Research on Aging

(Willow Lawson, Psychology Today) More and more, how we grow old is a personal choice. Older folks are going back to school in their 50s, starting businesses in their 60s, training for triathlons in their 70s and, yes, having sex in their 80s. This is a good thing, according to researchers who have found that negative stereotypes about aging can actually shorten your life.
(Mario D. Garrett, Ph.D., Psychology Today) [My body] wants to move at its own pace. It has all these notes and it wants to rearrange them in time, its own time not my scheduled time. Whenever I change that course that my body wants to take, I can feel the unrelenting stress and dissonance in my music . My body can do much more, but when it is not ready it creates unnerving harmony. I know all this because sometimes I get it just right. And then I feel like I am a well practiced orchestra. I have began to trust my body more and more. I know I can push it, but I prefer to let it tell me what it wants to do and when.
(Los Angeles Times) It's not because you listen to the classic rock station and don't know what LOL means. It's that your genome is unstable, your telomores are shortening, you're losing your proteostasis, and your epigenetics have been altered… Lest you despair too much, the authors offer some hope in promising research aimed at tinkering with metabolism and finding ways to arrest genomic damage. "We don't aspire to immortality, just to the possibility of making life a little better for us all," said coauthor Carlos López-Otín of the University of Oviedo.
(Mario D. Garrett, Ph.D., Psychology Today) Ageless animals have [taught] us that there are two ways to live longer: increasing the lifespan and slowing down the aging process. Individually all we can do for now is to try to NOT accelerate aging by excessive negative behaviors.
(Singularity Hub) When we age, all parts of our body deteriorate over time. But while aging as a whole might be an accumulation of disparate processes, scientists have long wondered if it might be controlled by some central location in the body. Researchers have now uncovered an area in the brain about the size of an almond in humans that wields powerful control over the body’s aging process. By manipulating a single substance secreted by the hypothalamus they were able to extend the lives of mice.
 [The researchers] focused on a protein produced by the hypothalamus called NF-kB that regulates a wide variety of physiological processes including cell growth and death, and inflammation and has been connected to diseases such as cancer, neurodegenerative diseases, and heart disease.
More . . .


Cooking Light:
Kitchen Window, NPR:
The Supermarket Guru:
Steal This Recipe® Blueberry Ricotta Pancakes | Dominick's, Los Angeles
This Father's Day treat dad to something really special with these fabulous any time pancakes courtesy of Chef Brandon Boudet of Dominick's Restaurant in West Hollywood, Los Angeles. These deliciously fluffy pancakes will make a sumptuous Father's Day feast!
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Cheap Food Is A Thing Of The Past, Report Warns

(ThinkProgress) Food is only going to get more expensive over the next decade, according to a new report by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development and the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization.
The report cited several reasons for rising prices, including: increased demand for food and biofuels as a result of a growing population and higher incomes and standards of living, slower growth in food production, and rising energy costs.
Limited water resources and farmland availability, as well as price hikes on necessities such as fertilizer, are expected to slow the increase in food production worldwide from 2.1 percent last decade (2003 – 2012) to 1.5 percent in the next decade. Meat, fish and biofuel prices are expected to rise more than fruit, vegetables and grains, but meat production is still expected to continue to expand, with China becoming the world’s largest consumer of pork by 2022.
The report notes that “increasing environmental pressures” — which include climate change-fueled storms, drought and flooding — will be one of the main factors slowing the growth of food production around the world.
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Protein for All: Fish and the Future of Food

(National Geographic) The seas that swirl around us are actually pretty resilient—despite what we often hear about the ocean and the ways it is imperiled. Ecosystems driven to the brink after things like oil spills can actually recover quite quickly. The greenhouse gases we pump into the atmosphere are, in large part, sucked up by our tireless seas.
There may be an even more profound way for the oceans to forgive our mistakes: by providing us lots of food. That’s the premise of a book that came across my desk, The Perfect Protein, by Andy Sharpless. He heads the ocean conservation nonprofit Oceana. There’s a lot of untapped potential swimming all over the planet. If only we managed the way fish are caught, and which fish we eat, there’d be plenty of food for the growing number of mouths on the planet…
Author Sharpless tries to get above the country-to-country bickering to make a simple point: Countries don’t necessarily need to agree. Most of the world’s edible fish aren’t in the high seas. They’re within 200 miles off coastlines, areas that are generally controlled by only one government. If about ten large countries (the U.S. would need to be a big player) set some basic limits, there would be plenty of fish to go around. And there’s good reason to believe that as America goes, other countries such as Chile, Brazil, and even fish-loving Japan may follow suit.
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Universal Paid Sick Leave Reduces Spread of Flu

(Science Daily) Allowing all employees access to paid sick days would reduce influenza infections in the workplace, according to a first-of-its-kind analysis by University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health modeling experts.
The researchers simulated an influenza epidemic in Pittsburgh and surrounding Allegheny County and found that universal access to paid sick days would reduce flu cases in the workplace by nearly 6 percent and estimated it to be more effective for small, compared to large, workplaces.
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Apnea: ’Sleeping Gun’ in Sudden Death?

(MedPage Today) Obstructive sleep apnea may place adults at a greater risk for sudden cardiac death, researchers found.
After adjustment for other risk factors, each 10% decrease in the lowest nocturnal oxygen saturation among adults undergoing a first-time polysomnogram for suspected sleep-disordered breathing was associated with a 14% greater risk of sudden cardiac death or resuscitated cardiac arrest…, according to Virend Somers, MD, PhD, … and colleagues.
Sleep factors associated with a significantly greater likelihood of remaining free from sudden cardiac death or resuscitated cardiac arrest included an apnea-hypopnea index of less than 20 events per hour…, a mean nocturnal oxygen saturation of 93% or higher…, and a lowest nocturnal oxygen saturation of 78% or higher…, the researchers reported
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Men's restless legs tied to earlier death: study

(Reuters Health) Men with restless legs syndrome (RLS) were more likely to die during an eight-year study than those without the condition, even after their age and other health problems were taken into account, researchers found.
The condition, which remains controversial, causes unpleasant sensations in the legs when a person is at rest, triggering an uncontrollable urge to move the legs to get relief.
Its exact cause is unknown, but RLS has been linked to heart problems and to early deaths among people with kidney disease
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Engineered Virus Will Improve Gene Therapy for Blinding Eye Diseases

(Science Daily) Researchers at UC Berkeley have developed an easier and more effective method for inserting genes into eye cells that could greatly expand gene therapy to help restore sight to patients with blinding diseases ranging from inherited defects like retinitis pigmentosa to degenerative illnesses of old age, such as macular degeneration.
Unlike current treatments, the new procedure is quick and surgically non-invasive, and it delivers normal genes to hard-to-reach cells throughout the entire retina.
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Fingernails Reveal Clues to Limb Regeneration

(Science Daily) Mammals possess the remarkable ability to regenerate a lost fingertip, including the nail, nerves and even bone. In humans, an amputated fingertip can sprout back in as little as two months, a phenomenon that has remained poorly understood until now.
In a paper…, researchers at NYU Langone Medical Center shed light on this rare regenerative power in mammals, using genetically engineered mice to document for the first time the biochemical chain of events that unfolds in the wake of a fingertip amputation. The findings hold promise for amputees who may one day be able to benefit from therapies that help the body regenerate lost limbs.
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FDA urges protection of medical devices from cyber threats

(Reuters) The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Thursday urged medical device makers and medical facilities to upgrade security protections to protect against potential cyber threats that could compromise the devices or patient privacy.
It released that advisory in coordination with a separate alert from the Department of Homeland Security, which disclosed vulnerability in a wide variety of medical equipment that can make those devices vulnerable to remote attacks from hackers.
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U.S. top court bars patents on human genes unless synthetic

(Reuters) A unanimous U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday prohibited patents on naturally occurring human genes but allowed legal protections on synthetically produced genetic material in a compromise ruling hailed as a partial victory for patients and the biotechnology industry.
The ruling by the nine justices, the first of its kind for the top U.S. court, buttressed important patent protections relied upon by biotechnology companies while making it clear that genes extracted from the human body cannot be patented.
Researchers and advocates for patients said it could make it easier for people to get cheaper genetic tests for disease risk.
Community: Good move, Supreme Court! All nine almost never agree on anything.
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Health Care’s Overlooked Cost Factor

(New York Times) When the Evanston Northwestern Healthcare Corporation merged its two hospitals with the neighboring Highland Park Hospital just north of Chicago 13 years ago, the deal was presented as an opportunity to increase efficiency and improve the quality of patient care.
But when the Federal Trade Commission finally decided to look at the deal, it encountered an entirely different objective: to gain market power…
Aetna said it swallowed price increases of 45 to 47 percent over a three-year period…
And who was left holding the bag? Not the shareholders of UniCare or Aetna. It was the people who bought their policies, who either paid higher premiums directly or whose wages grew more slowly to compensate for the rising cost of their company health plans…
If there is one thing that economists know, it is that market concentration drives prices up — and quality and innovation down.
Research by Leemore S. Dafny of Northwestern University, for instance, found that hospitals raise prices by about 40 percent after the merger of nearby rivals.
Other studies have found that hospital mergers increase the number of uninsured in the vicinity. Still others even suggest that market concentration may hurt the quality of care.
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Arizona Legislature Advances Medicaid Expansion, Extending Health Coverage To 50,000 Poor Americans

(ThinkProgress) Faced with enormous political pressure from Gov. Jan Brewer (R-AZ), the Arizona House passed a budget and Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion in a rare 3:40 a.m. vote on Thursday. The bills now go back to the state Senate — where they are expected to pass easily later this morning — for final approval before heading to Brewer’s desk for her signature.
The vote signifies the final skirmish in a five-month long battle to expand Medicaid that pit the combative Brewer against members of her own party and conservative constituents. The window for passing the expansion and a budget would have closed on July 1st. With that deadline looming, Brewer called a surprise, special legislative session on Tuesday without getting permission from — or even informing — lawmakers in her party.
Studies by the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) have shown that expanding Medicaid will cut Arizona’s uninsurance rate by nearly third. That means approximately 50,000 low-income Arizonans will be covered for medical benefits such as doctor’s visits, prescription drugs for chronic conditions like diabetes, and mental health care services.
Community: Good for you, Governor Brewer!
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Stress Linked to Psychosomatic Symptoms

(Science Daily) In four out of ten cases, long-term stress suffered by women leads to some form of physical complaint. This is shown by a study of 1,500 women…
Among those women who reported stress, 40 percent had psychosomatic symptoms in the form of aches and pain in their muscles and joints, 28 percent suffered from headaches or migraines, and the same proportion reported gastrointestinal complaints.
"Even when the results have been adjusted for smoking, BMI and physical activity, we can see a clear link between perceived stress and an increased incidence of psychosomatic symptoms," says Dominique Hange.
Community: Fortunately, there are many practical things we can do to reduce stress.
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