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

Dementia Rate Is Found to Drop Sharply

(New York Times) A new study has found that dementia rates among people 65 and older in England and Wales have plummeted by 25 percent over the past two decades, to 6.2 percent from 8.3 percent, a trend that researchers say is probably occurring across developed countries and that could have major social and economic implications for families and societies.
Another recent study, conducted in Denmark, found that people in their 90s who were given a standard test of mental ability in 2010 scored substantially better than people who had reached their 90s a decade earlier…
The [studies] soften alarms sounded by advocacy groups and some public health officials who have forecast a rapid rise in the number of people with dementia, as well as in the costs of caring for them. The projections assumed the odds of getting dementia would be unchanged.
Yet experts on aging said the studies also confirmed something they had suspected but had had difficulty proving: that dementia rates would fall and mental acuity improve as the population grew healthier and better educated. The incidence of dementia is lower among those better educated, as well as among those who control their blood pressure and cholesterol, possibly because some dementia is caused by ministrokes and other vascular damage. So as populations controlled cardiovascular risk factors better and had more years of schooling, it made sense that the risk of dementia might decrease. A half-dozen previous studies had hinted that the rate was falling, but they had flaws that led some to doubt the conclusions.
Researchers said the two new studies were the strongest, most credible evidence yet that their hunch had been right.
Community: There are many practical things we can do to prevent, delay, or minimize the severity of cognitive decline.
[Click the title, above, to post a comment.]

Exercise May Be the Best Deterrent for Alzheimer's Disease

(Science Daily) New research out of the University of Maryland School of Public Health shows that exercise may improve cognitive function in those at risk for Alzheimer's by improving the efficiency of brain activity associated with memory.
Memory loss leading to Alzheimer's disease is one of the greatest fears among older Americans. While some memory loss is normal and to be expected as we age, a diagnosis of mild cognitive impairment, or MCI, signals more substantial memory loss and a greater risk for Alzheimer's, for which there currently is no cure.
The study, led by Dr. J. Carson Smith, assistant professor in the Department of Kinesiology, provides new hope for those diagnosed with MCI. It is the first to show that an exercise intervention with older adults with mild cognitive impairment (average age 78) improved not only memory recall, but also brain function, as measured by functional neuroimaging (via fMRI).
Community: There are many practical things we can do to prevent, delay, or minimize the severity of cognitive decline.
[Click the title, above, to post a comment.]

Learning New Activities May Delay Alzheimer’s Disease

(Brigham and Women's Hospital) Keeping your mind active, exercising, and spending social time with family and friends have been suggested as ways to help delay the onset of Alzheimer’s disease (AD). The results of a new study led by Dr. Dennis Selkoe … now provide scientific reasons for why a mentally stimulating environment, which includes learning new activities, may reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease.
Alzheimer’s disease occurs when a protein called amyloid beta accumulates and forms plaques in the brain. Amyloid beta build-up is thought to cause memory problems by interfering with brain activity that occurs in the synapses, the spaces between nerve cells that allow communication of information. This interference may lead to a decline in a person’s memory, attention, and the ability to learn, understand, and process information.
In preclinical research, Dr. Selkoe and his team found that prolonged exposure to a stimulating environment activated certain substances known as brain adrenalin receptors. These activated receptors helped prevent amyloid beta protein isolated from the brains of AD patients from weakening the communication between nerve cells in the brain’s “memory center,” the hippocampus. The hippocampus plays an important role in both short- and long-term memory.  The researchers also found that exposing the brain to new activities provided greater protection against Alzheimer’s disease than did aerobic exercise alone.
Community: There are many practical things we can do to prevent, delay, or minimize the severity of cognitive decline.
[Click the title, above, to post a comment.]

Which Brain Exercises Improve Memory Best?

(Reader’s Digest) The exercises you do to keep your mind sharp may not be enough to improve memory over time, but new research from the book The SharpBrains Guide to Brain Fitness reveals better ways to boost your brain health.
Can a crossword puzzle a day keep dementia away?...
Keep your brain fit with new activities that test various skills; a financial analyst may want to grab a paint brush and a canvas, for example. Even playing different types of puzzles—a crossword today, Sudoku tomorrow—is better than doing the same type over and over again.
Should I take supplements touted to “support brain health”?...
Your overall eating pattern, rather than popping specific supplements, appears to play an important role in how well your brain ages. Several studies have found the Mediterranean diet—rich in olive oil, vegetables and fruits, fish; moderate in alcohol consumption; and low in saturated fats from meat and dairy—to be linked to a reduced risk of dementia (as well as heart disease)…
If I skip the booze, do I save brain cells?...
Experts probably would not recommend starting a drinking habit, but light drinking (one a day for women, two for men) is likely protecting—or at least not harming—your mental muscle.
Should I play video games that claim to be “brain-boosting”?...
Before you buy special video games, exercise your brain with the mainstream ones you or your kids may already be playing. While no conclusive study has shown that playing video games provides a long-term protective effect, reports SharpBrains, “they can be an excellent vehicle for novelty, variety, and challenge.”
Do I need to work out if I'm not trying to lose weight?...
For optimal brain health, scientists recommend aerobic workouts that get your heart pumping, like a brisk walk or bike ride, for a minimum of three, 30- to 60-minute sessions a week.
For additional tips on how to enhance your brainpower, get The SharpBrains Guide to Brain Fitness.
Community: There are many practical things we can do to prevent, delay, or minimize the severity of cognitive decline.
[Click the title, above, to post a comment.]

More Information and Recent Research on Neurodegenerative Disease

(MedPage Today) The reason older African Americans have double the risk of dementia may have more to do with socioeconomic status than with race, researchers suggested here. In the analysis of more than 3,000 individuals, the unadjusted risk of developing dementia was 44% higher for African Americans than whites -- a significant difference, said Kristine Yaffe, MD…But when the analytical model was adjusted to include socioeconomic status, the hazard ratio was 1.08 for African Americans compared with whites -- and that difference is not significant, she told MedPage Today.
(Reuters Health) Among people in their 70s, anemia may flag an increased risk of developing dementia later in life, according to a new study… People with anemia lack enough healthy red blood cells to carry oxygen throughout the body. Fewer healthy red blood cells could mean less oxygen travelling to the brain and may result in cognitive decline, she said. Several conditions, including kidney disease and nutritional deficiencies, can cause anemia.
(Science Daily) Higher variability in visit-to-visit blood pressure readings, independent of average blood pressure, could be related to impaired cognitive function in old age in those already at high risk of cardiovascular disease, suggests [a] new article… It has been suggested that higher blood pressure variability might potentially lead to cognitive impairment through changes in the brain structures.
(Medical News Today) A study has found that people with poor oral hygiene or gum disease could be at higher risk of developing Alzheimer's compared with those who have healthy teeth. Researchers from the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) in the UK, discovered the presence of a bacterium called Porphyromonas gingivalis in the brains of patients who had dementia when they were alive. The bug is usually associated with chronic periodontal (gum) disease.
(Science Daily) Glucose intolerance or insulin resistance do not appear to be associated with pathological features of Alzheimer disease (AD) or detection of the accumulation of the brain protein β-amyloid (Αβ), according to a report … Glucose intolerance and diabetes mellitus have been proposed as risk factors for the development of AD, but evidence of this has not been consistent, the study background notes.
(MedPage Today) Listening to familiar Beatles tunes helped to relieve depression, anxiety, and other psychological health problems among patients with moderate to severe dementia, researchers found. Cooking and baking also improved patients' general sense of well-being, Pauline Narme, MD, … and colleagues reported.
More . . .


Bacon, Arugula, and Shrimp Salad
Crisp bacon, shrimp, arugula and a three-ingredient dressing pack hearty flavor into a 30-minute dinner salad.
8-Layer Taco Salad
This gorgeous and colorful 8-layer taco salad recipe is made healthier by using ground turkey in place of beef, adding Greek yogurt and bumping up the amount of vegetables. Serve this salad in a clear glass bowl and you’ll have an eye-catching party-worthy dinner or potluck side in just 30 minutes.
4 Simple No-Cook Salads
Step away from the stove — it’s too hot to cook! When the temperature rises, crisp, refreshing salads are perfect for lunch or a light dinner. And with an array of fresh seasonal vegetables and herbs in abundance at supermarkets, local farmers’ markets, and farm stands — not to mention your own garden — all summer long, it’s easy to switch up your salad routine. Keep your kitchen cool and try these super quick and healthy no-cook salads; they all feature summer’s freshest produce.
The Supermarket Guru:
Steal This Recipe® Layered Vegetable Terrine | Spigola Ristorante, NJ
'Stolen with permission' from Executive Chef John Kuropatwa of Spigola Ristorante in New Jersey, this colorful appetizer will be a feast for your eyes as well as your taste buds!
[Click the title, above, to post a comment.]

Digesting the Implications of Breakfast

(David Katz, M.D., Yale Prevention Research Center) [B]reakfast has been unusually prominent in the medical literature and popular press alike of late. Engendered by a fast breaking sequence of studies, we've had a veritable all-you-can-eat-buffet of breakfast-related news, with the predictable case of cognitive indigestion resulting…
My advice is to break your fast with wholesome foods -- but do it when so inclined. You are not obligated to eat the minute your feet hit the floor to call it breakfast. I've tried that experiment on myself, and it wound up making me hungry at odd times throughout the day. Don't lean too hard on breakfast, because it can't support you on its own. Be conscious about the quantity and quality of everything you eat. Food, after all, is the fuel that runs your body; it's the construction material for the growing body of your child. Choices still matter after 11 a.m. Get used to good ones, all day long, and derive the profound benefits of loving food that loves you back.
Don't skip breakfast, but do skip the dogma, and renounce the false gospel. It is, after all, your fast to break -- as you see fit.
[Click the title, above, to post a comment.]

A Glass of Milk After Eating Sugary Cereals May Prevent Cavities

(Science Daily) Washing down sugary breakfast cereal with milk after eating reduces plaque acid levels and may prevent damage to tooth enamel that leads to cavities, according to new research…
Dry ready-to-eat, sugar-added cereals combine refined sugar and starch. When those carbohydrates are consumed, bacteria in the dental plaque on tooth surfaces produce acids, says Christine Wu…, who served as principal investigator of the study…
Reports have shown that eating carbohydrates four times daily, or in quantities greater than 60 grams per person per day, increases the risk of cavities.
The new study, performed by Wu's former graduate student Shilpa Naval, involved 20 adults eating 20 grams of dry Froot Loops cereal, then drinking different beverages -- whole milk, 100 percent apple juice, or tap water.
"Our study results show that only milk was able to reduce acidity of dental plaque resulting from consuming sugary Froot Loops," said Naval.
Community: Even better, don’t eat sugary cereals.
[Click the title, above, to post a comment.]

Doing Something about Food Waste

(Food, Nutrition & Science) [Ben] Simon and his friends … set out to launch a campaign to recover and distribute wasted food across America. Lofty goals for college seniors? Yes, of course. But the premise of The Food Recovery Network (FRN) is incredibly simple. Every night, when dining halls close, student volunteers are there to collect and recover uneaten food that would be otherwise thrown out. Volunteers pack up the food, maintaining food safety, and transport the food to nearby shelters and food banks. The food is then distributed to hungry people in the community.
(Food, Nutrition & Science) Food manufacturers, wholesalers, and retailers together disposed of a total of 4.1 billion pounds of food waste in the United States in 2011, according to a new study from the Food Waste Reduction Alliance (FWRA), Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA), the Food Marketing Institute (FMI) and the National Restaurant Association (NRA). This study was conducted with the objective of reducing the volume of food waste sent to landfills and is the first comprehensive assessment of food waste data collected directly from the food industry.
Within the next year, New York is preparing to roll out an ambitious plan to get residents and businesses to separate their food waste from other trash — initially on a voluntary basis — as they do their paper, metal, glass and plastics. But already, more than 180 cities and local governments in 18 states offer curbside pickup of food scraps. Now, as Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg announced on Monday the expansion of the city’s pilot program for food waste recycling, those communities may offer lessons to New York as it tries to catch up.
[Click the title, above, to post a comment.]

Recent Findings Related to Fibromyalgia

(Eugene Rubin, M.D., Ph.D., Psychology Today) Fibromyalgia is a syndrome that is frustrating to both patients and physicians. Symptoms include chronic widespread pain and muscle tenderness often accompanied by fatigue, problems with sleep, and mood disturbance…
Nurcan Uceyler and colleagues recently published a paper … that provides support for the view that fibromyalgia is a disorder involving specific types of nerve fibers that convey pain sensations to the brain. This group’s research demonstrates specific and objective abnormalities in small nerve cells in this disorder. They also provide data suggesting that the “fibromyalgia syndrome is not a variant of depression but rather represents an independent entity that may be associated with depressive symptoms.”  If replicated, these are potentially important findings that open the door to understanding how this complex syndrome arises…
In another recent paper…, [researchers] reviewed medications used to treat fibromyalgia. Interestingly, an older antidepressant called amitriptyline has been shown to be beneficial. Amitriptyline can also be helpful in preventing or ameliorating a variety of other pain-related disorders, including migraine headaches and diabetic neuropathy. Certain other antidepressants as well as other categories of medications have also been shown to help patients with fibromyalgia.
These authors review data demonstrating that opiate medications are ineffective for the pain of fibromyalgia, and they strongly discourage their use… Education, cognitive behavioral therapy, biofeedback, and gentle exercise may all be somewhat beneficial. Unfortunately, however, this syndrome remains difficult to treat.
[Click the title, above, to post a comment.]

New Protein Discovered With Vast Potential for Treatment of Cancer and Other Diseases

(Science Daily) In cancer research, discovering a new protein that plays a role in cancer is like finding a key and a treasure map: follow the clues and eventually there could be a big reward. At least that's the hope from a new study … that discovered a novel protein called ceramide-1 phosphate transport protein (CPTP) -- a finding that could eventually lead to the development of new drugs to treat a variety of cancers and other conditions involving inflammation and thrombosis, or blood clotting…
"We may have identified the newest target for treating cancer," says [co-lead author Charles Chalfant, Ph.D.]. "Because of the important role this protein plays in a number of cellular functions, it could also have large implications for a variety of diseases like cancer that are caused by inflammation."
[Click the title, above, to post a comment.]

Digest This: Cure for Cancer May Live in Our Intestines

(Science Daily) Treating a cancerous tumor is like watering a houseplant with a fire hose -- too much water kills the plant, just as too much chemotherapy and radiation kills the patient before it kills the tumor.
However, if the patient's gastrointestinal tract remains healthy and functioning, the patient's chances of survival increase exponentially, said Jian-Guo Geng, associate professor at the University of Michigan School of Dentistry. Recently, Geng's lab discovered a biological mechanism that preserves the gastrointestinal tracts in mice who were delivered lethal doses of chemotherapy…
"It's our belief that this could eventually cure later-staged metastasized cancer. People will not die from cancer, if our prediction is true," said Geng, who emphasized that the findings had not yet been proven in humans. "All tumors from different tissues and organs can be killed by high doses of chemotherapy and radiation, but the current challenge for treating the later-staged metastasized cancer is that you actually kill the patient before you kill the tumor.
"Now you have a way to make a patient tolerate to lethal doses of chemotherapy and radiotherapy. In this way, the later-staged, metastasized cancer can be eradicated by increased doses of chemotherapy and radiation."
[Click the title, above, to post a comment.]

Promising New Direction for Organ Regeneration and Tissue Repair

(Science Daily) Because most human tissues do not regenerate spontaneously, advances in tissue repair and organ regeneration could benefit many patients with a wide variety of medical conditions.
Now a research team … has identified an entirely new approach to enhance normal tissue growth, a finding that could have widespread therapeutic applications…
Tissue regeneration is a process that is not fully understood, but previous research has demonstrated that endothelial cells lining the insides of small blood vessels play a key role in tissue growth. It is also known that these endothelial cells generate chemical messengers called epoxyeicosatrienoic acids (EETs), which stimulate blood vessel formation in response to tissue injury.
In this new research, first author Dipak Panigrahy, MD, … and his colleagues wanted to find out how EETs might participate in organ and tissue regeneration…
"We used genetic and pharmacologic tools to manipulate EET levels in the animals to show that EETs play a critical role in accelerating tissue growth, providing the first in vivo demonstration that pharmacological modulation of EETs can affect organ regeneration," explains Panigrahy… Administering synthetic EETs spurred tissue growth in the research models; conversely, lowering EET levels -- by either manipulating genes or administering drugs -- delayed tissue regeneration.
[Click the title, above, to post a comment.]

Stem Cells in Urine Easy to Isolate and Have Potential for Numerous Therapies

(Science Daily) Could harvesting stem cells for therapy one day be as simple as asking patients for a urine sample? Researchers … have identified stem cells in urine that can be directed to become multiple cell types.
"These cells can be obtained through a simple, non-invasive low-cost approach that avoids surgical procedures," said Yuanyuan Zhang, M.D., Ph.D…, senior researcher on the project…
[T]he team successfully directed stem cells from urine to become bladder-type cells, such as smooth muscle and urothelial, the cells that line the bladder. But the urine-derived cells could also form bone, cartilage, fat, skeletal muscle, nerve, and endothelial cells, which line blood vessels. The multipotency of the cells suggests their use in a variety of therapies.
[Click the title, above, to post a comment.]

Insect-Inspired Super Rubber Moves Toward Practical Uses in Medicine

(Science Daily) The remarkable, rubber-like protein that enables dragonflies, grasshoppers and other insects to flap their wings, jump and chirp has major potential uses in medicine, scientists conclude in an article [that] evaluates the latest advances toward using a protein called resilin in nanosprings, biorubbers, biosensors and other applications…
[Kristi] Kiick's team describes how their own research and experiments by other scientists are making major strides toward practical applications of resilin. Scientists have modified resilin with gold nanoparticles for possible use in diagnostics, engineered mosquito-based resin to act like human cartilage and developed a hybrid material for cardiovascular applications. "This increasing amount of knowledge gained from studies on natural resilin and resilin-like polypeptides continues to inspire new designs and applications of recombinant resilin-based biopolymers in biomedical and biotechnological applications," the scientists state.
[Click the title, above, to post a comment.]

For surgery, big and famous hospitals aren't always the best

(Reuters) Patients going to a hospital for surgery care about many things, from how kind the nurses are to how good the food is, but Consumers Union (CU) figures what they care about most is whether they stay in the hospital longer than they should and whether they come out alive.
In the first effort of its kind, the nonprofit publisher of Consumer Reports magazine released ratings of 2,463 U.S. hospitals in all 50 states on Wednesday, based on the quality of surgical care. The group used two measures: the percentage of Medicare patients who died in the hospital during or after their surgery, and the percentage who stayed in the hospital longer than expected based on standards of care for their condition. Both are indicators of complications and overall quality of care, said Dr John Santa, medical director of Consumer Reports Health.
The ratings will surely ignite debate, especially since many nationally renowned hospitals earned only mediocre ratings.
[Click the title, above, to post a comment.]

Cigna profit exceeds expectations; low costs help

(Reuters) Cigna Corp, which provides U.S. and overseas health insurance as well as disability and life insurance, reported a second-quarter profit that beat expectations on Thursday as medical costs fell and revenue rose.
A weaker U.S. economy has forced people to cut back on medical services in the past few years, reducing insurers' payments on claims. Companies like UnitedHealth Group Inc, WellPoint Inc, and Aetna Inc have beaten expectations for the quarter because of this trend…
Cigna and its competitors will face changes to their business in 2014, when state-based health insurance exchanges begin selling insurance to individuals - expected mostly to be subsidized based on income.
[Click the title, above, to post a comment.]

Advisory: Congresswoman Speier To Unveil “Promoting Integrity In Medicare Act Of 2013”

(Congresswoman Jackie Speier) Congresswoman Jackie Speier (D-San Francisco/San Mateo) will introduce the “Promoting Integrity in Medicare Act of 2013” (PIMA) in a press conference on Thursday, August 1, at 10:30 a.m. at the House Triangle near the U.S. Capitol.
The goal of PIMA is to cut spending in Medicare by hundreds of millions annually without reducing the essential care that seniors rely on. Current law—also known as the Stark Law—bars physicians from referring Medicare patients for certain health care services in which they have a financial interest, but includes an “in-office ancillary services exception.” The in-office exception has created perverse incentives and led to overutilization. PIMA will eliminate diagnostic MRI, CT, PET, and other advanced diagnostic imaging services, anatomic pathology, radiation oncology and physical therapy – services that are rarely provided on the same day as the initial office visit – from the in-office exception.
[Click the title, above, to post a comment.]

Red Meat and Diabetes Risk

(Food, Nutrition & Science) Eating more red meat can increase the risk of type 2 diabetes, according to a recent study… The study looked at over 100,000 men and women over a four-year period, finding that increasing red meat intake of more than .50 servings per day was associated with a 48% elevated risk of type 2 diabetes.
The association between red meat and diabetes is not new, and other recent studies have demonstrated the connection between eating red meat and having the disease. However, previous studies have concentrated on red meat eating at a baseline without taking possible changes in a person’s eating behavior into consideration. This study acknowledges the possible variability in one’s diet.
“Our analysis methodology is more closely related to real life, because a person’s eating behavior changes over time and measurement of consumption at a single point in time does not capture the variability of intake during follow-up. Our findings provide indirect but very solid evidence regarding the relationship between red meat and type 2 diabetes,” says Dr. An Pan, study co-author.
Read more.         
Community: There are many practical things we can do to prevent, delay, or minimize the severity of type 2 diabetes.
[Click the title, above, to post a comment.]

4 Prediabetes Mistakes to Avoid

(Reader’s Digest) New research … found that prediabetic patients who had at least one normal blood sugar reading, even for a short period of time, were 56 percent more likely to avoid progressing to diabetes during nearly six years of follow-up after the study.
In other words, “This is your chance to take control,” says Matt Longjohn, MD, MPH, senior director of chronic disease prevention for the YMCA-USA. “Research proves that some simple, daily lifestyle changes can dramatically cut the risk for developing diabetes over the next couple of years by 58 percent, which is better than what is seen with frequently prescribed medications like metformin.”…
Prediabetes Mistake #1: Thinking a Little Weight Loss Won't Help
Trimming just 5 percent to 7 percent of their body weight (that’s 12.5 pounds for a 180 pound person) and exercising slashed the odds for developing full-blown diabetes by a whopping 58 percent…
Prediabetes Mistake #2: Downplaying Your Diagnosis
The health risks aren’t all in the distant future. Prediabetes alone boosts your risk for heart disease and stroke by 50 percent, according to the American Diabetes Association, and raises your risk for kidney problems by 70 percent compared with people without prediabetes…
Prediabetes Mistake #3: Missing Out on Movement
Exercise packs a four-way punch against diabetes: It helps you lose weight, shrinks abdominal fat, makes your muscles “suck up” more sugar from your blood, and increases the body’s sensitivity to insulin. You don’t have to become an Olympic sprinter to reap these benefits. All it takes is a half hour of activity five days a week…
Prediabetes Mistake #4: Forgetting Fiber
A crunchy salad, hearty three-bean chili, fruit for dessert—high-fiber edibles like these are delicious, fill you up, and protect against diabetes in three ways: First, they can help with weight loss. Second, it helps control blood sugar after meals. Finally, many of these foods contain other nutrients, such as magnesium and chromium, which help your body regulate blood sugar.
Community: There are many practical things we can do to prevent, delay, or minimize the severity of type 2 diabetes.
[Click the title, above, to post a comment.]

The Best and Worst Drinks for Diabetics

(Reader’s Digest) We reviewed the research and then asked three top registered dietitians, who are also certified diabetes educators, what they tell their clients about seven everyday drinks. Here’s what to know before you sip.
Drink More: Water
[R]esearchers found that people who drank 16 ounces or less of water a day (two cups’ worth) were 30 percent more likely to have high blood sugar than those who drank more than that daily. The connection seems to be a hormone called vasopressin, which helps the body regulate hydration. Vasopressin levels increase when a person is dehydrated, which prompts the liver to produce more blood sugar…
Drink More: Milk
It provides the calcium, magnesium, potassium, and vitamin D your body needs for many essential functions. Plus, research shows it may also boost weight loss…
Drink More: Tea
No calories, big flavor, and a boatload of antioxidants have made tea—particularly green and black—trendy for healthy reasons, especially for diabetics…
Drink Carefully: Coffee
Some studies suggest that coffee drinkers are at lower risk for developing type 2 diabetes. (A compound in coffee called chlorogenic acid seems to slow absorption of glucose into the bloodstream.) But other research indicates that for people who already have diabetes, coffee may raise blood sugar or make the body work harder to process it.
Drink Carefully: Diet Soda
In some studies, diet soda fans were at a greater risk for gaining weight than people who drank the regular kind. In another, diet soda drinkers were 67 percent more likely to develop diabetes than people who didn’t drink them…
Drink Less: Soda and Sugary Fruit Drinks
With ten teaspoons of sugar in every 12-ounce can or bottle, sweet drinks can send your blood sugar soaring—and boost your risk for weight gain, high blood pressure, stroke, and heart disease…
Drink Less: Fruit Juice
A regular juice habit could be associated with an increased risk of type 2 diabetes, according to a study… And real fruit is often a better deal.
Community: There are many practical things we can do to prevent, delay, or minimize the severity of type 2 diabetes.
[Click the title, above, to post a comment.]

Best and Worst Dietary Supplements for a Diabetic Diet

(Reader’s Digest) [U]sed safely, certain supplements might help you step up your blood sugar control a notch or two or help control risk for heart disease, the most common and life-threatening diabetes complication. Here, the supplements you should consider adding to (and dropping from) your diabetes treatment plan.
Vitamin D…
Alpha-Lipoic Acid…
Bitter Melon.
Community: There are many practical things we can do to prevent, delay, or minimize the severity of type 2 diabetes.
[Click the title, above, to post a comment.]

More Information and Recent Research on Type 2 Diabetes

(Reader’s Digest) Diabetes is a head-to-toe disease that requires full-body treatment. If you're not seeing these doctors regularly, you might be missing out on lifesaving health care. 1. Audiologist… 2. Ophthalmologist or Optometrist… 3. Podiatrist… 4. Dentist… 5. Mental Health Counselor… 6. Cardiologist.
(MedPage Today) When fatty liver disease resolves, it takes with it a patient’s risk of developing diabetes, Korean researchers found. In a retrospective study, patients whose nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD)resolved over a 5-year period no longer had an increased risk of incident diabetes, Ki-Chul Sung, MD, PhD, … and colleagues reported
(MedPage Today) Daily doses of the type 2 diabetes drug metformin modestly extended the lifespan and improved the metabolism of male mice, researchers found. Animals that were given daily feed containing 0.1% metformin had an average 5.83% increase in lifespan compared with control mice that didn't get the drug…, Rafael de Cabo, PhD, … and colleagues reported… But the lifespan of mice given feed that contained 1% metformin was significantly shortened by 14.4%, indicating a sweet spot for chronic, beneficial doses of the drug.
Community: We don’t have to take metformin to increase our chances of living healthier longer. We can do the practical things that may prevent, delay, or minimize the severity of type 2 diabetes, which may also stave off other chronic diseases, as well—heart disease and Alzheimer’s, for example.
(MedPage Today) Subclinical episodes of atrial fibrillation (Afib) are frequent in those with type 2 diabetes and are associated with silent cerebral infarct and stroke, results from a longitudinal observational study suggest… Patients with subclinical Afib episodes were significantly more likely to also have silent cerebral infarcts at baseline (61% versus 29%) and a higher of number of strokes during an average 3-year follow-up (17% versus 6%), [the researchers] wrote.
More . . .


Spicy Asian Noodles with Chicken
Bring the flavor of your favorite takeout to the dinner table in just 30 minutes. Add a snow pea sauté to complete the meal.
Grilled Chicken Caesar Salad Wrap
This chicken Caesar salad wrap recipe is elevated by the irresistible smoky flavor of grilled chicken and grilled romaine. Whisk together this easy Caesar salad dressing, toss with the grilled chicken and romaine and wrap it all together for a delicious lunch or dinner.
Chicken and Avocado Salad
Tangy lime, aromatic cilantro, and creamy avocado give this refreshing salad a deep Mexican flavor; chicken turns it into a satisfying one-dish meal for lunch or dinner.
[Click the title, above, to post a comment.]

Tea's health benefits exist, but many claims remain cloudy

(Los Angeles Times) Both [black and green tea] contain flavonoids, which are antioxidants. One of these, epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), is found in abundance in green tea and is thought to help combat the free radicals that can contribute to cancer, heart disease and clogged arteries. The fermentation process that makes black tea converts EGCG into other compounds, but there are compounds in black tea that promote heart health and fight cancer as well.
And tea might make you a wee bit smarter, says Andrea N. Giancoli, a spokeswoman for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. "Both green and black tea contain theanine, an amino acid that can help to improve attention and enhance the ability to learn and to remember."
There are some precautions to consider too. Both black and green tea contain caffeine, which can make some people jittery. However, the average cup of tea has much less caffeine than coffee. According to the Mayo Clinic, an 8-ounce cup of black tea has 14 to 16 milligrams of caffeine. The same amount of green tea has 24 to 40 mg of caffeine. Brewed coffee has 95 to 200 mg of caffeine in a cup.
Black and green tea are the only "real" teas, from Camellia sinensis, a shrub native to China and India. Herbal teas, also called tisanes, are made from steeping flowers, leaves, roots or other plant materials. Some are mixed with actual tea, some not.
Many herbs have been used in traditional and folk medicine for centuries, but few have been formally studied.
[Click the title, above, to post a comment.]

Ways to prevent illness from Cyclospora on food

(UPI) Cyclospora, a one-cell parasite often misidentified as a stomach virus, sickened 372 people in 16 U.S. states, but experts say it can be prevented…
The Cyclospora parasite cannot survive freezing therefore is it not common on cold-weather crops, such as spinach, broccoli, cabbage, or greens harvested in the winter. In addition, the parasite cannot survive heated water at about 60 degrees or cooking so wash produce with warm water.
Wash hands with soap and water before washing produce and after handling produce to minimize the risk of cross-contamination.
[Click the title, above, to post a comment.]

U.S. FDA proposes food companies verify safety of imports

(Reuters) The U.S. Food and Drug Administration proposed rules on Friday that would require food companies to verify that the products they import meet certain safety standards.
The rules are the latest in a series proposed under the Food Safety Modernization Act, which was signed in 2011 and represents the most sweeping food safety reform in more than 70 years…
Under the proposals, companies would be required to identify hazards associated with each food that might be reasonably likely to occur. They would have to keep records, which would be subject to audits. The audits would be carried out by private firms accredited by an FDA-sanctioned body such as a government.
[Click the title, above, to post a comment.]

Top Tips Before You Shop

(The Supernarket Guru) Several simple grocery shopping techniques will help to save you cash at the register, and ensure you make the most of your shopping trips.
So, how can you get these savings? A focused, planned approach to grocery shopping and collecting coupons will save you a significant amount each month. Here's SupermarketGuru's guide to savings:
Check your store's circular before you go shopping. Use it to make your list. Plan some of your meals around what's on sale. Make your shopping list with each week's circular nearby, and stick to your plan.
[Click the title, above, to post a comment.]

Bloomberg's ban on big sodas is unconstitutional: appeals court

(Reuters) New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg's controversial plan to keep large sugary drinks out of restaurants and other eateries was rejected by a state appeals court on Tuesday, which said he had overstepped his authority in trying to impose the ban.
The law, which would have prohibited those businesses from selling sodas and other sugary beverages larger than 16 ounces (473 ml), "violated the state principle of separation of powers," the First Department of the state Supreme Court's Appellate Division said.
The decision, upholding a lower court ruling in March that struck down the law, dealt a blow to Bloomberg's attempt to advance the pioneering regulation as a way to combat obesity.
[Click the title, above, to post a comment.]

Watchful Waiting for Some Breast Lesions?

(MedPage Today) Abnormal lobular tissue in the breast could be safely watched without surgery in selected cases, a small study indicated…
The report … comes a day after a viewpoint article … made the case for more conservative approaches to many cancers -- including the suggestion that "use of the term 'cancer' should be reserved for describing lesions with a likelihood of lethal progression if left untreated."…
Avoiding surgical excision would carry "obvious" benefits from both an economic and patient perspective, [the researchers] noted.
[Click the title, above, to post a comment.]

'Sunshine-ing' on Docs Signals End to Pharma Largesse

(MedPage Today) There aren't many gifts physicians can take from drug companies after this week without it becoming publicly reported.
Maybe a low-cost breakfast or midday snack and coffee. The little knick-knacks given out at exhibit booths. (Drug companies don't give office supplies like pens and note pads any more.)
Starting Thursday, drug and device manufacturers and group purchasing organizations must report payments or gifts in excess of $10 made to physicians in a yearly basis under the Physician Payments Sunshine Act. Those payments will be displayed on a public website starting next fall.
[Click the title, above, to post a comment.]

Does Your Doctor Answer to You — or to Third-Party Payers?

(John C. Goodman, Ph.D., Psychology Today) In order to control costs, … insurers typically engage in all manner of techniques to control and limit the choices patients and doctors have.
Physicians who practice medicine in this environment learned long ago that they are not free to be the unfettered agents of their patients. For example, if you are insured by BlueCross, your doctors will tend to view BlueCross as their customer, rather than you. They will look to BlueCross rules and procedures to determine what drugs to prescribe, what tests to order, and when and if surgery is to take place. On the other hand, if you are an Aetna patient, they will tend to view Aetna as their customer and they will tend to look at Aetna’s rules and procedures in making treatment decisions.
The danger is that instead of serving as your agent, doctors will become agents of third parties—insurance companies, employers, Medicare, Medicaid, and so on. To the degree that this occurs, the third party’s needs become more important than the patient’s needs. And remember, the primary need of the third party is to avoid spending too much money on you…
Self-interest is a very powerful motivator. As Adam Smith explained over 200 years ago, it is not through altruism or charity that we get most of our needs met. Our needs get met because producers and sellers find it in their financial self-interest to do so.
"What Adam Smith ought to have said was, "'It is not only from the benevolence . . . [of the butcher, the brewer, or the baker, that we expect our dinner, but from their regard to their own interest.]'" (P. 87)
". . . Smith's sanctioning of self-interest without any qualifying or restraining force completely eliminated the moral problem in human action.  Morality is always a matter of choosing, and situations of moral relevance always involve conflict of interest.  One has to choose between the interests of 'rightness' (which can be taken to mean honesty, justice, fairness, the concerns of the other, the public, society) and the interests of the self in disregard of rightness." (P. 89)
Kenneth Lux, Adam Smith's Mistake:  How a Moral Philosopher Invented Economics and Ended Morality (Boston:  Shambhala Publications, Inc., 1990)
[Click the title, above, to post a comment.]

About U.S. News Doctor Finder

(U.S. News & World Report) U.S. News Doctor Finder is a free, searchable online directory of U.S. physicians that's designed to help consumers make informed decisions in their choice of doctors. It will soon include profiles of more than 700,000 doctors, nearly all those in the country who have an M.D. or D.O. degree and are currently in practice…
U.S. News has compiled extensive information in each doctor's profile, including where he or she was educated and trained, which hospitals he or she admits patients to, and in some cases which insurance plans he or she accepts…
For more information, see FAQ About U.S. News Doctor Finder.
[Click the title, above, to post a comment.]

Who Do Workplace Wellness Programs Really Target?

(John C. Goodman, Ph.D., Psychology Today) A PricewaterhouseCooper study finds that 73 percent of employers offer wellness programs. Of those with more than 5,000 workers, 88 percent do. But why offer wellness benefits? Such programs cannot possibly pay for themselves—unless they are targeted at the minority of employees with a serious need to change their lifestyles. Preventive medicine may be a wise investment for the individual, but it rarely reduces overall healthcare costs for an employer.
A more likely motive is to create a culture of healthy living. Such a culture is likely to attract new employees who are . . . well . . . healthy. (People who smoke or are overweight and out of shape do not fit in well with people who workout in the gym every day.)
Apparently no company wants to admit this not so subtle goal. The politically correct position is to claim that the company is trying to encourage everyone to be healthier. But what difference does the motive really make if the end result is the same?
Moreover, discriminating in favor of the healthy and discriminating against the sick are just two sides of the same coin.
[Click the title, above, to post a comment.]

ACA Hikes Status of Alternative Medicine, at Least on Paper

(Kaiser Health News) Complementary and alternative medicine -- a term that encompasses meditation, acupuncture, chiropractic care, and homeopathic treatment, among other things -- has become increasingly popular. About four in 10 adults (and one in nine children) in the U.S. are using some form of alternative medicine, according to the National Institutes of Health.
And with the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, the field could make even more headway in the mainstream healthcare system. That is, unless the fine print -- in state legislation and insurance plans -- falls short because of unclear language and insufficient oversight.
One clause of the health law in particular -- Section 2706 -- is widely discussed in the alternative medicine community because it requires that insurance companies "shall not discriminate" against any health provider with a state-recognized license. That means a licensed chiropractor treating a patient for back pain, for instance, must be reimbursed the same as medical doctors.
In addition, nods to alternative medicine are threaded through other parts of the law in sections on wellness, prevention, and research.
"It's time that our healthcare system takes an integrative approach ... whether conventional or alternative," said Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, who authored the anti-discrimination provision, in an email. "Patients want good outcomes with good value, and complementary and alternative therapies can provide both."
[Click the title, above, to post a comment.]