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

A Complex Story Behind Diabetes and Obesity

(Science Daily) While it is well known that there is a strong genetic basis to both diabetes and obesity, and that they are linked, Australian researchers say that there are many rare genetic variants involved, which will pose a significant challenge in the quest to develop effective therapies…
A new study … shows that many different defects in overweight or obesity genes are involved, most of which are very rare…
"The reason we see so many people getting fat is that they carry strong hunger genes while the environment is maxed; it's an obesogenic environment that rewards eating," said Professor [Lesley] Campbell.
"People no longer have to go fishing, or hunting and gathering in order to eat. They just go to McDonalds, or KFC, or the freezer. The point is that people don't have to expend any energy to get an abundance of food, often high in fat or sugar."
"We have shown in previous studies that people with diabetes in the family tend to be hungry more often, are able to eat more at a sitting, and will generally opt to eat high calorie foods. This does not mean they are 'greedy', it just means that their bodies are genetically driven to eat more."
"The same genes would serve these people well in times of food scarcity or famine. They would survive, while their leaner neighbours would perish."
Community: If we ever have a famine, I’m in good shape.
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Why you should lose weight slowly

(James S. Fell, CSCS, SixPackAbs.com) Impatience may be the number one killer of efforts to lose weight…
I’ve seen 12-week plans, 8-week plans, 30-day plans, and even two-week plans for dropping ridiculously unrealistic amounts of fat. Some say it’s effortless, or that it only takes 8 minutes in the morning. Others report that you can eat whatever you want.
These are all examples of telling you what you want to hear, because that’s what sells. You don’t want to hear that sustained weight loss equals tremendous effort, restraint, hunger and pain, and weight loss marketers know this…
Permanent lifestyle change is your number one goal. Achieve that, and the flab will come off. Eventually…
Do a little. Do a little and get used to it. Then do a little more and get used to that. Repeat until you achieve your ultimate goals. Then keep it up until you die.
You must wrap your brain around this. This is not about weight loss. This is not about “getting in shape.” This is about lifestyle overhaul. This is about changing who you are.
Fitness is not a list of actions. It is someone you become.
Don’t just do this; be this.
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Behavior Therapy Helps Older Patients Shed Pounds

(MedPage Today) Older adults enrolled in a weight loss intervention had greater short-term and 3-year weight loss than their younger counterparts, researchers found.
Overweight and obese adults older than 60 lost more weight with the aid of an Internet-based intervention … and personal counseling … shortly after the start of the intervention and after 3 years' follow-up than did younger participants, according to Laura Svetkey, MD, … and colleagues.
However, older patients did not lose significant amounts of weight when assigned to a self-directed control intervention…, they wrote..
The authors noted that 71% of adults older than 60 are overweight or obese, but that obesity-related cardiovascular disease risks and physical limitations -- including hypertension, diabetes, metabolic syndrome, and difficulty walking -- could be improved through weight loss.
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Fat profits: how the food industry cashed in on obesity

(Jacques Peretti, The Guardian) When you walk into a supermarket, what do you see? Walls of highly calorific, intensely processed food, tweaked by chemicals for maximum "mouth feel" and "repeat appeal" (addictiveness). This is what most people in Britain actually eat. Pure science on a plate. The food, in short, that is making the planet fat.
And next to this? Row upon row of low-fat, light, lean, diet, zero, low-carb, low-cal, sugar-free, "healthy" options, marketed to the very people made fat by the previous aisle and now desperate to lose weight. We think of obesity and dieting as polar opposites, but in fact, there is a deep, symbiotic relationship between the two…
When obesity as a global health issue first came on the radar, the food industry sat up and took notice. But not exactly in the way you might imagine. Some of the world's food giants opted to do something both extraordinary and stunningly obvious: they decided to make money from obesity, by buying into the diet industry.
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More Weight Loss Tips

(Yoni Freedhoff, MD, University of Ottawa,) The real problem inherent to spontaneous eating is that, as a generality, the foods you purchase outside of your home will, almost without fail, contain dramatically higher quantities of calories than the foods you might have put together yourself in your home – and likely, far less filling and nutritious calories at that… The inconvenient truth of healthful living is that it does require effort. If weight's your concern, that effort is best spent brown-bagging lunches, preventing hunger, organizing eating and avoiding dietary spontaneity.
(David Bedrick, J.D., Dipl. PW, Psychology Today) The experience of tens of thousands of dieters shows that despite all the negatives that get heaped on people who are heavy or obese—health problems, inner criticism and shame, outer criticism and prejudice—the hungers that drive people to eat are even more powerful… [I]f we find out what are deeper hungers are and begin to create a life more consistent with those hungers, changing what we eat will not be so difficult.
(Appetite for Health) One of the major ‘fat habits’ that keeps people from losing weight is emotional eating… 1) Apply mindfulness to your meals… 2) Before you rush to soothe your feelings with food, stop and assess what’s happening… 3) Have a plan in place… 4) Eat! Make sure you eat a healthy breakfast, lunch and dinner every day and don’t skip meals.
(Michelle May, M.D.) Eating is only one of a thousand things to do when you're bored. If you're not hungry, you can choose to redirect your attention by making a conscious decision to focus on an activity other than eating (or thinking about eating). Finding something to do besides eat isn't about willpower. Willpower is a limited resource. It's about expanding your options beyond food and building a bigger life. Here are some specific strategies to help.
(Yoni Freedhoff, MD, University of Ottawa) If your struggles only occur at night, there's a great chance that you can switch them off without the requirement of white-knuckled willpower. All you need to do is organize your daytime eating. Eat more calories throughout the day, and ghrelin production won't increase as a result of not eating enough. And if you include a special effort during the first few weeks to eat an extra snack 30 to 60 minutes before your struggles would have traditionally begun, you may help your body to forget your prior recurrent pattern of nighttime excesses.
(Fredric Neuman, M.D., Psychology Today) As is true for patients entering into psychotherapy, dieters have to believe that they can change—that their tastes and habits, and even their desires can change. What is required is an act of faith—or a leap of imagination.
More . . .

More Information and Recent Research on Obesity and Weight Loss

(ThinkProgress) Fat-shaming — the process of insulting, ostracizing, or otherwise stigmatizing people who appear overweight — actually does far more harm than good, according to new research. In fact, overweight people who face weight discrimination are likely to eat more, exercise less, and have a higher chance of ending up obese.
(USA Today) If the USA is starting to get a handle on childhood obesity, as federal health officials said Tuesday, what might we finally be doing right? Three trends are being held up by health experts as encouraging developments: programs to get kids to exercise more, such as first lady Michelle Obama's Let's Move campaign; an increase in breast-feeding; and improvements in the nutritional content of foods provided to low-income women and children by the federal government.
Community: MedPage Today has this caveat: “Minority Kids May Need Longer Support to Keep Weight Off.”
(TIME) In two separate papers … researchers describe new genetic factors that could explain weight gain in some people… The discoveries add to the growing body of knowledge about the biology behind weight, and the results confirm that while it’s represented by a single number, weight is the complex combination of a multitude of different metabolic processes, from brain systems that regulate appetite to enzymes that control how efficiently calories are turned from food into energy that the body needs. Making matters even more confusing, these factors are also likely influenced by environmental contributors such as diet and lifestyle.
(North Carolina State University) Researchers from Harvard, NC State and five other universities have found a specific genetic on-off switch associated with obesity in both mice and humans, raising the long-term possibility of developing new treatments for obesity. As part of the study, NC State researchers had to develop a new technique for assessing calorie absorption in small laboratory animals, which can be used in future studies of metabolism.
(Science Daily) A sleepless night makes us more likely to reach for doughnuts or pizza than for whole grains and leafy green vegetables, suggests a new study from UC Berkeley that examines the brain regions that control food choices. The findings shed new light on the link between poor sleep and obesity.
(David Ropeik, Psychology Today) A 2010 study … found that the hungrier we are, the more risk we are willing to take with money. Men in the study who were purposefully starved made riskier choices about a financial gamble. Well-fed subjects made much less riskier choices.
Community: The 12-Step acronym HALT stands for never allowing ourselves to get Hungry, Angry, Lonely, or Tired. Because we make such bad decisions when we’re in those states.
(Science Daily) Research … suggests that exposure to stress in the first few days of life increases stress responses, anxiety and the consumption of palatable "comfort" foods in adulthood. "Comfort foods" have been defined as the foods eaten in response to emotional stress, and are suggested to contribute to the obesity epidemic. Hormonal responses to chronic stress in adulthood seem to play a role in the increased preference for this type of food, especially in women.
Community: Which means that those of us who suffered from stress in childhood just have to work harder. It’s not an excuse to give up.
More . . .


Fish Tacos with Lime-Cilantro Crema
Cumin, coriander, and paprika lend these fish tacos a delightfully warm, smoky flavor. They're the perfect foundation for the zippy sour cream sauce. For an appealing variation, substitute peeled medium shrimp for the snapper or romaine in place of cabbage.
Fish Fillets with Pineapple-Jalapeño Salsa
Serve simple sautéed fish fillets with jalapeno-spiked pineapple salsa for a Caribbean-inspired meal. Serve with black beans and brown rice.
Mediterranean Foods Alliance:
Mediterranean Shrimp Kabobs
Marinate the shrimp in the refrigerator while you're at work and then throw them on the grill when you get home for an easy weeknight cookout. 
Grilled Avocados
A few grilled avocados filled with salsa make great appetizers or side dishes for any cookout. For variations try filling the avocados with fruit salad, whole-grain salad, or Greek yogurt with fresh herbs.
Grilled Salmon with Avocado Tarragon Sauce
This flavorful dish can be made in a grill pan on the stove or grilled outdoors, making it an easy addition to your weekly menu regardless of the weather.  
7 Healthy Mediterranean-Inspired Dishes
You don't have to book a transcontinental flight in order to taste the flavors of Greek, Italian, or Turkish cuisine this summer. From spicy lamb kebabs and lemon-scented couscous salad to classic chicken cacciatore, these Mediterranean-inspired recipes are not only delicious, but healthy, too. They feature nutrient-dense vegetables, fruits, beans and other legumes, whole grains, seafood, and lean meat.
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Eat Your Fruits and Veggies, Protect Your Heart, and Save Billions of Dollars in Health Care Costs

(Elliott Negin, Union of Concerned Scientists) [T]here is a relatively straightforward way we can avoid heart-related diseases, prevent more than 127,000 deaths a year, and save some $17 billion annually in medical costs, according to a new Union of Concerned Scientists report, "The $11 Trillion Reward: How Simple Dietary Changes Can Save Lives and Money, and How We Get There."
How? Eat more fruits and vegetables.
That's right. If an apple a day keeps the doctor away, just think of what would happen if we ate as many as nine to 13 servings -- 4 ½ to 6 ½ cups -- of fruits and vegetables. The average American today only eats four to five servings a day. Joe and Jane Average should be eating nine, based on a 2,000 calorie-a-day intake, according to federal dietary guidelines. If we all got with the program, UCS calculates the economic value of the 127,000 lives saved from cardiovascular diseases every year at a whopping $11 trillion.
Does nine servings a day sound like a heavy lift? Well, consider this: If we ate just one more serving a day -- one banana or a large carrot -- we would save $5 billion annually in health care expenditures and prevent more than 30,000 heart-related deaths.
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Industry has "undue influence" over U.S. food additives: study

(Reuters Health) U.S. food companies have "undue influence" in vouching for the safety of common additives such as salt, trans fats and artificial sweeteners, according to an analysis released on Wednesday that calls for better oversight of the additive process, which is currently self-governed by industry.
An analysis showed that all 451 notices of additive safety voluntarily submitted to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration between 1997 and 2012 came from people who had a vested interest in the outcome of those assessments.
"If the company makes the decisions or picks the people, there are a lot of possibilities for undue influence," said Thomas Neltner, of the Pew Charitable Trusts in Washington, D.C., who led the study.
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High Levels of Arsenic Found in Groundwater Near Fracking Sites

(Scientific American) A recently published study by researchers at the University of Texas at Arlington found elevated levels of arsenic and other heavy metals in groundwater near natural gas fracking sites in Texas’ Barnett Shale.
While the findings are far from conclusive, the study provides further evidence tying fracking to arsenic contamination. An internal Environmental Protection Agency PowerPoint presentation recently obtained by the Los Angeles Times warned that wells near Dimock, Pa., showed elevated levels of arsenic in the groundwater. The EPA also found arsenic in groundwater near fracking sites in Pavillion, Wyo., in 2009 — a study the agency later abandoned.
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Cigarette Taxes Linked to Less Binge Drinking

(MedPage Today) Cigarette tax hikes were associated with a drop in the number of binge drinking bouts among male smokers and the amount of alcohol consumed when they did drink, investigators found.
Compared with male smokers who were not hit with any cigarette tax increases, those who were binged seven fewer times a year -- a 22% drop -- and drank 11% less -- roughly a third of a drink -- per "episode," according to a study...
"Nicotine acts with specific receptors in the brain unrelated to alcohol but have non-nicotine compounds that induce triggers and cues unrelated to nicotine receptors," said Gregory N. Connolly, DMD, MPH, faculty director for the Center for Global Tobacco Control at the Harvard School of Public Health. "So the researchers may have found something big."
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4 Numbers That Could Save Your Life

(Bonnie Taub-Dix, MA, RD, CDN, U.S. News & World Report) Perhaps the most important aspect of owning your health is knowing your numbers, especially in an emergency situation. You may not always have the same health care provider, but you will most definitely have the same body. If a laboratory test comes back in the normal range, but the results are abnormal for you, the test may go unnoticed by a doctor who sees a high number of patients each day. It's up to you to compare your past and present numbers on your own behalf. You should always save copies of your test results so you can keep detailed files about your state of health. 
Here's the 411 on numbers you need to know: 
1. Blood pressure: a measure of heart and artery health.
Goal: Less than 120/80 millimeters of mercury…
2. Cholesterol: a waxy substance composed of several different types of fat in your blood.
Goal: LDL cholesterol should be less than 100 mg/DL; HDL cholesterol should be more than 40 mg/dL…
3. Fasting blood sugar and hemoglobin A1c: measures of how well your body processes sugar, used as screening tests for diabetes.
Fasting blood sugar goal: 80 to 100 mg/dL.
Hemoglobin A1c goal: below 5.6 percent for non-diabetics…
4. Waist-to-Hip Ratio: the ratio of your waist circumference relative to your hip circumference. It's often used to describe people as "apple" or "pear" shaped, based on fat distribution.
Goal: 0.80 or below for females; 0.95 or below for males.
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Adults Need Immunizations, Too

(Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) Immunizations are NOT just for kids! Regardless of age, we ALL need immunizations to keep us healthy. With time, immunity from childhood vaccines can wear off and you may be at risk for new and different diseases. With adulthood comes responsibility, including the need to protect ourselves and our loved ones.
The specific immunizations you need as an adult are determined by factors such as your age, lifestyle, health conditions, locations of travel, and previous immunizations. Throughout your adult life, you need immunizations to get and maintain protection against:
·         Seasonal influenza (flu) (for all adults)
·         Tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis (whooping cough) (for all adults who have not previously received the Tdap vaccine)
·         Shingles (for adults 60 years and older)
·         Pneumococcal disease (for adults 65 years and older and adults with specific health conditions)
·         Hepatitis B infection (for adults who have diabetes or are at risk for hepatitis B)
Other vaccinations you may need include those that protect against human papillomavirus (which can cause certain cancers), hepatitis A, meningococcal disease, chickenpox (varicella), and measles, mumps and rubella.
Ask your doctor which vaccines are recommended for you.
You can also review the Adult Immunization Schedule [PDF - 264 KB] or take this simple quiz to determine which vaccines you need and create a customized printout to take with you to your next medical appointment.
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Robot Treats Brain Clots With Steerable Needles

(Science Daily) Surgery to relieve the damaging pressure caused by hemorrhaging in the brain is a perfect job for a robot.
That is the basic premise of a new image-guided surgical system under development at Vanderbilt University. It employs steerable needles about the size of those used for biopsies to penetrate the brain with minimal damage and suction away the blood clot that has formed…
Operations to "debulk" intracerebral hemorrhages are not popular among neurosurgeons: They know their efforts are not likely to make a difference, except when the clots are small and lie on the brain's surface where they are easy to reach…
[The design by Assistant Professor Robert J. Webster III], which he calls an active cannula, consists of a series of thin, nested tubes. Each tube has a different intrinsic curvature. By precisely rotating, extending and retracting these tubes, an operator can steer the tip in different directions, allowing it to follow a curving path through the body.
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Rare West Nile Death Sparks Blood Transfusion Concerns

(LiveScience) A man in Colorado became infected with West Nile virus through a blood transfusion, despite the fact that the blood he received was screened for the virus, according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
West Nile virus is most commonly transmitted through mosquito bites, and infection through blood transfusion is rare in the United States because all donated blood is screened for the virus, the CDC says. There have been just 12 reported cases of West Nile virus linked to blood transfusions over the last decade…
The laboratories involved in screening the blood of the Colorado man for West Nile have since adopted a new policy to discard all blood samples that test positive for West Nile during pooled screening if an infected individual sample cannot be found, the CDC said.
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Heat Wave Deaths Can Happen Fast, Without Obvious Warning

(LiveScience) Heat waves can harm people's health in unexpected ways, according to a new report.
While it has been thought that in cities, people living alone or in big apartment buildings are the most susceptible, a new analysis of heat-related illnesses and deaths in New York City suggests the real problem is not necessarily where a person lives, but that hyperthermia can kill a person quickly without showing obvious warning signs…
"Hyperthermia can progress rapidly, and many persons might not be aware of the warning signs, including lack of sweating in late-stage illness," the researchers at the New York Department of Health and Mental Hygiene wrote in their report…
Most people affected by hyperthermia were at home, and none of them had a working air conditioner…
Hyperthermia happens when a person's body absorbs more heat than it dissipates, which leads to dangerously high body temperatures that require medical attention.
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Anti-Obamacare Forces Ramp Up Campaign To Stop Implementation

(Kaiser Health News) With less than eight weeks to go before the official launch of the new health care marketplaces under the federal health law, backers of the law are ramping up to encourage people to sign up.
But there’s another effort gearing up this month as well. Opponents of the health care law are making one last-ditch effort to run Obamacare off the rails before it gets fully implemented.
Probably the most aggressive effort is coming from FreedomWorks, a conservative advocacy group. It’s urging people, particularly young people, not to sign up for health insurance.
“They can skip the exchange, pay the fine, and in doing that, do what’s best for them financially, and we hope help hasten the collapse of Obamacare,” said Dean Clancy, the group’s Vice President for Policy.
FreedomWorks has also created a bit of civil disobedience theater as part of its campaign — inviting people to symbolically burn (fictional) Obamacare insurance cards. Of course there is no such thing as an Obamacare card. But that’s not a problem. FreedomWorks is making its own, and distributing them.
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The Health Care Battle Over Navigators

(Center for Public Integrity) Early in the summer of 2009, when lawmakers were starting work on what would become the largest health care overhaul in decades, the industry associations that represent insurance agents and brokers caught wind of an obscure provision.
The plan called for state and federal governments to hire so-called "navigators" — members of social service organizations or advocacy groups — to help people use the new online marketplaces created by the law to choose among insurance plans and enroll in coverage.
The navigator program garnered little attention in the midst of the larger legislative battle. But agents and brokers, worried that navigators would cut into their business, immediately took aim, labeling the initiative "reckless."
When President Obama finally signed the law in March 2010, the Affordable Care Act did include a navigator program — but that hasn't stopped insurance agents and brokers from fighting against it. Over the past three years, the groups have waged an intense but little-noticed lobbying effort to regulate navigators in the states, leading to the passage of 16 state laws over the past year and a half. Most of the laws contain language that closely resembles recommendations that agents and brokers have been pushing in statehouses nationwide — a push receiving received crucial aid from a legislators’ group focused on insurance policy that is supported with industry funds.
Backers of the laws say they provide needed oversight of navigators by establishing state authority and common-sense regulations. But consumer advocates and some health policy experts warn that the laws could shackle the navigator program, meaning fewer people would have access to help.
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Cognitive Decline With Age Is Not Inevitable

(Science Daily)  If you forget where you put your car keys and you can’t seem to remember things as well as you used to, the problem may well be with the GluN2B subunits in your NMDA receptors.
And don’t be surprised if by tomorrow you can’t remember the name of those darned subunits.
They help you remember things, but you’ve been losing them almost since the day you were born, and it’s only going to get worse. An old adult may have only half as many of them as a younger person…
But of considerable interest: It may not have to be that way.
“These are biological processes, and once we fully understand what is going on, we may be able to slow or prevent it,” said Kathy Magnusson, a neuroscientist in the OSU Department of Biomedical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, and professor in the Linus Pauling Institute. “There may be ways to influence it with diet, health habits, continued mental activity or even drugs.”
Community: You’d think these scientists had never see the wealth of evidence that lifestyle factors can prevent, delay, or minimize the severity of cognitive decline.
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Cocoa tied to improved brain function in some elderly

(Reuters Health) Older people with impaired blood flow to their brains saw improvements in thinking skills after drinking two cups of cocoa every day for a month, in a new study…
Previous research has found the brain is more active if it gets an adequate supply of oxygen and sugar from the blood, the researchers wrote… Among people with certain diseases that affect blood vessels - such as high blood pressure and diabetes - blood flow to the brain may be impaired…
They found more people with poor blood flow at the start saw their circulation improve by the end, compared to people who had adequate blood flow initially…
[Lead author Dr. Farzaneh Sorond] warned, however, that the new study cannot prove drinking hot chocolate boosted thinking or blood flow.
"The next step is that we need a larger sample and we need more people with impairment at baseline… (to) see if we can demonstrate the same finding in a larger group," Sorond said.
Community: There are many practical things we can do to prevent, delay, or minimize the severity of cognitive decline.
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Do This for 20 Minutes to Skirt Alzheimer's

(Sharecare.com) To cut your risk of Alzheimer's by more than half, just do this for 20 minutes twice a week: walk.
Exercising for 20 to 30 minutes a couple of times a week not only slashed Alzheimer's risk by as much as 60 percent in a study but also cut the risk of regular dementia in half.
In the study, midlife exercise appeared to be key in warding off mental decline later in life. And those who had genes that made them more susceptible to Alzheimer's reaped the greatest protective benefits from physical activity…
People in the study didn't have to exercise hard to protect their brain, either. A couple of moderately intense workouts a week was all it took.
Community: There are many practical things we can do to prevent, delay, or minimize the severity of cognitive decline.
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Flash: Menopause Can Muddle Memory

(Andrew Weil, M.D.) The latest answer to the question of whether menopause triggers memory problems suggest that it can…
The results [of a University of Illinois and Northwestern University study] showed that women who reported having trouble with memory really did have problems, and those who had the most trouble with hot flashes performed worse on the tests and had more difficulty with memory than women who had fewer hot flashes.
Another finding: women who reported negative emotions on those questionnaires had lower scores on the memory and recall tests than women who were less troubled by their mood and outlook.
Community: There are many practical things we can do to prevent, delay, or minimize the severity of cognitive decline.
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High blood sugar tied to dementia in non-diabetics

(Reuters Health) Elderly people with high blood sugar - but not high enough to be diabetic - face a slightly greater risk of developing dementia, according to a new study of over 2,000 volunteers.
The research … does not prove that high glucose levels directly cause dementia.
But having an average glucose reading of 105 to 120 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL) was tied to an increase in dementia risk by 10 percent to 20 percent in non-diabetics. If the reading was below 100, the risk was lower.
A fasting blood glucose of 126 mg/dL and above is used to diagnose diabetes.
Diabetics also faced a higher risk if their average blood sugar levels remained high.
"These data suggest that higher levels of glucose may have deleterious effects on the aging brain," writes the research team, led by Dr. Paul Crane.
Community: Here’s another possible tie to insulin tolerance and cognitive decline:
(University of Cambridge) Mothers who breastfeed their children may have a lower risk of developing Alzheimer's Disease, with longer periods of breastfeeding also lowering the overall risk, a new study suggests. The report … suggests that the link may be to do with certain biological effects of breastfeeding. For example, breastfeeding restores insulin tolerance which is significantly reduced during pregnancy, and Alzheimer's is characterised by insulin resistance in the brain.
And even if we didn’t breast feed, there are many practical things we can do to prevent, delay, or minimize the severity of cognitive decline.
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More Recent Research on Neurodegenerative Disease

(Huffington Post) A small new study … shows that our memory doesn't really fluctuate all that much day to day -- or even within a day -- and that this is especially the case for older adults… "Further analyses indicate that the older adults’ higher consistency is due to learned strategies to solve the task, a constantly high motivation level, as well as a balanced daily routine and stable mood," study researcher Florian Schmiedek said in a statement.
(Science Daily) Why don't we all get Alzheimer's disease?... [Subhojit Roy, MD, PhD,] and colleagues offer an explanation -- a trick of nature that, in most people, maintains critical separation between a protein and an enzyme that, when combined, trigger the progressive cell degeneration and death characteristic of AD… In clinical terms, [the researchers] point to a possible new avenue for ultimately treating or even preventing the disease.
(Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne) The future is looking good for drugs designed to combat Alzheimer's disease. EPFL scientists have unveiled how two classes of drug compounds currently in clinical trials work to fight the disease. Their research suggests that these compounds target the disease-causing peptides with high precision and with minimal side-effects.
(Science Daily) A study … examined the genetic overlap between Parkinson disease (PD) and Alzheimer disease (AD)… The gene-based analyses resulted in no significant evidence that supported the presence of loci (location of gene) that were associated with increased risk for both PD and AD, according to the study results.
Community: There are many practical things we can do to prevent, delay, or minimize the severity of cognitive decline.
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Cooking Light:
No-Cook Recipes
Our best fast and fresh healthy no-cook entrées for the hottest days in summer.
Prosciutto, Lettuce, and Tomato Sandwiches
Update the traditional BLT sandwich with this scrumptious stacker. The grocery deli will slice prosciutto in very thin pieces, making three ounces of the good stuff more than enough for four sandwiches. For a zesty and pretty garnish, attach 1 small sweet gherkin pickle to the top of each sandwich with a toothpick. A toss-together fruit salad makes a speedy side.
Steak & Potato Kebabs with Creamy Cilantro Sauce
Steak kebabs get a Southwestern spin with poblano peppers and a creamy sauce spiked with cilantro, chile powder, cumin and vinegar. The potatoes are partially cooked in the microwave before putting them on the grill so they're done at the same time as faster-cooking steak, peppers and onions. Serve with: Green salad and Spanish rice.
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Eating raw garlic twice a week HALVES the risk of developing lung cancer, claims new study

(Daily Mail) Eating raw garlic just twice a week can almost halve the risk of lung cancer, new research shows.
A study carried out in China found adults regularly consuming raw garlic as part of their diet were 44 per cent less likely to suffer the disease. Even when researchers allowed for whether people smoked - the biggest single cause of lung cancer - they found garlic still seemed to reduce the dangers by around 30 per cent…
It's not clear whether cooked garlic would have the same effect. But previous research suggests the key ingredient seems to be a chemical called allicin, released when the clove is crushed or chopped. It is thought to dampen down inflammation in the body and act as an anti-oxidant, reducing damage from so-called free radicals to the body's cells. Other studies have found it may help ward off the common cold, hospital superbugs and even malaria.
In a report on their findings the researchers said: 'Garlic may potentially serve as a preventive agent for lung cancer.'
Community: The Telegraph has some advice on how to “love garlic without losing friends.”
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Kale has more vitamin C than an orange and many more nutrients

(UPI) "Kale is a cruciferous, green leafy vegetable with several varieties: curly kale, ornamental kale and dinosaur kale, and all differ in taste, texture and appearance, but its popularity keeps it plentiful in produce sections, in the center aisles as kale chips and prepared foods section as a salad," Phil Lempert, a food industry analyst, trend watcher and creator of supermarketguru.com, said in a statement.
"Kale is high in fiber; antioxidants; carotenoids such as lutein, good for eye health; 45 flavonoids; phytonutrients such as quercetin, which combats inflammation; and sulforaphane, which fights cancer."
It also acts as an anti-inflammatory and has twice the vitamin K as other cruciferous vegetables. Kale also contains tryptophan, calcium, magnesium, potassium, iron and protein, Lempert said.
"In fact fresh kale has more vitamin C than an orange," Lempert said.
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Herbal Remedy Causes Upper Urinary Tract Cancers

(Science Daily) Genomic sequencing experts at Johns Hopkins partnered with pharmacologists at Stony Brook University to reveal a striking mutational signature of upper urinary tract cancers caused by aristolochic acid, a plant compound contained in herbal remedies used for thousands of years to treat a variety of ailments such as arthritis, gout and inflammation…
Aristolochic [pronounced a-ris-to-lo-kik] acid is found in the plant family "Aristolochia," a vine known widely as birthwort, and while the U.S. Food and Drug Administration first warned of its cancer-causing potential in 2001, botanical products and herbal remedies containing it can still be purchased online. Moreover, the vine has been found to be an environmental carcinogen through the contamination of food supplies of farming villages in the Balkans, where Aristolochia grows wildly in the local wheat fields.
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Psoriasis may raise risk for diseases of heart, lungs, kidneys

(CBS News) Living with psoriasis can be difficult enough, but new research suggests sufferers may be at a higher risk for other serious diseases affecting vital organs like the heart, lungs and kidneys.
University of Pennsylvania researchers have found that compared to patients without psoriasis, people with the inflammatory skin condition were at risk of having at least one additional major medical disease, with risk increasing based on the severity of psoriasis…
The new study … found psoriasis raised risk for all sorts of diseases, including chronic pulmonary disease (COPD), diabetes, mild liver disease, heart attacks, peripheral vascular disease, peptic ulcers, kidney disease and other rheumatologic diseases like arthritis.
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Red lit offices 'might benefit' night shift workers

(BBC News) The kind of light you are exposed to at night could affect your mood according to a study published in the Journal of Neuroscience.
Scientists working with hamsters say they found evidence suggesting that exposure to blue light from artificial lighting or TVs affected the animals mood.
Dr Tracy Bedrosian, a scientist behind the study, told BBC Radio 5 live's Breakfast that the results suggested using red lit offices might be beneficial to night shift workers.
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Micro-Machines for the Human Body

(Science Daily) Tiny sensors and motors are everywhere, telling your smartphone screen to rotate and your camera to focus. Now, a team of researchers at Tel Aviv University has found a way to print biocompatible components for these micro-machines, making them ideal for use in medical devices, like bionic arms.
Microelectromechanical systems, better known as MEMS, are usually produced from silicon. The innovation of the TAU researchers… is creating a novel micro-printing process that works a highly flexible and non-toxic organic polymer. The resulting MEMS components can be more comfortably and safely used in the human body and they expend less energy.
Community: How long before tiny surgical instruments will perform surgery?
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NIH, Lacks Family Reach Understanding to Share Genomic Data of HeLa Cells

(Science Daily) The National Institutes of Health … announced … that it has reached an understanding with the family of the late Henrietta Lacks to allow biomedical researchers controlled access to the whole genome data of cells derived from her tumor, commonly known as HeLa cells.
These cells have already been used extensively in scientific research and have helped make possible some of the most important medical advances of the past 60 years. These include the development of modern vaccines, cancer treatments, in vitro fertilization techniques, and many others. HeLa cells are the most widely used human cell lines in existence today.
Access to the whole genome data of these cells will be a valuable reference tool for researchers using HeLa cells in their research.
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Malpractice Claim Payouts Hit All-Time Low

(MedPage Today) Both the number of medical malpractice payments on behalf of doctors and their inflation-adjusted value fell to the lowest levels ever in 2012, according to the consumer advocacy group Public Citizen.
Moreover, as a percentage of overall national healthcare expenditures, the total amount of such payments was the smallest on record, disproving the argument that malpractice litigation is an important promoter of skyrocketing healthcare costs, the group asserted.
"If medical malpractice litigation were truly the 'biggest cost driver' in medicine" -- as stated by House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) in 2010 -- "then declining payments should have pulled overall healthcare costs down. But the nation's healthcare bill has risen 58.3% since 2003," wrote the report's author, Taylor Lincoln, of Public Citizen's Congress Watch division.
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