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

Lifestyle, Age Linked to Diabetes-Related Protein

(Science Daily) Over the last decade researchers have amassed increasing evidence that relatively low levels of a protein called sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG) can indicate an elevated risk of type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome years in advance.
[Said Dr. Simin Liu,] "By the time you are checking blood glucose it's too late, (because) you use that as a diagnostic criterion to define diabetes. ... This protein (can) predict your future risk six to 10 years down the line."…
The team comprehensively investigated nongenetic factors associated with levels of the protein. The researchers found that age, use of estrogen replacement therapy, physical activity, and caffeinated coffee drinking were significantly higher with higher SHBG levels. On the other hand, a high body-mass index (BMI) correlated with low SHBG levels.
Community: There are many practical things we can do to prevent, delay, or reduce the severity of type 2 diabetes.
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Eating fruit lowers diabetes risk

(HHS HealthBeat) Like sweets? Fruits are sweet, and a study indicates these sweets can lower the risk of diabetes. At the Harvard School of Public Health, researcher Qi Sun saw signs of this in data from 1984 to 2008 on more than 187,000 people.
He compared people who ate at least two servings a week of certain whole fruits – particularly blueberries, grapes and apples – with people who ate less than one serving a month. The fruit eaters had a 23 percent lower risk of diabetes.
So Sun says: “We recommend people to increase consumption of whole fruits intake to facilitate prevention of type 2 diabetes.”…
Learn more at healthfinder.gov.
Community: There are many practical things we can do to prevent, delay, or reduce the severity of type 2 diabetes.
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More Open Space Leads to Less Diabetes

(MedPage Today) People living in areas with more green and open space have lower rates of type 2 diabetes, Australian researchers found.
In a cross-sectional study, people who lived in neighborhoods that were 41% to 60% green space had significantly lower rates of type 2 diabetes than those with less open space…, Thomas Astell-Burt, PhD, … and colleagues reported…
The findings suggest that investments in "green space planning policy and practice are ... investments in health," they wrote.
Community: There are many practical things we can do to prevent, delay, or reduce the severity of type 2 diabetes.
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Longer Workout Trumps in Glucose Control

(MedPage Today) Extended, moderate exercise produced better blood sugar control than several short walks, but the latter may still have a role in diabetes treatment, researchers found.
In a small study, men with type 2 diabetes who performed a single 45-minute moderate exercise routine each day spent less time in hyperglycemia over a 24-hour period than sedentary controls (4 hours and 47 minutes versus 6 hours and 51 minutes…), according to Luc J. C. van Loon, PhD, … and colleagues.
Bursts of activities of daily living (ADL) -- defined in the study as three 15-minute walks meant to reflect light activities such as walking the dog, household tasks, and light gardening -- were also associated with less time spent in hyperglycemia (6 hours and 2 minutes), but not to a significant extent compared with controls…, they reported…
"When matched for total duration, a single bout of moderate-intensity endurance-type exercise has a greater impact on daily blood glucose homeostasis than repeated bouts of ADL," van Loon and colleagues wrote. "Nonetheless, the introduction of repeated ADL bouts during prolonged sedentary behavior forms a valuable strategy in the management of type 2 diabetes, especially in those patients who are unable or reluctant to perform structured exercise."
Community: There are many practical things we can do to prevent, delay, or reduce the severity of type 2 diabetes.
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Spicy Solution? Cinnamon May Help Diabetes Patients

(LiveScience) Cinnamon might improve not only the taste of apple pie and oatmeal but also the health of people with diabetes, a new review study suggests.
Researchers found that people with type 2 diabetes who took cinnamon supplements had lower fasting plasma glucose levels compared with people who didn't take cinnamon.
The review also found that cinnamon benefited several important measures of heart health: It reduced total cholesterol, LDL "bad" cholesterol and triglyceride levels, and increased HDL "good" cholesterol.
Community: There are many practical things we can do to prevent, delay, or reduce the severity of type 2 diabetes.
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Amino Acid Supplement With Promising Anti-Diabetic Effects

(Science Daily) New experiments … show that the amino acid arginine -- found in a wide variety of foods such as salmon, eggs and nuts -- greatly improves the body's ability to metabolise glucose. Arginine stimulates a hormone linked to the treatment of type 2 diabetes, and works just as well as several established drugs on the market…
More than 371 million people worldwide suffer from diabetes, of whom 90% are affected by lifestyle-related diabetes mellitus type 2 (type 2 diabetes). In new experiments, researchers from the University of Copenhagen working in collaboration with a research group at the University of Cincinnati, USA, have demonstrated that the amino acid arginine improves glucose metabolism significantly in both lean (insulin-sensitive) and obese (insulin-resistant) mice.
"In fact, the amino acid is just as effective as several well-established drugs for type 2 diabetics," says postdoc Christoffer Clemmensen…
"You cannot, of course, cure diabetes by eating unlimited quantities of arginine-rich almonds and hazelnuts. However, our findings indicate that diet-based interventions with arginine-containing foods can have a positive effect on how the body processes the food we eat."
Community: Another reason to eat more nuts. L-arginine is available as a food supplement. And there are many practical things we can do to prevent, delay, or reduce the severity of type 2 diabetes.
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More Recent Research on Diabetes

(MedPage Today) Many people living with diabetes say they experience discrimination because of their disease, but the reports of discrimination vary greatly among different nationalities, researchers reported… About 10% of patients in the United States believe that people discriminate against them because they have diabetes -- the lowest level among the 17 nations surveyed, said Johan Wens, MD.
(MedPage Today) People who had type 1 diabetes were less likely to get a university degree and earned less money than their peers who didn’t have the condition, a Swedish study showed.
(Science Daily) Diabetes is linked to an increased risk of developing cancer, and now researchers have performed a unique meta-analysis that excludes all other causes of death and found that diabetic patients not only have an increased risk of developing breast and colon cancer but an even higher risk of dying from them.
(MedPage Today) Postmenopausal women with diabetes had two to three times the risk of dying over a 10-year period than those without diabetes, regardless of race or ethnicity, analysis of data from the Women’s Health Initiative showed.
(Science Daily) Researchers at the Vanderbilt Heart and Vascular Institute and Massachusetts General Hospital have identified a biomarker that can predict diabetes risk up to 10 years before onset of the disease… "From the baseline blood samples, we identified a novel biomarker, 2-aminoadipic acid (2-AAA), that was higher in people who went on to develop diabetes than in those who did not," [said Thomas J. Wang, M.D.]
(MedPage Today) Waiting on more intensive glycemic control in patients newly diagnosed with type 2 diabetes may increase cardiovascular risk in the future, a large retrospective study showed.

Recipes

MyRecipes.com:
Feta Chicken and Vegetables
Crumbled feta cheese and fresh vegetable strips bring the flavor of the Mediterranean to the table in no time with this quick all-in-one dish.
EatingWell:
Apple-&-Leek-Stuffed Pork Tenderloin
Stuff pork tenderloin with apple and leek to take it from ordinary to elegant. Our easy method of tying the roast together keeps the filling inside while you brown and roast it.
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The Genome, Nutraceuticals and Your Store

(The Supermarket Guru) Over the past decade, we have heard a lot about studying genetics with a focus on the genetic architecture of disease, bottom line, how we hopefully can eliminate diseases through this science and turn around the trend in health & wellness…
What that realistically means is that genetics will be used to identify taste, smell and texture based on each individual’s taste preferences and then combined with their health needs. Then it really gets exciting, as this “recipe” will allow for the preparation of customized foods that are truly nutraceuticals…
Imagine how our supermarkets will have to change operationally, physically and experientially with foods and beverages that can deliver regenerative nutrition, enhanced metabolic health, longer lifespan, and are targeted to ward off genetically-predetermined diseases that are personalized to an individual’s taste buds.  Will we need private consultation rooms where a dietitian sits with your DNA map and “custom” orders recipes (or, say prescriptions?) based on your DNA taste and health preferences and needs? The shopper replenishes those foods and beverages online and only shops in store for the other items that are truly for enjoyment, or enhance their diet with the other foods that have naturally occurring nutrient benefits, or household items?
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Irrefutable Evidence That Fall in Death Rates from Colorectal Cancer Due to Screening Programmes

(Science Daily) Screening for colorectal cancer (CRC) in European countries is highly effective in reducing mortality from the disease. Some of the resources currently being devoted to breast and prostate screening programmes, where the evidence of effectiveness is much less clear-cut, should be reallocated to the early detection of CRC…
"We saw quite clearly that the greater proportions of men and women who were screened, the greater the reductions in mortality," Prof [Philippe Autier says]. "Reduced death rates from CRC were not noticeable in countries where screening was low, even though healthcare services in those countries were similar to those in countries where screening was more widespread."
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Survival After Cancer Diagnosis Strongly Associated With Governments Spending on Health Care

(Science Daily) The more an EU (European Union) national government spends on health, the fewer the deaths after a cancer diagnosis in that country, according to new research…
Researchers [found] that higher wealth and higher health expenditure are strongly associated both with increased cancer incidence and decreased cancer mortality. In the case of breast cancer, increased health expenditure appears to be even more strongly associated with better outcomes…
The research does not analyse the reasons for the higher incidence of cancer in Western European countries. However, it suggests that, as cancer deaths do not increase in the same proportion to incidence in these countries, it may be due partly to the existence of greater numbers of Western screening programmes, which detect more cancers at their early, more treatable stages, and to the availability of effective treatments in these countries.
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Pilot's Heart Attack: How Often Do Flight Emergencies Happen?

(LiveScience) A pilot's heart attack turned a United Airlines flight to Seattle into a dramatic scene where passengers attempted to save the pilot's life, and one helped the co-pilot make an emergency landing in Boise, Idaho. The pilot died at the hospital, according to news reports.
A midair heart attack is a scary scenario for sure, but the incident [on Sept. 26] was unusual -- heart attacks on flights are rare, and deaths are even rarer.
A study of medical emergencies on five major airlines over a nearly three-year period showed that, of the 12,000 passengers who experienced some form of medical emergency during a flight, 0.3 percent (38 people) suffered cardiac arrest, in which the heart stops. The number who died over the study period was 31, according to the study, which was published in May in the New England Journal of Medicine.
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State-wide gun ownership tied to suicide deaths

(Reuters Health) Twice as many Americans commit suicide in states where most households have a gun than in states with low rates of gun ownership, according to a new study...
[Dr. Matthew] Miller and his colleagues gathered state-by-state data on gun ownership, suicide attempts and suicide deaths from a variety of sources, including the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and health surveys.
They compared the 16 states with the highest gun ownership rates to the six states with the lowest rates. Both of those groups included about 62 million people…
There were about 7,300 firearm suicides in the states with the most guns - including Alabama, Montana and West Virginia - in 2008 to 2009, according to findings published in the American Journal of Epidemiology.
That compared to 1,700 suicides by gun in the low ownership states, such as Hawaii, Massachusetts and New York.
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NIH calls for research projects examining violence

(National Institutes of Health) The National Institutes of Health is opening funding opportunities calling for research on violence with particular focus on firearm violence. Applications will be accepted through fiscal year 2016.  NIH developed this call for proposals in response to the Presidential memorandum in January 2013 directing science agencies within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to fund research into the causes of firearm violence and ways to prevent it.
NIH plans to fund research projects over the next three years beginning in fiscal year 2014 into the causes and consequences of violence as it relates to the health of individuals and communities. The goal is to identify evidence-based strategies for preventing violence and incorporating them into clinical and community settings.
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Study Finds Most Drug Commercials Misleading

(LiveScience) Researchers at Dartmouth College, in N.H., and the University of Wisconsin-Madison decided to check up on what drug companies say in their U.S. TV commercials. Their findings suggest a frequent disregard for the truth. Sixty percent of prescription drug ads and 80 percent of over the counter drug ads were found to be misleading or false. 
“There were cases of blatant lying, but these half-truths form more than half of our analysis,” said study author Adrienne E. Faerber. 
Faerber became skeptical of the assertions made in drug commercials when Claritin moved from a prescription-only drug to a product you could buy over the counter, suddenly the commercials made, “six times more claims for the benefits of the drug,” she said. 
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration, which is responsible for ensuring prescription drug ads be factual, is well aware of the problem and actively solicits help from viewers. 
“The FDA encourages everyone to watch and let the FDA know if they see misleading or unbalanced prescription drug promotion,” said FDA spokesperson Andrea Fischer. 
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U.S. physician payments vary widely, mysteriously: study

(Reuters Health) Private insurance companies across the U.S. pay doctors dramatically different amounts for the same routine office visits and services, according to a new study.
Physicians at the high end of the reimbursement spectrum get more than twice as much as those at the low end for the same service, with little apparent reason for the difference, researchers say…
In the push to contain healthcare costs, focusing on how much care patients use won't solve the problem unless the market forces determining what doctors charge and what insurers pay are better understood, Baker and his colleagues write in the journal Health Affairs.
Unlike other health care cost studies, theirs looks at actual reimbursement amounts to physicians, and not the amount billed.
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New Codes Little Help in Raising Pay, Family Physician Leader Charges

(MedPage Today) Medicare understands the value of primary care, but the process of increasing payments for it may be more difficult than the program realizes, a family physician leader said here.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has for the last 2 years introduced new payment codes to reward services unique to primary care -- a sign these agencies realize the value of primary care.
But the process has been difficult for providers to implement. Even 8 months after the introduction of transitional care management code, CMS, AAFP and other primary care organizations are still explaining what qualifications providers need to meet in order to receive the payment.
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Affordable Care Act News

(Kaiser Health News) KHN’s Mary Agnes Carey appeared on PBS Newshour Thursday night to answer questions from seniors uncertain of how the Affordable Care Act will affect people older Americans and what changes are coming for Medicare recipients.
(Laurie Essig, Ph.D., Psychology Today) When the Koch brothers wanted to convince young Americans not to buy into Obamacare, they funded ads that made a dirty little joke that Uncle Sam will rape you. Not only was it not funny, but ironically, it was a confusion of normal medical procedures with rape. Perhaps the real effect will be to convince young people to buy in, not out, of Obamacare.
(New York Times) President Obama mounted a passionate, campaign-style defense of his health care program on Thursday, just days before its main elements take effect, mocking opponents for “crazy” arguments and accusing them of trying to “blackmail a president” to stop the law.
(ThinkProgress) The agreement will extend health benefits to 200,000 low-income Arkansas residents -- and could serve as a template for red states skeptical of expanding the public Medicaid program.
(ThinkProgress) Unlike the the rest of the Republicans in his state, Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO) is telling his constituents to enroll in the law's new plans.
(ThinkProgress) "Frankly, we can't implement the Affordable Care Act fast enough," Gov. Steve Beshear writes. "Here in Kentucky, we cannot afford to waste another day or another life."
(MedPage Today) Provider payments under health plans sold through the Affordable Care Act’s health insurance marketplaces may be "significantly" lower than reimbursements from commercial plans, initial indications suggest.
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Circuit That Controls Overeating Found in the Brain

(LiveScience) When a particular circuit in the brain is stimulated, it causes mice to voraciously gorge on food even though they are well fed, and deactivating this circuit keeps starving mice from eating, a new study shows.
The findings suggest that a breakdown within this neural network could contribute to unhealthy eating behaviors, the researchers said, although more work is needed to see whether the findings are also true of people.
The circuit lies in a brain area called the "bed nucleus of the stria terminalis" (BNST), and affects eating by inhibiting activity in another region, called the lateral hypothalamus, which is known to control eating, according to the study
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Weight Is Not a Choice

(David Katz, M.D., Yale Prevention Research Center) Two people can eat about the same, and exercise about the same, and one gets fat and the other stays thin. This absolutely does happen; it is the truth. It's not fair, but who ever told us life would be? Bad stuff does at times happen to thin people, too, and that isn't necessarily fair either.
We don't know all the reasons for accelerated weight gain, or weight loss resistance, but we do know some, and they are the usual suspects. There are important gene variants, to some extent associated with ethnic variation, that influence metabolic rate. There are marked differences in resting energy expenditure, with some individuals, and some whole populations such as the Pima Indians, and the Samoans, noteworthy for extreme "fuel efficiency." Fuel efficiency fostered survival when calories were scarce and physical activity unavoidable; in modern context, it fosters obesity and its sequelae…
Once, we were all black. But then the great human diaspora expanded our habitat into areas where sunlight was a less abundant resource. Black skin made ample vitamin D in the tropics, but not so in the northern reaches of the temperate zone. So a mutation resulting in fair skin that also happened to confer an ability to make more vitamin D with less sunlight provided a survival advantage -- and all of us here today without our native skin pigment are progeny of that original mutation.
In just the same way, different experiences in different parts of the world favored genetic mutations selectively, resulting in greater or lesser energy efficiency, and other variations in metabolism influencing the propensity to gain, retain, or lose weight. Clearly almost all of us are vulnerable to the obesigenic influences of the modern world, but some of us are far more vulnerable than others. All of us can lose weight when calories in are less than calories out, but it takes very differing efforts for some of us than for others to get there from here…
[I]t takes skills to be lean and healthy. Those skills can be acquired, and they can do the job.
But even with the consistent application of the same skill set, weights will vary. Weight is only partially determined by factors under our control. As we look around and size one another up, we have to stop thinking that variation in size means variation in effort. Belts and bathroom scales do not measure effort, resolve or determination, let alone anything remotely like human worth.
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Adjusting Bacteria in Intestines May Lead to Obesity Treatments

(Science Daily) A drug that appears to target specific intestinal bacteria in the guts of mice may create a chain reaction that could eventually lead to new treatments for obesity and diabetes in humans, according to a team of researchers…
Mice fed a high-fat diet and provided tempol, an anti-oxidant drug that may help protect people from the effects of radiation, were significantly less obese than those that did not receive the drug, according to Andrew Patterson…
"The two interesting findings are that the mice that received tempol didn't gain as much weight and the tempol somehow impacted the gut microbiome of these mice," said Patterson. "Eventually, we hope that this can lead to a new line of therapeutics to treat obesity and diabetes."…
The researchers must now test the treatments to ensure it is effective in humans, as well as check for any potential side effects, including cancer.
Community: Remember, we saw recently that gut bacteria can be transplanted to affect weight gain in mice.
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Melatonin Helps Control Weight Gain

(Science Daily) Spanish scientists have discovered that melatonin consumption helps control weight gain because it stimulates the appearance of 'beige fat', a type of fat cell that burns calories in vivo instead of storing them. White adipose tissue stores calories leading to weight gain whereas 'beige fat' (also known as 'good or thinning fat') helps regulate body weight control, hence its metabolic benefits…
Melatonin is a natural hormone segregated by the human body itself and melatonin levels generally increase in the dark at night. It is also found in small quantities in fruit and vegetables like mustard, Goji berries, almonds, sunflower seeds, cardamom, fennel, coriander and cherries.
These findings, together with the pharmacologically safe profile of melatonin, mean it is a potentially useful tool both in its own right and to complement the treatment of obesity. Sleeping in the dark and consuming these foodstuffs could help control weight gain and prevent cardiovascular diseases associated with obesity and dyslipidemia.
Community: Melatonin is also available as a food supplement. Most pharmacies carry it in their supplements section.
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Weight Loss Tips

(Sharecare.com) In a recent study, two factors were strong predictors of weight gain. The first, no surprise, was how much people ate. The second? How quickly they ate. Speedy eaters in the study who typically noshed until they felt full were 3 times more likely to be overweight than people who ate at a more leisurely pace. Speed demons also consistently consume more calories overall.
(Carolyn C. Ross, M.D., M.P.H., Psychology Today) Mindful eating has become very trendy. But do you really understand what it means? Eating mindfully includes listening to your body's wisdom about what to eat, how much to eat. It means that you are aware on a moment to moment basis of how you are feeling and who is doing the eating.
(Appetite for Health) Here are 5 tips for shedding pounds starting today: 1) Ready, Set, Goals… 2) Dedicate Yourself — to Exercise… 3) Don’t Drink Your Calories… 4) Thrive — Don’t Deprive. For most people, a weight loss plan that is too strict is bound to backfire… 5) Get By with a Little Help from Your Friends.  Or a family member… or gym pal… or support group… or online community.
(Jennifer Kromberg, PsyD, Psychology Today) Over and over again I see the following 5 things that contribute to emotional eating… 1. Unawareness. Emotional eating can be a direct result of not being conscious of what or why you’re eating… 2. Food as Your Only Pleasure… 3. Inability to Tolerate Difficult Feelings… 4. Body Hate… 5. Physiology. Letting yourself get too hungry or too tired is the best way to leave yourself vulnerable to emotional eating.
Community: Remember the 12-step suggestion HALT – Never get Hungry, Angry, Lonely, or Tired.
(Reader’s Digest) Protein helps keep hunger at bay between meals, facilitating weight loss, but the trick is to choose lean protein. Fortunately, that’s relatively easy with this list. Go for ground sirloin, the leanest ground beef… Don't forget the eggs… Go to the freezer section for frozen edamame… Pick up pork chops or a lean pork loin… Buy a package of chicken tenderloins… Buy at most two servings of red meat per person per week… Skip the bacon and hot dogs… Choose turkey or chicken breast at the deli counter… Get your fill of fish from cans or pouches… Buy seafood to stash in the freezer… Head to the sushi station for a protein-packed prepared meal.
Community: Pork loins are often available on sale at our local Safeway store. We buy the whole loin, cut it into roasts and chops, and freeze them.
(Appetite for Health) We’ve seen eating habits change over the years, such as the shift from three square meals to eating five to six “mini meals” in some cases. But according to the most recent IRI Times & Trends survey, the newest change isn’t a matter of when or how often we eat, per se, but whether we plan to eat at all. Here are a few tips to help you refocus… Opportunistic eaters use the availability of food, rather than physical hunger, as a cue to eat which is a sure-fire way to pack on pounds. Instead, try using a Hunger Scale to recognize your body’s signals and only eat if you’re truly hungry… Plan Your Meals… Snack Smartly.
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More Recent Research on Obesity and Weight Loss

(Reuters Health) New evidence suggests older adults with a healthy weight but high percentage of body fat are at increased risk of heart-related diseases and death.
(Science Daily) [R]esearchers sought to find out the origin of "brown" fat cells and whether humans can make more of them in order to burn extra calories -- a finding that could have significant impact in battling obesity and related diseases… While generation of brown fat cells previously was thought to be mostly relevant for rodents and human infants, Dr. [Philipp] Scherer said, current evidence points to the observation that adults also generate these cells when exposed to cold.
(Scientific American) Typical calorie counts ignore how we cook and process food, how gut bacteria interact with food and the overall complexity of human digestion. Scientific American editor Ferris Jabr explains.
(Medscape) Experts have applauded a telephone intervention study that successfully helped women recovering from breast cancer to lose weight, noting that it is a rare attempt to give dietary advice to women following treatment for this disease.
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Recipes

MyRecipes.com:
Spicy Sausage and Mushroom Pizza
Hot sausage gives this classic pizza a welcome spicy kick, and choosing turkey rather than traditional pork sausage keeps the calories and fat down.
EatingWell:
Salmon Chowder
The flavor of this salmon chowder is greatly enhanced by adding either fresh dill or dried tarragon: each herb lends its own distinctively different and appealing character to the soup. Even if you don’t keep instant mashed potatoes in your pantry, it’s worth picking some up for this soup. They give the soup a thick, chowder texture without any heavy cream or butter.
Andrew Weil, M.D.:
Sweet Potato Bars
These bars remind me of the lemon bars I used to make as a kid, probably because this is a treat any youngster would like. Thankfully, this treat is a little more healthful, with a nutty, gluten-free crust and a filling based on nutritionally outstanding sweet potatoes, which are loaded with antioxidants and can help regulate blood sugar levels. These bars are so nutrient dense that a small portion will leave you completely satiated, and the flavors are so delightful that you’ll be blissfully aware of every bite.
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Colorado farmers arrested in listeria outbreak that killed 33

(USA Today) Two brothers who owned and operated a cantaloupe farm directly linked to a listeria outbreak that killed 33 people pleaded not guilty Thursday to criminal charges stemming from the incidents.
Eric and Ryan Jensen, ages 37 and 33, of the now-bankrupt Jensen Farms were arrested Thursday and each charged with six misdemeanor counts of introducing adulterated food into interstate commerce.
The men appeared Thursday afternoon in U.S. District Court in Denver and were released on a $100,000 unsecured bond. The Jensens each could face up to six years in prison and up to $1.5 million in fines if they are convicted of all six counts, prosecutors said.
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Want fruit with your burger? McDonald's expands anti-obesity push

(Reuters) Hold the fries, pass the salad. McDonald's Corp on Thursday said it would offer healthy options as part of its popular value meals, letting customers choose a side salad, fruit or vegetables instead of french fries.
The announcement by the world's largest fast-food chain comes as more companies respond to government and consumer pressure to address the global obesity epidemic.
McDonald's, which often bears the brunt of criticism over the restaurant industry's penchant for tempting diners with indulgent and often high-calorie food, said it would offer the option in all of its 20 major global markets by 2020.
McDonald's also vowed to promote and market only water, milk and juice as the beverages in its popular Happy Meals for children as part of its announcement at the Clinton Global Initiative annual meeting in New York on Thursday.
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Are Burger King Satisfries a tasty lower-fat, lower-calorie option?

(Consumer Reports) Let's face it. There's no such thing as a healthy or healthier french fry—the best a fast-food restaurant, frozen-food manufacturer, or home cook can do is make fries that are less unhealthy.
That's what Burger King set out to do with its brand-new Satisfries, crinkle-cut fries that BK claims have 40 percent less fat and 30 percent fewer calories than the regular fries from McDonald's. (The dietary savings with Satisfries aren't as dramatic compared with BK’s own regular fries.)
How does Burger King accomplish this fat-and-calorie-cutting french-fry feat? According to a BK press release, Satisfries absorb less oil during the cooking process. Less oil means less fat and fewer calories.
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Vitamin D and Your Health: It's Not a 'Cure All'

(LiveScience) Many doctors and nutritionists recommend supplementing with vitamin D because, not only are many of us deficient, but deficiency has been linked to various diseases. There's one thing it doesn't do, though. According to a study published this month in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine, vitamin D does not lower blood pressure.
Participants in this study were ages 70 and older, and suffered from high blood pressure. After taking a high-dose vitamin D supplement or placebo every three months for a year, researchers found that supplementation did not improve blood pressure. [9 Foods That Are Good Sources of Vitamin D]
So, vitamin D may not be a cure for high blood pressure, but there are plenty of other reasons to pay attention to your vitamin D levels.
·         Preventing Alzheimer's disease…
·         Boosting immunity…
·         Lowering breast cancer risk…
·         Preventing osteoporosis.
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The Latest from The People's Pharmacy

Community: There are many practical things we can do to prevent, delay, or reduce the severity of cognitive decline.
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Some Cholesterol Meds May Hold Glycemic Benefit

(MedPage Today) Cholesterol-lowering drugs that work by binding to bile acids in the gut modestly improve glycemic control and pose little risk of hypoglycemia, according to a meta-analysis reported here.
In the review of 12 randomized controlled trials involving colesevelam (Welchol) and another agent approved in Japan, the drugs were associated with a significant 0.52% reduction in HbA1c compared with controls by the end of the studies, Morten Hansen, MD, … and colleagues reported…
Hansen said the drop in HbA1c is "not that big," but the advantage is the low risk of hypoglycemia.
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Restricting Antibiotics Could Be Key to Fighting 'Superbug'

(Science Daily) New ways are needed to fight the infection Clostridium difficile and better use of antibiotics could be key, according to the authors of ground-breaking research…
The research found that less than one in five cases of the so called "hospital superbug" were likely to have been caught from other hospital cases of C.diff, where the focus of infection control measures has been.
Researchers also found the total number of cases of C.diff, whether acquired from other sick patients in hospitals or acquired from elsewhere, fell over the three-year period. As a result, the research suggested stringent infection control measures in hospitals were not the most significant factor in curbing the infection…
[Study author Prof Tim] Peto said that during an overlapping period to the study, the use of antibiotics fell across 175 English hospitals. He added: "C.diff is resistant to antibiotics and that is the key."
Dr David Eyre, co-author of the study, said:… "Our study indicates that restricting the use of antibiotics may be more effective in reducing the number people who fall ill with C.diff than lowering transmission rates through infection control measures."
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Cells Retrieved From Stratosphere Are Alien Life, Scientists Claim

(Discover Magazine) British researchers say they’ve found extraterrestrial life, and they’ve got the microscopic pictures to prove it. During a recent meteor shower, the scientists sent a balloon up into the stratosphere 16 miles above the Earth’s surface and it came back with pieces of diatoms (a type of single-celled algae). Are they alive? Probably not. But do they have DNA? Looks like it!
Because the organisms were retrieved from so incredibly high up, the researchers believe they had to have come from elsewhere in the cosmos. One of the researchers, Milton Wainwright, told the Independent:
“We’re very, very confident that these are biological entities originating from space.”
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Getting Better Together: Study Looks at Shared Medical Decision Making

(Science Daily) Shared decision making refers to a set of principles that can be employed by patients and their physicians to explicitly incorporate patient preferences and values into clinical decision making. Past research shows that patients who have an enhanced knowledge of their medical conditions and treatment alternatives, demonstrate a reduced anxiety when it comes to medical decision making.
A recent study … looked at a group of patients with advanced hip and knee osteoarthritis and found that they reached an informed treatment decision after their first visit with an orthopaedic surgeon. Specifically, this study found the use of DVDs, booklets and a health coach helped patients quickly and confidently arrive at a treatment decision.
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Team-Based Care Doesn't Defuse Burnout

(MedPage Today) Practicing in a team-based delivery model did not improve burnout rates for physicians after a year, a small study found.
Doctors who meet the criteria of "burned out" were higher (35%) for physicians a year after practicing in a team model compared with those practicing a more traditional model (30%...), William Spinelli, MD, MPA, and colleagues reported…
Burnout rates were lower for clinical assistants and other office staff in a team model -- although those results weren't statistically significant, Spinelli … told MedPage Today
Clinician and staff burnout is an increasing problem in medicine, the researchers said, yet few data exist about the impact of team-based delivery on burnout rates.
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Affordable Care Act News

(Political Wire) A new CNBC poll asked half of respondents if they support Obamacare and the other half if they support the Affordable Care Act. The findings: 46% oppose Obamacare while just 37% oppose the ACA. "So putting Obama in the name raises the positives and the negatives. Gender and partisanship are responsible for the differences. Men, independents and Republicans are more negative on Obamacare than ACA. Young people, Democrats, nonwhites and women are more positive on Obamacare."
(Consumer Reports) Many people signing up for insurance in the new Health Insurance Marketplaces will find that they can get some financial help. How much depends on where you live and how much you make.
(Tribune Co.) President Barack Obama says his Affordable Care Act is about to make health insurance cheaper than the average cellphone bill and as easy to get as "a plane ticket on Kayak." In a pitch to community college students in suburban Maryland on Thursday morning, Obama compared the soon-to-launch health care "marketplaces" to Internet travel websites that let users compare prices and details with a few keystrokes.
(MedPage Today) Outreach campaigns for the Affordable Care Act (ACA) are now in high gear, and outreach groups are turning to a source patients trust for healthcare information: physicians.
(Reuters) As the sweeping new U.S. healthcare law takes hold, the Internal Revenue Service and the Treasury Department are working on a long list of jobs to help implement "Obamacare." The IRS is playing a major part in rolling out President Barack Obama's new insurance system, meant to help millions of uninsured Americans obtain adequate healthcare coverage.
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