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

Improbable blood pressure remedy stars eggplant

(The People’s Pharmacy) Several years ago, a reader asked us the following question: “Have you ever heard of this remedy for high blood pressure? Wash but don’t peel a medium eggplant. Dice it into 1-inch cubes.
“Place the cubes in a glass gallon jug and cover the eggplant with distilled water. Put the jug in the fridge for four days.
“Drink one ounce of the water per day, taking your blood pressure daily. After a week or so, the eggplant will begin to disintegrate; discard the cubes but keep drinking the ounce of water daily.
“Be sure to check your blood pressure, as it may begin to drop dramatically. Once your blood pressure is at a good level, you will need to experiment to determine how often to drink the eggplant water. It may be every other day or less often.”
At first we were skeptical. How could eggplant water do anything? But a search of the medical literature revealed that there just might be something to this remedy after all. Researchers have discovered that eggplants contain ingredients that affect ACE (angiotensin converting enzyme). This is the same enzyme blocked by popular blood pressure drugs such as captopril, lisinopril and ramipril (Bioresource Technology, May 2008).
So far as we know, there are no clinical trials testing the power of eggplant water to bring blood pressure under control. But we have heard from a number of readers who have done their own personal experiments.
Community: There are many practical things we can do to lower blood pressure.
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Meditation alone doesn't lower blood pressure: study

(Reuters Health) Stress reduction exercises have been linked to many health benefits, but lower blood pressure may not be one of them.
A new study found eight weeks of mindfulness meditation had no effect on people with slightly elevated blood pressure who were not yet taking medication.
"This doesn't mean that meditation is bad. It just simply doesn't lower blood pressure," senior author Dr. Sheldon Tobe of Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre in Toronto, said.
He said he was expecting to see an effect on blood pressure based on past studies showing benefits with mindfulness meditation. But when he looked back over those earlier trials, Tobe found the majority of participants had been taking blood pressure-lowering drugs.
In those studies, mindfulness therapy could have worked by helping people take their medicine more consistently, Tobe explained.
Community: There are many practical things we can do to lower blood pressure.
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Doing Volunteer Work Helps Control Blood Pressure

(Andrew Weil, M.D.) [I]nvestigators reported that those seniors who devoted 200 hours per year to volunteer work were 40 percent less likely to develop high blood pressure than the seniors in the study who didn’t volunteer.
The specific type of volunteer work didn’t appear to matter, the researchers, said. The most important factor was the amount of time spent – 200 hours per year. The investigators concluded that their study results “give older adults an example of something that they can actively do to remain healthy and age successfully.”…
My take? This is a welcome example of how fostering human relationships can affect health in a positive way. I believe that unless we experience meaningful connections to others, we put ourselves at risk of developing spiritual, mental and, ultimately, physical illness.
Community: There are many practical things we can do to lower blood pressure.
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One Spouse’s Friends Benefit the Other’s BP

(MedPage Today) The quality of a person's social network influenced his or her spouse's blood pressure, and so, potentially cardiovascular risk, researchers found.
In general, more supportive social ties in one half of a married couple were associated with reduced blood pressure in the other spouse and more negative social ties were associated with increased blood pressure, according to Bert Uchino, PhD, … and colleagues.
The finding … "suggest that the social ties of those we have close relationships with may influence our cardiovascular risk and opens new opportunities to capitalize on untapped social resources or to mitigate hidden sources of social strain" through couples' therapy or cognitive behavioral interventions, the authors wrote.
Community: There are many practical things we can do to lower blood pressure.
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Tracking Blood Pressure at Home Can Help Protect the Heart

(Harvard Women's Health Watch) Regularly tracking blood pressure at home can help lower the risk for a heart attack—or other heart-related event—better than intermittent measurements at a doctor's office…
1.    When shopping for a blood pressure monitor, look for these features: 
2.    Buy a monitor that measures blood pressure in the upper arm. Dr. Zusman doesn't recommend wrist or finger monitors because they aren't as accurate.
3.    Make sure the cuff fits around the upper arm. If it's too large or too small, the reading won't be accurate.
4.    An automatic monitor is easiest to use because it doesn't require a stethoscope and the cuff inflates by itself.
5.    Choose a monitor that meets standards set by an organization such as the European Society of Hypertension, Consumers Union (which publishes Consumer Reports), or Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation. The non-profit dabl Educational Trust has published a comprehensive list of recommended home blood pressure monitors.
Community: There are many practical things we can do to lower blood pressure.
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More Recent Research on Hypertension

(Science Daily) A global study has found that many patients don't know they have hypertension and, even if they do, too few are receiving adequate drug therapy for their hypertension. This is true in high income countries, like Canada, as well as middle and low income countries, say an international team of researchers… "Our study indicates over half of people with hypertension are unaware of their condition and, amongst those identified, very few are taking enough treatment to control their blood pressure," said Dr. Clara Chow, lead author.
(Science Daily) Patients who received automated telephone calls inviting them to get their blood pressure checked at a walk-in clinic were more likely to have controlled hypertension than patients who did not receive calls, according to a Kaiser Permanente study.
(Science Daily) A team of University of California, San Diego researchers has designed new compounds that mimic those naturally used by the body to regulate blood pressure. The most promising of them may literally be the key to controlling hypertension, switching off the signaling pathways that lead to the deadly condition.
(Stanford University Medical Center) Pulmonary hypertension, a deadly form of high blood pressure that develops in the lungs, may be caused by an inflammation-producing molecular pathway that damages the inner lining of blood vessels, according to a new study… The results … suggest that using medications to block this pathway could lead to the first-known cure for the disease, apart from lung transplantation. The new research could also lead to a better understanding of other diseases involving inflammation of blood vessels, such as coronary artery disease, said Mark Nicolls, MD, senior author.
(Science Daily) The carotid body -- a small nodule (no larger than a rice grain) found on the side of each carotid artery -- appears to be a major culprit in the development and regulation of high blood pressure. Researchers, led by Professor Julian Paton, found that by removing the carotid body connection to the brain in rodents with high blood pressure, blood pressure fell and remained low.
(Science Daily) Case Western Reserve University is part of a landmark study that has discovered four novel gene variations associated with blood pressure. The 19-site meta-analysis, involving nearly 30,000 African-Americans, also found that the set of genetic mutations are also associated with blood pressure across other populations… "The research findings do not have immediate implications for treatment, but the hope is that discovering genes associated with disease risks will bring scientists closer to biological pathways and may suggest useful targets for new treatments," said geneticist Brendan J. Keating, DPhil, one of co-senior authors of the paper.
(Science Daily) [S]moking women with high systolic blood pressure values have 20 times higher rate of these brain bleeds than never-smoking men with low blood pressure values.
Community: There are many practical things we can do to lower blood pressure.
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Halibut with Caper Salsa Verde
The robust salsa is a dominant presence on the plate. Sweet and mellow roasted fennel makes a particularly fitting side.
Buffalo & Black Bean Chili
In this healthy buffalo and black bean chili recipe, the buffalo is cooked with sweet red bell peppers and spiced with two types of chili powder, cocoa powder and espresso powder, making this chili mouthwatering and memorable. Ground buffalo, also known as ground bison, is a healthy alternative to ground beef because it’s naturally lower in fat and has a rich, delectable flavor.
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3 Reasons to Eat Soy

(Andrew Weil, M.D.) One of the healthiest changes you can make to your diet is to incorporate whole soy foods on a regular basis. Soy:
·         Is rich in protein, iron and compounds called isoflavones, which seem to protect against hormone-driven cancers such as prostate cancer in men and breast cancer in women.
·         Helps protect your heart.
·         May help protect against lung cancer.
I recommend one to two daily servings of soy in relatively whole and unrefined forms such as a half-cup of tofu, tempeh, green soybeans (edamame) or roasted soy nuts. You can also easily swap meat for tofu in dishes - baked tofu works well as a meat replacement in fajitas, stir fries and casseroles.
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Red Wine Good for Cancer, Too?

(MedPage Today) Resveratrol -- the anti-aging compound thought to confer a heap of health benefits from cancer prevention to lifespan extension -- breaks down fast in the body, which has been thought to limit its impact.
Now researchers have discovered in a mouse model that the sulfates (different than preservative sulfites) involved in that process allow it to be transported across cell membranes, where, once inside certain cells, enzymes take off the sulfate to restore resveratrol.
Human cancer cells given the resveratrol-sulfate metabolites showed less cell division, whereas that effect was blocked with a sulfatase inhibitor that decreased the amounts of intracellular resveratrol.
Community: Resveratrol is in the skin of red and black grapes and soy, and in peanut butter, dark chocolate, and blueberries. It’s also available as a food supplement.
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Just what is in that chicken nugget?

(Reuters) Stand-up comedians have long joked that some things, like the actual components of chicken nuggets, are better left mysterious.
Recently, Mississippi researchers found out why: two nuggets they examined consisted of 50 percent or less chicken muscle tissue, the breast or thigh meat that comes to mind when a customer thinks of "chicken."
The nuggets came from two national fast food chains in Jackson.
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It's time to upgrade outdated food labels

(Consumer Reports) Food manufacturers like to splash eye-catching claims on packages to entice you at the supermarket: “Natural!” “Whole Grain!” “Healthy!”
But do these terms actually mean anything? And when you look at the nutritional label on packages, are you really getting all the information you need to make smart food choices?
Three lawmakers thinks the answer to both questions is an emphatic “no.” You deserve better labels to better compare products, they say, so they’ve introduced the Food Labeling Modernization Act of 2013 to update and strengthen food-labeling requirements….
The bill would order the Food and Drug Administration to create a standardized system for labels on food packaging. The goal is to make it easier for you to compare the nutritional information of one product to another. 
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Despite Push For Healthier Options, Restaurant Meals Stay Same In Calories And Sodium

(Huffington Post) Even as restaurants make changes to their menus to provide "healthier" options, the number of average calories and sodium in a meal remains the same, according to a new study.
Researchers from the RAND Corp. and the Institute for Population Health Improvement at UC Davis Health System found that in the spring of 2010, an entree from a U.S. chain restaurant had an average of 670 calories. But when they looked at the average calorie counts in a meal a year later in the spring of 2011, there had been no change.
Sodium levels weren't much better -- the average amount of sodium in a U.S. chain restaurant meal was 1,515 milligrams in spring 2010, and only went down to 1,500 milligrams a year later.
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6 Reasons You Should Get A Flu Shot

(Huffington Post) In total, 45 percent of the U.S. population ages 6 months and older received the flu vaccine during the 2012-2013 season, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. At the event, held by the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases, medical experts stressed the importance of getting that other 55 percent vaccinated.
Are you one of the vaccine holdouts? Below are six rebuttals to the common reasons people pass on the flu shot and risk infection.
I'm young and healthy. So what? Influenza can strike the healthiest of people and make them very sick…
I never get the flu. Never say never…
So what if I get the flu? I'm tough… Fair enough, but consider this: "We vaccinate not only to protect ourselves, but to protect the people around us," said William Schaffner, professor and chairman of the Department of Preventative Medicine at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine in Nashville, Tenn…
I've gotten the flu shot before, and it made me sick. Some people insist you can get the flu from the flu vaccine, which is flat out untrue…
The vaccine probably isn't covered by my insurance. Actually, under the Affordable Care Act, many health plans cover the influenza vaccine and other preventive services without charging a copay, given that the service is provided by an in-network provider…
OK, OK, I'm convinced. I'll get the vaccine … later. Nope, get vaccinated now. "You need to get vaccinated before you're exposed to influenza for the vaccine to work," said Anne Schuchat, assistant surgeon general and director of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases.
Community:  Remember, there’s a stronger dose for seniors, so be sure to ask about it, although Consumer Reports isn’t sure about it yet.
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Prevent Vertigo with a Simple Half-Somersault Maneuver

(Sharecare.com) Suffer from chronic vertigo? Carol Foster, MD, of the University of Colorado, Denver's School of Medicine, devised this simple, effective half-somersault motion to help prevent recurring bouts of dizziness.
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Hormone Replacement at Menopause: The Profound Importance of 'Maybe'

(David Katz, M.D., Yale Prevention Research Center) Last month, colleagues and I published what I consider a very important paper in the American Journal of Public Health, indicating that tens of thousands of relatively young women who have undergone hysterectomy are dying needlessly because of an over-generalized fear of hormone replacement. Publication in the current issue of The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) of a rich compilation of findings from the Women's Health Initiative (WHI) trial does nothing to change our conclusions.
Our paper explains itself in clear detail for those who read the scientific literature. For everyone else, I have detailed our mission and our methods in online columns more than once. So I won't belabor those efforts now. But in a nutshell, published data from the WHI showed a decisive survival and health benefit for women who had undergone hysterectomy and took estrogen replacement in their 50s. There are roughly eight million women age 50 to 59 in the U.S. today who have undergone hysterectomy, so this is not a trivial matter.
The WHI data also showed harmful effects of estrogen replacement for older women. But there are two key considerations here. First, we have long known that treating with hormones soon after menopause has dramatically different effects than doing so a decade or two later. If this seems at all counterintuitive, consider an illustration: regular exercise can markedly reduce heart attack risk when administered "early," but exercise could well precipitate a heart attack when administered "late" to someone who already has advanced coronary disease. The analogy isn't perfect, but it's perfectly good enough.
The second consideration is that death is not the enemy -- premature death is the enemy. Dying within a decade of age 50 is a very different matter than dying within a decade of 70. The former is dying too young. The latter could well mean dying at the standard U.S. life expectancy. The potential survival advantage of estrogen replacement in younger women does not become less important just because of potential harmful effects in women a decade or two older.
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5 fixes for colonoscopy concerns

(Consumer Reports) Colonoscopy is highly effective at preventing colorectal cancer, the second deadliest type of cancer, because it allows a doctor to detect precancerous growths in the colon and remove them on the spot.
Yet only about half of Americans age 50 and older get any kind of screening for colorectal cancer, colonoscopy or otherwise, according to Otis Brawley, M.D., chief medical officer of the American Cancer Society. He estimates that an additional 15,000 to 20,000 lives could be saved each year if that rate rose to 90 or 95 percent. Here’s how to overcome five common barriers to this important test.
1. The concern: You’ll get bad news.
The fix
: Colorectal cancer grows slowly, typically taking 10 to 15 years to develop. Getting screened at recommended intervals increases the likelihood of catching it early, when you have the best chance of being successfully treated…
2. The concern: Preparation for the test is a nightmare.
The fix
: [There are ways to make the preparation easier.]
3. The concern: Complications.
The fix
:… [T[he benefits of the procedure far outweigh the dangers for people age 50 to 75, says Carla H. Ginsburg, M.D., M.P.H., a gastroenterologist in Newton, Mass.
4. The concern: You can’t afford it.
The fix
: Under the health reform law passed in 2010, Medicare and private insurers are required to cover most types of colorectal-cancer screening, including colonoscopy…
5. The concern: You feel generally squeamish about the whole thing.
The fix
: Meet with the gastroenterologist who will do the procedure ahead of time to talk about the test.
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Surgery savvy: Lower your risk

(Consumer Reports) If you’re facing surgery, you no doubt want to do all you can to prepare. But many of the things that patients are told to do, including some their doctor may recommend, aren’t necessary and can even cause harm.
For example, many doctors routinely order a battery of preoperative tests, including blood analyses, chest X-rays, and cardiac stress tests. But when they are done just to “clear” you for surgery, with little regard for the type of surgery, the kind of anaesthesia that will be used, or your overall health, they’re more likely to cause potentially harmful false alarms than keep you safe, current research shows. Yet many doctors continue to order them because of habit, concern about lawsuits, or the belief that other physicians require them.
Similarly, patients are still often told to avoid food and drink for 12 hours or more before surgery. But revised guidelines are more flexible; they take into account the fact that fasting too long can stress the body and slow recovery.
Fortunately, several professional groups are now focusing on what you really need to do before surgery. 
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Affordable Care Act News

(ThinkProgress) The employees helping Nevada residents sign up for Obamacare say that uninsured people are calling them in tears, asking if they can get their coverage today and see a doctor this afternoon.
(Washington Post) Health insurers and individuals began reporting a trickle of enrollments in the new online marketplaces created by the health-care law, as federal and state officials scrambled to try to fix technical problems that have prevented many consumers from buying coverage. The White House has declined to release any national statistics on sign-ups, saying complete information was not yet available.
(ThinkProgress) Technological issues didn't prevent everyone from signing up for Obamacare so far this week.
(Kaiser Health News) Insurance companies confirm a small number of successful signups through the federal website.
(ThinkProgress) "I think if you subtract out members of Congress and their staff and reporters who called in those first 48 hours the numbers will be considerably lower," Rep. Michael Burgess (R-TX) claimed.
(ThinkProgress) Joshua Pittman doesn't believe that Obamacare is perfect, but says Republicans in Congress should stop trying to repeal the law and give it a chance to work.
More . . .

You Can Prevent Alzheimer's

(David Perlmutter, M.D.) There is no meaningful treatment for dementia, including Alzheimer's disease, which now affects 5.4 million Americans. And in parallel with rising rates of diabetes, the number of Alzheimer's patients in the U.S. is predicted to double by the year 2030.
But diabetes, now affecting some 26 million Americans, is avoidable. Rarely, Type 2 diabetes develops without any readily identifiable predisposing factor. But in the great majority of cases it is brought on by lifestyle activities, including, and clearly most importantly, dietary choices. This means that this disease, so strongly correlated with risk for dementia, is generally a choice.
Research now clearly shows a direct correlation of average blood sugar levels and the rate at which the hippocampus, the brain's memory center, undergoes atrophy or shrinkage. And make no mistake about it, while some may argue the point about other anatomical issues, when it comes to your hippocampus, size absolutely matters. As your hippocampus shrinks, memory fails in lock step.
Even slight elevations of blood sugar, well below the range where diabetes becomes a concern, similarly and significantly predict the future risk for developing dementia as was described last month in the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine.
But the empowering part of the story is that you can make changes, today, to dramatically reduce your risk for diabetes and as a welcomed consequence, reduce your risk for dementia, a disease with no meaningful remedy now or in the foreseeable future.
Community: There are many practical things we can do to prevent, delay, or minimize the severity of cognitive decline.
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Ward Off Cognitive Decline with Vegetables, Whole Grains, Nuts and Legumes

(The People’s Pharmacy)  If you want to reduce your likelihood of developing dementia, it turns out you should pay attention to what is on your plate. A study of senior citizens in Cache County, Utah, began in 1995 and lasted 11 years. The participants' eating habits were assessed four times during the study. When the investigators analyzed the dietary patterns, they found that people eating a diet similar to the DASH diet (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) scored higher on a cognitive test. So did those whose diets followed a Mediterranean-style eating pattern. The differences were consistent over time, and though they were small, they were statistically significant.
Both DASH and Mediterranean diets are heavy on vegetables and fruits and contain whole grains and legumes. The Mediterranean style diet has more fat in the form of nuts and olive oil, while the DASH diet features more low-fat dairy products.
Community: Conversely, a study of Japanese seniors found that “Changing to the Western diet increases risk of Alzheimer's disease.”
There are many practical things we can do to prevent, delay, or minimize the severity of cognitive decline.
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Certain Antioxidants in Blood Tied to Better Cognition

(MedPage Today) Blood concentrations of some antioxidative micronutrients were positively associated with executive function and visuopractical skills, researchers reported…
Among healthy patients, plasma concentrations of non-provitamin A [a construct of lutein and zeaxanthin, lycopene, and canthaxanthin] were positively and significantly associated with executive function, before and after adjustment for body mass index (BMI), smoking status, diabetes, hypertension, and cardiac disease…), according to Abhijit Sen, MSc, … and colleagues.
Additionally, concentrations of provitamin A were positively and significantly associated with visuopractical skills … before and after adjustment, Sen said…
Past research has shown positive relationships between diet and memory, including one study that tied omega-3 and vitamin consumption to healthy cognition in older adults, and another that showed slowed cognitive decline in older patients who consumed a diet low in fat and high in nuts, vegetables, and legumes.
However, these studies have not based results on actual plasma concentration of the micronutrients potentially associated with healthier minds, Sen said.
Community: The Office of Dietary Supplements, part of the National Institutes of Health, shut down by Congressional Republicans, has all the information you need on vitamin A, including dietary sources.
There are many practical things we can do to prevent, delay, or minimize the severity of cognitive decline.
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Physical Activity Keeps Seniors Sharp

(MedPage Today) Older patients with cerebrovascular pathology had improved executive function and information processing speed if they stayed active, researchers reported here.
At a 3-year follow-up in the LADIS (Leukoaraiosis And Disability) study, dementia-free older patients who lived an active lifestyle had better executive function … and information processing speed … than those who were not active, according to Kristian Frederiksen, MD, … and colleagues.
However at baseline, patients who were physically active had worse memory…, though this association lost significance at the 3-year follow-up, Frederiksen said.
Community: Physical activity has been shown to retain the brain’s gray matter, which may explain why it helps counter the following: “Shrinking Brain Predicts Cognitive Loss,” and “Memory-related brain network shrinks with aging.”
There are many practical things we can do to prevent, delay, or minimize the severity of cognitive decline.
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Study finds brain training enhances brain health of adults over 50

(University of Texas at Dallas) Strategy-based cognitive training has the potential to reverse age-related brain decline, according to the results of a study…
"The world's aging population is growing disproportionately. Our expected lifespan has reached an all-time high of more than 78 years, yet previous research shows cognitive decline may begin in the early 40s," said Dr. Sandra Bond Chapman… "Until recently, cognitive decline in healthy adults was viewed as an inevitable consequence of aging. This research shows that neuroplasticity can be harnessed to enhance brain performance and provides hope for individuals to improve their own mental capacity and cognitive brain health by habitually exercising higher-order thinking strategies no matter their age."
The study found that one-hour sessions of directed brain training per week for 12 weeks can alter brain function, inducing increased blood flow, enhanced information communication across key brain regions, and expansion of the structural connections between brain regions related to new learning.
Community: There are many practical things we can do to prevent, delay, or minimize the severity of cognitive decline.
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How to Stay Sharp in Retirement

(Science Daily) The more you want to use your brain -- and the more you enjoy doing it -- the more likely you are to stay sharp as you age. This is according to findings … by a team of Concordia University researchers.
The new study has three major findings that can help forecast cognitive ability in one's golden years:
1.    The more one seeks out and enjoys cognitively demanding activities, the less likely one is to experience cognitive decline later in life.
2.    Doing a variety of different cognitive activities helps boost brainpower post-retirement.
3.    People who exhibit even mild signs of depression are more likely to show a decline in brainpower once they leave the office for good.
Community: Dr. Weil discusses more findings on the “Secret Danger of Retirement.”
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

(Andrew Weil, M.D.) The “use it or lose it” principle, applied to the brain, can help keep your mind and memory from slipping as you age. Researchers at Chicago’s Rush University Medical Center followed 294 individuals to see how strongly maintaining mental activity influenced age-related cognitive decline and memory problems… Those who gave their brains the most exercise throughout life showed 33 percent less cognitive decline than those whose brains were exposed to only an average amount of activity. Those in the lowest 10 percent of brain exercise had 50 percent more cognitive decline than average.
(Science Daily) Scientists at the University of Wisconsin-Madison have made a discovery that, if replicated in humans, suggests a shortage of zinc may contribute to diseases like Alzheimer's and Parkinson's, which have been linked to defective proteins clumping together in the brain.
(Tufts University) Being even mildly deficient in vitamin B-12 may put older adults at a greater risk for accelerated cognitive decline, an observational study … suggests.
Community: The Office of Dietary Supplements has information on vitamin B-12, including dietary sources.
(Science Daily) A Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine study suggests that omega-3 fish oil might help protect against alcohol-related dementia. Previous studies have shown that long-term alcohol abuse increases the risk of dementia. The Loyola study found that in the brain cells of rats exposed to high levels of alcohol, a fish oil compound protected against inflammation and cell death.
(Cell Press) Alzheimer's disease is characterized by the accumulation of particular toxic proteins in the brain that are believed to underlie the cognitive decline in patients. A new study conducted in mice suggests that newly identified antibody treatments can prevent the accumulation of one of these of these toxic components, called tau proteins. The findings … suggest that these antibodies may provide a basis for a promising therapy for patients with Alzheimer's disease and other neurodegenerative disorders.
(MedPage Today) Treatment with an intestinal levodopa-carbidopa gel administered through a gastrostomy tube improved patients' Parkinson's symptoms and health-related quality of life, researchers reported… At the end of a 54-week open-label trial, the intestinal gel was associated with significant improvements in patient mobility…, activities of daily living…, emotional well-being…, sense of stigma…, cognition…, communication…, and bodily discomfort…, according to Alberto Espay, MD, … and colleagues.
More . . .


Wild Mushroom, Flank Steak, and Poblano Tacos
This Tex-Mex favorite tastes as good as it looks. Please your family by letting everyone choose their own toppings to add to the tacos.
Cod with Tomato Cream Sauce
This silky tomato sauce with a touch of cream makes mild-flavored cod sing. Serve with: Farro or rice and a salad of mixed greens.
Washington Post:
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Americans Eat More Cheese Than Ever Before

(Discover Magazine) Since 1970 the amount of cheese consumed per person in this great nation has tripled. That’s according to a report card (pdf) released this week by the Center for Science in the Public Interest.
The overall dairy numbers paint a not-terrible picture in terms of fat content, with Americans eating less full-fat ice cream and more low-fat yogurt. But the rise in cheese consumption—from 8 pounds per person per year in 1970 to 23 pounds in 2010—brings the dairy grade down to a C-. (The grades are subjective, but are meant to show how our present eating habits stack up to an ideal diet.)
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6 Superhealthy Fall Foods

(SouthBeachDiet.com) The vibrant colors of autumn aren't only found in the beautiful fall foliage. You'll see a similar palette of bright reds and oranges and hues of darker yellows and greens reflected in the season's fresh produce, too. Packed with a wealth of antioxidants, vitamins, and other nutrients, the veggies and fruits of the fall harvest are a great addition to a healthy diet.
Supercharge a Salad with Broccoli.
Broccoli is considered a superfood because it is an excellent source of vitamins C and E, vitamin K, and the B vitamin folate…
Crunch the Cruciferous Cabbage.
Cabbage is loaded with vitamin C, fiber, and folate. Studies show that cruciferous vegetables like cabbage may help reduce your risk of cancer more than any other type of vegetable or fruit…
Make Spaghetti Squash Your New Pasta.
Spaghetti squash, with its stringy flesh, makes a healthy alternative to white pasta. This winter squash is rich in beta-carotene and it's a good source of fiber, vitamin C, and potassium…
Munch an Apple a Day...
Apples are a good source of vitamin C, fiber, and quercetin (when eaten with the skin), a flavonoid that has been shown to help protect against heart disease…
Indulge in a Buttery, Sweet Pear.
Pears are an excellent source of fiber, including pectin…
Fall for Sweet Potatoes.
Sweet potatoes are packed with beta-carotene, vitamin C, and other powerful antioxidants, and they're a far healthier alternative to white potatoes.
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Can You Nudge Someone Toward Healthier Eating?

(Susan Albers, Psy.D., Psychology Today) Did you hear that McDonalds is going to make a big change soon? They intend to stop asking, "Do you want fries with that?" and start saying, "Do you want fries, a salad, fruit, or a vegetable with that?" Will this statement make a monumental difference in how people order?
Research on how people make choices suggests that this slight shift in words might have a significant impact. "Choice architects," people who guide consumer's decision-making choices, have known for a long time that how you present choices (the order and manner) can nudge people toward a certain decision. An example of a nudge study was done with placement of snacks near a check-out counter. When 75 percent of the assortment consisted of healthy snacks, the sales of healthy snacks was higher than usual.
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The Latest from The People's Pharmacy

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