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

Barbecued and fried food could increase risk of dementia, say scientists

(Daily Mirror) Eating barbecued, grilled or fried meat could increase the risk of being struck down by dementia, scientists have discovered.
Research by US experts suggests that compounds called advanced glycation end products, or Ages, suppress an anti-ageing enzyme known as Sirt1. Protein-rich foods that are cooked at very high temperatures raise the level of these harmful Ages in blood…
Researchers said their follow-up study of 93 people aged over 60 showed that those with high amounts of Ages in their blood suffered progressive mental decline.
Professor Helen Vlassara, who led the probe, said: “Because Ages can be modified in humans, recognition that this under-appreciated risk factor plays a role in AD [age-related dementia] may open unique therapeutic avenues.”
Community: There are many practical things we can do to prevent, delay, or minimize cognitive decline.
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Does a diet high in carbohydrates increase your risk of dementia?

(Genetic Engineering News) Even small increases in blood sugar caused by a diet high in carbohydrates can be detrimental to brain health. Recent reports in medical literature link carbohydrate calorie-rich diets to a greater risk for brain shrinkage, dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, impaired cognition, and other disorders. David Perlmutter, MD, best-selling author of Grain Brain, explores this important topic in a provocative interview…
In the interview “Rethinking Dietary Approaches for Brain Health,” Dr. Perlmutter says, “We live with this notion that a calorie is a calorie, but at least in terms of brain health, and I believe for the rest of the body as well, there are very big differences between our sources of calories in terms of the impact on our health. Carbohydrate calories, which elevate blood glucose, are dramatically more detrimental to human physiology, and specifically to human health, than are calories derived from healthful sources of fat.”
Community: And yet the opposite may be true for another neurodegenerative disease:
(Medical News Today) If you want to lose weight, then adopting a diet high in carbohydrates and calories is probably not the best way to go about it. But for individuals with motor neuron disease, such a diet could slow progression of the condition.
There are many practical things we can do to prevent, delay, or minimize cognitive decline.
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How Exercise Boosts Memory

(Justin S. Rhodes, University of Illinois) The scientific evidence is now clear. If you want to keep your mind sharp as you age, you need to keep physically active. The explanation has to do with the broad-reaching effects of exercise on the chemistry, physiology and structure of the brain…
It's a major clinical breakthrough. Physical activity is the key ingredient to encouraging brain activity. Stimulating the brain in other ways, such as doing crossword puzzles, card games, or computer games, does not do the trick. Doing crossword puzzles makes you good at crossword puzzles, and doing math problems makes you good at math, but this does not necessarily make you more alert when you drive or help you think creatively or keep up with your grandchildren. That's the amazing thing about exercise. Exercise improves performance across the board.
The reason largely has to do with a part of your brain known as the hippocampus, which stands out above all others as being strongly affected by exercise. Large ensembles of brain cells fire in synchrony in this region with frequency and amplitude closely related to the intensity of the exercise. The repeated activation, incredibly, results in the generation of entirely new brain cells, causing the brain structure to get larger.
Community: There are many practical things we can do to prevent, delay, or minimize cognitive decline.
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If You Think You Have Alzheimer's, You Just Might Be Right, Study Suggests

(Science Daily) A recent study suggests that self-reported memory complaints might predict clinical memory impairment later in life. Erin Abner, an assistant professor at the University of Kentucky's Sanders-Brown Center on Aging, asked 3,701 men aged 60 and higher a simple question: "Have you noticed any change in your memory since you last came in?"
That question led to some interesting results. "It seems that subjective memory complaint can be predictive of clinical memory impairment," Abner said. "Other epidemiologists have seen similar results, which is encouraging, since it means we might really be on to something."
The results are meaningful because it might help identify people who are at risk of developing Alzheimer's Disease sooner. "If the memory and thinking lapses people notice themselves could be early markers of risk for Alzheimer's disease, we might eventually be able to intervene earlier in the aging process to postpone and/or reduce the effects of cognitive memory impairment."
Community: Currently there are no pharmacological solutions, but there are many practical things we can do to prevent, delay, or minimize cognitive decline.
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More Information and Recent Research on Neurodegenerative Disease

(Daily Mail) A widely-used anti-depressant could help ease the symptoms of Alzheimer's sufferers, a study has found. The drug Citalopram - sold under the brand names Celexa and Cipramil - significantly relieved agitation in a group of patients with the condition. It helped to reduce their emotional distress, excessive movement, aggression and disruptive irritability.
(NPR) For patients with Alzheimer's whose sleep cycle is off and who are too easily distracted to sit in front a bright light box, [researcher Mariana Figueiro] has designed a lamp in the form of a table. The table top is a flat screen TV that radiates a bright, bluish light… Some of the residents were sitting here used to wander a lot, used to be pretty irritable, especially during hands-on care when you need to change them. And now, we do see that they're pretty calm and happy.
(Science Daily) New research using fruit flies with Alzheimer's protein finds that the disease doesn't stop the biological clock ticking but detaches it from the sleep-wake cycle that it usually regulates. Findings could lead to more effective ways to improve sleep patterns in those with Alzheimer's.
(Linda Wasmer Andrews, Psychology Today) A sophisticated virtual brain may help scientists find treatments for real-world brain disorders, such as Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease.
(Science Daily) A team of international scientists has isolated a gene thought to play a causal role in the development of Alzheimer's disease. The newly identified gene affects accumulation of amyloid-beta, a protein believed to be one of the main causes of the damage that underpins this brain disease in humans… This breakthrough in Alzheimer's research could open new avenues for the design of therapeutics and pave the way for early detection by helping healthcare professionals identify those who are predisposed to the disease.
(Science Daily) Increased brain cell activity boosts brain fluid levels of a protein linked to Alzheimer's disease, according to new research. Tau protein is the main component of neurofibrillary tangles, one of the hallmarks of Alzheimer's disease. It has been linked to other neurodegenerative disorders.
More . . .


This coming Tuesday is Mardi Gras, so have a happy!
Our Best Mardi Gras Recipes
Whether you’re hosting a Mardi Gras party at home or simply serving a meal inspired by the festival, we’ve compiled a list of our favorite dishes. So choose the recipes you like, make a custom menu, and enjoy the same cuisine that’s being served in The Big Easy.
Festive Mardi Gras Menu
Happy Mardi Gras! Recreate the colors and taste sensations of a New Orleans Fat Tuesday with these simple and delicious recipes.
Los Angeles Times:
Celebrate Mardi Gras with recipes from the L.A. Times Test Kitchen
Are you planning a Mardi Gras party? From king cake to classic gumbo, freshly fried beignets and warm bread pudding, shrimp and grits or hearty muffulettas, we've got all the dishes you need to let the good times roll! These New Orleans-inspired recipes are sure to please any fan of Fat Tuesday!
Cooking Light:
Mardi Gras Feast
Feast on our versions of recipes―Cajun, Creole, and otherwise―from the Crescent City.
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DASH Diet Could Lower Kidney Stone Risk

(Huffington Post) A diet that is already known to effectively lower blood pressure could also be useful in preventing kidney stones, a small new study suggests.
And the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet could be more effective than the low-oxalate diet used by many to prevent kidney stones, found researchers from the The Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto.
The DASH diet emphasizes eating a diet high in produce and legumes, and low in animal proteins, sweets and refined grains. Meanwhile, a low-oxalate diet emphasizes eating foods low in oxalate, which is a substance found in the most common kind of kidney stone, calcium oxalate kidney stones. Click here for a full list of high-oxalate foods.
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Asthma Drug Aids Simultaneous Desensitization to Several Food Allergies, Study Finds

(Science Daily) An asthma drug accelerates the process of desensitizing patients with food allergies to several foods at the same time, a new study … shows.
The findings come on the heels of a recent study by the same team showing that people with multiple food allergies can be desensitized to several foods at once. The two studies, both phase-1 safety trials, provide the first scientific evidence that a promising new method for treating people for multiple food allergies works.
Patients who took the asthma drug omalizumab became desensitized to multiple food allergens at a median of 18 weeks; those who did not take the drug became desensitized at a median of 85 weeks, the researchers found.
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Wholesale clubs should sell groceries online

(The Supermarket Guru) Supermarkets warily eye Amazon, its AmazonFresh initiative, and other online deliverers of food as trip robbers.  But the real potential killer in this sector hasn't shown its full hand yet.
The Lempert Report believes wholesale clubs could clean up in online grocery delivery.  This tactic could be a triple-win for clubs: grow food volume and membership fees by attracting a broader base of new members, and in one swoop make their 'out of the way' locations convenient.
Clubs already enjoy excellent reputations for much of the food they sell, including fresh.  Some may hesitate because they count on shoppers’ impulse urges to fill the large carts in their stores.  However, if they structure an online delivery business that entices online, encourages multiple purchases, and still inspires people to go to the clubs, we feel they’ll grow volume rather than cannibalize it.
Community: Looks like Sam’s Club has already gotten the message: “Sam's Club Tests Online Subscription Service as Threat From Amazon Grows.”
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The Loyd Ray Farms Swine Waste-to-Energy Offsets Project

(Duke University) Duke University and Duke Energy have partnered to pilot an innovative system for managing hog waste that will reduce greenhouse gas emissions, generate renewable energy, and substantially eliminate a host of pollutants and issues associated with the waste from swine farms, including odors, ammonia, nutrients and pathogens. This system is located at Loyd Ray Farms, an 8,600-head swine finishing facility in Yadkin County, NC. It is intended to serve as a model for other hog farms seeking to manage waste and develop on-farm renewable power.
The project involves the capture of methane generated by the hog waste which is captured and collected under a plastic cover over the anaerobic digester.  The gas collected under the digester cover is used to power a 65-kW microturbine, the electricity from which is used to support the operation of the innovative waste management system. From the digester, the liquid waste flows to an aeration basin which treats the water for ammonia and remaining pollutants so that it can be re-used for irrigation and barn-flushing.  Any electricity not needed to power the innovative system is kept on the farm to support normal farm operations.
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Lack of coal-waste oversight is under fire after giant spill

(News & Observer) A massive North Carolina coal waste spill into a major river is increasing pressure on the Obama administration to start policing the more than 1,000 such waste storage sites across the nation.
The federal government doesn’t regulate the disposal of “coal ash,” the dustlike material that’s left over when pulverized coal is burned to fuel electrical power plants. Pennsylvania leads the nation in coal ash production, followed by Texas, Indiana, Ohio and Kentucky.
Coal ash can contain toxic materials such as arsenic and selenium, but the Environmental Protection Agency has left it to the states to decide what rules to put in place. The result has been an inconsistent patchwork of regulations that the EPA acknowledges is full of gaps.
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13 workers exposed to radiation at New Mexico disposal plant

(CNN) Nearly two weeks after a radiation leak was reported at the Department of Energy's Waste Isolation Pilot Plant outside Carlsbad, New Mexico, 13 employees have been notified that preliminary test results show they were exposed to radiation, officials said.
"It is important to note that these are initial sample results," DOE's Waste Isolation Pilot Plant and Nuclear Waste Partnership, its contractor, said in a statement Wednesday. "These employees, both federal and contractor, will be asked to provide additional samples in order to fully determine the extent of any exposure."
The release did not quantify the initial estimates of the exposure. "We can't release that information," said Nuclear Waste Partnership spokesman Donavan Mager, who cited the HIPAA privacy rule. But, he added, the preliminary results indicate that the employees were exposed to americium, a man-made, radioactive metal.
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Generic drugmakers ramp up campaign against FDA label proposal

(Reuters) Generic drugmakers are furiously campaigning against a proposed U.S. rule that would require them to change the prescribing information on their products if they receive new safety information, which they say would open them to product liability lawsuits.
The rule would overturn regulations that have been in place for three decades that prohibit generic drugmakers from updating safety data on their labels without such changes first being made by the company that developed the drug.
The Food and Drug Administration, which issued its proposal in November, said the change is designed to "create parity" between branded and generic drug makers with respect to labeling changes, and remove an unnecessary impediment to the prompt communication of safety data.
Generic drugmakers say the proposed rule would raise the cost of drugs and lead to confusion among consumers.
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Rankism Can Be Harmful to Your Health

(Robert W. Fuller, Ph.D., Psychology Today) Rankism permeates all the professions, and health care is no exception.
Historically, medicine relied on the extreme difference in rank between physicians and patients to elicit trust, compliance, and hope during times of illness. But now, emboldened by knowledge gleaned from books, support groups, and the Internet, people are transforming themselves from docile patients into informed, engaged clients. Increasingly, patients come to the doctor's office with sophisticated questions and a desire to participate in decisions regarding their treatment. The era of the "MDeity" is passing into oblivion, and the traditional model of doctor-patient relationships is gradually being replaced with one of partnership. In light of this historic shift, it's no surprise that recent studies suggest that apologies from doctors significantly reduce the incidence of malpractice lawsuits.
Another example of patients' increasing desire to have a say in health matters is the hospice movement. By championing the idea of death with dignity, hospices have enabled people to retain as much responsibility for their end-of-life care as possible rather than surrender it wholesale to health care providers.
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Lend Us Your Ears: Note Takers Help The Elderly At The Doctor

(Kaiser Health News) It used to be difficult for Edith Couturier, an 85-year-old resident of the District of Columbia, to explain to her adult children on the West Coast all the details of her medical appointments. But now she doesn't go alone — she takes along a volunteer "medical note taker."
"There are four ears listening to what the doctor says," said Couturier.
That second set of ears belongs to Sharon Wolozin, who takes notes the old-fashioned way – with pen and paper – and then reads some of the main points aloud to confirm them with the doctor. If the patient forgets a question she told Wolozin she planned to ask, Wolozin will remind her. But she is not an advocate and has no medical training.
"We don't get between the doctor and the patient," said Wolozin. Her role is only to create an accurate record of what happened at the appointment that she gives to Couturier, who can then share it with her children or others.
Wolozin is a volunteer for the Northwest Neighbors Village in Washington, D.C., one of the more than 200 "villages" across the United States. These neighborhood membership organizations provide volunteers and other resources to help with everything from transportation and snow shoveling to hanging curtains and solving computer glitches…
But in the long run, note takers may not solve communication problems between elderly patients and their doctors, said Dr. Peter DeGolia, a geriatrician and professor of family medicine at University Hospitals Case Medical Center in Cleveland. The concept isn’t practical since most patients don’t have access to a volunteer note taker.  And even when a patient is assertive and asks a question, the physician still has to provide answers – written or oral – that the patient can understand. Otherwise, "it's like two ships passing in the dark," he said.
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The 'right' to make our moral choices -- and yours ...

(Dusty Nix, Columbus Ledger-Enquirer) You're at the pharmacy to pick up your diabetes medication. The pharmacist takes a look at you and at your prescription, and refuses to fill it. Why? Is it expired, or maybe you're out of refills?
No, the prescription is valid and current. But the pharmacist has decided that your Type II diabetes is something you brought on yourself, and because of his deeply held moral and religious objection to the sin of gluttony, he doesn't have to serve you…
Such a scenario hasn't played out anywhere, as far as I know. But it exemplifies the fallacies, both logical and ethical, of some of these laws based on pick-and-choose morality…
I'm intrigued by the selective morality of politics, and why so many of us seem to be such suckers for it. And it's especially intriguing to see how often these efforts to punish or exclude or marginalize particular groups are couched in the language of "rights" and "freedom" and "liberty."
Contemporary pols and pundits didn't invent that trick, of course; just read the news from 50 and 60 years ago. To segregationists, the idea of American citizens of color being protected by the same constitutional rights white Americans took for granted was an imminent threat to freedom, liberty and the Constitution itself.
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Clinton: Bring Back Evidence-Based Debates With Good Data

(Health Data Management) Hillary Rodham Clinton thanked the crowd at HIMSS14 for their “efforts to modernize America’s health care system to empower patients” in a keynote address Wednesday afternoon…
“You are now playing a leading role in making sure medical teams have data and use that data to yield new efficiencies.”
She also stressed the value of good data and making decisions based on that data, not personally held beliefs. Talking about the Affordable Care Act, she said most of the debate in Washington has taken place in an “evidence-free zone” and “that is precisely why we need what you are doing so badly … to get back to evidence-based debates and to use that when we need to fix things.”
Clinton, who is rumored to be a 2016 presidential contender, looked toward the future. “Because of your focus on innovation, HIMSS is in a position to see not only what is in front,” she said, “but what’s over the horizon” in changing health care.
“[You] have given us the raw material and that means we can revolutionize health care, improving not only care but lifespan,” she added.
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Affordable Care Act News

(NBC News) Republicans in Congress are counting on "Obamacare" being the gift that keeps on giving in this fall's midterm elections, though some others in the GOP question whether that's enough. Decrying the Affordable Care Act has become a fixture of the GOP's election year strategy. To boot, House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, opened his press conference on Thursday decrying the "devastating consequences" of the law for Americans. But some Republicans are questioning whether staking the 2014 campaigns on Obamacare alone is a wise wager.
(CNN) One day after Senate Majority Harry Reid repeatedly attacked the conservative billionaire activists, the Koch brothers, and their well-financed conservative organization Americans for Prosperity, the head of that group, Tim Phillips, said Reid is using scare tactics against detractors. "For a politician to try and silence and intimidate an American citizen solely because they don't like the facts that are coming out and the story they are telling says more about the politician than it says about Americans for Prosperity," Phillips told CNN in a sit-down interview near his office in Arlington, Virginia Thursday morning .
Community: Well, when those “facts” are really lies . . .
(The Fact Checker, Washington Post) [G]iven the controversy over Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's claim that the "vast majority" of the AFP ads are "lies," we decided it was necessary to delve into the facts behind it. It certainly packs a punch, with Lamb's personal anger at the president apparent… Why was the plan [she lost] so inexpensive? For one thing, it had a $25,000 cap on annual benefits. It also had no limit on out-of-pocket costs, and it would only cover generic medications.
(Washington Wire, Wall Street Journal) The Republican National Committee is signaling that one line of attack against Hillary Clinton, should she run for president in 2016, will be her stance on health care. Mrs. Clinton, in a speech in Florida on Wednesday, spoke positively about the health-care law and decried efforts to politicize the issue… The RNC [invoked] the health-care overhaul Mrs. Clinton proposed in 2008 as a candidate for the Democratic presidential election. Like the Affordable Care Act, Mrs. Clinton’s plan contained an “individual mandate” requiring people to carry health insurance.
(Los Angeles Times) Newly released documents from National Archives offer insight into Hillary Clinton's failed healthcare initiative of 1993 and 1994.
(NBC News) You've got to do your taxes and now also get health care coverage. Why not do both at the same time? Two major tax preparation companies are making a big push this tax season to help customers sign up for now-mandatory health insurance. H&R Block and Jackson Hewitt Tax Service are partnering with online insurance brokers GoHealth and Getinsured. They are steering customers to those brokers if the clients say they want to enroll in Obamacare insurance after getting their tax returns prepared. Given potential tax penalties under the new law, the companies see it as a natural fit—and a potentially growing service.
Community: And speaking of tax returns, the IRS says you may be eligible for free help on yours.
More . . .

Supplement to Diet Improves Health, Prolongs Life in Mice

(Science Daily) Activating a protein called sirtuin 1 extends lifespan, delays the onset of age-related metabolic diseases, and improves general health in mice. The findings … point to a potentially promising strategy for improving health and longevity.
Sirtuin 1, or SIRT1, is known to play an important role in maintaining metabolic balance in multiple tissues, and studies in various organisms have shown that activating the protein can lead to many health benefits. Also, drugs that increase SIRT1 activity have been found to slow the onset of aging and delay age-associated diseases in several animal models…
The researchers found that SRT1720 significantly extended the average lifespan of mice by 8.8%. Supplementation also reduced body weight and body fat percentage, and it improved muscle function and motor coordination throughout the animals' lives.
In additional studies focused on the effects of SRT1720 on various metabolic variables, the investigators found that SRT1720 supplementation led to decreases in total cholesterol and LDL-cholesterol levels, which might help protect against heart disease, and improvements in insulin sensitivity, which could help prevent diabetes. Supplementation also had anti-inflammatory effects in various tissues, an important finding because low-grade chronic inflammation is thought to contribute to aging and age-related diseases.
Community: SRT1720 isn’t available (yet?) for consumers to buy, but there are some ways we can increase SIRT1 production in our bodies. Dr. Oz gives us some ways, below.
(Mehmet Oz, MD) The main way sirtuin is activated is through restricting calories, but it's also done through the heat-shock mechanism as a survival mechanism. When animals are exposed to extremely hot water, sirtuin kicks in to help them survive the shock and live on. Sirtuin production can also be turned on by other things—resveratrol in red wine being a biggie, as well as quercitin in apples and onions, and physical activity. [Emphasis added in all cases.]
Resveratrol is in red grapes and is available as a food supplement.
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Supplement users are seeking wellness: study

(Reuters Health) People who use multivitamins and other nutritional supplements tend to lead healthier lives overall, so taking supplements can be seen as a positive sign, suggests a new review of past research.
More than half of American adults use supplements such as multivitamins, calcium, omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants and fiber, the researchers say. But the other things users are more likely to do - like exercise and maintaining a normal weight - are often downplayed in discussions of the value of dietary supplements.
"This evidence is based on the fact that dietary supplement users tend to be health seekers in a broader sense, that is they tend to use supplements as part of several things they do to try to improve their health," said Annette Dickinson, the study's lead author.
Community: I’m constantly surprised at the disdain and hostility of those who insist that no supplement ever helped nobody, no way, no how. You’d think that people of science would approach the situation with an open mind. But many don’t.
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Exercise in Older Patients Improves Long-Term Health, Wellbeing

(Science Daily) Nurses can increase independence and quality of life as well as reduce social isolation in older patients by promoting exercise.
A 12-week community fitness program for the over 60s was found to motivate and encourage individuals to continue with regular physical activity after they completed the intervention…
Twenty-five participants were allocated to the exercise intervention group and 17 to the comparison group. Those in the intervention group reported improved health and wellbeing as a result of attending the 12-week program and maintained their exercise levels for up to 12 months afterwards. They also reported quick strength and power gains.
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Subjective Poverty Massively Affects Older People's Health

(Science Daily) Being objectively low income leads to poor health and a shorter life. This much we already knew. But poverty can also be a matter of subjectively feeling poor. [Researchers] have substantiated how the subjective assessment of being poor affects the health of the 50+ age group.
A study of Germany and 11 other European countries shows that older people who assess themselves as poor get sick more often (38 per cent) and suffer more from health setbacks (48 per cent) than those who do not. The probability of dying earlier is also much higher -- around 40 per cent for men in this age group.
The researchers differentiated between three types of poverty: income poverty, wealth poverty and subjective poverty. In addition to feeling poor, wealth poverty also causes one's health to deteriorate. Someone over 50 who possesses little wealth gets sick significantly more often and recovers from an illness more slowly than someone who is better off. Income, on the contrary, doesn't make any difference regarding the health of subjects in this age group.
Community: Here’s more:
(Christopher Lane, Ph.D., Psychology Today) Income inequality is making Americans sick, according to a recent, groundbreaking article… “Diseased and impoverished economic infrastructures [help] lead to diseased or impoverished, or unbalanced bodies or minds,” [the authors] contend and demonstrate. Large discrepancies in how city and state resources are allocated mean poverty and income inequality are medical issues, but ones that American doctors are “ill-prepared” to address.
And on the other hand,
(USA Today) The Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index, based on interviews with more than 176,000 people from all 50 states last year, measures the physical and emotional health of Americans across the country… Well-being matters because it effectively reflects health, employment, education and the local environment, Dan Witters, research director of the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index, told 24/7 Wall St. Witters suggested that this means that a strong economy and a healthy, educated workforce can improve well-being, just as high well-being may also influence further development…
In states with high well-being scores, residents were less likely to smoke and more likely to exercise regularly and learn new things every day. These states also enjoyed the positive outcomes of such behaviors, including lower obesity rates and other common health problems.
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More Information and Recent Research on General Health

(DigitalJournal.com) Prevently.com is a new health and wellness portal that aims to help people live a healthier lifestyle. The website provides users with health information reviewed by physicians, virtual video coaching with dietitians, a personal health record that integrates with wearable fitness devices such as FitBit, social networking tools, and an ecommerce portal that allows users to purchase health products and food reviewed by physicians… The initial monthly subscription for the wellness coaching is set at $199 per month.
Community: But why spend a bunch of money, when you can read Many Years Young for free? I only post information from authoritative sources.
(The Supermarket Guru) This time of year boasts some of the most hearty and delicious produce of all year round - so think again if you … thought only summer boasted the freshest fruits and vegetables… As well as offering some great flavors, many cold weather vegetables are true nutritional stars – and at the time when the weather is changing, we’re seeing less sunlight (thus getting less of the sunlight vitamin) and it seems that colds and flu’s are being passed around – there is no better time than to eat a diet rich in nutritious fresh fruits and vegetables.
(Huffington Post) Feeling tired and run down could actually present the perfect conditions for making healthy choices, a new study suggests. Researchers from Northwestern University and Erasmus University found that people are more likely to make healthy choices or seek protective or preventive medical care when they are feeling depleted.
Community: Well, that goes against the grain of what we’ve been seeing. I still think it’s a good idea to never get Hungry, Angry, Lonely, or Tired. When I do, I make my worst decisions.
(Science Daily) Chronic illness, already a major and expensive problem in developed countries, is rapidly increasing in developing countries, adding to the longstanding burden caused by high rates of infectious diseases. However, poor countries will not be able to afford the costly medical technologies that wealthy countries use to treat chronic conditions, including heart disease, stroke, cancer, pulmonary disease, and diabetes, writes Daniel Callahan, cofounder of The Hastings Center.
(Science Daily) Socially stigmatized groups have poorer health than non-stigmatized groups, but a team of researchers believes that more emphasis on two-way and multidisciplinary interventions will have a greater and more successful impact on relieving many health issues.
(Science Daily) Traditional medicine provides health care for more than half the world's population, but no one has really looked at how the environment affects traditional medicine. Studying 12 ethnic groups from Nepal biologists found that plant availability in the local environment has a stronger influence on the make-up of a culture's medicinal floras. This means that the environment plays a huge role in shaping traditional knowledge. This is very important, especially when you think of the risks that these cultures are already facing.
More . . .


Farfalle with Lamb Ragu
A classic flavor combination, lamb and mint meet bow-tie pasta for a hearty weeknight meal.
Cornmeal-Crusted Chicken Nuggets with Blackberry Mustard
Tossing chicken tenders with cornmeal gives these chicken nuggets great crunch without deep-frying. Blackberries (or raspberries, if you prefer) combined with whole-grain mustard make for a sweet-and-savory dipping sauce. Serve with: Steamed broccoli and carrots.
The Supermarket Guru:
Steal This Recipe® Rainbow Trout Fillets in Lemon-Caper-Anchovy Sauce
The restaurant is Locanda Del Lago, which means ‘inn on the lake’, and this week’s recipe was stolen ‘con permesso’ from Chef Roberto Maggioni.
Said to have originated with Italian immigrants in the San Francisco Bay area, this hearty, spicy shellfish stew is as satisfying and sumptuous as it is simple to make.
Andrew Weil, M.D.:
Salmon Watercress Sencha Soup
This recipe calls for nori seaweed and wasabi - a strong, pungent Japanese green horseradish made by mixing water (or in this case, green tea) with a powdered base. Both are available in the Japanese food section of most major supermarkets or Asian markets.
Food as Medicine
Eating just two servings of omega-3 rich fatty fish such as salmon weekly was shown in one six-month study to lower triglycerides (a form of fat in the bloodstream) better than an equivalent quantity of fat in vegetable oil.
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Potato Power for Heart and Overall Health

(The Supermarket Guru) The commonly held perception regarding potatoes as unhealthy is not exactly true. Their health promoting properties are mostly overshadowed by the high consumption of fried versions; therefore excluding French fries and chips, potatoes are highly nutritious and available just about everywhere. Potatoes are an edible nightshade, a starchy, tuberous crop (Solanaceae family) and the world’s fourth largest crop with 4,000 varieties!
When it comes to carbohydrates, potatoes are a great choice. One medium potato clocks in at 118 calories and is a terrific source of filling fiber.  Potatoes, particularly the skins are high in a variety of nutrients. Potatoes contain all twenty-two amino acids (the building blocks of proteins), therefore forming complete proteins after digestion. Potatoes are a great source of potassium, (more than bananas), and are rich in other minerals including copper, manganese, and tryptophan. They are also rich in vitamin C and B6.
Some potato varieties phenolic levels rival those of broccoli and spinach. Others contain high amounts of folic acid, quercetin, phytonutrients, and antioxidants.
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Early Atherosclerotic Plaques in Blood Vessel Wall Regress Completely When Cholesterol Levels Are Lowered

(Science Daily) Early but not advanced forms of atherosclerotic plaques in the vessel wall disappear when the levels of 'bad' cholesterol are lowered, according to a study in mice from Karolinska Institutet, Sweden. The findings … indicate that preventative cholesterol-lowering treatment could prevent more advanced, clinically relevant plaque to develop…
[T]he researchers used mice with elevated levels of 'bad' cholesterol (LDL cholesterol) which forms advance plaques, similar to what happens in humans with high LDL. With a genetic switch, researchers could also lower cholesterol levels in the blood at any desirable time point. They discovered that when LDL cholesterol was lowered, early plaques disappeared almost entirely, which to some extent surprised the researchers. However, mature and advanced plaques reduced but were still present. In humans, LDL cholesterol can be lowered by using cholesterol-lowering drugs such as statins.
"If lowering of LDL cholesterol affects atherosclerosis in humans in the same way, our observations mean that clinically advanced plaques could be prevented if cholesterol-lowering treatments are administered early enough in individuals with increased risk of cardiovascular disease. However, the perennial problem is to identify these individuals with certainty," says Dr Josefin Skogsberg…, one of the principal researchers involved in the study.
Community: See there? It may not be too late to start eating healthy.
(Reader’s Digest) CCertain heart-healthy foods truly act like medicine for your blood vessels, says integrative cardiologist Joel K. Kahn, MD, and these are the best to eat to prevent or reverse heart disease… Veggies… Leafy greens… Spices and herbs… Meat that's as "naked" as possible… SMASH fish… (sardines, mackerel, anchovies, salmon, and herring)… Tea… Coffee.
Community: Tuna is also high in omega-3 fatty acids, like the SMASH fish.
(Science Daily) It might seem too good to be true, but dark chocolate is good for you and scientists now know why. Dark chocolate helps restore flexibility to arteries while also preventing white blood cells from sticking to the walls of blood vessels. Both arterial stiffness and white blood cell adhesion are known factors that play a significant role in atherosclerosis.
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Dark Chocolate and 4 Other Anti-Inflammatory Foods

(The Supermarket Guru) Inflammation is a natural part of the body's immune response; it is not entirely a bad thing. It signals to the body that there is an injury or an area that needs care and protection. However, sometimes inflammation can become self-perpetuating if we don’t have the correct balance of nutrients, and more inflammation is created in response to the existing inflammation.
When inflammation is chronic (long-term), it can lead to several disease states, including some cancers, atherosclerosis, autoimmune conditions such as psoriasis or lupus, and arthritis. Dietary improvements including more anti-inflammatory foods can be a natural way to manage some symptoms of chronic inflammation.
Here are SupermarketGuru’s five favorite foods (and categories) rich with anti-inflammatory properties:
First up, berries…
Omega-3 rich foods…
Dark chocolate and more.
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The Latest from The People’s Pharmacy

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Symptoms you should never ignore

(Consumer Reports) Symptoms that come and go are challenging to patient and physician alike. But they are not to be dismissed, because they can signal serious, even life-threatening conditions. Here’s a rogue’s gallery of the most significant ones.
·         Abnormal heart rhythms, such as atrial fibrillation…
·         Transient ischemic attacks (TIAs) or mini-strokes…
·         Atypical seizure disorders, or isolated, brief episodes of abnormal behavior or visual or auditory hallucinations…
·         Assorted rare hormone-producing tumors
As a patient, your most important tool is your intimate knowledge of your symptoms. Your goal should be to communicate them to your doctor in as much detail as you can manage, and:
·         Leave nothing out, even if you don’t think it’s within the professional purview of the specialist you’re seeing…
·         Describe your symptoms in context. If they change after, say, eating or physical activity, be sure to mention it…
·         Be persistent. Don’t give up if the first doctors you see can’t figure out what ails you.
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