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

Live Longer with This 30-Minute Habit

(Sharecare.com) You could cut your mortality risk dramatically if you just did this for 30 minutes: walk.
Or ride your stationary bike. Or dance. Or chase the grandkids around outside. Or shovel some snow. Or all of the above. Just be active for 30 minutes, five times a week. This simple choice cut mortality risk by nearly 20 percent in a recent study…
·         Need help getting started? Here are seven great motivators.
·         Just don't feel like it? Find out how the right walking gear helps get you off the couch.

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Having trouble lifting groceries, golf clubs, grand babies?

(NIH Senior Health) Do you have trouble lifting groceries, raising the trunk of your car, or opening jars? Exercises to build up your upper body strength can help. Increase the strength of your upper body with these 6 muscle-building exercises.
For safety tips, see “Stay Safe! Use Proper Form While Strength Training” a Tip Sheet from Go4Life® , the exercise and physical activity campaign for older adults from the National Institute on Aging at NIH.
The information on Exercises To Try was developed for NIHSeniorHealth by the National Institute on Aging (NIA).
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Doing This Could Make You More Motivated To Exercise

(Huffington Post) Remember that time your exercise class had awesome music and fun gear -- and left you feeling like you had a thorough workout?
Keeping this memory in mind could be the key to motivating you to exercise, a small new study suggests.
Researchers from the University of New Hampshire found that when study participants were asked to think about positive memories around exercise, they had higher levels of subsequent exercise compared with people who didn't recall memories about exercise…
Memory isn't the only thing you can harness to boost your exercise motivation. Other research has shown that having a workout partner and financial incentives could also help.
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What Your Fitness Gadget Says About Your Workout

(SouthBeachDiet.com) Your fitness gadget counts the number of steps you take, the number of miles you run, the length of time you stand or sit, and more. But did you ever take a step back and wonder what all the data it holds means in terms of your workout? With these devices efficiently tracking your daily activities and how they affect your body, it makes sense to pay attention to the precise analysis they offer in order to maximize your time exercising. Here’s what your fitness tracker is telling you:
You burn more calories during interval workouts…
Moving throughout the day can be just as beneficial as actual exercise…
We don’t have to count calories, but the calories do count…
Exercise helps you maintain your weight loss…
You don’t need to sweat to burn calories…
There are many ways to measure success.
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More Information and Recent Research on Exercise and Fitness

(Andrew Weil, M.D.) Sitting all day at a desk job has been linked to high blood pressure, obesity and heart disease, risks that exercising before or after work don’t seem to change. Researchers … suggest taking a break from sitting once every 30 minutes and simple strategies to do more office work while you’re mobile including standing while you’re on the phone, having walking meetings and using a bathroom that’s farther from your desk than the one you usually use.
(Kansas City Star) A new study sounds a serious alarm about such thinking, adding to a growing body of research on the topic of excessive endurance exercise.
(Susan Krauss Whitbourne, Ph.D., Psychology Today) We’re constantly exposed to new and “improved” guidelines to exercise from sources ranging from our friends and neighbors to international health organizations. To make sense of these guidelines, this psychology-based set of 6 commonsense tips will help get you the workout to keep your body, and mind, in great shape.
(Next Avenue) Balance issues often come down to systems that don't fire as quickly as they used to and a few key muscles that most of us neglect.
(Reuters Health) Biking has plenty of health benefits, but riders also run the risk of an injury to the kidney or genitalia, according to a new study that found kids sustain about 10 times as many of these injuries as adults.
(American Society of Nephrology)  Just a modest amount of exercise may help reduce kidney disease patients' risks of developing heart disease and infections… In an acute exercise study conducted in 15 patients, 30 minutes of walking improved the responsiveness of immune cells called neutrophils to a bacterial challenge in the post-exercise period. It also induced a systemic anti-inflammatory environment in the body.
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Mediterranean Foods Alliance:
Sumptuous Small Plates
The Mediterranean Diet encompasses the culinary traditions of the countries around the Mediterranean Sea. Not surprisingly, a geographic area spanning more than 2,500 miles from east to west and more than 500 miles from north to south contains an immense diversity of ingredients, flavor combinations, and cooking techniques. But one of the wonderful similarities among culinary traditions of the region -- from  meze in Greece, Turkey, and the Middle East to the tapas of Spain -- is the custom of sharing small plates in the company of friends and family…
Not only do mezes or tapas offer an opportunity to try many different dishes in a sitting, they also provide an opportunity to share and savor food with friends or family, and to relish in a delightful combination and range of temperatures and textures. 
Spinach Fatayer
These small spinach pies make a beautiful addition to a meze table. Tuck leftovers into lunch boxes, or enjoy them as a light afternoon snack.
Contemporary Greek Meze
This is an easy and delicious way to assemble a lovely appetizer or light meal. Use local, seasonal vegetables to put your own twist on it.
Shrimp with Feta
This preparation is an easy and flavorful way to serve shrimp. Serve as-is for a small plate, or add potatoes or brown rice for an entree.
Stuffed Grape Leaves
Tender grape leaves wrapped around seasoned rice are a traditional dish found throughout the eastern Mediterranean region.  
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Top 10 Foods to Lower Cholesterol

(Sharecare.com) If you have unhealthy cholesterol levels (or want to prevent them), one of the first things you should examine is your diet. Are you eating foods that help reduce cholesterol? Or avoiding the ones that cause unhealthy cholesterol levels to creep higher? If not, we've got 10 cholesterol-lowering foods you should grab next time you're at the grocery store. Bonus: Lowering your bad (LDL) cholesterol can make your RealAge 3.3 years younger if you're a man, 0.6 years younger if you're a woman!
Orange Juice…
Olive Oil…
Pinto Beans…
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Why You Need to Try Quinoa

(Michael Roizen, MD, and Mehmet Oz, MD) The Incan Empire grew into the largest nation on earth, stretching 2,500 miles from Columbia to Chile along the Andes Mountains. It was linked together by sophisticated roadways and legendary runners -- the chasquis -- young boys who darted along high mountain paths to deliver communications between villages.
We’re betting their most sacred food -- quinoa, (pronounced KEEN-wah), which means Mother of Grains in Incan -- was one reason they were so strong. Quinoa is a complete protein, with all of the nine essential amino acids your body needs. This gluten-free grass seed is not a grain, but from a plant related to spinach and Swiss chard, and it packs incredible nutritional powers…
When you give quinoa a try, remember, don’t over cook it. Boil 1 cup of seeds in 2 cups water for 15 minutes. Drain in a fine mesh strainer; return to covered pan, let rest for another 15 minutes. That’ll get you up and running!
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New Strategy To Prevent Cataracts

(Andrew Weil, M.D.) The more antioxidants in women’s diets, the lower the risk of developing cataracts as they age.
This news comes from a Swedish study that looked at the diets of more than 30,000 middle aged and older women, and found those with the highest total intake of antioxidant nutrients were 13 percent less likely to develop cataracts than women whose diets were lowest in antioxidants…
Antioxidants are most plentiful in colorful fruits and vegetables as well as in green tea, red wine and chocolate.
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Antioxidants can both protect against and encourage omega 6 damage

(UPI) Found in many modern day cooking oils, omega 6 fatty acids have been shown in a number of animal studies to promote cancer formation and growth. At the same time, antioxidants have been heralded by nutritionists for their cancer-fighting properties…
Researchers in Washington, D.C., decided to test different antioxidants to see how they interact with omega 6. The study revealed that not all antioxidants are created equal…
While the researchers found that antioxidant properties of vitamin E encouraged omega 6-related damage, antioxidants in green tea mitigated damages. Another antioxidant, alpha-lipoic acid, found in spinach and broccoli -- already proven to have other anti-cancer properties -- had no effect on omega 6.
"Our findings are beginning to shed light on why omega 6 fatty acids are believed to have negative health effects," [Fung-Lung] Chung said, "but we have a long way to go before we can make definitive health claims on these antioxidants."
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Best ways to treat your hay fever

(Consumer Reports) If spring’s blossoming trees and growing grasses bring on nonstop sneezing and sniffling, you may wish you could stay inside until summer. About 20 percent of Americans suffer from hay fever, which occurs when your immune system overreacts to pollen. As the body attempts to neutralize the pollen, it releases histamines and other substances that cause watery eyes, a runny nose, and congestion… But getting relief doesn’t have to cost a fortune or even require a prescription. The best treatment for you depends on the severity of your allergies. Use this guide to find the right approach.
If your symptoms are annoying but tolerable
Rx to try: “Lifestyle strategies may enable you to avoid medication—or reduce the amount you might need,” said Mark Dykewicz, M.D…
If your symptoms interfere with sleep or everyday activities
Rx to try: Over-the-counter drugs can provide relief—but treat only the symptoms you have…
If you have daily symptoms and antihistamines aren’t enough
Rx to try: A nasal steroid spray is your best bet because it reduces inflammation. It can also relieve watery, itchy eyes and help stave off a congestion-related headache…
If you have daily symptoms and no drug seems to help
Rx to try: Consider immunotherapy, also known as allergy shots…
Save money on antihistamines
You have two choices in antihistamines. The first-generation drugs, such as diphenhydramine (Benadryl Allergy and generic), ease symptoms as well as second-generation drugs including loratadine (Claritin and generic), but they’re more likely to cause drowsiness. All the second-generation antihistamines are equally effective, so Consumer Reports Best Buy Drugs recommends shopping by price.
Community: And a new pill may help: “A Pill For Grass Allergies May Replace Shots For Some.”
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Cancer News

(Science Daily) Researchers have found that an agent that inhibits mitochondrial division can overcome tumor cell resistance to a commonly used cancer drug, and that the combination of the two induces rapid and synergistic cell death. Separately, neither had an effect.
(Science Daily) Genetic screening of cancer can help doctors customize treatments so that patients with melanoma have the best chance of beating it, according to the results of a clinical trial.
(Science Daily) The second-most common type of breast cancer is a very different disease than the most common and appears to be a good candidate for a personalized approach to treatment, according to new research. Invasive lobular carcinoma, characterized by a unique growth pattern in breast tissue that fails to form a lump, has distinct genetic markers which indicate drug therapies may provide benefits beyond those typically prescribed for the more common invasive ductal carcinoma.
(Science Daily) An examination of the genetic landscape of head and neck cancers indicates that while metastatic and primary tumor cells share similar mutations, recurrent disease is associated with gene alterations that could be exquisitely sensitive to an existing cancer drug.
(Science Daily) The probability of staying disease-free improves dramatically for ovarian cancer patients who already have been disease-free for a period of time, and time elapsed since remission should be taken into account when making follow-up care decisions, according to a study. This measure is known as conditional disease-free survival.
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8 in 10 drivers mistakenly believe hands-free cell phones are safer

(National Safety Council) New findings from a National Safety Council public opinion poll indicate 80 percent of drivers across America incorrectly believe that hands-free devices are safer than using a handheld phone. More than 30 studies show hands-free devices are no safer than handheld as the brain remains distracted by the cell phone conversation. Of the poll participants who admitted to using hands-free devices, 70 percent said they do so for safety reasons.
"While many drivers honestly believe they are making the safe choice by using a hands-free device, it's just not true," said David Teater, senior director of Transportation Initiatives at the National Safety Council. "The problem is the brain does not truly multi-task. Just like you can't read a book and talk on the phone, you can't safely operate a vehicle and talk on the phone. With some state laws focusing on handheld bans and carmakers putting hands-free technology in vehicles, no wonder people are confused."
Currently, no state or municipality has passed a law banning hands-free use, but 12 states and the District of Columbia have passed laws banning handheld cell phone use while driving. Further, an increasing amount of vehicles are now equipped with dashboard infotainment systems that allow drivers to make hands-free calls as well as send text messages, email and update social media statuses. The NSC poll found that 53 percent of respondents believe hands-free devices must be safe to use if they are built into vehicles.
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Company agrees to record environmental settlement

(Los Angeles Times) The U.S. Justice Department on Thursday announced that Anadarko Petroleum Corp. had agreed to pay $5.15 billion to clean up hazardous substances dumped nationwide - including radioactive uranium waste across the Navajo Nation - in the largest settlement ever for environmental contamination.
The operations of Kerr-McGee Corp. - which was acquired by Anadarko in 2006 - also left behind radioactive thorium in Chicago and West Chicago, Ill.; creosote waste in the Northeast, the Midwest and the South; and perchlorate waste in Nevada, according to U.S. Deputy Attorney General James Cole.
"Kerr-McGee's businesses all over this country left significant, lasting environmental damage in their wake," Cole said. "It tried to shed its responsibility for this environmental damage and stick the United States taxpayers with the huge cleanup bill."
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There Are Too Many White People In Clinical Trials, And It’s A Bigger Problem Than You Think

(ThinkProgress) According to a recent study conducted by researchers at the University of California, Davis, white Americans still make up the overwhelming majority of clinical trials. Non-white people represent fewer than five percent of overall participants, and fewer than two percent of clinical cancer research studies focus specifically on minority groups.
Why is that a problem? Well, because research into cancer among minority groups is stalling at the same time as non-white Americans are bearing more of the country’s cancer burden. For instance, black Americans have the highest rates of cancer — and the shortest rates of survival — of any other racial group in the nation. The gap can be stark. Black women are 40 percent more likely to die of breast cancer than white women. But African Americans represent just 1.3 percent of the participants in cancer clinical trials.
“The proportion of minorities in clinical research remains very low and is not representative of the U.S. population with cancer,” Moon Chen, the associate director for cancer control for UC Davis’ cancer center and the lead researcher of the study, explained in a press release about his findings. “What is needed is deliberate effort. Minorities are not hard to reach. They are hardly reached.”
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The States With the Most Expensive Health Insurance

(The Atlantic) Despite all the hubbub over Obamacare's exchange enrollment numbers this week, most people still get health insurance through work. And much of what determines how we feel about our work insurance is the cost of the premium.
With that in mind, a report out [Thursday] from ADP, an employee benefits company, offers some bad news and some good news. And then some bad news again. Because, you know, insurance.
First, the bad: Insurance premiums are indeed rising—they grew 15 percent on average between 2010 and 2014.
The good news is that the rate of increase seems to have slowed. "The largest percentage increase was between 2010 and 2011, when premiums spiked 6.9 percent. In the last year, they rose 1.7 percent," they wrote. The average monthly premium is now $870 for each employee, though that includes both the part the employer pays for and the part the employee covers. 
And then, another downer: The reason for the slowdown is not because insurance is getting less expensive, but because employers are switching to stingier plans with higher deductibles and co-pays. 
One of the most intriguing aspects to this is that there's a lot of state-by-state variation. Some states have much lower premiums than others, and some have seen less growth in the cost of premiums.
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Surprise Medical Bills Lead to Protection Laws: Health

(Bloomberg) Hospital patients in New York are the latest in the nation to gain legal protection against unexpected bills from doctors who won’t accept their insurance.
New York this week extended patient protection laws to restrict out-of-network providers from “balance-billing” consumers for emergency care or when patients can’t choose their doctors. Balance-billing occurs when health workers who don’t accept a patient’s insurance try to collect the difference between their charge and the insurer’s reimbursement.
New York is one of 13 states that have restrictions on out-of-network balance-billing, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation. Patients most often receive these surprise bills in emergency cases, when they can’t choose the doctors who treat them. In California, a 2007 survey conducted before the state implemented patient protection laws found 1.8 million insured residents who visited emergency rooms over two years faced extra charges, according to the California Health Plan Association.
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Affordable Care Act News

(NBC News) More than 5 million Americans who didn’t have health insurance before have been able to get coverage since September, according to a new report released Thursday… [The] report suggests the law is having its intended effect of getting people covered who weren’t before. “This represents a major step forward for 5.4 million previously uninsured people who now have health coverage,” said Dr. Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, president and chief executive officer of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, which issued the report along with the Urban Institute.
The report shows that 15.2 percent of Americans were without health insurance as of the first week in March, a drop of 2.7 percentage points since September 2013.
(Kaiser Health News) States that expanded Medicaid eligibility under the health law saw an average 8 percent increase in enrollment.
(Molly Ball, The Atlantic) it's clear the doomsayers' predictions for the Affordable Care Act—that the website was totally unworkable, that enrollment would fall dramatically short, that the whole structure of healthcare reform would collapse of its own weight—aren't coming to pass. Some conservative commentators recognize this and are urging the Republican Party to accept it.
New York Times columnist Ross Douthat on Monday wrote that "Obamacare, thrice-buried, looks very much alive." Ramesh Ponnuru wrote on Bloomberg View, "It's clear now that one scenario with a lot of purchase among conservative opponents of Obamacare—that the law would 'implode,' 'collapse' or 'unravel'—is highly unlikely," and urged the law's naysayers to "concede defeat."
(The Hill) Allies of the administration are questioning whether the requirement for businesses to provide insurance will ever be implemented, given the drumbeat of opposition from industry groups. On Wednesday, former White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said he thinks the mandate will be scrapped. "It’s a small part of the law. I think it will be one of the first things to go," Gibbs told a healthcare gathering in Colorado…
During an event last month in Florida, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said she would look at reforming how the law impacted “small business of 50 or more” employees. Clinton, who could inherit the mantle of ObamaCare as the Democratic nominee in 2016, also expressed concerns about employers "moving people from full-time work to part-time work to try to avoid contributing to their healthcare." 
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Warm water immersion boosts brain's blood

(Science Network WA) Water immersion has the potential to provide more benefits than previously thought, according to researchers who have found it increases blood flow in the brain.
UWA School of Sport Science's Howard Carter says the study raises the possibility that increases in blood flow through the brain's cerebral arteries may improve not only vascular health, but also cognitive function.
"Studies on the positive effect of exercise on heart health have been numerous, but we are taking a different angle and are interested in the link between heart and brain health," Mr Carter says.
"To our knowledge, ours is the first examination of the effect of graded euthermic [warm] water immersion on cerebral blood flow."
Community: No wonder getting in a Jacuzzi feels so good!
There are many practical things we can do to maintain and improve cognitive function.
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High Blood Pressure and Diabetes Linked to Cognitive Decline

(Christopher Bergland, Psychology Today) High blood pressure and diabetes have become a national epidemic that contributes to millions of deaths annually. According to the American Heart Association, adults with diabetes are two to four times more likely to have heart disease or a stroke than adults without diabetes.
Heart diseases and stroke are the leading causes of death and disability among people with type 2 diabetes. In fact, at least 65 percent of people with diabetes die from some form of heart disease or stroke.
High blood pressure (hypertension) has long been recognized as a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease. When someone has both hypertension and diabetes—which is a common combination—his or her risk for cardiovascular disease doubles.
In addition to the increased risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke caused by high blood pressure and diabetes, new research has found that these conditions also lead to brain shrinkage and cognitive decline.
Community: There are many practical things we can do to prevent, delay, or minimize cognitive decline.
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Poor Sleep Quality Linked to Cognitive Decline in Older Men

(Science Daily) A new study of older men found a link between poor sleep quality and the development of cognitive decline over three to four years.
Results show that higher levels of fragmented sleep and lower sleep efficiency were associated with a 40 to 50 percent increase in the odds of clinically significant decline in executive function, which was similar in magnitude to the effect of a five-year increase in age. In contrast, sleep duration was not related to subsequent cognitive decline.
"It was the quality of sleep that predicted future cognitive decline in this study, not the quantity," said lead author Terri Blackwell, MA… "With the rate of cognitive impairment increasing and the high prevalence of sleep problems in the elderly, it is important to determine prospective associations with sleep and cognitive decline."
Community: There are many practical things we can do to prevent, delay, or minimize cognitive decline.
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Mentally demanding jobs linked to slower cognitive decline

(Reuters Health) People with mentally challenging jobs, like air traffic controllers, doctors and financial analysts, tend to stay mentally sharper while on the job and following retirement, results of a new study suggest.
"Working in a job that involves a lot of thinking, analyzing, problem solving, creativity, and other complex mental processing is related to higher levels of cognitive functioning not only before retirement (while we are still working) but after retirement as well," lead author Gwenith G. Fisher, of Colorado State University in Fort Collins, told Reuters Health in a email.
"The characteristics of our jobs may affect our health and well-being even after we retire," she added.
Community: 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

(Huffington Post) Researchers from the University of Bonn have identified a variant on the DRD2 gene that seems to be associated with increased forgetfulness… However, "there are things you can do to compensate for forgetfulness; writing yourself notes or making more of an effort to put your keys down in a specific location -- and not just anywhere," study researcher Dr. Sebastian Markett, of the University of Bonn, said in a statement.
(Sharecare.com) Eating foods rich in the Omega-3 fatty acid DHA can help keep your memory sharp and may prevent Alzheimer's disease. In this video, Dr. Mehmet Oz discusses which foods you should add to your menu.
(Wall Street Journal) A growing body of research suggests health benefits from coconut oil, including a recent study that found it protects mouse neurons against the buildup of proteins linked to Alzheimer's disease. But the coconut oil research, mostly in animals and in the laboratory, is too preliminary to laud it as a health food, says David M. Klurfeld, national program leader for human nutrition at the U.S. Department of Agriculture in Beltsville, Md. It is fine in moderation, he says, but he doesn't advocate eating large amounts of it.
(Andrew Weil, M.D.) The older you are, the better the chance that you’re running low on vitamin D. We’ve long known that “D” is essential for strong bones, and recent studies have linked low levels to Alzheimer’s disease, high blood pressure, psoriasis, several autoimmune diseases (including multiple sclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis), and as many as 18 different cancers. And now a new study from the University of Kentucky has found that a deficiency of vitamin D can damage the brain, at least in rats.
(Scientific American) [S]cientists are devising interventions to help keep the elderly mind sharp. One popular approach—borrowed from the training of memory experts—is to teach the elderly mnemonics, or little tricks to help encode and recall new information using rhythm, imagery or spatial navigation.
(Editorial, Los Angeles Times) The U.S. must do what it can to fight this hideous disease before it consumes millions more people and billions more dollars.
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Pasta Primavera
Use fresh seasonal vegetables for a hearty meatless meal. For the meat lovers in the family, feel free to add chicken or shrimp to this pasta recipe.
African Sweet Potato & Chicken Stew
In this African peanut and chicken stew recipe, nutrient-rich sweet potatoes and no-salt-added tomatoes keep this creamy stew healthy. To complete the bowl, the flavorful chicken stew is served over whole-wheat couscous seasoned with lime juice and chopped fresh cilantro.
The Supermarket Guru:
Steal This Recipe® Macadamia Crusted Chicken
Like the vibrant St. Louis neighborhood surrounding it, Scape is an eclectic blend of classic and contemporary. The inventive American cuisine is set against a backdrop of warmth and sophistication. The restaurant is conveniently located in the Central West End's historic yet hip Maryland Plaza. The atmosphere is sophisticated and the menu is creative yet approachable. Whether enjoying a dinner with colleagues, an after-work cocktail at the bar or an intimate dinner for two, Scape is a welcome addition to the St. Louis dining scene.
Andrew Weil, M.D.:
Apple Oat-Bran Muffins
Commercially baked muffins have become as large as small birthday cakes and loaded with calories and fat. These muffins, on the other hand, are delicious and loaded with fiber and heart-friendly oat bran. They may truly be the breakfast of champions. You may use Granny Smith or Gravenstein apples, but feel free to try your favorite green apple. You can freeze what you don't consume right away for a later date.
Food as Medicine
Oat bran binds cholesterol in the gut and blocks its absorption. These muffins can help you move toward a healthy daily goal of 40 grams of fiber, which is about twice what most Americans consume.
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Eating Watermelon Could Lower Blood Pressure, Study Suggests

(Science Daily) Be sure to pick up a watermelon -- or two -- at your local grocery store. It could save your life.
A new study by Florida State University Associate Professor Arturo Figueroa … found that watermelon could significantly reduce blood pressure in overweight individuals both at rest and while under stress.
"The pressure on the aorta and on the heart decreased after consuming watermelon extract," Figueroa said.
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Supermarket Savvy

(Consumer Reports) Smart shopping begins with understanding how goods are priced and marketed, and how stores coax you into buying them. It also entails making healthful choices, which has become easier at many stores. Learn about layout… Know the high-low game… Beware of tricky signs… Check your receipt… Weigh the benefits of organics… Read nutrition labels… Learn about staying well.
(Consumer Reports) Love supermarket shopping? We thought not. Use these four ways to save time and the supermarket to speed up your trip and make it more efficient. Go mobile… Shop online… Check yourself out… Try a meal to go.
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Diet Supplement OxyElite Pro Causes Nearly 100 Hepatitis Cases

(LiveScience) A popular diet supplement has caused an outbreak of severe liver disease, sickening nearly 100 people in 16 states since it was first reported in Hawaii last year, according to a new paper. The publication calls for a better system to remove dangerous supplements from the market.
As of February, OxyElite Pro, a dietary supplement manufactured by USPLabs that claims to help people burn fat, has been linked to 97 cases of hepatitis, including 47 people who were hospitalized, three who needed liver transplantations and one person who died, according to the paper, which was authored by Dr. Pieter Cohen, an assistant professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and a general internist at Cambridge Health Alliance.
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Bleach vs. Bacteria: How the Body Does Spring Cleaning

(LiveScience) Spring cleaning often involves chlorine bleach, which has been used as a disinfectant for hundreds of years. But our bodies have been using bleach's active component, hypochlorous acid, to help clean house for millennia. As part of our natural response to infection, certain types of immune cells produce hypochlorous acid to help kill invading microbes, including bacteria.
Researchers funded by the National Institutes of Health have made strides in understanding exactly how bleach kills bacteria — and how bacteria's own defenses can protect against the cellular stress caused by bleach. The insights gained may lead to the development of new drugs to breach these microbial defenses, helping our bodies fight disease.
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Cancer News

(Reuters Health) When researchers evaluated a dozen websites meant to inform patients about colon cancer screening, most were written at too high a reading level and lacked important risk and benefit information.
(Reuters Health) A review of 50 years of studies on the risks and benefits of yearly mammograms has tied them to a 19 percent drop overall in breast cancer deaths, but whether a woman benefits depends on factors such as age and family history, U.S. researchers said on Tuesday.
(Science Daily) A team of researchers from five Swedish universities has identified a new way of treating cancer. The concept is based on inhibiting a specific enzyme called MTH1, which cancer cells, unlike normal cells, require for survival. Without this enzyme, oxidized nucleotides are incorporated into DNA, resulting in lethal DNA double-strand breaks in cancer cells.
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Drug Addiction News

(Reuters) U.S. regulators on Thursday approved a portable device to treat painkiller overdoses that people without medical training can use in emergency situations, a move to combat the rise of deaths from the abuse of opioids, including heroin… The approval means emergency responders or even family members could have an easy-to-use treatment in cases of suspected overdose of opioids, which include pain drugs like oxycodone, morphine, codeine and hydrocodone as well as heroin.
(Wall Street Journal) As deaths from heroin and other opiate drugs rise throughout New York, state officials are planning to equip police with an antidote to reverse the effects of overdoses.
(Reuters) About two-thirds of Americans say drug abusers need access to treatment to address their addiction rather than criminal prosecution that could lead to jail time, according to a poll released on Wednesday that highlights the public's shifting attitude toward illegal drugs in the United States.
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Fort Hood, Again

(U.S. News & World Report) A gunman opened fire on Wednesday at the Fort Hood military base in Killeen, Texas, leaving four people dead and 16 injured. The shooter, identified by officials as Army Spec. Ivan Lopez, was on medication and seeking treatment for mental health issues, including anxiety, depression and sleep disturbance… Despite voluntarily committing to mental health treatments and evaluations, Lopez was still allowed to legally purchase the .45 caliber automatic pistol he used in the shooting.
(New York Daily News) Suffering from depression, ADHD and panic disorders, a large group of enlistees suggests problems with Army screening. More than 8% had considered suicide.
(ABC News) The Fort Hood soldier who killed three colleagues before killing himself was being evaluated for post-traumatic stress disorder, although he served four months on Iraq at a time combat for U.S. troops was over and he was not wounded… But experts said soldiers do not have to suffer a wound or trauma in combat to develop PTSD.
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Health Threat May Keep Incinerators from Turning Trash to Power

(Scientific American) Short on landfill space and keen to find novel ways of generating electricity, cities nationwide have begun considering a new wave of incinerator plants designed to be cleaner and more efficient [than] their predecessors. Yet the technologies remain largely unproven, and many cities have been unable to navigate both public opinion and the complex issues surrounding their potential emissions and energy production. 
Due to a lack of definitive data, cities faced with proposals to build plants using these new technologies often take developers' claims at face value, said Monica Wilson of the Global Anti-Incinerator Alliance. Still, none of the more than 100 such proposals to surface nationwide in the last seven years has succeeded.
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U.S. companies are chipping away at retiree health benefits

(McClatchy) Big companies are shifting their focus entirely to their stockholders. Globalization, endorsed by both major political parties, puts added pressure on the bottom line. Wages are stalled and benefits are on the chopping block…
Once a mainstay of blue-collar and government jobs, retiree health benefits are steadily disappearing.
Companies long offered them as a way of retaining workers. Now companies are shedding these plans and the expectations they entailed.
By 2010, just 17.7 percent of American workers had employer-provided retiree health coverage, down sharply from about 29 percent in 1997, according to the Employee Benefit Research Institute, a nonpartisan study organization.
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Medical school leaders cash in on drug company boards, researchers say

(Milwaukee Journal Sentinel) While university doctors who moonlight for drug companies have faced intense scrutiny in recent years, new research suggests much larger sums of money are being paid to their bosses - the leaders of medical schools and hospitals who serve on drug company boards…
The average annual compensation from the drug companies was $313,000, according to the paper published Tuesday in the Journal of the American Medical Association. "These relationships present potentially far-reaching consequences beyond those created when individual physicians consult with industry or receive gifts," the researchers wrote.
Others who were not a part of the paper said such lucrative moonlighting for drug companies with vested interests simply should not be done by university leaders who oversee independent research and the instruction of medical practitioners. "I don't know how they can manage a conflict like that," said Susan Chimonas, an expert on conflicts of interest in medicine. "My gosh, there is so much money they are making for a little side job."
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