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

Program to Help Achieve and Sustain Wellness

(Mayo Clinic) In a crowded health and wellness marketplace, knowing what’s fact versus myth and effective versus ineffective can be a challenge. It also may be an obstacle for some people to find a sound and practical lifestyle program that they can maintain over time. To provide a comprehensive wellness program based on research, not the trend of the day, Mayo Clinic will launch the Mayo Clinic Healthy Living Program in summer of 2014 to help people adopt healthy behavioral changes in diet, exercise and stress management and improve their overall quality of life.
This new program will be located within the Mayo Clinic Dan Abraham Healthy Living Center in Rochester.
To achieve its vision, the Mayo Clinic Healthy Living Program is designed to help people break down barriers, dispel myths and give participants a comprehensive wellness experience tailored to their individual goals. What makes this program unique is that it doesn’t end once the person leaves the campus; it offers ongoing support long after the person returns home.
“Mayo has been dedicated to the health and wellness of individuals for 150 years, and this program continues that tradition by offering life-changing experiences to people seeking whole-person wellness who want to maximize their health,” says Donald Hensrud, M.D., medical director, Mayo Clinic Healthy Living Program. “We’re committed to partnering with each participant to design an individualized wellness plan to help them reach their wellness goals so that their success continues once they return home and are immersed back into the reality of their busy lives.”
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Mindfulness: Think Before You Eat and Make Healthier Choices

(Science Daily) Making individuals more aware of their eating behaviour (mindfulness) can lead to healthier choices and help prevent emotional eating…
The results [of a study] showed that when individuals were more aware of their eating behaviour, they tended to respond less to emotional cues, and seem more mindful, regarding both food consumption and maintenance of healthier BMI.
[Study leader Ioanna Koptsi] explained: "Eating behaviour undoubtedly represents a challenge in modern life and both current and previous studies acknowledge the complexity of research on this topic. Emotional cues such as aggression, depression and anxiety can cause people to be less mindful of their eating habits.
The principles of mindful eating can be easily learned and these should be incorporated in to current clinical and research practices."
Community: WebMD has some tips on “How to Practice Mindful Eating.”
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Everything We Needed To Know About Well-Being, We Learned By Age 9

(Huffington Post) We may be fully-grown adults, taking on the world one corporate meeting and personal triumph at a time, but what if we were smarter as kids than we gave ourselves credit for?...
As we've grown older, somewhere along the way we may have lost these precious childhood ideals. We spend most of our time in front of a screen (a 2013 study found we're spending more than 5 hours per day with our devices) and in overdrive at work (job burnout is continually on the rise) rather than prioritizing our own happiness. The good news is, these wellness values were second nature to us as children -- and there's a way to get back to them as adults…
Prioritize playtime…
Cultivate resilience…
Indulge in a little friendly competition…
Form (and maintain) strong relationships with others…
Dream up possibilities…
Eat when you're hungry, not when you're bored…
Take naps…
Put yourself in time out…
Give (and accept) freely.
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12 Healthy Habits the World Can Learn From Hawaiians

(Huffington Post) The Hawaii experience begins and ends with aloha, a word that manifests love, affection, and mercy…
Aloha is a way of life, essentially a moral compass that unites all of Hawaii and its people. Mother Earth went all out in Hawaii: Bursts of tropical vegetation, unspoiled wonders, and turquoise blue seas are unmatched by any other destination in the world…
The rest of the world can learn a thing of two from Hawaii culture. Put a little aloha in your day and spread it around the world. Here are 12 life lessons the world can learn from Hawaii locals:
1. Less Is More…
2. Lighten Up…
3. Go Outside and Play…
4. Do What You Love Daily…
5. Eat Local Foods…
6. Make Eye Contact…
7. Relax More…
8. Put Your Digital Devices Away…
9. Move Your Body…
10. Respect Mother Nature…
11. Release Expectations…
12. Take More Risks.
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Pan-Grilled Flank Steak
Serve pan-grilled flank steak with a soy-mustard sauce for a flavorful and budget-friendly steak supper.
Seared Chicken with Lemon-Herb Cream Sauce
In this healthy chicken recipe, chicken breasts are quickly pan-seared and then topped with a lemon-herb cream sauce. The healthy cream sauce recipe uses yogurt and actually contains no cream at all. The cream sauce also pairs well with seasoned pan-seared cod or salmon. Serve the chicken and sauce with steamed broccoli or green beans for a healthy dinner.
The Supermarket Guru:
Steal This Recipe® Cheddar Millet Cakes
'Stolen with permission' from Executive Chef Jon Gatewood from the Green Mountain at Fox Run Spa, these crispy Cheddar Millet Cakes have become a must-have on the spa menu at the women's live-in healthy weight loss program in Ludlow, Vermont.
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Food News

(Reuters) According to Deloitte's annual survey of food shoppers released last week, 94 percent agreed they would remain cautious and keep spending at the same level even if the economy improves. That's about the same percentage as it was in 2010 in the aftermath of the credit crisis. So Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc, McDonald's Corp, Hillshire Brands Co and Kraft Foods Group Inc, all of which are raising prices, will be trying to retain consumers stuck with stagnant incomes and unhappy memories of the recession. Faced with little choice but to boost prices to cover the spike in costs for products like milk and meat, companies often are taking extra care to justify or soften the increases.
(Andrew Weil, M.D.) Available year-round, lemons are at their peak in May - just in time for homemade lemonade. A citrus fruit, lemons are a good source of vitamin C, a potent antioxidant that helps to keep the immune system strong… And don't limit the lemons to cooking - lemons make an effective, natural cleaning product for your home. To clean and polish wood furniture, add two tablespoons of lemon juice to 10 drops of (real) lemon oil and a few drops of jojoba oil.
(Reader’s Digest) These tiny ancient seeds, favored by the Aztecs and Mayans (the word means "strength" in their language), provide major nutrients with minimal calories.
(Reader’s Digest) Who knew that vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and more healthy nutrients were packed into this little fuzzy brown fruit!
(Reader’s Digest) A healthy breakfast can set the tone for nutritious choices all day long. Consider these not-so-healthy breakfast foods sabotage.
(Reader’s Digest) Heart disease, cancer, weight loss, and more: Kale's dark leafy greens hold important vitamins and minerals that offer incredible health benefits.
(Reader’s Digest) Pomegranates, with their tiny ruby seeds, has amazing healing properties.
(Reader’s Digest) Avocados have a bad rep for being fatty, but the fats are healthy and the flesh is full of vitamins and minerals. See how else it benefits your body.
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The Latest from The People’s Pharmacy

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A Top Hospital Opens Up to Chinese Herbs as Medicines

(Wall Street Journal) The Cleveland Clinic, one of the country's top hospitals, is a surprising venue for the dispensing of herbs, a practice that is well established in China and other Eastern countries but has yet to make inroads in the U.S. because of a lack of evidence proving their effectiveness… The herbal clinic is part of the hospital's Center for Integrative Medicine, whose offerings also include acupunture, holistic psychotherapy and massage therapy.
"Western medicine does acute care phenomenally.… But we're still struggling a bit with our chronic-care patients and this fills in that gap and can be used concurrently," says Melissa Young, an integrative medicine physician at Cleveland Clinic.
While acupuncture programs have sprouted across the U.S., there are only a handful of herbal clinics. Osher Center for Integrative Medicine at Northwestern University and NorthShore University HealthSystem, affiliated with the University of Chicago, both include herbal medicine among their offerings.
"I'm getting more and more physician referrals [for herbal treatments], which to me is a sign of greater acceptance," says Leslie Mendoza Temple, medical director at NorthShore's Integrative Medicine Program. "When I first started here we were pounding on doors to prove we're not crazy and we're legitimate and safe." Referrals come from neurology, oncology, gastroenterology and rheumatology, among other departments, she says.
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U.S. FDA lowers starting dose of sleep drug Lunesta over safety

(Reuters) U.S. health regulators on Thursday said they required a label change for the sleep drug Lunesta to cut the recommended starting dose over concerns it could impair alertness in some people the following morning.
The Food and Drug Administration said the starting dose for the drug taken at bedtime for both men and women should be the lowest 1 milligram dose, down from the previous 2 mg recommended starting dose. The agency said the drug could remain in a patient's system long enough to impair activities such as driving, even if the person feels fully awake…
The 1 mg dose can be increased to 2 mg or 3 mg if needed, but the higher doses are more likely to result in next-day impairment, the agency said.
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Muscle pain not well defined in most statin studies

(Reuters Health) Studies evaluating cholesterol-lowering drugs might find more muscle problems if they did a better job of defining and asking about muscle pain, suggests a new review…
The researchers … say everyday muscle aches and pains could not be distinguished from muscle pain linked to statins because most trials did not use a standard definition for statin-related muscle problems.
[Dr. Paul D.] Thompson said his own previous study defined statin-associated muscle problems as new or increased pain, cramps or aching that is not linked to exercise and persisted for two weeks. Pain had to go away within two weeks of patients stopping a statin and come back within four weeks of them restarting the drug.
Community: It’s easy for researchers to dismiss complaints of muscle pain due to statins if they don’t care to measure that pain accurately.
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Early promise, and caution, in measles virus cancer therapy

(Reuters Health) Mayo Clinic researchers stirred excitement on Thursday by saying they had treated a patient's blood cancer with a specially engineered measles virus, but even scientists involved in the work caution the response does not prove they have a cure.
Many failed cancer drug trials involving hundreds or thousands of patients include results from "outliers" whose disease subsided inexplicably. So while the method employed by Mayo may provide a promising lead for study, it has to be corroborated in many more cases, they noted.
“We have an enormous amount of work to do to determine if this is generalizable and how to best apply the approach to other cancer patients," said Dr. Stephen Russell, the report's lead author and a hematologist at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. “We haven’t discovered a cure for cancer here."
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Cancer Patients Asking for Tests Are Often Right, Study Suggests

(LiveScience) Unnecessary tests and inappropriate treatments are problems in medicine, and may add to health care costs. But contrary to what some research has found, most of the tests and treatments that cancer patients request are actually appropriate, a new study suggests.
Researchers surveyed 26 oncologists and nurses after 2,050 patient visits. In 177 of the visits, the patients had asked for a test or treatment. The researchers further reviewed these cases to see how often cancer patients asked for tests or treatments that were not appropriate for patients with their diagnosis. These requests included blood tests or scans, experimental drugs or clinical trials.
The results showed that about 80 percent of the time, the requests from patients were deemed appropriate by the clinician. About 18 percent of the time (in 32 of 177 visits), the physicians declined a patient's request; in 84 percent (27 of 32 cases) of these cases, this was because the test or treatment deemed inappropriate or wasn't beneficial, according to the study.
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Experimental Blood Test Spots Recurrent Breast Cancers, Monitors Response to Treatment

(Science Daily) Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center investigators report they have designed a blood test that accurately detects the presence of advanced breast cancer and also holds promise for precisely monitoring response to cancer treatment.
The test, called the cMethDNA assay, accurately detected the presence of cancer DNA in the blood of patients with metastatic breast cancers up to 95 percent of the time in laboratory studies…
The test … detects so-called hypermethyation, a type of chemical tag in one or more of the breast cancer-specific genes present in tumor DNA and detectable in cancer patients' blood samples. Hypermethylation often silences genes that keep runaway cell growth in check, and its appearance in the DNA of breast cancer-related genes shed into the blood indicates that cancer has returned or spread.
Community: And then there’s this: “Israeli lab develops blood test to detect breast cancer.” Will mammograms soon be a thing of the past?
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Going Beyond the Surface: New Tech Could Take Light-Based Cancer Treatment Deep Inside the Body

(Science Daily) Photodynamic therapy (PDT) is an effective treatment for easily accessible tumors such as oral and skin cancer.
But the procedure, which uses lasers to activate special drugs called photosensitizing agents, isn't adept at fighting cancer deep inside the body. Thankfully, that's changing due to new technology that could bring PDT into areas of the body which were previously inaccessible…
[T]he approach involves using near-infrared beams of light that, upon penetrating deep into the body, are converted into visible light that activates the drug and destroys the tumor.
"We expect this will vastly expand the applications for an effective cancer phototherapy that's already in use," said co-author Tymish Ohulchanskyy, PhD.
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Pool Chemicals Injure Nearly 5,000 Yearly

(LiveScience) Pool chemicals help protect swimmers from germs in the water, but the disinfectants themselves can be hazardous if used improperly, warns a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
In 2012, nearly 5,000 people in the United States visited an emergency department for injuries from pool chemicals, the report says…
To prevent pool chemical injuries this summer season, the CDC recommends that people read and follow directions on product labels, wear safety equipment such as goggles and masks when handling pool chemicals, keep young children away from those individuals handling pool chemicals, and lock up pool chemicals to protect people and animals. Individuals should never mix different pool chemicals with each other, and should never add water to pool chemicals, the CDC said.
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Electrostatic Vacuum Cleaners May Scrub Polluted Air

(Scientific American) The murky brown smoke that hangs over Beijing and other industrial cities has long presented a health challenge to China. Unwilling to shut the factories and coal-burning plants that cause pollution, authorities instead are seeking novel solutions. Proposals have included seeding clouds to make rain to wash particulates out of the sky and equipping bicycles with pedal-powered generators that pump fresh air into riders’ helmets. The latest idea comes from Dutch artist Daan Roosegaarde, who hopes to create bubbles of clean air in various pockets around the Beijing.
Roosegaarde’s positive–ionization “vacuum cleaner” uses high-voltage, low-amp electricity to create an electrostatic field. Particles flowing across the field—enclosed in a box—become positively charged and attach themselves to a grounded electrode, which need to be scraped clean periodically. (Roosegaarde plans to turn the stuff into “diamond” rings, with a cubic-centimeter stone representing a cubic kilometer of smog.)
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Drugs to Be Derived from Insights into Body-Dwelling Bacteria

(Scientific American) Probiotics, or beneficial gut bacteria, have become a popular therapy in recent years. Television advertisements feature celebrities touting Bifidobacterium-laced yogurt, and consumers flock to buy pills that contain Lactobacillus to quell their gut disturbances and other ailments. But many physicians and scientists doubt the effectiveness of such remedies. “Probiotics may be relatively safe, but not particularly potent in terms of modifying diseases or symptoms,” says Joseph Murray, a gastroenterologist at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota.
But as scientists come to understand the mechanisms by which specific bacteria affect the body, many think that they can pinpoint the right combination of microbes to treat different conditions. Others aim to develop molecules that mimic a beneficial bacterium–host interaction, or block a harmful one. “Undoubtedly, the microbiome is a  little drug factory in our intestine,” says Justin Sonnenburg, a microbiologist at Stanford University in Palo Alto, California.
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Health Insurance News

(Kaiser Health News) A large number of women face significant barriers to health care, and while the health law will likely help them get services, some are unaware of the benefits already in effect, according to a new survey from the Kaiser Family Foundation… For instance, 18 percent of women aged 18 to 64 were uninsured, but minorities and low-income women were more likely not to have coverage.
(Washington Post) Speaking at the Peterson Fiscal Summit in Washington, Clinton said he realizes that some Democrats may have to campaign against the health-care law, or at least keep a distance from it. “There may be some places where the well may be so poisoned that they have to do it,” he said. But by and large, he said, nobody-even Albert Einstein-could have perfectly managed the rollout. The law is popular even in places where it might not be, like his home state of Arkansas, Clinton said.
(Reuters) Consumers who purchased new health plans from Blue Shield of California have sued the insurer, claiming they were misled into thinking the insurance would cover their desired doctors and hospitals. In their complaint filed in California state court on Wednesday, San Francisco residents John Harrington and Alex Talon accused Blue Shield of misrepresenting that their plans, sold on California's health exchange, would cover the full provider network advertised on the company's website.
(AP) The Obama administration has given the go-ahead for a new cost-control strategy called "reference pricing." It lets insurers and employers put a dollar limit on what health plans pay for some expensive procedures, such as knee and hip replacements. ome experts worry that patients could be surprised with big medical bills they must pay themselves… Other experts say reference pricing will help check rising premiums.
(Consumer Reports) The good news is that even though open enrollment is over, people … who tried to enroll but were stopped by wrong information, computer problems, or other things beyond their control, are eligible for a Special Enrollment Period so they can get insurance right away instead of waiting until next year.
(Politico) The Obama administration’s new pick to run Obamacare said she would use “the full extent of the law” to recover any federal funds that have been misspent on the state Obamacare exchanges that have failed. “Where the federal government and the taxpayer has had funds misused, we need to use the full extent of the law to get those funds back for the taxpayer,” Sylvia Mathews Burwell said Wednesday in her confirmation hearing before the Senate Finance Committee.
Community: Good!
(Kaiser Health News) The policy change will affect many baby boomers waiting for the new drugs.
Community: Well, that’s fine, except for the exorbitant cost of these drugs! If Medicare is going to cover these drugs, it had better negotiate the price down considerably.
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Too much exercise may be bad for the heart

(CBS News) Everyone knows exercise is fundamental for good cardiovascular health, but a new and surprising body of research is finding that too much exercise may also increase the risk of death from heart attack or stroke in patients with existing heart problems…
The researchers found those who were most sedentary were around twice as likely to have a heart attack or stroke as those who were regularly physically active. They were around four times as likely to die of cardiovascular events and all other causes.
But more surprisingly, those who did the most strenuous daily exercise were also more likely to die of a heart attack or stroke than people who engaged in more moderate activity.
"Moderate physical activity is the most protective for the heart," Dr. Nieca Goldberg, a cardiologist.
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Inactivity Trumps Other Heart Disease Risk Factors in Women Over 30

(LiveScience) For women over age 30, lack of physical activity is a more important contributor to the risk of heart disease than being overweight, smoking or having high blood pressure, a new study from Australia suggests.
The findings suggest that more should be done to promote physical activity at all ages, because it tends to receive less attention than other lifestyle recommendations like quitting smoking and losing weight, the researchers said.
The researchers analyzed information from more than 32,000 Australian women from three age groups — 22 to 27, 47 to 52 and 73 to 78 — who were followed for 12 years.
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Brisk Walk lowers Death Risk in Older Men, Study

(University Herald) Death risk in older men suffering from high blood pressure can be reduced by engaging them in moderate levels of fitness, according to a George Washington University study.
"This level of fitness is achievable by most elderly individuals by engaging in a brisk walk for 20 to 40 minutes, most days of the week," said Charles Faselis, M.D…
"For every 100 people who died in the very low fit category - 82 died in the low fit, 64 in the moderate fit and 52 in the high fit categories. The death rate is cut in half for those in the highest fitness category," said Peter Kokkinos, Ph.D.
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Light Activity Every Day Keeps Disability at Bay

(Science Daily) Pushing a shopping cart or a vacuum doesn't take a lot of effort, but enough of this sort of light physical activity every day can help people with or at risk of knee arthritis avoid developing disabilities as they age, according to a new Northwestern Medicine® study.
It is known that the more time people spend in moderate or vigorous activities, the less likely they are to develop disability, but this is the first study to show that spending more time in light activities can help prevent disability, too.
"Our findings provide encouragement for adults who may not be candidates to increase physical activity intensity due to health limitations," said Dorothy Dunlop, professor of medicine at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and lead author of the study. "Even among those who did almost no moderate activity, the more light activity they did, the less likely they were to develop disability."
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If you re 50+, how physically active should you be?

(NIH Senior Health, via email) Most people are aware that regular exercise is good for them, but how physically active do you need to be to reap the benefits that exercise can provide? See how much and how often adults 50+ should exercise.
For ideas on making exercise a regular habit, check out “Fitting Exercise and Physical Activity into Your Day,” a Tip Sheet from Go4Life® , the exercise and physical activity campaign for older adults from the National Institute on Aging at NIH.
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More Information and Recent Research on Exercise and Fitness

(Reuters Health) Being in poor shape in middle age hurts more than just one’s physique. It is also tied to earlier death, a recent study found.
(Huffington Post) No more excuses for middle-aged couch potatoes: Exercise is good for the heart, even if you don't get going until later in life, according to a small new study.
(Science Daily) A new study suggests aerobic fitness affects long-term memory. "The findings show that lower-fit individuals lose more memory across time," said a co-author. The study is one of the first to investigate young, supposedly healthy adults. Previous research on fitness and memory has focused largely on children, whose brains are still developing, and the elderly, whose memories are declining.
(Eat + Run, U.S. News & World Report) Neuroplasticity and neurogenesis cannot occur without the oxygen and glucose in blood. Our neurons cannot function without nutrients. Physical activity is associated with a surge of substances that stimulate brain growth. Brain-derived neurotropic factors are like Miracle-Gro for the brain, as is nerve growth factor. Experiments in mammals have shown that these substances can reverse age-related memory impairments.
(Sharecare.com) Just 20 minutes of exercise can boost your mood for the next 12 hours. In this video, integrative medical specialist Robin Miller, MD, discusses the feel-good effects of a short, easy workout.
(Reader’s Digest) Want to keep your arteries clear and your heart beating strong? Integrative cardiologist Joel K. Kahn, MD, coaches his patients to adopt easy exercise routines with these motivating tricks.
(USA Today) It's critical for retirees to develop physical activity plans for their golden years just as they do financial plans, says a leading national expert on physical activity and aging. Retirees need to do physical activities that will keep them strong and flexible so they can continue to do the things they want to do for years to come — whether that's playing with their grandchildren, living independently or going on vacations, says Wojtek Chodzko-Zajko.
More . . .


Salmon with Hoisin Glaze
This five-ingredient salmon recipe requires just over 15 minutes to prepare and is guaranteed to please friends and family. Enjoy garlicky-spicy snow peas on the side.
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.
Los Angeles Times:
Three chicken ideas in an hour or less
When you're looking for easy dinner ideas, you can't go wrong with chicken. It pairs well with almost any flavorings and can be cooked in so many ways. These great ideas come together in an hour or less:
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Food News

(FastCompany) The holy grail for dieters--a way to accurately and easily measure the calories and fat in the food that’s on our plates and entering our mouths--is getting closer to reality. The SCiO, a handheld “pocket molecular sensor” device that is taking off on Kickstarter that can scan food, medicines, and plants and figure out what’s in it, isn’t quite it. But it’s close.
(The Supermarket Guru) We've all heard a ton about probiotics, especially those found in yogurt, and how consuming foods with probiotics can help replace and replenish these good bacteria, but many of us still don't know the basics about probiotics and probiotic rich foods, so here are the five things you need to know.
(U.S. News & World Report) Done right, smoothies can be a great meal or a snack in a glass, since they're packed with fiber and vitamins… Consider these five interesting ingredients to shake up the typical "fruit, yogurt, ice" smoothie recipe: Cinnamon… Fresh herbs… Cottage cheese… Avocado… White beans.
(Science Daily) These days, more and more people seem to have food allergies, which can sometimes have life-threatening consequences. Scientists now report the development of a new type of flour that someday could be used in food-based therapies to help people better tolerate their allergy triggers, including peanuts.
(Nancy Brown, American Heart Association) [Dr. Ancel] Keys showed that diets rich in saturated fats led to an abundance of cholesterol in the bloodstream, which in turn becomes the root of coronary heart disease… A half-century after Keys' groundbreaking discoveries, his legacy continues to shine. Alas, so does ongoing criticism…, even though other rigorous scientific studies have not only supported his findings, they've expanded upon them.
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How Stress Hikes Risk for Stroke and Heart Attack

(PsychCentral) A new study investigates the link between stress and an increased risk for heart disease and strokes.
According to researchers at the University of Pittsburgh, stroke and heart attacks are the end products of progressive damage to blood vessels supplying the heart and brain, a process called atherosclerosis. Atherosclerosis progresses when there are high levels of chemicals in the body called pro-inflammatory cytokines.
In their study, the researchers postulate that persistent stress increases the risk for atherosclerosis and cardiovascular disease by evoking negative emotions that raise the levels of pro-inflammatory chemicals in the body.
Community: Fortunately, there are many practical things we can do to reduce stress.
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Two Florida hospital workers test negative for MERS-CoV

(UPI) Two healthcare workers at Dr. P. Phillips Hospital in Orlando, Fla., tested negative for the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome virus, officials said Wednesday.
The two hospital workers exhibited symptoms after caring for the second confirmed case of MERS in the United States.
"We want to assure the public that MERS-CoV in Florida is contained and there is no broad threat to the general public," said Dr. John Armstrong, state surgeon general and secretary of health, said in a statement.
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U.S. health officials urge use of HIV pill for at-risk individuals

(Reuters) U.S. health officials on Wednesday issued new recommendations urging healthcare workers to consider offering an HIV prevention pill to healthy individuals who are at substantial risk for HIV infection.
The guidelines, issued by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the U.S. Public Health Service, involve the use of pre-exposure prophylaxis or PrEP, a strategy in which at-risk individuals take a daily dose of an antiretroviral drug to reduce their risk of HIV infection.
The strategy builds on a landmark 2010 study that found Gilead Sciences Inc's Truvada - a pill already widely used to treat the human immunodeficiency virus - was more than 90 percent effective at preventing HIV infections among test subjects who took the drug as prescribed.
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Massive dose of measles vaccine knocks out woman's cancer

(UPI) A cancer patient in a clinical trial at the Mayo Clinic is now in full remission after being treated with an astounding dose of the measles vaccine.
Stacy Erholtz had little chance of treating her metastasized blood cancer when she went to the Mayo last June to undergo an experimental treatment. Doctors then intravenously injected her with 100 billion infectious units of the measles virus, enough to inoculate 10 million people.
The "measles blitzkrieg" made Erholtz, a 50-year-old mother, a part of history. Doctors found that the cancer had been completely eradicated from her body, and she was in remission.
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Roche immuno-oncology drug shows promise against bladder cancer

(Reuters) Roche Holding's drug from a closely watched new class of cancer immunotherapies showed promise against advanced bladder cancer in a small, early stage study, according to data released on Wednesday.
Roche has previously released data from studies testing the drug, MPDL3280A, against advanced melanoma, lung and kidney cancers, helping to generate excitement among physicians and healthcare investors for the class of medicines that help the body's immune system fight disease. The study was the first to test this type of immunotherapy against advanced bladder cancer.
The biotech drug, known as a PDL1 inhibitor, is an antibody that blocks a tumor's ability to camouflage itself so that it can be recognized and attacked by the immune system.
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New Technology Simplifies Production of Biotech Medicines

(Science Daily) The final step in the production of a biotech medicine is finishing with the correct sugar structure. This step is essential for the efficacy of the medicine, but it also makes the production process very complex and expensive. Leander Meuris, Francis Santens and Nico Callewaert (VIB/UGent) have developed a technology that shortens the sugar structures whilst retaining the therapeutic efficiency. This technology has the potential to make the production of biotech medicines significantly simpler and cheaper…
Nico Callewaert (VIB/UGent): "This technology has allowed us to solve an old biotech problem. Since the 1990s, nearly everyone has been working to make the sugar synthesis in biotech production cells as similar to human cells as possible. This is a very difficult task, because there are so many steps in this synthesis pathway. We have been able to create a 'detour' in this synthesis pathway in a fairly simple manner, making the pathway much shorter and simpler."
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Medical Research News

(Science Daily) There is increasing public pressure to report the results of all clinical trials to eliminate publication bias and improve public access. However, investigators building a database of clinical trials involving chronic pain have encountered several challenges. They describe the perils in a new article, and propose alternative strategies to improve clinical trials reporting.
(Reuters) More than 70 medical bodies in Britain, including Pfizer, GlaxoSmithKline and AstraZeneca, have signed a pledge to be more open about their use of animals in scientific experiments. The Concordat on Openness on Animal Research was published on Wednesday after lengthy negotiations among scientists, universities, medical charities, drug firms, journalists and members of the public.
(Reuters) The U.S. government's medical research agency is taking steps to erase sex bias in pivotal biomedical studies that pave the way for human clinical trials, saying scientists too often favor male over female laboratory animals and cells… Beginning October 1, researchers seeking NIH grants must report their plans for balancing male and female cells and animals in preclinical studies, with only "rigorously defined exceptions." The NIH also plans to train grant recipients and its own staff on designing studies without sex bias.
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California bill would ease professional licensing rules for immigrants

(Los Angeles Times) Denisse Rojas earned a biology degree from UC Berkeley and has set her sights on medical school. But one big obstacle stands in her way.
To practice medicine in California, doctors must obtain a license from the state, and applicants are required to provide a Social Security number as proof of identity.
Rojas, 25, does not have such a number. She is in the United States illegally, having been smuggled into the country from Mexico by her parents when she was 6 months old.
But a group of legislators wants to help her — to do for doctors, dentists, nurses, barbers, security guards and many others what they did last year for attorneys: grant those in the country illegally permission to practice their occupations.
The San Francisco resident said she was able to receive financial aid from the state under California's Dream Act for her last semester of college, so it follows that the state should allow her to use her degree.
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