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

Making the healthy choice the easy choice

(Star Tribune) Nine of 10 Minnesotans believe improved health is solely about personal choice. Yet, in the next breath, most can identify something in their communities that makes it hard for them to exercise regularly or pick out the good-for-you foods.
Those responses to a recent survey are the inspiration for a new ad campaign launched Monday by the Center for Prevention at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota…
Community solutions to personal health aren’t new to Minnesota. Since 2008, the state has been investing millions annually in Statewide Health Improvement Grants that fund everything from promoting healthy snack carts and safe walking routes for schools to establishing farmers markets in low-income communities.
Minnesota is also home to Dan Buettner and the Blue Zones project, an independent health agency that documented measurable weight loss in residents of Albert Lea after spearheading a series of improvements to increase exercise and healthy eating options in the southeast Minnesota community.
“This shift from personal responsibility to environment is absolutely the way to go,” said Buettner, whose organization is now working in Los Angeles and 11 cities in Iowa with plans to expand to Hawaii and Texas. “We’ve beat this notion of personal responsibility for six decades — exercise regularly, eat better — and yet the rate of obesity has continued to skyrocket.”
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Eating for Health, Not Weight

(Dr. Dean Ornish) In 35 years of medical research, conducted at the nonprofit Preventive Medicine Research Institute, which I founded, we have seen that patients who ate mostly plant-based meals, with dishes like black bean vegetarian chili and whole wheat penne pasta with roasted vegetables, achieved reversal of even severe coronary artery disease. They also engaged in moderate exercise and stress-management techniques, and participated in a support group. The program also led to improved blood flow and significantly less inflammation which matters because chronic inflammation is an underlying cause of heart disease and many forms of cancer. We found that this program may also slow, stop or reverse the progression of early stage prostate cancer, as well as reverse the progression of Type 2 diabetes.
Also, we found that it changed gene expression in over 500 genes in just three months, “turning on” genes that protect against disease and “turning off” genes that promote breast cancer, prostate cancer, inflammation and oxidative stress.
The program, too, has been associated with increased telomerase, which increases telomere length, the ends of our chromosomes that are thought to control how long we live.
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What Cats Can Teach Us About The Art Of Living Well

(Rob White, Huffington Post) Watching my neighbor's cat, Midge, has taught me much about the art of total living. Midge engages in daily rituals that stop her mind from over-functioning. She creates silent gaps so that she may throw out the craziness that piled up from yesterday. Now, she is free to sharpen her awareness of life around her so that she might enjoy each moment fully…
Here are five lessons Midge has taught me -- lessons that help me experience a sense of totalness and well-being in all of my daily affairs.
That which cannot be spoken must be experienced. Take time to stretch into that inner space where outer events cannot disturb you -- that's where many answers are found.
Take a moment every day for high energy celebration. The more you throw yourself into celebrating your energy, the more energy you'll have to accomplish all those things on your slate today.
Pay attention!
Listen to the birds singing, or the brook babbling, or the wind whistling through the trees. Make it a daily ritual to listen to nature with an intent to learn something new, and that which was lost is found deep inside of you.
Slow down and enjoy the taste of every morsel of food you eat. Life's intent is to give you a real taste of everything that is rich and beautiful. It's up to you to attain these precious moments on your own.
Let it out!
Let go, and sing a language you don’t know. Sing gibberish from your heart until your total being feels in rhythm with life.
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More Information and Recent Research on General Health

(The Atlantic) Laughter is the best medicine, or so the cliché goes. Actually, given the choice between laughter and, say, penicillin or chemotherapy, you’re probably better off choosing one of the latter. Still, a great deal of research shows that humor is extraordinarily therapeutic, mentally and physically.
(U.S. News & World Report) Paint brushes and IV tubes may not seem to have much in common, but the arts are increasingly touted as a form of healing that can be as relevant to a patient’s well-being as medication. And nearly half the health care institutions in the U.S. have implemented arts programs.
(Eva Ritvo, M.D., Psychology Today) Humans are social animals, so it is no surprise that we are wired to help one another. In our complex modern society, there are many ways to give and the good news is that we now understand that both the giver and receiver benefit from the relationship. Neuroscience has demonstrated that giving is a powerful pathway for creating more personal joy and improving overall health.
(ABC News) At Fort Bragg in North Carolina, Lexy,  a 5-year-old German shepherd, is successfully persuading soldiers home from the war to come in and stick with counseling… It took the friendship of military therapy dogs like Lexy to get [Staff Sgt. Dennis] Swols to see past his pride and agree to work with his therapist. The dog lies next to him during his sessions, and pulls even closer when the conversations get difficult and Swols is stressed. He said Lexy had made a difference in his life.
(TODAY) Primary care physicians could save lives by asking patients nine simple questions, a new study suggests. By asking a series of family-related questions as part of routine care, doctors are more likely to catch patients who have inherited a higher risk for developing certain cancers, heart disease and diabetes, Australian researchers note… Despite advances in DNA testing, knowing family medical history “remains the most relevant genetic risk tool,” the researchers … report.
(Eat + Run, U.S. News & World Report) If you plan on adding a new type of training or want to try a new diet to see if it suits you – but you don’t want to break the bank – you’ve come to the right place. There are a lot of ways to get fit on the cheap, and practices like eating lots of veggies, running and working out to online videos each offer a great value. But what about today’s trends that offer much less bang for your buck? Here are three trends to steer clear of if you want to get more for your money. First-Generation Fitness Gadgets… Meal Delivery Programs… Boutique Gyms.
(NIH News in Health) Veterinarians and scientists study diseases that affect both pets and people to improve medical care for humans and our 4-legged friends.
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Jamaican Chicken with Mango Salsa
Readers raved about the sweet 'n' spicy salsa that tops Jamaican jerk chicken. Make salsa up to two days ahead to save time in the kitchen.
Lamb Chops with Lebanese Green Beans
Simple pan-roasted lamb chops are served alongside deliciously spiced stewed green beans and tomatoes in a riff on a Lebanese favorite, lubiyeh. Serve with: Bulgur or rice pilaf.
Los Angeles Times:
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Food News

(Consumer Reports) Some with fewer calories and less fat are worth trying
Community: Or, you could make your own.
(Sharecare.com) Chickpeas are full of fiber and healthy protein to help keep you full. They're also great for your skin. In this video, Robin Miller, MD, explains how the manganese in chickpeas helps your skin.
(The Frugal Shopper, U.S. News & World Report) [M]any barbecue fans are wondering if our favorite summer activity is still affordable. For answers, I reached out to Erin Chase of $5 Dollar Dinners (5dollardinners.com), who knows a thing or two on creating fabulous food without going over budget. Here are her top five tips on how we can throw a yummy barbecue without going over budget:
Loss leader meats: Whatever meat is on sale at your local store will be the star of your backyard bash this season… BYOD or BYOM. Turn your party into a “bring your own” when it comes to the meat or drinks… Split the sides… Ask everyone to bring their favorite barbecue side dish to share at the party. Simplify the menu. Keep the menu at your backyard barbecue simple, such as one meat to grill, three favorite side dishes, some garlic bread and one red-white-blue patriotic dessert.  DIY decor.
(NPR) The entire state of California is in a severe drought… You might expect this to cause food shortages and higher prices across the country… Yet there's been no sign of a big price shock. What gives? Here are three explanations. 1. Some farmers have backup water supplies... 2. Some parts of California are less dry than others… 3. The limited water is going to crops that consumers are most likely to notice.
(gizmag) Technology can go a long way towards keeping food fresher for longer, but it can also be used to check whether the food has passed its best-by date. We've seen plastics that indicate the freshness of food, and we've also covered food packaging that lets people know if it's still fresh. Now, a product called Peres aims to perform a similar task, but it does it with a sensor and a smartphone or tablet.
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Novel Home Cleaning Method to Reduce Asthma

(Science Daily) A team of researchers from the University of South Carolina received two patents for a new method to rid carpets, mattresses and other furniture of harmful allergens and pests that cause asthma.
The patents (Methods and Compositions for Eliminating Allergens and Allergen-Producing Organisms) are the work of Michael Matthews, Jian Zhang and Allan Quick and uses carbon dioxide (CO2) to "freeze clean" home fabrics. The process deactivates proteins found in pet dander and can remove smoke residue and other allergy-causing substances. The freezing process also kills dust mites embedded in carpets and mattresses, which feed off human skin particles and are a major cause of asthma.
The researchers are currently perfecting the application method, which utilizes CO2 vapor sprayed directly on fabric. The vapor cools on expansion to form tiny micro-pellets of dry ice that are quickly vacuumed up and the result is completely dry fabric free of allergy-causing agents. Early tests suggest a single cleaning treatment lasts approximately six months and does no harm to the fabric.
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Stiff arteries alone are enough to cause high blood pressure

(Daily Digest News) Norwegian researchers using a “virtual human” to explore reasons for high blood pressure, discovered stiff arteries alone are enough to cause high blood pressure.
High blood pressure affects more than one billion people across the globe, but the cause of 90 percent of the cases of this highly age-related condition couldn’t be explained by physicians until now.
Klas Pettersen, a researcher at the Norwegian University of Life Sciences and first author of the study, and colleagues developed a computer model of a “virtual human,” which suggests that stiff arteries are a major factor behind high blood pressure.
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The Best Cures for Hot Flashes

(TIME) For many women, the symptoms of menopause can feel unbearable, especially those hot flashes and night sweats. Although there’s continuous debate over the risks and benefits of hormone therapy, current recommendations are that women undergoing treatment should take the smallest dose for only a brief period of time. For women who want care for longer, there’s a desire for a non-hormonal alternative.
Estrogen therapy tends to be the go-to treatment, but Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) researchers looked at whether a non-hormonal treatment called venlafaxine hydrochloride is just as effective. Generally, the authors note, venlafaxine hydrochloride is thought to be an inferior treatment.
The researchers had 339 perimenopausal and postmenopausal women with at least two bothersome symptoms a day take either estrogen therapy, venlafaxine hydrochloride, or a placebo. They discovered that estrogen therapy and venlafaxine hydrochloride were similarly successful at combating menopause-related problems.
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Twice the Tamoxifen Backed for Breast Cancer Patients

(ABC News) One of the top cancer groups in the U.S. is urging breast cancer patients to take the drug tamoxifen for 10 years after treatment with surgery, chemo or radiation – effectively doubling the previously recommended five years on the drug.
Tamoxifen targets the hormones estrogen and progesterone, which are important in the development of many breast cancers. The recommendation by the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) follows two large studies over the last year suggesting that women who take the drug for 10 years may lower their risk of early death and recurrence compared with those who take it for five years.
The women in these studies who took tamoxifen for 10 years cut their risk of dying early by 3 percent, their risk of recurrence by 4 percent, and their risk of cancer in the remaining breast by 12 percent.
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Brain activity changes seen after chemo

(Reuters Health) For some women with breast cancer, changes in brain activity while multitasking could explain “chemo brain” – reduced mental functioning that many experience after chemotherapy, Belgian researchers say.
“Cognitive complaints of people increase with chemotherapy and we are trying to find out why,” said Sabine Deprez, who led the new study. “Difficulty multitasking is one of the biggest complaints.”
Past research has documented changes in mental performance following chemotherapy – and in some cases, in cancer patients before chemotherapy, suggesting disease-related processes may also play a role, according to Deprez’s team.
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What you and airlines can do to combat powerful bacteria

(Washington Post) A new study conducted by researchers at Auburn University found that two harmful and potentially deadly bacteria – MRSA and E. coli – can live for several days on various surfaces in the confines of an airplane cabin. Researchers used actual arm rests, toilet flush handles, tray tables, window shades, seats and seat pockets to test the bacteria, in airplane-like conditions, and found that the bacteria can linger for several days, depending on the surface…
[P]assengers should not rely only on airlines’ cleaning practices. They should take precautions against possible lingering bacteria.
• Always wash your hands with soap and water or hand sanitizer before eating anything on an airplane and immediately after  disembarking. This will clean your hands of any bacteria that may have been transferred during your time on the plane.
• Carry a travel size bottle of an odorless disinfectant and use it on arm rests and the seat-back tray table in front of you. Your food sits on that tray and you can transfer some bacteria from the tray table to your food. By disinfecting areas around your seat, you can prevent contact with bacteria from those surfaces.
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How to choose your next toothbrush

(Consumer Reports) Though it seems pretty basic, picking a toothbrush is anything but. Soft bristles or hard? Bent neck or straight? Manual or electric? The choices are endless: Our recent search for toothbrushes at Drugstore.com turned up 435 results in 53 brands! So our colleagues at ShopSmart magazine got advice from the American Dental Association and independent experts on how to choose your next toothbrush.
In addition to following this expert advice, you can look for the ADA Seal of Acceptance. Products that display the seal have met the organization’s standards for safety, efficacy, composition, labeling, package inserts, and advertising, says the ADA spokeswoman Ruchi Sahota, D.D.S. Note that the seal is voluntary, and companies must pay for it. Among the brushes shown below, some have the seal, some do not.
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Universal Antidote for Snakebite: Experimental Trial Represents Promising Step Toward

(Science Daily) A team of researchers … has taken another promising step toward developing a universal antidote for snakebite. Last summer, the team tested the effectiveness of a nasally administered antiparalytic drug on mice injected with high doses of Indian cobra (Naja naja) venom.
Mice injected with otherwise fatal doses of venom outlived and in many cases survived after being treated with the antiparalytic agent, neostigmine. These findings support the team's idea that providing fast, accessible, and easy-to-administer treatment can increase survival rates in victims of venomous snakebite.
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Artificial Lung the Size of a Sugar Cube May Replace Animal Testing

(Science Daily) What medications can be used to treat lung cancer, and how effective are they? Until now, drug companies have had to rely on animal testing to find out. But in the future, a new 3D model lung is set to achieve more precise results and ultimately minimize -- or even completely replace -- animal testing…
The biological model is based human lung cancer cells growing on tissue. Thus an artificial lung is created. A bioreactor is used to make it breathe and to pump a nutrient medium through its blood vessels in the same way our bodies supply our lungs with blood. The reactor also makes it possible to regulate factors such as how fast and deeply the model lung breathes…
Researchers are now planning to explore the extent to which their artificial lung can be used to test new therapeutic agents.
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Georgia Looks To Reopen Some Closed Rural Hospitals As E.R.s

(Kaiser Health News) There just wasn't enough money to keep Charlton Memorial going, says Doug Gowen, who stayed and is in charge of what's left of the defunct hospital. A small staff handles the medical records accumulated when it was still in business.
With 25 beds, Charlton Memorial, like many rural hospitals, struggled to cope with a lack of high-tech specialty care, a big drop in local funding and populations that were getting older and poorer…
The state of Georgia just threw him a lifeline, offering a new kind of license to allow struggling hospitals and those that have closed in the past year to become rural freestanding emergency departments.
"The intent here is to have some kind of health care infrastructure in a community, as opposed to nothing at all," says Clyde Reese, who runs the Georgia Department of Community Health.
He doesn't know of another state that's tried this approach. The new emergency departments would handle run-of-the-mill urgent care, such as broken bones. But they would also stabilize patients for transfer to larger hospitals that are better equipped and staffed.
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VA investigators: Delayed care is everywhere

(USA Today) Delaying medical care to veterans and manipulating records to hide those delays is "systemic throughout" the Department of Veterans Affairs health system, the VA's Office of Inspector General said in a preliminary report Wednesday.
"Our reviews at a growing number of VA medical facilities have thus far provided insight into the current extent of these inappropriate scheduling issues throughout the VA health care system and have confirmed that inappropriate scheduling practices" are widespread, the report said.
Investigators with the Inspector General's Office also said their probe into charges of delays in health care at a VA hospital in Phoenix shows that the care of patients was compromised.
Late-night testimony Wednesday by a top VA official before Congress amounted to a confession that the agency had lost its focus over the years, paying more attention to meeting performance standards than treating patients.
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Health Insurance News

(Kaiser Health News) "Reference pricing" has the blessing of the Obama administration. What is it and how might it affect your health insurance?
(Los Angeles Times) Years ago, legendary activist Cesar Chavez helped create the first health insurance plan for farm workers who toiled for meager wages in California's fields… But like many other insurance plans around the country, it doesn't fully meet requirements set by President Barack Obama's health care law. Unless supplemental insurance is purchased, the farm workers say, 10,700 people could lose coverage. Some Democrats want taxpayers to pick up the $3.2 million tab for the extra insurance so the health care plan can keep operating.
But the proposed subsidy has sparked concern about Democrats trying to prop up one union's health care coverage when other insurance plans have also struggled to meet new federal requirements.
(USA Today) More employees are getting hit with higher health insurance premiums and co-payments, and many don't have the money to cover unexpected medical expenses, a new report finds. More than half of companies (56%) increased employees' share of health care premiums or co-payments for doctors' visits in 2013, and 59% of employers say they intend to do the same in 2014, according to the annual Aflac WorkForces Report. It's based on a survey of 1,856 employers and 5,209 employees at small, medium and large-size companies.
(NPR) When the Affordable Care Act was unveiled, business groups railed against the provision that requires companies with 50 or more employees to provide health insurance for their full-time workers. The Obama administration responded by pushing back the deadline for the coverage, so it hasn't yet taken effect. Now support for this so-called employer mandate is eroding in some surprising quarters. A study called "Why Not Just Eliminate the Employer Mandate?" has been published by the Urban Institute, a center-left think tank based in Washington, D.C. It lists a number of reasons why dropping the mandate might be a good idea.
(Wall Street Journal) Not long ago, many Democrats were in a defensive crouch when it came to health care, amid public anger about the botched rollout of the federal website to sign up for insurance and stories of people who lost existing coverage because it didn't meet federal standards. ... Now, in at least half a dozen competitive Senate and gubernatorial races, Democrats and their allies are airing TV commercials that directly support the legislation, focusing on its guaranteed coverage for pre-existing conditions, preventive-care benefits and a ban on charging women more for insurance.
(Wall Street Journal) After years of bashing the Affordable Care Act, conservative House Republicans are pushing for a vote on a GOP health-care plan to show they have a policy position beyond repealing the current law. Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R., Va.) said in January the House would vote this year on a health-care alternative. Four months later, Republican leaders are working with committee chairmen, as well as with GOP lawmakers who are also physicians, to reach a consensus on what that plan should include. Now, some lawmakers are asking to speed up the process.
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Light exercise linked to less disability

(Reuters Health) People who engage in plenty of light movement have a lower risk of developing a disability and losing their capacity to care for themselves, a new study suggests.
The study included middle-aged and older adults who had knee osteoarthritis or were at high risk of developing the condition. It focused specifically on low-intensity exercise, like strolling through a shopping mall or walking around the living room during television commercials.
“This study shows that even light movement is beneficial,” lead author Dorothy Dunlop told Reuters Health.
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Looking to feel better? You might try exercise.

(NIH Senior Health, via email) Would you like something that could help you feel better physically and mentally? Why not give exercise a try? Numerous studies have shown that exercise and physical activity can boost your mood, help reduce fatigue, and improve your overall well-being. See more exercise benefits here.
Start with an activity that you enjoy and that fits your current fitness level. For ideas, check out “Finding Activities You Enjoy,” a Tip Sheet from Go4Life®, the exercise and physical activity campaign from the National Institute on Aging at NIH.
The information on Benefits of Exercise was developed for NIHSeniorHealth by the National Institute on Aging (NIA) at NIH.
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Here's Proof That Exercise Changes Everything

(Huffington Post) The average adult needs at least two hours and 30 minutes of activity each week, if it's at a moderate intensity level, like brisk walking. Up the intensity to jogging or running, and you can aim for at least 75 minutes a week. Add in a couple of strengthening sessions a week, and you can expect to build muscle, protect your heart, avoid obesity and even live longer.
That's not to say that shorter bouts of exercise aren't worth it. Even just in 10-minute increments, exercise can make a marked difference in health and well-being…
Regular exercisers have a 40 percent lower risk of developing dementia, and a 60 percent lower risk of any type of cognitive impairment, according to a 2012 study. In young adults, regular exercise can increase bone mineral density by as much as 2 to 8 percent a year, according to the New York Times, helping to prevent dangerous falls and fractures later in life.
Some of the big differences between sedentary and active people are obviously beneficial, like a longer lifespan or a less-taxed heart. Others are a little less clear, like a higher maximal oxygen uptake, or VO2max, which reflects a regular exerciser's increased capacity for aerobic exercise, or a more efficient sweating response, which helps regular exercisers cool their bodies quickly. Check out these and other differences exercise makes. Then go ahead and lace up those sneaks.
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Exercise as Medicine

(Sharecare.com) Our brains tend to shrink as we age, just like a piece of fruit on the counter. But you could help keep your brain plump and young just by walking about a mile a day.
(Science Daily) For otherwise healthy middle-aged women who are overweight or obese, physical activity may be their best option for avoiding heart disease, according to a study that followed nearly 900 women for seven years. "Being overweight or obese increases a person's risk for developing conditions such as hypertension, elevated triglyceride levels and elevated fasting glucose levels—all of them risk factors for heart disease, the leading cause of death in the U.S.," said the study's lead author.
(NIH News in Health) Building bone as a young adult can have benefits that last a lifetime, a new study showed. The research also confirmed that physical activity as we get older can help us maintain bone strength.
(Reuters Health) People with poor circulation in their legs benefit from a home-based walking program and are more likely to keep it up over the long term, according to a new U.S. study.
(Reuters Health) Women who become diabetic during pregnancy may be able to avoid later developing type 2 diabetes with exercise, according to a new U.S. study.
(University of Abertay Dundee) Type 2 diabetes can be prevented by doing just two sessions of high-intensity training (HIT) a week, new research … has shown.
(Sharecare.com) When arthritis pain sets in, getting up to work out may be the last thing you want to do. But regularly opting for a walk around the block instead of an afternoon on the couch could gain you up to 20 pain-free days per year, according to new research.
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More Information and Recent Research on Exercise and Fitness

(Fox News) That's because her Hannaford supermarket has a small gym located just past the pharmacy counter. It has treadmills, stationary bicycles, various other cardio machines, even a state-of-the-art Zumba room with a shiny wooden floor.
Community: I combine exercise with groceries by walking to the grocery stores in my area. It allows me to take advantage of sales on the items I buy and it doesn’t cost me a gym fee or extra money for groceries to pay for the gym equipment.
(LiveScience) Physical-activity researchers are using accelerometers to get a better picture of how people move throughout the day, which could ultimately lead to updates of activity guidelines.
(Andrew Weil, M.D.) Being a couch potato can take a toll on your brain. We have long known that physical activity has positive effects on the body, and now a newly published study has shown that lack of exercise can reshape certain neurons in the brain, and not in a good way… They saw no changes in the brains of the animals that received plenty of exercise but potentially dangerous alterations in neurons in the brains of the sedentary rats, including increased numbers of tentacle-like arms on neurons that could over-stimulate the sympathetic nervous system and lead to high blood pressure and the development of heart disease.
(Appetite for Health) Stretching appears to be more hype than help when it comes to preventing sports injuries, according to a new landmark review of the stretching research… However, both strength training and proprioception training did help reduce injuries. In fact, Strength training reduced sports injuries to less than 1/3 and overuse injuries were nearly halved. Proprioception training also reduced the risk for sports injuries. Proprioception is the body’s ability to move and stay balanced by strengthening your core.
(Washington Post) Hygiene concerns and cost are the major obstacles, but some cities are beginning to find ways around them.
(Washington Post) “The best thing about a standing desk is that light moving around displaces sitting time,” says [Loretta DiPietro, chairman of the department of exercise science at George Washington University’s Milken Institute School of Public Health], whose latest study showed that subjects who take a few short strolls throughout the day control their blood sugar better than those who take one longer, sustained walk. Her strongest evidence for the benefits of standing desks, however, comes from her personal experiment. By cutting back on nearly 10 hours a day of sitting, she’s banished the shooting pains in her legs and lost weight.
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Halibut with Olive and Bell Pepper Couscous
Briny kalamata olives add a salty punch to Halibut with Olive and Bell Pepper Couscous. This one-dish dinner will be a weeknight favorite especially since it's table-ready in 30 minutes. Sustainable Choice: Look for Pacific halibut.
Cornmeal-Crusted Chicken with Pepian Sauce
Tomatillos and pepitas form the basis for pepian sauce--one version of Mexican mole.
6 Healthy Asian-Inspired Dishes
Bring the exotic flavors of the East to your table with these Asian-inspired recipes.
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Food News

(UPI) Grilling can be a healthy choice if lean cuts of meat are chosen, poultry is substituted for ground beef or sausage and fruit and vegetables are used.
(UPI) As grilling season begins, the Institute of Food Technologists explains how a marinade works, how smoking infuses flavors and why meat needs a rest.
(Headlines & Global News) The Athens Medical School in England released a study that said that people who ate a quarter cup of tomato paste daily had reduced incidences of sunburn and increased their skin's natural SPF by as much as a third… The study … reveals that antioxidants in dark greens like spinach can also dissolve in the body and remove free radicals from the sun.
(Science Daily) Calorie restriction during treatment for breast cancer changes cellular programming in a way that lowers the chance of metastases in mice.
(Medical News Today) In a 2009 study, Dr. David Jenkins, of St. Michael's Hospital in Toronto, Canada, and colleagues found that a low-carbohydrate vegan diet - labeled as "Eco-Atkins" - was effective for weight loss. Now, new research from the team finds the diet may also reduce the risk of heart disease by 10% over 10 years.
(LiveScience) The idea that eating certain foods make us feel better when we're down may be a myth, psychologists say.
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The Latest from The People’s Pharmacy

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Do supplements really work?

(Consumer Reports) Swallowing a dose of nutrients in pill form to improve your health makes sense­—in theory. And it’s true that taking a supplement can help plug gaps in people who have or are at risk for specific nutrient deficiencies. 
Studies have often found that people whose diets include higher levels of certain nutrients (usually due to high intake of fruits and vegetables) have lower rates of various diseases, including cancer. But clinical trials testing supplements of those same nutrients have turned up almost universally disappointing results…
Why would nutrients proved to be good for us in our food not “work” when taken in pill form? “The biology is complicated,” says Stephen P. Fortmann, M.D., senior investigator… In the case of antioxidants, for example, “hundreds of nutrients affect antioxidant function in the body, so it’s not surprising that taking just a few isolated ones might have no effect or even mess up the system,” he says.
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Should I take advantage of hand sanitizers in public places?

(Consumer Reports) Though we feel you should not bother at all with antibacterial soaps and lotions (those containing triclosan), we do feel that if soap and water are not available to you, alcohol-based sanitizers such as Purell and others are a very good choice. Just be sure you select a product that contains no less than 60 percent alcohol (ethanol or isopropanol), because that’s the level where it’s effective at killing germs.
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More Senseless Shootings

(Daily Mail) A distraught father whose son was among the victims killed in a shooting rampage near a California university quaked with grief and rage Saturday as he described his 'lost and broken' family and the proliferation of guns he believes led to his son's death… Martinez choked back tears as he spoke, then grew angrier as he talked about gun laws and lobbyists… Richard Martinez went on to say that he blamed, 'craven, irresponsible politicians and the NRA,' for his son's death.
In his statement about the death of his son, Richard Martinez said: 'Our family has a message for every parent out there. You don’t think it will happen to your child until it does.
(ABC News) In the weeks before Friday’s deadly rampage in Santa Barbara, Calif., suspected gunman Elliot Rodger’s parents contacted police after they grew concerned about his increasingly disturbing online rants. Police visited and interviewed the 22-year-old on April 30, after a family member became alarmed about YouTube posts by Rodger that mentioned violence and suicide. While Rodger's parents and social worker were concerned, police found the student to be polite during their interview. He had taken down the alarming posts. Police cleared the call and left without taking any action.
“They determined that he did not meet the criteria for an involuntary mental health hold,” Deputy Sheriff Bill Brown said.
(Reuters) A 22-year-old man who killed six people before taking his own life in a rampage through a California college town said in a chilling manifesto that police who knocked on his door last month to check on his welfare nearly foiled his plot.
(ABC News) The chilling manifesto that police say Elliot Rodger sent to his therapist before killing six people and then himself has highlighted the "duty to protect," part of a California law that requires psychotherapists to warn police about violent threats.
(ThinkProgress) Friday's shooting came after a deeply misogynistic rant and is part of a culture where violence against women is commonplace.
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