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

Low Vitamin D Level Linked to Premature Death

(Science Daily) Researchers … have found that persons with lower blood levels of vitamin D were twice as likely to die prematurely as people with higher blood levels of vitamin D.
The finding … was based on a systematic review of 32 previous studies that included analyses of vitamin D, blood levels and human mortality rates. The specific variant of vitamin D assessed was 25-hydroxyvitamin D, the primary form found in blood.
"Three years ago, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) concluded that having a too-low blood level of vitamin D was hazardous," said Cedric Garland, DrPH…, lead author of the study. "This study supports that conclusion, but goes one step further… This new finding is based on the association of low vitamin D with risk of premature death from all causes, not just bone diseases."
Garland said the blood level amount of vitamin D associated with about half of the death rate was 30 ng/ml. He noted that two-thirds of the U.S. population has an estimated blood vitamin D level below 30 ng/ml.
"This study should give the medical community and public substantial reassurance that vitamin D is safe when used in appropriate doses up to 4,000 International Units (IU) per day," said Heather Hofflich, DO, professor in the UC San Diego School of Medicine's Department of Medicine.
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Stressful relationships may raise risk of death

(Reuters Health) Worries, conflicts and demands in relationships with friends, family and neighbors may contribute to an earlier death suggests a new Danish study.
“Conflicts, especially, were associated with higher mortality risk regardless of whom was the source of the conflict,” the authors write. “Worries and demands were only associated with mortality risk if they were related to partner or children.”…
The health-protecting effects of support from a social network and close connections with family and friends are widely recognized, [ public health researcher Rikke ] Lund’s team writes…
“Less is known about the health consequences of stressful aspects of social relations, such as conflicts, worries and demands,” they write.
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Feeling in Control Tied to Longer Life

(Andrew Weil, M.D.) If you think you are in charge of your life, and find you are able to reach your goals simply because you believe in yourself, chances are you’ll live longer than those who feel they have little or no control over life’s ups and downs. A new study from Brandeis University, the University of Rochester and the German Institute for Economic Research found that people who "feel in control" are more likely to live longer and healthier lives than those who feel pushed around by circumstance…
This finding echoes what we’ve learned over the years from studies that have told us that positive thinking can enhance health. Pessimism has been linked to a higher risk of dying before age 65, while positive emotions - such as optimism - are associated with lowered production of the stress hormone cortisol, better immune function, and reduced risk of chronic diseases. The good news then – and now – is that optimism is at least partially learned.
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Top 12 Ways to Make Your RealAge Younger

(Sharecare.com) These 12 strategies will help you find your sweet spot. It's that place where you're giving your body what it needs, and it's repaying you by looking and feeling tip-top…
Getting enough vitamin D daily (1,000 mg; 1,200 mg after age 60) can make your RealAge 9.4 years younger…
Keeping your waist size, blood pressure, blood sugar, and cholesterol in the healthy zone dramatically reduces your risk of many problems, including cardiovascular disease. The combined effect … can make your RealAge as much as 19.8 years younger…
Reach out to family and friends… Staying connected can make your RealAge 8.5 years younger…
Eating 4 to 5 servings of fruit and a handful of nuts daily can make your RealAge 6.4 years younger…
Reducing bad stress with meditation or other relaxation techniques can make your RealAge 1.7 years younger…
Eating 5+ servings of whole grains a day can make your RealAge 2.6 years younger.
Staying upbeat can make your RealAge 5.2 years younger.
A daily 30-minute walk is one of the best ways to keep your bones, blood pressure, waistline, joints, energy, arteries, and attitude young…
Getting at least 6 hours of sleep a night -- but no more than 9 hours -- can make your RealAge 3.4 years younger…
Strength-training for just 10 minutes three times per week can make your RealAge as much as 2.6 years younger…
Flossing and brushing daily can prevent periodontal disease and tooth loss, which can make your RealAge 6.1 years younger…
Staying mentally active throughout life can keep your brain sharp and improve your overall health.
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More Information and Recent Research on Aging and Longevity

(Science Daily) [The protein Sirtuin1 (SIRT1)] may be the key to maintaining the health of aging blood stem cells, according to researchers. Human adults keep stem cell pools on hand in key tissues, including the blood. These stem cells can become replacement cells for those lost to wear and tear. But as the blood stem cells age, their ability to regenerate blood declines, potentially contributing to anemia and the risk of cancers like acute myeloid leukemia and immune deficiency. Whether this age-related decline in stem cell health is at the root of overall aging is unclear.
Community: Potential ways to boost SIRT1 are reducing caloric intakegetting enough sleepboosting the body’s level of hydrogen sulfide, and ingesting an ingredient in milk, and ingesting resveratrol.
The best way to enhance the action of hydrogen sulfide in the body without poisoning ourselves is to eat foods that contain sulfur compounds, especially broccoli and garlic.
Resveratrol is found in red wine, red grapes, and peanuts. It’s also available as a food supplement.
On the other hand, SIRT1 levels are reduced by eating barbecued and fried foods.
(Andrew Weil, M.D.) The latest on the traits that may be associated with longer life comes from a British study showing that the speedier your reaction time in mid-life, the better your chances of reaching old age… People who are consistently slow to respond to new information may go on to experience problems that increase their risk of early death.” The cheering news, of course, is that average reaction times are OK, longevity-wise.
(Lisa Tseng, M.D.) Staying socially active and engaged with friends and family is important as people age, and hearing well is crucial to making that happen. New research from Johns Hopkins shows that hearing loss is associated not only with a range of physical problems, but also mental health problems such as social isolation and even dementia.
(Andrew Weil, M.D.) A team of British researchers appears to have figured out how exercise slows the aging process. The mechanism involves the newly identified hormone irisin, which is released from muscles after exercise. The researchers found that this hormone is capable of influencing the body’s fat cells so that they burn energy instead of storing it. This increases metabolic rate and is thought to have potential anti-obesity effects.
(Science Daily) Why are some 75-year-olds downright spry while others can barely get around? Part of the explanation, say researchers is differences from one person to the next in exposure to harmful substances in the environment, chemicals such as benzene, cigarette smoke, and even stress.
More . . .

Recipes

Mediterranean Foods Alliance:
Viva la France! Viva La Côte d' Azur!
The three constants in Provençal cuisine, according to [Clifford] Wright's reading of the experts in the cuisine, are "olive oil, garlic and the aromatic herbs, such as herbes de Provence or aromatic condiments such as pissalat," a mixture of anchovy puree, herbs, spices and olive oil.
Add plenty of vegetables and fish and seafood, and you'll have a veritable Provençal feast.
Provençal Salmon
FoodMatch has taken a filet of wild salmon (seasoned simply with lemon, sea salt and pepper) and roasted it with Brussels sprouts and a pitted olive mixture. This preparation of a Provençal classic is fun for dinner parties -- with each guest receiving a foil-wrapped package on the plate.
Spring Niçoise Potato Salad
The city that gives its name to this salad - Nice - is the big-city-gateway to the beautiful French region of Provence. This classic salad - the salad of Nice -- brings together the vibrant flavors of the Mediterranean land and sea.
Grilled Ratatouille
You may think of the movie by the same name, however, ratatouille is a traditional Provençal dish from Nice, made of stewed vegetables. While it's often served as a side dish or served on top of bread, it is also wonderful served at the center of the plate along with rice or pasta.
MyRecipes.com:
Chicken Provençal
Garlic, tomatoes, white wine, and kalamata olives make up the signature sauce that's spooned over Chicken Provencal. To add more flavor to this quick and easy chicken dish, add a tablespoon of capers.
EatingWell:
Slow-Cooked Provençal Beef Stew
The flavors in a slow-cooked beef stew improve as it sits for a day or two, so it is a perfect make-ahead for a dinner party. Buy nicely marbled meat, such as chuck, for this recipe.
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Food News

(Consumer Reports) Here’s how to prep, cook, and serve so that your meal is as safe as it is satisfying. 1. Pick the right protein… 2. Prep the grill… 3. Control the flame… 4. Check for sufficient cooking… 5. Dish it up promptly… 6. Clean and clear.
(Appetite for Health) Many strength athletes believe that mo’ protein equals mo’ muscle. Not so. Protein alone does next to nothing to gain strength: A progressive strength-training regimen is necessary to make muscle adapt to the stimuli (read: get stronger). Muscles adapt quickly to exercise demands, which is why you need to target different muscles and progressively increase load or resistance to gain size and strength.
(The Salt, NPR) The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is investigating an ongoing salmonella outbreak linked to ...chicken? Nope, this time it's chia seed powder — which is made from tiny black and white chia seeds that are sprouted and ground.
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Baby boom for ticks, Lyme disease carriers, seen in New England

(Reuters) Large numbers of ticks, the parasites that carry Lyme disease, are expected to emerge in New England in the coming weeks, experts said on Friday.
Abundant snow over the winter and a wet spring have created ideal conditions for ticks to come out in the warm weather and try to latch onto hosts, they said.
“The next three to four weeks is the peak season of risk,” said Sam Telford, an infectious disease professor at Tufts University and an authority on Lyme disease.
“That’s when the nymphal ticks emerge and appear in large numbers. It’s going to be gangbusters the next few weeks,” Telford said.
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How safe are indoor bug sprays?

(Consumer Reports) Many insecticides used to kill ants, cockroaches, and other pests can also be poisonous to people if they’re inhaled or absorbed through the skin. Symptoms can include headaches, vomiting, muscle twitches, dizziness, or irritation of the eyes, nose, or throat. And inhaling chemicals called pyrethrins, found in many pest-killers, can cause breathing problems. Safer alternatives include gel baits, bait stations, and sticky tape traps, all sold at hardware stores. Even better, try preventive steps: Seal up cracks, vacuum often, and don’t leave out unwrapped food.
Find out why pest repellents may be especially unsafe for pregnant women. Learn the best ways to prevent bug bites outdoors—including free access to our Ratings of eight insect-repelling products.
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Can the weather affect drugs I receive in the mail?

(Consumer Reports) Extreme temperatures and moisture can quickly break down the drugs’ ingredients, either damaging them or causing them expire to before their official expiration date, says Geoffrey C. Wall, Pharm.D., professor of clinical sciences at Drake University. That means they might be less potent or ineffective, and could even make you sick. And with very cold temperatures, it’s possible for crystals and other solids to form in certain liquid and injectable drugs.
Most mail-order pharmacies are aware of the effect of extreme weather on medications, Wall says, and will try to prevent damage to your drugs, including overnight shipping or shipping medicine with ice packs during the summer months. But mail-order pharmacies can’t plan for every situation. If you’re going to be away from home for an extended period, a call to the mail-order pharmacy alerting them and asking to change the delivery date could help avoid the problem.
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Can you spot medication abuse in an older adult? See warning signs.

(NIH Senior Health) Most older adults take their medicines as prescribed, but in recent years there has been a rise in medication abuse among people 60+. How would you know if an older relative or friend is abusing their medications?
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Trauma Surgeon Uses War Zone Skills to Better Treat Patients Here at Home

(ABC News) For trauma surgeon Dr. Peter Rhee, performing a couple of  hernia repairs only to turn around hours later and treat a patient’s life-threatening stab wounds is just another day in the office.
And he has seen much worse.
Rhee, the chief of trauma and emergency surgery at University of Arizona Medical Center (UAMC) in Tucson, spent most of his 25-plus year medical career in the U.S. Navy, honing his surgical skills on the battlefield while serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. There, he saw multiple casualty situations where the injuries were grim…
War has taught trauma surgeons to how to approach treating wounds that once might have been considered fatal. Former Congresswoman Gabby Giffords is living proof. As the head of the trauma center that cared for Giffords, Rhee oversaw her care after a lone gunman shot her in the head, as well as the care of others who were seriously wounded that day.
“The survival rate from being shot in the brain was only 10 percent but now at least in our institution we’re up to about 46 percent,” Rhee said. “That’s because our surgeons and our neurosurgeons have worked together to be very aggressive on who we operate on … The war that we had in Iraq showed us that when we operate more often on these people shot in the brain the survival rate is higher.”
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Texas man sues doctors for removing wrong kidney

(Reuters) A Texas man has filed a lawsuit seeking more than $1 million in damages from two doctors he said were responsible for removing his healthy kidney and leaving a cancerous one in his body.
According to a lawsuit filed this week in Tarrant County, Glenn Hermes underwent surgery last year at a Fort Worth hospital and was informed after the procedure that doctors had removed the wrong kidney.
Hermes was "greatly shocked, stunned and depressed," court documents said. He will likely need to be on dialysis or receive a kidney transplant, his lawyer said.
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Rapid7 hires Jay Radcliffe, diabetic who hacked his insulin pump

(Reuters) Cybersecurity firm Rapid7 said on Thursday that it has hired Jay Radcliffe, a diabetic researcher who is known for pioneering work in the field of medical security, including work hacking his own insulin pump.
He will work as a researcher and consultant on the recently created professional services team at privately held Boston-based cybersecurity firm Rapid7.
Radcliffe gained prominence in 2011 when he demonstrated a technique at the Def Con hacking conference in Las Vegas for attacking the same Medtronic Inc insulin pump that he uses to deliver insulin to his body.
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Research Funding: When Is the Money Dirty?

(David Katz, M.D., Yale Prevention Research Center) All research starts with biased funders and researchers -- because in the absence of such bias, it would be research no one would bother doing. I don't think anyone runs studies in the absence of hopes and preferences pertaining to the outcomes…
If all research starts with bias, can we trust any of it?
Yes, of course -- especially over time and in the aggregate, as time and daylight are greater cultivators of truth and the gradual accumulation of evidence pretty reliably tips toward the actual answer…
We may hope to get to reliable truths in spite of [the] obstacles if we impose the proper set of high standards. Here's my short list:
1) funding sources and conflicts of interest (real or potential) should be reported and entirely transparent
2) study methods should be robust, which often but not always means: randomized, double-blind, and placebo controlled
3) publications should be peer-reviewed
4) the scientific community should, as it does, critique one another's work post publication, with the public looking on
5) we should rely preferentially on the overall weight of cumulative evidence -- ideally derived from diverse labs, diverse funding sources, and diverse methods -- rather than any given study, on any particular topic.
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Google developing health data service: report

(Reuters) Google Inc is developing a service that will combine information from health apps and personal fitness devices, in another competitive move against Apple Inc and Samsung Electronics Co, Forbes reported.
The new service, to be called Google Fit, will make its debut at the Internet company's developer conference later this month, Forbes said on Thursday, citing anonymous sources.
It is not clear if Google Fit will be integrated into Android, Google's mobile operating system, or offered as a standalone app, the report said.
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More insurers joining ObamaCare

(The Hill) A growing number of insurers say they intend to offer coverage on the ObamaCare exchanges next year.
Insurance plans in New Hampshire, Michigan and Illinois are planning to enter into the federal marketplaces after deciding not to participate during ObamaCare’s first enrollment period, according to news reports.
In New Hampshire, the number of ObamaCare insurers is set to rise from one to five next year; from 13 to 18 in Michigan; and from six to 10 in Illinois.
The White House seized on the growing participation in ObamaCare to argue the law is succeeding.
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Medicare Taken For a Ride By Ambulance Companies in New Jersey

(ProPublica) To grasp Medicare's staggering bill for ambulance rides in New Jersey, just visit the busy parking lot of the DaVita St. Joseph's dialysis clinic in the town of Paterson.
More than 20 ambulances and a handful of wheelchair vans were parked outside on a recent morning there. Emergency medical technicians wheeled patients in and out on stretchers. As soon as one ambulance departed, another took its place.
For each one-way ride, Medicare pays ambulance companies nearly $200, plus $6 a mile. The program only covers ambulance rides if a doctor certifies that other modes of transportation would endanger a patient's health. That happens rarely in most parts of the country. But not here.
Dozens of New Jersey ambulance companies—most of them headquartered within 15 miles of Paterson—billed Medicare for unusually large numbers of non-emergency ambulance rides in 2012, a ProPublica analysis of recently released Medicare payment data found.
Some 37 operators claimed an average of 50 trips or more per patient, collecting more than $46.5 million from Medicare that year. By comparison, in 33 other states, not a single ambulance company billed Medicare for that many rides per patient, the analysis showed.
In interviews, New Jersey ambulance providers insisted they followed Medicare's eligibility rules, but several acknowledged hearing of others who inflate the bill for rides by signing up patients who don't need the service—a form of fraud. Competition for rides has become so cutthroat, one operator said, that some providers pay patients up to $4,000 in cash to switch to their companies.
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Poor Cardiovascular Health Linked to Memory, Learning Deficits

(Science Daily) The risk of developing cognitive impairment, especially learning and memory problems, is significantly greater for people with poor cardiovascular health than people with intermediate or ideal cardiovascular health, according to a study…
Cardiovascular health plays a critical role in brain health, with several cardiovascular risk factors also playing a role in higher risk for cognitive decline.
Researchers found that people with the lowest cardiovascular health scores were more likely have impairment on learning, memory and verbal fluency tests than their counterparts with intermediate or better risk profiles.
The study involved 17,761 people aged 45 and older at the outset who had normal cognitive function and no history of stroke. Mental function was evaluated four years later.
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Bacteria Help Explain Why Stress, Fear Trigger Heart Attacks

(Science Daily) Scientists believe they have an explanation for the axiom that stress, emotional shock, or overexertion may trigger heart attacks in vulnerable people. Hormones released during these events appear to cause bacterial biofilms on arterial walls to disperse, allowing plaque deposits to rupture into the bloodstream, according to research…
[David] Davies and his colleagues isolated and cultured different species of bacteria from diseased carotid arteries that had been removed from patients with atherosclerosis. Their results showed multiple bacterial species living as biofilms in the walls of every atherosclerotic (plaque-covered) carotid artery tested.
In normal conditions, biofilms are adherent microbial communities that are resistant to antibiotic treatment and clearance by the immune system. However, upon receiving a molecular signal, biofilms undergo dispersion, releasing enzymes to digest the scaffolding that maintains the bacteria within the biofilm. These enzymes have the potential to digest the nearby tissues that prevent the arterial plaque deposit from rupturing into the bloodstream.
According to Davies, this could provide a scientific explanation for the long-held belief that heart attacks can be triggered by a stress, a sudden shock, or overexertion.
Community: This information is especially important, considering the finding below:
(Science Daily) Non-obstructive coronary artery disease was associated with a 28 to 44 percent increased risk of a major adverse cardiac event such as a heart attack or death. The possible cause is that the non-obstructive plaques can still rupture and cause heart attacks. Providers and patients should take note of non-obstructive CAD and consider lifestyle changes and medications that could help prevent it from causing future adverse cardiac events such as heart attacks.
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Low Self-Rating of Social Status Predicts Heart Disease Risk

(Science Daily) How a person defines their own socioeconomic standing (SES) within their community can help predict their risk of cardiovascular disease, but only among Whites, not Blacks, finds a recent study…
"We know objective measures of SES like income, education, and occupation and how that influences cardiovascular disease risk can be 'measured' by an outsider, but we wondered about the influence when a person evaluates their own social standing, even as they struggle to meet basic needs," says lead study author Allyssa Allen, M.Ed…
Allen and colleagues found that, as expected, lower social standing and lower self-rating were associated with higher CVD risk, but were surprised that this was true for Whites only. "We actually expected the opposite due to the influence of racial discrimination on perceived social standing and cardiovascular disease risk," she said. The findings persisted even after adjusting for poverty, body mass index, depression and the use of high blood pressure medication.
"People may rate social standing based upon how active they are in the community, the level of respect they receive, their material wealth, education, occupation, spiritual and ethical values and social responsibility -- more than just income," Allen explained.
Allen suggests that clinicians could ask patients about their own perceptions of SES. "That opens the door to talk about how much difficulty they have getting to doctors' appointments, obtaining medication and eating healthy food. We might also use this assessment for CVD risk on a population level."
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Processed Red Meat Linked to Higher Risk of Heart Failure, Death in Men

(Science Daily) Men who eat moderate amounts of processed red meat may have an increased risk of incidence and death from heart failure, according to a study…
Processed meats are preserved by smoking, curing, salting or adding preservatives. Examples include cold cuts (ham, salami), sausage, bacon and hot dogs.
"Processed red meat commonly contains sodium, nitrates, phosphates and other food additives, and smoked and grilled meats also contain polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, all of which may contribute to the increased heart failure risk," said Alicja Wolk, D.M.Sc., senior author of the study and professor in the Division of Nutritional Epidemiology at the Institute of Environmental Medicine, Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, Sweden. "Unprocessed meat is free from food additives and usually has a lower amount of sodium."
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More Information and Recent Research on Cardiovascular Disease

(University College London) Watching films with stressful scenes can trigger changes to the heart's beating pattern, reports a new study… Although the changes were small, and not likely to be risky for normal healthy individuals, the team … found that watching an emotionally charged film clip caused a disturbance to the normal heartbeat and a significant increase in blood pressure. Dr Ben Hanson (UCL Mechanical Engineering) explained: "Our findings help us to better understand the impact mental and emotional stress can have on the human heart.
(Consumer Reports) Is saturated fat still bad? Do you really need to take a statin? What heart tests do you really need?
(LiveScience) People with gum disease show a higher risk for heart problems, but it's been controversial whether bacteria in the mouth can indeed cause heart disease. Now, a new study in mice provides more clues as to how this might happen.
(MedPage Today) Testosterone therapy specialists have responded to recent negative studies with a large database analysis that found no increased cardiovascular risk with the therapy -- and potentially even protective benefits for the heart.
(Science Daily) Ischemic heart disease, a narrowing of the arteries supplying blood to the heart, is a leading cause of death throughout the world. A hybrid molecular imaging technique called positron emission tomography and magnetic resonance imaging, which tells doctors vital information about cardiac and arterial function, has been found to be an effective molecular imaging tool for detecting coronary artery disease, say researchers.
(Science Daily) A 'genome-editing' approach has been developed for permanently reducing cholesterol levels in mice through a single injection, a development with the potential to reduce the risk of heart attacks in humans by 40 to 90 percent, researchers report.
(Science Daily) Every year, more than one million people in the US who have suffered heart attacks or chest pain from blocked arteries have little mesh tubes called stents inserted into their blood vessels to prop them open. The procedure has saved many lives, but it still has potentially deadly downsides. Now scientists are reporting that coating stents with vitamin C could lower the implants' risks even further.
More . . .

Recipes

MyRecipes.com:
Tuscan Pork Kebabs
Coming in at under 200 calories per serving, these colorful grilled pork kebabs are perfect for a light weeknight dinner.
EatingWell:
Turkey Cutlets with Rhubarb Chutney
Try rhubarb in this tangy chutney with golden raisins and fresh ginger, served with turkey. You can also pair the sauce with grilled boneless, skinless chicken breasts or lean pork chops. Serve with: Whole-wheat couscous and steamed asparagus.
SouthBeachDiet.com:
6 Energizing Breakfasts
Get your day off to a great start with a healthy morning meal.
The Supermarket Guru:
Steal This Recipe® Chicken 65
'Stolen with permission' from Chef Owner Shreekant Dhyani of Rajvilaas, this recipe will thrill your taste buds! Rajvilaas sets itself apart in more ways than one; the restaurant has a distinctive style, which respects tradition but doesn't compromise on innovation, with recipes derived from both North and Southern India. One of their signature dishes, Chicken 65 is a Madras favorite, named for the year it was born. This fiery dish has quite a following and is one of the standouts on Rajvilaas' menu.
Washington Post:
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Food News

(Andrew Weil, M.D.) Raspberries have significant nutritional value - they: 1. Are a good source of vitamin C and fiber. 2. Provide folate, vitamins B2 and B3, magnesium and other essential nutrients. 3. Contain ellagitannins, natural health-protective compounds that appear to have potent anti-cancer activity. 4. Have considerable antioxidant activity (50 percent more than strawberries)… For a quick and simple nutritional boost, top your oatmeal with raspberries, add some to a smoothie or salad, use them in sauces and baked goods, or enjoy them on their own.
(Sharecare.com) You probably know blueberries are nutritious, but did you also know they may reduce high cholesterol levels? In this video, Dr. Mehmet Oz explains how blueberries can help you lower your cholesterol numbers.
(LiveScience) The term "probiotic" is misused so often that a group of experts has taken a fresh look at what probiotics really are, and examined what scientists have learned about them in recent years.
(Discover Magazine) Chemists study how chemicals in water interact with coffee beans.
(ABC News) Food blogger Vani … Hari claims some beers contain additives like high-fructose corn syrup, stabilizers and artificial flavoring, which have been linked to obesity, allergies, hyperactivity and gastrointestinal problems. She also alleges that big brewers use unappetizing things like propylene glycol – a foaming ingredient found in airplane deicing liquid – and even use fish swim bladders during brewing for clarity… The fact is no one but the manufacturer – not even Hari – knows for sure what's in beer or what’s used to make it, because the federal government does not require companies to disclose their ingredients or brewing processes. 
(ABC News) Anheuser-Busch and MillerCoors announced today that they will post the ingredients for some of their beers online, after a blogger known as the Food Babe petitioned the country's largest breweries to be more "transparent.” In an email to blogger Vani Hari obtained by ABC News, Anheuser-Busch said consumers can already obtain "significant information" about its beer through its consumer hotline (1-800-DIAL-BUD) and on its global website Tap Into Your Beer.
Community: Taking bets on whether Food Babe believes what the beer makers post.
More . . .

More Restaurants Take a Stand Against Guns

(Inc.com) The number of restaurants adopting a no-guns policy is on the rise following Mexican grill Chipotle’s recent request that patrons not carry guns when dining.
Sonic Drive-In and Chili's Grill & Bar have both issued statements recently recognizing open carry laws but asking customers to not openly carry firearms into their restaurants. Other popular restaurant chains that have discouraged patrons from bringing guns include Applebee’s, Jack In The Box and Wendy’s…
Restaurants' anti-gun policies fall short of banning guns altogether, a point Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz addressed last year in an open letter requesting that patrons no longer bring guns into Starbucks stores.
“[E]nforcing a ban would potentially require our partners to confront armed customers, and that is not a role I am comfortable asking Starbucks partners to take on,” Schultz wrote in the letter.
Community: And how pitiful is this: “Some turn to bullet-resistant blankets after US school shootings.” We’ve got to stop gun nuts from taking over the entire country.
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The Latest from The People’s Pharmacy

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Self-compassion may help ease burden of menopause symptoms

(Reuters Health) Women who are kind to themselves in tough situations may have an easier time dealing with hot flashes during menopause, a recent study from Australia found.
Women who ranked higher on a measure of self-compassion reported that hot flashes interfered less with their daily lives than women who were harder on themselves…
Practicing self-compassion could be a free, simple way to combat the disruption these symptoms often cause, the study’s authors say…
During a hot flash or any other unpleasant event, thoughts can easily begin to spiral downward. Yet, “If a woman can treat herself with tenderness and friendliness in the moment of suffering from a hot flash, the negative whirlwind cannot get a foothold,” [study leader Lydia] Brown told Reuters Health in an email.
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More states report cases of mosquito-borne chikungunya virus

(Reuters) A painful, mosquito-borne viral illness has surfaced across the United States, carried by recent travelers to the Caribbean where the virus is raging.
Health officials in North Carolina, Nebraska and Indiana this week reported the first confirmed chikungunya cases in those states, along with Tennessee, which has suspected cases.
Chikungunya has rapidly spread in the Caribbean in recent months, sending thousands of patients to hospitals with painful joints, pounding headaches and spiking fevers.
Florida's 25 cases account for the majority reported in the United States, according to state health officials and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The cases in the continental United States have not been transmitted by local mosquitoes, which would raise the threat.
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Viral Infections, Including Flu, Could Be Inhibited by Naturally Occurring Protein

(Science Daily) By boosting a protein that naturally exists in our cells, an international team of researchers led by the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute (UPCI), partner with UPMC CancerCenter, has found a potential way to enhance our ability to sense and inhibit viral infections.
The laboratory-based discovery … could lead to more effective treatments for viruses ranging from hepatitis C to the flu…
[Saumendra N. Sarkar, Ph.D.] and his team made the discovery while investigating a protein called oligoadenylate synthetases-like, or OASL, which appears in increased quantities in people with liver cancer caused by the hepatitis C virus.
Hepatitis C, influenza, the childhood respiratory illness RSV, and many other viruses are known as ribonucleic acid (RNA) viruses, which use RNA as their genetic material when they replicate. The OASL protein enhances cells' ability to detect virus RNA, activating the immune system to sense the virus and inhibit replication.
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What to look for in a medical alert system

(Consumer Reports) Medical alert systems were introduced in the 1970s as simple push-button devices worn around the neck. They summoned help by signaling a base station connected to a home phone line that would alert a call-center operator. Today’s systems are still wearable, but you can also mount help buttons throughout the home that allow for two-way voice communication with call centers. Some offer motion-­sensitive pendants that can detect a fall and place a call for help.
Who needs one? Most buyers purchase a system for an aging parent who lives alone so that they can get help quickly if needed. That person might be at a heightened risk for falls because of poor eyesight or memory changes, says Barbara Resnick, Ph.D., professor of nursing at the University of Maryland and past president of the American Ger­iatrics Society. The systems can also be useful in nonemergency situations where the user doesn’t need an ambulance but does need someone to come to their aid…
All systems (listed in alphabetical order, below) offer daily 24-hour monitoring services and put two operators on each call. (One contacts emergency services; the other stays on the line with you.) All come with a waterproof neck pendant and wristband with a battery backup. Tip: As you shop, ask for price quotes in writing.
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Startup launches 'first wearable health record' for Google Glass

(Reuters) Google Inc's futuristic eyeglasses are finding their way into hospitals and clinics throughout the United States.
To meet the growing demand for Google Glass from physicians, Drchrono, a Mountain View, Calif., based electronic medical record company has developed a new application for the device it claims is the first "wearable health record."
Doctors who register for the Drchrono app for Glass can use it to record a consultation or surgery with the patient's permission. Videos, photos and notes are stored in the patient's electronic medical record or in Box, a cloud-based storage and collaboration service and can be shared with the patient on request.
Dr. Bill J. Metaxas, a podiatrist based in San Francisco, warned fellow physicians to take precautions before using Glass, such as obtaining patient consent and "locking down security settings." He also said Glass is no more or less secure than tablet devices such as the iPad, which are routinely used in clinical practices.
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Las Vegas tries new health care tactic

(Tribune Washington Bureau) LAS VEGAS — Teresa Garcia, weak and in pain, had all but given up on doctors when she came to a small clinic next to a former wedding chapel on the Strip.
"I never thought I would get better," the 55-year-old housekeeper said, recalling years of perfunctory physician visits that generated countless prescriptions but did little to slow the dangerous advance of her diabetes.
Today, under intense care from a team of social workers, nurses and a doctor who, like her, emigrated from Mexico, Garcia has learned to change her diet and closely monitor her disease. She has regular checkups. She has cut her blood sugar in half. She no longer needs to inject herself with insulin.
The model of medical care that is helping Garcia is built on a highly personal approach to patients and a high-tech system to track quality - something that is new for this city. A grim joke here long held that the best place to go for good health care was the airport.
Now, Las Vegas is emerging as a test of how much a community can improve chronically poor health by expanding insurance coverage and using models of medical care pioneered in healthier places.
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