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

Exercise Is Medicine: An Rx for a Better America

(Joe S. Moore and Edward M. Phillips, M.D.) The majority of premature deaths, illnesses, and health care costs in the United States today is preventable. Lifestyle diseases are chronic conditions that result from lifestyle choices. These chronic conditions not only take their toll in human suffering -- nearly one out of two Americans has at least one chronic disease, and one in four has multiple. But they cost money -- $2 trillion, in fact -- or 84 percent of health care spending…
Regular exercise is an excellent example of the medicinal power that primary prevention wields in combating disease. Thousands of studies show that exercise deters illness and protects life. Yet exercise rarely gets enough attention in medical schools, and isn't routinely included in most patient-doctor dialogues. It should be…
It's time for the American medical community to fully embrace lifestyle medicine and to promote it in both medical schools and medical practices. Our doctors are in the very best position to instill this simple medical truth into the heart of American living: Regular physical activity, good nutrition, stress management, enough rest, the avoidance of tobacco, and the moderation of alcohol are the most fundamental and affordable actions we can take as individuals to avoid disease and stay well.
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Exercise really does protect your heart

(Washington Post) Regular exercise and good nutrition are essential for overall health and wellness. We know that. But can exercise alone promote heart health?
The short answer is: Yes, exercise promotes heart health both in direct ways — it strengthens the heart (as it does any muscle) and allows it to work more efficiently (pump more blood with less effort) — and in indirect ones — it helps lower inflammation in the arteries and helps reduce body weight and blood pressure, says Gordon Tomaselli, chief of cardiology at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.
“With exercise, the vascular system becomes more responsive,” Tomaselli says…
[E]xperts say that even for those with heart issues, exercise can play a huge role in maintaining and improving heart health.
“Ideally you are doing both” — exercising and eating a heart-healthy diet, says John Ferrell, a District-based sports medicine physician. “But even on its own, exercise can make a huge difference to promote heart health.” Just make sure you see a doctor before you start an exercise program if you have been sedentary, and maybe even do a stress test, Ferrell says.
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Link seen between sitting and certain cancers

(Reuters Health) In a new review of past research, people who spent lots of time watching TV or otherwise sitting were more likely to be diagnosed with colon or endometrial cancer than those who were less sedentary.
“Cancer is a complex disease and has numerous possible causes, including genetic factors, environmental factors, and lifestyle factors,” said Daniela Schmid, from the department of epidemiology and preventive medicine at the University of Regensburg in Germany, who worked on the review.
Too much sitting could be one of the factors involved, Schmid told Reuters Health by email.
“Prolonged sedentary time has been linked to other chronic conditions like diabetes and heart disease as well as cancer,” she said.
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Exercise To Counter the Effects of Menopause

(Andrew Weil, M.D.) Danish researchers have come up with a unique way to help women address some of the increased risks to health brought on by menopause.
Noting that declining levels of estrogen can elevate blood pressure and contribute to the development of cardiovascular disease, the research team at the University of Copenhagen Centre for Team Sport and Health examined the effects of playing floorball, a indoor team sport similar to hockey that requires intense physical effort including many short sprints and directional changes… Results of the 12-week study showed a reduction in blood pressure of four mmHg, which the researchers said correlates to a 40 percent lower risk of stroke. There was also this unexpected benefit: the women had so much fun playing floorball that they insisted on continuing after the study ended…
[T]he findings … testify to the benefits of working out with a group of friends to stay motivated.
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More Information and Recent Research on Exercise and Fitness

(Sharecare.com) Shave nearly two inches from your waist by just standing up more. In this video, Robin Miller, MD, explains how standing up can help you reduce inflammation, high blood pressure, insulin resistance and unhealthful fat deposits around your organs.
(Huffington Post) While some employers spring for standing desks, others have left it up to employees themselves to craft DIY standing workstations. Still others have turned to (at least slightly) more active alternatives to the standard desk chair -- chairs that allow you to wobble, bounce and otherwise engage your muscles as you sit.
(Huffington Post) Flying to a much-anticipated vacation? To a quick weekend getaway? On another business trip? Here are some inflight exercises to get you to your destination feeling fresh and ready to go. And don't forget to stay well hydrated!
Community: There’s no reason why these same exercises couldn’t help you if you have to sit a lot.
(Huffington Post) The squat is one of the most effective lower-body exercises you can do -- and you can do it just about anywhere. No need for an intimidating weight rack or any fancy gear. All you must do is pay attention to a few key pointers.
(Reuters) Mini trampolines, the go-to fitness tool for people seeking a joint-friendly cardio bounce, are also adding spring to the push-ups, planks and lunges of boot camp and interval workouts.
(Science Daily) A first-of-its-kind yoga exercise program has been developed for patients living with pulmonary hypertension, a chronic lung disease that afflicts women at least two times more than men. Called Yoga for PH, the 40-minute program includes three yoga exercise levels and a nutrition and lifestyle discussion.
(Science Daily) Research findings suggest that exercise transiently suppresses local and systemic inflammation, reinforcing the beneficial effects of exercise and the need for this to be regular in order to achieve clinical efficacy in rheumatic disease.
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Cooking Light:
Healthy Salad Recipes
Starters, sides, and easy weeknight dinners: Savor a seriously tasty salad with all the flavors you love and the convenience you need.
Grilled Salmon with Roasted Corn Relish
Grilled chiles and corn give the relish a wonderfully smoky flavor that pairs perfectly with grilled salmon seasoned with just salt, pepper, and cumin. Serve with a mixed green salad to round out the meal.
Easy Salmon Cakes
If you are trying to boost your intake of omega-3s, try this simple favorite. It is a great way to use convenient canned (or leftover) salmon. The tangy dill sauce provides a tart balance.
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Food News

(Reuters) The world's top food and drink companies announced a raft of measures on Wednesday to try to improve the industry's image, including stopping advertising junk food to children by 2018, harmonizing nutritional labeling and fighting deforestation… "It is not business as usual anymore. Pressure is mounting from all sides and angles," Paul Bulcke, chief executive of Nestle, the world's biggest food and drink firm behind brands such as Kit-Kat and Nescafe, told the [Consumer Goods Forum].
(David Katz, M.D., Yale Prevention Research Center) A recent meta-analysis by an accomplished, international team of researchers, published in a prestigious medical journal, shows that high intake of saturated fat is exactly as bad for health as a high intake of sugar and refined starch… The “recent meta-analysis” to which I am referring is the very one you already know… The corresponding pop-culture headlines were along the lines of: Don’t Fear the Fat and Butter is Back… The study in question said nothing good about butter, meat, or cheese. It simply showed that the typical American diet has been identically bad for decades in more ways than one, with typically high rates of heart disease to show for it every step of the way.
No, saturated fat is NOT our nutritional nemesis, and never was. But neither is sugar; nor wheat; nor all grains. No one thing is THE thing wrong with our diets, and no one food, nutrient, or ingredient will be our salvation either. Wholesome foods, mostly plants, in sensible combinations could be - assuming an 80% reduction in all chronic disease qualifies as salvation. It’s about as close as we can come in the context of epidemiology, and pretty darn good.
(TODAY) [N]o, the following seven ingredients won't harm you in the trace amounts found in foods… Xanthan Gum… Carrageenan… Soy Lecithin… Gelatin/Agar… Silicon Dioxide… Cellulose… Propylene Glycol.
Have dry mouth? See foods and beverages to avoid.
(NIH Senior Health, via email) Dry mouth is the feeling that there is not enough saliva in the mouth. Many older adults have dry mouth, but it is not a normal part of aging. If you think you have dry mouth, see your dentist or physician. Learn about: Foods and beverages to avoid if you have dry mouth. Foods and beverages that are beneficial if you have dry mouth.
(Sharecare.com) Replacing saturated fat in your diet with heart-healthy unsaturated fats like olive oil and avocado may prevent a stroke. In this video, Dr. Oz explains how healthy fats can help lower your triglyceride levels, which is good for your heart and brain.
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Supplements of Calcium, Vitamin D May Be Too Much for Some Older Women

(Science Daily) Calcium and vitamin D are commonly recommended for older women, but the usual supplements may send calcium excretion and blood levels too high for some women, shows a new study…
This randomized, placebo-controlled trial included 163 older (ages 57 to 90) white women whose vitamin D levels were too low. The women took calcium citrate tablets to meet their recommended intake of 1,200 mg/day, and they took various doses of vitamin D, ranging from 400 to 4,800 IU/day. (The trial was limited by ethnicity because different ethnic groups metabolize calcium and vitamin D differently.)
About 9% of the women developed excess levels of calcium in their blood (hypercalcemia), and 31% developed excess levels in their urine (hypercalciuria), even though they were taking normal doses of the supplements and did not have hyperparathyroidism, a condition in which the body makes too much calcium-regulating hormone. These excess blood and urine calcium levels may lead to kidney stones or other problems.
The good news in this study is that the investigators found a way to predict which women were likely to develop these excess levels.
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Achilles' Heel in Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria Discovered

(Science Daily) New research … reveals an Achilles' heel in the defensive barrier which surrounds drug-resistant bacterial cells.
The findings pave the way for a new wave of drugs that kill superbugs by bringing down their defensive walls rather than attacking the bacteria itself. It means that in future, bacteria may not develop drug-resistance at all.
The discovery doesn't come a moment too soon. The World Health Organization has warned that antibiotic-resistance in bacteria is spreading globally, causing severe consequences. And even common infections which have been treatable for decades can once again kill.
Researchers investigated a class of bacteria called 'Gram-negative bacteria' which is particularly resistant to antibiotics because of its cells' impermeable lipid-based outer membrane.
This outer membrane acts as a defensive barrier against attacks from the human immune system and antibiotic drugs. It allows the pathogenic bacteria to survive, but removing this barrier causes the bacteria to become more vulnerable and die.
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Death by Prescription Painkiller?

(Science Daily) The number of deaths involving commonly prescribed painkillers is higher than the number of deaths by overdose from heroin and cocaine combined, according to researchers at McGill University. In a first-of-its-kind review of existing research, the McGill team has put the spotlight on a major public health problem: the dramatic increase in deaths due to prescribed painkillers, which were involved in more than 16,000 deaths in 2010 in the U.S. alone. Currently, the US and Canada rank #1 and #2 in per capita opioid consumption.
"Prescription painkiller overdoses have received a lot of attention in editorials and the popular press, but we wanted to find out what solid evidence is out there," says Nicholas King, of the Biomedical Ethics Unit in the Faculty of Medicine. In an effort to identify and summarize available evidence, King and his team conducted a systematic review of existing literature, comprehensively surveying the scientific literature and including only reports with quantitative evidence.
"We also wanted to find out why thousands of people in the U.S and Canada are dying from prescription painkillers every year, and why these rates have climbed steadily during the past two decades," says Nicholas King, of the Biomedical Ethics Unit in the Faculty of Medicine. "We found evidence for at least 17 different determinants of increasing opioid-related mortality, mainly, dramatically increased prescription and sales of opioids; increased use of strong, long-acting opioids like Oxycontin and methadone; combined use of opioids and other (licit and illicit) drugs and alcohol; and social and demographic factors."
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U.S. FDA proposes social media guidelines for drug industry

(Reuters) The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Tuesday issued proposed guidelines for the pharmaceutical and medical device industries for posting information on social media networks and correcting misinformation posted by others.
The long-awaited guidance would effectively limit the amount of product advertising a company can do on sites where character space is limited, such as Twitter.
The proposal would require companies to post both the benefits and the main risks associated with a product, potentially with a hyperlink taking the reader directly to a more detailed list of risks.
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Someday Soon You May Swallow A Computer With Your Pill

(Shots, NPR) What if you could swallow a computer the size of a poppy seed, and it could report back exactly if and when you took a medicine while recording how your body responded to the drug?
It sounds crazy, but the tiny computers exist. It sounds dangerous, but they were approved by the Food and Drug Administration. And the company that makes them, Proteus, has tens of millions of dollars and relationships with some of the biggest drug companies in the world, including Novartis.
David O'Reilly, the chief product officer at Proteus, says he believes that someday soon every single pill a doctor prescribes will come with an electronic component embedded right in it that tracks the pill's absorption in your body.
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EPA's clean power plan will boost economy, create jobs

(Michael E. Kraft, professor emeritus, University of Wisconsin-Green Bay) In early June, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency proposed a long-term plan to cut greenhouse gas emissions from existing power plants.
The agency describes its Clean Power Plan as a "common-sense" way to reduce risks to public health and the economy posed by climate change. It argues that the new rules will maintain an "affordable, reliable energy system" while also "cutting pollution and protecting our health and environment now and for future generations." As expected, critics argue falsely that the EPA plan will harm the economy and cost jobs…
The agency's economic analysis shows a substantial annual net benefit to the economy of between $49 billion to $84 billion for the year 2030, and creation of tens of thousands of new jobs. In short, we can reduce carbon pollution and still enjoy strong economic growth…
The substantial benefits of the rules come from improved energy efficiency, reduced waste and development of new energy sources and technologies, all of which will create jobs and improve the economy. An energy efficient economy also can be innovative and competitive, which is essential for the nation to do well in a global economy.
Critics will continue to blame the EPA for wrecking the economy. The facts, however, suggest the opposite is true.
Community: Not to mention the benefits to our health.
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Toxins straining European health systems - study

(AFP) Disease-causing chemicals in everyday products from sunscreen to store receipts cost EU countries more than €30 billion in health costs, a study said.
According to a report by the Health and Environment Alliance, a leading activist group on EU health matters, hormone-disrupting chemicals are causing spiralling rates of disease and putting a dangerous strain on healthcare policies across the 28-country bloc.
"Exposure to food and everyday electronic, cosmetic and plastic products containing hormone disrupting chemicals may be costing up to €31 billion euros per year in the European Union," the alliance said in a statement on Wednesday.
It based the calculation on the cost of treating a list of diseases and conditions it said scientists had found to be related to hormone disorders. These include cancer, obesity, fertility problems, and penis abnormalities in baby boys, it said.
The cost argument is the latest element in a push, led by France and Sweden, to incite the European Commission to meet a long-delayed commitment to identify the dangerous chemicals.
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Medical Practice News

(Washington Post) The American Medical Association recently offered policy recommendations that, if implemented, would place restrictions on telemedicine, or virtual medical care. The recommendations came as the Chicago-based organization of physicians and medical students formally announced its support for the practice, claiming telemedicine could “greatly improve access and quality of care while maintaining patient safety.”
(MedPage Today) Physicians in North Carolina have become de facto gun regulators, as applicants for concealed carry permits must obtain physician-signed waivers even though physicians have never been trained in assessing this type of competency.
(Boston Business Journal) The debate about hospital reform is about to show up in lawn signs, advertisements and conversations throughout the state after the Massachusetts Nurses Association said they had received more than double the required signatures to put two initiatives up for ballot vote…
The ballots would have wide sweeping changes, with the “Patient Safety Act” setting a maximum number of patients assigned to a nurse. The “Hospital Profit Transparency and Fairness Act” would require hospitals receiving any tax dollars to provide comprehensive financial documents on hospital profits and CEO compensations. The mandate would also cap hospital profits and CEO salaries, and give excess funding to hospitals serving poorer populations.
Community: Hey, I’m with the nurses!
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TMA Launches Doctor Registry to Care for Veterans

(Texas Medical Association) Texas Medical Association (TMA) physicians are stepping up to care for U.S. veterans awaiting health care in the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) system. A recent audit of the VA system found “systemic problems” resulting in nearly 60,000 veterans waiting for health care appointments and a widespread effort to make wait times appear shorter than they are.
TMA this week invited private physicians across Texas to enroll in a TMA registry if they are willing to see veterans in their offices. TMA will share the registry with community groups that work with Texas veterans and with medical directors of VA facilities in Texas. 
“America’s veterans need health care, so TMA wants to create a system to connect them with Texas physicians who want to help,” said Austin I. King, MD, TMA’s president, who already has enrolled to care for veterans. He noted other physicians can do so, too, by checking the “I am willing to serve veterans” box in TMA’s online enrollment form. “I’m saddened that our veterans have been forced to wait for the health care they need and deserve. So until the VA can solve this problem, I, like many other Texas physicians, want to help care for them.”   
Last week Texas and Florida physicians led the charge for the American Medical Association to call for President Barack Obama and Congress to act immediately to enable American veterans to access health care they need outside of the VA system.
Community: Well, I’m impressed, Texas.
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Cancelled Non-Group Plans: What We Know Now That We Did Not Know In October

(Health Affairs) In October of 2013 President Obama faced a political firestorm over the cancellation of millions of individual insurance plans — plans not compliant with the requirements of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The Associated Press (AP) estimated that 4.8 million persons with non-group coverage had their policies cancelled, and this estimate was widely quoted in the media and the Congress. In headline stories, the media also reported that policyholders of the canceled plans were now offered alternative plans, often at premiums more than double of their current plans…
Recent survey data indicates the number of persons affected by cancelled policies was about 1.9 million persons, less than the often cited 4.8 million estimate. When persons with group health insurance are included in the denominator, these cancellations affected less than one percent of persons holding comprehensive private insurance…
Persons eligible for subsidies, 56 percent of the non-group population, could choose a bronze or second-lowest-cost silver plan that cost considerably less than pre-ACA plans…
Without a doubt, many people who received cancellation policies had to pay more, and in some cases, far more, for their ACA policy than their pre-ACA plan. But this analysis suggests higher premiums were not an example of central tendency, but a deviation from the mean.
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More Health Insurance News

(Washington Post) The Americans who qualify for tax credits through the new federal insurance exchange are paying an average of $82 a month in premiums for their coverage — about one-fourth the bill they would have faced without such financial help, according to a new government analysis. But the analysis shows wide variations among states in the premiums that people are paying for their new insurance, the amount the government is picking up and the proportion who qualify for the subsidies.
(Los Angeles Times) The figures in the report actually suggest that the cost of the subsidies is roughly in line with current projections from the Congressional Budget.
(Wall Street Journal) Hundreds of thousands of consumers nationwide who bought insurance plans under the Affordable Care Act will face a choice this fall: swallow higher premiums to stay in their plan, or save money by switching. That is the picture emerging from proposed 2015 insurance rates in the 10 states that have completed their filings, which stretch from Rhode Island to Washington state. In all but one of them, the largest health insurer in the state is proposing to increase premiums between 8.5% and 22.8% for next year, according to a Wall Street Journal review of the filings. That percentage represents the average rate increases for all individual health plans offered by that carrier.
(Wonkblog, Washington Post) Democrats on the campaign trail have often talked about the need for fixing and improving Obamacare without really getting into specifics. That prompted conservative policy expert Chris Jacobs of America Next to recently wonder what these fixes would cost and how they'd be paid for. So I thought it would be a fun and useful exercise to round up Obamacare "fixes" that have garnered the broadest support and look at what they could potentially cost. How to pay for them — well, that's another story.
Boosting the tax credit for small businesses: $14 billion… The employer mandate: A $130 billion mystery… Paying Medicaid doctors a better rate: $12 billion… Expanding subsidized coverage to families: Billions, probably… A new coverage tier: Cost unclear.
(Kaiser Health News) Enroll America convened a national conference this week in Washington to review the strategies that proved successful during the inaugural Affordable Care Act open enrollment period and  to  gear up for the next one, which will start Nov. 15. Organizers also want to ensure that the navigators and organizations working toward enrollment maintain their energy — despite reports of backlogged Medicaid applications and continuing struggles in some state-run exchanges.
(Kaiser Health News) In a pair of stories, the Associated Press reports on how insurers in New Hampshire and Kentucky that did not participate in the health law's online insurance marketplaces during the first enrollment period are now indicating their interest for the next open season. In addition, news outlets in Oregon and Minnesota report on developments related to state exchanges.
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Senate panel scolds TV's Dr. Oz over diet claims

(Reuters) A U.S. Senate panel probing bogus diet product ads took celebrity doctor Mehmet Oz to task on Tuesday for touting weight-loss products on his syndicated television show.
Missouri Democratic Senator Claire McCaskill, the chairwoman of the Commerce subcommittee on consumer protection, said Oz had a role in perpetuating weight-loss fraud through his show. “I don’t get why you need to say this stuff because you know it’s not true,” McCaskill said at the hearing, a follow-up to a Federal Trade Commission crackdown in January on fraudulent diet products…
"I actually do personally believe in the items that I talk about on the show,” said Oz, a Columbia University professor. “I recognize that oftentimes they don’t have the scientific muster to present as fact. I would give my audience the advice I give my family all the time, and I have given my family these products.”…
A 2011 FTC survey of consumer fraud showed more consumers were victims of bogus weight-loss products than any other frauds covered by the survey, [said Mary Koelbel Engle, an FTC official].
Community: I post Dr. Oz’s articles from time to time, especially those that are co-authored by Dr. Roizen, of the Cleveland Clinic (as below), and those that are posted on the Sharecare.com website. He doesn’t make the same claims in those venues that he does on his TV show (an Oprah production, by the way—you know, she who gave us the highly objectionable Dr. Phil and touted “The Secret”, which involved wishing and your dreams would come true).
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Is Obesity Draining your Brain Power?

(Michael Roizen, MD, and Mehmet Oz, MD) Need some extra motivation to take off those excess pounds? We’ve got it for you! A report reveals, for the first time, that there’s a direct link between excess belly fat and brain drain -- and how to stop it. We know that carrying extra pounds of belly fat raises your odds for dementia by a whopping 80 percent. But now, a well-designed lab study (on mice) has found that deep abdominal fat pours inflammatory chemicals into your bloodstream that then cross the blood/brain barrier, causing dementia.
Until now, we thought the blood/brain barrier protected the brain’s gray cells from this particular form of inflammatory assault. But, it turns out that compounds secreted by excess belly fat weaken this barrier, so fat-triggered inflammation oozes into the brain, dumbing down your hippocampus (a relay station for memories), slowing mental processing, hindering recall, and allowing dementia to develop. Up until now scientists weren’t sure which came first, dementia or brain inflammation.
But there’s a bright side. (That’s why the mouse study is really big news.) The researchers say if you put the creatures on a daily exercise program, it tamps down inflammation, restores a strong blood/brain barrier and improves mental sharpness.
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'Walkable' Neighborhoods May Reduce Rate Of Obesity, Diabetes

(University Herald) "Walkable" neighborhoods reduce the rate of obesity and diabetes, according to a recent study.
Canadian researchers found that people who live in neighborhoods that are conducive to walking experienced a substantially lower rate of obesity, overweight and diabetes than those who lived in more auto-dependent neighborhoods. Walkable neighborhoods had on average a 13 percent lower development of diabetes incidence over 10 years than those that were less walkable.
"How we build our cities matters in terms of our overall health," Gillian Booth, lead researcher of the study, said in a statement. "This is one piece of a puzzle that we can potentially do something about. As a society, we have engineered physical activity out of our lives. Every opportunity to walk, to get outside, to go to the corner store or walk our children to school can have a big impact on our risk for diabetes and becoming overweight."
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Vitamin A Derivative Might Treat Diabetes Type-2 and Obesity: Researchers

(Nature World News) Retinoic acid (RA) - a derivative of Vitamin A - can help treat obesity and diabetes type-2, researchers say.
The study, conducted by researchers at the University of Montreal, found that the vitamin A derivative can stimulate the activity of genes that protect heart from diseases. The study was based on obese and insulin-resistant mice.
"Blood glucose, insulin resistance, body weight, and adipocyte size were significantly decreased in treated animals, including abdominal fat, while dietary intake and physical activity were similar for treated or non-treated animals. This suggests an increase in basal energy expenditure," said Daniel-Constantin Manolescu, first author of the study, in a news release…
Vitamin A derivatives stimulate a mitochondrial uncoupling protein (UCP1), which changes the way energy is utilized in the body.
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More Information and Recent Research on Obesity and Weight

(Well, New York Times) Despite major gains in fighting hepatitis C and other chronic liver conditions, public health officials are now faced with a growing epidemic of liver disease that is tightly linked to the obesity crisis. In the past two decades, the prevalence of the disease, known as nonalcoholic fatty liver, has more than doubled in teenagers and adolescents, and climbed at a similar rate in adults… Doctors say that the disease, which causes the liver to swell with fat, is particularly striking because it is nearly identical to the liver damage that is seen in heavy drinkers. But in this case the damage is done not by alcohol, but by poor diet and excess weight.
(David Katz, M.D., Yale Prevention Research Center) All it takes, we've been told, is 23 minutes of moderately intense physical activity to burn off the 140 calories in a 12-ounce can of Coke. But of course, 12 ounces is no longer the standard size for a soda; it’s small by current standards. So 23 minutes of exercise is entry level. And if you have several of those sodas a day, you are quickly in need of an hour of moderate activity every day just to prevent weight gain – from the soda alone. Exercise alone, unless very intense, almost never suffices to produce weight loss, important though it is for overall health.
We should also note that the calories from Coca-Cola are nutritionally moribund, and that too matters. What we eat and drink is not just about calories and weight, but about the nutrients that fuel the intricate systems of our bodies.
Community: Call me old, but I remember when Cokes were 6 ounces, and came in glass bottles. And cost a nickel. Those cokes not only put weight on me, they caused my first tooth cavities my freshman year in college.
(Andrew Weil, M.D.) When you consider emotional eating, you may focus on the tendency to seek comfort foods that beckon when you’re blue, but a new study suggests that emotional eating has a flip side: the healthy decisions you make about food when you’re in a good mood… The researchers concluded that when you’re in a good mood you’re more likely to think ahead, and about the future benefits of making healthy food choices. The flip side is that when we’re down, we’re still more likely to opt for the immediate taste and sensory experience that comfort foods offer.
(Huffington Post) Have you heard about the "obesity paradox"? The idea is that in certain circumstances, it is healthier to be fat. What's the science in support of this idea? Should we get fat to stay healthy?... Perhaps the obesity paradox is not a paradox at all, but the expected variation in metabolic responses to our unhealthy diet. All of the "garbage dump baboons" had unhealthy metabolic profiles whether they were prone to weight gain or not. Are we seeing the same unhealthy outcomes in "junk food humans"?
(SouthBeachDietDelivery.com) Our doctor-designed plan features three easy-to-follow phases that help you eliminate cravings, kickstart weight loss, and keep those pounds off.
Community: I don’t ordinarily endorse products, but I have to say that if I were going to go on a prepared food diet, this would be the one. I’ve enjoyed their recipes for years.
(Science Daily) A tax on sweetened soft drinks could be an effective weapon in the war against obesity, generating weight losses of up to 3.64 kilograms as individuals reduce their consumption. "Taxes on unhealthy foods are attractive because they not only generate tax revenue that can be used for public health care, they also promise health benefits for individuals," researchers say.
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Roasted Chicken and Arugula Salad
Save time by using store-bought croutons in this recipe, which reduces it to seven-ingredient chicken salad recipe that's ready in just the time it takes to chop the chicken and toss the salad. Top with grated Parmesan cheese for a bright bite of flavor.
Smoked Trout, Potato & Arugula Salad
In this healthy dinner salad recipe, tender new potatoes and baby arugula add a creamy texture and peppery flavor to the smokiness of the trout. You can hard-boil the eggs ahead of time, but if you cook them while you steam your potatoes, they’ll still be a little warm when you serve the salad, which makes it extra special.
Seafood Salad with Citrus Vinaigrette
Crab and scallops combine with creamy avocados and a spiky orange dressing for a salad that's light, summery and very fast. The recipe can be easily doubled or tripled.
Whole Grains Council:
Sorghum June Grain of the Month
June's Grain of the Month is Sorghum… In Africa and parts of Asia, sorghum is primarily a human food product, while in the United States it is used mainly for livestock feed and in a growing number of ethanol plants. However, the United States also has seen food usage on the rise, thanks to the gluten-free benefits of sorghum for those with celiac disease.
Summer Sorghum (Milo) Salad
Sometimes sorghum is called milo, but whatever name you choose, Chef Jesse Cool's salad is a fresh, clean and delicious dish.
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Food News

(David Katz, M.D., Yale Prevention Research Center) The original advice about cutting fat … was advice to eat fewer of the fat-rich foods that predominated in the then typical American diet- namely meat, butter, and cheese- and replace them with more of the then-available foods naturally low in fat. Those foods were vegetables, fruits, beans and legumes, and whole grains. Had that swap ever been made, there would have been no war to wage, no war to end, and many fewer casualties along the way of chronic disease, premature death, and obesity. The intended guidance was never applied. Big Food took over the field, and completely recast the terms of engagement. Rather than eating less steak and more spinach, we passed the Snackwells…
The evidence continues to accrue - with almost surprising frequency - that we should, indeed, eat less meat, butter, and cheese (before we even factor in the environmental considerations, which frankly we should do). We just shouldn’t replace them with donuts, Snackwells, and soda. Well…duh. Really.
(Andrew Weil, M.D.) A study … revealed that while a handful (about 22 kernels) of almonds contains 170 calories, only 129 calories are actually absorbed by the body. The rest are passed, because the protein and fat in them are relatively hard to digest. Even better news - after one daily handful of almonds, three percent of the calories you consume for the next 24 hours are rendered indigestible. That means if you eat 2,000 calories in a day, the almonds you ate in the morning will remove about 60 calories from that total.
(Appetite for Health) An estimated 28 percent of adults say they are interested in cutting down or avoiding gluten completely. Yet only 1% of the US population suffers from celiac disease and only 6% are estimated to be gluten intolerant. And in a funny twist, many gluten free converts are not even sure what gluten is.
(UPI) Pink slime is just lean beef trimmings treated with citric acid to kill bacteria; but it turned people off.
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Eye's Optical Quality Deteriorates After Alcohol Consumption

(Science Daily) Ethanol in the tear-film is one of the causes: it covers the surface of the eye, disturbs the outer layer and favours evaporation of the aqueous content of the tear, deteriorating the optical quality of the image we see. The deterioration in vision is significantly greater in subjects with breath alcohol content over 0.25mg/litre, the legal limit for driving recommended by the World Health Organization
A study conducted by the University of Granada has demonstrated that alcohol consumption markedly impairs night-vision because it increases the perception of halos -- luminous circles -- and other visual night-time disturbances. Moreover, this deterioration of vision is significantly greater in subjects with breath alcohol content in excess of 0.25mg/litre -- the legal limit for driving in Spain and other countries and, also, that recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO).
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Helping Older Muscle Grow

(Science Daily) "Age-related muscle loss has been associated with a myriad of other health problems," said senior author Roger A. Fielding, Ph.D., director of the Nutrition, Exercise Physiology and Sarcopenia Laboratory at the USDA HNRCA at Tufts University. "Muscle mass is closely tied to our metabolism and losing it increases the risk of developing metabolic diseases like type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. We also know that a program of moderate physical activity, including resistance exercises, can strongly influence a person's chances of maintaining their ability to walk after age 70."
In addition to resistance exercises, scientists are exploring different approaches to preserving and building muscle mass in older adults. "A few studies suggest gene therapy, nutrient supplementation or hormone replacement therapy can assist with building muscle," said Fielding, who is also a professor at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University and the Tufts University School of Medicine. "Our identification of a possible microRNA target could help advance the study of these largely untested, but promising approaches to promoting muscle growth in older people."
Community: Remember, we recently learned that boosting our oxytocin levels can help increase muscle mass.
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In U.S., MERS patients did not spread infection to close contacts: CDC

(Reuters) Neither of the two U.S. cases of MERS has spread the often fatal infection to family members or to U.S. healthcare workers who treated them in Indiana and Florida, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said on Tuesday.
Both of the U.S. cases involved healthcare workers who traveled to the United States in May from Saudi Arabia, which remains at the center of the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) outbreak.
The CDC said test results of specimens from each of the household members and the healthcare workers in hospitals where the infected men were treated tested negative for both active infection and any signs of previous infection with the virus.
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Human Sweat Can Reduce Anti-Bacterial Properties of Brass Objects in Hospitals and Schools

(Science Daily) University of Leicester researchers discover sweat can cause corrosion of protective qualities of door knobs and taps within an hour of contact.
Sweaty hands can reduce the effectiveness of bacteria-fighting brass objects in hospitals and schools after just an hour of coming into contact with them, according to scientists at the University of Leicester.
While copper found in everyday brass items such as door handles and water taps has an antimicrobial effect on bacteria and is widely used to prevent the spread of disease, Dr John Bond OBE from the University of Leicester's Department of Chemistry has discovered that peoples' sweat can, within an hour of contact with the brass, produce sufficient corrosion to adversely affect its use to kill a range of microorganisms, such as those which might be encountered in a hospital and which can be easily transferred by touch or by a lack of hand hygiene.
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Liver Dangers from Herbal Supplements, OTC and RX Drugs, New Guidelines Warn

(Science Daily) New clinical guidelines on the diagnosis and management of idiosyncratic drug-induced liver injury (DILI) [have been published]. DILI is a rare adverse drug reaction, challenging to diagnose, and can lead to jaundice, liver failure and even death. The frequency of DILI incidence is increasing, as the use of herbal and dietary supplements has drastically increased over the last 10 years.
The new guidelines from the American College of Gastroenterology, intended for use by physician and other health-care providers, include an overview of risk factors, diagnosis evaluation and causality assessment, prognosis factors, and management of hepatotoxicity due to pre-existing chronic liver disease or herbal/dietary supplement intake. One of the key focuses of the guidelines is on herbal and dietary supplements, which many doctors warn should be used with caution.
"A lot of consumers have a preconceived notion that if it's a natural product, it must be safe. But that is not necessarily the case," said Herbert Bonkovsky, MD, FACG, co-author of the guidelines. "Most of these products are not well-regulated and have very little oversight. Traces of heavy metals and prescription drugs have even been found in some herbal and dietary supplements. We encourage patients to talk to their doctor about all medications they are taking, and herbal and dietary supplements should be no exception."
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