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

Natural Acid Helps Restore, Synchronize 'Biological Clock'

(Science Daily)  Researchers have discovered a possible explanation for the surprisingly large range of biological effects that are linked to a micronutrient called lipoic acid: It appears to reset and synchronize circadian rhythms, or the "biological clock" found in most life forms.
The ability of lipoic acid to help restore a more normal circadian rhythm to aging animals could explain its apparent value in so many important biological functions, ranging from stress resistance to cardiac function, hormonal balance, muscle performance, glucose metabolism and the aging process…
Lipoic acid has been the focus in recent years of increasing research by scientists around the world, who continue to find previously unknown effects of this micronutrient. As an antioxidant and compound essential for aerobic metabolism, it's found at higher levels in organ meats and leafy vegetables such as spinach and broccoli.
Community: Carbs can also affect the body clock: “What You Eat May Affect Your Body's Internal Biological Clock.”
[Click the title, above, to post a comment.]

Interrupted Sleep May Be As Detrimental As No Sleep

(University Herald) Researchers from Tel Aviv University found a causal link between interrupted sleep patterns and compromised cognitive abilities, shortened attention spans, and negative moods. They also discovered that interrupted sleep is equivalent to no more than four consecutive hours of sleep…
The sleep of many parents is often disrupted by external sources such as a crying baby demanding care during the night. Doctors on call, who may receive several phone calls a night, also experience disruptions," researcher Avi Sadeh said in a statement. "These night wakings could be relatively short -- only five to ten minutes -- but they disrupt the natural sleep rhythm. The impact of such night wakings on an individual's daytime alertness, mood, and cognitive abilities had never been studied. Our study is the first to demonstrate seriously deleterious cognitive and emotional effects."…
Researchers said the study showed a direct link between compromised attention, negative mood, and disrupted sleep -- after only one night of frequent interruptions.
[Click the title, above, to post a comment.]

7 Bad Habits to Break for Better Sleep

Doing the toss-and-turn samba in bed lately? Nix these 7 bad habits for a more peaceful slumber.
1.    Avoid caffeine after lunch…
2.    Downsize those big dinners…
3.    Work out early…
4.    Skip the nightcap…
5.    Turn off the TV…
6.    Kick the habit. Like caffeine and alcohol, nicotine is a stimulant…
7.    Don't work in bed.
[Click the title, above, to post a comment.]

The Mental Trick That Will Help You Fall Asleep, Fast

(Shelby Freedman Harris, Psy.D.) It's no surprise that one of the most common triggers for insomnia is stress -- both good and bad. Stress comes from thinking about the past or worrying about the future, losing track of being in the moment. I commonly hear patients tell me that when they get in bed at night to try and sleep, their brains don't stop and instead they're thinking of the day, what didn't get done, what needs to get done and any other pressing or mundane issues in life.
What gets lost is the ability to be in the present moment, focusing on the breath, relaxing and letting sleep come…
Newer models of insomnia treatment are beginning to incorporate meditative components. During mindful meditation, the mind is focused on the act of meditation itself -- being in the moment, inhaling, exhaling or repeating a certain mantra -- to bring about relaxation. Mindfulness allows us to have more present-moment awareness and not get stuck on thoughts that take us out of the moment.
[Click the title, above, to post a comment.]

More Information and Recent Research on Sleep and the Body Clock

(SouthBeachDiet.com) Unfortunately, too many people think of sleep as a luxury, not a necessity. We need to wake up and change that view because sleep is an essential part of a healthy lifestyle! If we don't get enough sleep, it inevitably makes us more vulnerable to both physical and emotional problems like obesity, diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and depression, as well as a weakened immune system. These are the same health problems that can arise when we eat poorly and don't get enough exercise. Sleep is critical for good health, regardless of our age. Take this quiz to evaluate your sleep habits and to find out if you need to make adjustments in your bedroom or to your bedtime routine.
(Andrew Weil, M.D.) If you experience anxiousness and troubled sleep, but don't want to use prescription or over-the-counter sedatives, consider jasmine. Researchers have found that the scent of jasmine is as effective as Valium and similar drugs for relieving anxiety, promoting more peaceful sleep, and reducing anxiety upon waking. Particular jasmine fragrances were even shown to have the same neurochemical mechanism of action as barbiturates.
(Andrew Weil, M.D.) A new study from the UK suggests that taking supplements of omega-3 fatty acids may improve sleep… The study found that higher blood levels of long-chain omega 3 DHA (the main omega-3 fatty acid found in the brain) are significantly associated with better sleep. Study leader Paul Montgomery noted that lower ratios of DHA have been linked with lower levels of melatonin, which he said fits in with the finding that kids with sleep problems may have lower blood levels of DHA.
(Eat + Run, U.S. News & World Report) If you’re stuck counting sheep, unable to fall asleep, try these healthy remedies: · Make a list. If you’re mind is racing with all the things you have to do the next day, get them down on paper… · Drink a cup of warm milk, chamomile tea or tart cherry juice… · Eat magnesium-rich foods like almonds, and calcium-rich foods such as cheese and crackers… · Leave your phone and other screens turned off… · Don’t lie awake staring at the ceiling for too long. If you’ve been awake for more than 30 minutes, get up and either get a glass of water, walk around the room or gently stretch. Doing so can help interrupt the “I can’t sleep” pattern.
(LiveScience) Live Science talked with Nancy H. Rothstein, a sleep expert  and business consultant, and learned these five tips to help gadget junkies sleep better. 1. Make sure the gadgets go to bed an hour before you do… 2. Can't part with your gadgets? Then try blue-wavelength blockers… 3. Take the tech out of the bedroom… 4. Skip the nightcap… 5. Cut off caffeine by the afternoon.
Community: f.lux is free software that warms up your computer display at night, and LowBlueLights.com has other products, such as goggles, light bulbs, and TV screen covers, to reduce blue light.
(New York Times) Along with campaigns to dissuade older patients from having so many screening tests (like mammograms, Pap smears and colonoscopies) and potentially harmful procedures, researchers now are trying to help them kick certain prescription drugs. Specifically, Dr. [Cara] Tannenbaum and her colleagues want older people to wean themselves from benzodiazepines, widely used for insomnia and anxiety. The brand names are familiar: Ativan, Ambien, Halcion, Klonopin, Lunesta, Sonata, Valium and Xanax… [S]he and her colleagues devised … a brochure – to help older users detox.
More . . .

Recipes

Mediterranean Foods Alliance:
Tempting Tapas
As we careen into the summer months, cooking a full meal on a hot, humid night might feel unimaginable. Eating it might feel pretty intimidating as well. If this sounds familiar, you might benefit from an evening meal of tapas, Spain's little plates. Tapas originated in the province of Andalusia, Spain's southern tip bordering the Mediterranean Sea, but are now enjoyed throughout the country.
Tomato and Cucumber Rounds
Because tapas originated in Spain, seafood historically plays a starring role in them. The best part is, fish and shellfish boost the taste and nutrients in small dishes. Try this easy recipe with tuna, yogurt, green onions, mint, cumin, cherry tomatoes and cucumber.
Grilled Shrimp with Pepper Confetti
These shrimp brochettes are the specialty at Goiz Argi, a perpetually-packed bar in San Sebastián's cobblestoned Parte Vieja. Like any proper pintxo (Basque tapa), the brochettes are served on pieces of bread but you can skip the bread if you prefer.
Tortilla Española - Spanish Potato Omelette
Tortilla Española or Spanish Potato Omelette is one of the most popular dishes in Spain. There are many variations of the dish, but the most common version features potatoes and onions.  It is perfect for lunch, and is a staple of tapas bars throughout Spain. 
MyRecipes.com:
Pesto Halibut Kebabs
Make this fresh, colorful 20-minute meal with just 4 simple ingredients. Serve halibut with Israeli couscous tossed with toasted sliced almonds, dried cranberries, and chopped fresh parsley.
EatingWell:
Grilled Chicken Caesar Salad Wrap
This chicken Caesar salad wrap recipe is elevated by the irresistible smoky flavor of grilled chicken and grilled romaine. Whisk together this easy Caesar salad dressing, toss with the grilled chicken and romaine and wrap it all together for a delicious lunch or dinner.
[Click the title, above, to post a comment.]

Food News

(Science Daily) "In a population of initially well-functioning older adults, we found a significant correlation between strong adherence to the Mediterranean diet and a slower rate of cognitive decline among African American, but not white, older adults. Our study is the first to show a possible race-specific association between the Mediterranean diet and cognitive decline," a researcher outlines.
(Eat + Run, U.S. News & World Report) With so much emphasis on losing weight and fat, the other benefits of a nutritious diet sometimes take a back seat. Here are some other reasons eating healthy is good for your mind, body and life. Increase your work productivity… Improve your mood… Improve heart health… Protect against disease… Fuel your workouts… Help you age better… Lengthen your life.
(Eat + Run, U.S. News & World Report) Considering this is the heart of the growing season in many regions of the country, it's a great to time to push yourself to think outside the box. Looking for inspiration? Here are a few suggestions. These five underappreciated vegetables deserve some love. A visit to your local farmer’s market to pick up a new-to-you ingredient is also incentivizing when it comes to exploring new foods. The important thing is that you have fun. Okra… Kohlrabi… Mustard greens… Cabbage… Eggplant.
(The Supermarket Guru) According to a recent report by the World Resources Institute (lead author Richard Waite), that looked at the performance and sustainability of the world's aquaculture industry, fish production must grow by 133 percent until 2050 to meet projected worldwide demand. Tilapia is thought to play a major role in the growth of fish consumption in the future. Here's what you need to know about tilapia.
(Eat + Run, U.S. News & World Report) Missing the nutritional forest for the trees happens when people seize upon a particular fact about a certain food – perhaps an ingredient or biochemical component or a single research study about that food’s association with an adverse health outcome in a specific population – and then magnify the importance of that fact such that they emerge with a distorted point of view about the healthfulness or safety of that food. In other words, they fixate on the least flattering attribute of a single tree and therefore miss the majesty of the overall forest in which it resides.
(The Salt, NPR) A new kind of berry has found its way into Michigan grocery stores. These dark purple fruits are called saskatoons… "Every time I eat them I get a different flavor," says Steve DuCheney, who grows saskatoons in the northern part of Michigan. "The other day I had somebody tell me they tasted like peach, and that was the first time I heard that one."… The saskatoon plant and the fruit look like blueberry. But the shrub is actually more closely related to an apple tree.
More . . .

Summertime Concerns

(ABC News) As families flock to pools and lakes to cool off, experts are warning about a risky consequence of climate change: waterborne disease. Just last week, a 9-year-old girl from Johnson County, Kansas, died from primary amoebic meningoencephalitis, an extremely rare but almost invariably fatal brain infection caused by the freshwater amoeba Naegleria fowleri… Once limited to the southern states -- particularly Texas and Florida -- Naegleria fowleri has been moving north.
(Consumer Reports) You might be tempted to skip the sunscreen when you go outside if you've already dabbed on moisturizer containing sunscreen. But you shouldn't. It's not because moisturizers aren’t protective—it's because you probably won’t use enough.
(Science Daily) Sunscreen and sunglasses top the list of summertime must-haves for most people. But just as skin can burn on an overcast or chilly day, eyes can sustain damage anytime you’re outdoors without sunglasses. Larger frames may be the style now, but they are also more effective at protecting the eye, eyelid and surrounding tissues from harmful ultraviolet, or UV, rays.
[Click the title, above, to post a comment.]

Short Takes

(WebMD Health News) An in-depth investigation has concluded that people who smoke cannabis are much more likely to have paranoia than people who don't use the drug. The study also identifies psychological factors that can lead to feelings of paranoia in people exposed to the main psychoactive ingredient in cannabis, THC.
(Huffington Post) [R]esearch reveals two previously unknown "signaling platforms" in cells that allow THC, the psychoactive ingredient in cannabis known for producing the "high" sensation, to shrink some cancerous tumors.
(Reuters) Researchers have succeeded in turning ordinary cardiac muscle cells into specialized ones that deliver a steady heartbeat using a gene therapy procedure they predict could become an alternative to implanted electronic pacemakers.
(News-Medical.net‎) Researchers from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania found that patients taking prescription potassium supplements together with loop diuretics for heart failure have better survival rates than patients taking diuretics without the potassium. Moreover, the degree of benefit increases with higher diuretic doses.
(Reuters Health) Although people who have donated a kidney have passed a rigorous battery of tests and tend to be healthier than the average person, many report difficulty getting or changing health or life insurance policies after the surgery, according to a new study.
(Reuters Health) Stress and depression have long been linked with a heightened risk of weight gain, but a new study sheds light on how those mental states may alter the way the body processes fatty foods.
More . . .

Donating marrow

(HHS HealthBeat) Bone marrow makes blood cells, and some blood diseases can be treated – even cured – with bone marrow transplants. More than 30,000 people a year are diagnosed with these diseases, but it can be difficult to get marrow or the blood stem cells the marrow produces, for them. There aren’t enough donors, and the needs of the patient might not match what the donor can produce, even if the donor is a member of the patient’s family.
The director of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, Dr. Griffin Rodgers, says most donations are as easy as giving blood. It doesn’t have to be painful. And he says:
 “Seventy percent of people who need a transplant can’t find a bone marrow donor within their families. Your donation can save a life.”
Learn more at healthfinder.gov.
[Click the title, above, to post a comment.]

Your Brain Can Help Scientists Find Cure for Alzheimer’s

(Bloomberg) Scientists are short of brains.
Not that they lack smarts. Rather, they need more tissue they can study to better understand -- and maybe, someday, treat -- diseases of the mind as well as head injuries.
As dementia diagnoses rise, more athletes get concussions and more soldiers return from war with trauma, the drive to find treatments has taken on new urgency. Researchers’ demand for tissue is increasing, and brain banks are working to spur donations. While it’s easier to persuade donors who live with neurological ailments and want to help find cures, their brains must be compared in studies with healthy ones -- and banks need more of both.
[Click the title, above, to post a comment.]

Interesting Stuff

(Science Daily) An international team of researchers has found new evidence that our prehistoric ancestors had a detailed understanding of plants long before the development of agriculture. By extracting chemical compounds and microfossils from dental calculus (calcified dental plaque) from ancient teeth, the researchers were able to provide an entirely new perspective on our ancestors' diets. Their research suggests that purple nut sedge (Cyperus rotundus) -- today regarded as a nuisance weed -- formed an important part of the prehistoric diet.
(Science Daily) Five siblings in the family, who live in a remote corner of Turkey, walk exclusively on their hands and feet. Since they were discovered in 2005, scientists have debated the nature of their disability, with speculation they represent a backward stage of evolution. An anthropologist finds quadrupedal humans with Uner Tan Syndrome do not walk in the diagonal pattern characteristic of nonhuman primates such as apes and monkeys.
(Science Daily) Neuroscientists have generated mutant worms that do not get intoxicated by alcohol, a result that could lead to new drugs to treat the symptoms of people going through alcohol withdrawal. The scientists accomplished this feat by inserting a modified human alcohol target into the worms.
(Science Daily) A new study, involving roundworms, shows that starvation induces specific changes in so-called small RNAs and that these changes are inherited through at least three consecutive generations, apparently without any DNA involvement.
[Click the title, above, to post a comment.]

Light Could Restore Lost Hearing

(Scientific American) In people who can hear, spiral ganglion neurons in the inner ear allow for the precise discrimination of sound—we can recognize hundreds of people by the sound of their voice and distinguish between thousands of different pitches or frequencies of sound. In traditional cochlear implants the external microphone picks up sound and transmits it to these neurons via electrodes, but the resolution is very poor. The neurons are lined up like piano keys in our inner ear, and using electrodes to stimulate them is like playing a concerto with fists instead of fingers. The scientists think there is a better way.
In a study…, the researchers used viruses to implant genes for light sensitivity into mouse embryos of a deaf lineage. The genes went to work in the auditory pathways of the mouse brains, creating light-sensitive patches on the membranes of their spiral ganglion neurons and other neurons. The scientists then directed LED light onto these neurons and recorded brain stem activity—an essential integration step in auditory processing.
The activity indicated the deaf mice successfully perceived the light as sound. Compared with stimulation from traditional cochlear implant electrodes, the light produced more precise neural activity in the brain stem, similar to normal hearing. The mice also exhibited a high level of sound discrimination that current prosthetics cannot achieve.
[Click the title, above, to post a comment.]

Top Dutch AIDS expert on downed Malaysian plane

(Reuters) An influential Dutch AIDS expert was among the 298 passengers on a Malaysian airliner that was shot down over Ukraine, along with others who were headed to an international AIDS conference in Melbourne, an Australian associate said on Friday.
Joep Lange, who spent more than 30 years researching and fighting HIV and AIDS, was known for advocating cheap access to treatments in poor countries…
Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said a number of people on Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 were on their way to the 20th International AIDS Conference.
[Click the title, above, to post a comment.]

FedEx faces US criminal charges over online pharmacies

(Reuters) FedEx Corp was indicted on Thursday for shipping packages from illegal online pharmacies despite repeated warnings from U.S. drug enforcement officials, according to a court filing.
The 15-count indictment, handed down by a federal grand jury in San Francisco, includes charges for conspiracy to distribute controlled substances. FedEx allegedly gained at least $820 million from the conspiracy, the filing said, and could be fined up to twice that amount…
In a statement, FedEx Senior Vice President Patrick Fitzgerald said the company is innocent and will plead not guilty. U.S. prosecutors are asking that the company assume responsibility for the legality of millions of packages a day, he said. "We are a transportation company. We are not law enforcement," he said.
[Click the title, above, to post a comment.]

FDA committee to discuss adverse effects of testosterone products

(Reuters) The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has called an advisory committee meeting on Sept. 17, to discuss the adverse cardiovascular outcomes with the usage of testosterone replacement therapy.
The FDA has called for a joint meeting of the bone, reproductive and urologic drugs advisory committee and the drug safety and risk management advisory committee…
Products on the market or about to be launched include AbbVie Inc's AndroGel, Endo International Plc's Aveed and Trimel Pharmaceuticals Corp's Natesto.
[Click the title, above, to post a comment.]

Medical Practice News

(Washington Wire, Wall Street Journal) But a more important number might actually be a smaller one in AFSCME’s quest to convert these workers who had been resistant to joining their workplace union: A significant subset of them – more than 21,000— are home health care workers, the very kinds the U.S. Supreme Court recently said can’t be forced to pay dues to unions they don’t want to join. The union, said AFSCME President Lee Saunders, was dealt a “serious blow” last month by the court, which ruled that home care workers in Illinois – and possibly other states — aren’t full-fledged public employees, and therefore can’t be forced to pay dues to a public-sector union that represents them but that they don’t want to join.
The ruling set the stage for more legal challenges to these dues, known as agency fees, down the road. It will also make it harder for AFSCME to represent home care workers, Mr. Saunders said.
(Huffington Post) [Nurses] and physician assistants are rising in numbers and ranks to augment patient care, especially in underserved communities. A study published last year illustrated that increased use of nurse practitioners and physician assistants could significantly lessen the projected primary care physician shortage. Their expanded roles could also dramatically reduce costs, according to a recent report.
(Kaiser Health News) The number of working RNs has surpassed expectations in part due to baby-boomer RNs delaying retirement.
(Wall Street Journal) Missouri will allow medical-school graduates to work as "assistant physicians" and treat patients in underserved rural areas, though they haven't trained in residency programs, despite strong opposition from some doctors' groups. At least one year of residency is usually required to practice medicine independently in the U.S.; most young doctors spend at least three years in such programs, which include intense on-the-job training and supervision.
[Click the title, above, to post a comment.]

Health Insurance News

(The Hill) A new report from the Congressional Budget Office says cost control measures in ObamaCare will help reduce the growth in federal healthcare spending over the next 25 years. The report says federal healthcare spending will be equal to 8 percent of GDP by 2039, down from a projection last year of 8.1 percent. The savings would amount to $250 billion in today’s dollars, CBO found.
(Wall Street Journal) HCA Holdings Inc. said admissions to its hospitals rebounded in the second quarter and greater-than-expected benefits from the health-care reform law contributed to sharply stronger results than estimated. "Results for the second quarter of 2014 exceeded our internal expectations, both in terms of our core operations and health-care reform," Chief Executive R. Milton Johnson said, while raising the company's outlook for the year as well.
(Wall Street Journal) UnitedHealth, which is the biggest health insurer in the U.S., said impacts of the federal Affordable Care Act cut into its after-tax net margin for the most recent period by 90 basis points to 4.3%. This year will be the first to reflect the full implementation of the law, as cuts in government funding for certain provisions are projected to weigh on results. UnitedHealth credited growth in coverage in its public and senior sectors with helping to increase its top line, as well as improvement in its pharmacy services business.
(Kaiser Health News) UnitedHealthcare said it may sell policies through the exchanges in nearly half the states next year.
(Kaiser Health News) Initially, the restaurateur was frustrated in trying to find health insurance for her family, but her effort was ultimately successful. Now she hopes to insure her ‘work family.’ 
(Consumer Reports)  “It’s called an opt-out incentive,” says Ben Cohen, senior benefits adviser with Kushner & Company, an employee benefits consulting firm based in Kalamazoo, Mich., and it’s legit as long as a few conditions are met.
Community: It’s choices like this that will finally divorce employers from providing health care. A good thing, to my mind.
More . . .

Stroke rates and deaths fall in large US study

(USA Today) People are having fewer strokes and dying less often in the wake of strokes, at least in four U.S. communities followed closely over more than two decades…
During those 24 years, 7% had a first stroke and 58% of those people eventually died. Over each decade, the rates of stroke and death fell, by about 24% and 20%, respectively.
There were some exceptions, based on age: Stroke rates did not fall significantly among people under age 65 and death rates did not fall as much among those over 65…
[Ralph Sacco of the University of Miami] says the keys to "brain health" and to fewer strokes, for young and old, black and white, are to "know your numbers, your blood pressure and cholesterol, and get treated if you can't get them under control with lifestyle management."
Community: There are many practical things we can to prevent, delay, or minimize the damage from stroke.
[Click the title, above, to post a comment.]

Healthy habits linked to lower stroke risk

(Reuters Health) A new study confirms that people who maintain a healthy weight, exercise, eat well and abstain from smoking and heavy drinking have a reduced risk of stroke.
Previous studies have identified individual risk factors for stroke. The authors of the new report used a model based on data from almost 24,000 people to determine how having an overall healthy lifestyle might affect the risk of a first-time stroke.
“Our combined risk factor analysis indicated that about 38 percent of primary stroke occurrences could have been prevented in our study population if all study participants had maintained the healthiest risk profile,” Kaja Tikk from the German Cancer Research Centre in Heidelberg and colleagues write.
That was defined by the authors as never smoking, maintaining an optimal weight and waist circumference, exercising, consuming a moderate amount of alcohol and following a healthy diet.
Community: There are many practical things we can to prevent, delay, or minimize the damage from stroke.
[Click the title, above, to post a comment.]

Anger and Hostility Linked to Higher Stroke Risk

(LiveScience) Middle-age and older people who are highly stressed, have depression or who are perhaps even just cynical may be at increased risk of stroke, according to new research.
In the study, more than 6,700 healthy adults ages 45 to 84 completed questionnaires about their stress levels, depressive symptoms, feelings of anger, and hostility, which is a measure of holding cynical views about other people. The researchers then followed the participants for eight to 11 years, and looked at the relationship between these psychological factors and people's risk of having a stroke.
"There's such a focus on traditional risk factors — cholesterol levels, blood pressure, smoking and so forth. And those are all very important, but studies like this one show that psychological characteristics are equally important," said study researcher Susan Everson-Rose, an associate professor of medicine at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis.
Community: As I keep saying, the hate mongers on radio and television are killing their audience.
There are many practical things we can to prevent, delay, or minimize the damage from stroke.
[Click the title, above, to post a comment.]

Health Fair Tests for Stroke Risk Not Recommended

(LiveScience) At some health fairs, people are offered a test that screens for a buildup of plaque in blood vessels in the neck, which can be a risk factor for stroke, but new guidelines recommend against such screening in people who do not have symptoms.
The screening test itself, which typically involves an ultrasound of arteries in the neck, is not invasive, but it has a high false positive rate, meaning it falsely indicates disease in people who do not have the condition, according to the guidelines from a government-appointed panel of experts known as the United States Preventive Services Task Force.
This means the screening can be harmful, because it can lead to unnecessary surgery and other treatments, which themselves come with a small risk of heart attack or stroke, the guidelines say.
Community: There are many practical things we can to prevent, delay, or minimize the damage from stroke.
[Click the title, above, to post a comment.]

More Information and Recent Research on Stroke

(Andrew Weil, M.D.) Besides minimizing common risk factors such as smoking and unhealthy stress, you can help to prevent a stroke by adding magnesium-rich foods to your grocery cart… Next time you are at the grocery or farmer's market, buy these magnesium-rich foods: 1. Green leafy vegetables… 2. Nuts and seeds… 3. Whole grain products… 4. Beans… 5. Fish.
(Science Daily) A drug that blocks the action of the enzyme Cdk5 could substantially reduce brain damage if administered shortly after a stroke, research suggests. The development of a Cdk5 inhibitor as an acute neuroprotective therapy has the potential to reduce stroke injury, researchers report.
(Science Daily) After a large stroke, motor skills barely improve, even with rehabilitation. An experiment conducted on rats demonstrates that a course of therapy combining the stimulation of nerve fiber growth with drugs and motor training can be successful. The key, however, is the correct sequence: Paralyzed animals only make an almost complete recovery if the training is delayed until after the growth promoting drugs have been administered.
(MedPage Today) Ischemic stroke rates dropped as warfarin use increased among Medicare beneficiaries over a 19-year period -- even among groups that have not been well-represented in clinical trials, including the elderly, women, and blacks, researchers found.
(Medical Daily) Researchers from the University of Copenhagen in Denmark have found that individuals with a history of stroke who undergo elective non-cardiac surgery are at a significantly increased risk of major adverse heart problems and even death. This risk is largely dependent on the amount of time between stroke and surgery.
[Click the title, above, to post a comment.]

Recipes

MyRecipes.com:
Moroccan Chicken with Fruit and Olive Topping
The pairing of dried fruit and olives is also characteristic of other North African cuisines, such as Tunisian and Algerian. Serve over Israeli couscous, a pearl-like pasta; sprinkle with chopped green onions.
EatingWell:
Basil, Shrimp & Zucchini Pasta
This quick-cooking, healthy dinner is a simple combination of zucchini, shrimp and pasta flecked with plenty of fresh basil. If you have leftover cooked pasta from another meal, use it and skip Step 2. Since the recipe combines a starch, vegetables and the shrimp, all you need is a fruit or vegetable salad to round out the menu.
Los Angeles Times:
[Click the title, above, to post a comment.]

Food News

(SFGate) New Stanford research reveals people usually like the first bite of a food best. Each bite after that seems a little less tasty. But the last bite is the one we remember most, and the one that will determine how long we'll want to wait to try the food again, researchers said. Oh, and if you eat until you're full, you probably won't be in a hurry to eat that food again.
(CBS News) Organic produce and grains contain more protective antioxidants, less pesticide residue and lower levels of the toxic metal cadmium than food raised in traditional ways, a new review finds.
(Bloomberg) Dollar stores have added plenty of food—and alcohol—to their shelves in recent years to lure customers who are interested in more than disposable cups and paper goods. Offering speed, goods in smaller volume, and value, the strategy seems to be working… Unlike value shoppers who buy in bulk from super-centers such as Costco (COST), dollar store shoppers prefer smaller packages, which lowers sticker prices while pleasing older customers and those in small households. “Here, we market our products in smaller package sizes—perfect for one- and two-person households—which include many of the 55-year-old-plus consumers,” General Mills Vice President Shawn O’Grady said at an investor conference in early July.
(AFP) Governments have agreed new food standards calling for zero residue of veterinary drugs in meat, and limiting lead pollution in infant formula and toxins in maize, a UN body said Tuesday. The Codex Alimentarius Commission -- the top global decision-making body for food standards -- made a raft of recommendations at its ongoing annual meeting in Geneva, Angelika Tritscher, the UN's food safety coordinator, told AFP.
(Bloomberg) The world’s largest commercial fly farm, which will harvest maggots from about 8.5 billion of the insects housed in giant cages, is under construction near Cape Town, a project developers say is a first step toward shaking up the global animal-feed market… “The farm will take in 110 tons of organic waste, out-of date-food, uneaten food from restaurants, hotels, some animal manure and some abattoir waste” and recycle the nutrients, [company co-founder Jason] Drew said… “We copied the idea from Mother Nature. In 15 years, it will be as normal to recycle your waste nutrients as it is to recycle your tin, your glass or your plastic today.”
[Click the title, above, to post a comment.]

Quick Takes

(The Independent) A study into the genetic nature of friendship has found that, on average, close friends are likely to be as genetically related to one another as fourth cousins who share the same great, great, great grandparents. The findings suggest there is an unexplained mechanism that helps us to choose our friends based on how similar they are to us in terms of their DNA, said James Fowler, professor of medical genetics at the University of California, San Diego.
(Reuters) U.S. government data released on Tuesday showed that 2.3 percent of American adults are either gay or bisexual and that these men and women more often reported serious anxiety and having self-destructive habits than their straight peers… Gays and bisexuals fared as well or better than their straight peers in some areas, like exercising, taking HIV tests and receiving flu vaccines.
(Science Daily) Bacteria found in the bladders of healthy women differ from bacteria in women with a common form of incontinence, according to researchers. Approximately 15 percent of women suffer from UUI and yet an estimated 40 -- 50 percent do not respond to conventional treatments. One possible explanation for the lack of response to medication may be the bacteria present in these women. "These findings may have strong implications for the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of women with this form of incontinence," said a co-investigator.
(Daily Telegraph‎) Unexplained rash? Check your iPad. It turns out the popular tablet computer may contain nickel, one of the most common allergy-inducing metals.
(The Frugal Shopper, U.S. News & World Report) Owning a pet is a special experience and the connection you share can truly enrich your life. You want to pay back your pet’s unconditional love with the best care possible, but the costs can be intimidating. Here’s some good news: Fido can stay happy and healthy with these money-saving tips that won’t sacrifice his quality of life.
(Sharecare.com) Vision can change dramatically after people turn 40. Learn more as Dr. Oz discusses in this video what happens to your vision as you age and what to do about it.
(The Frugal Shopper, U.S. News & World Report) Eyewear can be expensive, but these sources can help you cut costs.
(LiveScience) A student in Taiwan who left disposable contact lenses in her eyes for six months straight developed a rare and serious eye infection that ultimately took her vision, according to news reports.
[Click the title, above, to post a comment.]