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

Low vitamin D levels may predict dementia risk

(Reuters Health) Elderly people with less vitamin D in their blood may be more likely to develop dementia and Alzheimer’s disease than those with more, according to a new analysis of data from the mid-1990’s.
Severe vitamin D deficiency, and the associated increased risk for dementia, was rare in the study, however. Only four percent of the older people included were “severely deficient” based on their blood samples.
“It is too early to tell whether improving vitamin D levels helps to delay or prevent dementia - clinical trials are now urgently needed,” said senior author David J. Llewellyn of the University of Exeter Medical School in the U.K.
Community: There are many practical things we can do to prevent, delay, or minimize cognitive decline.
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Fish Oil May Improve Memory, Slow Cognitive Decline

(PsychCentral) A new study discovered regular use of fish oil supplements (FOS) was associated with a significant reduction in cognitive decline and brain atrophy in older adults.
Researchers examined the relationship between FOS use and memory function during a study of Alzheimer’s incorporating neuroimaging and cognitive testing…
The study found that fish oil supplement use during the study was associated with significantly lower rates of cognitive decline as measured by the Alzheimer’s Disease Assessment Scale (ADAS-cog), and the Mini Mental State Exam (MMSE), but this benefit was observed only for the group of participants without dementia at the time of enrollment.
“Additionally, serial brain imaging conducted during this study showed that the participants with normal cognition who reported taking fish oil supplements demonstrated less brain shrinkage in key neurological areas, compared to those who did not use the supplements,” [said principal investigator Lori Daiello, Pharm.D.].
“Also, the positive findings on cognitive testing and brain MRI were only observed in persons who did not carry the best-studied genetic risk factor for AD, APOE-4.
Community: There are many practical things we can do to prevent, delay, or minimize cognitive decline.
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African Plant May Be Possible Treatment for Aging Brain

(Science Daily) For hundreds of years, healers in São Tomé e Príncipe -- an island off the western coast of Africa -- have prescribed cata-manginga leaves and bark to their patients. These pickings from the Voacanga Africana tree are said to decrease inflammation and ease the symptoms of mental disorders.
Now, scientists at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies have discovered that the power of the plant isn't just folklore: a compound isolated from Voacanga africana protects cells from altered molecular pathways linked to Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease and the neurodegeneration that often follows a stroke.
"What this provides us with is a source of potential new drug targets," says senior author Pamela Maher…
"There are still a lot of potential sources of drugs in plants that are native to countries around the world and most of them haven't been tested to any extent," says Maher. "You can't test everything, so the best way to approach plant research for drugs is to use the knowledge that's been around for thousands of years to help you pick and choose what to study with modern techniques. That way you're not just shooting in the dark."
Community: So maybe native healers aren’t so dumb, after all.
There are many practical things we can do to prevent, delay, or minimize cognitive decline.
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Drinking in middle age can make you 'twice as likely to have severe memory problems'

(The Independent) Problem drinking can cause trouble at any age but a new study has shown that it can be particularly dangerous for men and women in their 50s and 60s.
Research published in the American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry this month found that excessive drinking in middle age more than doubled the risk of severe memory loss in later life. "When we talk about drinking too much, the media often focuses on young people ending up in A&E after a night out," Dr Doug Brown, director of research and development at the Alzheimer’s Society charity, told the Associated Press…
Individuals in the study were considered to be ‘problem drinkers’ if they answered yes to any of the four items from the 'Cage' questionnaire (Cage stands for cut down, annoyed, guilty and eye-opener):
·         Do you ever feel you should cut down on your drinking?
·         Are you annoyed by people criticizing your habits?
·         Do you ever feel guilty about drinking?
·         Do you ever drink first thing in the morning to steady your nerves of recover from a hangover?
The study adds to the mounting evidence that alcohol abuse can have ‘hidden costs’ in later life, including impairing cognition and increasing the risk of various health problems.
Community: And fish oil is especially important for this group: “In alcohol abusers, fish oil may reduce risk of neurodegeneration and ensuing dementia.”
There are many practical things we can do to prevent, delay, or minimize cognitive decline.
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More Information and Recent Research on Neurodegenerative Disease

(Science Daily) Older adults who are tested at their optimal time of day (the morning), not only perform better on demanding cognitive tasks but also activate the same brain networks responsible for paying attention and suppressing distraction as younger adults, according to researchers.
(Science Daily) Early life experiences, such as childhood socioeconomic status and literacy, may have greater influence on the risk of cognitive impairment late in life than such demographic characteristics as race and ethnicity, a large study has found. "These findings are important," explained the lead author of the study "because it challenges earlier research that suggests associations between race and ethnicity, particularly among Latinos, and an increased risk of late-life cognitive impairment and dementia.
(Mayo Clinic) A new Mayo Clinic study suggests that the care and support family members give to elderly widows following the death of their spouse may be a factor in delaying dementia. The study … was designed to evaluate the effects of widowhood in people with mild cognitive impairment - a precursor of dementia.  The thinking had been that widowhood would accelerate the development of dementia in people with MCI but the study showed the opposite.
Community: This study tells us how important social support is to delaying cognitive decline.
(Reuters Health) Among older adults with dementia, those who are also depressed tend to have more rapid cognitive decline, according to a new study… Participants who had more depression symptoms on their initial exams were more likely to experience cognitive decline. Depression symptoms were also linked to dementia and to more rapid decline after a dementia diagnosis, according to results.
(Science Daily) From a cognitive perspective, aging is typically associated with decline. But the news isn't all bad when it comes to cognitive aging, according to new articles recently published. Researchers show how several factors -- including motivation and crystallized knowledge -- can play important roles in supporting and maintaining cognitive function in the decades past middle age.
(Science Daily) In a long-term, large-scale population-based study of individuals aged 55 years or older in the general population, researchers found that those diagnosed with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) had a four-fold increased risk of developing dementia or Alzheimer’s disease (AD) compared to cognitively healthy individuals. Several risk factors including older age, positive APOE-ɛ4 status, low total cholesterol levels, and stroke, as well as specific MRI findings were associated with an increased risk of developing MCI.
More . . .


Roasted Shrimp and Broccoli
Put dinner on the table fast by simply roasting shrimp and broccoli together for a quick, flavorful meal.
Curried Shrimp & Potato Kebabs
This curried potato and shrimp kebab recipe cooks in less than 5 minutes on the grill and packs plenty of flavor thanks to a generous amount of curry powder, garlic and cilantro.
Cooking Light:
100 Ways to Cook Shrimp
Quick-cooking, high protein, plus naturally light and delicious, you really can’t beat shrimp for dinner.
Katherine Brooking, MS, RD, Appetite for Health:
Healthy Smoothie Recipes
If there’s one thing I love almost as much as summer itself, it’s a refreshing smoothie made with the best in-season fruit.  Smoothies are a terrific way to help ensure that you meet your daily recommended produce servings, and they’re also perfect for breakfast, mid-morning snacks, or as an afternoon pick-me-up.  Make these in minutes and add a healthy and delicious boost to your day.
Take Your Iced Tea Up a Notch
Ahhhh! A tall ice-cube filled glass of freshly brewed iced tea is the perfect antidote to a steamy August day. Either unsweetened or sweetened with a natural no-calorie sweetener, iced tea is a South Beach Diet-friendly sipper that’s easy to make from scratch. Here’s how to make perfect iced tea.
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Food News

(Businessweek) Given that a gazillion different kinds of snacks are already on the market (which may be one reason we’re snacking more), such companies as General Mills (GIS) are eager to understand and exploit our snacking behaviors. In a new survey of 1,139 people by Nielsen (NLSN), 91 percent of people said they snack daily, including 25 percent who snack three to five times a day and 3 percent who are “always snacking.” About 8 percent say they “always” binge snack, and another 31 percent do so occasionally.
Community: Save money and snack healthy with the recipes below from Cooking Light:
(The Supermarket Guru) Food portion sizes in our country have doubled, and then some in the past twenty years. The National Heart Blood and Lung Institute offers visuals to empower eaters of all sizes to understand the differences between the way we used to eat - and how we eat today.
(Andrew Weil, M.D.) Don't trash garlic that has begun to sprout - new research suggests that it may have more health benefits than fresh garlic… When eating raw garlic - fresh or sprouted - chop or mash it to release the herb's full potential, as the active component, allicin, forms only on contact with air. I suggest chopping garlic and letting it sit for 10 minutes to get the full health potential that garlic offers.
(Huffington Post) Nutritional yeast, affectionately called "nooch" by those who are in the know, is a magical substance found in the bulk or supplement section of most health food stores. The name doesn't sound too appealing, but nutritional yeast is just an inactive yeast made from sugar cane and beet molasses. It's very similar to the active yeasts found in breads, but has no leavening ability. And it instantly allows for some amazing variety in a vegan diet -- specifically for its cheesy, umami-like flavor.
(Kristin Kirkpatrick, MS, RD, LD) Next time you go grocery shopping, skip these five reoccurring buzzwords that add no worth to the nutritional value of your food. Wheat bread… Cage-free… Natural… Made with real fruit… Reduced.
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Study finds a gene mutation increases breast cancer risk to 1 in 3

(Reuters) Women with mutations in a gene called PALB2 have a one in three chance of developing breast cancer by age 70, according to research that suggests PALB2 is almost as important a risk factor as BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutations…
"We're learning all the time about the different factors that may influence a woman's chances of developing breast cancer," said Peter Johnson, chief clinician at the charity Cancer Research UK, which part-funded the study.
"This particular mutation doesn't make people certain to develop cancer, but it's another piece of information to help women make proper informed choices about how they may help to minimize their own risk."
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Routine prostate cancer screening 'reduces deaths but leads to overdiagnosis'

(Medical News Today) Results of a major European study reveal that routine prostate cancer screening reduces deaths from the disease by more than a fifth. But as it also leads to high rates of overdiagnosis, researchers say it is too early to recommend routine screening for the cancer…
Study leader Prof. Fritz Schröder, of the Erasmus University Medical Center in the Netherlands, says it is clear that PSA screening "delivers a substantial reduction in prostate cancer deaths, similar or greater than that reported in screening for breast cancer."
But despite this, he believes it is too soon to recommend routine screening for prostate cancer.
He notes that overdiagnosis occurs in around 40% of prostate cancer cases detected by screening, and that this can lead to overtreatment and common side effects, including incontinence and impotence…
In an editorial linked to the study, Ian Thompson, of the University of Texas Health Science Center, and Catherine Tangen, of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, WA, say that although this research demonstrates the benefits of screening, "PSA-based screening is imperfect," supporting the points made by Prof. Schröder regarding overdiagnosis and side effects of treatment.
Community: Maybe the answer to the imperfect test problem is here:
(Fox News) A new blood test for prostate cancer is improving the accuracy of diagnoses and may even reduce the frequency of false positives and unnecessary biopsies. The Prostate Health Index (PHI) test could fill the diagnostic gap clinicians currently have when screening for prostate cancer.  By using three different prostate-specific markers, the test is more accurate in detecting prostate cancer than the current prostate specific antigen (PSA) test.
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Gut Microbiome Serves as Colorectal Cancer Screening Tool

(Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News) Scientists from the University of Michigan report that an analysis of the gut microbiome more successfully distinguished healthy individuals from those with precancerous adenomatous polyps and those with invasive colorectal cancer compared with assessment of clinical risk factors and fecal occult blood testing…
By analyzing stool samples from 90 individuals—30 healthy individuals, 30 patients with precancerous adenomatous polyps, and 30 patients with invasive colorectal cancer—Dr. Schloss and his colleagues established that the composition of the gut microbiome was different for individuals in the three groups…
[A]nalysis of the gut microbiome signatures was better than fecal occult blood testing at distinguishing individuals with precancerous adenomatous polyps from those with invasive colorectal cancer. Assessing BMI, fecal occult blood test results, and gut microbiome signatures together further improved the ability to distinguish between the two conditions.
Community: It would be great to have a non-invasive test that would free most people from ever having to have a colonoscopy.
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Cord blood, a precious medical resource, is usually discarded

(Philadelphia Inquirer) Stem cells from cord blood are an increasingly vital public-health resource with the potential to treat or cure scores of life-threatening diseases. Yet every day in delivery rooms, nearly all cord blood is thrown away…
"Women want to donate, but we can't afford to collect it," said Dennis Todd, CEO at Community Blood Services in Montvale, N.J…
Cord blood is rich in stem cells, which are used for transplants in patients with leukemia, sickle cell anemia, and dozens of rare blood diseases. Researchers are optimistic these cells might also be used to treat heart disease, diabetes, cerebral palsy, autism, and spinal cord damage…
"If we stop spending billions on armaments maybe we can allocate more money for storing more units in public cord blood banks," said Naynesh R. Kamani, division director of the American Association of Blood Banks.
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Eye-Tracking Devices Offer Added Pilot Safety

(Mayo Clinic) The use of small, portable eye-tracking devices in cockpits could be a future additional safeguard for pilots and other safety critical operators, according to a Mayo Clinic study…
Eye movement metrics have been recognized as promising indicators of altered cognitive performance caused by hypoxia at high altitudes. Hypoxia is a lower than normal level of oxygen in your blood. To function properly, your body needs a certain level of oxygen circulating in the blood to cells and tissues. When this level of oxygen falls below a certain amount, hypoxia can cause a variety of symptoms including shortness of breath, impaired speech, slowed reaction time and passing out which can be a safety threat at high altitudes.
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Sensors And Sensitivity

(Tech Crunch) [W]hat if everyday objects that we interact with — whether it’s by resting against them or holding onto them — were to house the sensors that keep tabs on us? Anti-wearables, if you like, given that the technology becomes invisibly embedded into everyday objects.
This is the sensible trajectory of connected sensor technology. The world around us gains the ability to perceive us, rather than wearable sensors trying to figure out what’s going on in our environment by taking a continuous measure of us.
In one example currently being worked on, PLUX – Wireless Biosignals, the makers of a low cost, modular bio-sensor kit called BITalino, are embedding sensors into car seats, to offer a non-wearable way for human health signals to be quantified while a person is driving a car.
The project, called Harken (which stands for Heart And Respiration in-Car Embedded Nonintrusive sensors), is specifically focused on safety, with the ultimate aim of preventing fatigue-induced car accidents by monitoring the driver’s physiological activity for specific signs of fatigue based on the fact that the human heart rate and respiration changes when people are getting sleepy.
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Inks Used in Certain Tattoo Kits Cause Infections

(U.S. Food and Drug Administration) Tempted to get a tattoo? Today, people from all walks of life have tattoos, which might lead you to believe that tattoos are completely safe.
But beware—there may be associated health risks.
Recently, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) became aware of a problem after testing inks in home use tattoo kits marketed by White and Blue Lion, Inc. FDA has confirmed bacterial contamination in unopened bottles of the company’s inks.
According to Linda Katz, M.D., M.P.H., director of FDA’s Office of Cosmetics and Colors, using these inks for tattoos could cause infection. “FDA has confirmed one case of skin infection involving a consumer that used this company’s tattoo products,” Katz says, “and we are aware of other reports linked to tattoo products with similar packaging.”
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More Infectious Disease News

(Reuters) Health workers in West Africa appealed on Wednesday for urgent help in controlling the world's worst Ebola outbreak as the death toll climbed to 932 and Liberia declared a state of emergency.
(AFP) The decision to use an experimental drug to treat two Americans infected with Ebola, while nearly 1,000 Africans have already died from the deadly epidemic, has sparked controversy -- but US experts say it was ethically justified. The World Health Organization announced Wednesday it was convening a special meeting next week to explore using experimental drugs in the West African outbreak, after two health workers from the US charity Samaritan's Purse were treated with a drug called ZMapp. The experimental drug is still in an extremely early phase of development and had only been tested previously on monkeys. It has never been produced on a large scale. There is no proven treatment or cure for Ebola.
(Reuters) U.S. health regulators on Wednesday authorized the use of an Ebola diagnostic test developed by the Pentagon to help contain the world's worst outbreak of the deadly virus.
(Reuters) Police and soldiers in Sierra Leone blockaded rural areas hit by the deadly Ebola virus on Thursday, a senior officer said, after neighboring Liberia declared a state of emergency to tackle the worst-ever outbreak of the disease, which has killed 932 people.
(Daily Mail) A young man lies dead in the streets of Liberia, left to rot in view of passers-by and local children. He is just one of many Ebola victims to have been dragged out of their homes and dumped on the country's roads by terrified relatives in a desperate bid to avoid being quarantined. The deadly virus, which can cause victims to suffer from severe bruising and bleeding from the eyes and mouth, has claimed the lives of nearly 900 people across West Africa so far.
(AFP) The world must learn from the fight against AIDS to help beat the deadliest-ever outbreak of Ebola, the new global head of the Red Cross said on Wednesday. While strict measures are needed to defeat Ebola in West Africa, dishing out blame will not help, said Elhadj As Sy, chief of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies. "One fundamental lesson to be driven out of the response to HIV, to tuberculosis and malaria, and that could be applied to the Ebola crisis, is the simple fact that communities are part of the solution and they shouldn't be seen as a problem," As Sy, who took the reins on Monday, told AFP.
"Stigma and discrimination often kill as much as viruses, because there's a self-stigma where people will drive themselves underground," he warned.
More . . .

Surprising new drugstore perks

Tampons, Tic Tacs, Tylenol, and maybe a prescription or two if you have time to wait in line. If that’s your typical drugstore visit, how about a skin cancer and cholesterol screening? Or help quitting smoking? Or drugs by drone? Pharmacies are rolling out all kinds of new in-store, online, and mobile services to make it more convenient to stay healthy. They might even save you a trip to the doctor…
1. Private consultations with a pharmacist
2. Personalized packaging
Do you ever forget to take your prescribed medications? Sam’s Club, Walmart, and some independent drugstores will put your pills in individualized, daily packets instead of the usual bottles so that you can tell at a glance that a dose has been taken…
3. Wellness programs
4. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner
Drugstores are expanding their food supply beyond the snack aisles…
5. 24-hour live chats
You realize at 3 a.m. that you forgot to take your meds, and you’re worried. You can’t call your doctor at that hour to find out what to do about it, but you might be able to ask at your pharmacy.
Read more, including more perks.
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French hospital to open wine bar to cheer up terminally ill

(Reuters) A hospital in the French city of Clermont-Ferrand is to open a wine bar where terminally ill patients will be able to enjoy a "medically-supervised" glass or two with their families.
"Why should we refuse the charms of the soil to those at the end of their lives? Nothing justifies such an prohibition," the Clermont-Ferrand University Hospital Center said in statement.
The center's head, Dr. Virginie Guastella, said terminally ill patients had the right to "enjoy themselves".
The bar will be the first in France to offer such a facility for patients and their families. Staff will be specially trained before it opens in the hospital's palliative care center in September.
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Health Insurance News

(Wall Street Journal) Almost 90% of the nation's 30 million uninsured won't pay a penalty under the Affordable Care Act in 2016 because of a growing batch of exemptions to the health-coverage requirement. The architects of the health law wanted most Americans to carry insurance or pay a penalty. But an analysis by the Congressional Budget Office and the Joint Committee on Taxation said most of the uninsured will qualify for one or more exemptions.
(USA Today) The Affordable Care Act has been dramatically changing the way hospitals do business, forcing them to rethink which patients they admit and focus on keeping people healthy. For Kaiser Permanente, however, it's been largely business as usual, says CEO Bernard Tyson, who took the helm a year ago.
(Kaiser Health News) With many of their patients now insured under the law, most W. Va. free clinics are choosing to get paid by Medicaid.
(Wonkblog, Washington Post) America's growing immigrant population might not be all that bad for the country's health-care system. In fact, it's probably playing an important role in helping to keep it afloat. U.S. immigrants' net contribution to Medicare's Hospital Insurance Trust Fund, the program's core funding source, was $183 billion between 1996 and 2011. US-born Americans? Negative $69 billion, according to a new report by the Partnership for the New American Economy, an immigration advocacy group.
That means that immigrants have been pumping a lot more money in than they take out, while the rest of the population has been doing just the opposite. On a per person basis, immigrants contributed $62 more per person to the trust fund than the U.S.-born, and claim $172 less in benefits.
(Kaiser Health News) One of Medicare’s attempts to improve medical quality –by rewarding or penalizing hospitals — did not lead to improvements in the first nine months of the program, a study has found.
More . . .

Aspirin a day could dramatically cut cancer risk, says biggest study yet

(The Guardian) An aspirin a day could dramatically cut people's chances of getting and dying from common cancers, according to the most detailed review yet of the cheap drug's ability to stem disease.
More than 130,000 deaths would be avoided over a 20-year period if Britain's 50- to 64-year-olds took a daily aspirin for 10 years, because the beneficial effects continue even when the aspirin is stopped, the authors say.
A research team led by Professor Jack Cuzick, head of the centre for cancer prevention at Queen Mary University of London, concluded that people between 50 and 65 should consider regularly taking the 75mg low-dosage tablets.
Cuzick said that taking aspirin "looks to be the most important thing we can do to reduce cancer after stopping smoking and reducing obesity, and will probably be much easier to implement"….
For aspirin's anti-cancer benefits to kick in, people needed to have taken aspirin for at least five years from the ages of 50 to 64. Most of the research was based on low 75mg doses. The longer the drug was taken, the better its preventive effects, until the age of 65, after which there was an increased risk of internal bleeding.
Community: I buy store brand low dose aspirin, but the dose is 81 mg, not 75 mg. I’ve never seen a 75 mg formulation.
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Three Herbal Supplements Have Anti-Cancer Activity

(Suzy Cohen, “America's Pharmacist”) There’s a protein in your body called “mTOR” which plays a vital role in how each cell thrives, divides, or dies. When this protein and associated metabolic pathway is turned on too high, it promotes cancer spreading…
There are natural compounds which are known to interfere with mTOR… Resveratrol (you know, from grapes!) is one of them as reported in The Journal of Biological Chemistry (November 19, 2010)…
Guess what other herb reduces mTOR activity? Curcumin, one of the active compounds in turmeric spice, popular in Indian cuisine.  Many studies prove curcumin slows down the growth of different types of cancer…
Saffron (Crocus sativus)… Saffron supplements seem to help reduce chemotherapy-induced cell damage (damage to the DNA)…
The discussion of using resveratrol, curcumin or saffron is between you and your doctor. Even though these are natural herbs, with excellent safety profiles, I have no idea what’s right for you and your safety is my first concern. Ask a licensed practitioner about customizing your personal health regimen. [Emphasis added, in all cases.]
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Certain Starch May Reduce Colon-Cancer Risk of Meat-Heavy Diet

(LiveScience) Eating your steak with a side of potatoes and beans may be one way to reduce the colon cancer risk that comes with eating red meat — findings from a new study suggests the "resistant" starch, found in root vegetables, grains and legumes, may reverse some of the damaging effects of red meat on cells.
Researchers looked at 23 healthy study participants who were randomly assigned to eat either about 0.6 lbs. (300 grams) of red meat per day for four weeks, or the same diet with the addition of 0.1 lbs. (40 grams) of resistant starch per day. Resistant starches are carbohydrates that go undigested in the small intestine, and later get fermented by bacteria in the colon. After a break, the participants switched diets, so everyone spent four weeks on each diet during the study.
The researchers found that eating the diet high in red meat changed levels of a type of genetic material called microRNA in rectal tissue. Specifically, the scientists found an increase in certain microRNAs linked to colon cancer.
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Wasp Venom Used in New Therapy for Breast Cancer

(Science Daily) [S]cientists from the Institute for Biomedical Research (IRB Barcelona) have designed a new therapy based on a peptide -- the binding of several amino acids -- from wasp venom for its potential use against breast cancer. "This peptide has the ability to form pores in the cell plasma membrane, penetrate into the cell and finally, cause its death, either by necrosis or by triggering apoptosis, programmed cell death," Miguel Moreno, lead author of IRB Barcelona explained…
However, this powerful 'natural weapon' could not be used due to its high toxicity and lack of cell specificity; that is, it would not only damage tumour cells but would also affect healthy patient cells. As such, the researchers designed a means of transporting the peptide to the tumour and making it accumulate in a specific and controlled manner.
The system consists of a decorated carrier polymer with two components: a peptide that is bound to a tumour cell receptor and the cytotoxic peptide of the wasp venom.
In vitro experiments show that the substance is adequately distributed within the tumour cells and causes their death, while healthy cells, such as red blood cells, are not affected.
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More Information and Recent Research on Cancer

(Consumer Reports) Consumer Reports advice on mammograms, Pap tests, colonoscopy, and the PSA test.
(MedPage Today) Low levels of vitamin D were associated with higher cancer mortality in people with a history of cancer, a study found.
(Reuters) - Bowel cancer patients with high levels of vitamin D in their blood are more likely to survive the disease, according to research… Scientists who studied almost 1,600 patients after surgery for bowel cancer found those with the highest levels of vitamin D have half the risk of dying of the disease compared with those with the lowest levels.
(Science Daily) Scientists have shown how the main psychoactive ingredient in cannabis, THC, could reduce tumor growth in cancer patients. New research reveals the existence of previously unknown signaling platforms which are responsible for the drug's success in shrinking tumors.
(Science Daily) Sunscreen, even with a sun protection factor (SPF) 50, may not fully protect against the development of melanoma. Sunscreen protects against immediate radiation damage including sunburn, but the radiation can still penetrate and damage the DNA of cells and cause cancer, according to an animal study.
(Scientific American) Scientists have suspected since the 1940s that air pollution causes lung cancer, but it has taken seven decades of research to establish the connection. During that time it became clear that smoking causes most lung-cancer deaths (70% globally) and that air pollution kills more people through cardiovascular disease than through cancer. Nevertheless, air pollution's cancer toll adds up. Researchers blamed it for 223,000 lung-cancer deaths in 2010, nearly 15% of all such deaths. The IARC also noted evidence linking air pollution to bladder cancer.
More . . .


Coconut Curried Pork, Snow Pea, and Mango Stir-Fry
Adding tropical ingredients like chopped mango and coconut milk make this 15-minute stir-fry special. Red curry powder is a blend of coriander, cumin, chiles, and cardamom. Use it to give this quick stir-fry a hint of Thai flavor.
Charred Tomato & Chicken Tacos
Charring tomatoes in a cast-iron skillet yields smoky results.
Mediterranean Foods Alliance:
Spaghetti with Garlic, Oil and Chili Pepper
This ultimate comfort food recipe takes only as long as it takes the spaghetti to cook, and can be modified to include other ingredients such as mushrooms or peppers or other spices. 
Bruschetta with Avocado and Basil
The avocado from California adds a creamy touch to garden-fresh bruschetta, and is a perfect addition to any summer meal.
Walnut and Cucumber Gazpacho
This is a light, refreshing, chilled soup that's very easy to make. Perfect for a hot summer day when you don't want to cook.
Festive Papas Tapas
Simply grill potato planks (try russets, reds or yellows) for 10 minutes on each side. Then top them with your favorite Mediterranean mixtures, like a bruschetta topping. The possibilities with grilled potatoes are endless and definite crowd pleasers!
Artichoke Salad
A perfect combination of Mediterranean ingredients for a simple, quick and flavorful salad that brings to mind an image of eating with a view of the Mediterranean Sea.
Chilly Chocolate
This chocolate-lover’s treat is made extra-special with a touch of vanilla extract. Tasty variations are endless. Try adding other extracts, such as peppermint, cherry, almond, coconut, raspberry, or banana.
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Food fight builds as US regulators weigh 'added sugar' label

(Reuters) In Washington, a pivotal battle over sugar is heating up. One small corner of the wider culture war over public health and sweeteners, this fight isn't about how much sugar should be in your food, but how much you should know about it.
U.S. food regulators say the public needs to know how much sugar manufacturers add to their products, beyond the sweetener that naturally occurs in the raw ingredients. Companies such as Campbell Soup Company oppose the addition. While the company says it supports better food labels, it warns that making a distinction in the source of sugar risks dangerous confusion…
Current labeling laws only require them to list total sugar content.
The move marks U.S. regulators' first significant step to address a growing clamor from health groups and scientists who say that excessive sugar consumption is a key culprit in the nation's obesity and diabetes epidemics.
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More Food News

(UPI) Eating a piece of baked or broiled fish -- any fish -- once a week boosts brain health, according to new research by doctors at the Pitt School of Medicine.
(Science Daily) Eating less meat would protect water resources in dry areas around the world, researchers have found. Reducing the use of animal products can have a considerable impact on areas suffering scarce water resources, as meat production requires more water than other agricultural products, they say.
(Science Daily) Blueberries get lots of media attention for their antioxidant benefits, but a new study shows 60 percent of blueberry purchasers buy the fruit for its flavor, while 39 percent do so for psychological reasons. By “psychological,” researchers mean those consumers may buy blueberries because they believe the fruit, which contains antioxidants, provides health benefits.
(Huffington Post) As Americans become increasingly health conscious, nutritionally rich foods like seaweed are getting more attention. Food companies and marketers are paying attention to consumer demands and pushing healthy food products, fueling and reinforcing trends. (Look no further than the recent Greek Yogurt craze and pervasive use of the word "superfood," which is nothing more than a marketing term that has simply exploded in recent years. Seaweed, of course, has been deemed a superfood by the powers that be.)
(Andrew Weil, M.D.) Omega-3 fatty acids are crucial to optimal brain and nervous system development in the fetus. Dr. Weil discusses how we have an imbalance of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids due to our diet. Dr. Weil also suggests taking an omega-3 supplement derived from molecularly distilled fish oils that are naturally high in both EPA and DHA and low in contaminants.
(U.S. News & World Report) Yes, raw cacao is the latest player in chocolate-fad land, hailed by many as a nutritionally magical superfood. But it’s been around for, well, forever – once dubbed the “food of the gods” by the Aztecs and restricted to society’s elite. Indeed, raw cacao – which hasn’t been processed or roasted – is considered a healthier option than your standard Hershey’s bar. Here’s a look at how to use it.
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