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

Excess body weight boosts risk of 10 common cancers: study

(AFP) Being overweight boosts the risk of 10 common cancers, said a study of five million UK adults that prompted a call Thursday for tougher anti-obesity measures…
Even within normal height-to-weight ranges, people with higher BMI numbers were more at risk, the researchers found…
Commenting on the findings, Peter Campbell from the American Cancer Society in Atlanta highlighted the need for policy changes to curb excess weight and obesity, a growing global problem. These could include taxes on foods like sugar-sweetened drinks that are high in calories but low in nutrition, subsidies for healthier alternatives, and urban planning that encourages walking and other forms of exercise.
Earlier this week, another study in The Lancet said two in five American adults [40%] are expected to develop type 2 diabetes -- a form of the disease caused mainly by physical inactivity and excess body weight.
Being overweight also puts people at a higher risk of heart disease and stroke.
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It really is harder for women to lose weight

(Washington Post) You’re not imagining it: There really are differences between the way men and women diet, lose weight and respond to exercise. Some of the differences stem from biology; other differences are behavioral…
But the information that researchers are unearthing about the differences in the way that men and women lose weight inspires hope that the next generation of weight-loss advice will be more tailored and effective than the generic tips that have gotten Americans no closer to sliding into their dream jeans…
These steps can help you overcome your weight-loss obstacles, regardless of your sex.
Start strength training. Muscle burns more calories than fat, even when at rest…
Put tempting foods out of sight, out of mind. We naturally gravitate toward foods that are easiest to reach…
Halt bad eating habits. Before you cave to the crave, hit the pause button… Ask yourself: “Am I hungry? Angry? Anxious? Lonely? Tired?” Get in touch with your emotions and ask, “Am I’m emotional right now? Am I about to knee-jerk into overeating?”
Sleep. Ideally, get seven to eight hours of sleep each night, no less than six. Compromising sleep will cause your appetite and hunger hormones to get out of whack and prompt you to overeat.
Meditate. Do some form of introspective activity each day to stay in touch with feelings and adjust to stresses.
Read more for more tips.
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Gut Microbes Sway Food Choices

(Science Daily) [R]esearchers … concluded from a review of the recent scientific literature that microbes influence human eating behavior and dietary choices to favor consumption of the particular nutrients they grow best on, rather than simply passively living off whatever nutrients we choose to send their way…
While it is unclear exactly how this occurs, the authors believe this diverse community of microbes, collectively known as the gut microbiome, may influence our decisions by releasing signaling molecules into our gut. Because the gut is linked to the immune system, the endocrine system and the nervous system, those signals could influence our physiologic and behavioral responses…
Fortunately, it's a two-way street. We can influence the compatibility of these microscopic, single-celled houseguests by deliberating altering what we ingest, [said Carlo Maley, PhD], with measurable changes in the microbiome within 24 hours of diet change…
"Because microbiota are easily manipulatable by prebiotics, probiotics, antibiotics, fecal transplants, and dietary changes, altering our microbiota offers a tractable approach to otherwise intractable problems of obesity and unhealthy eating," the authors wrote.
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Myth or Fact: You Can Boost Metabolism

(Appetite for Health) Even if you weren’t born with “skinny genes”, there are things you can do to increase your body’s ability to burn calories faster. Appetite for Health Co-Founder Julie Upton MS, RD, has written frequently about the #1 thing you can do to rev-up your metabolic rate: Exercise.  Working out builds muscle. Muscle speeds metabolism. As the body works more efficiently, it processes food faster. For specific exercise regimens that have been proven to help boost metabolism, check out Julie’s articles, Burn, Baby Burn: Intensity is Best for Boosting Metabolism and CrossFit: Get Fit Fast.
Besides exercise, there are a few other strategies that have been shown in scientific studies to help speed up metabolism.  They are:
Eat More Often!...
Drink Water Often…
Eat More Protein…
Grab Some … coffee, tea, or other caffeinated (but low or no calorie) beverages.  Caffeine will boost your metabolic rate for up to three hours after consumption.
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More Information on Weight Loss

(NIH Research Matters) Men exposed to a cool environment overnight for a month had an increase in brown fat with corresponding changes in metabolism. The finding hints at new ways to alter the body’s energy balance to treat conditions such as obesity and diabetes.
(University of Sussex) The flavour that gives food its "deliciousness" could also be telling us information about its protein content, according to new research… Umami (meaning 'deliciousness' in Japanese) is recognised as our fifth sense of taste – the others being sweet, salty, sour and bitter – and is actually the chemical glutamate, a protein found in meat (it gives bacon its tastiness), and other savoury foods such as Marmite, parmesan cheese and shiitake mushrooms. A study … reveals that it is also the flavour that helps us to feel full.
(The Supermarket Guru) Adding a few hot peppers to your food is great for flavor, but that may not be the only benefit to adding a little spice to your meal.  According to a recent article in Time, new research shows three more reasons you should consider adding extra kick into your diet. First, it may reduce risk for tumors… Next up, apparently spice improves your sex life!... Finally, according to some scientists spicy food can help with weight loss.
(Appetite for Health) New research … shows that eating around 30 grams of protein at breakfast increased muscle protein synthesis by some 30%, compared to a traditional carb-rich, lower protein breakfast. If you’re struggling to lose weight or can’t control your cravings, it may simply mean that you’re not eating the right breakfast.
(Science Daily) Eating about one serving a day of beans, peas, chickpeas or lentils can increase fullness, which may lead to better weight management and weight loss, a new study has found. Pulses have a low glycemic index (meaning that they are foods that break down slowly) and can be used to reduce or displace animal protein as well as "bad" fats such as trans fat in a dish or meal.
(Appetite for Health) Individuals who are thinner and have healthier diets don’t have more willpower; they just manage their resource better by creating healthy habits and an environment that helps make the healthy choice their first choice. While willpower is a precious commodity, researchers are finding ways you can help conserve and boost [yours.] 1. Avoid “addictive” foods… 2. Keep blood sugar levels stable… 3. Skip Food TV and food ads… 4. Plan ahead… 5. Focus on one positive behavior at a time.
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More Information and Recent Research on Obesity

(The Atlantic) People in dense cities are thinner and have healthier hearts than people in sprawling subdivisions. New research says the secret is in the patterns of the streets.
(Sharecare.com) "There's no strong data to show that weight gain is related to menopause," says Margery Gass, MD, executive director of the North American Menopause Society. "There are age-related weight changes that affect everyone, men and women." For example, a slowing metabolism makes it harder to lose weight, and women need to eat less and exercise more just to maintain their weight. Hormonal changes can make it difficult to stick to a healthy weight, but they don't cause weight gain, Gass says.
(LiveScience) A healthy 35-year-old woman who took a weight-loss supplement developed liver failure, and needed a liver transplant, according to a new report of her case. The woman took three Saba Appetite Control and Energy (ACE) pills within two days, and two weeks later she developed jaundice, according to the report from researchers at the University of Kentucky in Lexington, who treated the woman. Her condition worsened, and a week later she developed leg swelling and an accumulation of fluid in the abdominal cavity (known as ascites). Eight weeks after her jaundice set in, the woman experienced liver failure and needed a transplant.
(Science Daily) Preventing weight gain, obesity, and ultimately diabetes could be as simple as keeping a nuclear receptor from being activated in a small part of the brain, according to a new study.
(Science Daily) People who have the most common genetic mutation linked to obesity respond differently to pictures of appetizing foods than overweight or obese people who do not have the genetic mutation, according to a new study… "For the first time, we are seeing that the MC4R pathway is involved in the brain's response to food cues and its underactivity in some overweight people," [lead researcher Agatha] van der Klaauw said. "Understanding this pathway may help in developing interventions to limit the overconsumption of highly palatable foods that can lead to weight gain."
(Society for the Study of Ingestive Behavior) The failure of some obese individuals to generate or detect adequate signals to stop eating has been frequently been reported in medical science. Researchers at the University of Leeds, UK have devised a simple metric to quantify satiety responsiveness - Satiety Quotient (SQ) – and are applying it to their research to find out why some people struggle to manage their weight and whether certain foods may help to amplify sensations of fullness.
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Rotini with Chicken
Reminiscent of a pasta salad, this recipe coats rotini and colorful vegetables with a basil-flecked balsamic vinaigrette.
White Turkey Chili
This healthy white turkey chili recipe is gorgeous, with flecks of green from zucchini, oregano and green chiles. To keep the saturated fat low, we use one pound of ground turkey and add whole-grain bulgur to boost the volume and fiber in this chili recipe. After all the ingredients are added to the pot, we like to slowly simmer our chili for close to an hour to develop the best flavor, but if you’re in a hurry, reduce the liquid by half and simmer for 20 to 25 minutes.
Washington Post:
Appetite for Health:
Easy Potato Salads
(Appetite for Health) Looking for a perfect side dish for your next cookout, party, or dinner? Check out these easy, healthy (and super delicious!) versions of a traditional potato salad.
Fennel, Watercress & Red Onion Salad
A citrusy dressing unites the distinctive flavors in this very pretty salad.
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The Salt Seesaw

(Los Angeles Times) Across the world, the excessive consumption of sodium--hiding in breads, soups and snack foods and beckoning from salt shakers everywhere--is the cause of some 1.65 million deaths by heart disease and strokes yearly, including roughly 667,000 "premature" deaths--those before the age of 70--says a comprehensive new study.
(MedPage Today) Regulating dietary sodium may not be the only way to attack hypertension, and for most of the world it may not even be the best way, according to new data... Only a very small proportion of the worldwide population consumes a low-sodium diet. In these people, sodium intake is not uniformly related to blood pressure, wrote authors of the Prospective Urban Rural Epidemiology (PURE) study...
Encouraging diets high in potassium may be an alternative approach to reducing blood pressure and cardiovascular events, [wrote Suzanne Oparil, MD, in an accompanying editorial].
"Rather than focusing on sodium restriction, we're better off focusing on lifestyle changes, such as not smoking, and an overall healthy diet," said [study author Andrew Mente, PhD].
(Bloomberg) People who eat the least salt may be hurting their hearts, according to a study causing controversy because some of its findings clash with public-health efforts to lower sodium consumption… “There is a sweet spot for what the optimum sodium intake is,” said Salim Yusuf, senior author of the paper and director of the Population Health Research Institute in Ontario. “The message is very simple: Moderation in salt intake. Avoid high and low levels.”
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The Sugar Problem

(Andrew Weil, M.D.) One of the most effective moves you can make to improve your health is cutting back sharply on sugar consumption; in particular, avoid sugared beverages entirely. If this seems daunting, taper off slowly - add slightly less sugar to your coffee or tea, have one fewer soft drink per week, etc. You will quickly discover that the craving for sugar dissipates. Foods that once seemed pleasantly sweet will now taste cloying. As for sugar alternatives, steer clear of artificial sweeteners - I have seen no good evidence that they help with weight loss.
(Elsevier) Our finding that knowledge about the adverse effects of [sugar-sweetened beverage (SSB)] intake is significantly associated with SSB intake among adults suggests that health education regarding the potential contribution of excess energy intake from SSBs to weight gain could contribute to lowered consumption and lower rates of obesity.
(Pacific Standard Magazine) With New York City's ban on jumbo-sized soft drinks officially dead, it's clear that any reduction in consumption of these obesity-promoting beverages will need to be a matter of persuasion rather than law. Fortunately, a research team has found a simple way to convince consumers to think twice before taking their next swig of soda. Their method is to show people just how much sugar they are consuming per can through the use of an easily understandable visual device: A pyramid of sugar cubes.
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The Keys to Good Health

(David Katz, M.D., Yale Prevention Research Center) Ancel Keys, a leading 20th-century epidemiologist once credited, and these days more often discredited, for noting the association between a high-fat diet and heart disease. There is a booming cottage industry in the indictment of Keys for crimes against the food supply, and in my view -- that is among the obstacles between you and those keys to good health… [T]he fussing about the work of Keys is an absurd, perilous distraction -- as if the progress of nutritional epidemiology had actually stopped 70 years ago… The evidence has moved on since Keys, gathering into a vast, ever-evolving trove…
The other keys to good health -- being physically active, not smoking, sleeping enough, managing stress, and prioritizing love in our loves -- are a whole lot less controversial. Feeding ourselves well has been encumbered by both pseudo-controversy, and oddly misdirected religious zeal. Getting past these to the simple truths that tip with the weight of evidence -- wholesome foods in sensible combinations -- is among the keys to health. Canonizing Ancel Keys, or convicting him -- is not.
Such are the keys, and the doors await. Unlock the opportunity as the spirit moves you.
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The Latest from The People’s Pharmacy

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Quick Takes

(Science Daily) Mayo Clinic task force challenges some recommendations in the updated guideline for cholesterol treatment unveiled by the American College of Cardiology (ACC) and American Heart Association (AHA) in 2013. The task force concludes, based on current evidence, that not all patients encouraged to take cholesterol-lowering medications, such as statins, may benefit from them and that the guideline missed some important conditions that might benefit from medication.
(MedPage Today) The first-ever DNA-based screening test for colorectal cancer has received FDA approval and preliminary approval for Medicare coverage of the test. The Cologuard test detects hemoglobin and mutant DNA in cells sloughed into stool by cancers and adenomatous polyps. A positive test indicates a need for colonoscopy to identify or rule out colon cancer. At the same time, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a proposal to cover the DNA test, a first for the two regulatory agencies.
Community: That’s great, because:
(Reuters Health) After age 75, recurrences of colon cancer are rare and the risks of repeated colonoscopies may outweigh the benefits, according to new research.
(Laboratory Talk) Researchers from the University of Southampton, UK, alongside an international team of scientists, have developed an artificial molecule that carries sodium and chloride ion to cancer cells - effectively causing them to self-destruct… According to the researchers, these synthetic ion transporters could pave the way for new anti-cancer drugs, while also benefiting those with cystic fibrosis.
(Reuters) Common soil bacteria injected into solid cancers in pet dogs and one human patient shrank many of the tumors, scientists reported on Wednesday. The preliminary findings offered hope that the experimental treatment could turn out to be more effective than existing cancer therapies for some inoperable tumors such as those of the lung, breast, and pancreas, which often fail to respond to radiation and chemotherapy.
(FDA.gov) [On Tuesday], the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the XVIVO Perfusion System (XPS) with STEEN Solution, a device for preserving donated lungs that do not initially meet the standard criteria for lung transplantation but may be transplantable if there is more time to observe and evaluate the organ’s function to determine whether the lung is viable for transplantation.
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Med Tech

(Reuters) A group of ex-gaming industry executives say they can use their design chops to solve a major health challenge: Sick patients neglecting to take their medication and costing employers and insurance providers billions of dollars. Jason Oberfest began thinking about applying game design tricks to complex medical problems in 2011, while at mobile game company ngmoco. Oberfest built the app to engage users in their health, but he maintained some of the most viral aspects of mobile games, such as gifts, and a feature to see how friends are faring in their treatment.
The app also includes a drug database and sends refill alerts to patients. "Drug adherence may not be sexy, but it's a $300 billion-a-year problem," said Oberfest.
(Reuters) Apple Inc has been discussing how its "HealthKit" service will work with health providers at Mount Sinai, the Cleveland Clinic and Johns Hopkins as well as with Allscripts, a competitor to electronic health records provider Epic Systems, people familiar with the discussions said. While the talks may not amount to anything concrete, they underscore how Apple is intent on making health data, such as blood pressure, pulse and weight, available for consumers and health providers to view in one place.
(Consumer Reports) The devices that experts say are most useful right now are those that help monitor common, chronic conditions. For example, a study at the University of Florida found that home blood pressure monitors and blood glucose meters gave doctors valuable information to help them treat people with hyper­tension and diabetes. The devices also helped patients get more involved in their own care.
(iMedicalApps) At the American Chemical Society meeting in San Francisco, Dr. Wenzhao Jia presented a prototype device which uses the lactate in sweat to generate electricity. Using a lactate sensor embedded with an enzyme that liberates electrons from lactate molecules, the device can generate current which could ultimately be used to power low-energy wearable devices.
(Consumer Reports) Earlier this week, Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) made some headlines by calling out FitBit and other activity trackers for collecting user data that “can potentially be sold to third parties, such as employers, insurance providers, and other companies, without the users’ knowledge or consent.” Activity trackers and some smart watches collect user information such as height, weight, sex, age, location, activities, diet, and sleep patterns. The information is used to analyze activity and keep a history for consumers.
FitBit responded to Schumer that its privacy policy prohibits it from selling user data (and its website backs up that statement). Its online privacy policy does say that it may share “aggregated, de-identified data.”
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Infectious Disease News

(Reuters) An influential U.S. medical advisory panel on Wednesday recommended that people 65 and older be given Pfizer Inc's blockbuster Prevnar 13 vaccine to protect against pneumococcal bacteria that can cause pneumonia and other infections. The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP), in a 13-2 vote, recommended that elderly patients take Pfizer's vaccine, even if they had previously been vaccinated with Merck & Co's leading Pneumovax vaccine...
A Medicare official, speaking to the panel in Atlanta, said his agency would have to change its rules in order to qualify such patients for reimbursement, and that its evaluation would likely extend until January 2016.
(AFP)  Older people are likely to benefit from a high-dose flu vaccine to ward off the seasonal malaise, which can be particularly dangerous to those over 65, researchers said Wednesday… "Until this trial came out we didn't know if it was going to be clinically better or not, and now we know it is better," said lead author Keipp Talbot, assistant professor of medicine at Vanderbilt University.
(ThinkProgress) There aren't actually any approved drugs to treat the deadly virus.
(Reuters) The death toll from the worst ever outbreak of Ebola has risen to 1,145, the World Health Organization said on Friday, as 76 new deaths were reported in the two days to August 13 in the four West African nations affected by the epidemic.
(Reuters) staff with the World Health Organisation battling an Ebola outbreak in West Africa see evidence the numbers of reported cases and deaths vastly underestimates the scale of the outbreak, the U.N. agency said on its website on Thursday.
(ABC News) Three West-African countries battling the worst-ever Ebola outbreak have taken “extraordinary actions” by beginning to cordon off affected areas – a tactic used in medieval times to fight the bubonic plague. Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia – the countries hardest hit by the deadly virus – have started to set up a cross-border isolation zone patrolled by guards, according to the Associated Press. Food and medical supplies will be delivered inside the “cordon sanitaire” or sanitary barrier, but no one will be allowed to leave.
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Nonprofit hospitals at a tipping point from mounting challenges

(Reuters) Small and stand-alone nonprofit hospitals are facing mounting pressure from weak operating margins and lower patient volumes, with more signals of stress on the way, according a report released Wednesday from Standard & Poor's Rating Services.
The rating agency warned the healthcare sector was at "a tipping point where negative forces have started to outweigh many providers' ability to implement sufficient countermeasures." Beginning in 2013 and continuing into this year, credit downgrades outpaced upgrades at an accelerating rate.
In particular, stand-alone providers are under greater pressure from physician departures, rising bad debt, and higher employee benefit costs.
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VA Already Reports More Referrals To Private Doctors, Improved Hiring Plans

(Physicians News Digest) The VA is aggressively hiring physicians and significantly increasing referrals of veterans to private docs.
That’s the word from the new chief of the Department of Veterans Affairs, Secretary Robert McDonald, who reported that the VA has made more than 838,000 referrals in the past two months.  That’s an increase of over 166,000 referrals, or about 25 percent, from the same period last year, according to the Associated Press.
“Until we get systems up to capacity, we’re expanding our use of private care and other non-VA health care to improve access for veterans experiencing excessive wait times,” McDonald said.
The Veterans Access Choice and Accountability Act of 2014, approved by Congress in July, provides $10 billion to pay for veterans to get their healthcare through providers outside of the V.A. if timely care is unavailable. The legislation also provides $5 billion for the V.A. to hire more doctors and nurses.
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Health Insurance News

(New York magazine) Dean Angstadt, a 57-year-old, self-employed logger, said that the Affordable Care Act saved his life. ... Kathy Bentozi, a 58-year-old Pennsylvanian, is also thankful for Obamacare.  ... Joshua Haymore, a 27-year-old Coloradan, could not get a specialist to see him for weeks last year ... Now that he has Medicaid, his prescriptions cost $3 and his health has improved significantly. Those are just three of thousands of good-news stories coming from the insurance expansion in the Affordable Care Act. ... But there is scant evidence that Americans have started to take notice, or care.
(Kaiser Health News) Emergency-room visits have increased at many hospitals. A shortage of primary-care doctors is one reason. 
(Kaiser Health News) Low-income consumers struggling to pay their premiums may soon be able to get help from their local hospital or United Way…. But the hospitals’ efforts have set up a conflict with insurers, who worry that premium assistance programs will skew their enrollee pools by expanding the number of sicker people who need more services.
(Huffington Post) Obamacare made huge strides in extending health coverage to millions of uninsured people in its first year. Keeping up that momentum could be challenging. An estimated 54 million Americans are still uninsured. But many of those who haven't yet been helped by the Affordable Care Act might be some of the hardest people to get signed up, according to the people trying to reach them.
(Reuters) When benefits enrollment season arrives this fall, employees around the country can expect to see the impact of corporate cost-cutting on their finances. Benefits costs will rise only 5 percent for employers that take certain cost-reduction measures, instead of 6.5 percent for companies that do not, according to a June survey of employers representing 7.5 million workers by the National Business Group on Health. Although costs are not rising as quickly, employees are still being squeezed.
The main way companies are keeping healthcare costs in line is by shifting workers into high-deductible health plans, defined by the Internal Revenue Service as having deductibles above $1,250 for an individual.
(Kaiser Health News) Even as sign-ups continue, state health officials are struggling to figure out how to serve a staggering number of Medi-Cal beneficiaries while also improving their health and keeping costs down.
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Mindfulness Training May Assuage Early-Life Trauma

(Thaddeus Pace, PhD, University of Arizona) Traumatic stress can undermine and shorten peoples’ lives, especially if they’re exposed before age 18. They’re more likely to have lower achievement and wellness, and experience more illness. “Early life adversity”—experiencing abuse or household dysfunction during childhood—correlates not only with more psychological problems, but also with elevated inflammatory markers like C-reactive protein or higher insulin levels that persist into adulthood. Studies show a strong, graded relationship between early life adversity and risk factors for the leading causes of death in adults.
Resilience can mitigate those effects. Extraordinarily resilient people can thrive in adversity and use difficult experiences as opportunities for growth. But resilience isn’t an inscrutable, innate personality trait you’re either born with or not.  It’s likely a spectrum of qualities that people possess in varying degrees that help them survive challenges, shut off aspects of stress response when they’re no longer needed, and return to a pre-stressor, baseline state. As such, resilience is something we should be able to analyze and teach, and anyone should be able to learn.
Studies show contemplative practices such as mindfulness meditation, compassion training, yoga, etc. can reduce harmful impacts of stress, and they can be helpful in building resilience. However, recent media coverage gushing over how contemplative practices like mindfulness make you happier, healthier, sharper and richer spreads confusion about how those practices work.
Community: There are many practical things we can do to reduce stress.
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'Interreality' may enhance stress therapies

(Reuters Health) Using virtual reality to add “real world” challenges to psychotherapy sessions may enhance the treatment’s effect for people learning to cope with workplace stress, according to a small study from Italy. Researchers say the hybrid therapy known as “interreality” was more effective than traditional cognitive behavioral therapy, which is currently considered the gold standard for more serious anxiety or post traumatic stress disorders…
Using biosensors, smart phones and virtual reality technology, [Dr. Andrea] Gaggioli and his team designed a system to give therapists a window into how a specific patient experiences stress to better understand their stress triggers and pinpoint what the person should do differently to cope in a stressful situation…
“A real strength here is the mix of technology, practitioners and real-life use – which seems like a potentially powerful therapeutic mix,” said Chris Williams, a professor and psychiatrist at the University of Glasgow in Scotland, who was not involved in the study.
Community: There are many practical things we can do to reduce stress.
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Want to Relax? Try a Hand Massage!

(Andrew Weil, M.D.) Dr. Tieraona Low Dog, Chief Medical Officer of Weil Lifestyle and Fellowship Director at the Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine, demonstrates how to perform a hand massage on another person as well as a self-guided hand massage.
"It's one of the quickest paths to relaxation I know," she says.
For more stress-management information, start your 10-day free trial of Spontaneous Happiness!
Community: There are many practical things we can do to reduce stress.
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8 Easy Ways to Beat Stress

(SouthBeachDiet.com) You’re exercising, eating healthy meals, and snacking smart, at least most of the time. But when you get stressed out (and who doesn’t!), you may be tempted to mindlessly munch on whatever’s on hand — which of course can derail your diet if it happens too often. The solution? Stop stress in its tracks and stay focused on your weight loss goals by adopting some workarounds.
Don’t skip meals and snacks. Choose foods that will fill you up and keep you energized and that may have a calming effect…
Get moving…  Even moderate exercise seems to reduce stress, so it pays to start moving…
Spell it out on paper. Writing down everything you eat in a food journal makes you more aware of mindless eating…
Breathe deeply. Anyone can learn deep breathing, and it’s free!...
Take a music break. Research indicates that music stimulates the production of opiates and endorphins, the “feel good” hormones in our bodies…
Get some scents. Aromatherapy can be an effective stress reduction technique, and certain aromas, like lavender, bergamot, vanilla, or rose, are especially effective for enhancing relaxation…
Get yourself into some hot water. Maybe it’s a long, steamy shower or perhaps a relaxing bubble bath…
Go for a massage. Besides feeling great, a massage can be effective at reducing muscle tension and stress, some research shows.
Community: There are many practical things we can do to reduce stress.
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More Stress Relief Tips

(Shots, NPR) Socializing topped the list of stress reducers for those dealing with a great deal of stress, according to an NPR poll. Prayer, meditation, exercise and playing with pets were also common responses.
(Reader’s Digest) Stress weighing you down? These easy tweaks to your diet and exercise habits can turn your world around.
(Shots, NPR) Meditation teacher Sharon Salzberg says we can't always change difficult circumstances, but it is possible to change the way we experience them. That can start with a simple exercise.
(Andrew Weil, M.D.) The 4-7-8 Breathing Exercise is utterly simple, takes almost no time, requires no equipment and can be done anywhere.
(Mayo Clinic) Dealing with anxiety is a challenge. Eating habits may play a role.
(Andrew Weil, M.D.) Your home - whether big, small or somewhere in between - should be your sanctuary, a place where stress is left at the door and your soul is nurtured. For a more comforting environment, gradually implement the following changes in your home: 1. Bring the outdoors in… 2. Paint a room to suggest a mood… 3. Surround your senses with beauty… 4. Set aside a room or area for peace and calm… 5. Clean out clutter… Create an atmosphere of love… See more in the photo album "Creating a Sanctuary at Home."
(Discover Magazine) "Float houses" are gaining in popularity — but does the therapy work?
Community: There are many practical things we can do to reduce stress.
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More Information and Recent Research on Stress

(Science Daily) A new poll released [in July] that examines the role of stress in Americans' lives finds that about half of the public (49 percent) reported that they had a major stressful event or experience in the past year. Nearly half (43 percent) reported that the most stressful experiences related to health.
(University of Michigan) A fear of finance-related challenges for people suffering with chronic diseases may be just as detrimental to their health management as actual out-of-pocket costs, a new study shows… Participants reported fears about exceeding coverage, gaps in coverage, the variability in covered asthma therapies, and a number of administrative challenges associated with insurance management. This occurred with both private and public insurance.
(Science Daily) Journalists working with images of extreme violence submitted to newsrooms by the public are at increased risk of adverse psychological consequences, including post-traumatic stress disorder. "Given that good journalism depends on healthy journalists, news organizations will need to look anew at what can be done to offset the risks inherent in viewing material. Reducing the frequency of exposure may be one way to go," authors say.
(Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health) Regardless of traumatic events experienced during deployment, returning National Guard soldiers were more likely to develop a drinking problem if faced with civilian life setbacks, including job loss, legal problems, divorce, and serious financial and legal problems -- all commonplace in military families. Researchers at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health found having at least one civilian stressor or a reported incident of sexual harassment during deployment raised the odds of alcohol use disorders.
(The People’s Pharmacy) A pilot study at the Pittsburgh Veterans Affairs hospital taught vets stress reduction techniques… After three months of home practice, the veterans' management of their diabetes had improved significantly. Their HbA1c, a marker of blood sugar control, had dropped from 8.3 to 7.3 on average. The investigators were pleasantly surprised that veterans who had been skeptical at first found that this new approach worked so well.
(Science Daily) Workplace stress can have a range of adverse effects on health with an increased risk of cardio-vascular diseases in the first line. However, to date, convincing evidence for a strong association between work stress and incident Type 2 diabetes mellitus is missing. Researchers have now discovered that individuals who are under a high level of pressure at work face an about 45 percent higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes than those who are subjected to less stress at their workplace.
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Chicken Caesar Salad
This chicken Caesar salad recipe is one of our top-rated! Using a precooked rotisserie chicken makes this salad extra easy and fast, although any leftover cooked chicken will work.
Pork Milanese with Mashed Sweet Potato
In this Italian-inspired healthy pork Milanese recipe, you’ll swear that these crispy pork medallions were deep-fried, when in fact they're cooked with a nonstick skillet and a mere 3 tablespoons of healthy extra-virgin olive oil. While the pork and sweet potatoes are cooking, steam broccoli or green beans and serve with a squeeze of lemon to round out the meal.
Carne Asada
Carne asada means “grilled meat” in Spanish and it’s also the name of one of Mexico’s most popular dishes. Purchase the fresh salsa from your supermarket. You can also try grilled scallions instead of red onion, if you like.
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