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

Drinking alcohol can lead to 7 kinds of cancer, study finds

(CBS News) Drinking alcoholic beverages can raise the risk for seven types of cancer, according to a new study. Even moderate drinking is linked with a higher risk.
The cancers include head, neck, esophageal, liver, colorectal and female breast cancer, according to the analysis of existing studies looking at the association between drinking and cancer…
It doesn't appear to matter whether the alcoholic beverage is wine, beer, or hard liquor. The risk increased the more a person consumed, what the author called a "dose-response relationship."
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Can coffee cause cancer? Only if it's very hot, say WHO scientists

(Reuters) There is no conclusive evidence that drinking coffee causes cancer, the World Health Organization's cancer agency will say as it downgrades its warning, but it will also say all "very hot" drinks are probably carcinogenic.
The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) had previously rated coffee as "possibly carcinogenic" but has changed its mind. On Wednesday it will say its latest review found "no conclusive evidence for a carcinogenic effect".
At the same time, however, it will say other scientific evidence suggests that drinking anything very hot - around 65 degrees Celsius or above - including water, coffee, tea and other beverages, probably does cause cancer of the oesophagus.
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Long work hours linked to cancer, heart disease in women

(UPI) Women who work long hours may have increased risk for a range of health conditions, including heart disease, diabetes and cancer, according to new research.
The amount of time people work has been shown to have an effect on health, and a recent study by researchers at Ohio State University suggests the effects of 50- or 60-hour work weeks has a significantly worse effect on women than men over the course of several decades…
While the new study is focused on early onset of disease and conditions, the distinction that women are at greater risk for developing health problems because of work is new -- and may be made worse by the overall expectations of women beyond just their careers.
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The cancer drugs in your bathroom cabinet

(The Guardian) From aspirin to antacids, beta blockers to ibuprofen, all are being reinvestigated and utilised as potential anti-cancer drugs.
Unlike older therapies, which directly target and destroy dividing cancer cells, many of these repurposed drugs appear to work by targeting the healthy cells that cancers team up with to support their growth. Though widely accepted, this view of cancer as a mixture of deranged and healthy cells is still relatively new – which in part explains why the anti-cancer properties of drugs like aspirin may have been missed the first time around.
“When many of these drugs were developed, we had a very simplistic view of cancer and all the focus was on finding ways of killing cancer cells,” says Pan Pantziarka, joint coordinator of the Repurposing Drugs in Oncology project, which aims to identify the most promising medicines for adaptation and get them into clinical trials. “But the whole system depends on developing a supporting blood supply, subverting the immune system, and producing certain growth factors. A lot of these repurposed drugs address these other things that cancer is dependent on to survive.”
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Losing Weight Lowered Levels of Proteins Associated With Tumor Growth

(Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center) Overweight or obese women who lost weight through diet or a combination of diet and exercise also significantly lowered levels of proteins in the blood that help certain tumors grow, according to a Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center study...
The authors said that it is known that being overweight and having a sedentary lifestyle are associated with increased risk for developing certain cancers, but the reasons for this relationship are not clear.
This study shows that weight loss may be a safe and effective way to improve the "angiogenic profile" of healthy individuals, meaning they would have lower blood levels of cancer-promoting proteins. Although the researchers cannot say for certain that this would impact the growth of tumors, they believe there could be an association between reduced protein levels and a less favorable environment for tumor growth.
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Eating oily fish may boost bowel cancer survival, says new study

(AFP) People with bowel cancer may improve their survival chances by eating a lot of omega 3 fatty acids found in oily fish like tuna and salmon, a study suggested Wednesday.
Analysis of data from more than 170,000 people in the United States revealed that among 1,659 who developed bowel cancer, there was a strong correlation between higher omega 3 intake and lower risk of death, it said.
"Compared with patients who consumed less than 0.1 grammes (0.004 ounces) of omega 3 fatty acids daily, those who consumed at least 0.3 grammes daily after their diagnosis, had a 41 percent lower risk of dying from their disease," said a statement on the findings.
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Cancer Clues in the Breath: Test Could Ease Screening

(Live Science) A simple breath test can detect changes in people who have undergone surgery for lung cancer, a new study reports.
Researchers found that three chemical markers known as carbonyl compounds, which are gases released when people exhale, were reduced in patients with lung cancer after they had an operation to remove their tumors, compared with before their operations…
[T]he findings suggest that scientists may be able to use these markers in the future as a screening method when they monitor patients after surgery for lung cancer.
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U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends colorectal cancer screening for adults aged 50-75 years

(Becker's Healthcare) The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force has updated its 2008 recommendations for colorectal cancer screenings, according to a JAMA article…
The task force concluded that CRC screenings for average-risk, asymptomatic adults, between the ages of 50 to 75 years, is of substantial net benefit. Thus, the USPSTF recommends CRC screening for adults "starting at age 50 years and continuing until age 75 years."…
[It] also recommends that the decision to screen for CRC in adults aged 76 to 85 years should be an individual one. The decision should take into account the patient's overall health and prior screening history…
There are multiple screening strategies, however, there is no objective data showing that any of the strategies offer a greater benefit than the other.
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New blood test for colon cancer screening: Questions remain

(Harvard Health) In April, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved a new screening test for colorectal cancer, commonly referred to as colon cancer. This test is unique because it’s blood-based – meaning no more stool samples or the dreaded colonoscopy. Patients can have the test done as part of their annual blood tests, and they don’t have to think twice about it.
But what it lacks in discomfort it makes up for in inexactitude. This newly approved test is not as sensitive or as accurate as a colonoscopy or as a Fecal Immunochemical Test (FIT), which can detect hidden blood in stool, potentially indicating colon cancer.
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Primary care visits result in more colon cancer screening, better followups

(UT Southwestern Medical Center) People who visit their primary care physicians are more likely to get potentially life-saving colon cancer screenings and follow up on abnormal stool blood test results -- even in health systems that heavily promote mail-in home stool blood tests that don't require a doctor visit, a study involving UT Southwestern population health researchers shows.
The results are important because screening for colon cancer -- the third most common cancer and the second leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States -- is underutilized in the U.S. Given the growing interest in population health, many health systems are aggressively using outreach strategies that don't require a face-to-face doctor visit to initiate cancer screening.
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NIH rejects petition to override patent on pricey prostate cancer drug

(STAT) After five months of deliberation, the US National Institutes of Health on Monday rejected a request by several consumer groups to override the patent on a prostate cancer drug because the medicine is more expensive in the United States than elsewhere. And one of the consumer groups plans to seek an appeal.
Last January, the groups petitioned the NIH to take this step, which is known as a march-in right, to help US patients because federally funded research was used to create Xtandi. The drug is sold by Astellas Pharma and has an average wholesale price in the United States of more than $129,000, about two to four times more than what other high-income countries are paying, according to the consumer groups.
Community: It’s just infuriating that when taxpayers fund part of the research for new drugs, but can’t get the prices of those drugs reduced. We all pay again, in the form of higher insurance premiums.
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IBM's Watson may provide a shortcut to treating cancer

(CNET) Here's a question IBM supercomputer Watson never got to ask on "Jeopardy": What is a cure for cancer?
Watson, best known for beating champions Ken Jennings and Brad Rutter on the game show, will get its chance as it aids scientists using analysis of gene structures to figure out the cause of and potential cures for different strains of cancer. IBM unveiled Watson for Genomics, specifically designed for this task, at the National Cancer Moonshot Summit on Wednesday.
The addition of Watson's brain power, which can understand questions in natural language and not just the computer language of ones and zeros, could significantly accelerate cancer treatment. 
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Study finds contagious cancers can spread among several species of shellfish

(Fox News Health) A new study suggests direct transmission of cancer among some marine animals may be more common than once thought, as research revealed that contagious cancer cells among several species of bivalves, including mussels and clams, spread from animal to animal through sea water
Researchers examined the DNA of cancers and normal tissue from mussels, cockles and golden carpet shell clams found in waters off the coast of Canada and Spain, according to the news release. The analysis revealed that the cancers were caused by independent clones of cancer cells that were genetically distinct from their hosts. In the carpet shell clam, the infectious cancer cells came from a related by distinct species, a result of cross-species transmission.
“Now that we have observed the spread of cancer among several marine species, our future research will investigate the mutations that are responsible for these cancer cell transmissions,” [Dr. Stephen] Goff said.
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Animal Cancer Breakthrough Leads to Human Clinical Trials

(University of Guelph) Cancer treatment in people could be transformed thanks to a study on treating cancer in animals led by researchers from the Ontario Veterinary College (OVC) at the University of Guelph…
The researchers found that injecting oncolytic viruses (viruses that target cancer cells) intravenously into the spleen allows immune responses to be boosted much more rapidly and to much higher magnitudes than traditional vaccine methods. Typically, physicians need to wait weeks or months to administer a booster vaccine, with the down time potentially deadly.
"Normally, you have to wait until the immune response is down to administer the booster vaccine, but this means that, with severe and dangerous diseases, the response would wane," said pathobiology professor Byram Bridle, lead author of the paper.
"You don't want to give cancer any time to spread. What injecting the viruses into the spleen does is it allows us to bypass the regulatory mechanism that would limit its effectiveness. When we conducted these tests in animals, we saw high success rates in treatment of cancer."
He said the findings apply to many types of cancer, including breast cancer, leukemia, prostate cancer and osteosarcoma (bone cancer), and tumours in the brain, liver and skin.
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Chili Peppers Could Free Us From Opioids

(Bloomberg) Many people in pain turn to opioid-based drugs such as OxyContin, which are a leading cause of drug addiction and overdose deaths in the U.S…
The pharma industry has struggled to come up with alternatives. No fewer than 33 experimental medicines for chronic pain went into clinical trials from 2009 to 2015, and all failed, [says Michael Oshinsky, program director for pain and migraine at the National Institutes of Health].
The problem with narcotics is that in treating pain they affect an area of the brain that registers intense pleasure. Centrexion’s drugs are designed to target pain directly, without triggering the brain’s reward system. The company is developing an injectable drug to treat arthritis and foot pain that contains a synthetic version of capsaicin, a substance in chili plants. It’s the furthest along of five drugs Centrexion has in development and could hit the market by 2020.
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Sleep Like This To Ward Off Back Pain At Night

(Huffington Post) If you’re among the nearly 20 percent of people estimated to have chronic back pain, you know it’s not fun.
One thing that might help relieve the tension? A good night’s sleep, experts say. But there’s a catch. An aching back, neck or shoulders makes it tough to relax and catch your Zs. 
The good news is that making small tweaks to your sleep routine can help you avoid (or help alleviate) some of the most common sleep complaints…
If you have back pain and normally sleep on your back, placing a pillow under your knees helps keep your spine in line so you avoid pain during sleep. If you’re a side sleeper, try placing a pillow between your knees. Or if you’re a stomach sleeper, tuck the pillow under your lower tummy, according to the National Sleep Foundation.
Still looking for more relief? Use this genius TechInsider chart to find quick fixes to help you get better sleep if you have back pain or any of these eight other common sleep complaints.
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Can Magnesium Pills Counteract Recurrent Headaches?

(The People’s Pharmacy) Some research shows that magnesium deficiency is fairly common among people who suffer repeated migraine headaches… Correcting a deficiency with magnesium supplements seems to be helpful in preventing them… Magnesium seems to be especially helpful in preventing menstrual migraines …
The evidence that magnesium can relieve acute headache pain, though, is inconclusive, though a review found it “probably effective”… Two cases of hard-to-treat headache responded well to magnesium therapy…, but we generally prefer actual studies over case reports.
There are other non-drug approaches that can be helpful, particularly for migraine headaches. They include riboflavin, butterbur, feverfew and Coenzyme Q10 in addition to magnesium…
You can find more information on non-drug approaches to head pain prevention and treatment in our Guide to Headaches & Migraines.
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Tarantula toxins may help treat pain in many conditions

(UPI) Two toxins found in the potent venom of a West African tarantula may hold to key to more specific pain control in a varied list of conditions, according to a new study.
Researchers at the University of California San Francisco found the toxins while screening poisons from a wide variety of spiders, scorpions, and centipedes, and found in lab experiments the tarantula's toxins activate a specific pathway in cells that was not previously known to be involved in the sensation of pain.
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Electroacupuncture may help relieve pain from carpal tunnel syndrome, shows randomized controlled trial

(Canadian Medical Association Journal) Electroacupuncture combined with nighttime splinting may help alleviate pain from chronic carpal tunnel syndrome, according to a randomized controlled trial…
"We found that treatment using electroacupuncture provided small improvements in symptoms, disability, function, dexterity and pinch strength among patients with chronic mild to moderate symptoms of primary carpal tunnel syndrome when combined with nocturnal splinting," writes Dr. Vincent Chung, Jockey Club School of Public Health and Primary Care and the Hong Kong Institute of Integrative Medicine, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, with coauthors.
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Spinal Cord Stimulation Is a Safe, Effective Drug-Free Treatment for Chronic Pain, Experts Say

(Dove Medical Press) Chronic pain affects up to 20% of people in developed countries, and represents not only a profound impact on individuals and their families but also a sizeable burden on employers, health care systems, and society in general. Now, a study … finds another safe and effective drug-free treatment option for chronic pain sufferers -- spinal cord stimulation (SCS).
Spinal cord stimulation, also known as dorsal column stimulation, uses low-voltage electrical stimulation to the spine to block the feeling of pain, via a small device implanted in the body…
Lead author Paul Verrills from the Metro Pain Group in Melbourne, Australia, thinks the study findings represent "unheralded evidence that we can safely treat back and leg pain using spinal cord stimulation techniques." Most importantly, spinal cord stimulation has relatively few side effects compared to other chronic pain therapies, and reduces the risks of complications.
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Titanium and Gold Equals New Gold Standard for Artificial Joints

(Rice University) Titanium is the leading material for artificial knee and hip joints because it's strong, wear-resistant and nontoxic, but an unexpected discovery by Rice University physicists shows that the gold standard for artificial joints can be improved with the addition of some actual gold.
"It is about 3-4 times harder than most steels," said Emilia Morosan, the lead scientist on a new study in Science Advances that describes the properties of a 3-to-1 mixture of titanium and gold with a specific atomic structure that imparts hardness. "It's four times harder than pure titanium, which is what's currently being used in most dental implants and replacement joints."
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Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Flare-Ups Caused by Straining Muscles and Nerves

(University of Alabama at Birmingham) A recent study conducted by researchers at the University of Alabama at Birmingham and Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine published in PLOS ONE shows that symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome, a complex and disabling multisystem disorder, can be provoked by imposing a mild to moderate strain to the muscles and nerves…
"These findings have practical implications for understanding why exercise and the activities of daily living might be capable of provoking CFS symptoms," said Kevin Fontaine, Ph.D., professor and chair of the UAB School of Public Health Department of Health Behavior and a co-author of the paper. "If simply holding up the leg of someone with CFS to a degree that produces a mild to moderate strain is capable of provoking their symptoms, prolonged or excessive muscle strain beyond the usual range of motion that occurs during daily activities might also produce symptom flares."
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Does hormone therapy after menopause affect memory?

(American Academy of Neurology) Contrary to popular belief, taking estrogen after menopause may not affect the memory and thinking abilities of healthy women no matter when the treatment is started… The recent study is among the first large, long-term clinical trial to examine the cognitive effects of estradiol, a type of estrogen, on women both close to and long after menopause.
Millions of women take estrogen to treat hot flashes, night sweats and other symptoms caused by menopause. Estradiol is the main type of estrogen produced by women in their reproductive years. Previously, researchers thought estradiol benefitted memory and thinking in women soon after menopause but not later, called the "timing hypothesis". Prior studies testing the theory have not found consistent results.
"This study fails to confirm the timing hypothesis," said study author Victor W. Henderson, MD, MS, of Stanford University School of Medicine in California and a Fellow of the American Academy of Neurology. "Our results suggest that healthy women at all stages after menopause should not take estrogen to improve memory. At the same time, women need not particularly be concerned about negative effects of postmenopausal estrogen supplements on memory when used for less than five years."
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Flawed Study of Advanced Prostate Cancer Spreads False Alarm

(New York Times) Bad news for men popped up in news media all over the country this week, based on a study from Northwestern University reporting that cases of advanced, aggressive prostate cancer had risen sharply from 2004 to 2013.
Newsweek, NBC, CBS, Fox News and United Press International were among the organizations that covered the study. The reports suggested that recent medical advice against routine screening might be to blame for the apparent increase in advanced cases, by leading to delays in diagnosis until the cancer reached a late stage. Another factor cited was the possibility that prostate cancer had somehow become more aggressive.
But the frightening news appears to be a false alarm — the product of a study questioned by other researchers but promoted with an incendiary news release and initially reported by some news media with little or no analysis from outside experts.
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The Latest from The People’s Pharmacy

Boswellia Eased Arthritis Pain but Triggered Hot Flashes
Boswellia has anti-inflammatory activity and many people report that it helps ease symptoms of arthritis. But some complain of gastritis and hot flashes.
Hibiscus Tea Provides Amazing Blood Pressure Control
Could Hibiscus tea fight high BP? One study found that three cups of hibiscus tea daily lowered systolic BP significantly, without unpleasant side effects.
Research Vindicates Vicks VapoRub for Foiling Nail Fungus
We've been writing about nail fungus remedies, including Vicks VapoRub, for decades. Now there are two studies that vindicate Vicks as a reasonable remedy.
How Much Tonic Water Is Safe for You?
Sipping tonic water is a pleasant way to cool off and may help repel mosquitoes. But how much tonic water is safe for you to drink?
Radio Show: How to Strengthen Bones and Fix Your Body with Yoga
A study with more than 700 volunteers shows that yoga practice can combat osteoporosis and build back bone if you do the poses daily.
How Can You Stop Acid Suppressing Drugs Without Misery?
People love PPIs because they work well to ease symptoms of heartburn and reflux. New drug complications have people worried about how to stop such PPIs.
How to Overcome Symptoms of Low Thyroid Function and Feel Better
Diagnosing low thyroid function can be tricky, but treating this condition appropriately can help ease the symptoms of hypothyroidism.
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To Protect Yourself from Malaria Sleep With a Chicken Next to Your Bed

(BioMed Central) For the first time, scientists have shown that malaria-transmitting mosquitoes actively avoid feeding on certain animal species such as chickens, using their sense of smell. Odors emitted by species such as chickens could provide protection for humans at risk of mosquito-transmitted diseases, according to a study…
Researchers at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences and Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia found that Anopheles arabiensis, one of the predominant species transmitting malaria in sub-Saharan Africa, avoids chickens when looking for hosts to feed on.
Community: However, before you buy a chicken to keep in your bedroom, consider this: “CDC investigating 8 outbreaks of salmonella linked to backyard chicken farms”.
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Scientists Call for Replacement of Animals in Antibody Production

(University of Nottingham) Routine scientific procedures using millions of animals are still being authorised when there is a tried and tested alternative, according to a group of scientists investigating the production of antibodies.
The scientists … say the use of animals in consumer society is effectively 'hidden' and products assumed to be 'animal-friendly' are anything but. They say an animal friendly antibody production technique using bacteriophage viruses instead of live animals is being overlooked, despite the enormous potential for reduction in animal use.
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Chinese scientists to conduct first ever human gene-editing trial

(CNN) Chinese scientists will become the first in the world to inject people with cells modified using gene-editing technology in a groundbreaking clinical trial next month.
A team led by Lu You, an oncologist at Sichuan University's West China Hospital in Chengdu, received ethical approval from the hospital's review board on July 6 to test gene-edited cells on lung cancer patients next month, according to scientific journal Nature.
The cells will be modified using CRISPR-Cas9 -- a new method of genetic engineering that allows scientists to edit DNA with precision and relative ease.
"This technique is of great promise in bringing benefits to patients, especially the cancer patients whom we treat every day," Lu told the journal.
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More Doesn't Mean Better When It Comes to Trauma Centers

(University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences) University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine researchers have demonstrated for the first time that changes over time in the volume of patients seen by trauma centers influence the likelihood of seriously injured patients living or dying.
The findings ... mean that changes in patient volume across all affected centers should be considered when designating a new trauma center in a region...
A trauma center is a hospital equipped to immediately provide specialized care to patients suffering from major traumatic injuries, such as falls, car crashes, burns or shootings.
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Mental, physical exercises produce distinct brain benefits

(University of Texas at Dallas) Cognitive brain training improves executive function whereas aerobic activity improves memory, according to new Center for BrainHealth research at The University of Texas at Dallas.
The study … found that healthy adults who participated in cognitive training demonstrated positive changes in executive brain function as well as a 7.9 percent increase in global brain flow compared to study counterparts who participated in an aerobic exercise program. The aerobic exercise group showed increases in immediate and delayed memory performance that were not seen in the cognitive training group. The randomized trial is the first to compare cerebral blood flow and cerebrovascular reactivity data obtained via MRI.
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Does regular exercise reduce cancer risk?

(Anthony Komaroff, MD, Harvard Health Letter) A recent study from the National Cancer Institute … strongly supports the theory that regular exercise reduces the risk of many types of cancer…
The research team compared the rates of cancer in those people with the highest levels of physical activity and those with the lowest levels. They found that those with the highest levels of physical activity had lower rates of cancer of the esophagus, lung, kidney, colon, head and neck, rectum, bladder, and breast, as well as of two cancers of the blood (myeloma and myeloid leukemia). The rates of these cancers in the most active people were 7% to 38% lower than in the least active people. Interestingly, the most active men had a 4% higher rate of prostate cancer and a 28% higher rate of melanoma. The researchers doubted the significance of the very slightly higher rate of prostate cancer, and they presented evidence that the higher rate of melanoma was likely because the more active people spent a lot more time in the sun.
While studies like these cannot prove that greater physical activity reduces rates of cancer, I find this study to be quite impressive. It was extremely large and carefully conducted. And it makes sense: regular exercise leads to changes in the body (like less inflammation, better immune function, and higher levels of natural antioxidants) that reduce the risk of cancer.
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To Curb Bone Loss, a Certain Amount of Exercise Is Needed

(Wall Street Journal) Older women at risk of osteoporosis should participate in high-impact exercise, including weight training, at least twice a week to maintain bone density as they age, says a study… Exercise appeared to lose its effectiveness below two sessions a week, the study found…
In regular exercisers, bone density decreased by 1.5% in the spine and 5.7% in the hip over 16 years. Among controls, bone density in the spine and hips declined by 5.8% and 9.7%, respectively.
Caveat: The study was relatively small and didn’t include men at risk of osteoporosis.
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How to Increase the Fat Burned During Exercise

(Plataforma SINC) New research ... analyses p-synephrine’s role in burning fat during rest and exercise. This alkaloid can be found in nature (although at low concentrations) in a wide variety of citrus fruits such as oranges, mandarins and grapefruits, and commercially (at greater concentrations) as extract of bitter orange (Citrus aurantium)...
The purpose of the investigation was to determine the effects of acute intake of 3 mg p-synephrine per kg body mass on energy metabolism and the rate of fat and carbohydrate oxidation during rest and exercise…
In fact, p-synephrine increased individuals’ maximum capacity to burn fat, although it did not change the intensity at which this was attained. This data suggests that p-synephrine supplements could be useful to increase fat oxidation by of 7 g per hour of exercise…
Real weight change, based on the oxidation of fat through exercise (and diet) causes a real loss of 200–300 g per week, a little over 1 kg per month.
“That should be the aim: to lose a kilo per month, but a kilo of fat. It’s less attention-catching than miracle diet slogans, but scientifically speaking, effective change would be at that rate,” [says researcher Juan Del Coso]. “That said, the rate of loss could increase with p-synephrine, but always combining the substance with exercise.”
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The 4 Types of Exercise You Need to Be Healthy

(Live Science) When you think of exercise, you may imagine strenuous activities such as running or biking — the ones that make you breathe hard, turn flush and drip with sweat. But aerobic activity is only one type of exercise, and although it is critical for boosting fitness, there are actually three other types of exercise that are also important: strength training, balance training and flexibility training.
Each type of exercise is important in its own way, and doing all four types is the way to maximize your fitness and prevent injury, experts say...
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Inside 'Rational Fitness,' the Common Sense Approach to Exercise

(ABC News) We’ve all done hard workouts just to burn off that pizza, donut or lasagna we’ve eaten, but a viral post is urging people to stop using exercise as punishment and start using so-called "rational fitness."
The idea of rational fitness emphasizes exercising to feel good over focusing on calories and rigid rules.
Refinery29 writer Kesley Miller wrote the post in which she detailed how she juggled rushing to yoga classes and counting points while figuring out what treats she could eat. She referred to that behavior "irrational fitness."…
"It's about focusing on the wonderful things that exercise does for you so it makes you healthier, it helps you sleep, it gives you less pain, and puts you in a better mood ... and makes you live longer," [said Anna Maltby, director of health and wellness at Refinery29].
The rules are simple: First off, there are no rules. Any way you move your body counts – whether it’s throwing a Frisbee, throwing a ball around or anything else that makes you feel good.
And one more thing: Put a towel over the calorie counter on gym machines and do what feels right.
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A Chair for Getting Fit and Trim

(Universitaet Bielefeld) Getting fit and athletic -- while sitting? Researchers at the Cluster of Excellence Cognitive Interaction Technology (CITEC) of Bielefeld University are developing an active chair as part of the KogniHome research project. At first glance, the chair looks just like another other reclining chair with a footrest you would find in a living room in front of the TV. But upon closer inspection, the chair is actually connected to a virtual avatar and has all manner of technical refinements.
The chair can be adjusted for each individual member of the family and can react to, for instance, a person's physical condition and the time of the day. The virtual avatar leads family members to perform fitness exercises in the chair, and in the future, this avatar will also give feedback on healthy posture. In addition to this, the chair will unobtrusively measure respiration and heart rate, allowing it to monitor all important physical parameters during exercise. This information will also be used for specific relaxation exercises done in the chair.
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Exercise as effective as surgery for middle aged patients with knee damage

(BMJ) Exercise therapy is as effective as surgery for middle aged patients with a common type of knee injury known as meniscal tear (damage to the rubbery discs that cushion the knee joint), finds a study
Half of the patients received a supervised exercise programme over 12 weeks (2-3 sessions each week) and half received arthroscopic surgery followed by simple daily exercises to perform at home.
Thigh muscle strength was assessed at three months and patient reported knee function was recorded at two years.
No clinically relevant difference was found between the two groups for outcomes such as pain, function in sport and recreation, and knee related quality of life. At three months, muscle strength had improved in the exercise group.
No serious adverse events occurred in either group during the two-year follow-up. Thirteen (19%) of participants in the exercise group crossed over to surgery during the follow-up period, with no additional benefit.
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Exercise-free activities that work your muscles and heart

(Harvard Health Letter) Exercising is supposed to be a regular part of your daily health maintenance. That can be a problem if you don't have the motivation to get your heart pumping; you raise your risk for weight gain, chronic disease, and an earlier death.
Fortunately, you can get plenty of effective exercise by engaging in recreational or household activities that work your heart and muscles. "There's a real reward in doing an activity you enjoy, such as swimming or playing with your grandchildren. You get a workout, but it doesn't seem like you're exercising, and you may be more willing to keep doing that activity every day because it's fun," says Dawn Rogers, a physical therapist at Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Women's Hospital.
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Can you get the benefits of exercise by having a hot bath?

(Michael Mosley, BBC News) "One of the first things that we were looking at," [says Dr Steve Faulkner of Loughborough University], "is the energy expenditure while you're in the bath and what we found was an 80% increase in energy expenditure just as a result of sitting in the bath for the course of an hour."
This is nothing like as many calories as cycling for an hour (which comes out at an average of 630 calories) but we do burn 140 calories, the equivalent of a brisk 30-minute walk.
But what about our blood sugar levels?...
"What we found," Steve says, "was that peak glucose was actually quite a bit lower after the bath, compared with exercise, which was completely unexpected"
In fact our volunteers' post-meal glucose levels are, on average, 10% lower after the baths than after the exercise.
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Friendly competition and a financial incentive increases team exercise

(University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine) Would having your exercise performance compared to that of your peers motivate you do more? A new study suggests it might. And adding a financial incentive would only sweeten the deal even more. Comparing performance to average peers (the 50th percentile), and offering financial incentives was the most effective method for increasing physical activity among teams of employees, according to new research from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania.
The study shows that different combinations of social comparison feedback and financial incentives can lead to a significant difference in outcomes within workplace competitions...
The authors found that 95 percent of employees stayed engaged in the study even during the follow-up period and suggest this could be due in-part to the smartphone-based approach to data collection, since many people carry their phone with them wherever they go.
"Using behavioral economics approaches offers the potential of generating truly innovative approaches for promoting healthy behavior," said co-author Kevin G. Volpp, MD, PhD, professor of Medicine and Health Care Management and director of the Penn Center for Health Incentives and Behavioral Economics. "This study highlights that social and financial-incentive based approaches can be combined to achieve better outcomes."
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At the Republican convention, drug maker lobbies for more coverage of obesity drugs

(STAT) The main hall at the Republican National Convention has been ringing all week with talk about terrorism, immigration, and national security.
But in a side venue on Wednesday, a small crowd gathered to talk about a more intimate topic: obesity.
Pharma giant Novo Nordisk cosponsored the “Rethink Obesity” panel here, and plans to cohost a similar event during the Democratic convention next week in Philadelphia. The goal: To push lawmakers to enact a bill, pending in Congress, that would lift a longstanding ban on Medicare paying for obesity medication.
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Donald Trump Jr. wrong that Hillary Clinton is proposing to destroy Medicare

(PolitiFact) Speaking at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Donald Trump Jr. touted his father, the newly anointed GOP presidential nominee, as someone who would be able to do a better job on health care than his rival, Hillary Clinton.
He said his father would be "a president who will repeal and replace Obamacare without leaving our most vulnerable citizens without health care, and who will do it without destroying Medicare for seniors, as Hillary Clinton has proposed."…
[H]ealth care specialists told PolitiFact that Donald Trump Jr.’s statement is vastly overheated.
"There is nothing in her proposals that would destroy Medicare or harm present or future beneficiaries," said John Rother, the president and CEO of the National Coalition on Health Care and the former executive vice president for policy at AARP -- the seniors’ group that would presumably be at most direct risk if Medicare collapsed. Clinton is urging "changes, yes, quite a few. But nothing that would harm the program or those it serves."
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Mediterranean Diet Cuts Risk for CV Events, Cancer, Diabetes

(Medscape) The findings of a new review suggest that following a Mediterranean diet with no restriction on fat intake may reduce the incidence of cardiovascular (CV) events, cancer, and type 2 diabetes.
"Our primary conclusion is that there is limited evidence from randomized trials that a Mediterranean diet with no restriction on fat intake may be associated with a reduced incidence of cardiovascular events, all-cancers, breast cancer, and type 2 diabetes mellitus but does not affect all-cause mortality," write Hanna E. Bloomfield, MD, MPH, from the Minneapolis Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Minnesota, and colleagues…
"Typical Western diets, which are high in saturated fats, sugar, and refined grains, are causally associated with development of cardiovascular disease, [type 2] diabetes, and some types of cancer, including breast and colorectal cancer," the authors write.
The Mediterranean diet is a fruit- and vegetable-rich diet that is high in monounsaturated fats (30% to 40% of total daily calorie intake) — in particular, olive oil — as well as legumes and fish, with a low to moderate intake of dairy and meat products. Several studies have shown its benefit in improving various clinical outcomes, including a reduction in total mortality.
Community: The best source of information on the Mediterranean diet that I’ve found is at Oldways.
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DPP: Physical Activity, Apart From Weight Loss, May Stop Diabetes

(Medscape) A new analysis of data from the 3-year Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP) and its 12-year extension, the DPP Outcomes Study (DPPOS), reports that physical activity, independent of weight loss, prevented diabetes in some individuals with prediabetes.
Specifically, in this racially and geographically diverse sample of prediabetic, overweight, or obese middle-aged men and women, every added 1.5 hours of brisk walking a week (or equivalent activity) reduced their likelihood of developing diabetes by 2%, whether or not they lost weight.
And participants who were inactive to start with (defined as doing less than 150 minutes of at least moderate physical activity each week) were more likely to see this benefit.
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Study finds strolls 'more effective than vigorous exercise at preventing diabetes'

(Daily Mail) A brisk walk is better than vigorous jogging for keeping diabetes at bay, according to new research…
The first group followed an intervention modeled after the Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP), considered a gold standard, that aims to achieve a seven per cent body weight reduction over six months.
The program requires cutting calories, eating a low-fat diet, and exercising.
Study participants in this group adopted the diet changes, and performed moderate-intensity exercise equivalent to 7.5 miles of brisk walking in a week…
On average, participants in the DPP group had the greatest benefit, with a nine per cent improvement in oral glucose tolerance - a key measure of how readily the body processes sugar and an indicator used to predict progression to diabetes.
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Wine Protects Against Diabetes?

(Diabetes In Control) In a study..., researchers concluded that any amount of wine — with certain precautions — can have a positive effect for type 2 diabetes…
Wine consumption yielded a 15% reduced risk for type 2 diabetes, beer consumption yielded a slight decrease in the risk and spirit consumption yielded a slight reduction, although not significant. In an additional analysis for amount of consumption (low, 0-10 g/day; moderate, 10-20 g/day; high, > 20 g/day), any amount of wine was linked to a significant decreased risk for type 2 diabetes.
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Imbalance Of Gut Bacteria Linked To Elevated Risk For Diabetes

(Robert Glatter, MD, Forbes) New data from researchers at the University of Copenhagen provides stronger evidence linking certain bacteria that populate our intestinal tract with a higher risk for developing insulin resistance, ultimately a precursor to developing diabetes.
The research [suggests] that the gut microbiome might be a potential target for therapeutic intervention in this ravaging disease…
Those persons … whom we describe as insulin resistant–had elevated blood concentrations of a subgroup of amino acids known as branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs). But the key was this: The rise of the concentration of BCAAs levels in the bloodstream was ultimately related to specific changes in the gut bacterial composition and corresponding function.
Based on microbiologic data, the researchers determined that two bacteria species—Prevotella copri and Bacteroides vulgatus—were responsible for the bulk of gut BCAAs that were produced. But to see if gut bacteria were the actual cause of insulin resistance, the researchers fed mice with thePrevotella copri bacteria for 3 weeks. Compared to mice without the bacteria, the Prevotella copri-fed mice developed increased blood levels of BCAAs, insulin resistance and intolerance to glucose.
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How to Improve What Really Matters: Quality of Life, Not Longevity

(Dr. Sheri Colberg, Ph.D., FACSM, Diabetes In Control) Here are three proven ways to improve your quality of life with diabetes (and likely your longevity):
1. Exercise regularly and be more physically active overall…
2. Eat more fiber, found abundantly naturally in plant-based foods…
3. Improve the quality and quantity of your sleep…
Get started on these three easy changes today to improve your chances for living longer without disabilities. Remember, there’s more to life than living a long time. What’s the point of living longer if you can’t live well and feel your best every day of your life? It really is your choice to make because you can affect the outcome.
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What diabetes may be doing to your brain

(Philly.com) People with type 2 diabetes, the kind you are more likely to get as an adult, are at risk for a host of additional medical problems.
Stroke and heart attack. Kidney disease. Blindness. Skin infections. Numbness in the feet.
Add one more you and even your doctor may not have heard is connected: dementia. Diabetes at least doubles your risk of developing it. Even diabetics without dementia can have subtle cognitive problems…
Hence the growth in studies focusing on the role of diabetes, blood sugar, and insulin on the brain and, to a smaller degree, how changes in the brain may affect metabolism. Inflammation, a byproduct of diabetes, is another possible culprit. Scientists are also exploring whether medicines used to treat diabetics can help people with dementia. Insulin is being investigated as both a cause of brain problems and a possible treatment.
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Diabetes raises risk of heart attack death by 50 percent

(Science Codex) Having diabetes increases the risk of dying from the effects of a heart attack by around 50 per cent, according to a widespread study.
Researchers at the University of Leeds tracked 700,000 people who had been admitted to hospital with a heart attack between January 2003 and June 2013…
People with diabetes were 56 per cent more likely to have died if they had experienced a ST elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) heart attack - in which the coronary artery is completely blocked - than those without the condition.
They were 39 per cent more likely to have died if they had a non-ST elevation myocardial infarction (NSTEMI) heart attack - in which the artery is partially blocked - than those without diabetes.
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Higher risk of cancer before and after diabetes diagnosis

(Medical News Today) Diabetes has been linked to heart disease, stroke, and damage to nerves and eye issues. There is also growing evidence of a link between type 2 diabetes and some types of cancer.
The American Cancer Society note that colon cancer, for example, is more likely to affect people with diabetes. Colon cancer shares many of the risk factors of diabetes, including body weight issues, a lack of physical activity, smoking, alcohol, and consuming a lot of red and processed meats. Colon cancer is also more likely to be fatal among people with type 2 diabetes.
Apart from shared risk factors, other suggestions to explain a link between various types of cancer and type 2 diabetes include the possibility of a biological link between the two, or that treatments for diabetes impact either the development or diagnosis of cancer.
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Type 2 diabetes study yields discovery, new treatment options

(The Post, Athens, OH) Authors from Ohio University’s Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine and the University of Virginia recently completed a study that could change the way doctors treat Type 2 diabetes.
Previously, scientists believed diabetes impaired the normal functions of insulin-producing pancreatic cell clusters called islets. Findings from the study, however, show that diabetes creates a hypersensitivity to glucose within the islets, which alters normal insulin release in the islets and causes them to release more insulin than is needed.
“By tricking these islets into thinking they are seeing less glucose, we seem to be able to restore normal function in diabetic islets,” Dr. Craig Nunemaker, an associate professor at OU-HCOM and a co-author of the study, said in a news release.
The findings suggest that islet function can be restored in certain conditions, but exposure to high glucose levels can make the islets more vulnerable to other factors that cause abnormal insulin production. For the highest chance of restoring islet function, patients should seek intervention or treatment early in the disease process, Nunemaker said.
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Cave-dwelling fish could provide clues to staying healthy with diabetes

(Genetics Society of America) Cavefish that live in dark caves with only sporadic access to food show symptoms similar to diabetes, but don't appear to experience any health problems. New findings presented at The Allied Genetics Conference (TAGC) 2016, a meeting hosted by the Genetics Society of America, reveal the genetic basis of how cavefish have adapted to their extreme environment, information that might one day lead to new kinds of treatments for diabetes and other diseases.
"We found that cavefish have very high body fat levels, are very starvation resistant and have symptoms reminiscent of human diseases such as diabetes and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease," said lead author Nicolas Rohner, Ph.D., of the Stowers Institute for Medical Research. "However, the fish remain healthy and don't have any obvious health problems like we see in humans. Untangling the molecular mechanisms or genetics responsible for these adaptations could potentially lead to new insights into human diseases."
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Diabetes sniffer dogs? 'Scent' of hypos could aid development of new tests University of Cambridge

(University of Cambridge) A chemical found in our breath could provide a flag to warn of dangerously-low blood sugar levels in patients with type 1 diabetes, according to new research the University of Cambridge. The finding, published today in the journal Diabetes Care, could explain why some dogs can be trained to spot the warning signs in patients…
The researchers found that levels of the chemical isoprene rose significantly at hypoglycaemia...
"Humans aren't sensitive to the presence of isoprene, but dogs with their incredible sense of smell, find it easy to identify and can be trained to alert their owners about dangerously low blood sugar levels. It provides a 'scent' that could help us develop new tests for detecting hypoglycaemia and reducing the risk of potentially life-threatening complications for patients living with diabetes."
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Artificial Pancreas Could Be Answer For Diabetes

(Huffington Post) There’s good news on the horizon for those who suffer from diabetes: a new technology that enables the creation of an artificial pancreas could replace your insulin shots and automatically regulate the body’s levels with nothing for you to worry about on your side...
 Those who suffer from Type 1 diabetes may be able to replace painful insulin injections with an artificial pancreas instead. The artificial organ includes a sensor that automatically tests blood sugar levels and adds insulin as needed to sustain the body.
Current devices can only do one thing: monitor glucose or administer insulin. But the artificial pancreas can do both, effectively offering a solitary solution to help curb a worldwide pandemic.
You can thank researchers at the Cambridge University for this invention. Following the clinical trials, patients agreed that it was a better way for them to manage the symptoms of this disease.
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