April 25, 2011
A Salad in Name Only
Eating lean proteins, whole grains and produce is the healthiest way to weight loss. However, studies show that dieters are more likely than non-dieters to choose unhealthy foods when they are labeled as healthy than are non-dieters. Before you choose a salad option from the menu, “you might want to consider whether your choice is a salad in name only,” write authors Caglar Irmak, USC; Beth Vallen, Loyola U; and Stefanie Rosen Robinson, USC. Salads may include ingredients like cheese and pasta that destroy diets and, while dieters are focused on healthy eating, they may be duped. Study participants chose a “salad” that was loaded with pasta when it was identified as salad more often that when it was called pasta. The lesson? Identify ingredients in foods before you consume them.
Spice Increases Body Temp
Adding red pepper to your daily diet can help curb appetite, especially if you don't normally consume the spice, claim researchers from Purdue University. The researchers also believe that eating only half a teaspoon of red pepper can help you burn more calories after a meal. "Dietary changes ... like sprinkling red pepper on your meal, may be sustainable and beneficial in the long run, especially when paired with exercise and healthy eating," says Richard Mattes, professor of foods and nutrition. Researchers say that red pepper should be consumed in non-capsule form for the sensory experience (the burn) that's responsible for appetite control, a rise in body temperature and energy expenditure. The study findings were published in Physiology & Behavior.
Blame the Rain
Coffee costs more now than it has in a few decades. Experts blame a decline in supply of high-grade arabica beans, as well as an increase in demand in China, Brazil, Indonesia and India. Coffee prices topped $3 per pound for the first time since the 1970s. CBS News reports that in the last seven months coffee prices have more than doubled. Heavy rain caused worse than expected harvests in Colombia, Mexico, Vietnam and Indonesia. According to International Coffee Organization, coffee inventories are at their lowest in 50 years, and that's not likely to change this year.
New for Babies 9 to 23 Months
A bacterial meningitis vaccine called Menactra was approved by the FDA today for kids between the ages 9 months and 23 months, reports MSNBC. This is the first vaccine for bacterial meningitis approved in the U.S. for this age group. Menactra was approved previously for ages 11 to 55, plus children between the ages of 2 and 10. While bacterial meningitis is rare in the U.S., it can be deadly in just a few days, and survivors may suffer paralysis, hearing loss and mental disabilities. Bacterial meningitis is spread by sneezing, coughing and kissing.
New Kind of Rest Area
Police in Sanford, Florida would like to speak with the man recorded urinating on cough drops at a Walgreens on South French Avenue. According to Central Florida News 13, surveillance video caught the man relieving himself on cough drops on Thursday at around 11 p.m. He had tried to fill a prescription, but didn't have the proper paperwork. The urinating man covered more than 100 packages of cough drops! Police don't yet know the identity of the Walgreens cough drop urinator, but they're aiming to catch him.
No Salmonella Here!
Hopefully, those Easter eggs you dyed last week have been safely kept in the refrigerator since they were cooked and colored so you can enjoy them in recipes this week. If they were not left out at room temperature for more than two hours after hard-boiling and kept below 40 degrees or colder, they are likely safe to eat. Although each year, there are many reports of illness caused by eggs, Easter eggs, because they are often cooked more thoroughly, are not as risky. As long as they were properly handled, dyed eggs should be safe to eat for up to one week after Easter. Try making egg salad sandwiches with light mayonnaise for a protein-packed lunch or make deviled eggs for a hearty, low-calorie between-meal snack.
Safe and Effective
Parents of children with eczema are often concerned about both short- and long-term effects of using topical corticosteroids (TCS) to ease the itchy rash. These fears often lead to poorly managed symptoms. Researchers from the University of Sydney studied the use of steroidal skin creams in 92 children. Parents were instructed to use just enough TCS to control symptoms in the experimental group while those in the control group did not use creams. The investigators found no evidence that the children using TCS experienced skin thinning, indicating that normal, routine use is safe and effective. The study was published in the journal Pediatric Dermatology.
In High Risk Women
A new study, published in the journal Obstetrics and Gynecology, finds that among pregnant women at high risk of preterm birth, eating fish a few times a week appears to reduce the risk of delivering early. Researchers at the Nationwide Children’s Hospital compared the diets of 852 pregnant women who were at higher than average risk of preterm delivery. Those who ate two or three servings of fish per week were about 40 percent less likely to deliver early than women who ate fish less than monthly. The reason for the association is not clear, but it is suspected that nutrients in the fish may help lower the odds for early delivery. Even with these findings, the researchers still stress that pregnant women should avoid fish that are high in mercury, such as swordfish and king mackerel.
Symptoms Subside More Quickly
A small cohort of men receiving hormone therapy for prostate cancer found that acupuncture may reduce the hot flashes that can occur in as many as 60 percent of men. The goal of hormone treatment is to lower testosterone levels. The hot flashes are like those experienced by women going through menopause. All 14 men received 2 half hour sessions a week for a month and they reported that the number of hot flashes went down. Researchers are not sure whether it was placebo effect that caused the hot flashes to decrease or if the symptoms simply subsided on their own. Researchers did point out that acupuncture made their symptoms go away faster than they normally would. Heart palpitations and anxiety related to prostate cancer treatment was also eased with acupuncture.
Combined with New and Old Drugs
Merck & Co. has found that its new hepatitis C drug, boceprevir cures patients infected with the virus quicker than the current drugs available. The FDA posted the review of the drug prior to a public meeting where there will be a discussion on whether to approve it. Another drug similar to boceprevir developed by Vertex Pharmaceuticals, Inc will also be brought forward to the FDA for approval. Both work by preventing the virus from reproducing which is different than the immune-boosting mechanism of the older medications. Both drugs will be used in combination with each other and the older drugs to keep viral loads low, very similar to how HIV drugs are used. Hepatitis C is a major reason people need liver transplants and about 12,000 patients die from it annually.
Improves Quality of Life
A study found that tai chi may give people with chronic heart failure the confidence to exercise and improve mood, increasing quality of life. Researchers looked at 100 people with chronic heart failure, 50 of whom did two one-hour sessions and 50 who received classroom instruction in heart education. Questions about their emotional state demonstrated an improvement in the tai chi group. Heart failure ends up impairing mobility and makes breathing difficult, but these results suggests that tai chi can be used in conjunction with current therapies to manage chronic heart failure and is less risky than low-to-moderate intensity exercise training. Tai chi is safe and most stick to a regimen and previous research suggests it helps people who have hypertension, fibromyalgia and stress.
1.5 Million in Need Annually
To deal with the huge demand for organs, the Chinese government is thinking about offering financial incentives to encourage people to donate. With the exception of spouses and relatives, living donors were forbidden from donating in 2007. A national system that organized organ donation after death was launched two years later. Illegal organ trafficking has become a problem for China. They want to reward donors by reducing hospital and funerals costs. Family members who donate should get rebates, medical insurance or tuition waivers. Eventually people in China will be able to voluntarily become organ donors when they apply for driving licenses much like in the U.S. to streamline the system and expand the pool for the approximately 1.5 million people in need of an organ every year.
Concern for People Who Need Both
Data from the seven-year STAR*D study, the largest study on anti-depressant use in the U.S. examined 4,000 adults concurrent use of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) such as Prozac, Paxil and Zoloft and pain medications such as ibuprofen, aspirin and naproxen. Researchers found that 54 percent of patients not on pain medications responded to anti-depressants compared to 40 percent also taking pain medications. How anti-inflammatory pain medications lower the effectiveness of anti-depressants is unclear but this is a serious issue for people who are being treated for both conditions such as elderly people with arthritis and depression. Prior research has implied that anti-inflammatories potentiate the effects of tricyclic or noradrenergic anti-depressants.
Trans-Fatty Acids Cut Risk
Researchers have found that high levels of the omega-3 fatty acid called docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) increased the risk of developing aggressive, high-grade prostate cancer by two and half times while trans-fatty acids cut the risk in half. This study obtained data from over 3,000 men 55 years and older who participated in the much larger Prostate Cancer Prevention Trial, half of whom developed prostate cancer. In general, omega-3s have anti-inflammatory properties and fight conditions such as heart disease while omega-6s cause inflammation which is known to increase the risk of cancer. Omega-6 fatty acids did not affect the risk of developing prostate cancer. The role of omega-3s in aggressive prostate cancer is unknown but researchers want to study its effects on other prostate cancers.
Allows Makers to Add Nicotine
Electronic cigarettes, or e-cigs, which contain nicotine plus four other compounds but release no odor or ash will be regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as a tobacco product according to a ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the DC circuit. The Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids was unhappy with the ruling because this it allows nicotine to be added to them, which current regulations only reserve for smoking cessation products. E-cigs contain ingredients currently approved by the FDA. They are said to be times safer than cigarettes. The Tobacco Vapor Electronic Cigarette Association is happy with the ruling.
Many Likely Inhibitors Available
Researchers in Britain and the U.S. have discovered an enzyme in Mycobacterium tuberculosis, the bacteria that causes tuberculosis (TB) that destroys lung tissues, providing information that could help in developing new treatments against the disease. MMP-1 causes the tissue damage caused by the disease and there are currently inhibitors available that may treat it. Human cells were infected with TB and MMP-1 levels increased in the lungs. An inhibitor developed to treat arthritis and was shown to be safe in people successfully inhibited MMP-1 activity in the human cells. Many MMP inhibitors were developed in the 1990s because they showed potential anti-cancer activity. Researchers will have to conduct larger studies to determine if MMP inhibitors can prevent lung damage due to TB.
Goal Is Prevention and Treatment
To fight cervical cancer in Rwanda, the most frequently occurring cancer in women there, Merck and Qiagen have joined forces and are donating the Gardasil vaccine and human papillomavirus (HPV) screening test, respectively. The test will be done on women 35 to 45 years old and the vaccine will be given to girls between the ages of 12 and 15. Cervical cancer is strongly associated with two strains of HPV which the vaccine targets. Rwanda’s Minister of Health Richard Sezibera wants “. . . to create a comprehensive, coordinated program that includes HPV vaccination, cancer screening with HPV DNA testing, and treatment. . ." Worldwide, cervical cancer affects 500,000 women every year and follows breast cancer to become second most common cancer in women around the world.
Most Recent 100 Items
- Pizza Tops "Most Addictive” 35 Foods List (You’ll Never Guess #24)
- Marijuana Chemical Helps Fractures Heal (Faster Recovery, Stronger Bone)
- Wine Has Benefits for Type-2 Diabetics (Only in Moderation, Mind You)
- Dabbing Pizza with Napkin Cuts Fat by 1/3 (40 Fewer Calories Per Slice)
- Tall People Run a Higher Cancer Risk (Grim News for the NBA)
- Teen Girls Who Exercise Cut Cancer Risk (Hide Their Phones & Laptops)
- Midday Naps Linked to Lower Blood Pressure (And Taking Fewer Medzzzz)
- Spicy Food Eaters Have Lower Death Rates (The Goodness, It Burns)
- Viagra-Type Drugs Linked to Skin Cancer (Rock-and-a-Hard-Place Situation)
- Elliptical Machines Better Than Walking (For Burning Calories, Anyway)
- Long Work Hours Boost Stroke Risk (Over 55 Per Week, Look Out)
- Double Chins Now Removable by Injection (OK, Many Injections, but Still)
- Atkins Diet Can Raise Weight, Cut Lifespan (It’s the bane in Spain, anyway)
- 1/8 of Consumers Are "Failure Harbingers” (New Products They Like, Flop)
- Autism Increase Called Mostly Illusory (More Problems Are Now "Autism")
- Sugary Drinks Boost Liver Disease Risk (Like Booze Without the Buzz)
- US Women Now Weigh What Men Used To (US Men? Don’t Even Ask)
- Sleep-Deprived Teens Are Big Drinkers (More Bingeing & Drunk Driving)
- B-Vitamins Tied to Childhood Obesity (Low Levels Mean Extra Fat)
- More US Adults Now Obese Than Overweight (We've Gone from Bad to Burst)
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- Hospitals: Bad Places for Heart Attacks (Try to Have Yours Elsewhere)
- Fattest US Jobs: Cop, Firefighter, Guard (Math & Science Gigs Leanest)
- DQ Pulls Sugary Drinks from Kids’ Menus (Bowing to Parental Requests)
- Vitamin B3 Reduces Carcinoma Reoccurrence (Most Common US Skin Cancer)
- 80% of Sun-Protection Products Fail (So You Get Burned Twice)
- Strong Grip Indicates a Healthy Heart (Better Start Flexing)
- Ominous Rise in White Collar Brain Doping (The Danger: Overconfidence)
- Treadmill-Caused Deaths Still Very Rare (Injuries Plentiful, However)
- “Healthy” Obesity Won’t Last for Most (1/3 Unhealthy After 5 Years)
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- Task Force Issues Mammogram Advice & Data (For over 50s, Every Two Years)
- Regular Sauna Use Boosts Heart Health (Sweaty but Longer-Lived)
- The Paradox of Reusable Bag Shoppers (Buy Organic but Also Buy Junk)
- Navajo Nation First in US to Tax Junkfood (2% Levy on Chips, Sodas, Etc.)
- Problem Drinkers Vital to Booze Industry (Over 50% of (hic!) Total Sales)
- FDA Approves New Anti-Obesity Implant (Boosts Weight Loss by 8.5%)
- 78% Polled Favor Obligatory Vaccination (Think of It As Vax Populi)
- Healthy School Lunch Rules Are Paying Off (Kids Eating More & Better)
- When Facebook Makes You Sad (Envy Not)
- Study Says Pot Is the Safest Drug by Far (Booze Called 114 Times Worse)
- Just Imagining Exercise Boosts Muscles (Gotta Put Your Mind to It)
- U.S. Government’s Anti-Pot Stance to End? (Surgeon General Hints It's Over)
- Light to Moderate Jogging Is Healthiest (Strenuous Joggers Die Sooner)
- Risk of Dying While Driving Falls by 42% (Nine Models Boast Zero Deaths)
- High Cholesterol Endangers Young Too (Worry About Numbers at 35)
- Southern States Are a Hotbed of STDs (7 of the 8 Highest Rates)
- Binge Drinking Deaths Peak in Middle Age (College Kids Get a Bum Rap)
- Head Start Program May Curb Childhood Obesity (Obesity Prevention That Works)
- Playing Catch May Help Seniors Avoid Falls (Break Out the Medicine Balls)
- UK Fans Upset over Cadbury Creme Egg Changes (US Eggs Safe from Change)
- Fast Food Linked to Poor Test Scores (Want Fries with That Dumburger?)
- Daily Cup of Blueberries Can Lower BP (Arterial Stiffness REduced Too)
- iPhone Separation is Bad for You (IPhone Close Keeps Anxiety Away)
- PTSD Linked to Greater Diabetes Risk in Women (Nearly Double the Risk)
- A Daily Avocado Lowers LDL Cholesterol (Look to the Hass)
- NIH Study Links Pesticides and Depression (Some Raise Risk by 90%)
- U.S. to Its Kids: Don’t Play Football (Spooked by Concussions, Etc.)
- Rx for Colds: Daily Sympathetic Hugs (Actually Eases Symptoms)
- New Spending Bill “Legalizes” Medical Pot (DEA Interference Now Outlawed)
- Advice to Seniors: Run, Don’t (Just) Walk (Health Benefits Boosted)
- CDC Mulling New Pro-Circumcision Stance (Focusing on Uncut Teenage Boys)
- Few Vegetarians Actually Stick with It (It Complicates Relationships)
- Flu Vaccine Won’t Offer Total Protection (One Targeted Strain Has Mutated)
- Hospital Patient Safety Much Improved (50,000 Lives Saved Since 2010)
- It's "Buyer Beware" for Store-Bought Pot (ThIs Is Not Your Father’s Weed)
- 70% of Those with HIV Go Untreated (In Most Cases, Knowingly)
- Secondhand Pot Smoke Bad for Blood Vessels (Majorly Massive Bummer, Dude)
- Record Low Number of U.S. Smokers (But 480,000 Per Year Still Die)
- Presidents Will Be Forgotten in 100 Years (President Who?)
- Four Ways to Improve Your Mood (Hint: Eating Doesn't Help)
- Trans Fat May Harm Memory (The More, the Worse)
- Double Mastectomy Rates Rise (For Cancer in One Breast)
- Medicare Weight-Loss Program Going Unused (Even Though It’s Free)
- FDA to Require Calorie Counts on Menus (Chain Restaurants Affected)
- Imagination, Reality Flow Oppositely in Brain (Scalp Sensors Tell All)
- Obesity a Huge Drag on World Economy (Costs It $2 Trillion. a Year.)
- Obesity Can Cause Silent Heart Damage (Troponin T Reveals Damage)
- Missing Work for Obesity Costs $8 Billion (Big Price Tag)
- Internet Use While Driving Is Soaring (Rate Has Doubled Since 2009)
- Democratic Republic of Congo Is Ebola-Free (Says WHO)
- Study Suggests Genetic Link for Homosexuality (“Giant Step Forward”)
- Soy Reduces Hot Flashes for Certain Women (Your Urine Tells)
- Herbs and Spices Reduce Triglyceride Levels (Reach for Rosemary and Oregano)
- Weight After Quitting Smoking Won't Kill You (Don't Sweat the Small Gain)
- Energy Drink ODs Hitting Kids Under Age 6 (Over 2,000 Reports Per Year)
- Women Exercise to Lose Weight but Gain It (Too Much "Reward” Eating?)
- Cookie Monster Video Teaches Self-Control (Waiting Is Good)
- Ebola-Stricken Dr. Martin Salia Dies in U.S. (Arrived with Advanced Symptoms)
- Obese Americans Suffer More Chronic Pain (Over 25% Are Hurting)
- Snack on an E Coli Popsicle (Designer Treats Make You Think)
- 8 M Women Skipped Cervical Exam for 5 Years (Cervical Cancer Is Treatable)
- Marriage Is Beneficial to Heart Health (Fewer Ills Than Singles, Exes)
- Kids Face Serious Risk from Laundry Pods (Big Risk from Small Pod)
- Woman Survives 45 Minutes with No Pulse (Dubbed "Miracle Woman")
- Kissing Bug Disease Found in U.S. (Could Be Deadly)
- Childhood Stress Linked to Adult Diseases (Alzheimer's, Diabetes, Cancer)
- Insomnia Is Problem in Addiction Recovery (High Rate of Insomnia Is Problem)
- School Lunches May Be Better Than Packed (Packed Lunches Exceeded Fat Rec)
- Warning for Young Kids Who Watch 3D Content (French Group Issues Warning)