Jumat, 19 Juni 2009

Common Cold: The Commonest Human Disease

  • Exciting cause is an unidentified virus but there are certain predisposing factors which render some people more prone to catch the infection that others like
  • Damp, dark and over crowded houses which predispose to cross infection.
  • Lowered body resistance for e.g. starvation or some other diseases
  • Wet and cold weather
  • Sedentary occupations and working conditions in which there may be dust of fumes in the atmosphere
  • Other defects in the nose and throat for e.g. allergy, nasal polyp, deflected septum, sinusitis, tonsillitis etc
  • Age and sex is no bar but very young patient seem to suffer most from the disease
  • Imbalanced diet and smoking.

How to Have Young and Healthy Knees

Can you maintain a healthy life style without fit legs? No, it is not possible at Maintain-Healthy-Kneesall. Perhaps the most important part of our legs is the knee. Bending, walking, running, working out, everything depends upon the fitness of knees. If you take care of this vital joint of your body, you might lessen the risk factor of acquiring arthritis or its horrible symptoms. Having strong and firm quadriceps is the key to having strong and healthy knees. If you concentrate on strengthening your key muscles of legs, that will help you maintain the cartilage in shape and healthy.A research was conducted in order to see if strong leg muscles can help kill knee pain and strengthen the cartilage in knee area. In this study, patients of knee osteoarthritis were included and studied. It was observed that those patients who had strong quadriceps had a natural protection against cartilage loss in a specific area around knee, known as lateral compartment of the patellofemoral joint. This protection was not observed in any other area of the knee else than the one aforementioned. Also, patients with strong leg muscles were noticed to complain less knee pains. As for those who had week quad muscles, they neither got the natural protection nor were their pains lessened.

Along with prescribed exercises, there are certain food items that can help attain a healthy joints status. These foods include green tea (EGCG and ECG or catechins found in it help fight against osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis to some extent), Coleslaw (vitamin K helps reduces the risks of osteoarthritis), ginger (helps in osteoarthritis), berries, avocado, omega-3 rich fish, soy and flaxseeds. These food items will surely lessen the risk factor as well as mitigate the symptoms. Have healthy knees, have healthy life.

Cancer-causing Ras protein may help fight its own toxic effects

Washington, June 19 : Scientists at Tel Aviv University (TAU) in Israel have found that a cancer-causing protein can also help fight tumours it causes.
The researchers have shown that an oncogene called Ras-which can cause normal cells to be come cancerous when mutated or expressed in high concentrations-has the power to heal as well as harm.

Ph.D. student Oded Rechavi and his fellow researchers at the university's Department of Neurobiology have found that Ras has the ability to transfer from cancer cells into immune cells - such as T-cells - a transfer that may be the key to creating new drugs to fight cancerous tumours.

Revealing their findings in the journal Public Library of Science One and a recent review about such cell-to-cell transferring of proteins in FEBS Letters, the researchers say that the idea that proteins can transfer between cells challenges the original theory of the cell.

"All the energy flow, metabolism, and biochemistry of life is supposed to happen within the boundaries of an individual cell. Here we show that when cells in the immune system interact with other cells, proteins are exchanged without being secreted from the cell, and act in both the immune and original cells alike," Rechavi said.

"When Ras transfers from one cell to another, it strengthens the immune system. The immune cell that adopts the mutated Ras gets activated and reacts against the cancerous cell that donated the Ras. This does not happen for advanced tumors, but if we could control the movement of Ras, we would have a better understanding of how immune cells react against cancer," he added.

This, according to the researcher, might provide the scientific basis for an entirely new class of cancer drugs.

The TAU researchers are trying to discover the mechanisms whereby the Ras protein is transferred, and their initial findings seem to be promising.

Rechavi is investigating a current theory that the membranes of the cells temporarily fuse together. What is certain, however, is that once T-cells acquire mutated Ras, they are able to generate clones with the ability to respond against this specific threat.

"When immune cells scan their targets they bind to their targets. When immune cells acquire normal Ras, nothing happens. But when they acquire mutated Ras from a potential tumor, it starts a cascade. This results in the production of cytokines that help the immune system and act against the cancer," he said.

According to him, understanding the nature of this interaction between mutated Ras and immune T-cells can unlock mysteries about the nature of proteins and cells.

He has revealed that the next step will be to identify other proteins that, like Ras, are able to transfer outside of their cell of origin.

--- ANI

Low thyroid activity may actually be a sign of longevity

According to Dr Martin Surks and colleagues at the Montefiore Medical Center and the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York, low thyroid activity may hold the key to a long life.

Located in the neck, thyroid is a kind of master gland, secreting hormones that affect metabolism. Its activity is usually checked by an indirect measure - looking at levels of TSH, or thyroid stimulating hormone.

High TSH levels suggest the thyroid is underactive, a condition known as hypothyroidism. Low levels suggest it is overactive, known as hyperthyroidism.

People with low thyroid function may lose hair, gain weight and feel sluggish, while those with overactive thyroids may lose weight, feel their hearts race and have trembling hands.

To reach the conclusion, researchers studied hundreds of people who had lived to be 100, and found evidence that people with low thyroid activity were more likely to be in that group, reports The China Daily.

"We studied a large group of Ashkenazi Jews with exceptional longevity," Surks told a news conference at a meeting of the Endocrine Society, specialists in human hormones.

Surks and colleagues found 15 to 20 percent of people over the age of 60 had TSH levels that suggest an underactive thyroid gland

Lifewave Natural Energy Enhancers

Use the Lifewave natural patches (like Olympians), sell them ---
they'll make you and your wallet feel great!

Prevention Magazine has listed its top six tips from medical and nutritional experts:

Jane Brody, health columnist for The New York Times:

"Start drinking eight glasses of water daily. None of your body parts, from your brain to your toes, work well without adequate hydration."
Walter Willett, MD, chairman of the nutrition department at Harvard School of Public Health:

"Switch to whole grain carbohydrates such as whole wheat bread and brown rice. High intakes of refined carbohydrates and sugar are the main sources of calories in the US diet, and thus a major contributor to being overweight."

Andrew Weil, MD, author of Eight Weeks to Optimum Health (Knopf, 1997):

"Eliminate all foods containing partially hydrogenated oils. There's growing evidence that these unnatural fats are not good for us, and avoiding them and the processed foods that they come in would be a huge step to improving nutritional health."

Kristine Clark, PhD, RD, nutrition consultant to the US women's soccer team:

"Eat more fruits and vegetables. Besides all the nutrients that produce contains, it also plays a role in weight loss. Fruits and vegetables fill you up for a small amount of calories."

Kathleen Johnson, RD, director of the nutrition program at Canyon Ranch Health Resort in Tucson:

"Watch your portion sizes. Most of us eat far more food than we really need, and there are many reasons to eat less, including slowing the aging process."

Moshe Shike, MD, director of the Cancer Prevention and Wellness Program at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York City:

"Control your calorie intake, get no more than 20% of your calories from fat, and be sure to get five to nine servings of fruits and vegetables daily..."

10 Essential Health Tips (The Basics to Practice Every Day)

"He who has health has hope, and he who has hope has everything." -Arabian Proverb

1. Move More
Make it a daily challenge to find ways to move your body. Climb stairs if given a choice between that and escalators or elevators. Walk your dog; chase your kids; toss balls with friends, mow the lawn. Anything that moves your limbs is not only a fitness tool, it's a stress buster. Think 'move' in small increments of time. It doesn't have to be an hour in the gym or a 45-minute aerobic dance class or tai chi or kickboxing. But that's great when you're up to it. Meanwhile, move more. Thought for the day: Cha, Cha, Cha…. Then do it!

2. Cut Fat
Avoid the obvious such as fried foods, burgers and other fatty meats (i.e. pork, bacon, ham, salami, ribs and sausage). Dairy products such as cheese, cottage cheese, milk and cream should be eaten in low fat versions. Nuts and sandwich meats, mayonnaise, margarine, butter and sauces should be eaten in limited amounts. Most are available in lower fat versions such as substitute butter, fat free cheeses and mayonnaise. Thought for the day: Lean, mean, fat-burning machine…. Then be one!

3. Quit Smoking
The jury is definitely in on this verdict. Ever since 1960 when the Surgeon General announced that smoking was harmful to your health, Americans have been reducing their use of tobacco products that kill. Just recently, we've seen a surge in smoking in adolescents and teens. Could it be the Hollywood influence? It seems the stars in every movie of late smoke cigarettes. Beware. Warn your children of the false romance or 'tough guy' stance of Hollywood smokers. Thought for the day: Give up just one cigarette…. the next one.

4. Reduce Stress
Easier said than done, stress busters come in many forms. Some techniques recommended by experts are to think positive thoughts. Spend 30 minutes a day doing something you like. (i.e.,Soak in a hot tub; walk on the beach or in a park; read a good book; visit a friend; play with your dog; listen to soothing music; watch a funny movie. Get a massage, a facial or a haircut. Meditate. Count to ten before losing your temper or getting aggravated. Avoid difficult people when possible. Thought for the day: When seeing red, think pink clouds….then float on them.

5. Protect Yourself from Pollution
If you can't live in a smog-free environment, at least avoid smoke-filled rooms, high traffic areas, breathing in highway fumes and exercising near busy thoroughfares. Exercise outside when the smog rating is low. Exercise indoors in air conditioning when air quality is good. Plant lots of shrubbery in your yard. It's a good pollution and dirt from the street deterrent. Thought for the day: 'Smoke gets in your eyes'…and your mouth, and your nose and your lungs as do pollutants….hum the tune daily.

6. Wear Your Seat Belt
Statistics show that seat belts add to longevity and help alleviate potential injuries in car crashes. Thought for the day: Buckle down and buckle up.

7. Floss Your Teeth
Recent studies make a direct connection between longevity and teeth flossing. Nobody knows exactly why. Perhaps it's because people who floss tend to be more health conscious than people who don't? Thought for the day: Floss and be your body's boss.

8. Avoid Excessive Drinking
While recent studies show a glass of wine or one drink a day (two for men) can help protect against heart disease, more than that can cause other health problems such as liver and kidney disease and cancer. Thought for the day: A jug of wine should last a long time.

9. Keep a Positive Mental Outlook
There's a definitive connection between living well and healthfully and having a cheerful outlook on life. Thought for the day: You can't be unhappy when you're smiling or singing.

10. Choose Your Parents Well
The link between genetics and health is a powerful one. But just because one or both of your parents died young in ill health doesn't mean you cannot counteract the genetic pool handed you. Thought for the day: Follow these basic tips for healthy living and you can better control your own destiny.

Senin, 13 April 2009

Importance of Fitness for Health

Quality of life is the most important thing one can want from life. Good health combined with happiness helps us achieve a high quality of life. Fitness is what makes us achieve these things as quality of life is only attained by a healthy life and fitness makes a life healthy.Fitness has been defined as:
‘Good physical condition, the condition of being suitable’
Fitness is just as important as good health. Moreover, it can be said that fitness correlates directly with our health. If we are not taking care of our bodies, we get sick. Only fitness can help us maintain good health. You can become fit by following some exercises and taking a healthy diet.
Physical fitness is a set of attributes a person has in regards to a person's ability to perform physical activities that require aerobic fitness, endurance, strength, or flexibility and is determined by a combination of regular activity and genetically inherited ability.

Daily 30 Minutes Exercise to a Better Health

According to doctors and health practitioners, one should try to do at least 30 minutes of exercise daily in order to achieve good health. Exercise not only keeps us fit but also reduces the risk of many fatal diseases such as blood pressure and heart stroke. Exercise can be any form of physical activity such as walking, swimming or cycling.
Any activity that increases your heart rate and makes you slightly out of breath can be called exercise. Daily exercise can be a part of ones regular routine as well as something that one does in order to keep fit. Exercise can also be carried out in form of daily chores or any other activity that one likes.
In order to stay healthy and maintain better health, doctors recommend at least 30 minutes of daily exercise. 30 minutes is the minimum time to gain health benefits. However, one is not compelled to do all at once; it can be done in short periods with rest in between to avoid exertion.
Different Modes of Exercise
Exercise does not mean to exert yourself or forcefully do what you do not like. It can be an activity which you like and enjoy. It can range from walking to swimming to hiking or cycling. It can also be some household chore that you enjoy doing.
Exercise can be made more fun when it is carried out with some one else. A game of badminton or tennis could be played with a partner giving a healthy exercise to both.
Benefits of Daily Exercise
Daily exercise, besides providing many benefits, saves one from many illnesses and problems. Giving 30 minutes to daily exercise can not only lead to better health but also provide a short period of peace and recreation.
It helps in reducing weight.
It helps in keeping stress and depression away, as it is a good way to work out.
Helps in burning extra calories and fats.
The risk of heart diseases and angina is reduced with the help of exercise. Exercise is good for heart muscles and reduces risk factor.
Exercise helps in maintaining normal blood pressure and cholesterol level.
Regular exercise helps to prevent osteoporosis in women and strengthens the bones.
Regular exercise is very effective in reducing the chance of colon (bowel) cancer as well as breast cancer in women.
For older people it helps in maintaining their balance, especially if they exercise regularly.

Skin Lupus Treatments

Although there is no cure for lupus, there are various treatments which help minimize the symptoms and reduce the inflammation in order to maintain normal functions. And while the diagnosis and treatment of lupus tends to be a joint effort between the patients and health professionals, the treatment of lupus crucially depends on the nature of the symptoms and as well as the organs affected. Also, as a result of individual systems, it is not uncommon for one treatment is to be effective for one patient while it is just as ineffective for the next. Desired treatment goals include managing symptoms and maintaining remission for as long as possible.
Depending on which organ or organs are involved, medications are often prescribed for lupus patients. Finding the best treatment for a particular patient, however, is usually a difficult task for physicians, thus leading to him/her [the physician] trying different medications until the desired affect is achieved. The primary aim of lupus drugs is to reduce inflammation, which is a part of the virtually all cases of lupus.

Health without wealth

The story began about 2 years ago. When my younger brother’s wife obtained an appointment from Dr. Shireen Bhutta, a senior doctor and gynaecologist at Dr. Ziauddin Hospita, Clifton campus. This appoint was for a routine check-up for her pregnancy. She may be senior gynaecologist but to my brother she acted like a writer of many scary movies. She scared my sister-in-law like an ugly and horrifying ghost. Rather than listening to the patient she spent most of her time in writing several tests and Vitamin A supplement which is never allowed to any woman during pregnancy. Since it was her first pregnancy she didn’t resist and accepted a bundle of prescription containing tests, medicines and vitamin A supplement. The doctor was succeeded in catching up a fortnightly client. Luckily, she got cat in the bag. Time kept passing by and she receives too many visits from the patient on an going basis. When baby became due she vanished from the hospital. When enquired we were told that she’s attending a conference in Islamabad and will not be available for a long time. We were shocked to hear this news. She never informed that she was going to attend the conference leaving the mother helpless. Anyway, we used the replacement doctor service, and so unluckily, an immature and inexperience lady doctor was given in our fate. Now the interesting part was the nurses in the hospital. The morning nurses and the evening nurses were two different things like hell and heaven, earth and sky, hot and cold, fire and ice, Khursheed Mahmood Qusuri and Condoleezza Rice. A big controversy between the two groups, I would say. Apart from that, we found big discrepancies between the doctor’s and nurse’s actions. If morning shift said YES to something then it was obvious that evening shift would say NO or vice versa. The patient became a sandwich between the two groups. This also resulted a really bad care but FREE-IN-THE-AIR DESI instructions and remedies suggested by the controversial group of nurses and doctor. An apple was never an apple for other shift, it was, indeed, an orange for them and quite interestingly the doctor declared it an apricot. It was hard to give judgement who’s right and who’s wrong

Health of Women is Indeed Our Precious Wealth

On this year’s World Health Day, let us focus on addressing issues that can improve health status of women. A wide array of socio-economic, cultural and gender-based inequalities continue to aggravate risk for women.
The latest effort in this direction was a symposium on ‘nutrition in women’ held in New Delhi . Its main aim was to draw attention to the very pertinent observations of a ‘Multi Centric Study on Nutrition in Women’, conducted jointly by the Department of Science and Technology (DST) of Government of India and the Diabetes Foundation of India (DFI), and ably coordinated by All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), Delhi . The symposium was followed by a consensus conference on ‘Indian Diets for Prevention of Obesity and Related Disorders’.
It is high time we took a serious note of the health disorders in women arising due to age old dietary habits, coupled with changing life styles and static mindsets. It is indeed a congratulatory effort on the part of DST to conduct a country wide, 3 year long multi centric study (2005 – 2008) on nutrition related non communicable diseases in women over 35 years of age. The objective of the study was to prepare a health/nutrition profile for women by (i) identifying the problems related to non communicable diseases like diabetes, hypertension, obesity and high cholesterol, (ii) developing region specific and cost effective strategies for primary prevention and management of these diseases.

Health is Wealth

The Ministry of Health has admitted that there is hardly any upward transmission of information from around 24,000 Primary Health Centres (PHCs) taking place. The Ministry is dependent entirely on newspaper reports for information and assessment during the outbreak of diseases in many parts of the country. It has been found that it takes nearly an year for information to travel from PHC to the Ministry. The government has concluded that such disease surveillance is meaningless and its data was only for the consumption of government files. GIS and health is the theme of this issue. Two important fields, so close to each other and yet so far apart in a developing country like India. The US and the UK provide lessons as to how these two fields can develop synergy between themselves and to the benefit of the society at large. Health GIS applications are an important area of activity at the National Centre for Health Statistics of the US government. The National Spatial Data Infrastructure (NSDI), the United States Geological Survey (USGS), Census and many other databases, which are important for improved public health surveillance are widely used by the health departments. Recently, the UK national mapping agency signed an agreement with National Health Service (NHS) of UK for developing customised geographic information products for the health community. OSCAR, which tracks precise details of every motorable road in Britain, and ADDRESS-POINT, which can pinpoint any postal address instantly, are already popular among the emergency services run by the health authorities.

Herbal Bath

The warmth of the water with herbal bath helps release tension and adding herbs to the bath benefits the body, mind, and spirit. Herbs possess therapeutic properties that can soothe your skin and relax muscles and joints, and stimulate the circulation. We can enjoy bathing in the privacy of our own bathroom.How to Enjoy an Herbal BathBy Della UpsherIf you've ever visited a spa, you know that they have more than a few secrets up their sleeves in order to make you feel your best and most relaxed. However, spas are a pricey indulgence, and not everyone has the time or money to spend on an all-day splurge. If you have an extra hour to spare and want to make your bath time work for you, add a few of your own ingredients to spice up your bath and create a relaxing spa-like environment in the comfort of your own home. Gather some fresh herbs from a botanical supplier, your local grocery store, or you own garden, and pick up a few cloth sachets to hold them all together.Photo: herb.co.zaIf you're looking to enjoy a refreshingly energetic morning bath that will awaken your senses, mix mint, rosemary, sage, bits of orange, and time and place them in a cloth sachet. As you are running you hot bath water, throw the cinched sachet into the tub, keeping it close to the faucet so that the herbs can be fully dispersed throughout the bath. Keep the sachet in the tub for the duration of your relaxing spa treatment, and swish it around every so often to make sure the herbs are permeating the bath water. If you want to enjoy a relaxing bath at the end of the day, mix mint, marigold, chamomile, lavender and sandalwood in your sachet and enjoy a good soak.If you're suffering from itchy skin, use parsley, sage, rosemary and basil in your bath to sooth your body. If you have sore muscles or joints, mix wintergreen, lavender, and sassafras into your bath. And if you're suffering from tension or fatigue, fill your sachet with pine, fir and sage, and add a cup of apple cider vinegar to your bath. You'll be soaking the blues away in no time.Save on Bath Care at http://www.blushcosmetics.com/bath-shower/cat_25.html the Discount Beauty Store.

Benefits by Aloe Vera Extract

Aloe Vera is a species of succulent plant that probably originated in northern Africa. The species does not have any naturally occurring populations, although closely related Aloes do occur in northern Africa. There is frequently cited as being used in herbal medicine since the beginning of the first century AD, because it is mentioned in the New Testament.Aloe Vera Extract - The Benefits and the ProductsBy Ryan EnglishThe aloe vera plant is known to have powerful organic compounds found in various parts of this type of cactus. Its leaves are usually the main source of the extract thus contributing a big deal to products which are manufactured in the market today. Consumers have appreciated the benefits taken from the product thus they go for all aloe vera consumptions from cosmetics, food and beverage. The aloe vera extract are also seen in some topical solutions and even oral medications for the treatment of unwanted skin problems.

Health News

America's uninsured haven't shown collective power (AP) AP - If the uninsured were a political lobbying group, they'd have more members than AARP. The National Mall couldn't hold them if they decided to march on Washington.
7th surgery shows face transplants gaining ground (AP) AP - Five years ago, it was the stuff of science fiction: Replace someone's face with one from a dead donor. But on Thursday, Boston doctors performed the world's seventh such transplant — less than a week after one in France — and plans are in the works for more.
Report: Ethanol raises cost of nutrition programs (AP) AP - Food stamps and child nutrition programs are expected to cost up to $900 million more this year because of increased ethanol use.
FDA reversal OKs morphine painkiller for dying (AP) AP - A liquid morphine painkiller given by family caregivers to dying patients can remain on the market, federal regulators have decided after hearing protests over their decision to remove it. The Food and Drug Administration had announced last week that it was ordering manufacturers to stop making 14 medications including the liquid morphine. All were developed so long ago they had never received FDA approval.

America’s Other Energy Crisis: What to Eat Before, During, and After a Workout

I don’t write about my first love, sports, all that much, but if you’ve read a few of my posts you may know that I spend the better part of the fall watching the NFL Network and that my winter, spring, and summer revolve around whatever athletic events I’m training for and watching.
So, it may come to no surprise to you that I’ve recently co-authored a book, released last week, on sports nutrition. It’s called Energy to Burn: The Ultimate Food and Nutrition Guide to Fuel Your Active Life.
My book provides the answers to today’s other energy crisis—the one faced by everyone from professional athletes to weekend warriors to anyone looking for a simple boost to help achieve their goals at work and play. This guide provides nutrition-conditioning strategies for meeting the demands you face in a typical workout, or even just a typical day.

Is Sugar the New Health Food Craze? Don’t Believe the Hype

I caught a this week about how food marketers are promoting table sugar as a “natural,” “healthier” ingredient compared to high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS). This comes on the heels of you’ve probably seen, sponsored by the Corn Refiners Association, claiming that HFCS actually isn’t any worse for you that regular sugar. Who’s a girl with a sweet tooth to believe?
Here’s the truth: HFCS isn’t much different metabolically than table sugar. Table sugar (sucrose) is comprised of 50% glucose and 50% fructose. Fructose, as compared to glucose, is digested differently because glucose is absorbed in the upper intestine into the bloodstream, whereas fructose is metabolized in the liver first, and then gets into the bloodstream. While fructose is thought to reduce the blood sugar response after eating it, there is evidence that it may promote fatty liver, which leads to a whole host of metabolic issues.
The type of high-fructose corn syrup used in the US food supply is referred HFCS55 (55% fructose; 45% sucrose). Metabolically, the difference of 5% fructose from table sugar to HFCS cannot be the culprit in our nation’s expanding waistline.

Ultimate Guide to Fresh Fruits and Veggies

If you’re clueless when it comes to picking out produce, use our how-to guide for choosing the freshest fruits and veggies at your local farmers market or grocery.
Apricots, Peaches, Plums
Pick: Fruit that is firm, with a taut, unblemished skin and no signs of bruising or wrinkles.
Store: Ripen at room temperature, until tender. Apricots can be kept for 2 days, maximum. Once plums are ripe, refrigerate up to 3 days.
Use: Cook with sugar (1 pound of fruit per 2 cups sugar) on the stove until thickened for a delicious jam.
Tip: Vitamin A–rich stone fruits work with savory dishes; try sautéing, grilling, or roasting them to serve with duck, chicken, or pork.
Blackberries and Raspberries
Pick: Plump, juicy berries with a shine (blackberries) or luster (raspberries), without any trace of mold or discoloration.
Store: If eating within 24 hours, store at room temperature; otherwise, wrap loosely in plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 2 days. Wash just before using.
Use: Blackberries and raspberries are delicious raw or in baked goods, but they’re also a great addition to savory dishes.
Tip: To freeze antioxidant-packed blackberries, raspberries, blueberries, or cherries, wash and let dry completely, then place them in a single layer on a tray in the freezer until solid. Transfer to a zip-top bag and store in the freezer.

Get Your Family Involved in Changing Your Eating Behavior

In the spring of 2005, after four pregnancies, Julie Marsh weighed 240 pounds. “I wasn’t happy with myself,” she told Health magazine in April 2007. Inspired by her sister Cathy Andrew, who had resolved to lose weight in 2005, the sisters joined forces in dieting and exercising and had better success.
Research shows that dieters are more likely to change their ways if they feel they have the support of family, a close friend, or a coworker. It worked for this sister team: Along with eating more vegetables and smaller portions, they lifted weights three times a week and went on four to five mile walks at least four days a week. The workout buddies even tried activities they wouldn’t have done alone, like yoga and badminton. A year later, Julie had lost 85 pounds, and her sister had shed 105—a whopping 190 pounds of combined success.
Here are some tips for getting friends and family to support your desire to lose weight:
Be up-front. Let friends and family know you’re making changes in your eating habits. It may stop loved ones from offering you foods you’re trying to avoid and encourage healthy cooking at group events. Asking them for help also adds accountability.
Buddy up. The fact is, two-thirds of American adults are overweight and, chances are, you have friends or coworkers who may be interested in changing their eating behavior as well. Research shows that when one person slims down, those around him or her are more likely to lose, according to a 2007 study by researchers at Harvard Medical School and the University of California, San Diego.
Start small. If you’re worried about food pushers, make small, less noticeable changes instead of obvious ones. It will help you ease into weight loss and avoid unwanted attention. For example, at the next family dinner, use a salad plate when you go through the buffet. Chances are, no one will notice your little switch, and you’ll be consuming less food.

Tips for Caregivers: How to Cut Insurance Costs

Let’s face it, running a household is costly and time-consuming. Running two—as many of us find ourselves doing—is exhausting, and doesn’t leave a lot of time for loose ends.That’s why many of us in in the caregiving generation are likely to be overinsured, or paying for services we no longer need, or not receiving credits we’re due.
Why is this so? Well, think about it—when was the last time you had time to pour over your policies and call for competing quotes?
More from Caring.com:
More Money-Saving Tips
Paying For Care: Your Questions, Expert Answers
Financial Assistance for Seniors
Checklist for Financial Management
Still, in this economy it’s worth doing a little homework, as this is one area where the average household could reap several hundred dollars in monthly savings. (And don’t forget—anyone in the family on long-term disability may be eligible for government-subsidized health insurance such as Medicare or Medicaid.) To save you time—since we all know that’s the most valuable commodity of all—we’ve culled the experts’ best tips for lowering insurance costs.

America’s Healthiest Pets: Meet Our Experts

Health editors reviewed nearly 30 years’ worth of research on animal companions’ health benefits for humans. We then asked our expert panel (below) to analyze the science and make their recommendations for the healthiest pets. Based on their input, we selected and ranked the top six.
Meet our experts:
Marty Becker, DVM, has been a practicing veterinarian for nearly 30 years and is the author, with Danelle Morton, of The Healing Power of Pets. Dr. Becker has been the resident veterinarian on ABC’s Good Morning America for 12 years. His books, articles, and more can be found at PetConnection.com.
Alan Beck, ScD, is the director of the Center for the Human-Animal Bond at the Purdue University School of Veterinary Medicine.
Gregg Takashima, DVM, is the board chair for the Delta Society, a nonprofit organization that helps connect people with service and therapy animals, and educates the public about the healing power of animals. Takashima also practices at the Parkway Veterinarian Hospital in Portland, Oregon.

Birth Control Pills Linked to Lupus Risk

THURSDAY, April 9 (HealthDay News) — Women taking birth control pills, especially those who have just started taking them, may face an increased risk of developing the autoimmune disease lupus, a new study suggests.
Although the link between lupus and oral contraceptives has been debated for some time, this new study adds weight to earlier studies — including the Nurses’ Health Study — that have shown a link between oral contraceptives and lupus, the study authors said.
The findings were published in the April issue of Arthritis Care & Research.
Lupus is characterized by acute and chronic inflammation of various tissues of the body. The immune system mistakenly attacks healthy cells and tissues, potentially damaging joints, skin, blood vessels and organs, according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine.
For the new study, a team led by Dr. Samy Suissa of the Centre for Clinical Epidemiology at Jewish General Hospital of McGill University in Montreal collected data on more than 1.7 million women whose medical records were in the U.K. General Practice Research Database. The women all had prescriptions for oral contraceptives.
During eight years of follow-up, 786 women developed lupus. The researchers matched each of these women with 10 women who did not have the disease.

New Drug May Help Patients With Psoriatic Arthritis

THURSDAY, April 9 (HealthDay News) — The drug golimumab shows promise in treating psoriatic arthritis, according to a new study. Psoriatic arthritis affects about 11 percent of people with psoriasis.
The University of California, San Diego-led study included 405 patients who still had active psoriatic arthritis after taking anti-rheumatic drugs or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. The patients were randomly selected to receive injections of either 50 or 100 milligrams of golimumab or placebo every four weeks for 24 weeks.
The phase 3 study found that 51 percent of patients in the 50-mg group, 45 percent of those in the 100-mg group, and 9 percent of those in the placebo group achieved the American College of Rheumatology 20 percent improvement criteria (ACR20) by week 14. The improvements were in areas such as swollen and tender joints, pain, disease activity, physical function, and levels of C-reactive protein.

Sabtu, 11 April 2009

Soybean Chemicals May Reduce Effects of Menopause

THURSDAY, April 9 (HealthDay News) — Chemicals in soybeans reduced the effects of menopause in rats, according to a Taiwanese study.
The researchers found that dietary supplementation with soy aglycons of isoflavone (SAI) — a group of chemicals found in soybeans — lowered cholesterol, boosted the anti-oxidative abilities of the liver, and prevented degeneration of the vaginal lining in female rats who’d had their ovaries removed.
“These ovariectomized animals are a good model for study of the menopause as the loss of estrogen from the ovaries mimics the natural reduction in estrogen seen in menopausal women,” study leader Robin Chiou, of the National Chiayi University in Taiwan, said in a news release. “SAI itself has weak estrogenic properties, and we’ve shown here that menopause-related syndromes can be prevented or improved by dietary supplementation with the compounds it contains.”
The researchers said their study, published in the journal Nutrition & Metabolism, supports “the indication that soybean consumption may prevent coronary heart disease.”

FDA Reverses Stance on Removal of Morphine Painkiller

THURSDAY, April 9 (HealthDay News) — Bowing to the pleas of hospice experts, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has backed off its intent to remove from the market an unapproved liquid morphine painkiller given to dying patients.
Dr. Douglas Throckmorton, deputy director of the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, told the Associated Press Thursday that the morphine liquid will remain on the market until replaced by an approved version or some other equivalent therapy. Read More

Once-a-Year Drug Helps Counter Steroid-Linked Bone Loss

FRIDAY, April 10 (HealthDay News) — Patients with rheumatoid arthritis or asthma often need to take a bone-strengthening drug to counter the debilitating effects of their steroid medications.
Now, a new study finds that a once-yearly injection of a bisphosphonate bone-building drug, Reclast, may work better than a once-daily bisphosphonate pill for these patients. Read More

Harmless Virus May Be Deadly to Breast Cancer

FRIDAY, April 10 (HealthDay News) — A common, harmless human virus can target and kill breast cancer stem cells, Canadian researchers report.
“We suspected that reovirus might be effective against cancer stem cells, because we have shown time and again how well it destroys regular cancer cells,” Dr. Patrick Lee, a cancer researcher at Dalhousie Medical School in Halifax, Nova Scotia, said in a news release.
He explained the importance of targeting cancer stem cells. Read More

Exercising Away From Home: 4 Portable Workout Kits

By Gina Lombardi and Amanda MacMillan
Road trips can kill your fitness routine, but portable workout kits can help keep you moving while you’re away from home. Here’s how four popular brands rate.
Iron Gym($40)
Our take: This fancy pull-up bar is great for home (or hotel) workouts because it mounts in doorways securely but without leaving a mark. Three different grip options allow you to work your complete upper body, and it also doubles as a foot support for crunches or a platform for push-ups and dips. Alas, it’s a bit clunky and won’t fit well in smaller duffles or suitcases, so it should be saved for longer trips that require bigger bags. Plus, it won’t fit in all types of doorways—and once you’ve calibrated it to fit in one, it takes some rejiggering to set it up for anything that’s a different size.
Bottom line: This is a great upper-body workout for the price, but it lacks portability and total body–conditioning potential.

Gear Guide: PUMA L.I.F.T. Racer Fitness Shoe

The new PUMA L.I.F.T. Racer is the lightest workout shoe I’ve ever worn—and I’ve worn a lot of them. It’s made of a combo of mesh and a foam material (L.I.F.T. stands for “Lite Injected Foam Technology”) that reminds me of an even lighter-weight version of the stuff used to make my Crocs. Definitely worth a test run, if for no other reason.
First, though, I have to point out that despite its speedy name, the L.I.F.T. Racer is actually part of PUMA’s “active” category, not one of their technical running shoes. The company says it’s meant for walking, light jogging, cross-training, and just bumming around on the weekends. So that’s what I did.

Four Things You Didn’t Know About Natural Medicine

By Katy KoontzFrom Health magazine
If natural medicine still sounds too alternative for you, here are four things that may help mainstream the concept for you.
It’s not so “out there” In addition to the 38 percent of all adults in the United States who have tried natural medicine, nearly 12 percent of children have used complementary and alternative (CAM) therapies. Veterinarians use it on pets, too. “It’s not just the fringe anymore,” says Donald B. Levy, MD, medical director of the Osher Clinical Center for Complementary and Integrative Medical Therapies at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston.

Is Alternative Medicine Really Safe?

By Katy KoontzFrom Health magazine
Any time you try a new therapy or treatment or take a new medication, you want to be sure it’s safe—regardless of whether it’s being offered by your regular MD or an alternative medicine practitioner.
With your regular doctor, you know she has a license to practice and that any prescription drug is monitored by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). And there are similar safeguards in alternative medicine, says Donald B. Levy, MD, medical director of the Osher Clinical Center for Complementary and Integrative Medical Therapies at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston.

8 Spring Treats Under 80 Calories

From Health magazine
Can't resist all those pastel-colored confections and not-so-innocent chocolate bunnies? Here are eight waist-friendly ways to satisfy your sweet-tooth this Easter.

How Cholesterol Affects Your Heart's Health

When most people hear "cholesterol" they think "evil." Like most things in life, the reality is more complex; cholesterol can be very bad and very good. On its own, cholesterol is a crucial body component. That's why you make the white, waxy substance (about 75% of the cholesterol in your blood is made by the liver and cells elsewhere in your body). Cholesterol insulates nerve cells in your brain and provides structure for cell membranes. "If you want to see what it looks like in a solidified form, go get yourself a can of Crisco at the grocery store," says Gregory Dehmer, MD, director of the division of cardiology at the Texas A&M College of Medicine. "If you open up a can of Crisco, it’s this white, lard-like substance."

Common Cold: The Commonest Human Disease

CAUSES: Exciting cause is an unidentified virus but there are certain predisposing factors which render some people more prone to catch the...