Health and Fitness News

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Welcome to the Health and Fitness News, a weekly diary which is cross-posted from The Stars Hollow Gazette. It is open for discussion about health related issues including diet, exercise, health and health care issues, as well as, tips on what you can do when there is a medical emergency. Also an opportunity to share and exchange your favorite healthy recipes.

Questions are encouraged and I will answer to the best of my ability. If I can’t, I will try to steer you in the right direction. Naturally, I cannot give individual medical advice for personal health issues. I can give you information about medical conditions and the current treatments available.

You can now find past Health and Fitness News diaries here and on the right hand side of the Front Page.

Stir-Frying With the Seasons

Autumn Stir Fry

Right now I’m phasing out summer’s tomatoes and corn, green beans and zucchini and picking up Chinese broccoli, mushrooms, cabbage and carrots at the farmers’ market. I’m still finding an array of peppers and beautiful Asian eggplants to brighten my wok. Stir-fries can be adapted to any number of ingredients that may be lingering in your refrigerator, or in your freezer, like the frozen peas that liven up a fish and mushroom stir-fry that is one of this week’s recipes.

~Martha Rose Shulman~

Stir-Fried Chinese Broccoli and Chicken With Hoisin

The extra step to “velvet” the chicken is worth it for such tender, succulent chicken

Stir-Fried Rainbow Peppers, Eggplant and Tofu

Roasting the eggplant before stir-frying may not be the Chinese way, but it produces great texture without using much oil.

Stir-Fried Medley of Kale, Brussels Sprouts and Baby Bok Choy With Chicken

Omit the chicken or substitute tofu to make this dish vegetarian. In any case, the antioxidant-rich cruciferous vegetables are the centerpiece of this dish.

Cabbage and Carrot Noodles With Egg

Glass noodles, also known as bean threads, are made with mung bean flour and have more texture than rice noodles. Either kind works in this dish.

Wok-Seared Cod With Stir-Fried Mushrooms and Peas

Cooking the vegetables first prevents the delicate fish pieces from flaking apart in the pan.

General Medicine/Family Medical

Addiction a Risk After Weight Loss Surgery

by Katrina Woznicki

Oct. 15, 2012 — People who undergo weight loss surgery may be at risk of addictive behaviors such as drug or alcohol abuse and cigarette smoking.

The study, by Alexis Conason, PsyD, of the New York Obesity Research Center, and colleagues also found a link between a specific operation, laparoscopic Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery, and an increase in alcohol use after the procedure. The findings appear in the Oct. 15 online issue of Archives of Surgery.

Cholesterol Levels Down Among U.S. Adults

by Denise Mann

Oct. 16, 2012 — Cholesterol levels are dropping among U.S. adults, new research shows.

That’s a good thing, as high levels of total cholesterol and LDL (“bad”) cholesterol are risk factors for heart disease.

From 1988 to 2010, average levels of total cholesterol, LDL, and blood fats called triglycerides fell for all groups of U.S. adults. Levels of HDL (“good”) cholesterol started to rise during this time frame.

Heart disease risk is based on more than just your cholesterol profile, says CDC researcher Margaret D. Carroll, MSPH. High blood pressure, obesity, and smoking also play a role.

Study Questions the Value of Annual Physical Exams

by Brenda Goodman, MA

Oct. 16, 2012 — Regular physical exams are annual rituals for many Americans.

Now a new research review finds that these kinds of checkups don’t help people live longer, and they don’t cut the risk of dying of cancer or heart disease.

“We did not find any signs of benefit,” on death risk, says researcher Lasse T. Krogsboll, a PhD student at the Nordic Cochrane Center in Copenhagen, Denmark.

Some Antidepressants May Raise Stroke Risk

by Kathleen Doheny

Oct. 17, 2012 — Some antidepressants are linked to a slight increased risk of bleeding stroke, according to a new analysis.

Researchers looked at 16 published studies that included more than 500,000 people.

They focused on the popular antidepressants known as SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors). SSRIs include Celexa (citalopram), Lexapro (escitalopram), Paxil (paroxetine), Prozac (fluoxetine), Viibryd (vilazodone), and Zoloft (sertraline).

For  most people, though, the risk of stroke linked with these drugs is low, says researcher Daniel G. Hackam, MD, PhD, associate professor of medicine at Western University in London, Ontario, Canada.

Is a New Crohn’s Disease Treatment on the Horizon?

by Denise Mann

Oct. 17, 2012 — A drug used to treat psoriasis may provide a much-needed option for people with bad cases of Crohn’s disease.

In the new study, some people with moderate to severe Crohn’s given Stelara (ustekinumab) began to see improvements in their symptoms within six weeks.

Crohn’s disease is an inflammatory bowel disease marked by inflammation and damage of any part of the digestive tract.

Cranberries Little Help Against UTIs

by Jennifer Warner

Oct. 16, 2012 — Drinking cranberry juice or taking cranberry pills may do little to prevent urinary tract infection (UTI), according to a new review of the latest research.

The review of 24 studies on cranberries and UTI shows that cranberry juice and cranberry pills are unlikely to prevent the common and often painful condition.  

Previous studies suggested cranberries may curb UTIs. The new review shows that any benefit from cranberries in preventing UTIs is likely to be small and only among women with recurrent UTIs.

Warnings/Alerts/Guidelines

Hospital Food Contaminated With C. diff

by Charlene Laino


Oct. 19, 2012 — A new report suggests that hospital food is frequently contaminated with the dangerous diarrhea bug Clostridium difficile (C. diff).

Houston researchers found that about one-fourth of nearly 100 hospital food samples they tested were positive for C. diff. Among the worst culprits: turkey, chicken, and egg products, vegetables and fruits, and desserts. Almost all were cooked.

It’s only one hospital. And no cases of human infection were linked to the food.

But together with past research, the findings suggest that contaminated food may be an important route of spread of C. diff in hospitals, says researcher Hoonmo Koo, MD, an infectious diseases specialist at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas.

New Warnings in Fungal Meningitis Outbreak

by Daniel J. DeNoon

Oct. 15, 2012 — More patients — not just those who got steroid shots — will be getting calls from their doctors warning them they might have a dangerous fungal infection.

The FDA now suspects fungal contamination is possible in all of the supposedly sterile products made by the New England Compounding Pharmacy (NECC) on or after May 21, 2012. People who got shots of any of these medicines — particularly those given during eye treatments or heart surgery — are at risk.

Women’s Health

IUDs Increasingly Popular Form of Birth Control

by Rita Ruben

Oct. 18, 2012 — While the use of long-acting intrauterine devices (IUDs) is increasing, 1 in 9 women at risk for unintended pregnancies is not using any birth control, according to a new government report.

Researchers from the National Center for Health Statistics, part of the CDC, analyzed data from more than 12,000 women aged 15 to 44. They compared that information with data collected from nearly 11,000 women in 1995.

Calcium May Help Prevent Hormone Disorder

by Brenda Goodman, MA

Calcium Supplements May Lower the Risk for Hyperparathyroidism

Oct. 18, 2012 — Women who supplemented their diets with modest amounts of calcium had a lower risk for the hormone disorder known as primary hyperparathyroidism.

The study, which is published in BMJ, also found that women with diets low in calcium may be more likely to get the disorder, which erodes bones and potentially sets the stage for depression, fatigue, and kidney stones. The research may be a reason to revisit the idea of taking a daily calcium supplement.

Men’s Health

Multivitamins May Help Prevent Cancer

by Kathleen Diheny

Older Men Who Took Vitamins Had Modest Reduction in Cancer, but Experts Can’t Say if Findings Apply to Others

Oct. 17, 2012 (Anaheim, Calif.) — Taking a daily multivitamin for years may lower the risk of cancer, according to new research.

The study followed nearly 15,000 middle-aged and older men for about 11 years. It is not yet clear if the findings would apply to women or younger men.

“The main findings were a reduction in total cancers of 8%,” says researcher J. Michael Gaziano, MD, MPH, a researcher at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School.

Green Tea and Cancer Prevention: New Clues

by Kathleen Doheny

Oct. 18, 2012 (Anaheim, Calif.) — Green tea and its extracts have long been studied for health benefits, including cancer prevention. [..]

Men with prostate cancer who drank green tea had less prostate tissue inflammation, linked to cancer growth, and other changes than those who didn’t drink it, says Susanne M. Henning, PhD, RD, adjunct professor at the David Geffen School of Medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles.

”We were able to show the green tea polyphenols (antioxidants) reached the prostate tissue and they did modify inflammation of the prostate,” she says. Polyphenols are antioxidants that protect against cell damage.

Pediatric Health

HPV Vaccine Not Linked to Promiscuity in Girls

by Rita Ruben

Oct. 15, 2012 — Getting the HPV vaccine is not linked to signs of increased sexual activity in preteen girls, a new study shows.

Genital HPV, or human papillomavirus, is a sexually transmitted infection. Gardasil, an HPV vaccine approved in 2006, and Cervarix, a second HPV vaccine approved in 2009, target the two types of the virus that cause about 70% of cervical cancers. Gardasil also protects against two other types of HPV that cause about 90% of genital warts.

‘Mother’s Kiss’ Can Remove Objects From Kids’ Noses

by Denise Mann

Oct. 15, 2012 — Your young daughter places a bead, seed, or other object up her nose. (It happens as many parents know all too well!)

What do you do?

Who should you call?

New research suggests that a decades-old home remedy of sorts known as the “mother’s kiss” may do the trick. It’s also a lot less invasive or frightening than some of the tools and techniques used in emergency rooms.

A Little Bit of Extra Sleep Pays Off Big for Kids

by Denise Mann

Oct. 15, 2012 — Twenty-seven minutes. That’s how much extra sleep a school-aged child needs per night to be brighter and more productive the following day.

According to a new study, kids who slept that extra amount each night were less impulsive, less easily distracted, and less likely to have temper tantrums or cry often and easily. By contrast, losing just shy of an hour’s worth of sleep had the opposite effects on behavior and mood.

“Small changes in bedtime and daily routine could go a long way,” says researcher Reut Gruber, PhD. She is an assistant professor of psychology at McGill University in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Conversely, “one more video game and staying a little longer in a friend’s house … could add up and have a negative impact on the daytime functioning of healthy children.”

The findings are published in the November issue of Pediatrics.

New Risks for Kids Crossing the Street

by Jennifer Warner

Oct. 19, 2012 — Today’s parents may need to update their advice for crossing the street safely to: “Look both ways and turn off the cell phone!”

A new study shows teens are twice as likely as adults to be hit by a car while crossing the street because they were distracted by an electronic device like a cell phone or iPod.

Researchers found 18% of teens treated at an urban emergency room for pedestrian accident injuries were using an electronic device when they were hit by a car while crossing the street. That’s compared with only 9% of adults.

Mental Health

Alzheimer’s: Are Antipsychotic Drugs Worth It?

by Salynn Boyles

Oct. 17, 2012 — Extreme agitation, aggressiveness, and psychosis are common among people with Alzheimer’s disease — especially in its later stages — and they are among the symptoms most often associated with admission to nursing homes.

Antipsychotic drugs are often prescribed to treat these symptoms, but their use remains controversial.

Nutrition/Diet/Fitness

Sitting Too Much May Lead to Diabetes, Heart Disease

by Salynn Boyles

Oct. 15, 2012 — Your workout routine may not be enough to keep you healthy if you sit for many hours a day.

A new analysis links prolonged sitting to greater odds of diabetes, heart disease, and death — even in people who exercise regularly.

“Many people think that if they work out every day that’s all they need to do,” says researcher Emma Wilmot, MD, of England’s University of Leicester. “But those with jobs that require sitting all day may still be at risk.”

Between the time spent driving and seated in front of a desk, computer, or TV, the average adult spends between 50% and 70% of their day sitting down, Wilmot says.

1 comment

    • TMC on October 26, 2012 at 6:05 am
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