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Sep 28 2013

Health and Fitness News

Welcome to the Health and Fitness NewsWelcome to the Stars Hollow Health and Fitness News weekly diary. It will publish on Saturday afternoon and be 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.

Follow us on Twitter @StarsHollowGzt

Easing Into Fall, Taking Eggplant With You

Eggplant Tomato Pie photo 23recipehealth-span-articleLarge_zps505dd91a.jpg

Even though it’s officially autumn, the summer crop of eggplant is still in full swing at farmers’ markets across the country. I’ve been buying them in all shapes and sizes – small, delicate Italian eggplants and paler Asian eggplants that I buy both at farmers’ markets and at my local Iranian market, as well as the familiar globe eggplants that are widely available in both farmers’ markets and supermarkets.

The darker the eggplant’s skin, the more it has to offer in terms of antioxidant-rich anthocyanins. The anthocyanin phytonutrient in eggplant skin is called nasunin, and scientists have been able to isolate it and identify its antioxidant activity, particularly in protecting lipids in brain cell membranes.

~Martha Rose Shulman~

Eggplant and Tomato Pie

This robust summer pie, topped with a layer of tomato slices flecked with thyme, is a nice party piece.

Balkan Eggplant and Chile Purée

This is an eggplant-centric version of ajvar (pronounced “eye-var), the Balkan red pepper and eggplant relish.

Lasagna With Tomato Sauce and Roasted Eggplant

This is a great do-ahead dish.

Grilled Eggplant and Tomatoes With Chermoula

Chermoula, the pungent Moroccan herb sauce that is traditionally used as a marinade for fish, is also great with grilled vegetables.

Imam Bayildi

There are many recipes for the iconic Turkish eggplant dish, Imam Bayildi.

General Medicine/Family Medical

New Tool May Help Identify Deadly Brain Bleed

by Steven Reinberg, HealthDay

Goal is to help ER doctors make accurate diagnosis

Sept. 24 (HealthDay News) — Deadly bleeding in the brain, called a subarachnoid hemorrhage, can cause a crushing headache that sends people to the emergency room. Often, the condition is misdiagnosed, but Canadian researchers have developed a simple tool they say could help ER doctors make the right diagnosis.

Headache is a common complaint in the ER, accounting for about 2 percent to 4 percent of patient visits, said lead researcher Dr. Jeffrey Perry, an associate professor in the department of emergency medicine at the University of Ottawa.

Concussion Symptoms in Teen, Young Adult Athletes

by Robert Preidt, HealthDay

But study authors say recovery period might vary

Sept. 24 (HealthDay News) — Whether injured athletes are teens or young adults does not affect the severity of their concussion symptoms, according to a new study. However, differences may still exist in the concussion’s aftermath, the researchers say.

Some previous research has raised concerns that high school-age athletes may suffer more severe symptoms after a concussion than college-age athletes, but this study found no evidence of that.

Study Questions Fish Oil Brain Claims

by Serena Gordon, HealthDay

Higher levels of omega-3 didn’t boost thinking, memory test scores

Sept. 25 (HealthDay News) — If you eat a lot of fish or take fish oil supplements hoping to boost your brain health, a new study has disappointing findings for you.

The study, published online Sept. 25 in the journal Neurology, found no difference in memory and thinking test scores based on levels of omega-3 fatty acids in the blood.

Insulin Pump Feature May Prevent Low Blood Sugar

by Serena Gordon, HealthDay

Device could improve quality of life for people with type 1 diabetes, experts say

A new type of insulin pump reduced the number of moderate to severe low-blood-sugar episodes experienced by people with type 1 diabetes.

The pump has a special sensor that can detect dropping blood-sugar levels and then suspend insulin delivery to prevent the development of dangerously low blood sugar (hypoglycemia), according to the researchers.

Married People May Be Likelier to Survive Cancer

by Brenda Goodman, HealthDay

Social support could be powerful medicine, researchers say

Sept. 24 (HealthDay News) — Married cancer patients are less likely to die of their disease than those who aren’t wed, a new study suggests.

The study, of more than 730,000 people who were diagnosed with any one of 10 different cancers between 2004 and 2008, is one of the largest ever to look at the link between marital status and health.

Researchers found a strong tie between tying the knot and clearing cancer.

Warnings/Alerts/Guidelines

Kids’ Sunscreens Recalled: Potential Contamination

Some Badger baby and children’s sunscreen products are being recalled in the United States and Canada due to microbial contamination.

All lots of the company’s 4-ounce SPF 30 Baby Sunscreen Lotion and one lot of its 4-ounce SPF 30 Kids Sunscreen Lotion are being recalled after tests revealed contamination with Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Candida parapsilosis and Acremonium fungi, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said.

Common Diabetes Drugs May Carry Risk

by Robert Preidt, HealthDay

Patients taking sulfonylureas had a higher death risk than those on metformin, researchers say

Sept. 26 (HealthDay News) — Diabetes patients who take drugs called sulfonylureas as an initial therapy have a higher risk of death than those who take the diabetes drug metformin, a new study says.

The British researchers said the findings suggest that it may no longer be appropriate to offer sulfonylureas as a first-line treatment.

Diabetes experts in the United States agreed that the study could have an impact on care.

Pain Patches Pose Serious Threat to Young Children

Skin patches that contain the powerful pain reliever fentanyl can be deadly to young children, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said Monday.

The agency has issued a Drug Safety Communication to warn patients, caregivers and health care workers about the dangers of accidental exposure to and improper storage and disposal of fentanyl patches.

Arsenic in Environment & Heart Attack, Stroke Risk

by Dennis Thompson, HealthDay

Researchers suspect groundwater and certain foods raised levels of chemical in study of Native Americans

Sept. 23 (HealthDay News) — People chronically exposed to low to moderate levels of arsenic in their environment may be more likely to suffer a heart attack, stroke or other cardiovascular disease, a study of American Indians suggests.

Previous research has linked exposure to high levels of arsenic in drinking water (more than 100 micrograms per liter) with coronary heart disease, stroke, peripheral artery disease and carotid atherosclerosis.

Seasonal Flu/Other Epidemics/Disasters

Could Discovery Lead to Universal Flu Vaccine?

by Robert Preidt, HealthDay

British study found people with more of certain virus-killing immune cells fared better during swine flu pandemic

Sept. 23 (HealthDay News) — An experiment based on the 2009 H1N1 swine flu pandemic may have helped scientists move closer to developing a universal flu vaccine, according to a new study.

Researchers at Imperial College London, in England, asked 342 staff members and students to donate blood samples right as the pandemic was beginning in autumn 2009. They were also asked to report any symptoms they experienced over the next two flu seasons.

CDC Reports More Americans Getting Flu Shots

by Steven Reinberg, HealthDay

Sept. 26 (HealthDay News) — Although more Americans than ever are getting their annual flu shots, U.S. health officials said Thursday that the rates could be better and urged virtually all Americans to get vaccinated for the coming flu season.

“Our message today is simple. Everyone 6 months of age and older should receive a flu vaccination,” Dr. Howard Koh, assistant secretary for health at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, said during a morning news conference.

Bacterial Infection’s Spread Occurs Beyond Health Care Settings: Study

by Dennis Thompson, HealthDay

Review of C. difficile suggests most transmission takes place outside of hospitals, nursing homes

Sept. 25 (HealthDay News) — A new British study raises questions about the transmission of Clostridium difficile, a bacteria that causes life-threatening diarrhea in people who have recently been on antibiotics.

Physicians have assumed that C. difficile mainly spreads from patient to patient in hospital settings.

However, a genetic analysis of C. difficile infections at the four Oxford University Hospitals during a three-year period found that only 35 percent of cases occurred because the bacteria passed from one person to another in the hospital, according the study in the Sept. 26 New England Journal of Medicine.

But overall rate still low, so officials urge everyone over 6 months of age to get vaccinated this season

Sept. 26 (HealthDay News) — Although more Americans than ever are getting their annual flu shots, U.S. health officials said Thursday that the rates could be better and urged virtually all Americans to get vaccinated for the coming flu season.

“Our message today is simple. Everyone 6 months of age and older should receive a flu vaccination,” Dr. Howard Koh, assistant secretary for health at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, said during a morning news conference.

Those who remain unvaccinated are at higher risk of hospitalization and death from flu and its complications, the experts noted.

Nail Fungus Drug Might Help Against HIV: Study

by Robert Preidt, HealthDay

Lab research shows the anti-fungal aided cells in elimination of AIDS-causing virus

Sept. 23 (HealthDay News) — A common drug used to treat nail fungus may hold promise against HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, according to a new study.

In laboratory research, the anti-fungal drug Ciclopirox allowed HIV-infected cells to get killed off by blocking the cells’ mitochondria — their powerhouse. In addition, Ciclopirox eliminated HIV from cell cultures, and the virus did not return when the anti-fungal drug was stopped, the study authors said.

‘Superbug’ MRSA Infections Aren’t Dropping in Kids

by Serena Gordon, HealthDay

While overall rates still low for kids, study finds infants and black children face higher risk

Sept. 23 (HealthDay News) — Although rates of infection with methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) are declining among American adults, the rates among children remain largely unchanged, a new government study finds.

In addition, MRSA disproportionately affects infants less than 3 months old and black children, according to the report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, published online Sept. 23 and in the October print issue of Pediatrics.

Women’s Health

 Epilepsy Drugs in Pregnancy May Affect Infants

by Robert Preidt, HealthDay

Study did not find similar link when babies were exposed through breast-feeding

Sept. 25 (HealthDay News) — Young children exposed to epilepsy drugs in the womb are at increased risk of having impaired fine motor skills, according to a new study. Exposure to the drugs in breast milk, however, does not appear to pose a threat.

Researchers looked at data collected from Norwegian mothers about their children’s language, behavior, and motor and social skills at the ages of 6 months, 18 months and 36 months. The women also provided information on breast-feeding during the first year for the study, which was published online Sept. 23 in the journal JAMA Neurology.

Men’s Health

Low Testosterone Linked to Possible Heart Problems in Men

by Robert Preidt, HealthDay

But study didn’t explain how hormone levels might contribute to disease

Sept. 24 (HealthDay News) — Men with low testosterone may have a slightly increased risk of developing or dying from heart disease, according to a new review.

Researchers analyzed studies that looked at testosterone levels and cardiovascular disease and were published between 1970 and 2013. Testosterone is a male sex hormone involved in sex drive, sperm production and bone health. Over time, low testosterone may contribute to an increase in body fat and a loss of muscle bulk and body hair.

Pediatric Health

Study Finds No Link Between Autism, Celiac Disease

by Brenda Goodman, HealthDay

Research casts doubt on practice of placing children with autism on a gluten-free diet, experts say

Sept. 25 (HealthDay News) — A large, new study finds no linkage between the digestive disorder celiac disease and autism.

One theory about autism is that it may start in the gut, because some children with the disorder also suffer from gastrointestinal problems. Many are put on strict gluten-free diets in the hopes that avoiding wheat proteins will improve their behavior.

Aging

Little Benefit Seen in Repeat Bone-Density Testing

by Kathleen, HealthDay

Older adults without osteoporosis could wait longer between screenings, study suggests

Sept. 24 (HealthDay News) — For many seniors, it may not be worthwhile to undergo frequent imaging tests to see if they’re at risk for broken bones, a new study suggests.

Repeating a bone-mineral-density test four years after the initial one did not provide substantially more information to predict fracture risk among older men and women who did not yet have osteoporosis, the study found.

Mental Health

Two Key Questions May Reveal Depression in Cancer Patients

by Robert Preidt, HealthDay

Brief survey found as accurate as 9-item screening test

A simple two-question survey can accurately screen cancer patients for depression, according to a new study.

The survey asks patients whether, in the last two weeks, they have experienced little interest or pleasure in doing things, or felt down, depressed or hopeless. The patients are given a score based on their answers to the two questions.

Brain Scans Show Why Psychopaths Don’t Feel Your Pain

by Robert Preidt, HealthDay

Images revealed much different reaction to thoughts of their own pain versus that of others

Sept. 25 (HealthDay News) — Among other traits, psychopaths feel a lack of empathy when other people are in pain, and brain scans now reveal why that is.

Psychopathy is a personality disorder marked by callousness, manipulation, sensation seeking and antisocial behaviors. About 23 percent of people in prison are psychopaths, compared with about 1 percent of people in the general population.

Nutrition/Diet/Fitness

Big Breakfast May Be Best for Diabetes Patients

by Dennis Thompson, HealthDay

Study found morning meal rich in protein, fat actually curbed hunger, helped control blood sugar levels

Sept. 26 (HealthDay News) — A hearty breakfast that includes protein and fat may actually help people with type 2 diabetes better control both their hunger and their blood sugar levels.

Patients who ate a big breakfast for three months experienced lower blood sugar (glucose) levels, and nearly one-third were able to reduce the amount of diabetic medication they took, according to an Israeli study that was scheduled for presentation Wednesday at the European Association for the Study of Diabetes annual meeting in Barcelona.

10% Weight Loss May Relieve Arthritic Knee Pain

by Dennis Thompson, HealthDay

Biggest improvement seen with diet-exercise combo in 18-month study of older, overweight adults

Sept. 24 (HealthDay News) — Older people with a weight problem can relieve knee pain from osteoarthritis if they lose just 10 percent of their body weight through diet and exercise, a new study finds.

Overweight and obese people 55 or older who participated in a diet and exercise program reported less pain, better knee function, improved mobility and enhanced quality of life when they dropped one-tenth of their weight, according to the study in the Sept. 25 Journal of the American Medical Association.

Vitamin D Alone Doesn’t Boost Bone Health, Study Says

by Robert Preidt, HealthDay

But calcium supplements appear to reduce risk of osteoporosis

Sept. 24 (HealthDay News) — Calcium supplements improve bone health in postmenopausal women, but vitamin D supplements provide no benefit in women with normal vitamin D levels, a new study finds.

“These findings suggest that vitamin D supplements over the recommended dietary allowance do not protect bone health, whereas calcium supplements do have an effect,” study lead author Dr. John Aloia, of Winthrop University Hospital in Mineola, N.Y., said in a news release from the Endocrine Society.