Health & Wellness
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Syringe

Research links Diabetes to Alzheimer's

© flickr.com/Bethany L King
Diabetes can hurt the heart, the eyes and the kidneys. New research indicates a more ominous link: That diabetes increases the risk of getting Alzheimer's disease and may speed dementia once it strikes.

Doctors long suspected diabetes damaged blood vessels that supply the brain. It now seems even more insidious, that the damage may start before someone is diagnosed with full-blown diabetes, back when the body is gradually losing its ability to regulate blood sugar.

Health

Pope Says Condoms Make AIDS Problem Worse

Pope Benedict XVI said on his way to Africa Tuesday that condoms were not the answer in the continent's fight against HIV, his first explicit statement on an issue that has divided even clergy working with AIDS patients.

Benedict had never directly addressed condom use. He has said that the Roman Catholic Church is in the forefront of the battle against AIDS. The Vatican encourages sexual abstinence to fight the spread of the disease.

''You can't resolve it with the distribution of condoms,'' the pope told reporters aboard the Alitalia plane headed to Yaounde, Cameroon, where he will begin a seven-day pilgrimage on the continent. ''On the contrary, it increases the problem.''
Some priests and nuns working with those living with HIV/AIDS question the church's opposition to condoms amid the pandemic ravaging Africa

Ambulance

Research supports toxoplasmosis link to schizophrenia

© E. Prandovszky
This is a toxoplasma cyst outlined in red fluorescent cyst dye in mouse brain section. Hundreds of parasites are visible in the cyst as blue dots (nuclei stained blue) and in surrounding brain tissue.

Scientists have discovered how the toxoplasmosis parasite may trigger the development of schizophrenia and other bipolar disorders. The team from the University of Leeds' Faculty of Biological Sciences (UK) has shown that the parasite may play a role in the development of these disorders by affecting the production of dopamine - the chemical that relays messages in the brain controlling aspects of movement, cognition and behaviour.

Toxoplasmosis, which is transmitted via cat faeces (found on unwashed vegetables) and raw or undercooked infected meat, is relatively common, with 10-20% of the UK population and 22% of the US population estimated to carry the parasite as cysts. Most people with the parasite are healthy, but for those who are immune-suppressed - and particularly for pregnant women - there are significant health risks that can occasionally be fatal.

Bandaid

Stun guns may cause seizures

Stun guns, in certain circumstances, may result in brain-specific complications such as seizures, according to a new case report published in CMAJ (PDF Link) . An analysis of an incident where a previously well police officer in his 30s was mistakenly hit by a taser shot with 2 barbs in the upper back and head meant for a suspect indicates that seizures may occur and should be considered an adverse event related to the use of these devices.

After the officer was hit, he collapsed and lost consciousness, not breathing, eyes rolled upward, foaming at the mouth, arms and legs jerking for about 1 minute and then confused for many minutes afterward. These symptoms "differentiate the episode from the usual transient incapacitation induced by tasers," write Dr. Richard Wennberg and coauthors from Toronto Western Hospital and the University of Toronto.

Comment: Tasers are safe though. Until one of their own gets hit!


Bell

Warning Over Narcissistic Pupils

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Dr Craig said restricting criticism undermined learning
The growing expectation placed on schools and parents to boost pupils' self-esteem is breeding a generation of narcissists, an expert has warned.

Dr Carol Craig said children were being over-praised and were developing an "all about me" mentality.

She said teachers increasingly faced complaints from parents if their child failed a spelling test or did not get a good part in the school pantomime.

Schools needed to reclaim their role as educators, not psychologists, she said.

Dr Craig, who is chief executive of the center for confidence and well-being in Scotland, was speaking at the Association of School and College Leaders conference in Birmingham.

Roses

Dollars From Dirt: Economy Spurs Home Garden Boom

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Adriana Martinez works in her backyard garden in Long Beach, California
In the green: Gardening industry sees boom as families grow own veggies to save on groceries

Long Beach, California- With the recession in full swing, many Americans are returning to their roots -- literally -- cultivating vegetables in their backyards to squeeze every penny out of their food budget.

Industry surveys show double-digit growth in the number of home gardeners this year and mail-order companies report such a tremendous demand that some have run out of seeds for basic vegetables such as onions, tomatoes and peppers.

"People's home grocery budget got absolutely shredded and now we've seen just this dramatic increase in the demand for our vegetable seeds. We're selling out," said George Ball, CEO of Burpee Seeds, the largest mail-order seed company in the U.S. "I've never seen anything like it."

Pills

US: North Carolina mom warns of cough medicine abuse among teens

They're old remedies that are causing new concerns.

Most people take cough medicines to get rid of colds, but some teenagers are taking them to get high.

Many parents don't know about the potentially deadly hobby.

They're easily accessible at every drug store, but there's a danger lurking behind cough medicines.

Virtually every brand can be abused.

In the case of one teen it was Coricidin pills.

He took more than ten a day.

His mother said, "I think it's very, very possible he could have ended up dead."

Beer

What Happens To Your Body IF You Drink A Coke Right Now?

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Have you ever wondered why Coke comes with a smile? It's because it gets you high. They took the cocaine out almost a hundred years ago. You know why? It was redundant.

Red Flag

Soy Lecithin and the GMO Secret

Take a look through your cupboards. Read the ingredient labels on your organic and natural food products (and your conventional ones). You'll likely see soy lecithin on a large proportion of labels. You probably don't know that the soy lecithin in your organic food is most likely from non-organic genetically modified soybeans.

Sun

Papaya is the Health Fruit of Angels

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Papaya is called fruit of the angels by Conquistadors because of its heavenly taste. In its prime, it is a cerise-orange colored, unbelievably juicy fruit with an aroma to match its heavenly taste. Not only is papaya beautiful, fragrant and luscious, it is amazingly healthful!

How fortunate that this glorious fruit is available year-round. Although a native of the tropics, papaya trees produce fruit all year long and are now produced in Hawaii and Puerto Rico. A ripe papaya can be as long as twenty inches, but most commercially grown fruits are pear-shaped, about seven inches in length and about a pound in weight. It is high in bromelain, which makes it beneficial in ways similar to pineapple. Since it loses nutrient strength as it ripens, papaya is best if purchased mostly ripe and eaten by the next day. Purchase fruit that is orange-red in color and just a little soft to touch. Fruits that have yellow patches are less ripe and will take a few days at home to become their best. The seeds of a papaya are small, round and black in color. Although they are edible, they have a bitter, peppery flavor that few people seem to find enjoyable.