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Heart

Positive thinking is prescription for the heart

Optimism is good for heart health, at least among men, a new study shows.

University of Rochester Medical Center researcher Robert Gramling, M.D., D.Sc., found that men who believed they were at lower-than-average risk for cardiovascular disease actually experienced a three times lower incidence of death from heart attacks and strokes.

The data did not support the same conclusion among women. One possible explanation for the gender difference, researchers said, is that the study began in 1990, a time when heart disease was believed to be primarily a threat to men. Therefore, women's judgments about how often heart attacks occur among average women might have been disproportionately low.

The study is published in the July-August issue of Annals of Family Medicine.

Attention

89 percent of children's food products provide poor nutritional quality

Nine out of ten regular food items aimed specifically at children have a poor nutritional content - because of high levels of sugar, fat or sodium - according to a detailed study of 367 products published in the July issue of the UK-based journal Obesity Reviews.

Just under 70 per cent of the products studied - which specifically excluded confectionery, soft drinks and bakery items - derived a high proportion of calories from sugar. Approximately one in five (23 per cent) had high fat levels and 17 per cent had high sodium levels. Despite this, 62 per cent of the foods with poor nutritional quality (PNQ) made positive claims about their nutritional value on the front of the packet.

"Children's foods can now be found in virtually every section of the supermarket and are available for every eating experience" says Professor Charlene Elliott from the University of Calgary, Canada, and a Trustee of the Canadian Council of Food and Nutrition.

Coffee

Avoid brain drain with memory-boosting foods - even coffee

Every cell in your body needs a steady supply of oxygen and nutrients in order to stay alive and work properly, including brain cells. Because oxygen and nutrients are carried in the blood stream, anything that impedes blood flow will starve those all-important brain cells. The plain truth is that a healthy heart makes for a healthy brain. So keep your blood pressure and cholesterol in check, exercise regularly, don't smoke and get at least seven hours of sleep each night.


Comment: Seems like the 'don't smoke' advice is added by default to any 'healthy living' article those days, even if there is more than enough evidence that smoking can be highly beneficial to ones health and quality of life.



Compelling research also indicates that certain foods and nutrients can help enhance your memory. Read the facts on fish, berries, leafy greens and coffee - and be sure you remember to incorporate them into your diet.

Magnify

Early stem cell mutation linked to autism

A breakthrough study on mice has shown that mutations in neural stem cell development may be linked to autism.

Reported in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences by experts at the Burnham Institute for Medical Research, the study showed that mice lacking the myocyte enhancer factor 2C (MEF2C) protein in neural stem cells had smaller brains, fewer nerve cells and showed behaviours similar to those seen in humans with a form of autism known as Rett Syndrome.

Health

Autism and Lyme Disease are Connected, Lyme-Induced Autism Study Finds

Cases of Lyme disease and autism are skyrocketing in the United States. Is there a link between the two disorders? Research spurred by non-profit foundation says "Yes."

Bandaid

Purified stem cells restore muscle in mice with muscular dystrophy

Researchers at the Joslin Diabetes Center have demonstrated for the first time that transplanted muscle stem cells can both improve muscle function in animals with a form of muscular dystrophy and replenish the stem cell population for use in the repair of future muscle injuries.

"I'm very excited about this," said lead author Amy J. Wagers, Ph.D., Principal Investigator in the Joslin Section on Developmental and Stem Cell Biology, principal faculty member at the Harvard Stem Cell Institute and Assistant Professor of Stem Cell and Regenerative Biology at Harvard University. "This study indicates the presence of renewing muscle stem cells in adult skeletal muscle and demonstrates the potential benefit of stem cell therapy for the treatment of muscle degenerative diseases such as muscular dystrophy."

Question

US: 11 treated for mysterious illness

FORT COLLINS, Colorado - Eleven residents of an assisted living home in Fort Collins were treated for flulike symptoms Saturday morning, officials say.

Syringe

12 Babies die during vaccine trials in Argentina

At least 12 babies who were part of a clinical study to test the effectiveness of a vaccine against pneumonia have died over the past year in Argentina, the local press reported Thursday.

The study was sponsored by global drug giant GlaxoSmithKline and uses children from poor families, who are "pressured and forced into signing consent forms," the Argentine Federation of Health Professionals, or Fesprosa, said.

"This occurs without any type of state control" and "does not comply with minimum ethical requirements," Fesprosa said.

The vaccine trial is still ongoing despite the denunciations, and those in charge of the study were cited by the Critica newspaper as saying that the procedures are being carried out in a lawful manner.

Health

Marijuana Has Anti-Inflammatory That Won't Get You High

A compound in marijuana may be a potent anti-inflammatory agent that won't get people high, scientists say.

The finding could be a boon to sufferers of arthritis, cirrhosis, and other diseases. Existing drugs can be less effective for some people and can carry side effects, from stomach ulcers to increased risk of heart attacks.

Bulb

Introverts' Brains Are Wired To Make Them Shy Forever

Ever wonder why shy people get panicky in front of others and in case of tense situations, they can't seem to relax? Well, a team of researchers has got the answer: introvert individuals brains are wired in such a way that tends to keep them tense and anxious forever.

According to new research by the HealthEmotions Research Institute and Department of Psychiatry at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health (SMPH), brains of those suffering from anxiety and severe shyness in social situations consistently respond more strongly to stress, and show signs of being anxious even in situations that others find safe.