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Vitamin D Cuts Premature Birth Risk

Taking a high daily dose of vitamin D during pregnancy can significantly reduce a woman's risk of giving birth prematurely, according to a study conducted by researchers from the Medical University of Charleston, South Carolina, and funded by the National Institutes of Health.

"I'm telling every pregnant mother I see to take 4,000 IUs and every nursing mother to take 6,400 IUs of vitamin D a day," said researcher Bruce Hollis. "I think it is medical malpractice for obstetricians not to know what the vitamin D level of their patients is. This study will put them on notice."

Pregnant women in the United Kingdom and the United States are currently advised to take 400 IU of vitamin D per day.

Syringe

Hello Botox, Bye-Bye Sadness - But Not for the Reasons You Think

Paralyzing the "frown" muscles also inhibits the ability to understand anger and sadness.

And here I thought my Botoxed friends were happy, mellow, and sweet-tempered because a couple of injections of a neurotoxin had eliminated their frown lines, knocked years off their apparent age, and made them no longer look "tired and unapproachable," as the company's Web site cheerfully puts it. (If someone starts selling makeup named "Unapproachable," send me a case. But I digress.) But no! According to an amusing little study, by paralyzing the frown muscles that ordinarily are engaged when we feel angry, Botox short-circuits the emotion itself.

Info

The Ecologist: A Guide to Detox

It's easy to dismiss 'detox' as a fad, as some product claims are exaggerated. But detoxing, as a practice, has been around for centuries

For some, a detox means giving up booze for a few weeks in January. For others, it means colonic irrigation, supplements, super healthy food and/or juices and saying 'no' to meat, dairy, wheat, sugar and caffeine and other substances considered 'toxins'.

The problem with 'detox' is that the word is used to cover a wide array of both products and diets - from 'detox' shampoos and teabags to weekend juice fasts and two-week detox plans.

Although sceptics dismiss detox as a 'fad', various forms of detox have been practiced for centuries by many cultures around the world. The Ayurvedic medicine system, for instance, advocates a detox once or twice a year. Far from being a quick fix it lasts between 7-21 days and as well as a special diet it involves colonics, massage, meditation and yoga.

Those who promote detox diets and products claim that cleansing your body of toxins and helping your 'organs of elimination' to function properly will bring increased energy, vitality and improved overall health.

So is it worth it? And if so, what type of detox should you go for?

Comment: For a more in depth look at the importance of a detox diet read Detoxify or Die by Sherry A. Rogers, M.D.
There is now no question that these accumulated toxins are behind nearly every disease, symptom, injury and malfunction of the body. But get ready for the greatest medical discovery of the decade. If we get these ubiquitously unavoidable toxic chemicals out of the body, we can reverse and even cure the most hopeless diseases.

It no longer matters what you call your disease. The label your doctor gives you is meaningless. What matters is what caused it. Learn how to find the underlying causes and get rid of them with the only proven way to reverse disease and slow down aging.
For more information about Detox diets and how they have helped others regain heath read the following threads on the forum:

Anti-Candida, Inflammation, Heavy Metals Detox and Diet

Detoxification: Heavy Metals, Mercury and how to get rid of them

Detoxify or Die Cookbook


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Hand-Grip Strength Associated With Poor Survival

Poor or declining handgrip strength in the oldest old is associated with poor survival and may be used as a tool to assess mortality, found an article in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal). The fastest growing segment of the elderly population is the group older than 85 years, classified as the oldest old.

Low handgrip strength has been consistently linked to premature mortality, disability and other health complications in middle-aged and older people. Handgrip strength, a simple bedside tool, can be an alternative way of measuring overall muscular strength.

This study included 555 individuals from the Leiden 85-plus survey of all 85 year olds in Leiden, The Netherlands. Their handgrip strength was measured at 85 years and then again at 89. The CMAJ study, led by researchers from The Netherlands, found that low handgrip strength, both at 85 and 89 years, and a greater decline in strength over time are associated with increased all-cause mortality. The researchers also found that handgrip strength has a greater impact on mortality as people age.

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Mice Shed New Light on Causes of Childhood Deafness

Deafness is the most common disorder of the senses. Tragically, it commonly strikes in early childhood, severely damaging an affected child's ability to learn speech and language. In many cases, children gradually lose their hearing to become profoundly deaf over a long period of months to years, but scientists know very little about how this progressive loss happens, making prospects for prevention and cure very slim.

Over half the cases of childhood deafness are estimated to be due to defects in just one gene passed from either the mother or father, and many of these deafness genes have been identified. However, as the way we hear is so complicated, it has been really difficult to work out exactly how these genes cause such wholesale effects.

Dr John Oghalai, of Baylor College of Medicine in Texas, has been wrestling with this problem for his whole career. His work as a clinician, directing a busy team performing cochlear implants and corrective surgery on the ear and cranium, has armed him with crucial clinical insights which inform his laboratory's research into the causes and treatment of deafness. Together with a team spearheaded by postdoctoral fellow Anping Xia, he has now created mice which carry a mutation in one of the genes, called alpha tectorin, known to cause progressive childhood deafness.

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UK: You Really Can Be "Bored to Death," Study Shows

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© Corbis
Younger employees and those with menial jobs were more likely to feel bored.
It really is possible to be bored to death, scientists have found, after research showed those who live tedious lives are twice as likely to die young.

People who complain of "high levels" of boredom in their lives are at double the risk of dying from from heart disease or a stroke than those who find life entertaining, researchers at University College London found.

Of more than 7,000 civil servants who were monitored over 25 years, those who said they were bored were nearly 40 per cent more likely to have died by the end of the study than those who did not.

People who are bored are more likely to turn to unhealthy habits like drinking and smoking, which can cut their life-expectancy, the scientists said.

Family

UK: More People "Fear Losing Independence in Old Age than Death," Survey Says

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© Getty Images
People still wanted to remain independent in old age rather than be moved in to a care home, the study found.
More people are afraid of losing their independence in old age and being forced to move into a nursing home than they are of dying, a survey has found.

As elderly care becomes more expensive, more than two in three Britons fear becoming a burden on friends or family in their old age, it found.

While three in four people said they feared getting ill in their old age, just 29 per cent said they feared dying, according to the survey.

The research, from the national Disabled Living Foundation charity, also found almost half of people feared moving into an aged care facility.

The government has previously warned the health care system was facing a "time bomb" due to Britain's ageing population.

Newspaper

"Scandalous Abuse" of the Elderly Being Killed With Psychiatric Medications

Elderly dementia patients are being subjected to "scandalous abuse" by being drugged with dangerous antipsychotic drugs, according to a letter by ten influential health organizations, published in The Daily Telegraph.
"[One hundred thousand] people with dementia in care homes are being inappropriately prescribed a damaging chemical cosh of antipsychotic drugs and new research suggests that there is a significant problem in hospitals too," the letter reads. "Antipsychotics should only ever be a last resort. This over prescription is abuse and it must stop. ... We cannot stand by while this scandalous abuse of vulnerable citizens continues."
Although antipsychotic drugs are intended for people with medical conditions such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder and are not approved for the treatment of dementia, studies show that nursing homes and hospitals regularly prescribe them to these patients as sedatives, in order to make them easier for doctors and nurses to handle.

Family

UK: Primary Schoolgirls Getting Pregnant Aged 10

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© Alamy
Around 300 girls aged 13 or under get pregnant every year in England and Wales.
Primary schoolgirls as young as 10 are getting pregnant, according to new figures released under the Freedom of Information Act.

Since 2002, a total of 15 ten year olds and 39 aged 11 have fallen pregnant in England and Wales.

The figures come as a shock as until now the UK's youngest known mother, from Scotland, was 11 when she conceived and 12 when she gave birth.

And they could be higher still since the number of illegal abortions and miscarriages - more prevalent among very young women - are not known. Government statistics show 60 per cent of under-age pregnant girls have an abortion.

Around 300 girls aged 13 or under become pregnant every year in England and Wales.

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Soft Drink Consumption May Increase Risk of Pancreatic Cancer

Consuming two or more soft drinks per week increased the risk of developing pancreatic cancer by nearly twofold compared to individuals who did not consume soft drinks, according to a report in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research.

Although relatively rare, pancreatic cancer remains one of the most deadly, and only 5 percent of people who are diagnosed are alive five years later.

Mark Pereira, Ph.D., senior author on the study and associate professor in the School of Public Health at the University of Minnesota, said people who consume soft drinks on a regular basis, defined as primarily carbonated sugar-sweetened beverages, tend to have a poor behavioral profile overall.

However, the effect of these drinks on pancreatic cancer may be unique.