Health and Fitness News

Welcome to the Health and Fitness 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. If you are currently having medical treatment and it has been affecting you in a bad way, you need to go to a doctor and get yourself tested, your medical drug could be defective, if this is true you could possibly have a case to put forward, contacting defective drug lawyers may be your second step. Take care of yourselves and be vigilant to what you are taking.

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

A Better Way to Serve Eggs


If you avoid eggs because you think they’re bad for you, you should reconsider. It was never clear that dietary cholesterol had a significant impact on heart health; saturated fat in the diet is thought to be a bigger culprit (how big is also a matter of dispute these days). The government’s new dietary guidelines acknowledge as much, advising that eating an egg every day will not affect blood cholesterol or cardiovascular health.

Onion and Thyme Frittata

Frittata With Grated Zucchini, Goat Cheese and Dill

Ricotta and Spinach Frittata With Mint

Carrot and Leek Frittata With Tarragon

Spinach and Red Pepper Frittata

General Medicine/Family Medical

  • Music and Laughter May Help Lower Blood Pressure

    By  Bil Hendrick

    Study Suggests Music and Laughter Sessions May Be Another Way to Reduce Hypertension

    March 25, 2011 — Middle-aged men and women may be able to lower their blood pressure readings by laughing more and listening to music they enjoy, new research indicates.

    Researchers at Osaka University in Japan set out to determine whether music and laughter interventions would reduce blood pressure in one of two situations: immediately after listening to music or laughing and after three months of one-hour interventions that took place once every two weeks.

  • Mini-Strokes’ May Increase Risk of Heart Attack

    By Denice Mann

    Study Shows Transient Ischemic Attacks Are Linked to Greater Risk of Heart Attack

    March 24, 2011 — “Mini-strokes” or transient ischemic attacks (TIAs) are known to increase risk for stroke, and now new research shows that they may also double your risk for heart attack.

    The findings appear in the journal Stroke.

  • New Pancreatic Cancer Treatment Activates Immune System

    By Kathleen Dohenny

    In Early Study, Strategy Shrank Tumors in Some Patients

    March 24, 2011 — A novel approach to pancreatic cancer treatment that activates the immune system works in some patients, according to a new study.

    The treatment works by destroying the ”scaffolding” around cancer cells, says researcher Robert H. Vonderheide, MD, DPhil, an associate professor of medicine in the division of hematology/oncology and the Abramson Family Cancer Research Institute, University of Pennsylvania.

  • New Muscular Dystrophy Treatment Offers Hope

    By Daniel J. DeNooon

    Study Shows Patients With Duchenne’s Muscular Dystrophy Are Walking Better With PRO051 Treatment

    March 23, 2011 — Exciting findings from an early-stage clinical trial offer new hope to patients with Duchenne’s muscular dystrophy, the most common but incurable and devastating form of muscular dystrophy.

    Patients who received three months of weekly injections with PRO051 had a modest improvement in their ability to walk, reports a research team led by Judith C. van Deutekom, PhD, vice president for discovery at Prosensa Therapeutics, which funded the study.

  • Asthma May Raise Risk of Diabetes, Heart Disease

    By Denise Mann

    Study Shows Link Between People With Asthma and Diabetes, Heart Risk

    March 21, 2011 — Asthma may increase your risk of developing diabetes and heart disease, shows new research presented at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology in San Francisco.

    The common denominator between these conditions appears to be inflammation, according to researchers led by Young J. Juhn, MD, MPH, of the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn.

  • Stem Cell Transplants May Treat Aggressive MS

    By Brenda Goodman

    Study Shows Improvements in MS Patients Who Replace Bone Marrow With Stem CellsMarch 21, 2011 — Replacing bone marrow with the body’s own stem cells may help patients with aggressive forms of multiple sclerosis (MS) go for years without seeing their disease progress, a new study shows.

    Researchers in Greece are following a group of 35 patients who received experimental stem cell transplants for multiple sclerosis.

  • Melanoma Rates May Be Higher for the Rich

    By Salynn Boyles

    Study Shows Link Between Melanoma and Higher Income Levels

    March 21, 2011 — Many lifestyle-related cancers disproportionately affect the poor, but new research finds the opposite to be true for the most lethal form of skin cancer: melanoma.

    In a California study, non-Hispanic, white teens and young women living in the most affluent neighborhoods were nearly six times as likely to be diagnosed with melanoma as white teens and young women living in the poorest neighborhoods.

  • Working with mustard gas linked to lung cancer

    By Amy Norton

    (Reuters Health) – Workers involved in mustard-gas production during the World War II era showed heightened odds of lung cancer at a relatively young age — with the excess risk fading in old age, a new study finds.

    Japanese researchers found that of workers employed at a poisonous-gas factory between 1929 and 1945, those directly involved in producing mustard gas saw their risk of lung cancer, while still rare, increase earlier in life compared with other workers.

  • Mysterious digestive disease peaks in the summer

    By Kerry Grens

    (Reuters Health) – Summertime sees the greatest number of patients hospitalized for a common and sometimes painful digestive problem called diverticulitis, a new study finds.

    The results are puzzling researchers already stumped by this disease.

  • Work problems from arthritis may come and go

    By Amy Norton

    (Reuters Health) – Many people with arthritis have periodic difficulties on the job, but the problems might not make them less productive, a new study suggests.

    And in many cases, simple changes in the workplace can be helpful.

  • Warnings/Alerts/Guidelines

  • Delta Cribs recall re-announced after infant death

    By Wendell Marsh

    WASHINGTON Reuters) – The Consumer Product Safety Commission re-announced on Tuesday the recall of Delta Enterprise “Safety Peg” Drop-Side cribs after a second infant death associated with the crib.

    The original 2008 recall included more than 985,000 drop-side cribs. CPSC said in the original recall that cribs where safety pegs were missing could cause entrapment and suffocation.

  • WHO sees Japan food safety situation as “serious”

    By Sui-Lee Wee

    (Reuters) – China and South Korea announced on Monday they will toughen checks of Japanese food for radioactivity, hours after the World Health Organization said the detection of radiation in some food in Japan was a more serious problem than it had expected.

    China will monitor food imported from Japan for signs of radiation, state news agency Xinhua reported, citing the national quality watchdog, while South Korea will widen radiation inspections to dried agricultural and processed food from fresh agricultural produce.

  • Study: Spiriva Beats Serevent for COPD Flare-ups

    By Denice Mann

    Drug Is More Effective at Preventing Flare-ups of Chronic Pulmonary Obstructive Disease

    March 23, 2011 — Once-daily Spiriva (tiotropium) may be more effective at reducing risk for exacerbations among people with moderate to severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) than Serevent (salmeterol), a new study shows.

    The findings are published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

  • Xolair May Treat Milk Allergy in Kids

    By Brenda Goodman

    Study Shows Xolair May Be Effective for Children Who Are Severely Allergic to Milk

    March 21, 2011 — A small new study suggests that children with severe milk allergies may be able to rapidly overcome their sensitivities with the help of a biologic drug that helps to quiet an overly aggressive immune response.

    The study appears to be so promising that if larger trials, which are under way, are able to duplicate the results, the drug, Xolair, might become the first treatment to help the increasing numbers of kids who react to common foods like milk, egg, or peanuts.

  • FDA Approves New Melanoma Treatment Yervoy

    By Danial J. DeNoon

    First Drug to Extend Survival in Late-Stage Skin Cancer

    March 25, 2011 — The FDA has approved Bristol-Myers’ Yervoy for the treatment of late-stage, metastatic melanoma, a deadly skin cancer.

    Yervoy (ipilimumab) is the first drug ever shown to help late-stage melanoma patients live longer. However, it does not cure the disease.

  • Strattera May Treat ADHD in Some Young Kids

    By Denise Mann

    Study Shows Non-stimulant Drug Is Effective for Some Kids Aged 6 and Younger

    March 21, 2011 — The non-stimulant ADHD drug Strattera (atomextine) is approved for children aged 6 and older, but until now little was known about how this medication affects children younger than 6.

    In a new eight-week study of 101 children aged 5 to 6 with ADHD, the drug was safe and reduced some ADHD symptoms in children, according to reports by their parents and teachers.

  • Seasonal Flu/Other Epidemics/Disasters

  • U.S. misses goal of wiping out TB by 2010

    By Julie Steenhuysen

    (Reuters) – Despite steady improvements, the United States has failed to make its goal of eradicating tuberculosis by 2010, government researchers said on Thursday.

    U.S. TB rates last year fell to 11,181 reported cases, or 3.6 cases per 100,000 people, a one-year drop of 3.9 percent and an all-time low since national reporting began in 1953, according to a report by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

  • Radiation fears mount again in Japan after plant workers injured

    By Mayumi Negishi and Kazunori Takada

    (Reuters) – Radiation fears escalated in Japan on Friday after workers suffered burns as they tried to cool an earthquake-crippled nuclear plant, while the government sowed confusion over whether it was widening an evacuation zone around the facility.

    Prime Minister Naoto Kan, making his first public statement on the crisis in a week, said the situation at the Fukushima nuclear power complex north of Tokyo was not getting worse but described it as “nowhere near the point” of being resolved.

  • Japan post-tsunami humanitarian relief turns corner

    By Chisa Fujioka and Jon Herskovitz

    (Reuters) – Food aid is flowing, refugees are restoring daily routines, and even mobile banks are appearing in north Japan as the nation rallies around victims of the March 11 double disaster.

    Nearly two weeks after an earthquake and tsunami plunged the Asian nation into its worst crisis since World War II, an increasingly thorough and successful humanitarian relief operation is replacing the scenes of suffering and devastation.

  • Aid organizations struggle to bring help to Libya

    By Adam Tanner

    (Reuters) – International aid organisations are struggling to deliver humanitarian aid supplies to areas of Libya most affected by fighting, but have managed to bring in a few shipments in low-profile operations, aid officials say.

    Many officials say the most dire need is in Misrata, Libya’s third largest city where the main hospital is inundated with wounded yet does nit have electricity or water.

  • Libyans lack food, health care: aid agencies

    By Stephanie Nebehay

    (Reuters) – Libyans increasingly lack access to medical care and life-saving drugs, and food prices are rocketing as the conflict deepens, aid agencies said on Tuesday.

    Most of Libya remains off limits to aid workers, who say they have sketchy information about the humanitarian situation, especially since Western air strikes began at the weekend.

  • Women’s Health

  • Pregnancy complication deaths drop, but not equally

    By Genevra Pittman

    (Reuters Health) – Deaths from a dangerous pregnancy complication in which the embryo implants outside the womb have decreased in recent decades, according to a new study.

    However, the authors found that the chance of dying from an ectopic pregnancy is almost seven times higher in black women than white women.

  • Heart drug linked to higher breast cancer risk

    By Geneva Pittman

    (Reuters Health) – Women taking the heart drug digoxin have an increased risk of breast cancer, according to a study of more than 2 million Danes.

    Digoxin, marketed as Lanoxin and Digitek, is used by people with heart failure or with abnormal heart beats. But it can also act like the female hormone estrogen in the body, leading researchers to wonder if it might up cancer risk the same way estrogen treatment does in older women.

  • Five years on breast cancer drug tamoxifen beats two

    By Frederik Joelving

    (Reuters Health) – A new study has a bit of good news for most women who’ve had breast cancer surgery.

    It turns out that sticking with the older and relatively cheap drug tamoxifen for the recommended 5 years instead of just 2 will cut the risk of having the cancer return.

  • Rheumatoid arthritis makes getting pregnant harder

    By Amy Norton

    (Reuters Health) – Women with rheumatoid arthritis may have a somewhat harder time becoming pregnant, a new study suggests.

    The study, of more than 68,000 pregnant women, showed that those with rheumatoid arthritis generally had a tougher time conceiving compared to women without the disease.

  • Fertility treatment can use semen from men with HIV

    By Genevra Pittman

    (Reuters Health) – Fertility treatments can be done safely and effectively in couples where the man is infected with the AIDS virus and the women isn’t, according to a new review of past studies.

    Over the last 2 decades, researchers have improved methods of “washing” the semen of men infected with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. Unwashed semen could pass HIV to the woman or their baby.

  • Men’s Health

  • Cosmetic Surgery on the Rise in Men

    By Bill Hendrick

    Study Shows Increase in Facelifts, Ear Surgery, and Soft Tissue Filler

    March 21, 2011 — Growing numbers of male baby boomers are fighting harder than ever against the effects of aging by enthusiastically embracing facelifts, liposuction, and other cosmetic surgical procedures aimed at making them look younger, new research suggests.

    While overall cosmetic surgery procedures in men rose 2% in 2010 over the previous year, many types of operations, such as facelifts, increased dramatically, says a new report by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.

  • Testosterone gel shows effects on diabetes

    (Reuters Health) – Testosterone treatment appears to improve the underlying problem in some men with type 2 diabetes, according to a study funded by UK drugmaker ProStrakan.

    The problem — called “insulin resistance” — is that the body doesn’t know how to use insulin to process sugar. Researchers found that applying testosterone in a gel reduced this problem in diabetic men who had low levels of testosterone to begin with, or in similar men without diabetes but with a cluster of heart disease risk factors called metabolic syndrome.

  • Pediatric Health

  • Hearing screening misses some deaf kids

    By Geneva Pittman

    (Reuters Health) – Passing a newborn hearing test is no guarantee against deafness, U.S. researchers say.

    They found nearly a third of kids with cochlear implants — a device that transmits sound directly to the auditory nerve — had initially checked out on mandatory screening.

  • Epileptic Kids Have More Psychiatric Symptoms

    BY Salynn Boyles

    Girls With Epilepsy Have More Depression, Boys More ADHD, Study Finds

    March 25, 2011 — Children with epilepsy are at increased risk of having psychiatric problems, with girls more likely to exhibit symptoms linked to depression and anxiety and boys more likely to have symptoms of ADHD and difficulty getting along with peers, new research suggests.

    In the study, epilepsy was a stronger risk factor for psychiatric problems than poverty, living with a single parent, or having another chronic disease. The study examined children with and without epilepsy living in Norway.

  • Teen ER Visits Due to Ecstasy Are on the Rise

    By Bill Hendrick

    Study Shows More Than 17,000 ER Visits by Teens and Young Adults Because of Drug Ecstasy

    March 24, 2011 — Ecstasy use is rising among teens and young adults, causing a significant increase in emergency room visits by users of the street drug, a new federal study shows.

    Hospital emergency department visits involving ecstasy increased from 10,222 in 2004 to 17,865 in 2008, a 74.8% increase.

  • Birth Order May Affect Risk of Allergies

    By Jennifer Warner

    Study Suggests First-Born Children Are More Likely to Have Allergies

    March 21, 2011 — First-born children may be more likely to develop certain types of allergies than their younger brothers or sisters, a study suggests.

    Researchers found the prevalence of several types of allergies, such as allergic rhinitis (hay fever or seasonal allergies), allergic conjunctivitis (eye inflammation due to allergies), and food allergy decreased as birth order increased in a large group of Japanese schoolchildren.

  • More boys than girls wet their beds

    By Leigh Krietsch Boerner

    (Reuters Health) – About five in 100 kids wet the bed at night, but boys are more than twice as likely to do it than girls, a new study says.

    In a study of about more than 6,000 children, researchers found that about seven out of 100 boys and three out of 100 girls wet their beds at least once a month.

  • Aging

  • FDA: Shingles Vaccine OK at Age 50 and Up

    By Daniel J. DeNoon

    Merck’s Zostavax Vaccine Approved for 50-Somethings

    March 24, 2011 – People age 50 and older can now get Merck’s Zostavax shingles vaccine, the FDA today ruled.

    The vaccine already was approved for people age 60 and older. The approval is based on a Merck clinical trial that showed the vaccine to be about 70% effective in preventing shingles in the younger age group.

  • Nutrition/Diet/Fitness

  • ‘Added Sugar’ May Add to Weight Gain in U.S.

    By Brenda Goodman

    Study Sees Link Between Weight Gain and Eating Foods With Sugar Added to Ingredients

    March 24, 2011 — Researchers taking nutritional snapshots of the population around a major metropolitan area for more than 30 years say they’ve noticed something interesting: as consumption of added sugars has increased, so too, have body weights.

    Researchers parsing the myriad reasons for America’s collective growing girth have looked at the contributions of total calories and fat, experts say, but less is known about what role added sugars might play.

  • Cocoa Rich in Health Benefits

    By Bill Hendrick

    Cocoa Consumption May Decrease Blood Pressure, Improve Cholesterol, Researchers Say

    March 23, 2011 — Cocoa, used throughout history as a folk medicine, may actually have significant health benefits, according to a new study by Harvard researchers.

    Their analysis of 21 studies with 2,575 participants shows that cocoa consumption is associated with decreased blood pressure, improved blood vessel health, and improvement in cholesterol levels, among other benefits.

  • Breakfast Cereals Play Role in Lower Heart Risk

    By Brenda Goodman

    Studies Suggest Whole Grains and Dietary Fiber in Cereals May Cut Hypertension Risk

    March 22, 2011 — High intake of whole-grain cereal is linked to a lower risk of high blood pressure and hefty helpings of dietary fiber are linked to a lower risk of heart disease, especially for young and middle-aged adults, new studies show.

    Breakfast cereal, in particular, may be an important way to fill up on both whole grains and dietary fiber.

  • Unhealthy Diet Raises Heart Risk for Obese Teens

    By Bill Hendrick

    Study Shows Obese Teens Don’t Eat Enough Vegetables, Dairy, and Fiber

    March 22, 2011 — Obese teens don’t have enough fresh produce, dairy products, or fiber in their diets and may be more likely than normal-weight teens to develop heart and other health problems, new research indicates.

    This doesn’t mean they don’t feel well as youngsters, but that their diets aren’t good for long-term good health.

  • Exercise, Sex Can Boost Heart Attack Risk

    By Kathleen Dohenny

    Overall, Increased Heart Risk Is Small, Especially for Regular Exercisers, Experts Say

    March 22, 2011 — Exercise and sex can boost the risk of heart attack and sudden cardiac death, according to a new report, although the increased risk is small and transient, the researchers say.

    The risk is higher for those who are occasional exercisers compared to habitual exercisers, says researcher Issa Dahabreh, MD, a research associate at the Center for Clinical Evidence Synthesis, Institute for Clinical Research and Health Policy Studies at Tufts Medical Center in Boston.

  • Exercise May Cut Salt’s Effect on Blood Pressure

    By Brenda Goodman

    Study Shows Physical Activity Helps Keep Blood Pressure From Rising in Response to a High-Salt Diet

    March 23, 2011 — Regular exercise and a low-sodium diet are two lifestyle changes that are often recommended to lower high blood pressure.

    Now a new study shows that one appears to influence the other.

  • Sleepy People Overeat

    By Daniel J. DeNoon

    Study: Too Little Sleep Makes You Eat More Fatty Foods

    March 23, 2011 — People who get too little sleep tend to overeat, a Columbia University study suggests.

    And sleepy, hungry people don’t make wise food choices, find Marie-Pierre St-Onge, PhD, and colleagues at New York Obesity Research Center.

    “Short sleep may make you more susceptible to overeating,” St-Onge tells WebMD via email. “Keep that in mind when trying to manage your weight.”

  • Counting carbs may help with type 1 diabetes

    By Amy Norton

    (Reuters Health) – Tallying the number of carbohydrates in the diet may be helpful to people using an insulin pump to treat type 1 diabetes, a small study suggests.

    The study, of 61 adults on insulin pump therapy, found that those who learned to count carbs had a small reduction in weight and waist size after 6 months.

  • Facial expressions, weight may sway kids’ eating

    By Amy Norton

    (Reuters Health) – If you want your kids to eat their broccoli, you might try smiling when you eat your own veggies, a small study suggests.

    The French research team asked 120 adults and children to look at various photos of people eating. In the kids, the effect of the photos was much more complicated than in the adults.



      • TMC on March 30, 2011 at 18:27
    1. that dietary cholesterol is poorly absorbed by most folks, and thus that the myth that eggs are bad for you because of the cholesterol in them.  Most of the body burden of cholesterol is actually produced in vivo by the liver acting on saturated fats, and the bacon grease in which many folks cook their eggs is the larger culprit in many cases.

      A typical large egg contains around 2 grams of saturated fat, around 10% of the RDA.  Cooked in a teaspoon (close to 5 grams)of bacon grease, the saturated fat content over doubles, although when more than one eggs is cooked the relative contribution of the saturated fat from the added grease decreases.

      The statin drugs work by interfering with the metabolism in the liver that converts saturated fats to cholesterol.  Some are of the opinion that this amounts to liver damage, and it appears to be true in rare cases if one parses the words very loosely.  I personally am suspect of any drug that, as part of its protocol, requires liver function testing, but in the case of these drugs the benefits MIGHT outweigh the risks, although I am still not completely convinced.

      Tomorrow night comes another installment of My Little Town, and Friday night comes Popular Culture, this time the wretched Pat Boone.

      Warmest regards,


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