Health and Fitness News

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Welcome to the Health and Fitness News, a 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.

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

Five Fillings for Stuffed Peppers

Peppers photo pepperstopc600_zpsa2fd0924.jpg

Peppers are very low in calories (about 25 calories per cup), and red peppers in particular are an excellent source of vitamins C, A and B6, as well as a very good source of potassium and vitamin K. By weight, red bell peppers contain three times as much vitamin C as citrus fruit. They also contain lycopene, a carotenoid found in tomatoes and other red fruits and vegetables. Some research has suggested that lycopene helps fight certain kinds of cancer.

Peppers offer the cook endless possibilities. Roast them and they become a household staple, useful for snacks, salads and quick toppings for sandwiches and bruschetta. Fry or stew them, and they can be stirred into scrambled eggs and frittatas, risottos, pastas and pilafs. Uncooked peppers make a great, healthy snack, a crunchy vegetable that kids will eat.

~Martha Rose Shulman~

Stuffed Roasted Yellow Peppers or Red Peppers in Tomato Sauce

These roasted yellow peppers are filled with a savory mix of quinoa seasoned with garlic and parsley and tossed with Manchego or Parmesan cheese.

Fried Small Peppers Filled With Feta and Quinoa

The peppers that are traditionally used for this are small, thin-skinned green peppers that taper to a single tip.

Peppers Stuffed With Rice, Zucchini and Herbs

Make sure that you spoon the sauce left in the baking dish over the rice once the peppers are done.

Stuffed Peppers With Red Rice, Chard and Feta

This filling of red rice, greens and feta, seasoned with fresh mint, is hearty and works very nicely with red peppers.

Sweet and Sour Peppers Stuffed With Rice or Bulgur and Fennel

These sweet and sour peppers are great on their own, but they can also be filled.

General Medicine/Family Medical

High Out-of-Pocket Costs a Hidden ‘Side Effect’?

By Dennis Thompson HealthDay

Some doctors say it’s time to discuss financial aspects with patients

Oct. 16 (HealthDay News) — Doctors should consider the “toxic” effects of medical debt as much as any other side effect when discussing treatment options with patients, a trio of physicians contends.

By not making potential expense a part of the conversation regarding treatment options, doctors are exposing patients to financial troubles that could compound their health struggles, the Duke physicians wrote in an opinion piece in the Oct. 17 New England Journal of Medicine.

Meds That Prevent HIV Infection & Risky Behavior

By Mary Elizabeth Dallas HealthDay

HIV-negative people who know they’re protected do not increase their sexual risk-taking, research shows

Oct. 17 (HealthDay News) — HIV-negative heterosexuals who take drugs that protect them from contracting the AIDS virus from their HIV-positive partners don’t engage in more risky sexual behaviors, according to a new study.

Researchers from the University of Washington in Seattle found that knowing they are protected against HIV transmission doesn’t change how these people behave sexually or lead them to have sex without a condom more often.

The study is published in the Oct. 16 issue of the journal The Lancet Infectious Diseases.

Nosebleeds Common But Seldom Serious, Study Finds

By Dennis Thompson HealthDay

Most patients hospitalized for heavy bleeds need only minor treatment

Oct. 17 (HealthDay News) — Fewer than one in 10 people hospitalized for an unexplained nosebleed requires invasive treatment to stop the bleeding, a review of nationwide data has found.

About 38 percent of people with nosebleeds so bad they are admitted to the hospital wind up having their nosebleed resolved with little or no treatment, according to the study published online Oct. 17 in the journal JAMA Otolaryngology — Head & Neck Surgery.

Surgical Tools Too Often Left Behind in Patients

By Steven Reinberg HealthDay

Breakdowns in surgical team communication often at fault, watchdog group says

Oct. 17 (HealthDay News) — You go in for surgery, and only find out later that one of the surgeon’s tools — a sponge, a needle, a surgical implement — has been left behind in your body.

A rare occurrence? Not really, according to the watchdog group The Joint Commission, which is urging hospitals across America to find better ways to avoid the problem of “retained surgical items.”

“Leaving a foreign object after surgery is a well-known problem, but one that can be prevented,” Dr. Ana McKee, the commission’s executive vice president and chief medical officer, said during an early afternoon press briefing Thursday.

Study: Vitamin D Supplements May Not Raise Risk for Kidney Stones

By Mary Elizabeth Dallas HealthDay

However, researchers found age, weight and gender are factors

Oct. 17 (HealthDay News) — If fear of kidney stones is preventing you from using vitamin D supplements, a new study could ease your mind.

Taking vitamin D does not increase the risk for kidney stones, the study found. People’s age, gender and weight, however, may play a role in developing the condition.

Previous research suggested that adequate levels of vitamin D might help protect against a number of diseases, including certain forms of cancer.

Blood Test Shows Promise for Cancer Detection

By Randy Dotinga HealthDay

Check for early stage lung and prostate malignancies isn’t ‘perfect’, but could prove useful, clinicians say

Oct. 15 (HealthDay News) — Researchers say they’ve developed a blood test that can detect some cases of early stage lung and prostate cancer.

Although the test has limited accuracy and only a small number of people have tried it, it potentially could provide doctors more information when they suspect a patient has a tumor.

Study Sees Link Between Psoriasis, Kidney Problems

By Robert Preidt HealthDay

Researchers followed patients with chronic skin condition for 7 years

Oct. 15 (HealthDay News) — People with moderate to severe psoriasis are at increased risk for chronic kidney disease and need to be closely monitored for kidney problems, a large new study suggests.

Researchers in Philadelphia analyzed data from nearly 144,000 people, aged 19 to 90, with psoriasis, and a comparison (control) group of nearly 690,000 adults without the condition.

Diabetes With Heart Disease: Bypass vs. Angioplasty

By Serena Gordon HealthDay

Study found higher quality of life after bypass than with less-invasive angioplasty

Oct. 15 (HealthDay News) — Generally, the less invasive a surgical procedure is, the better. But, that’s not necessarily true for people with diabetes.

Recent research has found lower death rates and fewer heart attacks in people with diabetes who’ve undergone the open-heart procedure known as a coronary artery bypass graft (CABG), compared to those who had the less-invasive coronary angioplasty with stents. Angioplasty is also called percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI).

Now a new study of the same group of patients reports that they also have a better quality of life after the more-invasive bypass procedure.

Crohn’s, Colitis May Be Tied to Heart Risk

By Robert Preidt HealthDay

Review of previous studies finds link between inflammatory bowel disease and cardiovascular trouble

Oct. 14 (HealthDay News) — People with inflammatory bowel disease may be at increased risk for heart attack and stroke, a new study suggests.

Researchers analyzed data from more than 150,000 inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) patients who took part in nine studies. They found that these patients had a 10 percent to 25 percent increased risk of stroke and heart attack, and that this increased risk was more prevalent among women.

Plastics Chemicals Tied to Reproductive Woes

By Dennis Thompson HealthDay

Early studies found higher miscarriage rates in women, lowered fertility in men

Oct. 14 (HealthDay News) — Two plastics chemicals — bisphenol A (BPA) and phthalates — may reduce the reproductive ability of both men and women, according to a new pair of small, early studies.

Women with high levels of BPA in their blood have an 80 percent increased risk of miscarriage when compared to women with little or no BPA, reported study co-author Dr. Ruth Lathi.


‘Craze’ Sports Supplement Contains Meth-Like Substance: Report

Two popular supplements appear to contain a chemical similar to methamphetamine, according to an investigation by USA Today.

The products include the Craze pre-workout powder, made by New York-based Driven Sports, and a pill called Detonate, marketed as a diet aid by New Jersey-based Gaspari Nutrition. Both are marketed as containing only natural ingredients, the newspaper said, but its own analysis conducted in both the United States and South Korea found they contained an amphetamine-like compound called N,alpha-diethylphenylethylamine.

“These are basically brand-new drugs that are being designed in clandestine laboratories where there’s absolutely no guarantee of quality control,” Pieter Cohen, an assistant professor at Harvard Medical School and a co-author of the analysis of the Craze samples, told USA Today.

Tweaked Club Drug Shows Promise as Antidepressant

By Randy Dotinga HealthDay

But more research is needed on safety, long-term effectiveness and side effects, researchers say

Oct. 15 (HealthDay News) — The veterinary tranquilizer ketamine — perhaps better known as the illicit “club drug” Special K — may be reformulated for use as an antidepressant, and researchers report promising early findings.

The goal is to produce a ketamine-like drug without nasty side effects, such as hallucinations. In this new study, which researchers say is the most comprehensive of its kind, depressed people who took the drug reported improvement over three weeks.

High Smog Levels Tied to Serious Heart Problems

By Robert Preidt HealthDay

European study author calls for lower air-pollution threshold

Oct. 12 (HealthDay News) — High levels of particulate air pollution — commonly known as smog — raise the risk of heart attack and other serious heart problems, according to a new study.

Particulate air pollution refers to tiny particles in the air known as PM10. The European Union’s PM10 safety threshold is 50 micrograms per cubic meter (mcg/m3), but this study suggests that the harmful effects of PM10 may occur below that level.

Seasonal Flu/Other Epidemics/Disasters

Immune Protein Found to Block HIV Spread in Some

By Mary Elizabeth Dallas HealthDay

Cells’ second-line defense, found in a rare few, could cut need for long-term drug therapy, researchers say

Oct. 16 (HealthDay News) — One percent of people infected with HIV have a second line of defense deep in their immune system, which serves as a back-up for the body’s defenses that get wiped out by the virus, according to a new study.

These people, known as “controllers,” are able to maintain long-term control of HIV without a daily regimen of antiviral medication because of a defensive immune protein, known as A3, which blocks the virus from spreading throughout their body.

Scientists from Northwestern University suggested their findings could help shorten the drug treatment required for others who have HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.

Women’s Health

Multiple Egg Donations & Women’s Future Fertility

By Mary Elizabeth Dallas HealthDay

Additional research found frozen eggs are nearly as effective as fresh for IVF treatments

Oct. 16 (HealthDay News) — Undergoing multiple egg donations does not have a negative effect on women’s future fertility, according to a preliminary new study.

This was the case even when subsequent egg-donation cycles required significantly more gonadotropin — a drug used to stimulate ovulation — according to researchers from Weill Cornell Medical College, in New York City.

Cinnamon May Help Ease Common Cause of Infertility

By Maureen Salamon HealthDay

Spice supplements appeared to improve menstrual cycles in small group of women

Oct. 16 (HealthDay News) — Cinnamon has long been used to add flavor to sweet and savory foods. Now, preliminary research suggests the spice may also help jump-start irregular menstrual cycles in women affected by a common infertility disorder.

A small study by researchers from Columbia University Medical Center in New York City found that women with polycystic ovary syndrome who took inexpensive daily cinnamon supplements experienced nearly twice the menstrual cycles over a six-month period as women with the syndrome given an inactive placebo. Two of the women in the treated group reported spontaneous pregnancies during the trial.

Popular Morning Sickness Drug Safe in Pregnancy: Study

By Dennis Thompson HealthDay

Women taking metoclopramide can be reassured by the findings, expert says

Oct. 15 (HealthDay News) — The anti-nausea medication metoclopramide appears to be a safe and effective treatment for morning sickness, Danish researchers report.

More than 40,000 women exposed to metoclopramide while pregnant did not face any increased risk of birth defects or miscarriage, according to a study published Oct. 16 in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

New Test May Spot Which Embryos Stand Greatest Chance of Survival

By Dennis Thompson HealthDay

Measuring mitochondria in cells better predicted success rate with in vitro fertilization, study says

Oct. 14 (HealthDay News) — Doctors have unveiled a new test for determining which embryos have the best chance of survival.

The amount of mitochondria found in the cells of an embryo appeared to be a marker of its health, doctors reported Monday at the International Federation of Fertility Societies and American Society for Reproductive Medicine annual meeting in Boston. Research presented at meetings is considered preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed medical journal.

Women in Labor May Be Fine Taking in Nourishment

By Serena Gordon HealthDay

Those who got protein shake fared no worse than women given ice chips only, researchers say

Oct. 12 (HealthDay News) — There may be good news for moms-to-be: A new study finds that women in labor and delivery may not have to forgo all nutrition or rely solely on ice chips to rehydrate, as is typically the case now.

Researchers say that allowing women to drink a protein shake during labor actually led to higher satisfaction rates among the laboring moms

Men’s Health

Did Recession Lead to Increase in Vasectomies?

By Kathleen Doheny HealthDay

Wisconsin researchers found link between economy and procedure rates, but another expert says it’s not proof

Oct. 15 (HealthDay News) — The financial crisis of 2008 and lingering economic woes are having an impact on men’s reproductive decisions, new research suggests.

“With the current recession, it’s pushing more guys to get a vasectomy done,” said study author Dr. Anand Shridharani, a men’s reproductive and sexual health specialist at Erlanger Health System, in Knoxville, Tenn.

Exercise Might Boost Men’s Sperm Counts

By Dennis Thompson HealthDay

Meanwhile, other research saw no fertility effects from caffeine, alcohol

Oct. 14 (HealthDay News) — Exercise may boost a man’s sperm count, and therefore may improve a couple’s chances of conception, according to a new study.

In particular, men who lift weights or spend time working or exercising outdoors tended to have a higher-than-average sperm concentration in their semen, said study co-author Audrey Gaskins, a doctoral student at the Harvard School of Public Health.

Pediatric Health

Irregular Bedtimes & Behavior Problems in Kids

By Serena Gordon HealthDay

But, setting a consistent bedtime can get children back on track, researcher says

Oct. 14 (HealthDay News) — A regular bedtime might guarantee more than a good night’s sleep for both kids and their parents — it turns out that a regular bedtime can make for a better-behaved child, new research suggests.

When 7-year-olds had irregular bedtimes, they were more likely to have behavior problems than their peers with a consistent time for their nightly shut-eye. And, the study also found that the longer a child had been able to go to bed at different times each night, the worse his or her behavior problems were.

U.S. Teens More Vulnerable to Genital Herpes: Study

By Steven Reinberg HealthDay

They may have lower levels of protective antibodies to the virus than in years past

Oct. 17 (HealthDay News) — Today’s teens may be at higher risk than ever of contracting genital herpes because they don’t have enough immune system antibodies to shield them against the sexually transmitted virus, a new study suggests.

This increase in risk may be the result of fewer teens being exposed in childhood to the herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1), a common cause of cold sores, researchers reported Oct. 17 in the online edition of the Journal of Infectious Diseases.

Doc Dispels Common Myths About Head Lice

By Mary Elizabeth Dallas HealthDay

Parents should be reassured that personal hygiene has nothing to do with the problem

Oct. 18 (HealthDay News) — Although lice do not cause serious physical harm, they can result in a lot of emotional distress because many people still mistakenly believe they are a sign of poor hygiene, an expert explains.

Head lice bite into the scalp to feed on blood, but these bites are usually not painful. Still, a lice infestation can strike fear in families for a number of reasons, including the stigma of being deemed “dirty.”

A lice infestation, however, is not a reflection of a person’s cleanliness, according to Dr. Andrew Bonwit, a pediatric infectious disease expert at Loyola University Health System in Illinois.


Hardening of Arteries & Alzheimer’s Plaques Linked

By Robert Preidt HealthDay

Study of patients in their 80s looked at plaque deposits in their brains

Oct. 16 (HealthDay News) — Elderly people with hardening of the arteries are more likely to have brain plaques associated with Alzheimer’s disease, a new study says.

The study included 91 people, average age 87, who did not have dementia and underwent scans to assess any beta-amyloid plaques in their brains. The degree of stiffness of their arteries was checked about two years later.

Half of the participants had brain plaques and these people were more likely to have high systolic blood pressure (the top number that shows the amount of pressure on blood vessels when the heart beats), higher average blood pressure and greater arterial stiffness.


How Much Alcohol In Your Drink? Stronger Beverages Make It Tough to Tell

By Brenda Goodman HealthDay

A glass of wine at a restaurant may be 50 percent more potent than you think, experts warn

Oct. 15 (HealthDay News) — Thanks to rising alcohol levels in wine and beer, the drinks served in bars and restaurants are often more potent than people realize, a new report shows.

As a result, even conscientious drinkers who stick to a strict one- or two-drink limit could easily find themselves beyond the legal limit for driving or accidentally consuming more alcohol than they want to for good health.

The National Alcohol Beverage Control Association released the new report online Tuesday.

1 comment

    • TMC on October 25, 2013 at 22:42

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