Health and Fitness News

Welcome to the Stars Hollow Gazette‘s Health and Fitness News weekly diary. It will publish on Saturday afternoon and be 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.

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Vegetable Soups Built for Maximum Flavor

Soup season has us in its wintry grip, and now is the time to give in to its demands. “Make more soup,” the wind insists as the sleet pelts down from the hoary sky.

There are many ways to accomplish this bone-warming task.

You could simmer loads of rich meats and grains into something stewlike and hearty. You could make a silky, sophisticated puréed soup, one leaning heavily on homemade chicken stock and plenty of cream to give it a satisfying richness.

Or you could worship what few local vegetables we’ve got this time of year and build your soup, letting the roots, shoots and alliums take command of the pot.

These three soups do just that. Instead of depending on meat or quarts of homemade stock for depth, they use a few simple techniques to build flavor in the pot. You’ll taste the pure essence of vegetables, coaxed to their maximum potential.

Golden Leek and Potato Soup

Most potato leek soups are smooth, creamy and decidedly on the richer side. This one doubles the ratio of leeks to potatoes, giving you something sweeter, chunkier and homier, brimming with soft pieces of potato and browned slivers of leeks.

Caramelized Kohlrabi Soup

When caramelized in the oven and simmered into soup, these hardy roots turn sweet and mellow, making for a comforting and cozy soup.

Mushroom-Spinach Soup With Middle Eastern Spices

For the most complex flavor, use several kinds of mushrooms and cook them until they are dark golden brown and well caramelized.


Asthma Boosts Abdominal Aneurysm Rupture Risk

Asthma patients over age 50 appear to have an increased risk for abdominal aortic aneurysm and sudden death from aneurysm rupture, and the risk increases with recent asthma activity, researchers reported.

Use of asthma medication was associated with a 45% greater risk for having an abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) in a cohort of men age 65 to 74.

And in a separate cohort of patients with AAA who were age 50 and older, a recent asthma diagnosis was associated with a two-fold increased risk for aortic aneurysm rupture, researcher Guo-Ping Shi, DSc, of Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston, and colleagues wrote in the journal Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology.

Zika virus may hide in organs protected from the immune system

The Zika virus may be particularly adept at entrenching itself in parts of the body that are shielded from the immune system, making it harder to fight off and possibly lengthening the timeframe in which it can be transmitted, top U.S. experts said on Friday.

Researchers reported that Zika virus can be detected in semen for 62 days after a person is infected, adding to evidence of the virus’s presence in fetal brain tissue, placenta and amniotic fluid. Their work is part of an international race to understand the risks associated with Zika, a rapidly spreading mosquito-borne virus thought to be linked to thousands of cases of birth defects in Brazil.

Hopkins scientists develop mini-brains in promising research

Researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health are growing tiny replicas of the human brain to help the study of neurological diseases in a trend many hope could lead to better treatments and even cures for some of the most debilitating illnesses.

The Hopkins scientists join a handful of other medical researchers around the country who are culturing so-called “mini-brains” in the lab. It’s a relatively new field of scientific inquiry that could revolutionize how new drugs are tested for effectiveness by replacing drug testing on lab animals with testing on human cells. This process could offer more accurate test results and help in the development of new, more effective drugs.

Feds Finally Take Action on Crumb Rubber Turf

Three federal agencies are teaming up to investigate the safety of crumb rubber artificial turf used in playing fields and playground all across the country — the subject of a series of NBC News reports.

The Environmental Protection Agency, the Centers for Disease Control and the Consumer Product Safety Commission announced an “action plan” on Friday to answer questions raised about synthetic turf made from recycled tires and possible risks for young athletes.

New Diagnostic Device “Smells” Prostate Cancer In Men’s Urine

A new device has successfully detected prostate cancer through “smelling” the illness using a gas chromatography sensor, a new study has shown.

Researchers from the United Kingdom hope that their findings could pave the way for a urine diagnostic test that could make invasive diagnostic procedures a thing of the past.

The study involved 155 men, 58 of which were diagnosed with prostate cancer, 24 with bladder cancer, and 73 with hematuria, which is non-cancerous poor urine stream. Results from the GC sensor system indicated that through detectable patterns of volatile compounds, urine samples can show the presence of urological cancers.