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June 26, 2006, 8:03 PM CT

Pork Rivals Chicken In Terms Of Leanness

Pork Rivals Chicken In Terms Of Leanness
Pork. The Other White Meat® is one of the most recognized advertising slogans ever created, and new research announced recently solidifies this well-known description with scientific backing.

The new research, presented at the Institute of Food Technologists annual meeting, revealed a surprising fact: pork tenderloin is just as lean as the leanest type of chicken - a skinless chicken breast. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) analysis found that pork tenderloin contains only 2.98 grams of fat per 3-ounce serving1, compared to 3.03 grams of fat in a 3-ounce serving of skinless chicken breast.2 Pork tenderloin meets government guidelines for "extra lean" status.

"These new data illustrate how pork is changing to meet consumers' concerns about fat content," said Ceci Snyder, MS, RD, Assistant Vice President of Consumer Marketing for the National Pork Board. "Some of the more common cuts of pork you can find in today's meat case are now lower in fat and saturated fat because America's pork producers have improved feeding and breeding practices to deliver the leaner products that consumers demand."

In other words, pigs have gone on a diet. On average, six common cuts of pork are 16 percent leaner than 15 years ago, and saturated fat has dropped 27 percent.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Permalink         Source


June 26, 2006, 7:23 PM CT

Building a better brain

Building a better brain
In the modern world in which your children play with all kinds of flashy toys, have access to expensive classes and a number of music compilations promising to make your child smarter, it's hard to sort out the best way to help your child's brain thrive. A recently published policy paper helps put those worries to rest. This is the essence of the paper: what kids need is a secure relationship with adults who adore them.

"It's all about playing with your child," said Eric Knudsen, PhD, the Edward C. and Amy H. Sewall Professor in the Stanford University School of Medicine, succinctly summing up a paper coming out in the June 27 advance online issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. A child's eventual ability to learn calculus or a second language, he explained, starts with the neurons that are shaped by positive interactions with nurturing adults.

The piece, written by Knudsen and three other members of the National Scientific Council on the Developing Child including Nobel Prize-winning economist James Heckman, PhD, doesn't just ease parents' toy-buying decisions - it lays out the scientific basis for why helping all kids have the best early experiences is good economic policy.

Their argument is based on work from the diverse fields of economics, neurobiology, developmental psychology and public policy. Working independently, the four authors each came to the conclusion that the earliest years of life forever shape an adult's ability to learn. Eventhough much research has been published on the value of positive early experiences, this paper pulls those strands together into an integrated message that the group hopes will help guide public policy in the future. They've already influenced legislation in Washington state and Nebraska and have begun working with lawmakers around the country with a nonpartisan partner, the National Conference of State Legislatures.........

Posted by: Janet      Permalink         Source


June 24, 2006, 11:48 PM CT

Role of Environment in Women's Smoking

Role of Environment in Women's  Smoking
Scientists have long known that reasons for smoking include social pressure and other environmental factors, as well as genetic factors based on results of prior twin studies. Now a more comprehensive study of twins by scientists at the University of Southern California (USC) has provided a better understanding of these complex influences. They found that women are far more likely than men to start smoking because of environmental factors, whereas genetic factors appear to play a larger role in influencing men to start smoking.

However, the study, which appears in the current issue of the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention, found no differences between the sexes in factors correlation to continued smoking, which appeared to be strongly influenced by genetics. The study, entitled "Gender Differences In Determinants of Smoking Initiation and Persistence in California Twins," looked at factors that influenced twins to start smoking and to continue smoking.

With regard to starting smoking, there was a significant difference between men and women, said Ann Hamilton, assistant professor of preventive medicine at the Keck School of Medicine of USC and lead author on the study. "Heritability, which reflects factors correlation to genetic effects, was stronger in men; however, among men who communicated with each other at least weekly, the heritable effect was reduced. This may indicate that the heritable effect in men could be overestimated or able to be affected by environmental factors."........

Posted by: Janet      Permalink         Source


June 22, 2006, 9:57 PM CT

Cherry Juice May Prevent Muscle Damage Pain

Cherry Juice May Prevent Muscle Damage Pain
The familiar "no pain, no gain" phrase commonly associated with exercise may be a thing of the past if results from a study on cherry juice published recently in the online version of the British Journal of Sports Medicine prove true in future research.

Historically, many approaches to prevent exercise-induced muscle pain and damage have been examined, but few have been effective. Declan Connolly, associate professor of education and director of the human performance laboratory at the University of Vermont and his colleagues at New York's Nicholas Institute of Sports Medicine and Athletic Trauma and Cornell University, evaluated the efficacy of a fresh, highly-concentrated, specially- processed tart cherry juice blend in preventing the symptoms of muscle damage in a randomized, placebo-controlled study in 14 male college students.

"The anti-inflammatory properties of cherry juice have been examined before, but the focus of this research was on a new area - muscle damage repair," said Connolly. "Only two species of mammals suffer this type of muscle damage - horses and humans".

The study participants were asked to either drink a bottle of the cherry juice blend twice a day for three days before exercise and for four days afterwards, or to drink a placebo juice containing no cherries. The 12-ounce bottle of juice contained the liquid equivalent of 50 to 60 tart cherries blended with commercially available apple juice.........

Posted by: Mark      Permalink         Source


June 22, 2006, 9:31 PM CT

Music Enhances Intelligence

Music Enhances Intelligence
A recent volume of the Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences takes a closer look at how music evolved and how we respond to it. Contributors to the volume think that animals such as birds, dolphins and whales make sounds analogous to music out of a desire to imitate each other. This ability to learn and imitate sounds is a trait necessary to acquire language and researchers feel that a number of of the sounds animals make may be precursors to human music.

Another study in the volume looks at whether music training can make individuals smarter. Researchers found more grey matter in the auditory cortex of the right hemisphere in musicians compared to nonmusicians. They feel these differences are probably not genetic, but instead due to use and practice.

Listening to classical music, especially Mozart, has recently been thought to enhance performance on cognitive tests. Contributors to this volume take a closer look at this assertion and their findings indicate that listening to any music that is personally enjoyable has positive effects on cognition. In addition, the use of music to enhance memory is explored and research suggests that musical recitation enhances the coding of information by activating neural networks in a more united and thus more optimal fashion.........

Posted by: Janet      Permalink         Source


June 22, 2006, 8:55 PM CT

Genetics Facts For Alzheimer's Disease

Genetics Facts For Alzheimer's Disease
Researchers do still not fully understand what causes Alzheimer's disease (AD). However, the more they learn about AD, the more they become aware of the important function genes* play in the development of this devastating disease.

*Click the terms in bold italics for definitions in Key Terms at the end of this fact sheet.

Genes

All living things are made up of basic units called cells, which are so tiny that you can only see them through the lens of a strong microscope. Most of the billions of cells in the human body have one nucleus that acts as a control center, housing our 23 pairs of chromosomes. A chromosome is a thread-like structure found in the cell's nucleus, which can carry hundreds, sometimes thousands, of genes. In humans, one of each pair of 23 chromosomes is inherited from each parent. The genetic material on these chromosomes is collectively referred to as the human genome. Researchers now think that there are about 30,000 genes in the human genome. Genes direct almost every aspect of the construction, operation, and repair of all living things. For example, genes contain information that determines eye and hair color and other traits inherited from our parents. In addition, genes ensure that we have two hands and can use them to do things, like play the piano.........

Posted by: Daniel      Permalink         Source


June 22, 2006, 8:47 PM CT

Risk Of Being Fired Near Retirement

Risk Of Being Fired Near Retirement
Involuntary job loss near retirement more than doubles the risk of heart attack and stroke, scientists at Yale School of Medicine report in a major national study published in Occupational and Environmental Medicine.

The results are based on 10-year observations of 4,301 individuals between age 51 and 61 out of which 582 had lost their jobs during that period. The study is the extension of an earlier study, in which the same sample was tracked for six years. The earlier research indicated heightened risk of stroke, but not a definitive link between job loss and heart attacks.

"With longer follow-up and heart attack and stroke events, we were able to better assess the association between employment separation and the medical outcomes," said William T. Gallo, the lead author of the study and associate research scientist in the Department of Epidemiology and Public Health at Yale School of Medicine.

The scientists used 10 years of data from the nationally representative Health and Retirement Survey in their research. Starting with a sample of employed individuals, they identified 582 workers who were either laid off or left jobless because of a business closing. The study compared their risk of heart attack and stroke to a group that included 3,719 workers who remained employed. In considering the effect of job loss, the scientists also took into account other risk factors such as smoking, high blood pressure, obesity and depressive symptoms.........

Posted by: Daniel      Permalink         Source


June 22, 2006, 8:32 PM CT

Why Hubby Snores Up A Storm

Why Hubby Snores Up A Storm
The neural pathways between two areas of the brain that control the tongue -- and their interactions with each other -- may hold the key as to why men suffer sleep apnea much more than women.

A University of Wisconsin research team has theorized that either the caudal raphe or the hypoglossal nucleus -- or both together -- play roles in sleep apnea. The scientists have turned their attention to these two areas of the brain because of the roles they play in controlling the tongue. Diminished tongue control is a major cause of obstructive sleep apnea, a serious condition which strikes men much more frequently than pre-menopausal women, said lead researcher Jessica R. Barker.

Sleep apnea affects millions of Americans, produces loud snoring and may interfere with the sleep of other family members. It leaves sufferers drowsy during the day and places them at greater risk of getting into an automobile accident and of developing serious illnesses such as high blood pressure and heart disease.

Estrogen, serotonin play roles.

Prior research from Behan's lab has found evidence that estrogen plays a role in respiratory control and may provide protection against hypoxia. Other research shows that post-menopausal women on hormone replacement treatment suffer less from sleep apnea than post-menopausal women not on hormones, further strengthening the theory that estrogen plays a protective role.........

Posted by: Janet      Permalink         Source


June 22, 2006, 6:01 PM CT

Are You A Wolf Or A Sheep?

Are You A Wolf Or A Sheep?
Are all people stressed out by a defeat or does it hurt some more than others? It may depend on whether you're a power-hungry wolf or a sheep, as per University of Michigan psychology researchers.

As per a research findings published in a recent issue of the science journal Hormones and Behavior, U-M's Michelle Wirth and co-authors, Katy Welsh and Oliver Schultheiss, looked at what happens to stress hormone levels when people are defeated in a laboratory contest.

Students competed against each other in pairs on several rounds of a speed-based contest task. Half of participants received feedback that made them believe they lost the contest decisively while the other half received feedback implying they won.

Wirth measured participants' levels of cortisol, a hormone that is released in the body in response to stress and has been implicated in depression and memory loss, in participants' saliva samples before and after the contest.

The U-M scientists also measured participants' non-conscious dominance drive, called the implicit power motive, at the beginning of the study.

Wirth and her colleagues found that cortisol did not go up in all losers. Only participants with a strong implicit power motive were really impacted by the defeat, as reflected in increasing stress hormone levels.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Permalink         Source


June 21, 2006, 10:56 PM CT

Five Steps To Help Curb Child Obesity

Five Steps To Help Curb Child Obesity
Weight problems among children have now reached epidemic proportions. And it's no wonder. High-calorie fast foods and soft drinks are everywhere, and they are heavily promoted in a number of of the 40,000 television commercials that kids watch every year.

In Child Obesity: A Parent's Guide to a Fit, Trim, and Happy Child, nationally recognized expert on child obesity Dr. Goutham Rao uses the latest and best medical evidence available to show you how to help your child avoid or overcome this prevalent and dangerous health problem.

In the first part of his easy-to-read and informative book, Dr. Rao gives you the knowledge you need to understand the scope of the problem. He identifies the five principal culprits for obesity among children: soft drinks ("liquid candy"); fast food; television and video games; the inactivity of youngsters both at school and at play; and the changing patterns of family behavior, which have led to irregular meal times and the over-consumption of "convenience" foods.

In the second half of the book, Dr. Rao carefully explains a rational approach to helping your child achieve or maintain a healthy weight, including the science of changing people's behavior. You will also find several typical stories of overweight children, ranging from a heavy thirteen-month infant boy to a sixteen-year-old obese and self-conscious girl. With the help of their parents these children managed to achieve a healthy weight by following simple, practical advice without resorting to gimmicks or "miracle cures."........

Posted by: JoAnn      Permalink



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Did you know?
Adolescents who suffer physical injuries are vulnerable to emotional distress in the months following their hospitalization, yet almost 40 percent of hospitalized adolescents interviewed for a new study had no source for the follow-up medical care that could diagnose and treat symptoms of post-traumatic stress. These young trauma survivors are at risk for high levels of post-traumatic stress and depressive symptoms, as well as high levels of alcohol use, according to research by researchers at the Harborview Injury Prevention and Research Center.

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