Dr. Oz to Be Honored at the Look Good Feel Better DreamBall

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Tomorrow will be the 30th Annual DreamBall benefitting Look Good Feel Better, an organization that sheds light on how people with cancer use beauty to deal with the devastating side effects of the disease while regaining their self-confidence. This year’s DreamBall will celebrate 25 years of the organization and honors a diverse group of men and women for whom cancer, beauty and wellness, and the Look Good Feel Better program have a special meaning. Included in the list of honorees this year is Dr. Oz, for his advocacy for living the best life possible and caring for the whole patient from the inside out, as well as Samantha Harris, a cancer survivor, entertainment correspondent and former co-host of Dancing with the StarsRead more  »

Understanding the Dangers of Caffeine Powder

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Caffeinated drinks have come under scrutiny the last few years, with the American Association of Poison Centers (AAPC) reporting an increase in cases related to energy drinks. According to the Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), highly caffeinated energy drinks have no place in children’s diets; the group recommends no more than 100 mg of caffeine a day for adolescents. This is equivalent to about 3 12-ounce servings of soda. To compare, some energy drinks can have about 500 mg of caffeine or about 14 sodas. Read more  »

Sharecare Top 5: Hidden Fat Traps, Late-Night-Texting Woes and How Your Man’s Health Could Support Marital Bliss

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On Sharecare we’re revealing sneaky sources of saturated fat, the trouble with teens’ late-night texting and what to do if your man’s grumpy attitude is bringing down your marriage. Check out five of our latest posts.

1. Even if you’ve ditched dairy and cut way back on red meat, you’re likely chowing down on more saturated fat than you think. Here’s Dr. Oz’s list of the top five offenders.

2. From sleep-texting to cyberbullying, get the 411 on how middle-of-the-night cellphone use can be influencing your teen’s mental health, REM cycle and concentration.

3. Men: According to a recent study, your health status and attitude may be putting a damper on your marriage. Find out how and ways to rekindle the romance.

4. Could your complexion use a pick-me-up? Watch this video for an easy plan, from the best skin-care products to the right way to moisturize, for radiant skin.

5. Most people don’t take their heartburn meds correctly. Don’t be one of them. If you suffer from heartburn or GERD, avoid the common mistakes with these tips on how to get the relief you need.

You Wanted to Know: Walking Pneumonia

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The cooler weather is here to remind us that flu season is around the corner. And while we should all be going out for flu shots to protect ourselves from the flu virus, bacterial pneumonia is a more insidious side to the cold weather that can also show up around this time.

Pneumonia is common and dangerous among older adults, but younger people can get it, too. One of our viewers asked me for more information on the risk factors for pneumonia and how you can protect yourself from repeat infections:

Pneumonia Read more  »

4 Healthy New Flours to Add to Your Pantry

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In case you’ve missed it, the flour aisle at your local grocery store is expanding dramatically. While the decision was once white or whole wheat, flour is rapidly being reshaped to include a whole new crop of tasty, nutrient-packed options made from the milling of ancient grains, nuts, beans and more. As a nutritionist and a home cook, I love this flour revolution. It offers people delicious new options for elevating starchy staples in place of the standard advice to swap white flour for whole-wheat flour.

Here are four of the fresh faces shaking up the flour aisle that you may want to add to your next shopping list for a healthy twist on your favorite family recipes. (Tip: Opt for the bulk bin for the most affordable option in the store.) Read more  »

Today’s Headlines: Artificial Sweeteners, Cervical Cancer and Rheumatoid Arthritis

Artificial sweeteners may be messing with your blood sugar. Zero-calorie alternatives to sugar have become the mainstay of those looking to lose weight while maintaining sweetness. But a new study in mice has found that “artificial sweeteners may disrupt the body’s ability to regulate blood sugar, causing metabolic changes that can be a precursor to diabetes.” The researchers looked at blood sugar measurements and the microbes in the intestinal tract of the mice to see if the sweetener versus regular sugar would affect either of them. “The group of mice getting artificial sweeteners developed marked intolerance to glucose,” with their blood glucose spiking early and falling slowly. “When the researchers treated the mice with antibiotics, killing much of the bacteria in the digestive system, the glucose intolerance went away.” In further experiments, the researchers found that bacteria from humans who regularly consume artificial sweeteners create the same glucose intolerance in the mice. It is unknown at this time how bacteria influence glucose tolerance. (NYT)

There may soon be a urine test for cervical cancer. Currently, women at risk for cervical cancer have to undergo periodic Pap smears to test for possible cervical cancer. This is often accompanied with a test for HPV, the virus that causes cervical cancer and now prevented with the HPV vaccine. New research is now showing that “testing urine for HPV has good accuracy when compared to testing samples taken from the cervix for HPV.” A major advantage of the test is that “it could be done at home, and then interpreted by medical professionals.” As screening rates have declined, researchers are looking for new ways to try and make it easier for women to be screened. While the test wouldn’t replace the Pap smear or HPV test in many cases, “it could also be a boon in settings where more traditional means of screening for cervical cancer are difficult due to cultural resistance to gynecologic exams.” (CBS)

Smoking and salty foods may both contribute to rheumatoid arthritis. Smoking is a long-known risk factor for rheumatoid arthritis (RA), a debilitating and painful degenerative joint disease that affects more than a million Americans. But a new study has found that the amount of salt a person consumes may play a role, too. “Researchers set out to see if a salty diet might be linked to the onset of RA, but found a connection only among smokers–who were more than twice as likely as anyone with a low-salt diet to develop the condition.” They found that those smokers with the lowest salt consumption had similar rates of RA to nonsmokers. “More research is also needed to identify the biological pathways through which sodium intake can affect smoking as a risk factor. The study provides the first evidence in rheumatoid arthritis that sodium intake may influence risk for onset of the disease.” (Reuters)

The Information You Need to Kick Smoking for Good

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In my years of practice, I’ve seen how hard it is for my patients to quit smoking. Ugly advertisements and warnings from physicians are often not enough to tear away the claws of nicotine that have sunk in over the years. Fortunately, we continue to learn about addiction and how we can best support those trying to quit. A new study out this week details how we can best convey the health message to smokers to support them through the quitting process. Read more  »