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Women should opt for a fiber-based diet, especially if in their postmenopausal years.

Based on the findings of a new study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, refined carbs could be linked to women’s postmenopausal depression. Researchers concluded that the carbohydrates that women consume determine significant changes in the glycemic index of women causing them to feel depressed during menopause.

Nutrition experts at the Columbia University Medical Center have conducted a long analysis of the medical records that were registered in the past for many female patients. The research included the data collected in the period between 1994 and 1998 for Women’s Health Initiative Observational Study.

The medical records that have been subjected to a new examination amounted to 70,000. The corresponding female respondents have been chosen for this particular research because they have all reached their postmenopausal age and scientists wanted to establish whether certain activities could influence their behavior or not.

Based on the results they have registered, nutrition experts have reached the conclusion that carbohydrates consumption plays a significant role in the moods that postmenopausal women experience. The more refined carbs the respondents consumed, the bigger the chances were for them to feel tired, depressed and sad.

Women have to adopt a balanced diet once they have reached their post menopause, was researchers’ conclusion. In their opinion, a healthy diet has to take into consideration the glycemic index (GI) of the patient and the types of carbs she consumes. In addition, possible mental affections that the woman may be suffering from enable researchers to determine whether the patient will suffer from depression or not.

Refined carbohydrates have always been associated with many health and weight problems. It appears that it also influences a woman’s psychic by triggering fluctuations in the blood glucose levels. Depression has usually been noticed in women with very low blood glucose levels, who also consume refined carbohydrates, according to the new discovery that scientists have made.

Researchers recommend women to avoid products that are rich in carbs, such as, grain-based aliments. Instead, women should opt for a fiber-rich diet from vegetables, non-juice fruits and whole grains.

Although the study has been already acknowledged by most nutrition experts, experts think additional researches must be conducted to prove the validity of the experiment.

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Teenagers did not develop health problems as a result of their past marijuana consumption.

A recent study conducted by researchers at the University of Pittsburgh shows that marijuana consumption among teenagers is not linked to health problems. Until recently it was believed that chronic smokers of marijuana may develop respiratory problems or psychotic affections, but new findings prove the opposite.

The research has been conducted with the participation of 408 teenage boys, whose evolution has been closely followed within a time interval of 20 years. At the end of the research, participants were 30 years old, so scientists could estimate their evolution by comparing their physical and mental state at the beginning of the research with the results registered at the end of the experiment.

Participants were divided into four large groups, based on their use of marijuana. Thus, researchers identified non-smokers or rare smokers of marijuana, early chronic consumers and regular smokers, who have started consuming the plant in their teenage years and continued until adulthood.

The study was first started in the 1980s, when investigators began interviewing 14-year-old males about their marijuana consumption habits. The same participants were interviewed again in 2009-2010, when respondents were 36 years old; thus, enabling scientists to make the comparison between the two periods.

The experiment has proven scientists that there is no connection between marijuana consumption and the health problems that these individuals developed at an older age. On the contrary, investigators confessed that very few participants had developed respiratory and mental affections during this time interval, their percentage being too small to constitute a pattern.

Studies have further revealed that the more mature a person gets, the less inclined is to smoke marijuana. According to the answers that respondents have provided, participants have lowered the consumption of marijuana with the passing of the years. Chronic smokers consumed marijuana only 200 times per year by the time they reached 22 years old.

Researchers at the Pittsburgh University have explained that the recent study has been conducted with the intention to find out whether marijuana should be legalized or not. Although findings indicate that there is no actual risk in consuming marijuana, scientists have agreed that additional tests may be required to confirm the results of the current experiment.

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Many home owners would use an indoor elevator, if they were pleased with their designs.

A new home decor invention could make owners bid farewell to stairlifts, say hello to Star Trek-style home elevators, which are not only good-looking, but also much more effective. The producer has further stated that the resemblance between the new in-room elevator and the Star Trek model was not at all intentional.

Home owners could soon ditch their traditional and rather annoying stairlifts for a new generation of discreet home elevators. Terry Lifts, the company behind the new models, has stated that their new collection aims to help people who live in houses with multiple floors because the latter often need assistance, especially when they get old.

The only available option so far was the stairlift, which often clashes with the rest of the elements in the room or the interior decoration. John McSweeney, the marketing director of the company claims many more people would use a home elevator, if they were pleased with their looks. The company thinks the new Star Trek-inspired model will stir customers’ interest and will definitely make their lives a lot more comfortable.

The indoor lift consists in a hexagonal box that may be easily integrated in one corner of the room. The elevator has glass walls because producers wanted its transparency to render rooms larger instead of minimizing them. The good news about the new home elevator is that it only appears when the owner needs to get from one floor to another; the rest of the time, it may be preserved in a special case in the attic.

Home owners won’t have to look at the modern, yet inappropriate home elevator all the time; they can simply send the lift back in the attic when they no longer need it. Stairlifts, on the other hand must be kept on display at all times because home owners don’t have the possibility to place them in an out-of-the-way location.

While the association of the new home elevators with the famous Star Trek lift has pleased producers, John McSweeney from the Terry Lifts company has confessed that customers have made many other comparisons, some less flattering than others. Most critics have said the home elevator looks like a shower cabin, was the humorous statement of the marketing director.

Reports show that Terry Lifts has already sold 200 Star Trek-style elevators and the sales percentage is expected to increase in the following period.

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Yoga could help alleviate many PTSD symptoms.

Veterans returning from war often experience mental affections as a result of their bad memories and recollections. Psychology experts think a new treatment could help alleviate soldiers’ problems as researches have shown that mindful post-traumatic therapy threats PTSD.

PTSD, also known as post-traumatic stress disorder, is as the name says it, a mental illness occurring as a result of a traumatic event that the subject has been exposed to. War veterans often suffer from PTSD upon their return to their homes because they cannot forget the impressive events they have witnessed on the battle fields.

Being constantly afraid for your life or your friend’s life, seeing people killed in front of your eyes are images that cannot be easily wiped away from a person’s memory. For that matter, soldiers have to undergo various psychological treatments in order to get rid of the nightmares, flashbacks and depression states that affect their social lives. Left untreated, these mental illnesses could worsen and eventually lead to suicidal behaviors, which is why it is important to correctly diagnose and treat patients suffering from PTSD.

Traditional treatments have proven themselves effective, but veterans are often reluctant because they have to openly confess that they are suffering from post-traumatic disorders. For that matter, researchers at the American Medical Association have conducted a study among two groups of American soldiers who have served in the Iraq war.

The first group was treated with the help of conventional psychological sessions, whereas the second group received mindful post-traumatic therapy sessions for an interval of two months. The second type of treatment presupposed that respondents took part in nine therapy sessions during which they performed various breathing, stretching and relaxing exercises. For a better illustration, the new post-traumatic therapy was compared to yoga meditation classes, scientists have added.

Results showed that mindful therapy is much more effective in treating PTSD. The group that took part in meditation classes saw an improvement of their mental state of up to 49%. Participants in the conventional group registered only a 28% improvement of their health condition.

Based on these figures, researchers have concluded that mindful therapy could be much more effective in treating PTSD symptoms. In addition, soldiers no longer suffer from the stigma that PTSD diagnoses usually put on people. However, the new therapy should at first complement traditional treatments, whose efficiency has been proven many times before.

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Vitamin D makes bones stronger.

The Scientific Advisory Body on Nutrition (SACN) in the UK could soon change Britons’ daily diets because individuals who are not regularly exposed to sunlight require additional doses of Vitamin D supplements. Given the recent news, we thought some readers might like to know some of the benefits of Vitamin D supplements for their bodies and minds.

According to medical experts, vitamin D is the main responsible for the correct deposit of calcium in our bone system. Lack of vitamin D may lead to frail bones and teeth, especially among children, whose skeletal systems are much more sensitive than the ones of the adults. One pill of vitamin D per day could help prevent rickets, a disease that is affecting many children at present.

Women, too, require a bigger dose of vitamin D, particularly during their menstruation period when they require additional intakes of calcium. Taking regular supplements of vitamin D could help women avoid many menopause-specific affections, such as osteoporosis and arthritis.

The benefits of vitamin D are no longer questioned as both medical experts and patients have noticed an improvement in their health condition. However, many discussions are now being made in relation to the daily intake that people need, as well as, in relation to the best methods of obtaining vitamin D.

Previous tests have shown that sunlight is the best source of vitamin D, ensuring the assimilation of the right amount of supplements from the daily products we consume. Unfortunately, recent medical tests have revealed that few people take sufficient vitamin D from their food and additional doses should be provided to avoid future health problems.

This need has become all the more obvious among populations in the northern areas where the sun rays are very mild, not to mention rare. These population have to expose themselves during special time intervals in order to assimilate the amount of vitamin D they need per day. This is almost impossible nowadays, considering that very few people stay and work in the outdoors, compared to previous generations.

As a consequence, medical experts and authorities are now working to determine how much vitamin D individuals should take. So far, they have found out that children, pregnant women, people over 65 years old and those with darker skins should complement their daily diets with vitamin D supplements.

The new findings could lead to a new system of medical recommendations, scientists have concluded.

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Honest sunscreen lotions have been labeled as fake due to the recent customers’ complaints.

Famous Hollywood star Jessica Alba responded to angry customers’ complaints about Honest company saying that the percentage of negative comments is still very small compared to the positive feedback.

Discussions started on early Monday morning after the actress tweeted her most recent campaign on her personal account. The “Sin City” star posted a message under the hashtag # GirlsWhoCode to inform her customers that her natural sunscreen products is sponsoring the equally-named non-profit organization.

Girls Who Code has been supporting women in the tech field for several years now and Jessica Alba has joined them because she considers great part of her success is due to technology.

Unfortunately, the post that the actress made did not have the desired outcome as many customers have replied to her saying that the Honest sunscreen products are in fact a fraud. Their messages were accompanied by revealing photos showing various degrees of skin burns.

The angry customers plan to sue the actress because they believe the products she is selling are fake. The majority of them have only spent one hour in the sun and yet, their skin turned red as a result of the sun burns.

Jessica Alba, on the other hand, claims her products offer large spectrum protection, particularly those with a SPF 30 sunscreen protection. In addition, she has repeatedly stated that the lotions are made out of natural ingredients; thus, ensuring a much bigger protection for the skin.

The Golden Globe nominee did not pay much attention to the recent wave of complaints that her Honest Company received. On the contrary, Alba’s spokespersons have settled themselves to simply saying that the percentage of dissatisfied customers represents only a small portion of their customers. That is to say, you’re too insignificant to be taken into consideration.

Customers have, nevertheless, managed to get the media’s attention on the matter. Jessica’s Honest company may soon be forced to provide a detailed explanation related to the ingredients and the manufacturing process of the lotions.

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Bill Gates was one of the ones taking the Ice Bucket Challenge.

It’s been a whole year, but the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge is paying off – the first phase trial for an experimental but highly promising drug is said to be in the process of getting approved within the US and is due to start soon.

Last year, the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge was kicked off by Pat Quinn and Pete Frates. This year it kicked off this Friday in Boston and has already spurred movement on social networking sites. Last year it raised a staggering $115 million which were given to the ALS Foundation, by only 2.5 million people. This year, hopes are up that it will surpass that sum.

It is not that there is an actual need for the money, as there is for research on the motor neuron disease which has continuously baffled scientists for decades. But research cannot be motivated with the noble goal of beating the disease once and for all. Doctors need to eat too, no? This is what this fundraising effort is really about.

And in the period since last year, 47.1 million dollars have been assigned to specific research projects, while the rest up to 77 million dollars are saved to be given to a selection of other research projects.

As Matt Bellina reports for Fox News, the ailment, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease (from the famous baseball player), it has been relatively unknown prior to the dumping-ice-water-on-the-head viral movement that took Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and other websites by assault. Matt Bellina is a 32 year old ex-combat pilot of the U.S. Navy. Last year he was himself diagnosed with the disease.

In the past, people did not easily understand what Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis actually was. The disease enjoyed its small 15-minutes-of-fame twice. Once when Lou Gehrig was diagnosed with it and subsequently died, and the second time when Stephen Hawking, the renowned astrophysicist was diagnosed with it. The latter is still going strong against the disease, long having passed the original bad life expectancy forecast.

The new drug that is said to begin its phase one trial for assessing safety is a cannabinoid based drug which is being developed by a combined team from the Tikun Olam, an Israeli company specializing in medical marijuana and the Hospital for Special Surgery of New York.

So, if you’re planning to put a bucket of ice water on your head, don’t forget to use #ALSIceBucketChallenge.

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A new method of non-invasive spinal cord stimulation is proving revolutionary.

Although it’s been a known fact for quite a while that there are good yet expensive SCS operations that helped those paralyzed, now there’s a revolutionary breakthrough in the field of research. A new method of non-invasive spinal cord stimulation helps paralyzed people move.

It all started back in the 90s, when Cristopher Reeve, the man famous for playing Superman in four different Superman movies, three of which were major successes, met Dr. V. Reggie Edgerton, a physiologist during a science convention. But Reeve was not in his prime form. He had just injured himself in a horse ride, and was left paralyzed.

Reeve employed Edgerton to work for the development of new ways of improving the life of people with physical disabilities. But even before that, Edgerton had been working in this particular area for a long time. Now, the doctor has accumulated close to 40 years trying to figure out the real connections between the brain, the spinal cord, and the limbs, so as to help paraplegics everywhere.

Now, he may have just uncovered something revolutionary.

During a four weeks trial period, he and a UCLA team managed to restore mobility to five people who had been paralyzed in the lower part of their bodies for years.

What they did was devise a completely new and relatively affordable type of spinal cord stimulation. As you may know, spinal cord stimulation implies the implanting via surgery of a stimulator near the spinal cord, usually at the lumbar region. This stimulator sends electrical impulses to the cord, enhancing receptivity.

The new strategy is called transcutaneous stimulation and involves the placing of electrodes at specific places outside the body. Naturally this procedure drastically lowers all the risks, as it eliminates all the probable mishaps of surgery, and also the costs of such invasive procedures.

After the first four weeks of promising results, Edgerton extended the test period to eighteen weeks, during which he treated the men in 45 minute daily sessions. The biggest breakthrough was that when the experiments were done, the five men were still able to move their legs, albeit the mobility slowly decreased back to the paralyzed state.

The men also represented different age groups, from 19 years to 56. The test proved that the technique worked no matter the age of the patient. The previous treatment available managed to restore mobility to four people. But the biggest issue with it was the $100,000 price. This newest method is said that it will cost one tenth of that.

The final goal for Edgerton is to further develop this method as to achieve maximum efficiency, as well as making it available on a world-wide range, so that people could just buy it and exercise in their homes.

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Research studies can often be very confusing, so much so that we don’t know who to listen to anymore. Is eating bread good for you or should do clear the last crumb out of your house? Is it healthy to drink a glass of wine occasionally or should you fear it like the devil? Updates upon updates make our heads hurt – and even then we’re not sure if an Advil would help or make us terrible addicts.

Previous studies have demonstrated that drinking coffee might be a good habit that could help lower the risk of liver disease and type-2 diabetes.

However, a more recent research suggests that it’s misleading to offer coffee as an all-round protective shield, as its effect is closely related to the way one’s coffee consumption habits modify over time.

More than 1,400 subjects were evaluated by a team of researchers from the University of Bari in Italy, all of whom were 65-84 of age. Their analysis revealed that sane senior subjects who changed their routine by increasing their coffee consumption over time – more than a cup of coffee each day – were roughly twice as likely to develop mild cognitive impairment (MCI) as those who had reduced the habit to less than a cup of coffee each day.

Researchers noticed that the coffee’s acidity, as well as the stimulating effect it has on people, had to be taken under careful consideration before claiming that increasing one’s coffee consumption also increases protection against some diseases.

According to the researchers, more extensive studies with longer follow-up periods are required before a clear conclusion can be reached, studies which would also focus on other potential bias and confounding sources. Diet-related prevention has the potential of becoming one of the most promising methods of fending off dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.

Researchers also found that consuming one or two cups a day have a decreased risk of developing MCI than subjects who reported they habitually rarely consumed coffee. Mild cognitive impairment represents a well-known risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease, manifesting in a gradient decline of thinking and memory skills.

In conclusion, the others explained that regular and moderate coffee intake might represent a neuroprotective shield against MCI; however, the long-term effect of caffeine on one’s mental status can only be found from neuroimaging studies based on experimental data.
Image Source: Huffington Post

A new partnership was signed between CVS Health and IBM, a deal designed to predict how the health of the pharmacy’s customers might deteriorate using predictive analytics.

The partnership hopes to use Watson, IBM’s artificial intelligence system, in improving care management and offer more personalized care to CVS employees and customers. The companies explain the initiative aims at gaining a clearer perspective on the patients’ risk of developing health problems.

Health care industry has met with predictive analytics before, and Watson’s cognitive computing is just joining the evolving trend, advancing the applications of the technology in this field.

To some degree or another, various health insurance companies – such as UnitedHealth Group, Aetna and Healthagen – are already using artificial intelligence to handle large populations of patients, mostly in their goal of improving health outcomes and keeping people out of the hospital.

By offering more advanced technology, health care companies are helping doctors gain faster access to health data. All this is made possible thanks to electronic medical records and data collected from insurers and pharmacies.

At the same time, this development is welcomed in the health care industry as it transitions from fee-for-service medicine to a reimbursement that pays hospitals and doctors based on the outcome and the health of the patient.

The technology used in the CVS and Watson Health program is designed to predict if a patient’s health is declining. More than that, it offers information that’s vital for pharmacists, doctors, and other care providers who can become more proactive in improve that patient’s care and making sure they don’t end up in hospital.

CVS explained the platform will be used especially for the benefit of the patients who use its pharmacies or retail clinics working under the umbrella of Minute Clinic.

Dr. Troyen Brennan, senior medical officer at CVS Health, said the collaboration allows the company to find out how multiple sources of health care data could work together and predict if a patient’s health is worsening or if patients with chronic conditions are in need of an intervention.

Brennan added that all kinds of health and fitness devices could be connected to the database and the CVS could find out a patient’s levels sent from a tracker like a FitBit might need extra care; at the same time, risk of declining health would be easier to identify.

For IBM, this partnership follows several others that intend to integrate Watson into the healthcare system. The IBM Watson Health Cloud is already collaborating with Apple, Medtronic, and Johnson & Johnson.
Image Source: Nature

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