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Fears of a ‘generational health disaster waiting to happen’ as research reveals one in six teenage girls has cut …

  • Teenage girls are seeking ‘trendy’ alternatives to cows milk such as almond milk 
  • They are switching to the ‘fad’ diets in the believe the plant-based milk is better 
  • Stars such as Gwyneth Paltrow encourage people to ditch dairy milk in their diet
  • Calcium from milk is an excellent method of strenthening bones for later life 

Xantha Leatham For The Daily Mail

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One in six teenage girls has now cut dairy from their diets in a ‘generational health disaster waiting to happen’.

Research reveals that almost a fifth of teenage girls aged 13 to 19 are drinking less milk than two years ago, and one in six have cut it out altogether.

Many see trendy almond milk and other plant-based alternatives as a healthier option to cows’ milk, while celebrities such as Gwyneth Paltrow promote a dairy-free lifestyle. But Sophie Medlin, a lecturer in nutrition and dietetics at King’s College London, warns that the shift could be doing more harm than good.

One in six teenage girls are avoiding cow's milk in the belief that 'plant milk' is healthier

One in six teenage girls are avoiding cow’s milk in the belief that ‘plant milk’ is healthier

Hollywood stars such as Gwyneth Paltrow, pictured, advocate a dairy-free lifestyle 

Hollywood stars such as Gwyneth Paltrow, pictured, advocate a dairy-free lifestyle 

She said the majority of switches are the result of fad diets, presumed intolerances and a preference for what they perceive as ‘healthier’ options.

‘Many are completely unaware the majority of calcium needed for good bone health is stored in the body during your early years and your opportunity for strengthening bones ends after the age of 30,’ she said.

‘Iodine is also critical for a functioning metabolism and proper growth and development. Cows’ milk is one of the richest sources of both in the UK diet.’

A fifth of teenage girls surveyed blamed an intolerance to lactose for their avoidance of cows’ milk. However, the Food Standards Agency reports that the actual proportion of Britons who suffer from true lactose intolerance is as low as 5 per cent.

Additionally only 16 per cent of 18-35 year- olds who had given up cows’ milk had done so as a result of talking to a health care professional such as a dietician or a GP. This compared to 41 per cent who cited friends, family, celebrities, bloggers and social media as influences for such a change.

Miss Medlin said: ‘The current fashion for eliminating key food groups, promoted by the new generation of online influencers who have adopted dairy free diets for themselves, is concerning and without proper guidance could lead to many negative health consequences.’

Research suggests an alternative cause for those who report issues with dairy – the A1 protein. Miss Medlin said switching to cows’ milk that is naturally free from the A1 protein, such as a2 milk, could be the answer.

 


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Article source: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-5264829/Teenage-girls-risking-health-going-dairy-free.html

Quiz to assess early death risk | Daily Mail Online

  • Up to 40% of deaths are linked to being obese, inactive, drinking or smoking
  • 10-minute Public Health England (PHE) test assesses how healthy your lifestyle is
  • The ‘How Are You?’ test – launched as part of PHE’s One You campaign 
  • At the end, you will get a score out of 10 and advice on how to be healthier

Claudia Tanner For Mailonline

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We all know that our bad habits can send us to an early grave.

In fact, up to 40 per cent of deaths are directly linked to being obese, inactive, drinking too much or smoking, according to Public Health England (PHE).

Now you can take the agency’s quiz to help you assess how healthy your lifestyle is. 

The ‘How Are You?’ test – launched as part of PHE’s One You campaign – also gives advice on how you can be healthier.

At the end of the 10-minute quiz, which is for over-18s only, your lifestyle will be scored on a scale of one to 10.

Up to 40% of deaths are linked to being obese, inactive, drinking or smoking (stock image)

Up to 40% of deaths are linked to being obese, inactive, drinking or smoking (stock image)

It is not intended as a medical assessment and you should see your GP if you’re worried about your health.

As well as being asked how you feel about your physical and mental health, you are questioned on how often you drink, eat fruit or have unhealthy snacks.

The 10-minute Public Health England (PHE) test assesses how healthy your lifestyle is

The 10-minute Public Health England (PHE) test assesses how healthy your lifestyle is

You are questioned on how often you drink, eat fruit or have unhealthy snacks

You are questioned on how often you drink, eat fruit or have unhealthy snacks

It also asks you about how much exercise you get ob average in a week

It also asks you about how much exercise you get ob average in a week

At the end of the quiz, your lifestyle will be scored on a scale of one to 10

At the end of the quiz, your lifestyle will be scored on a scale of one to 10

Depending on your score, you may be urged to join a slimming club or to download an app onto your phone that suggests healthy recipes or tips for taking up jogging.

Other advice includes not having a nightcap before bed and having a glass of water if you are peckish, rather than an unhealthy snack.

Professor Dame Sally Davies, Chief Medical Officer said: ‘It is important people of all ages feel able to prioritise their health so they can lead long and healthy lives. 

‘We all have the power to shape our future health by making simple, small changes now.’

THE HEALTH TICKING TIME BOMB 

More than 40 per cent of middle-age adults have at least one long-term condition that could cause premature death, including high blood pressure, high cholesterol or diabetes, Public Health England (PHE) Figures show.

Two thirds are overweight or obese, a quarter drink more than the recommended levels and one in five smoke. 

As part of its New Year £4.5m campaign, as part of Change4Life, PHE is encouraging parents to help their children eat healthier snacks and snack less often.

Its research shows that half of UK children’s sugar intake comes from unhealthy snacks and sugary drinks.

On average, children are consuming at least three unhealthy snacks and sugary drinks a day, with around a third consuming four or more.

PHE claims there has been a’“snackification’ of children’s lunch boxes, with children eating more between meals and lunch just becoming ‘a collection of unhealthy snacks’. 

While sugar remains the main evil, the Government body hopes this fresh approach will catch people’s attention.


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Article source: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-5262057/Quiz-assess-early-death-risk.html

Health care top issue for voters, and could hurt Republicans in 2018 midterms big-time

<!– –>



A neurologist checks a patient during an exam at the St. Vincent Hospital in Leadville, Colorado.

You try to break it, you own it.

A new poll shows that health care is a top priority for most voters going into the 2018 midterm election cycle, and that Republicans who have repeatedly tried but failed to kill Obamacare could suffer mightily because of that.

The group that commissioned the poll, the Obamacare-advocacy group Protect Our Care Campaign, said Friday that it use the findings to push Democrats and progressives to campaign heavily on the issue of health care.

By a margin of 47 percent to 38 percent, voters said they would be less likely to reelect their members of Congress if they voted for GOP-sponsored bills to repeal and replace Obamacare.

And a whopping 68 percent said they agreed with the statement that President Donald Trump and Republicans in Congress should abandon their Obamacare repeal efforts and “start working across party lines on commonsense solutions that build on the current law.”

“The Republicans have done what we never could,” said Protect Our Care Brad Woodhouse, who previously was a campaign strategist for President Barack Obama.

“They have made the Affordable Care Act popular, and they have made it a political anvil around their necks,” Woodhouse said.

And “it’s the equivalent of political suicide” for Republicans to persist in efforts to repeal and replace” Obamacare, as the ACA is more commonly known, he said.

“I absolutely think it has the potential to impact races in a way that will be decisive.”

Republicans in the Senate have a majority of just one seat. In the House, Republicans hold 239 seats, compared to 193 seats held by Democrats.

The poll of 1,000 people found that 54 percent chose health care as one of the two issues that that will be most important to them in deciding who to vote for in congressional elections.

No other issue was even close to that percentage of respondents. The second most commonly cited issue was the economy, at 29 percent, and taxes, at 28 percent. Immigration was at 18 percent, as was education.

Hart Research, which conducted the poll, found in a survey last August that health care was named by 55 percent of voters as a top issue. And in a May survey, 57 percent cited it as a top issue.

Woodhouse said that the persistence of health care in the survey as a leading issue of concern, even after the more recent debate over the Republican tax bill, is striking, and underscores the risk of alienating voters on that issue.

He also noted that even after the failure to repeal the entire Obamacare law, Trump has continued to take controversial actions that involve health care, including halting key reimbursement payments to insurers, winning approval of effective repeal of the requirement that nearly all Americans have insurance or pay a fine, and making it easier for states to impose work requirements on Medicaid beneficiaries.

The poll found that more voters, 72 percent of respondents, disapprove of how the GOP has handled the issue of health care than do disapprove of the Republicans’ job in Congress overall, which stood at 61 percent of voters.

Only 35 percent of voters had a favorable opinion of bills proposed by Republicans in Congress last year to repeal Obamacare, and 52 percent had an unfavorable opinion of that legislation, which all failed to pass.

The poll also found that there was a 10 percentage point increase in the share of voters who view Trump as actively trying to make Obamacare fail. Fifty-two percent of voters now say that, compared to the prior findings in August’s survey.

By a margin of 55 percent to 45 percent, voters said problems with Obamacare are the result mainly of actions by Trump and Republicans.

Are you at risk of an early death? Take this lifestyle quiz to assess how healthy you REALLY are

  • Up to 40% of deaths are linked to being obese, inactive, drinking or smoking
  • 10-minute Public Health England (PHE) test assesses how healthy your lifestyle is
  • The ‘How Are You?’ test – launched as part of PHE’s One You campaign 
  • At the end, you will get a score out of 10 and advice on how to be healthier

Claudia Tanner For Mailonline

385

View
comments

We all know that our bad habits can send us to an early grave.

In fact, up to 40 per cent of deaths are directly linked to being obese, inactive, drinking too much or smoking, according to Public Health England (PHE).

Now you can take the agency’s quiz to help you assess how healthy your lifestyle is. 

The ‘How Are You?’ test – launched as part of PHE’s One You campaign – also gives advice on how you can be healthier.

At the end of the 10-minute quiz, which is for over-18s only, your lifestyle will be scored on a scale of one to 10.

Up to 40% of deaths are linked to being obese, inactive, drinking or smoking (stock image)

Up to 40% of deaths are linked to being obese, inactive, drinking or smoking (stock image)

It is not intended as a medical assessment and you should see your GP if you’re worried about your health.

As well as being asked how you feel about your physical and mental health, you are questioned on how often you drink, eat fruit or have unhealthy snacks.

The 10-minute Public Health England (PHE) test assesses how healthy your lifestyle is

The 10-minute Public Health England (PHE) test assesses how healthy your lifestyle is

You are questioned on how often you drink, eat fruit or have unhealthy snacks

You are questioned on how often you drink, eat fruit or have unhealthy snacks

It also asks you about how much exercise you get ob average in a week

It also asks you about how much exercise you get ob average in a week

At the end of the quiz, your lifestyle will be scored on a scale of one to 10

At the end of the quiz, your lifestyle will be scored on a scale of one to 10

Depending on your score, you may be urged to join a slimming club or to download an app onto your phone that suggests healthy recipes or tips for taking up jogging.

Other advice includes not having a nightcap before bed and having a glass of water if you are peckish, rather than an unhealthy snack.

Professor Dame Sally Davies, Chief Medical Officer said: ‘It is important people of all ages feel able to prioritise their health so they can lead long and healthy lives. 

‘We all have the power to shape our future health by making simple, small changes now.’

THE HEALTH TICKING TIME BOMB 

More than 40 per cent of middle-age adults have at least one long-term condition that could cause premature death, including high blood pressure, high cholesterol or diabetes, Public Health England (PHE) Figures show.

Two thirds are overweight or obese, a quarter drink more than the recommended levels and one in five smoke. 

As part of its New Year £4.5m campaign, as part of Change4Life, PHE is encouraging parents to help their children eat healthier snacks and snack less often.

Its research shows that half of UK children’s sugar intake comes from unhealthy snacks and sugary drinks.

On average, children are consuming at least three unhealthy snacks and sugary drinks a day, with around a third consuming four or more.

PHE claims there has been a’“snackification’ of children’s lunch boxes, with children eating more between meals and lunch just becoming ‘a collection of unhealthy snacks’. 

While sugar remains the main evil, the Government body hopes this fresh approach will catch people’s attention.


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Article source: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-5262057/Quiz-assess-early-death-risk.html

White House doctor: Trump in ‘excellent health’

President Donald Trump’s White House physician declared him in “excellent health” after the president received his first medical checkup at Walter Reed military hospital on Friday, undergoing a physical examination amid suggestions in a recent book and by his detractors that he’s mentally unfit.

Dr. Ronny Jackson, in a statement released by the White House, said the examination “went exceptionally well. The President is in excellent health and I look forward to briefing some of the details on Tuesday.” Trump spent about three hours at the medical facility in Bethesda, Maryland, outside Washington, for the Friday afternoon checkup, his first as president, before departing for Florida for the weekend.

The fairly routine exam for previous presidents has taken on outsized importance in the age of Trump, given the tone of some of his tweets, comments attributed to some of his close advisers and Trump’s recent slurring of words on national TV.

Some of the comments were published in a new book about Trump’s first year, “Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House” by Michael Wolff, which White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders has denounced as “complete fantasy” for portraying her 71-year-old boss as undisciplined and in over his head as president.

Trump himself has pushed back hard against any suggestion that he’s mentally unfit, declaring himself “a very stable genius.” He told reporters on Thursday that he expected the exam “to go very well. I’ll be very surprised if it doesn’t.”

The examination lasted several hours and measured things like Trump’s blood pressure, cholesterol, blood sugar, heart rate and weight. The White House did not provide specific results of those tests. Jackson, who also provided care for President Barack Obama and became a White House physician in 2006, is expected to provide a detailed readout of the exam on Tuesday and answer questions from reporters.

But conclusions about Trump’s mental acuity were not expected. The White House said Trump would not undergo a psychiatric exam. Officials did not address a different type of screening: assessments of cognitive status that examine neurologic functions including memory. Cognitive assessments aren’t routine in standard physicals, though they recently became covered in Medicare’s annual wellness visits for seniors.

While the exams are not mandatory, modern presidents typically undergo them regularly and release a doctor’s report declaring they are “fit for duty.”

Two months before the November 2016 election, Trump released a five-paragraph letter from his longtime physician, Dr. Harold Bornstein, who concluded that Trump “is in excellent physical health.” A year earlier, Bornstein said in a December 2015 letter: “If elected, Mr. Trump, I can state unequivocally, will be the healthiest individual ever elected to the presidency.”

The 2016 letter put Trump’s blood pressure and cholesterol measurements in the healthy range, though he uses a cholesterol-lowering statin medication. His EKG, chest X-ray, echocardiogram and blood sugar were normal.

The 6-foot-3 Trump weighed 236 pounds (107 kilograms), and his body mass index, or BMI, of 29.5 put him in the category of being overweight for his height.

Trump takes Crestor for his cholesterol, a low-dose aspirin for heart attack prevention, Propecia to treat male-pattern baldness and antibiotics for rosacea. The doctor’s 2016 letter stated that Trump’s testosterone level, 441.6, was in the normal range, as were his PSA reading for prostate abnormalities and tests of his liver and thyroid.

Trump was 70 when he took office on Jan. 20, 2017, making him the oldest person ever elected to the nation’s highest office.

How much of Trump’s health information is released to the public is up to the president, but Sanders said she expects the White House to release the same kind of details past presidents have made public.

Obama’s three medical reports included sections on vital statistics; physical exam by system, such as eyes, pulmonary and gastrointestinal; lab results; his past medical and surgical history; his social history; and medications, among others.

Trump has said he gets most of his exercise playing golf. The American Heart Association has said the best types of exercise increase the heart rate and make a person breathe heavily, but that activities like golf don’t provide as much cardiovascular benefit since they don’t require much extra effort. The association suggests players walk the golf course instead of renting a golf cart. Trump drives a cart from hole to hole.

Obama played basketball, lifted weights, worked out on an elliptical machine or treadmill and played golf. George W. Bush traded running for mountain biking to preserve his knees. Bill Clinton was a runner who installed a jogging track at the White House. He also played golf and indulged in Big Macs.

Trump likes fast food, too, along with well-done steaks, chocolate cake and double scoops of vanilla ice cream. He reportedly downs 12 Diet Cokes a day. In their recent book, “Let Trump Be Trump,” former top campaign aides Corey Lewandowski and David Bossie described the four major food groups on Trump’s campaign plane as “McDonald’s, Kentucky Fried Chicken, pizza and Diet Coke.”

———

Associated Press writer Catherine Lucey in Bethesda, Md., contributed to this report.

——

Follow Darlene Superville on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/dsuperville and Ken Thomas at http://www.twitter.com/KThomasDC

Article source: http://abcnews.go.com/Health/wireStory/trumps-medical-check-president-set-friday-52300840

Trump Administration Halts Program That Evaluates Substance Abuse and Behavioral Health Therapies

The Trump administration has abruptly halted work on a highly regarded program to help physicians, families, and others separate effective “evidence-based” treatments for substance abuse and behavioral health problems from worthless interventions.

The program, called the National Registry of Evidence-Based Programs and Practices, was launched in 1997 and is run by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Its website lists 453 programs in behavioral health—aimed at everything from addiction and parenting to HIV prevention, teen depression, and suicide-hotline training—that have been shown, by rigorous outcomes measures, to be effective and not quackery. The most recent were added last September.

In an email dated Jan. 4 and sent to program developers, the contractor hired by SAMHSA to work on the registry said, “It is with great regret that we write to inform you that on December 28, 2017, we received notification from SAMHSA that the NREPP contract is being terminated for the convenience of the government. This cancellation means that we can no longer make any updates to your program profile. … We are deeply saddened by the government’s sudden decision to end the NREPP contract, under which we have been able to provide and strengthen science-based information about mental health and substance use treatment and prevention programs.”

A recipient shared the email with STAT. The contractor, Development Services Group Inc., of Bethesda, Md., did not reply to a request for comment. A SAMHSA spokesman did not reply to questions sent by phone and email. The agency is part of the Department of Health and Human Services.

The website of the now-frozen registry has not been taken down. In an online statement, SAMHSA said future work on the registry, including vetting new applications, would be moved in-house “to reconfigure its approach to identifying and disseminating evidence-based practice and programs.”

Despite the inclusion of the phrase “evidence-based,” the statement did not assuage critics’ concerns. Because SAMHSA has not explained how or when it will pick up the registry work, “I’m pessimistic,” said psychology professor Warren Throckmorton, of Grove City College in Pennsylvania, who teaches a seminar that includes lessons on evidence-based programs and practices. “Why did they stop something before they had something to put in its place? Why stop what was working reasonably well?”

The administration said last month that it had advised agencies such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to avoid using seven words—including “evidence-based,” “science-based,” “fetus,” and “transgender”—in budget documents and to instead use language that wouldn’t antagonize members of Congress.

The guidance, for example, suggested that instead of describing a policy or decision as “evidence-based,” the CDC say that it “bases its recommendations on science in consideration with community standards and wishes.”

But critics alarmed by the SAMHSA decision said it suggests that what they described as the administration’s skepticism about scientific evidence has now been extended.

Just as mainstream medicine has been embracing an evidence-based approach (testing assumptions that, say, arthroscopic surgery for knee osteoarthritis works) so that patients do not receive useless care, so has behavioral health, which includes mental health as well as things such as parent-child relationships and social functioning. Behavioral health has lagged behind, however, because some of the problems it addresses are partly subjective, making it “easy to convince yourself that something is effective when it’s not,” said Throckmorton. That’s harder to demonstrate for interventions meant to help with parent-child interactions than, say, to treat cancer.

Throckmorton said his interest in the field grew from his realization that “change therapy”—to alter people’s sexual orientation—has no scientific basis.

By identifying programs whose effectiveness is supported by evidence, the registry “has been a gold seal of approval,” said a physician at a child health program who asked not to be identified because he did not want to jeopardize his SAMHSA funding. And there is considerable work still to be done in spreading evidence-based programs: Only 3 percent of children with problems ranging from attention deficit hyperactivity disorder to disruptive behavior to suicidality receive evidence-based services, he said, partly because scientifically valid programs often have a high price tag.

Making it harder for people struggling with addiction and their families to see whether a treatment they’re being offered has been shown to work is especially worrisome, said the physician. “In the midst of an opioid epidemic, they’re suspending work on a registry that tells you this,” he said.

Republished with permission from STAT. This article originally appeared on January 10, 2017

Article source: https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/trump-administration-halts-program-that-evaluates-substance-abuse-and-behavioral-health-therapies/

The supplements SCIENTISTS use to protect their health – and why they might be right for you

Supplements are a multi-billion dollar industry, but, unlike pharmaceutical companies, manufacturers of these products don’t have to prove that their products are effective, only that they are safe – and that’s for new supplements only.

At least 29,000 kinds of new supplements have been brought to the market and approved by the FDA, and there are innumerable variations on them.  

We wanted to know which supplements are worth our attention (and money).

So, we asked six scientists – experts in everything from public health to exercise physiology – to name a supplement they take each day and why they take it.  

Here is what they said:

The FDA has approved at least 29,000 new dietary supplements, and with countless variations on each of those, choosing the right one is a tall order 

The FDA has approved at least 29,000 new dietary supplements, and with countless variations on each of those, choosing the right one is a tall order 

Turmeric

Simon Bishop, lecturer in public health and primary care, Bangor University

Turmeric is more familiar as an ingredient in South Asian cooking, adding an earthy warmth and fragrance to curried dishes, but, in recent years, it has also garnered attention for its potential health benefits. 

I have been taking ground turmeric root as a dietary supplement for around two years, but I have been interested in its use in Ayurvedic medicine for far longer.

Turmeric is used as a traditional remedy in many parts of Asia to reduce inflammation and help wounds heal. 

Now, mounting evidence suggests that curcumin, a substance in turmeric, may also help to protect against a range of diseases, including rheumatoid arthritis, cardiovascular disease, dementia and some cancers.

The evidence underpinning these claims of health-giving properties is not conclusive, but it is compelling enough for me to continue to take turmeric each morning, along with my first cup of coffee – another habit that may help me live a bit longer.

Turmeric may protect against arthritis, heart disease and some cancers.

Turmeric has long been used in Eastern medicine, and Western doctors have recently recognized its benefits for heart and joint health and for reducing cancer and dementia risks

Turmeric has long been used in Eastern medicine, and Western doctors have recently recognized its benefits for heart and joint health and for reducing cancer and dementia risks

Vitamin D

Graeme Close, professor of human physiology, Liverpool John Moores University

Vitamin D is a peculiar vitamin in that it is synthesized in our bodies with the aid of sunlight, so people who live in cold countries, or who spend a lot of time indoors, are at risk of a deficiency. 

People with darker skin tone are also more at risk of vitamin D deficiency as melanin slows down skin production of vitamin D. It is estimated that about a billion people are deficient in the vitamin.

Most people are aware that we need enough vitamin D to maintain healthy bones, but, over the past few years, scientists have become increasingly aware of other important roles of vitamin D. 

We now believe vitamin D deficiencies can result in a less efficient immune system, impaired muscle function and regeneration, and even depression. Vitamin D is one of the cheapest supplements and is a really simple deficiency to correct. 

I used to test myself for deficiencies, but now – because I live in the UK where sunlight is scarce between October and April, and it doesn’t contain enough UVB radiation during these cold months – I supplement with a dose of 50 micrograms, daily, throughout the winter. 

I also advise the elite athletes that I provide with nutrition support to do the same.

Probiotic

Justin Roberts, senior lecturer in sport and exercise nutrition, Anglia Ruskin University

Having diverse beneficial gut bacteria is important for your physical and mental health. 

However, the balance of bacterial species can be disrupted by poor diet, being physically inactive and being under constant stress. One way to support the health of the gut is to consume dietary probiotics (live bacteria and yeasts), such as yogurt, kefir and kombucha.

I first came across probiotics after years of triathlon training, often experiencing gastrointestinal symptoms – such as nausea and stomach cramps – after training and races. I was also more susceptible to colds.

After researching the area, I was surprised at how many people experience similar gastrointestinal problems after exercise. Now I have found that taking a probiotic regularly lessens my symptoms after training and benefits my general health.

A recent study we conducted showed that taking a probiotic in the evening with food, over 12 weeks of exercise training, reduced gastrointestinal problems in novice triathletes.

There is also a wealth of research supporting the use of probiotics for general health benefits, including improving intestinal health, enhancing the immune response and reducing serum cholesterol.

Both probiotics and prebiotics can encourage good gut health, improving not only our digestive systems, but our overall mental and physical health 

Both probiotics and prebiotics can encourage good gut health, improving not only our digestive systems, but our overall mental and physical health 

Prebiotic

Neil Williams, lecturer in exercise physiology and nutrition, Nottingham Trent University

Prebiotics are non-digestible carbohydrates that act as a ‘fertilizer’ to increase the growth and activity of beneficial bacteria in the gut. 

This is turn can have positive effects on inflammation and immune function, metabolic syndrome, increase mineral absorption, reduce traveler’s diarrhea and improve gut health.

I first came across prebiotics in my research to target the gut microbiota in athletes suffering from exercise-induced asthma. Previous research had shown asthma patients to have altered gut microbiota, and feeding prebiotics to mice had been shown to improve their allergic asthma. 

Taking this as our launching point, we showed that taking prebiotics for three weeks could reduce the severity of exercise-induced asthma in adults by 40 percent. Participants in our study also noted improvements in eczema and allergic symptoms.

I add prebiotic powder to my coffee every morning. I have found that it reduces my hay fever symptoms in the summer and my likelihood of getting colds in the winter.

Omega-3

Haleh Moravej, senior lecturer in nutritional sciences, Manchester Metropolitan University

I started taking omega-3 after attending a Nutrition Society winter conference in 2016. The scientific evidence that omega-3 could improve my brain function, prevent mood disorders and help to prevent Alzheimer’s disease was overwhelming. 

After analyzing my diet it was obvious that I wasn’t getting enough omega-3 fatty acids. A healthy adult should get a minimum of 250-500mg, daily.

Omega-3 is a form of fatty acid. It comes in many forms, two of which are very important for brain development and mental health: EPA and DHA. 

These types are primarily found in fish. Another type of omega-3 – ALA (alpha-linolenic acid) – is found in plant-based foods, such as nuts and seeds, including walnuts and flax seeds. 

Due to my busy schedule as a lecturer, during school term time my diet is not as varied and enriched with omega-3 fatty acids as I would like, forcing me to choose a supplement. I take one 1,200mg capsule, daily.

Nothing but real food

Tim Spector, professor of genetic epidemiology, King’s College London

I used to take supplements, but six years ago I changed my mind. 

After researching my book I realized that the clinical studies, when properly carried out and independent of the manufacturers, clearly showed they didn’t work, and in many cases could be harmful. 

Studies of multivitamins show regular users are more likely to die of cancer or heart disease, for example. The only exception is supplements for preventing blindness due to macular degeneration, where randomized trials have been generally positive for a minor effect with a mixture of antioxidants.

Why take supplements when you can get all you need from a healthy diet? In many cases, there is some experimental evidence these chemicals in supplements work naturally in the body or as foods, but no good evidence that when given in concentrated form as tablets they have any benefit. 

Recent evidence shows that high doses of some supplements can even be harmful – a case in point being calcium and vitamin D. 

Rather than taking expensive and ineffective synthetic products, we should get all the nutrients, microbes and vitamins we need from eating a range of real foods, as evolution and nature intended.

With far more supplements on the market than there is research to back them up, many experts, like Dr Spector, suggest sticking to whole, unprocessed foods 

With far more supplements on the market than there is research to back them up, many experts, like Dr Spector, suggest sticking to whole, unprocessed foods 

Article source: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-5259805/The-supplements-SCIENTISTS-use-protect-health.html

Trump work requirement rewrites health care rules for poor

Rewriting the rules on health care for the poor, the Trump administration said Thursday it will allow states to require “able-bodied” Medicaid recipients to work, a hotly debated first in the program’s half-century history.

Seema Verma, head of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, said requiring work or community involvement can make a positive difference in people’s lives and in their health. The goal is to help people move from public assistance into jobs that provide health insurance. “We see people moving off of Medicaid as a good outcome,” she said.

But advocates said work requirements will become one more hoop for low-income people to jump through, and many could be denied needed coverage because of technicalities and challenging new paperwork. Lawsuits are expected as individual states roll out work requirements.

“All of this on paper may sound reasonable, but if you think about the people who are affected, you can see people will fall through the cracks,” said Judy Solomon of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, which advocates for the poor.

Created in 1965 for families on welfare and low-income seniors, Medicaid now covers more than 70 million people, or about 1 in 5 Americans. The federal-state collaboration has become the nation’s largest health insurance program.

Beneficiaries range from pregnant women and newborns to elderly nursing home residents. Medicaid was expanded under former President Barack Obama, with an option allowing states to cover millions more low-income adults. Many of them have jobs that don’t provide health insurance.

People are not legally required to hold a job to be on Medicaid, but states traditionally can seek federal waivers to test new ideas for the program.

Verma stressed that the administration is providing an option for states to require work, not making it mandatory across the country. Her agency spelled out safeguards that states should put in place to get federal approval for their waivers.

States can also require alternatives to work, including volunteering, caregiving, education, job training and even treatment for a substance abuse problem.

The administration said 10 states have applied for waivers involving work requirements or community involvement. They are: Arizona, Arkansas, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Utah and Wisconsin. Advocates for low-income people say they expect Kentucky’s waiver to be approved shortly.

In Kentucky, which expanded Medicaid, Republican state Sen. Damon Thayer said work requirements could lessen the program’s impact on the state budget. They also hearken back to the program’s original intent, he added, “as temporary assistance to try to help people get back on their feet, not a permanent subsidy for someone’s lifestyle, if they’re capable of working.”

But congressional Democrats said the Trump administration is moving in the wrong direction. “Health care is a right that shouldn’t be contingent on the ideological agendas of politicians,” said Sen. Ron Wyden of Oregon, the top Democrat on the Senate committee that oversees Medicaid.

The debate about work requirements doesn’t break neatly along liberal-conservative lines.

A poll last year from the nonpartisan Kaiser Family Foundation found that 70 percent of the public supported allowing states to require Medicaid recipients to work, even as most Americans opposed deep Medicaid cuts sought by congressional Republicans and the Trump administration.

Another Kaiser study found that most working-age adults on Medicaid are already employed. Nearly 60 percent work either full time or part time, mainly for employers that don’t offer health insurance.

Most who are not working report reasons such as illness, caring for a family member or going to school. Some Medicaid recipients say the coverage has enabled them to get healthy enough to return to work.

Thursday’s administration guidance spells out safeguards that states should consider in seeking work requirements. These include:

—Exempting pregnant women, disabled people and the elderly.

—Taking into account hardships for people in areas with high unemployment, or for people caring for children or elderly relatives.

—Allowing people under treatment for substance abuse to have their care counted as “community engagement” for purposes of meeting a requirement.

The administration said states must fully comply with federal disability and civil rights laws to accommodate disabled people and prevent those who are medically frail from being denied coverage. States should try to align their Medicaid work requirements with similar conditions in other programs, such as food stamps and cash assistance.

The National Association of Medicaid Directors, a nonpartisan group representing state officials, said in a statement there’s no consensus on whether work requirements are the right approach.

“This is a very complex issue that will require thoughtful and nuanced approaches,” said the group.

Trump’s new direction can be reversed by a future administration. Although waivers can have lasting impact they don’t amount to a permanent change in the program. They’re considered “demonstration programs” to test ideas. The administration says the impact will be closely evaluated.

“We know that Republicans tend to think of Medicaid more as a welfare program, while Democrats tend to think of it as more of a health insurance program,” said Diane Rowland, the Kaiser foundation’s leading expert on the program. “It will be interesting to see how states are going to make this work for people.”

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Associated Press writer Bruce Schreiner in Louisville, Ky., contributed to this report.

Article source: http://abcnews.go.com/Health/wireStory/major-shift-trump-opens-medicaid-work-requirement-52277328

Markets Right Now: Stocks Fade, Ending a New Year’s Rally

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11:45 a.m.

Concerns about rising interest rates are sending stocks slightly lower on Wall Street, threatening to end a six-day New Year’s rally.

Technology and health care companies posted some of the biggest losses Wednesday. Banks rose.

The S. P. 500 Index

Position of the S. P. 500 index at 1-minute intervals on Wednesday.





2,755

Previous close

2,751.29

2,750

2,745

2,740

2,735

10 a.m.

Noon

2 p.m.

4 p.m.





Source: Reuters | By The New York Times

The Standard Poor’s 500 was on pace for its first loss of 2018.

The pause for stocks came as Treasury yields continued their upward climb, and the 10-year yield traded at its highest level since March.

EBay fell 4.5 percent, and UnitedHealth Group lost 1 percent.

The SP 500 fell 4 points, or 0.2 percent, to 2,747.

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The Dow Jones industrial average lost 19 points, or 0.1 percent, to 25,366. The Nasdaq composite fell 25 points, or 0.4 percent, to 7,137.

Bond prices fell. The 10-year Treasury yield rose to 2.58 percent.

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9:35 a.m.

Stocks are opening lower on Wall Street as a New Year’s rally runs out of gas.

10-Year Treasury Notes

High yield in monthly refunding auction.





3.0

%

2.579%

2.6

2.2

1.8

1.4

’16

’17





By The New York Times

Technology and health care stocks fell the most in early trading Wednesday.

Micron Technology fell 2.3 percent and UnitedHealth Group lost 1 percent.

Domino’s Pizza dropped 3.4 percent after saying CEO Patrick Doyle will leave at the end of June after 8 years in charge.

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Banks rose as bond yields continued to climb.

The Standard Poor’s 500 fell 7 points, or 0.3 percent, to 2,743.

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 64 points, or 0.2 percent, to 25,320. The Nasdaq composite fell 26 points, or 0.4 percent, to 7,135.

Bond prices fell. The 10-year Treasury yield rose to 2.59 percent.

Continue reading the main story

Article source: https://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2018/01/10/us/ap-financial-markets-markets-right-now.html

Serena Williams says she had health scare after baby’s birth

Serena Williams tells Vogue that she dealt with a medical scare right after the birth of her daughter.

In a story in the magazine’s February issue and posted Wednesday on Vogue.com , Williams discusses developing several small blood clots in her lungs while in the hospital after Alexis Olympia Ohanian Jr. was born in September.

According to the article, the tennis superstar “spent the first six weeks of motherhood unable to get out of bed.”

When Williams originally announced her baby’s arrival, via social media postings in September, she said in a video, “We had a lot of complications, but look what we’ve got.”

Days after winning Wimbledon in 2010, Williams cut both feet on broken glass while leaving a restaurant, leading to two operations on her right foot. Then she got clots in her lungs and needed to inject herself with a blood thinner. Those shots led to a pool of blood gathering under her stomach’s skin, requiring another hospital procedure. In all, she was off the tour for about 10 months at the time, returning in 2011.

The 36-year-old Williams, who is married to Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian, has not competed since winning her 23rd Grand Slam singles title at the Australian Open in January 2017. Williams is skipping this year’s Australian Open, which begins next week.

Williams said in the Vogue story that she has her sights on getting to 25 major titles, which would break the all-time record of 24 held by Margaret Court.

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More AP tennis coverage: https://apnews.com/tag/apf-Tennis

Article source: http://abcnews.go.com/Entertainment/wireStory/serena-williams-health-scare-babys-birth-52263783