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Want to Shed Weight? Eat These 4 Types of Fruit

Don’t toss that peel–it may help you burn fat. When scientists added ursolic acid (found in apple skin) to the high-fat diets of mice, the mice gained less weight.
“Ursolic acid ups muscle and brown fat, which boosts calorie burning,” says lead researcher Christopher Adams, MD.
Other likely slimmers:
Bergamot oranges: Studies show that compounds in the fruit may decrease cholesterol and help with weight loss.
Blueberries: This superfruit may reduce belly fat by affecting fat-burning and storage genes, says a recent study.
Pears: They’re high in flavonoids and catechins, antioxidants that help women ward off weight gain.

Source:  http://news.health.com/

5 Exercises That Burn a Ton of Calories

The most popular machines at any gym are the elliptical, stationary bikes, and treadmills. Why? I think it’s because they show you the amount of calories you’re burning. FYI–you don’t need a machine to burn that many calories!
These 5 exercises will get you the most bang for your buck in burning calories and hitting several muscles at once. Best of all, you can do them at home without a machine. All the calorie estimations are for a person who weighs 155 pounds.
1. Plank drag (with towel). Get into a plank position, with your hands right underneath shoulders, with your abs engaged and a flat back. Also, you’ll want to place a small towel under each foot. On a hardwood or linoleum floor, drag your body from one side of the room to the other, pulling your body weight by using your arms to move around. One trip across the room, both there and back, counts as one round. Repeat this three times. Check out the image for details.
Calories burned: 12 per round
2. Burpees. Burpees are the go-to full body workout. Get into your plank position, then “jump” your knees towards your chest. Next, jump up, raising your arms in the air above your head and pointing your toes. When you land, go back into your knees-at-chest position and kick your legs back out. This one is INTENSE – do as many as you can a day.
Calories: 10 per minute
3. Jump lunges. Start with your feet together, elbows bent at 90 degrees, and then lunge forward as shown. Next, jump straight up as your raise your hands to the ceiling (but still keep your elbows bent!) then land in a lunge with your opposite foot forward this time.
Calories: 12 per minute
4. Renegade row. You’ll need two hand weights for this one. Get into your plank position, with your weights in your hands that are supporting you. Lift one arm against your body, so your forearm aligns with your back and your elbow is at 90 degrees. Hold for 2 counts, then lower back down to start. Repeat on the opposite arm. Check out the image for details.
Calories: 15 per minute
5. Squat to press. Grab two light hand-weights and stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, elbows bent 90 degrees and your palms facing forward. Get into a squat position and hold for two seconds. Next, push through your heels to stand up straight while raising your weights towards the ceiling. For a great image of this one and more strength moves for weight loss, check out the 5 Best Strength Moves for Weight Loss.
Calories: 14 per minute

Source:  http://news.health.com/


3 Morning Mistakes That Slow Down Metabolism

Metabolic rate is affected by several factors including age, weight, and genetics. Although there’s not a whole lot you can do about those things, there are still choices that can cause metabolism to fire up or fizzle. If losing weight is your goal, avoid these metabolism-slowing mistakes in the morning.
    1. Eating too late: Skipping breakfast is one of the worst things you can do for weight loss since it causes your metabolism to slow down. When you don’t eat, the brain sends a message to the rest of the body to conserve energy, signaling it to hold onto the stored fat that you’re trying to get rid of. Eating within an hour of waking sparks the metabolic process called thermogenesis that turns the food you eat into energy. And no — a cup of coffee does not count as breakfast! Instead choose one of these high-protein breakfast ideas under 350 calories. Make sure to eat throughout the day to maintain blood sugar levels since any drops can cause the body to burn muscle for fuel.
    2. Not exercising: Research shows you continue burning calories up to 24 hours after working out, and studies also show that morning exercises burn more calories than those who sweat it out during other times of the day. If you’re planning on exercising anyway, for maximum calorie burn, your best bet is to get it done in the a.m. Include high intensity cardio intervals since challenging yourself is proven to activate fat-burning genes, which translates to an increased post-workout calorie burn — 100 to 200 more.
    3.  Not pumping iron: Lean muscle mass burns calories, and just adding five to 10 pounds of lean muscle to your frame will increase your daily calorie burn by 100 calories. Include strength training in your morning routine such as this 10-minute metabolism-boosting workout.
Source:  http://news.health.com/

Irregular Bedtimes & Behavior Problems in Kids

A regular bedtime might guarantee more than a good night's sleep for both kids and their parents -- it turns out that a regular bedtime can make for a better-behaved child, new research suggests.
When 7-year-olds had irregular bedtimes, they were more likely to have behavior problems than their peers with a consistent time for their nightly shut-eye. And, the study also found that the longer a child had been able to go to bed at different times each night, the worse his or her behavior problems were.
"Irregular bedtimes were linked to behavioral difficulties, and these effects appeared to accumulate through early childhood," said the study's lead author, Yvonne Kelly, a professor of lifecourse epidemiology at University College London.
"We also found that the effects appeared to be reversible -- children who changed from not having, to having, regular bedtimes showed improvements in behaviors, and vice versa," she added.
Kelly and her colleagues reviewed data on more than 10,000 7-year-olds who were enrolled in the U.K. Millennium Cohort Study. Details on the children's bedtimes were collected when they were 3, 5 and 7 years old.
At the same time that sleep findings were collected, researchers asked teachers and mothers to rate the children's behaviors. The behavior survey included 25 questions.
Kids with irregular bedtimes had more behavioral problems than did children with regular bedtimes, according to both their teachers and their mothers. The children's mothers rated the children with irregular bedtimes as having slightly more behavior problems than did the teachers.
The longer a child had an irregular bedtime, the greater the behavioral difficulties. On average, a child who had an irregular bedtime at one time-point in the study increased his or her score on the behavioral difficulties scale by about a half-point. If that child had an irregular bedtime at two time-points during the study, the score increased by about 1 point. If the child had an irregular bedtime at all three time-points during the study, the score increased by just over 2 points.
"A half-point corresponds to a 'small' effect. Irregular bedtimes at two ages, and all three ages, corresponded to a 1- and 2-point difference in behavior scores. These effect sizes would have 'moderate' clinical significance," said Kelly when asked if these score differences would make a noticeable difference in a child's behavior.
The good news from the study is that if you switch your child to a regular bedtime from an irregular bedtime schedule, your child's behavior will likely improve. The reverse is also true. If a child with a regular bedtime switches to an irregular one, behavior will likely worsen, the researchers noted.
Kelly said irregular bedtimes could contribute to behavior problems in several ways. "First, switching bedtimes from night to night interferes with circadian rhythms [the body clock] and induces a state akin to jet lag. Second, disrupted sleep interferes with processes to do with brain maturation," she explained.
Dr. Ruby Roy, a pediatrician at La Rabida Children's Hospital in Chicago, agreed that several reasons may contribute to a connection between irregular bedtimes and behavior problems.
"When kids don't have structure and predictability, they have anxiety," Roy said. "Kids naturally want to push boundaries, and when they don't have boundaries, it causes anxiety and acting out. A lack of sleep can also cause behavior problems, and some of these kids may only be going to sleep when they're passing out from exhaustion, which means they won't get enough sleep," she explained.
"Kids probably sleep better with regular bedtimes and when they have established bedtime routines," Roy added.
Kelly concluded: "Getting regular routines around bedtimes appears to be important for children's behavioral development. But, there are lots of other influential factors, too. So we shouldn't get too hung up about children having the same bedtime every single night."
The study was published online Oct. 14 and in the November print issue of the journal Pediatrics.

Source: Health Day News

Popular Morning Sickness Drug Safe in Pregnancy: Study

The anti-nausea medication metoclopramide appears to be a safe and effective treatment for morning sickness, Danish researchers report.
More than 40,000 women exposed to metoclopramide while pregnant did not face any increased risk of birth defects or miscarriage, according to a study published Oct. 16 in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
"This is by far the largest study on metoclopramide safety in pregnancy, and as such it expands substantially on the published evidence," said co-author Dr. Bjorn Pasternak of the Statens Serum Institute in Copenhagen. "It found that metoclopramide use in pregnancy was not associated with increased risk of major adverse outcomes, including major malformations and fetal death, and as such supports what is known about the safety profile of this drug."
More than half of pregnant women experience nausea and vomiting, usually early in their pregnancy, the study authors noted.
Most women deal with these symptoms with little treatment, but about 10 percent to 15 percent eventually will require medication because they face more serious complications such as dehydration or weight loss.
But many pregnant women have grave concerns regarding any sort of nausea medication because of the horrific birth defects associated with the drug thalidomide, which was used to treat morning sickness in the late 1950s and early 1960s. Thalidomide's tragic history led to the strengthening of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the development of regulations regarding medication use during pregnancy.
"There's a general feeling to take no medications during pregnancy," said Dr. Siobhan Dolan, associate professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Montefiore Medical Center in New York City and medical adviser to the March of Dimes. "The truth is in the first trimester when the organs are forming we're cautious about any medication the women take. But there's a growing appreciation that there can be risks to not treating symptoms like nausea and vomiting."
Metoclopramide, sold under the brand name Reglan, is one of the most commonly used prescription medications in pregnancy, the authors noted.
The drug has FDA approval for use as a treatment for patients suffering heartburn and esophagitis due to acid reflux. It's also used to treat nausea caused by surgery or chemotherapy, and is often recommended as a treatment for morning sickness if other therapies have failed.
Pasternak said there aren't many alternatives for the treatment of nausea and vomiting in pregnancy. "There appears to be some degree of individual variation in response to drug treatment, so some women may be helped by one drug and others by another. Therefore, different treatment alternatives are needed," he said.
In this study, researchers reviewed more than 1.2 million pregnancies in Denmark from 1997 to 2011 and compared outcomes between women who used metoclopramide and those who did not. 
The investigators compared 28,486 infants exposed to metoclopramide in the first trimester of pregnancy to 113,698 unexposed infants, and found no associations between the nausea drug and any major malformations.
The study also found no increased risk of miscarriage, stillbirth, preterm birth, low birth weight or fetal growth restriction associated with metoclopramide use in pregnancy.
Because birth defects are rare, it can be difficult to assess a drug's safety in small-scale studies, Dolan said. A study looking at tens of thousands of pregnancies is more likely to find patterns and associations between a medication and the risk of birth defects, if such risk exists.
"We can take from this some reassurance" of metoclopramide's safety, Dolan said. "What's powerful about a study like this is they looked at all the births in Denmark between 1997 and 2011. That's a lot of births."
Regardless, Dolan said further study into the safety of this and other medications used during pregnancy will always be needed.
"We need good data to have good understanding so women can be cared for, and their symptoms can be treated and they can have successful pregnancy outcomes," she said. "Women need to understand the risks of any medication they choose to take."

Source: Health Day News

Did Recession Lead to Increase in Vasectomies?

The financial crisis of 2008 and lingering economic woes are having an impact on men's reproductive decisions, new research suggests.
"With the current recession, it's pushing more guys to get a vasectomy done," said study author Dr. Anand Shridharani, a men's reproductive and sexual health specialist at Erlanger Health System, in Knoxville, Tenn.
In 2009, many urologists reported anecdotally that they were fielding more requests for vasectomies, suspecting the downturn in the economy as a reason. So Shridharani's team attempted to find some numbers to back up the reported trend.
Shridharani conducted the study while at the Medical College of Wisconsin and was scheduled to present the findings Tuesday at the joint meeting of the International Federation of Fertility Societies and American Society for Reproductive Medicine, held in Boston.
The researchers looked at the numbers of men having vasectomies at their facility in Wisconsin from June 2005 through October 2012. They also tracked the median income in Wisconsin during those years and the median U.S. income.
"We found as the median income for Wisconsin declined, the rate of vasectomies annually went up," Shridharani said. In 2005, 91 men had a vasectomy and the median state income was $54,269. In 2010, 239 men had a vasectomy and the income had dropped to $50,547.
"Comparing the number of vasectomies performed per year from 2005 to 2008 versus 2009 to 2012, the difference [an increase] is statistically significant," Shridharani said.
"The suspected reason is that having an unexpected child would increase the cost of living," he noted. "People are having children older, and older people are more in tune with what children cost," Shridharani suggested.
In a vasectomy, the sperm-transport system is interrupted by blocking the structure known as the vas deferens, which carries sperm from the testicle to the urethra. If a man changes his mind about wanting children, a reversal often can be done.
One expert not involved with the new study said that while the state of the economy definitely has an effect on family planning, the study does not prove definitely that it was the driver for vasectomy request.
"I'm not convinced that the increase can be tied to the recession," said Laura Lindberg, a senior research associate at the Guttmacher Institute.
"There may be an increase in vasectomies due to the recession, but this study doesn't prove that," Lindberg said. "He can't show that the guys who came in [for a vasectomy] had lower incomes," she pointed out.
"Vasectomy remains a method chosen by higher-income, more highly educated men, so you have a real divide. White, educated men have vasectomies and men of color, and those not highly educated, do not," she added.
The reasons, Lindberg speculated, center around cultural and masculinity issues, with some men feeling the procedure makes them less manly.
The economy does affect family planning decisions, Lindberg noted. In the summer of 2009, Guttmacher interviewed 947 women, aged 18 to 34, with household incomes of less than $75,000. Sixty-four percent said that with the state of the economy at that time, they could not afford to have a baby right then. The more financially strapped they were, the more likely they were to say this, Lindberg said.
Because the new Wisconsin study was presented at a medical meeting, the data and conclusions should be viewed as preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed journal.

Source: Health Day News

Tweaked Club Drug Shows Promise as Antidepressant

The veterinary tranquilizer ketamine -- perhaps better known as the illicit "club drug" Special K -- may be reformulated for use as an antidepressant, and researchers report promising early findings.
The goal is to produce a ketamine-like drug without nasty side effects, such as hallucinations. In this new study, which researchers say is the most comprehensive of its kind, depressed people who took the drug reported improvement over three weeks.
Although the findings need to be replicated in other studies, "they do generate scientific data that will pave the way for future research," said study co-author Sanjeev Pathak, senior director of clinical development with AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals, which is funding the research.
It's still unclear whether the drug under development is safe or could be used long-term.
The study, published online Oct. 15 in the journal Molecular Psychiatry, also provides increasing evidence that a new class of medications with similar effects to ketamine could become available, said Michael Quirk, study co-author and director of discovery and preclinical sciences with AstraZeneca.
In the United States, about 9 percent of adults report depression, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Drug companies want to bring a new antidepressant to the market because the existing medications don't work for everyone.
"The working rule of thumb is that a third of patients may get a response from the first treatment with an antidepressant, but a substantial proportion fail," said Dr. G. Caleb Alexander, co-director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Drug Safety and Effectiveness. Alexander was not involved in the research.
Failure of the first antidepressant treatment typically requires patients to try alternatives. That, of course, takes time, especially because antidepressants often act slowly.
Enter ketamine, which is used legally as an anesthetic in animals and people. It can put people in a trance-like state and cause hallucinations, which has led to its illegal use in the club scene, where it's known as Special K or K.
In recent years, researchers have started to investigate ketamine as an antidepressant, and some physicians are prescribing it off-label. It is legal in the United States to prescribe government-approved drugs for nonapproved uses. Drug companies, however, hope to produce a nongeneric version of a ketamine-like drug that they can sell and promote.
Big questions remain regarding effectiveness, safety, long-term use, cost and side effects. The point is to capture the positive mood-altering properties without the negative side effects.
The new research consists of two Phase II studies, meaning AstraZeneca is partway through the three stages of research that drugs must go through for approval in the United States.
In the new studies, the researchers tested a drug called lanicemine, which, like ketamine, disrupts how the brain processes neurotransmitters. In one of the studies, 152 people with depression were randomly assigned to take 100 milligrams or 150 milligrams of the drug or a placebo intravenously at three-day intervals for three weeks.
The patients who took the drug were more likely to report improvement in their depression during the three weeks they got the medication and for several weeks afterward, although the side effect of temporary dizziness was common. The hallucinations and delusions associated with ketamine were not evident.
More research is planned. "We've got a long way to go before deciding that this drug is adequately safe or effective enough that it should be put on the market," Alexander said.

Source: Health Day News

Diabetes With Heart Disease: Bypass vs. Angioplasty

Generally, the less invasive a surgical procedure is, the better. But, that's not necessarily true for people with diabetes.
Recent research has found lower death rates and fewer heart attacks in people with diabetes who've undergone the open-heart procedure known as a coronary artery bypass graft (CABG), compared to those who had the less-invasive coronary angioplasty with stents. Angioplasty is also called percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI).
Now a new study of the same group of patients reports that they also have a better quality of life after the more-invasive bypass procedure.
"Recovery and early quality of life was better immediately with PCI, which is not surprising given the much less invasive nature of that procedure. But, between six months and two years, there was less [chest pain], slightly better physical performance and quality of life with CABG," said senior study author Dr. David Cohen, director of cardiovascular research at St. Luke's Mid America Heart Institute, in Kansas City, Mo.
Results of the study were published in the Oct. 16 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.
Angioplasty is a common procedure to open up blocked blood vessels that supply blood to the heart. A special balloon-tipped catheter is inserted into a blood vessel (usually in the leg), and then threaded up to the area around the heart. If a blockage is encountered, it can be opened by inflating the balloon. To keep the blood vessel open, doctors often insert a small lattice-like tube (stent) into the blood vessel, the American Heart Association explains.
In coronary artery bypass graft surgery, a surgeon takes blood vessels from other parts of the body and uses these to reroute blood flow around the blocked blood vessel. While this surgery is very effective, it is more invasive than angioplasty and requires more recovery time both in and out of the hospital.
Several previous studies have shown that bypass surgery is generally the preferred procedure for people with diabetes. Cohen said there are a number of reasons why the more-invasive procedure is better. "People with diabetes tend to have different anatomy and more co-morbidities [other existing health conditions]. Their blood vessels tend to be smaller; they have more peripheral vascular disease and more renal [kidney] failure, which are things known to be bad for those undergoing PCI," he pointed out.
A diabetes expert explained why the less-invasive treatment isn't necessarily the best option.
"PCI tends to fix only a little bit at a time, but people with diabetes have very diffuse disease," said Dr. Joel Zonszein, director of the clinical diabetes center at Montefiore Medical Center in New York City. "It's usually not one single blood vessel, it's all over. And, you don't see the full obstruction, but if you look at the blood vessels, they're quite diseased, which is probably part of the inflammatory process. The disease process is different in people with diabetes, and that's why the more aggressive treatment works better."

Source: Health Day News

Study Sees Link Between Psoriasis and Kidney Problems

People with moderate to severe psoriasis are at increased risk for chronic kidney disease and need to be closely monitored for kidney problems, a large new study suggests.
Researchers in Philadelphia analyzed data from nearly 144,000 people, aged 19 to 90, with psoriasis, and a comparison (control) group of nearly 690,000 adults without the condition.
During seven years of follow-up, people with psoriasis were more likely to develop chronic kidney disease than those in the control group. Those with severe psoriasis had a nearly two-fold higher risk of developing kidney disease and a more than fourfold higher risk of developing kidney failure requiring dialysis, according to a journal news release
Further investigation that focused on the amount of skin area affected by psoriasis showed that people with moderate to severe psoriasis were at greater risk of developing chronic kidney disease. People with moderate psoriasis have 3 percent to 10 percent of skin area affected, while those with severe psoriasis have more than 10 percent of skin area affected.
Psoriasis is a chronic condition involving scaly skin patches that can lead to itching, cracking and bleeding. As many as 7.5 million Americans have the autoimmune condition, according to the National Psoriasis Foundation.
Moderate and severe psoriasis affect more than 20 percent of patients worldwide, according to the study, which appears Oct. 15 in the journal BMJ.
Although the study found an association between having psoriasis and a higher risk of kidney problems, it did not establish a cause-and-effect relationship.
The researchers also found that the risk of chronic kidney disease linked to psoriasis increases with age. In patients aged 40 to 50 with severe disease, psoriasis accounted for one extra case of chronic kidney disease per 134 patients yearly. In those aged 50 to 60, it accounted for one extra case yearly per 62 patients.
Further research is needed to confirm the study findings, determine how psoriasis can cause kidney disease and examine how psoriasis treatment affects the risk for kidney disease, the researchers concluded.

Source: Health Day News

Blood Test Shows Promise for Cancer Detection

Researchers say they've developed a blood test that can detect some cases of early stage lung and prostate cancer.
Although the test has limited accuracy and only a small number of people have tried it, it potentially could provide doctors more information when they suspect a patient has a tumor.
"[This is] one more tool doctors can use to help guide clinical decisions," said study co-author Dr. Daniel Sessler, professor and chairman of the department of outcomes research at the Cleveland Clinic. "It is also potentially important because the only current routine diagnostic method for lung cancer is CT scanning, which is both expensive and requires radiation exposure."
Researchers have spent a decade or more trying to develop a blood test to detect cancer, said Dr. Len Lichtenfeld, deputy chief medical officer of the American Cancer Society. Tests would be especially useful if they detect cancer in its early stages when treatment is most effective. Some scientists dream of a test people could take at home using drops of blood from a finger prick, he said.
The prostate specific androgen, or PSA, test can detect signs of prostate cancer, but its usefulness is the subject of much debate because it is sometimes inaccurate, leading to unnecessary treatment. A blood test like the one developed for this study could be a useful addition to prostate cancer screenings, the researchers said.
For now, studies into cancer tests continue, Lichtenfeld said, but they remain challenging to develop because signs of cancer in the blood can be minuscule. "We're getting closer to the possibility but we're there not there yet," he said.
In the new study, which Lichtenfeld described as "very early" research, the authors examined blood samples from 95 cancer patients and compared them to samples from healthy people. They also examined blood samples from 24 patients before and after they had surgery for lung cancer.
The researchers found that the cancer patients had up to six times the level of serum-free fatty acids and their metabolites (which are produced during metabolism) as the cancer-free participants. Also, within a day after lung cancer surgery, the levels of fatty acids decreased by between three and 10 times.
Sessler said the fatty acids are necessary for cancer cells to grow, and some cancers release them.
The findings were scheduled for presentation Tuesday at the annual meeting of the American Society of Anesthesiologists in San Francisco.
How effective is the test itself? Sessler said it correctly identifies cancer patients 70 percent of the time and patients without cancer 70 percent of the time.
"It is thus by no means perfect, but may provide information to guide clinicians, especially in high-risk patients," he said.
Sessler said the results could help physicians figure out what to do about a suspicious-looking nodule. "And it might help evaluate the response to surgery and whether or not cancer has recurred," he said.
"Like all tests, there will be both false positives and false negatives," Sessler said. "Using it in the right patients and interpreting the results in context with other clinical data will be necessary."
What about the cost? "The test is nowhere near being commercial, so cost can't yet be determined," Sessler said.
The next step for the researchers is to keep track of blood test results after surgery to see if they pick up recurrences of cancer.
Data and conclusions presented at meetings typically are considered preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed medical journal.

 Source: Health Day News