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Gene-editing Technology OK for Food Plants

USDA will not regulate plants whose genomes have been edited.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture will not regulate plants altered with gene-editing technology as long as the final product is something that could have been developed through traditional breeding techniques. It cannot be a plant pest or achieved with the help of a plant pest. Permitted will be changes that provide immunity to disease or natural resistance to crop chemicals. This does not include transgenic plants with a gene from a distant species--these will still be regulated.

PositiveTip: You can probably rest assured that our food supply will remain safe.

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Do E-cigarettes Help People Quit Smoking?

Patients who used e-cigarettes were less likely to quit smoking.

An observational study found those who used e-cigarettes were less successful in quitting smoking than those who did not use e-cigarettes. An analysis of 237 propensity score-matched pairs, at 6 months, found 10.1% of e-cigarette users had quit, versus 26.6% of non-users. There were limitations to this study that suggest the need for a randomized trial.

PositiveTip: Like medications, the possibility exists that using e-cigarettes as a complete replacement for cigarettes, might be helpful.

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Eat Beans to Reduce Worldwide Gas

Choosing to eat beans instead of beef would free up 42% of U.S. cropland.

One of the keys to short-term reduction of harmful greenhouse gases may be found on your dinner plate. One simple change in American eating habits would have a large impact: eat beans instead of beef. This would immediately help the U.S. achieve 50-75% of its GHG target for 2020, and it  would be accomplished without any new standards on automobiles!

PositiveTip: Eating beans instead of meat is not only good for the environment--it is also good for your health.

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Postpone Dementia by High Midlife Cardiovascular Fitness

Hi-fitness in midlife women may cut dementia risk by almost 90% in later life.

Women with a high level of cardiovascular fitness during middle-age had an 88% reduction in risk of developing dementia compared women who were moderately fit in midlife. When the highly fit women did get dementia, they developed it an average of 11 years later--at 90 instead of 79 years old! This comes from a Swedish cohort of women who were followed up to 44 years.

PositiveTip: Improving you fitness level in middle-age could delay and even prevent dementia later in life!

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Fraudulent Flu Products

There are no legally marketed over-the-counter products to prevent or cure the flu.

Here are some claims from the Food and Drug Administration that may indicate an over-the-counter flu (OTC) product is fraudulent:

  • boosts your immunity naturally without a flu shot
  • safe and effective alternative to the flu shot
  • prevents catching the flu
  • faster recovery from the flu
  • effective treatment for the flu
  • faster recovery from the flu

PositiveTip: Avoid fraudulent products that could delay you getting a proper diagnosis and treatment--save money, too!

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Manage Inflammation to Reduce Colorectal Cancer Risk

A healthy diet and weight lowers inflammation and reduces risk of colon cancer.

When a tissue is chronically inflamed it often stimulates pathways in the cells that increase cancer risk. Eating colorful foods that are aromatic, nutrient-dense and low in calories tend to reduce inflammation and help protect against colorectal cancer. Healthy eating also tends to promote a healthy weight. Stored fat in the belly may play a strong role in inflammation, increasing the risk of the same cancer.

PositiveTip; Tackle inflammation with a healthy diet and weight control, and have regular screenings.

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Binge Drinking in the U.S.,

U.S. adults consume about 17.5 billion total binge drinks annually.

Researchers from CDC studied data from 400,000 U.S. adults and found 1 in 6 U.S. adults (17%) binge drink more than one time per week. Binge drinking is defined as 5 or more drinks for men and four or more drinks for women at one occasion. This accounts for 80,000 annual deaths. Binge drinking is a problem across the lifespan and is more common among men than women.

PositiveTip: Choosing to avoid any alcohol will prevent you from binge drinking, too!

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Cigar Smoking Raises All-cause Mortality

All forms of combustible tobacco pose health risks to the user.

There are some who smoke cigars because they think they are not as harmful  as cigarettes. A 26 year study of almost 360,000 U.S. adults, found those who exclusively smoked cigarettes experienced twice the risk of never-smokers. The all-cause mortality of those who exclusively smoked cigars was 20% higher than never-smokers, but each group of smokers had a significantly elevated risk of dying from tobacco related cancers.

PositiveTip: No safe form of tobacco exists!

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New Questions About the IQOS System

Smokeless tobacco device may not live up to safety claims.

The "I Quit Original Smoking" (IQOS) smokeless tobacco device may not be as safe as the manufacturer claims. Researchers evaluated its performance under several different puffing protocols as well as cleaning conditions. They found it is not fully a "heat-not-burn" system, as the tobacco did char, and the plastic film used to cool the vapor easily released a toxic chemical. This device is available internationally but not in the U.S.

PositiveTip: Quit smoking all forms of tobacco. It is still the safest option!

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Video: Exercise Can Change Your Brain

Working out boosts your mood and memory.

Watch neuroscientist Wendy Suzuki as she discusses the life-changing benefits of physical activity on the most important organ in your body--your brain! You will be inspired by watching this short, fascinating video!

PositiveTip: Take a 30 minute walk every day for your heart and brain!