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Sugar Substitues: May Not be Sweet for Your Health

Non-caloric sweeteners may interfere with normal glucose absorption.

A small study (published as an abstract) of healthy individuals received the equivalent non-caloric sweetener contained in 1.5 liters of "diet" soda for 14 days along with a with a control group receiving a placebo. The results suggest that glucose absorption is negatively affected in healthy people by artificial sweeteners. This early research may help explain why a population shift in the consumption of artificial sweeteners has not lowered type 2 diabetes risk.

PositiveTip: Limit both sugar-sweetened beverages and the "diet" drinks-- choose water instead!

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Plant-based Diets Lower Risk of Alzheimer's Disease

High meat diets tend to be linked to more dementia.

A 10-country study of the per capita supply of meat and other animal products (not milk) demonstrated that the higher the supply in the 5 years before diagnosis the higher the risk of Alzheimer's disease. This was correlative and could not pinpoint cause and effect. The authors suggest it might be saturated fat or the copper and iron that is more readily absorbable from meat in contrast to plant-based foods.

PositiveTip: Choose plant-based foods like vegetables, fruit and whole grains to lower your risk of dementia.

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Myth: Obese but Healthy

Obesity without other metabolic problems still tied to CVD risk!

Are you obese without hypertension, diabetes, or hyperlipidemia? Robust research challenges the concept that metabolically healthy obese people have nothing to worry about. A study of more than 3.5 million people conducted between 1995-2015 found that "healthy" obese people are significantly more likely than normal-weight people to develop  coronary heart disease, heart failure and stroke.

PositiveTip: Attaining and maintaining a healthy weight is essential to minimizing cardiovascular risks.

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Caution Needed with Backyard Poultry

Apparently healthy and clean poultry can be carrying Salmonella bacteria.

The U.S. CDC is investigating 10 separate multistate outbreaks of Salmonella infections in people who had contact with live poultry from backyard flocks. Almost 1000 people have been sickened, 215 of those required hospitalization. and one person has died. Researchers have isolated at least 10 different strains from those affected.

PositiveTip: Always wash your hands with soap and water after touching chickens and ducks.

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"Alternative" Treatments for Cancer

The risk of death may be 5x higher in those choosing alternative treatments.

We all know unproven alternative treatments are risky. Yale researchers have now quantified one type of risk for cancer patients--the risk of death. The results are frightening. By tracking equally matched subjects for 66 months, it was found that those in the alternative treatment group were 2.5 times more likely to die within five years than those in the evidence-based group. Looking specifically at breast cancer, alternative medicine users were 5.7 times more likely to die than those using conventional treatments.

PositiveTip: Think very carefully before substituting alternative treatments for evidence-based treatments.

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How to Safely View the Solar Eclipse

Once retina tissue is destroyed, it cannot regenerate, causing permanent vision loss.

Tomorrow, August 21, 2017 many will have the opportunity to view the first total solar eclipse visible across the U.S. in the last 99 years. Without proper eye protection to watch it, the macula (the center part of the retina) can easily be burned causing temporary or permanent vision loss.

PositiveTip: There are really only three safe ways of viewing the eclipse. Click here to learn how you can enjoy seeing the eclipse safely. Please enjoy it safely.

PositiveTip for

How to Safely View the Solar Eclipse

Once retina tissue is destroyed, it cannot regenerate, causing permanent vision loss.

Tomorrow, August 21, 2017 many will have the opportunity to view the first total solar eclipse visible across the U.S. in the last 99 years. Without proper eye protection to watch it, the macula (the center part of the retina) can easily be burned causing temporary or permanent vision loss.

PositiveTip: There are really only three safe ways of viewing the eclipse. Click here to learn how you can enjoy seeing the eclipse safely. Please enjoy it safely.

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U..S. Nicotine Regulations Delayed

U.S. nicotine regulations appear to be loosened.

New tobacco regulations announced by the U.S. FDA to "begin a public dialogue" on how to reduce nicotine to nonaddictive levels. These FDA plans allow manufacturers of e-cigarettes and newly regulated combustible products deadline extensions for several years to submit product review applications. Dr. Scott Gottlieb, in an interview suggested that the FDA may become more open toward e-cigarettes.

PositiveTip: The best health policy is to never start smoking, and if you do, take the necessary steps to quit the habit now.

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Obesity's Toll

As societies grow richer behaviors that exacerbate obesity risk become more common.

Have you noticed that everyone seems to be talking about obesity and its effect on the health of the population? There is good reason. Scientists from the Global Burden of Disease 2015 have determined that 110 million children and 600 million adults living in 73 countries are obese.  Between 1980 and 2014 the prevalence of obesity in both groups doubled. Obesity caused about 4 million deaths in 2015 and 120 million disability-adjusted life-years.

PositiveTip: Now is the time you can avoid obesity and help build a healthy community in your neighborhood.

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Dementia Does Not Have to Happen

Specific steps can be taken to prevent dementia.

A Lancet Commission, after a careful review of epidemiological data, reported that 35% of all dementia is "potentially modifiable". The modifiable risk factors can be separated into early-, mid-, and late-life prevention as follows:

  • Early life: poor education (8%)
  • Mid-life: hearing loss (9%), hypertension (2%), obesity (1%)
  • Late-life: smoking (5%), depression (4%), physical inactivity (3%), social isolation (2%), and diabetes (1%)

This is really good news! 

PositiveTip: By choosing to follow a healthy lifestyle you will take important steps to reduce your risk of dementia.