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Merry Christmas!

May this day bring you great joy and peace!

"For a child is born to us,
a son is given to us.
The government will rest on his shoulders.
And he will be called:
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace
." Isaiah 9:6

"Let us not cast away our confidence, but have firm assurance, firmer than ever before. “Hitherto hath the Lord helped us,” and He will help us to the end (1 Samuel 7:12)... Let us keep fresh in our memory all the tender mercies that God has shown us—the tears He has wiped away, the pains He has soothed, the anxieties removed, the fears dispelled, the wants supplied, the blessings bestowed—thus strengthening ourselves for all that is before us through the remainder of our pilgrimage." Courage and Conflict, page 364

PositiveTip for

U.S. FDA to Increase Homeopathic Drug Enforcement

Some homeopathic preparations are manufactured with ingredients that are dangerous.

The U.S. FDA has notified the booming $3 billion homeopathy industry it is going to increase enforcement of manufacturing, marketing and safety regulations for homeopathic products. This will focus most on products that have "the greatest potential to cause risk to patients" and include:

  • Products with known safety issues, dangerous substances, and those found to be adulterated.
  • Products intended to treat serious or life-threatening conditions which may replace known, effective treatments.

PositiveTip: All smart consumers should be able to know for certain the efficacy and safety of what they take.

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Is that Lotion Really Ultra-hydrating?

When there are no published rules, marketing hype abounds.

All of us are inundated with the seemingly endless ads for cosmetic and skincare products. Each month in Dermatology Times Zoe Diana Draelos, MD examines some of these claims. Here is a sample: what is an ultra-hydrating and therapeutic skin moisturizer formula? Answer: pure marketing gibberish

PositiveTip: In a world of appealing, but unfounded claims, education from experts who understand the subject is the best way to prevent being suckered!

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Regular Exercise Lowers Risk for Dementia

Regular physical activity decreases the odds of dementia.

In the U.S. the total cost of caring for a person with dementia is $287,000, which is 57% higher than caring for a patient with any other disease. Sadly, there is no effective treatment for dementia. However, the Chinese Longitudinal Healthy Survey has revealed that people who regularly exercised had almost 50% lower odds of developing dementia than those who did not exercise regularly.

PositiveTip: Choose daily regular exercise to reduce your odds of dementia and other health risks.

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Butter Not Better

Scientific evidence still shows cutting back on fats from meat and butter beneficial.

Have you been tempted to follow recent headlines suggesting that butter is better than polyunsaturated fat? Harvard researchers studied over 120,000 health professionals in the U.S. and found an 18% increase in heart disease risk in those who consumed the highest amount of saturated fat compared to those who ate the least.

PositiveTip: To reduce your risk of heart disease, cut back on saturated fat and replace it with polyunsaturated fats, whole grains, or plant proteins.

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Teen Brain Development Hampered by Alcohol

Keeping kegs out of dormitories makes a lot of sense.

Researchers studying teenagers for two years found significant negative brain changes is both heavy and moderate drinkers. The more alcohol consumed the worse the outcomes. After controlling for confounders, slower increases in gray matter and accelerated decreases in gray matter were observed.

PositiveTip: Drinking alcohol is harmful to adolescent brains--and brains of all ages!

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Keep Electronic Devices out of Kids' Bedrooms.

Game consoles was linked to poor social competence.

A cross-sectional study of over 500 kindergartners in Hong Kong found the presence of electronic devices in their bedrooms was associated with worse social competence, emotional maturity, language and cognitive skills, communication skills, and overall school readiness compared to to those who did not. 

PositiveTip: Think carefully when allowing children to have electronic devices in their bedrooms!

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Brain Health Depends on a Healthy Lifestyle

A healthy lifestyle may delay dementia and enhance cognition.

Vascular risk factors during midlife may foster the development of underlying dementia later in life. Having a BMI of greater than 30 kg/m2 at midlife is associated with 2X the risk of brain amyloid deposits later. Other risk factors are smoking, hypertension, high cholesterol and diabetes--all modifiable by a healthy lifestyle.

PositiveTip: To optimize brain health follow a healthy lifestyle and engage in mentally stimulating activities today!

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Whole Grains Reduce Systemic Inflammation

Whole grains are a better choice than refined grains.

Danish scientists investigated the impact of replacing a refined grain diet with a whole grain diet (<10 gm or >75 gm whole grains, respectively) on the gut microbiome and insulin sensitivity. In a randomized, controlled cross-over study, 50 patients were tested for 8 weeks on each diet with a washout period of 8 weeks in between. While eating whole grains inflammatory biomarkers decreased and body weight dropped slightly.

PositiveTip: Whole grains are the better choice for weight management and inflammatory conditions.

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Any Physical Activity Better than None!

Even modest levels of physical activity benefit the heart.

Are. you tempted to say you are too tired or too busy to exercise? An 18-year study of 24,000 adults ages 39-79 has found a significant link between physical activity and a reduced risk of heart disease. The elderly who engaged in moderate intensity exercise were 14% less likely to experience a cardiovascular event than their peers who were inactive.

PositiveTip: No gym available? No problem! Seniors should walk, garden, do housework, and other moderate physical activities.