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The Raw Deal From Raw Dough

Most grains are not treated to kill bacteria.

Do you find raw cookie dough irresistible? It could be a problem. The flour may contain bacteria--specifically Shiga toxin-producing E. coli O121. Common, light symptoms are diarrhea and abdominal cramps that go away in a week. However, in children under 5, it can cause a type of kidney failure. Be aware that even homemade "play" clay from raw dough could cause an infection. Read the whole U.S. FDA statement.

PositiveTip: For your safety, avoid eating raw dough and wash hands, surfaces and utensils thoroughly after contact with flour. 

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Healthy Habits Can Offset Genetic Risk

Heart-healthy lifestyles benefit overall heart-health!

Worried you will have cardiovascular disease because it is in your genes? Researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital found while a high genetic tendency indeed increases risk of heart disease, so does an unhealthy lifestyle. The good news is, with a healthy lifestyle, the risk of heart disease can be lowered--especially for those with a high genetic risk. Those with the most healthy lifestyle factors reduced their risk by almost 50%, regardless of their genetic risk.

PositiveTip: A healthy lifestyle benefits everyone, even those with high risk in their genes!

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Does Cinnamon Burn Extra Calories?

It is too soon to add lots of cinnamon in the hope of losing weight!

Early research with cinnamaldehyde, the oil which gives cinnamon its flavor, may act directly on human fat cells causing them to burn energy by thermogenesis. Before you load your favorite holiday foods with extra cinnamon in an attempt to keep the weight off, the author cautions that more research is needed to understand these apparent metabolic benefits and the possible adverse effects.

PostitiveTip: Remember, there are no magic bullets! Restraint and moderation are still the best way of eating during the holidays.

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Thanksgiving Greetings

Happy Thanksgiving!

"Give thanks unto the Lord, call upon his name,
make known his deeds among the people.
Sing unto him, sing psalms unto him,
talk ye of all his wondrous works.
" 1 Chronicles 16:8-9

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Big Tobacco Finally to Run "Corrective" Ads

Big tobacco is not running these ads because they have repented--they were ordered to run them.

Big tobacco will finally run the "corrective" ads a federal court ordered because they engage in massive wrongdoing that causes a staggering number of deaths--1200 deaths per day in the U.S. This advertising will highlight the deadly nature of their products starting on November 26 and will continue 5 times per week for one year in prime time on the major networks

PositiveTip: Take every opportunity to communicate the deception and dangers of using tobacco.

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New Hypertension Guidelines

New norms for hypertension released.

The American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association have defined three new categories of hypertension:

  1. Elevated blood pressure: 120-129 mm Hg systolic, <80 mm Hg diastolic
  2. Stage 1 hypertension: 130-139 mm Hg systolic or 80-89 mm Hg diastolic
  3. Stage 2 hypertension: >140 mm Hg systolic or >90 mm Hg diastolic

Lifestyle modifications are recommended for all groups, in addition to appropriate medication for Stage 1 and 2 hypertension.

PositiveTip: Maintaining normal weight, physical exercise, and a healthy, balanced diet go a long way to preventing hypertension.

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Bravo! U.S. Sugar-sweetened Beverage Consumption Dropping

Americans are drinking more water and fewer sugar-sweetened beverages.

Americans are making better beverage choices according to analysis of data (2003-2014) from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES). Both adults and children are drinking significantly less sugar-sweetened beverages, which include soda, fruit drinks, fruit punches, and low-calorie drinks. Water intake increased significantly between 2005 and 2014 for ages 2 through 60. 

PositiveTip: Keep up this healthier trend: drink even more water and fewer sugar-sweetened beverages!

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Farm-worker's Study Finds No Cancer Link in Glyphosate Use

Glyphosate: No statistical risk found for any type of cancer at any site.

Glyphosate is the most commonly used--and most controversial--herbicide globally. Follow-up done between 1999-2015 in the Agricultural Health Study (AHS), a prospective cohort of licensed pesticide applicators living in North Carolina and Iowa, found no association between glyphosate and any solid or lymphoid malignancies, including non-hodgkin lymphoma.  This data comes from the largest study of agricultural workers ever conducted.

PositiveTip: While one should always use due diligence in following exposure cautions, there does not appear to be any significant cancer risks to glyphosate use.

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Risks of a Gluten-free Diet

Popular dietary restrictions that have little evidence may have real harms.

Celiac disease is all-too real, but is there sufficient evidence to support non celiac gluten sensitivity (NCGS)? For an insightful analysis of NCGS read this careful evaluation. When limiting gluten people tend to reduce the amount of whole grains they eat, thus missing out on important nutrients. There is also evidence that low-gluten diets may lead to higher risks of type 2 diabetes

PositiveTip: Beware of health gurus selling simplistic, appealing remedies with no evidence to support their nonsense.

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Popular Sports Supplements Contain More Than Meets the Eye

Banned and novel stimulants found in popular supplements.

Are you or someone you know using sports or weight-loss supplements? Harvard Medical School researchers analyzed six popular brands of these and found two banned stimulants and two novel formulations, some at surprisingly high levels. The authors encourage physicians to "remain alert to the possibility that patients may be inadvertently exposed to experimental stimulants" by using these products.

PositiveTip: It is best to avoid supplements which claim to enhance energy or stimulate weight loss.