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Bad to the Bones: What to Avoid for Bone Health

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Bad to the Bones: What to Avoid for Bone Health

Too Much Salt

The more salt you eat, the more calcium your body gets rid of, which means it’s not there to help your bones. Foods like breads, cheeses, chips, and cold cuts have some of the highest counts.
You don’t have to cut salt out entirely, but aim for less than 2,300 milligrams of sodium a day

Too Much TV Watching

It’s fine to enjoy your favorite show. But it’s way too easy to spend endless hours in front a screen, nestled on your couch. When it becomes a habit to lounge, you don’t move enough and your bones miss out.
Exercise makes your bones stronger. Ity falls to reason that not moving will make them weaker.  It’s best for your skeleton when your feet and legs carry the weight of your body, which forces your bones and muscles to work against gravity. 

Miles of Bike Rides

When you pedal to work or ride for hours on the weekend, your heart and lungs get stronger. Your bones? You would think that the answer that this is not so seems counterintuitive but – no, not so much.  Because it’s not a weight-bearing activity, bike riding does not increase your bone density, unlike walks, runs, and hikes.
If you’re an avid cyclist, you’ll want to add some time in the weight room to your routine and mix it up with activities like tennis, hiking, dancing, and swimming (the water’s resistance helps your bones). 

Too Much Time in Your “Cave”

Maybe you need to get out more and move, exercise, see the sun. The body makes vitamin D in sunlight. Just 10-15 minutes several times a week could do it. But don’t overdo it. Too much time in the sun can raise your risk of skin cancer. And there are some other catches, too.
Your age, skin color, the time of year, and where you live can make it harder to make vitamin D. So can sunscreen.
Add fortified cereals, juices, and milks (including almond, soy, rice, or other plant-based milks, as well as low-fat dairy) to your diet. And ask your doctor if you need a vitamin D supplement.

Another Pitcher of Drinks

When you’re out with friends, one more round might sound like fun. But to keep bone loss in check, you should limit the amount of alcohol you drink. No more than one drink a day for women and two for men is recommended. Alcohol can interfere with how your body absorbs calcium.

Overdoing Some Drinks

Too many cola-flavored sodas could harm your bones. While more research is needed, some studies have linked bone loss with both the caffeine and the phosphorous in these beverages. Other experts have suggested that the damage comes when you choose to have a soda instead of milk or other drinks that contain calcium.  Too many cups of coffee or tea can also rob your bones of calcium. 

Bowls of Wheat Bran With Milk

What sounds healthier than 100% wheat bran? But when you eat it with milk, your body absorbs less calcium.  Yes, bran with milk is not so good for your bones.
Don’t worry about other foods, like bread, that might contain wheat bran. But if you’re a fan of the concentrated stuff and you take a calcium supplement, allow at least 2 hours between the bran and your pill.

Smoke Breaks

I should have written SMOKING but you get the idea.  When you regularly inhale cigarette smoke, your body can’t form new healthy bone tissue as easily. The longer you smoke, the worse it gets.
Smokers have a greater chance of breaks and take longer to heal. But if you quit, you can lower these risks and improve your bone health, though it might take several years.

Your Prescriptions

Some medications, especially if you have to take them for a long time, can have a negative impact on your bones. Some anti-seizure drugs and glucocorticoids, like prednisone and cortisone, can cause bone loss. You might take anti-inflammatory drugs like glucocorticoids if you have conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, asthma, and Crohn’s disease.

Being Underweight

A low body weight, a BMI of 18.5 or less, means a greater chance of fracture and bone loss. If you’re small-boned, do weight-bearing exercises and ask your doctor if you need more calcium in your diet. If you’re not sure why you’re underweight, ask your doctor about that, too. She can check to see if an eating disorder or another medical condition is the reason.

If You Fall

When you tripped as a child, you probably got right back up again. As you get older, though, falls get more dangerous, especially if you have weak bones.
A fracture or broken bone can take a long time to heal. In older adults, it can often be the start of a decline that’s hard to come back from. Walk easier at home with safety features like grab bars and non-slip mats. Clear the clutter from your path, indoors and out, to avoid a misstep. 

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Commonly prescribed drugs lead to nearly 50% higher dementia in older adults

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Commonly prescribed drugs lead to nearly 50% higher dementia in older adults


Scientists have long found a possible link between anticholinergic drugs and an increased risk of dementia.

A study published in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine on Monday suggests that the link is strongest for certain classes of anticholinergic drugs — particularly antidepressants, bladder antimuscarinics, antipsychotics and antiepileptic drugs.
Researchers wrote in the study that “there was nearly a 50% increased odds of dementia” associated with a total anticholinergic exposure of more than 1,095 daily doses within a 10-year period, which is equivalent to an older adult taking a strong anticholinergic medication daily for at least three years, compared with no exposure.
“The study is important because it strengthens a growing body of evidence showing that strong anticholinergic drugs have long term associations with dementia risk,” said Carol Coupland, professor of medical statistics in primary care at the University of Nottingham in the United Kingdom and first author of the study.
“It also highlights which types of anticholinergic drugs have the strongest associations. This is important information for physicians to know when considering whether to prescribe these drugs,” she said, adding “this is an observational study so no firm conclusions can be drawn about whether these anticholinergic drugs cause dementia.”
She said that people taking these medications are advised not to stop them without consulting with their doctor first, as that could be harmful.
The researchers found no significant increases in dementia risk associated with antihistamines, skeletal muscle relaxants, gastrointestinal antispasmodics, antiarrhythmics, or antimuscarinic bronchodilators, according to the data, but associations were found among other classes of anticholinergic drugs.
The researchers found that the odds of dementia increased from 1.06 among those with the lowest anticholinergic exposure to 1.49 among those with the highest exposure, compared with having no prescriptions for anticholinergic drugs.
The study had some limitations, including that some patients may not have taken their prescribed medication as directed, so anticholinergic exposure levels could have been misclassified. The researchers found only an association between anticholinergic drugs and dementia risk, not a causal relationship.
Since the study shows only an association, more research is needed to “clarify whether anticholinergic medications truly represent a reversible risk factor” for dementia, wrote experts Noll Campbell, Richard Holden and Dr. Malaz Boustani in an editorial that published alongside the new study in JAMA Internal Medicine.
“Additionally, deprescribing trials can evaluate potential harms of stopping anticholinergic medications, such as worsening symptoms of depression, incontinence, or pain, as well as the potential unintended increase in acute health care utilization,” Campbell, Holden and Boustani wrote in the editorial.
“With little evidence of causation, the next steps for research on anticholinergic medications in older adults must improve knowledge of the effect of deprescribing interventions on cognitive outcomes and important safety outcomes such as symptom control, quality of life, and health care utilization,” they wrote. “We propose deprescribing research as a high priority.”
It has been well known that anticholinergic agents and confusion or memory issues are linked, but the new study investigated this association over a long period of time, said Dr. Douglas Scharre, director of the division of cognitive neurology at the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center in Columbus, who was not involved in the study.

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Gut Bacteria Is Associated With Chronic Pain

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Gut Bacteria Is Associated With Chronic Pain


We’ve heard about everything from the gut microbiome’s role in inflammation to its impact on the development of certain diseases, and most recently, a potential new link to chronic pain.
new study published in the journal Pain found that patients with fibromyalgia, a condition often characterized by chronic pain, had similar gut microbiome compositions—an abundance or absence of 19 species of bacteria—compared to those who did not have the disease.
Fibromyalgia is a disease that currently does not have a cure and includes symptoms such as chronic pain, fatigue, and cognitive impairment. The researchers found that these symptoms, in particular, were most closely connected to patterned changes they saw in the microbiome of fibromyalgia patients.
In the sample size, which included patients with and without fibromyalgia, they found a correlation between the level of intensity of the symptoms of the disease and the number of bacteria present or absent in the gut. The study noted this connection has not been previously reported.
More research is needed to see whether these changes in gut bacteria are merely characteristic of the disease or they could be contributing to the development of it.
At the moment, it is difficult to diagnose fibromyalgia as the symptoms are typical of many other conditions. The possibility that gut bacteria is a marker of the disease may mean earlier diagnosis and better treatment outcomes.
“As pain physicians, we are frustrated by our inability to help, and this frustration is a good fuel for research. This is the first evidence, at least in humans, that the microbiome could have an effect on diffuse pain, and we really need new ways to look at chronic pain,” said Yoram Shir, senior author on the paper and director of the Alan Edwards Pain Management Unit at the McGill University Health Centre, in a statement.
Fibromyalgia is just one of many diseases that cause chronic pain. The CDC estimates that around 20% of adults in the U.S. live with chronic pain and notes it can contribute to a variety of other physical and mental health issues. It can be challenging for practitioners to diagnose chronic pain as it is difficult to measure the amount of painthe patient is feeling.
This makes it essential for more understanding of ways to prevent, diagnose, and cure chronic pain. We’re looking forward to further research on the connection between the gut microbiome and chronic pain and hope this is an indication of more good research to come.

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Father’s smoking during pregnancy tied to asthma in kids

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Father’s smoking during pregnancy tied to asthma in kids


Children who are exposed to tobacco smoke from their fathers while they’re in the womb may be more likely than those who are not to develop asthma by age 6, according to a study of chemical changes to DNA.


While prenatal smoke exposure has long been linked to an increased risk of childhood asthma, the current study offers fresh evidence that it’s not just a pregnant mother’s smoking that can cause harm.


Researchers followed 756 babies for six years. Almost one in four were exposed to tobacco by fathers who smoked while the child was developing in the womb; only three mothers smoked.


Overall, 31% of kids with fathers who smoked during pregnancy developed asthma by age 6, compared with 23% of kids without fathers who smoked, the study found.


Asthma was also more common among kids whose fathers were heavier smokers, senior study author Dr. Kuender Yang of the National Defense Medical Center in Taipei said by email.


“Children with prenatal paternal tobacco smoke exposure corresponding to more than 20 cigarettes per day had a significantly higher risk of developing asthma than those with less than 20 cigarettes per day and those without prenatal paternal tobacco smoke exposure,” Yang said.


About 35% of the kids with fathers who were heavier smokers developed asthma, compared with 25% of children with fathers who were lighter smokers and 23% of kids with fathers who didn’t smoke at all during pregnancy.


Smoking by fathers during pregnancy was also associated with changes in methylation – a chemical code along the DNA strand that influences gene activity – on portions of genes involved in immune system function and the development of asthma.


Researchers extracted infants’ DNA from cord blood immediately after birth and examined methylation along the DNA strand. The more fathers smoked during pregnancy, the more methylation increased on stretches of three specific genes that play a role in immune function.


Children who had the greatest methylation increases at birth, affecting all three of these genes, had up to almost twice the risk of having asthma by age 6 as other kids in the study.


While smoking by fathers during pregnancy was linked to childhood asthma, it didn’t appear to impact children’s sensitivity to allergens or total levels of IgE, an antibody associated with asthma.


This suggests that the risk of asthma from tobacco exposure is unlike allergic asthma, which is driven by allergies or allergic sensitization via IgE antibody, said Dr. Avni Joshi, a researcher at the Mayo Clinic Children’s Center in Rochester, Minnesota, who wasn’t involved in the study.


The study wasn’t designed to prove whether or how prenatal smoking exposure might directly cause so-called epigenetic changes, or how those changes cause asthma in children.


It’s not yet clear how the alterations seen along the DNA strand where methylation increased might cause asthma, the study team notes in Frontiers in Genetics.


Still, the message to parents should be clear, Joshi said by email.



Smoking is bad at ANY point in time: before the baby is born and after the baby is born,” Joshi said. “Many parents defer quitting until the baby is born, but this study stresses that the prenatal exposure to tobacco creates changes to the unborn child’s immune system, hence it is best to quit as a family decides to have children, even before the conception happens.”

SOURCE: bit.ly/2WG9lhM Frontiers in Genetics, online May 31, 2019.

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‘Remarkable’ Findings From Diabetes Prevention Trial

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‘Remarkable’ Findings From Diabetes Prevention Trial


Middle-aged patients with impaired glucose tolerance (IGT) who can delay their progression to type 2 diabetes by 6 years — usually by making lifestyle changes — have a lower risk of diabetes-related complications when they are in their 70s, Asian researchers report.  
Guangwei Li, MD, China-Japan Friendship Hospital, Beijing, China, and team presented the 30-year findings from the Da Qing Diabetes Prevention Outcome Study as a poster and during an oral session here at the American Diabetes Association (ADA) 2019 Scientific Sessions, and Li outlined the results to assembled journalists during a press briefing.
Compared with participants who developed type 2 diabetes within 6 years of study enrollment, those who did not do so were 30% less likely to develop cardiovascular disease (CVD) (defined as stroke, myocardial infarction, or heart failure) and 58% less likely to develop microvascular complications (defined as neuropathy, nephropathy, or severe retinopathy) during the next 24 years.
The findings show that adults with IGT “have a very bright future, if you can delay diabetes for only 6 years,” Li told Medscape Medical News.
Clinicians should advise normal-weight patients with IGT to restrict sugar and alcohol, he stressed, and encourage overweight or obese patients to lose weight. Indeed, the study intervention meant that 32% of patients returned to normal glucose tolerance at the end of the trial.    
ADA 2019 Scientific Sessions. Presented June 8 (abstract 1468-P) and June 10 (abstract 153-OR).

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Loss of Smell Linked to Alzheimer’s Disease

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Loss of Smell Linked to Alzheimer’s Disease

Rallie McAllister, M.D., M.P.H.


A simple scratch-and-sniff test may help doctors identify patients at risk for Alzheimer’s disease. The results of a study published in JAMA suggest that folks who have difficulty identifying familiar smells including cinnamon, lemon, and gasoline are more likely to develop the degenerative brain disorder. 


Researchers at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago asked nearly 600 adults between the ages of 54 and 100 to sniff and identify a dozen common scents, including black pepper, pineapple, paint thinner, soap, onion, lemon, cinnamon, gasoline, smoke, rose, banana, and chocolate. Over the following five years, the subjects also completed a number of cognitive tests designed to track changes in memory and thinking skills. 


Subjects who made at least four errors on the sniff tests were 50 percent more likely to develop problems with thinking and memory than subjects who made no more than one error. Trouble identifying familiar odors was also linked to a greater likelihood of advancing from a state of mild cognitive impairment to Alzheimer’s disease. 


Identifying odors is a complex process that involves first perceiving a particular smell and then comparing it against the brain’s memory bank of smells. Alzheimer’s disease gradually robs individuals of their memories; even those for various odors. 


Scoring poorly on a scratch-and-sniff test may be suggestive of Alzheimer’s disease in some cases, but the inability to recognize certain odors often has a far less ominous cause. Disorders of smell are relatively common in the general population, especially among older adults. 


As many as half of folks aged 65 and older are thought to suffer some loss of their sense of smell. The most common causes are upper respiratory tract infections, head trauma, and nasal and sinus disorders, including allergies and chronic sinusitis. 


Certain medications, illnesses, and nutritional deficiencies can also contribute to smell disturbances. Cigarette smoking may dull the senses to some degree, but rarely causes a complete loss of smell.


While a scratch-and-sniff test can’t provide a definitive diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease, it’s a tool that many doctors will likely find useful. 


Using currently available diagnostic tests, physicians can diagnose individuals with moderate to severe Alzheimer’s disease with about 90 percent accuracy. Making the diagnosis in the early stages of the illness, however, is far more difficult. 


Early diagnosis of the disease is becoming increasingly important, as new and more effective treatments are introduced. Identifying Alzheimer’s in its earliest stages also helps patients and their families plan for the future. 


For folks who are determined to avoid Alzheimer’s disease, taking a supplement containing the B-vitamin folate might help. The results of a University of California, Irvine study suggest that older Americans whose total daily folate intake is at or above the recommended dietary allowance could dramatically cut their chances of developing the disease. 


At the start of the study, researchers collected dietary information from more than 500 healthy volunteers aged 60 and older who showed no signs of Alzheimer’s disease. The subjects recorded the foods they ate during a typical week and reported whether they took supplements containing folate. 


Study participants who reported folate intakes that were equal to or greater than the recommended daily allowance of 400 micrograms had a 55 percent reduction in the risk of Alzheimer’s disease. Although folate is present in many foods, most of the subjects who achieved the recommended daily intake levels did so by taking folate supplements. 


Good sources of the vitamin include leafy green vegetables, broccoli, asparagus, and many varieties of beans and peas. Folate is also found in liver, strawberries, oranges, and a number of vitamin-fortified breads and cereals. 


Eating a nutritious diet and taking a daily folate supplement may help ward off degenerative brain diseases, and getting plenty of physical and mental exercise appears to be just as important.


Physical activity enhances blood flow to the brain, improving its function. Challenging the brain by working puzzles and learning new skills can boost cognitive reserve, or the ability to withstand the damaging effects of Alzheimer’s disease for longer periods of time. 


For older adults, staying socially engaged is especially important. Declining social interaction with advancing age is associated with a decline in cognitive function.


While a number of Alzheimer’s drugs are under investigation, few effective treatments currently are available. At this point, preventive measures appear to be the best defense, and the sooner in life they’re started, the better. 


========


Rallie McAllister, M.D., M.P.H., is a family physician in Kingsport, Tenn., and author of “Healthy Lunchbox: The Working Mom’s Guide to Keeping You and Your Kids Trim.” Her Web site is http://www.rallieonhealth.com. To find out more about Rallie


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Foods Your Dog Should Never Eat

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Foods Your Dog Should Never Eat

Dangerous Foods for Dogs

Who can resist those big brown eyes and cute doggie grin? Can a little reward from the table or getting into Mom or Dad’s stuff really hurt your dog? Well, that depends on what it is and what’s in it. If it contains the sweetener xylitol, it can cause your dog some real problems. In fact, there’s a lot of people food your dog should never eat. And, it’s not just because of weight. Some foods are downright dangerous for dogs — and some of these common foods may surprise you.

Xylitol

Candy, gum, toothpaste, baked goods, and some diet foods are sweetened with xylitol. It can cause your dog’s blood sugar to drop and can also cause liver failure. Early symptoms include vomiting, lethargy, and coordination problems. Eventually, your dog may have seizures. Liver failure can happen within just a few days.

Avocado

Is a treat from the table OK for your dog? That depends on what it is. Avocados, for example, have something called persin. It’s fine for people who aren’t allergic to it. But too much might cause vomiting or diarrhea in dogs. If you grow avocados at home, keep your dog away from the plants. Persin is in the leaves, seed, and bark, as well as the fruit. Also, the avocado seed can become stuck in the intestines or stomach, and obstruction could be fatal.

Alcohol

Alcohol has the same effect on a dog’s liver and brain that it has on people. But it takes a lot less to hurt your dog. Just a little beer, liquor, wine, or food with alcohol can be bad. It can cause vomiting, diarrhea, coordination problems, breathing problems, coma, even death. And the smaller your dog, the worse it can be.

Onions and Garlic

Keep onions and garlic — powdered, raw, cooked, or dehydrated — away from your dog. They can kill his red blood cells, causing anemia. That’s even the onion powder in some baby food. A rare small dose is probably OK. But eating a lot just once can cause poisoning. Look for signs like weakness, vomiting, and breathing problems.

Coffee, Tea, and Other Caffeine

Give your dog toys if you want him to be perky. Caffeine can be fatal.  Watch out for coffee and tea, even the beans and the grounds. Keep your dog away from cocoa, chocolate, colas, and energy drinks. Caffeine is also in some cold medicines and pain killers. Think your dog had caffeine? Get your dog to the vet as soon as possible.

Grapes and Raisins

There are better treats to give your dog.  Grapes and raisins can cause kidney failure in dogs. And just a small amount can make a dog sick. Vomiting over and over is an early sign. Within a day, your dog will get sluggish and depressed.

Milk and Other Dairy Products

On a hot day, it may be tempting to share your ice cream with your dog. Instead, give her some cold water. Milk and milk-based products can cause diarrhea and other digestive problems for your pup. They can also trigger food allergies, which can cause her to itch.

Macadamia Nuts

Keep your dog away from macadamia nuts and foods that have macadamia nuts in them. Just six raw or roasted macadamia nuts can make a dog sick. Look for symptoms like  muscle shakes, vomiting, high temperature, and weakness in his back legs. Eating chocolate with the nuts will make symptoms worse, maybe even leading to death.

Chocolate

Most people know that chocolate is bad for dogs. The problem in chocolate is theobromine. It’s in all kinds of chocolate, even white chocolate. The most dangerous types  are dark chocolate and unsweetened baking chocolate. Chocolate can cause a dog to vomit and have diarrhea. It can also cause heart problems, tremors, seizures, and death.

Fat Trimmings and Bones

Fat trimmed from meat, both cooked and uncooked, can cause pancreatitis in dogs. And, even though it seems natural to give a dog a bone, she can choke on it. Bones can also splinter and block or cause cuts in your dog’s digestive system.

Persimmons, Peaches, and Plums

The problem with these fruits is the seeds or pits. Seeds from persimmons can cause problems in a dog’s small intestine. They can also block his intestines. That can also happen if a dog eats the pit from a peach or plum. Peach and plum pits also have cyanide, which is poisonous to people and dogs. People know not to eat them. Dogs don’t.

Raw Eggs

Some people feed their dogs a “raw diet” that includes uncooked eggs. But the major veterinary medical associations don’t think that’s a good idea. There’s the chance of food poisoning from bacteria like salmonella or E. coli. Talk to your vet if you have questions.

Raw Meat and Fish

Like raw eggs, raw meat and fish can have bacteria that causes food poisoning. Some fish such as salmon, trout, shad, or sturgeon can also have a parasite that causes “fish disease” or “salmon poisoning disease.” It’s treatable, but get help right away. The first signs are vomiting, fever, and big lymph nodes. Fully cook the fish to kill the parasite.

Raw Meat and Fish

Like raw eggs, raw meat and fish can have bacteria that causes food poisoning. Some fish such as salmon, trout, shad, or sturgeon can also have a parasite that causes “fish disease” or “salmon poisoning disease.” It’s treatable, but get help right away. The first signs are vomiting, fever, and big lymph nodes. Fully cook the fish to kill the parasite.

Raw Meat and Fish

Like raw eggs, raw meat and fish can have bacteria that causes food poisoning. Some fish such as salmon, trout, shad, or sturgeon can also have a parasite that causes “fish disease” or “salmon poisoning disease.” It’s treatable, but get help right away. The first signs are vomiting, fever, and big lymph nodes. Fully cook the fish to kill the parasite.

Yeast Dough

Before it’s baked, bread dough needs to rise. And, that’s exactly what it would do in your dog’s stomach if he ate it. As it swells inside, the dough can stretch your dog’s abdomen and cause a lot of pain. Also, when the yeast ferments the dough to make it rise, it makes alcohol that can lead to alcohol poisoning.

Your Medicine

Dogs shouldn’t take people medicine. It’s can make them very sick. Just as you do for your kids, keep all medicines out of your dog’s reach. And, never give your dog any over-the-counter medicine unless your vet tells you to. Ingredients such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen are common in pain relievers and cold medicine. And, they can be deadly for your dog.

Kitchen Pantry: No Dogs Allowed

Many other things often found on kitchen shelves can hurt your dog. Baking powder and baking soda are both highly toxic. So are nutmeg and other spices. Keep food high enough to be out of your dog’s reach and keep pantry doors closed.

If Your Dog Eats What She Shouldn’t

No matter how careful you are, your dog might find and swallow something she shouldn’t. Keep the number of your local vet, the closest emergency clinic, and the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center — (888) 426-4435 — where you know you can find it. And, if you think your dog has eaten something  toxic, call for emergency help right away.

What Dogs Can Eat

You can make sure your dog has a healthy, well-balanced diet by asking your vet to suggest a quality dog food. But that doesn’t mean you can’t sometimes give your dog people food as a special treat. Only give him a little. Be sure the  foods are cooked, pure, and not fatty or heavily seasoned. Here are some ideas.

Safe: Lean Meats

Most dogs are fine eating lean cuts of meat that have been cooked well. Take off all visible fat — including the skin on poultry. Be sure that there are no bones in the meat before you give it to your dog.

Safe: Some Fresh Fruits

Slices of apples, oranges, bananas, and watermelon make tasty treats for your dog. Take out any seeds first. Seeds, stems, and leaves can cause serious problems.

Safe: Some Vegetables

Your dog can have a healthy snack of carrot sticks, green beans, cucumber slices, or zucchini slices. Even a plain baked potato is OK. Don’t let your dog eat any raw potatoes or any potato plants from your pantry or garden.

Safe: Cooked White Rice and Pasta

Dogs can eat plain white rice or pasta after it’s cooked. And, a serving of plain white rice with some boiled chicken can sometimes make your dog feel better when she’s having stomach problems.

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White meat is just as bad for you as red beef when it comes to your cholesterol

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White meat is just as bad for you as red beef when it comes to your cholesterol 


The red meat or white meat debate is a draw: Eating white meat, such as poultry, will have an identical effect on your cholesterol level as eating red beef, new research indicates.
The long-held belief that eating white meat is less harmful for your heart may still hold true, because there may be other effects from eating red meat that contribute to cardiovascular disease, said the University of California, San Francisco researchers. This needs to be explored in more detail, they added.
Non-meat proteins such as vegetables, dairy, and legumes, including beans, show the best cholesterol benefitaccording to the new study published Tuesday in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.


‘Bad’ cholesterol can lead to heart disease

    It is well-known that saturated fats increase the concentration of LDL, or “bad” cholesterol, in your bloodstream and if this harmful waxy substance builds up in your arteries, the result could be a heart attack or stroke. Saturated fats, most of which come from animal sources, include butter, beef fat and poultry skin.
    Dietitians have assumed that the generally high saturated fat content of red meat contributes to cardiovascular disease risk, yet no one has adequately tested this theory, according to the researchers. And so they put the long-held belief to the test.
    Plant proteins had the healthiest impact on blood cholesterol, the study results showed. Meanwhile, the effects of white and red meats on participants’ cholesterol levels were identical when saturated fat levels were equivalent.
    So, participants eating a diet high in saturated fats had higher total and LDL cholesterol levels than those assigned to a diet low in saturated fat — no matter their source of protein.
    The researchers also looked at the size of cholesterol particles. It has been widely believed that large particles do not contribute as much as small particles to atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) risk, but recent research suggests that both small and large bad cholesterol particles are associated with atherosclerosis.
    We do not need to see the study results “as a white or black issue,” she said. Meat, whether red or white, does not need to be banished from everyone’s diet. While nutritionists make recommendations for the whole public, each individual is unique in nutritional needs.
    “The take-home message is there is no need to put a label of restricted or forbidden on red meat,” said Romo-Palafox. “Make sure you are choosing the leanest meats possible. If you can adopt a meatless Monday, why not? That might help you balance your risk.”

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    Drinking coffee, even 25 cups a day, not bad for your heart

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    Drinking coffee, even 25 cups a day, not bad for your heart


    A new study published Monday June 3, 2019 states that coffee isn’t as bad for the human heart as previously thought.


    Researchers with the William Harvey Research Institute at Queen Mary University of London said they debunked previous studies that claimed drinking coffee — even up to 25 cups a day — would stiffen arteries.


    “Despite the huge popularity of coffee worldwide, different reports could put people off from enjoying it. Whilst we can’t prove a causal link in this study, our research indicates coffee isn’t as bad for the arteries as previous studies would suggest,” Dr. Kenneth Fung, who led the data analysis for the research, said.
    Analyzing more than 8,000 people in the United Kingdom, the study divided people into three groups depending on their coffee consumption. Fung said that while the study did include people who drank up to 25 cups per day, the average amount of coffee participants drank was five cups per day.
    “We would like to study these people more closely in our future work so that we can help to advise safe limits,” he said of those who drank the latter.
    Professor Metin Avkiran, associate medical director at the British Heart Foundation, which helped fund the study, admitted that “there are several conflicting studies saying different things about coffee, and it can be difficult to filter what we should believe and what we shouldn’t.”
    Another recent study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that drinking six or more cups of coffee per day increased the drinker’s risk of heart disease up to 22 percent.
    Researchers in that study found that the high levels of caffeine consumed can result in high blood pressure — a leading cause of heart disease.
    Avkiran said he believes this study, the results of which were released on Monday, “will hopefully put some of the media reports in perspective, as it rules out one of the potential detrimental effects of coffee on our arteries.”

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    Ultra-Processed Food, Drink Tied to Heart Disease, Earlier Death

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    Ultra-Processed Food, Drink Tied to Heart Disease, Earlier Death


    Adults whose diet included more ultra-processed foods and beverages — such as ice cream, soda, and hamburgers — were more likely to develop cardiovascular disease (CVD) or die sooner than others who had a more wholesome diet, in two large European cohorts.
    In the NutriNet-Santé study of adults in France, those who had a 10% higher intake of ultra-processed foods and beverages had an 11% to 13% higher rate of CVD, coronary heart disease, and cerebrovascular disease over about 5 years.
    And in the SUN study of university graduates from the Seguimiento Universidad de Navarra, Spain, those who consumed more than four servings of ultra-processed food and beverages a day were 62% more likely to die of all causes over about a decade than those who consumed less than two servings per day.
    The studies led by Bernard Srour, PharmD, PhD, MPH, fellow, University of Paris, France, and Anaïs Rico-Campà, PharmD, University of Navarra, Pamplona, Spain were published online May 29 in BMJ.
    BMJ. Published online May 29, 2019. SUN study, NutriNet-Santé studyEditorial

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