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a motley collection of informational items that we've come across. Hope you find them helpful. The collection is always growing & we welcome your input

bulletLook for the new RDAs (recommended dietery allowances of vitamins and nutrients) to be published this year by the National Academy of Sciences' Institute of Medicine (IOM); in contrast to past RDAs (which listed amounts needed to replace daily losses and to forestall nutritional deficiencies), the upcoming publication will reflect both amounts needed for optimum health and maximum safe intakes.

bulletGarlic [in the form of commercially-aged-for-at-least-one-year-pills] can slow prostate cancer, reported researchers John T. Pinto & Richard S. Rivlin at the Experimental Biology'97 meeting.

bulletThe number of cases of melanoma reported worldwide is increasing, which may possibly due to increased reporting or more people in sunny locales. Melanoma -an aggressive skin cancer that often arises as an unusual mole on the skin which can spread to other parts of the body & is often fatal - was reported in the US in 1980 at a rate of 1 in 250, but now is 1 in 84. Less than 50% of us self-examine for melanoma (or any unusual moles), & less than 1/3 of those who find a growth of concern actually go to a doctor. YET the cure rate is close to 100% if caught early enough.

bullet Women dieters experience a 11% slow down in their reaction times, according to Mary J. Kretch at the Experimental Biology '97 meeting. The beginning diet for the research project was an amount of food that was 50% of what was needed to maintain participants' initial weight - the amount of food was then readjusted

bulletSerious cataracts (opaque spots in vision / eye) are three times more likely to develop in those aged 49-97 who use the widely prescribed asthma relief of corticosteroid inhalers; the risk of glaucoma (which is the leading cause of blindness) in the US also increased, particularly for the 100,000 or so older adults (aged 65 and / plus) who use high dose steroid inhalers.

bulletTraumatic grief - a severe form of bereavement - increases likelihood of suffering from sleep dysfunction, anguish, suicidal thoughts as well as increased tobacco, alcohol & food consumption, high blood pressure, heart trouble, and perhaps cancer, so reported Holly G. Progerson in the American Journal of Psychiatry. The benefit of psychotherapy for this disorder, which has been associated with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), is positive.

bulletHigh blood pressure can lead to brain shrinkage of the parts of the brain which deal with memory & language skills & particularly so for those who have long term (25 years or more) history of high blood pressure according to a study presented at the American Academy of Neurology April meeting. Normal aging involves some brain shrinkage, but high blood pressure, even when controlled with medication, compounds the loss

bulletRecent studies notate dangers of type I diabetes (the most serious type) for women as they grow older: lumpy breasts (which can mask breast cancer unless properly monitored, perhaps with biopsies) & early onset of menopause, according to a presentation at the American Diabetes Association (April) by Y. Kudva & colleagues and a presentation by Janice Dorman a the same meeting.

bulletParticipants who experienced major depression (characterized by extremes of sorrow, apathy, intermittent times of sadness,and / or hopelessness) were four times more likely to have heart attacks than those who had no history of mood dysfunction in a 15 year study in which none of the participants had any history of heart problems at the study's onset. (William W. Eaton & fellows, Circulation -12/96.

bulletIn a recent study Anton J. M. DeCraen (et al) of the University of Amsterdam reported that the color of pills impacts the affect of the medication; red, yellow & orange had stimulating effects, with blue & green producing calming or sleepy responses.

bulletThe most important correlate of effective treatment for depression (whether psychotherapy, antidepressant medication, or placebos) over a 16 week time period was simply therapeutic alliance (the bond between therapist and client) according to a study funded by the National Institute of Mental Health.

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Copyright ©1997-98 M.L.Mabry & N.E. Walsh. All rights reserved. Last update:7/15/98