UC Berkeley on tuna
A 3-ounce serving of tuna is an excellent choice at
lunchtime. Eating it is a good way to get omega-3 fats, the hard-to-find
trace mineral selenium, vitamins D, B and other nutrients.
A serving has between 90 and 180 calories, depending on whether it's
packed in water or oil, says the University of California, Berkeley.
Water-packed tuna retains more omega-3s. With the harder-to-find
oil-packed, some are lost when the oil is drained. Only salmon has more
omega-3s than tuna.
The salt content of a 3-ounce
serving can be 300 to 500 milligrams, but it can be reduced by rinsing
it. Some varieties are called low sodium or very low sodium, which has
no added salt.
All fish contain traces of mercury, but
larger fish, such as white albacore, have a little more, though levels
vary widely. The FDA recommends that pregnant and nursing women should
eat no more than 6 ounces of white tuna per week. A recent Harvard study
shows that higher traces of mercury do not increase heart disease risk.
Lie-on-your-stomach stretch reduces lower back pain
You may never have heard of your psoas muscle. It
starts in the front of the lower spine and attaches to the inside of the
hip. It helps stabilize the spine, but too much sitting can make it
tight, possibly leading to pain in the lower back or affecting how you
walk. It can also radiate pain through the front of the hip.
Here's an easy psoas stretcher, according to Weill Cornell Sports
Rehabilitation Center: lie flat on your stomach for a time and stretch.
Or, stand and hold onto a chair, then bend slightly backward at the
waist. Tuck your buttocks under and feel a gentle pull through the front
of the hip/groin area. Hold for 20 seconds.
Painkiller deaths rise dramatically
The number of annual deaths from painkillers now
surpasses those from heroin and cocaine combined. The drug toll is more
than deaths caused by motorcycle crashes in some states, according to
the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy.
They say prescription-drug abuse is the nation's fastest-growing drug
problem. In 2010, 12 million Americans aged 12 or older reported
non-medical use of painkillers like Vicodin and Oxycontin that are often
sold by "pill mills," storefront operations that dispense them without
medial examinations. Some drug abusers get multiple prescriptions by
going from one doctor to another.
programs are part of the answer. Most states have approved
drug-monitoring programs, but the programs aren't operating yet.
New device helps doctors diagnose skin cancer
The Food and Drug Administration has approved the
skin-cancer diagnosis tool, MelaFind. The device helps identify melanoma
in a systematic way. A special camera captures an image of a lesion, and
a computer then analyzes it using an algorithm developed by the maker,
Mela Sciences. It has proven to be 98.3 percent effective in identifying
The device looks like a desktop computer and
is on a rolling rack. The camera is held against the lesion, which can
then be examined at various depths.
that, right now, lesions are difficult to diagnose and the uncertainty
can lead to unnecessary biopsies. There is also the possibility of
"false negatives" when the biopsy fails to find cancer that is actually
The MelaFind should prevent both problems.
Mela Sciences hopes to have the device available by midyear. Patients
would pay about $50 plus the doctor's fee for the test
Adults: Is it a cold hanging on, or is it a touch of asthma?
Your doctor could have an unexpected diagnosis for
that pesky cough or bronchitis that won't go away.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say one in 12 adults are now
diagnosed with asthma. Symptoms can develop at any age.
Diagnosis is important, because you can then get the right treatment.
Inhaled corticosteroids are the most common anti-inflammatory
Sometimes a quick-relief inhaler is
prescribed for asthma attacks.
Avoid triggers, which
commonly include allergens such as pet dander, dust mites and mold (wash
your sheets in hot water every week). Tobacco smoke can be a trigger as
Your doctor will develop an action plan designed
to help you know whether your treatment is working or has to be changed.
Get out of the easy chair
Experts have long known that physical activity
decreases the risk of heart disease, diabetes and obesity. New research
by the American Institute for Cancer Research indicates that long
periods of sitting may be responsible for 90,000 new cancer cases each
year in the United States.
Their study indicates that
about 49,000 cases of breast cancer and 43,000 cases of colon cancer
could have been avoided if people got up and walked around occasionally.
Ideally, brisk 30-minute walks would lower these risks over time. But
even among individuals who were regularly active, the risk of dying
prematurely was higher among those who spent a great deal of time
People should avoid prolonged sitting without
moving. They need to get out of the easy chair and take breaks.
A cellphone in the car
Using a cellphone inside a metal vehicle increases
its radiation due to reflection. And your cellphone signal has to be
stronger in order to exit the vehicle, according to electromagnetic
field expert Magda Havas.