IFA News and Opinion
Issue Date:  August 1, 2008

Dinner for Two

This remarkable dinner for two features three kinds of shrimp. Shrimp, those magnificent pink prawns from the deep blue sea, are delicious whether stir-fried, broiled or grilled. Add the right sauce and that taste is enhanced to perfection.

High in protein and Omega-3s, shrimp are low in fat, contain selenium, vitamin B-12 and no carbs.

These recipes require one bag of large, frozen, pre-cooked shrimp with tails on, along with three sauces ... two to serve cold with sauces and one to be served piping hot. The recipes serve two.

Thaw the shrimp at room temperature, then place on a bed of ice to maintain their solid texture. For convenience, prepare the two cold dipping sauces ahead.

Cocktail sauce (cold)

5 tablespoons horseradish
3 tablespoons ketchup
1 teaspoon Louisiana hot sauce
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper

Combine and chill.

Remoulade sauce (cold)

1 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons Creole mustard
1 tablespoon ketchup
1/2 cup finely chopped green onion stems
2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley
1 tablespoon finely chopped celery
1 1/2 tablespoons minced garlic
1 teaspoon sweet paprika
1 teaspoon Louisiana hot sauce
Two dashes each of salt and pepper

Place in a bowl, stir thoroughly, and chill.

Shrimp scampi (hot!)

Place six shrimp in each of two small baking dishes and add:

1 tablespoon white wine
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 teaspoon fresh minced garlic
1 dash of salt.

Bake in a pre-heated oven at 400 degrees or prepare under the broiler until liquid turns a crusty brown around the outside edge.

Place the remainder of the ice-chilled shrimp on the table with the two chilled sauces. The Scampi can be served along with or after consumption of the chilled shrimp.

Add a plate of fresh vegetables with dipping sauce and your favorite rice dish to complete this healthy meal.

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Chuckles Corner

Reducing the Risk of Alzheimer's Disease

Here's some good news: A daily dose of caffeine blocks the effects of high cholesterol that scientists have linked to Alzheimer's disease.

A University of North Dakota School of Medicine study shows that just one cup of coffee a day is protective, but three cups are much better. The study was reported by the Bio/Med Journal of Neuroinflammation.

Previous studies show that cholesterol breaks down BBB, which can then no longer protect the nervous system from damage caused by blood borne contamination. BBB leakage occurs in disorders such as Alzheimer's disease.

What you drink does make a difference. That includes the recommended one to two glasses of red wine each day, according to the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City.

People who drink fruit and vegetable juices more than three times a week might be doing best of all. The doctors say they have a 76 percent reduction in Alzheimer's disease risk.

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Avoiding Hysterectomies

Most hysterectomies can be avoided by using less-invasive procedures. Doctors at the University of California at Los Angeles say their studies show that 70 percent of hysterectomies are unnecessary.

While the surgery is always recommended for uterine cancer, it should probably not be done for conditions including excessive, lengthy periods, pelvic pain or fibroids.

  • For painful, heavy periods in women who may want to become pregnant, a problem with hormones could be the cause. It can often be corrected with medications or with Mirena, a hormone-releasing IUD reduces length and bleeding.
  • For those with long, heavy periods who don't want to become pregnant, endometrial ablation is an easy out-patient cure. It doesn't make pregnancy impossible, just highly risky. There is a one-day recovery period.
  • Painful fibroids can be cured by uterine fibroid embolization in women who don't want to become pregnant. One study showed success in 90 percent of cases even after one year.( After five years, about 20 percent had fibroids again.) It involves outpatient surgery or staying in the hospital overnight.
  • Painful fibroids in women who may want to become pregnant in the future can be treated by myomectomy. In some cases, fibroids can be removed with laparoscopic surgery. Half to two-thirds of patients were able to deliver a baby in the future. It requires a two-to-four week recovery period.

    Hysterectomy is a major surgery requiring four days in the hospital and an eight-week recovery period. Unpleasant side effects include weight gain and early menopause symptoms.

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    Heartburn: Causes and Prevention

    There are times when the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) doesn't work as it should.

    After you eat, the LES is supposed to close the stomach off from the esophagus, the pathway from your throat. But sometimes it doesn't. That might be because it's weak, but often it's because you ate too much of the wrong stuff.

    The result is heartburn, a burning sensation behind the breastbone, bloating, and an acid taste in the back of your throat. Here's what you can do to prevent it.

  • Especially before bed, skip acidic foods like tomatoes and oranges, which add to the acid your stomach produces.
  • Don't load up on fatty foods like onion rings and French Fries. They are difficult to digest and remain in the stomach longer, says the National Heartburn Alliance.
  • Be wary of restaurant dinners. They are usually high in fat and portions are huge. If heartburn is a problem for you, take part of the meal home. A very large meal makes the stomach produce more acid.
  • Watch what you drink. Soda, wine and coffee relax the LES. So does chocolate.
  • Don't eat a big meal just before going to bed. Lying down makes it easier for acid to slip into the esophagus.
  • Lose weight. Obesity causes stomach pressure.
  • Stop smoking. It causes the LES to relax.
  • Loosen your belt to decrease pressure on the abdomen. Avoid tight clothes.

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  • Taking a Hypertension Drug at Night

    When you go to bed at night, your blood pressure should fall. If it doesn't happen, you have an increased risk of cardiovascular problems and you are classified as a "nondipper."

    Researchers have now found that taking blood pressure medicine at night, rather than in the morning, may produce the normal night time decrease in blood pressure, a dip of at least 10 percent.

    Research published in the American Journal of Kidney Diseases indicates that night medication can protect nondippers from heart and kidney disease.

    Better Sleep in the ICU

    Hospitals' Intensive Care Units are for the sickest patients. While they need sleep and rest in order to heal, the activity and noise level in ICUs is not conducive to sleep.

    Critical care doctors and nurses are paying more attention to the problem of interrupted sleep. Many hospitals now try to schedule multiple types of care to a single visit. Some provide sleep masks, back rubs, and dim lighting.

    Big Risk in Reducing Insulin

    A study by the Joslin Diabetes Center in Boston showed that 30 percent of women with Type 1 diabetes were restricting the amount of insulin they took at least some of the time. Their goal was to prevent weight gain.

    The team followed women in the study for 11 years and noted any deaths or complications from the disease. They found that those who reported cutting back on insulin had a three-fold higher risk of dying early in life, on average at age 45. Complications included foot problems and kidney disease.

    New Tests for Sleep Apnea

    Rather than spend a night in a sleep lab, the American Academy of Sleep Medicine recommends home apnea testing for patients age 18 to 65. Testing devices are small. They measure air flow, respiratory effort and blood oxygen levels.

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    For a Better Hay Fever Season

    Treat fall allergies before symptoms begin. In some cases, hay fever is a minor nuisance. But if your symptoms are more persistent, they can make you miserable. They affect your work and your enjoyment of leisure activities. Finding the right treatment makes a big difference in how you will feel.

    Weed pollen is the main cause of allergies in the late summer and early fall. Depending on where you live, the weeds will include ragweed, sagebrush, pigweed, tumbleweed and cocklebur.

    Ragweed is the number one offender, say doctors at Allergy and Asthma Care of New York. One plant can produce a billion pollen grains.

    Generally, people wait to treat allergy symptoms until they start. But the best way to get relief is to treat symptoms before they show up. Allergists at the National Jewish Medical & Research Center in Denver say that if you know your symptoms begin in late August, start your medication before that time and increase your dosage as the season progresses.

    Though fall allergies can be triggered by allergens from another season, the result is the same.

    For runny nose and sneezing: Ask your doctor for a prescription nasal corticosteroid. Over-the-counter antihistamines like Claritin can also help.

    For itchy, watery eyes: Prescription eye drops can stabilize the cells in the eyes that react to allergens and the drops can be used with other treatments.

    For nasal and sinus congestion: Over-the-counter decongestants can help. If not appropriate for your medical condition, see your doctor.

    Some allergy sufferers think their antihistamines are losing strength as the season progresses. Actually, their allergy is progressing and they need more medication or need to add another.

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