New skin patch approved for migraines
The Food and Drug Administration has approved the
first prescription skin patch for migraines. Users activate the patch
with a button, turning on a small battery charge that carries the anti
migraine medicine through the skin for a fast-acting, consistent dose.
Nearly half of migraine sufferers get nausea along with their headaches,
and many experience a shutdown of the digestive system, making pills
In clinical trials, the patch relieved headaches within 2 hours in 53
percent of patients.
The patch contains sumatriptan. The drug isn't new, but the type of
delivery system certainly is. The original brand name for sumatriptan is
Two new drugs could increase weight loss
Two new diet pills promise to boost weight loss by
just 5 percent to 10 percent, but they are new tools for doctors trying
to help Americans fight obesity.
Belvik (pronounced bel-VEEEK) by Eisai works on brain chemistry to
create a feeling of fullness. It helps an obese patient lose an average
of about 5 percent of their starting weight. The wholesale cost of a
month's supply is $200. What patients pay depends on their insurance
The second drug is called Qsymia (pronounced Kyoo-SIM-ee-uh) by Vivus.
It helps obese people drop about 10 percent of their weight by
suppressive appetite and increasing the feeling of fullness.
Both drugs are intended for people who are roughly 35 or more pounds
over a healthy weight, or overweight patients who have one other
weight-related condition, such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol
or type 2 diabetes.
While neither drug promises a dramatic cure for obesity, an additional
10 or 20 pound loss could be important.
To perk up your joints and brain, have some strawberries
The most popular berry in the world is not a berry.
The summer favorite strawberries are botanically members of the rose
family, say scientists at Tufts University's Antioxidant Nutrition
Americans each consume about 6.5 pounds of strawberries a year. They
taste great and are good for your heart, your joints and even your
Researchers say most strawberry benefits come from their flavonoids, a
natural antioxidant that gives them their red color. Flavonoids might
help lower levels of C-reactive protein, a marker for heart disease,
some studies suggest.
Just one cup of strawberries (about eight berries) contains 140 percent
of your daily value for vitamin C. Because vitamin C plays a key role in
formation of cartilage and collagen, strawberries might help your
A study by Tufts' HNRCA Neuroscience Laboratory shows there are
neurological benefits associated with strawberries. In the study,
rodents were fed with the equivalent of one pint of strawberries added
to their regular diet.
This group performed best in learning and memory tests as they aged,
suggesting that strawberries (and other berries) might be "brain food."
All of this sounds complicated, but the message is simple, eating
strawberries protects your heart, your joints, your waistline and your
With kale, get vitamins C, K and A ... and more
Suddenly, kale has become the darling of cooking
magazines and health websites. It could be because a cup of kale
contains only 36 calories, but it's a health powerhouse with double your
daily value of vitamin C, almost double your daily value of vitamin A,
and has a lot of magnesium.
What's really important is its vitamin K, 10 times the daily value for
this vitamin that promotes bone heath, heart health, reduces
inflammation and diabetes risk. Like other cruciferous vegetables, it
inhibits the proliferation of cancer cells.
New types of kale have a milder and sweeter favor. Some ways to use it:
In a salad with apples and walnuts,
Roasted: toss it with olive oil and bake it for 15-20 minutes at 375 degrees,
Added to pizza toppings, soups, pasta and stews,
Used instead of spinach in a recipe,
As kale chips: chop, toss with oil, and bake 30 minutes at 250 degrees.
Mixed with other salad greens.
Tuft doctors dispute 'Wheat belly' claims
Though websites frequently mention the slang term
wheat belly, doctors at Tufts University say there is no evidence that
eating wheat will increase the risk of abdominal fat.
There's a big difference, however, between whole wheat and refined wheat
products, including cookies, cakes and doughnuts. All of these have
added sugars and fats that contribute unhealthy calories to your diet.
If you eliminate these refined wheat products from your diet, you will
lose weight, including weight on your middle.
Many weight-loss diets target grains in general, not making distinction
between whole grains and refined. But adults who eat three servings of
whole grains, like whole wheat bread and oatmeal, have less fatty tissue
on their bodies, including on their abdomen.