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PostPosted: Sun Jan 18, 2015 1:00 pm 
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Correct sunscreen application reduces skin cancer

People aren't applying sunscreen correctly increasing their risk of sun damage, according to skin cancer experts.

Sue Heward, SunSmart manager at Cancer Council Victoria had a blunt message for those heading outdoors in the midst of a scorching summer.

"Around 2000 Australians die each year from skin cancer," she said. "There's a direct link between people using sunscreen and reducing the risk of melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancers."

But about half of the people who use sunscreen are not putting on the right amount or are forgetting to reapply every two hours.

In sunscreen testing laboratories, scientists use about double the amount of sunscreen applied by the average consumer to determine a product's Sun Protection Factor (SPF).

So, if someone is incorrectly applying SPF 30+ sunscreen, "they may not even be reaching an SPF of 10," said Ms Heward.

"For the average person we recommend using about 35 millilitres of sunscreen for each application," she said. That equates to about seven teaspoons.

Terry Slevin, education and research director at Cancer Council WA, said sunscreen is far from a perfect tool for skin cancer prevention.

"It's helpful, but it's not a suit of armour against the sun," he said. "People need other strategies like wearing clothes and a hat."

Ms Heward said it is also important to remember sunscreen has an expiry date.

"Active ingredients in sunscreen will become inactive ingredients once it hits about 30 degrees," she said.

"If you've got that old tube in the glove box from summer to summer, I'd be chucking it out and getting a new one."

Cancer Council Australia recommends using broad spectrum, water-resistant SPF30+ or SPF50+ sunscreen.

"Price is not necessarily a marker of quality," said Ms Heward. "Buy the one you like putting on because you'll be more likely to put it on."

Sunscreen application tips:

Use the right amount – Use one teaspoon on each limb, one teaspoon for the front and back of the body, and one teaspoon for your face, neck and ears.

Apply 20 minutes before you go outside – This gives the sunscreen enough time to attach to the top layer of the skin so that it won't be smudged off easily.

Reapply every two hours – "Even with good application, the practicalities of daily life means sunscreen can be removed," said Terry Slevin. "It can be wiped off your skin when you lay on your towel or brush against people."

http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/nsw/cor ... 29kx7.html


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 20, 2015 3:07 pm 
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Widow releases harrowing last photo of her husband, 38, dying of meningitis after he was forced to wait five HOURS for an ambulance when he fell ill

A widow has released a harrowing photograph of the last moments of her dying husband's life after an ambulance service took five hours to bring him to hospital.

Mthuthuzeli Mpongawana, 38, died of meningitis after suddenly taking ill in his Bristol home on January 5.

His wife Lisa phoned 111, the NHS non-emergency helpline, but the couple were forced to wait five hours for the man to be taken to hospital.

Two days later, Mrs Mpongawana turned off her husband's life support. It was later found he had died of meningitis of the brain.

Speaking of his unexpected death, the 27-year-old said: 'At the beginning my husband was talking and asking questions, by the time they arrived he was completely unresponsive.'

Mr Mpongawana began feeling unwell at the couple's home in Bedminster, Bristol, and quickly became extremely sensitive to light.

His wife phoned the NHS non-emergency number and was told a blue-lights ambulance would be sent straight away.

Two-and-a-half hours later a rapid response car arrived at their home. It took a further three hours for Mr Mpongwana to be taken to hospital, by which point he had become unresponsive.

'I called 111 because I could see he was bad, he couldn't stand being around lights at all,' she said.

'The caller said they would send a blue lights ambulance straight away because they thought it was serious.

'We then had to wait until 1.30am for one man in a car to arrive.

'At first he thought it was just the flu and called the GP out-of-hours for advice about whether he should admit him to hospital.

'He then called for an ambulance but it took until 4.30am for it to arrive.'

He never regained consciousness and Lisa had to switch off his life support machine. It was later confirmed he had died of meningitis of the brain.

A spokesman for South Western Ambulance Service apologised and said: 'South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust received a call from the NHS 111 service in Bristol at approximately 11pm to attend a male patient suffering from a headache and fever.

'A Rapid Response Vehicle was dispatched and arrived at the scene at approximately 1.18am.

'The patient was treated by our crews before being transported to the Bristol Royal Infirmary.

'The trust would like to apologise for the delay in getting to this patient during what was a very busy time.

'We would like to extend our sincere condolences to the family and would urge them to get in touch so that we can investigate the matter further.'

Mrs Mpongwana is now appealing for money to pay for her husband's funeral. To donate visit: http://www.gofundme.com/k4skqc

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article ... l-ill.html


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 22, 2015 8:54 am 
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WA boy, 4, fitted with world's first artificial pancreas

A four-year-old West Australian boy has been fitted with the world’s first artificial pancreas.

The device means that Xavier Hames, who has type 1 diabetes, will no longer have to have four daily injections, ABC News reports.

A number of tubes were inserted under Xavier’s skin, which connect to a small insulin pump worn by the boy in a pouch at his waist.

The pancreas-like pump, fitted yesterday at Perth's Princess Margaret Hospital for Children, works by identifying when sugar levels are low and stopping the release of insulin.

People with type 1 diabetes are at a constant risk of hypoglycaemia, low glucose levels that can cause seizures, strokes or even death.

Professor Tim Jones, from the Princess Margaret Hospital for Children, said the device would help parents of type 1 diabetes sufferers manage the condition, especially at night, the riskiest time for hypoglycaemia.

"Most parents have to get up two or three times a night to check glucose levels and this might make them feel a little safer at night time if they know they've got this automated system that's going to prevent low glucose," he said.

But the device, which lasts for four years and is now commercially available for $10,000, is not just for children and would work well on adults too, especially those living alone or at a high risk of glucose level fluctuations, he said.

Xavier's mother, Naomi, said the device would make a big difference in her son's way of life.

"It allows him to have more freedom with eating," she said.

"He's only four, you can't stop a child wanting a bowl full of pasta, at a party you can't stop a child wanting party food, so the pump allows a lot more freedom."

http://www.9news.com.au/national/2015/0 ... l-pancreas


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 24, 2015 9:40 am 
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Full checklist that makes up the 'death test'

A checklist of 29 assessments could spot which of the elderly are closest to death so costly treatments are not wasted on them.

Medical professionals in Australia say the 29-point assessment will prompt honest discussions with family members about end of life care and stop futile treatments.

The proposals, printed in the British Medical Journal, assess the most likely predictors of death in the short - 30 days - to medium term - 12 weeks - and provide definitions for the dying patients.

The authors write: "Delaying unavoidable death contributes to unsustainable and escalating healthcare costs, despite aggressive and expensive interventions.

"These interventions may not influence patient outcome, often do not improve the patient's quality of life, may compromise bereavement outcomes for families and cause frustration for health professionals."

The proposed components that would make up the 'The Critera for Screening and Triaging to Appropriate aLternative care, or CriSTAL to identify end-of-life status before hospital admission are listed below.

1 Decreased LOC: Glasgow Coma Score change >2 or AVPU=P or U
2 Systolic blood pressure <90 mm Hg
3 Respiratory rate <5 or >30
4 Pulse rate <40 or >140
5 Need for oxygen therapy or known oxygen saturation <90%
6 Hypoglycaemia: BGL
7 Repeat or prolonged seizures
8 Low urinary output (<15 mL/h or <0.5 mL/kg/h)

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/health/ ... -test.html


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 27, 2015 5:24 pm 
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Young adults with high cholesterol at risk

A new study shows that every decade lived with too much cholesterol in the blood increases the chances of heart disease by 39 per cent.

Raised cholesterol in healthy young adults can herald heart disease in later life, scientists have warned.

A study suggests every decade lived with too much cholesterol in the blood increases the chances of heart disease by 39 per cent.

The findings suggest that some individuals may benefit from taking cholesterol-lowering statin drugs at a relatively young age, said the researchers.

Lead scientist Ann Marie Navar-Boggan, from Duke University in the US, compared the effect to the long-term impact of smoking.

"The number of years with elevated cholesterol, or 'lipid years', can affect you in a similar way to the number of 'pack years' you have had as a smoker," she said.

"It shows that what we're doing to our blood vessels in our 20s, 30s and 40s is laying the foundation for disease that will present itself later in our lives. If we wait until our 50s or 60s to think about cardiovascular disease prevention, the cat's already out of the bag."

Her team looked at data on 1478 adults free of heart disease at the age of 55 who were enrolled into the Framingham Heart Study, a major US health investigation which began in 1948.

The researchers calculated the length of time participants had high cholesterol by age 55 and monitored their progress for up to 20 years.

For the study, raised cholesterol was defined as 160 milligrams per decilitre of blood or higher.

This excluded the beneficial form of cholesterol, high-density lipoprotein (HDL).

At 55 years of age, almost 40 per cent of participants had experienced at least 10 years of exposure to high cholesterol.

Over the next 15 years, they had a 16.5 per cent risk of developing heart disease, nearly four times the rate among those with normal or low cholesterol levels.

The research indicated a dose response, with risk increasing as cholesterol levels rose.

Participants with one to 10 years of high cholesterol exposure had an 8.1 per cent risk of developing heart disease.

For those who did not have high cholesterol at the start of the study, the risk was only 4.4 per cent.

Every 10 years spent with high cholesterol raised the likelihood of suffering heart disease by 39 per cent, suggesting that even mild or moderate cholesterol increases posed a significant risk.

"The effect is perhaps even stronger among adults who are otherwise healthy," Navar-Boggan said.

"So even if you control everything else in your life - you don't smoke, your blood pressure and weight are normal, and you don't have diabetes - having elevated cholesterol over many years can still cause problems in the long run.

The study is published in the American Heart Association journal Circulation.

http://www.ncah.com.au/art/public-healt ... -risk/399/


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 29, 2015 3:02 pm 
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Beyond multivitamins: Vitamin D supplementation

SAN DIEGO, January 27, 2015 — Vitamin D is produced in the body primarily through exposure to sunlight. For Americans who live in the northern portion of the U.S., getting the right amount of sunlight can be challenging!

Vitamin D is necessary for the human body to metabolize important minerals such as phosphorous and calcium. Moreover, it plays a critical role in ensuring strong bones, healthy skin, proper cellular function and a strong immune system.

Vegans, those who avoid or have limited sun exposure, wear sunscreen regularly, have dark skin, are plagued by gastric or bowel distress, take steroidal medication, or are older adults are at greater risk for vitamin D deficiency.

The Mayo Clinic suggests some symptoms which are indicative of a vitamin D deficiency:

Fatigue
Muscular aches
Personality changes
Head sweating
Weight loss
Gastrointestinal difficulties
Mental confusion or forgetfulness

For the most conclusive method of determining whether or not your vitamin D levels are normal, seek guidance and supervision from a qualified healthcare professional and undergo a simple blood test.

According to the National Institutes of Health, blood levels of 30 to 50 nmoL/L could pose some health risks, whereas levels under 30 nmoL/L could pose significant health risks.

Depending on what the vitamin D level test results show, a qualified healthcare provider might determine that supplementation is necessary, and will determine which dosage is appropriate.

A standard multivitamin supplement may not provide an adequate amount of vitamin D for good health and disease prevention.

Once vitamin D supplementation is prescribed, it will be necessary to undergo blood tests to ensure proper maintenance while determining whether any adjustments in dosage are necessary. Maintaining normal values of vitamin D is insurance against developing abnormally high levels, which can be damaging to many bodily functions.

Humans obtain most of their vitamin D from chemical reactions in the skin powered by sunlight provided by Mother Nature. Very few foods naturally contain vitamin D, and most of those contain very little. So there are only two sure ways to get enough vitamin D: sun exposure and dietary supplements.

You can, however, improve the efficiency with which your body absorbs vitamin D and converts it into the forms it needs. The National Institutes of Health suggest consuming the following foods to increase vitamin D uptake, while also following a low-fat diet with sensible caloric intake:

-Fruits and vegetables
-Whole grains
-Low-fat (or non-fat) milk and cheeses
-Lean meats and seafood sources
-Nuts
-Beans
-Eggs
-Foods known to be fortified with vitamin D

Consume only gluten-free foods if you have been diagnosed with gluten intolerance, and avoid shellfish if you suffer from shellfish allergies.

Optimal intake of vitamin D, whether from safe exposure to sunlight or proper food consumption with prescribed supplementation is absolutely necessary for the prevention of osteoporosis, gum disease, and possibly even many types of cancer. Low levels of vitamin D could also play a role in the development of asthma, multiple sclerosis, diabetes and cognitive impairment.

The human body was designed to thrive in the great outdoors. It is imperative to keep this in mind when you try to offset the impacts and unintended consequences of industrialization, mass transit, and the availability of sunscreen!

Empowered with the knowledge that vitamin D truly is Mother Nature’s sunshine vitamin, and that it is necessary for proper metabolism and overall health and disease prevention, be proactive. Choose a holistic approach to maintaining normal levels of vitamin D in your body. This will promote a sense of well-being, positive health, and optimal vitality now and in the years to come.

http://www.commdiginews.com/featured/be ... ion-33982/


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 01, 2015 11:53 am 
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Can Lean Management improve hospitals?

Waiting times in hospital emergency departments could be cut with the introduction of Lean Management and Six Sigma (LSS) techniques according to new research.

Lean Management involves never ending efforts to eliminate or reduce ‘waste’ while Six Sigma is a disciplined, data-driven method for eliminating defects in any process. These methods were developed in manufacturing contexts. The two methods can be combined and referred to as Lean Six Sigma (LSS).

Big contributors to increased work and stress in public hospitals are high bed occupancy levels and increases in in-patient numbers.

A new study from an inter-university team of Melbourne researchers investigated the application of LSS in a large hospital to see if it could reduce the time taken to assess and stabilise patients in the emergency department (ED). The team also looked to see if it assisted in increasing the flow of patients through the hospital, from their admission, transit through various units to their discharge into the community without increasing the workload of staff.

The researchers found that balancing such conflicting flows was important to ensure the smooth running of an ED, to limit the amount of time patients are waiting for a bed and to reduce work and stress levels.

Monash University’s management expert Professor Greg Bamber from the Monash Business School said Lean Management and Six Sigma had been developed to improve the productivity and efficiency of the automobile and manufacturing industries.

“In recent years hospitals have been trying to adapt LSS processes to streamline processes and improve costs.

“There have been earlier claims about work intensification experienced by employees in lean manufacturing. Therefore, we studied the outcomes after transferring LSS concepts into a hospital context, to streamline processes and improve costs there.”

The project found that introducing LLS in hospitals was more challenging than in manufacturing, but it can help to improve patient flow from the emergency department to hospital beds.

Implementation also allowed the hospital studied to open more beds as well as install new software for monitoring bed availability. At the ward level opening more rehabilitation beds, which improved the discharge process, enhanced patient flow.

Professor Pauline Stanton from RMIT cautioned that to be successful with innovations such as LSS, hospitals needed to have sufficient resources and an excellent implementation process - a process that takes the time to involve the key stakeholders, including the front line staff.

The research was undertaken by Professors Greg Bamber and Amrik Sohal from Monash University; Richard Gough and Dr Ruth Ballardie from Victoria University; Professors Tim Bartram and Sandra Leggat from La Trobe University; and Professor Pauline Stanton from RMIT.

The Australian Research Council supported the research. Early results are published in a special issue of International Journal of Human Resource Management.

http://www.healthcanal.com/public-healt ... itals.html


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 04, 2015 9:02 am 
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Don't forget your vitamin D

We will have to wait until well into April or May before we can naturally stock up on this important vitamin through the reaction of the sun on the skin.

Lack of vitamin D is not just being linked to weaker bones but also higher risk of heart disease, cancer and diabetes.

As many as one in 10 adults can be deficient. So, how can we improve our intake?

We get vitamin D from foods, including eggs, meat and oily fish such as salmon, mackerel and sardines.

Vitamin D is also added some breakfast cereals, soya products, dairy products, powdered milks and fat spreads.

People who have darker skin - for example, those of African, African Caribbean or South Asian origin, are also at risk of vitamin D deficiency because it takes their skin more time to produce as much vitamin D as someone with lighter skin.

It is important that pregnant and breastfeeding women take a vitamin D supplement to make sure their own needs for vitamin D are met, and so that their baby is born with enough stores of vitamin D for the first few months of its life. An average of one in 10 men and women aged 40 to 80 may be deficient in Vitamin D.

http://www.independent.ie/life/health-w ... 54618.html


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 07, 2015 8:44 am 
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Is Asthma a Vitamin Deficiency: Vitamin-D Uses You Didn't Expect

If you’ve tried everything to get your asthma under control with no success, you could have a common vitamin deficiency. A new study published in the journal Allergy confirms the long-held suspicion that vitamin D might play a role in asthma.

The study found that among 21,237 asthmatic patients, those people with lower levels of vitamin D had more symptom flare-ups, while those with sufficient levels of vitamin D had fewer. People who were deficient in vitamin D (less than 25nmol/l) were 22 percent more likely to have an exacerbation of asthma symptoms.[1] These results are similar to previous findings that the severity and frequency of asthma flare-ups and rates of uncontrolled asthma were worse for people deficient in vitamin D.[2,3] Why might vitamin D help asthma?

There are many vitamin-D uses in the body, including immune system regulation. As dysfunction of the immune system causes asthma symptoms in the first place, vitamin D likely helps by modulating the activity of the immune system to keep asthma under control.[1]

Although further studies are needed to determine the role of vitamin-D supplementation in asthma attack treatment and prevention, researchers believe that “vitamin-D replacement therapy could be an inexpensive way to decrease severe asthma exacerbations . . . improving the quality of life for asthmatic patients.”[2]

Correcting a Vitamin-D Deficiency

If you suspect that you might be deficient in vitamin D, it’s time to take a blood test and find out. Vitamin-D levels in the blood should be no lower than 30 nmol/l, but ideally they should be higher, at least 40 to 60 nmol/l. For tips on managing your vitamin D levels, read more here. Correcting a vitamin-D deficiency, either through safe sun exposure or a supplement, might help to get your asthma under control and decrease your symptoms. It will also help with blood pressure control, osteoporosis treatment, cancer survival, and more. It might even help you live longer, too.

Share Your Experience

Do you have asthma? What are your favorite home remedies for asthma? Have you ever tried vitamin D to treat your asthma, and did it help? Share your tips in the comments section below.

http://www.motherearthnews.com/natural- ... z1502.aspx


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 10, 2015 12:09 pm 
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Adelaide woman accused of pretending to be a nurse

The law is catching up to an Adelaide woman accused of masquerading as a nurse five years ago.

The 64-year-old Gawler West woman has been charged with six counts of deception after she allegedly forged her qualifications to gain employment as a nurse.

The woman is accused of working in several roles, including as a director of nursing at various aged care facilities across South Australia as early as 2010.

Police say there's no evidence the woman harmed or mistreated any patients or residents in her care.

Officers are working with the national accreditation body on their investigation to determine if other people were involved, and have not ruled out further arrests.

The accused is due to appear at Elizabeth Magistrates Court on March 18.

http://www.9news.com.au/national/2015/0 ... be-a-nurse


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 12, 2015 12:12 pm 
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Dr Google given a medical check to steer users from shonky advice

Search the web about "headaches" and you will be hit by lists of causes - ranging from eye strain to brain tumours - and treatments, including options long dismissed as snake oil.

But, from this week, digital giant Google will respond to medical queries with pre-vetted fact boxes and illustrations in a bid to steer users away from websites with shonky, possibly dangerous, advice.

If you have symptoms of gonorrhea, for example, you can save yourself from some embarrassment and first talk to your smartphone via Google's Now.

"We'll show you typical symptoms and treatments, as well as details on how common the condition is - whether it's critical, if it's contagious, what ages it affects, and more," Prem Ramaswami, Google's product manager, said in a blog post.

"Once you get this basic info from Google, you should find it easier to do more research on other sites around the web, or know what questions to ask your doctor."

One in 20 of Google's 100 billion monthly searches are for health-related information..

So far, only users in the US, searching for 400 of the most common terms, such as "tonsilitis" and "measles", will see the "carefully compiled, curated, and reviewed" health data boxes.

"An average of 11 doctors have vetted each fact, and all were then reviewed by the [US-based medical non-profit] Mayo Clinic," Amit Singhal, Google's vice-president in charge of search, told USA Today.

The service will expand rapidly, he added.

"When you're a parent in India or Brazil or sub-Saharan Africa, and your child is sick and all you might have for help is your smartphone, this information might really matter."

Stephen Parnis, vice-president of the Australian Medical Association, said Google's efforts, no matter how thoroughly researched and checked, could never replace the expertise of a doctor.

"Very few things directly translate to individuals' circumstances," said Dr Parnis, who works as an emergency physician in Melbourne.

"At best, it encourages people to seek the right advice from a doctor. At worst, it can provoke panic, distress, unnecessary concern or inappropriate peace of mind because decisions about health are often clouded by emotion."

Some critics have also raised concerns about the move's potential to exacerbate "cyberchondria", described in health journals as "the excessive use of internet health sites to fuel health anxiety."

Research shows "cyberchondria" can lead to excessive Googling, mistrusting your GP and unnecessary medical testing.

http://www.smh.com.au/digital-life/digi ... 3ce8l.html


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 15, 2015 7:08 am 
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Winter Months Causing Vitamin D Deficiency

During winter months, residents of northern US cities are experiencing more snowstorms like the recent "historic" nor'easter Juno, and the lack of sunshine is causing vitamin D deficiency, a new study warns.

According to nutrition researcher Peter Horvath, in Buffalo, NY for example, nearly 50 percent of people have insufficient amounts of vitamin D and 25 percent may be considered deficient.

Unlike other vitamins, vitamin D is created naturally by the body when the skin absorbs ultraviolet sunlight. But with sleet, snow, freezing temperatures and gusting winds during the winter, people bundle up and spend less time outside in the sunlight. Plus, during this time direct sunlight is hard to come by due to the Earth's tilt away from the Sun.

"Every cell in the body is responsive to vitamin D," Horvath said in a statement. "If you're deficient, you won't see the health effects for years and it could take months to get your levels back up."

Vitamin D deficiency could cause lower bone density, a weakened immune system, increased risk for type 2 diabetes, cancer and cardiovascular disease, and cognitive impairment in older adults.

Those who are most at risk of vitamin D deficiency are the elderly, pregnant and nursing women, and people of color, whose skin acts as a natural sunscreen. Pregnant women and nursing mothers are of particular concern because it affects children at a time when their bones are still developing. This could result in rickets, or the softening of bone.

In order to get your daily dose, Horvath recommends vitamin D supplementation of between 1,000 and 2,000 international units a day. Also, eating foods rich in vitamin D such as salmon, breakfast cereals and enriched milk is helpful.

It's also possible for people exposed to northern winters to take precautions before the colder months and soak up as much summer sun as they can. This way, high vitamin D levels may help them make it through winter.

http://www.natureworldnews.com/articles ... ciency.htm


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 18, 2015 8:59 am 
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NEW TACTICS MORE EFFECTIVE TO CUT BINGE DRINKING

According to Dr Dominic Conroy, researcher at the University of Sussex, UK, students have a better chance of lowering their alcohol intake if advice focuses on the benefits such as more money and improved health.

Furthermore, the research, published in the British Journal of Health Psychology, revealed a drinks diary was not as effective in deterring problem drinking compared to completing an exercise related to abstaining from alcohol.

“Our research contributes to existing health promotion advice, which seeks to encourage young people to consider taking ‘dry days’ yet does not always indicate the range of benefits nor suggest how non-drinking can be more successfully managed in social situations,” commented Conroy, as reported by the New Zealand Herald.

His research involved 211 English university students aged 18-25, who each completed one out of four exercises over a month.

Tasks included imagining positive outcomes of non-drinking during a social occasion, strategies to not drink alcohol in social situations, combining imagining positive outcomes and strategies, or keeping a drinks diary.

Conroy found on average, students who thought of positive outcomes reduced their weekly alcohol intake from 20 units to just 14.

In addition, those who imagined coping mechanisms for abstaining on social occasions drank alcohol less frequently, falling on average from 1.05 occasions a week to 0.73.

“I think this shows that health campaigners need to be targeted and easy to fit into daily life but also help support people to accomplish changes in behaviour that might sometimes involve ‘going against the grain’, such as periodically not drinking even when in the company of people who are drinking,” Conroy concluded.

http://www.thespiritsbusiness.com/2015/ ... -drinking/


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 21, 2015 12:44 pm 
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Discount jabs under fire

A discount war for flu injections in pharmacies is cheapening a medical procedure into a product like shampoo, according to some doctors.

The Australian Medical Association WA said flu shots marketed by chemists for as little as $9.99 were turning vaccination into something "cheap and nasty".

Several pharmacy chains have offered in-house flu vaccinations by nurse practitioners since 2011, with the charge tumbling from $30 to under $10 this year.

The State Government also recently agreed that WA pharmacists should also be able to dispense vaccinations.

But AMA WA president Michael Gannon said "shopping centre vaccination" was not good medicine.

"We have to be open-minded to different methods of improving vaccination rates and health authorities are doing it for the right reasons but they have not listened to our arguments," he said.

"This is a cash grab and all they are doing is helping to deliver profits to big multinational retail pharmacies."

He was also concerned about community faith in safe immunisation protocols and sales in pharmacies for $9.99 diminished the importance of vaccination being a professional service.

But WA Pharmacy Guild president Stephen Wragg said it was about making vaccinations more available.

Health Minister Kim Hames said he did not have a problem with pharmacies carrying out immunisation, which was why he agreed to pharmacists being able to administer injections.

"Immunisation is the best known safeguard against the flu and this program means more people can be encouraged to access the vaccination at a local pharmacy," he said.

Dr Hames said all usual safeguards would apply and pharmacists would be trained to ensure high standards and a consistent service overseen by the Health Department.

He said the program was already under way in other States.

https://au.news.yahoo.com/thewest/a/263 ... nder-fire/


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