Thinking You Ate a Lot May Help You Feel Full

Thinking You Ate a Lot May Help You Feel Full

Believing you had a large meal can make you feel less hungry house after the meal, a finding that could lead to new methods of weight control, researchers say. Their study included volunteers who were given what appeared to be either a small or large portion of soup for lunch. The researchers, however, manipulated the amount of soup the volunteers actually consumed by using a hidden pump that could refill or empty a soup bowl without the eater noticing.

feeling full

Immediately after they ate, the volunteers’ level of hunger matched the amount of soup they had eaten, not the amount they had seen just before eating. But two to three hours after lunch, those who had seen a larger portion of soup had significantly lower levels of hunger than those who had seen a smaller portion. Twenty-four hours after eating the soup, more of the volunteers who had seen a larger portion of soup believed that the portion they had consumed would satisfy their hunger, according to the study.

feeling full 2

The findings show that memory makes an independent contribution to feeling full after a meal, said the researchers, from the University of Bristol, England. The results could be used to find new ways to reduce people’s calorie intake, they concluded.

Source: http://www.healthfinder.gov

Re-posted from March 2013 Wellstyles Monthly Newsletter from the Valley Schools Employee Benefits Trust (VSEBT) from Rebecca McGonigle.

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New Hope to Repair Heart Damage

Heart Damage After Attack can be Reversed Through Gene Therapy

by Kathy Jones on  March 29, 2013 at 7:35 PM Genetics & Stem Cells News

Gene therapy can be used to treat patients who have suffered damage to their hearts following cardiac arrests and other heart conditions, a new study by American researchers reveals.

 Heart Damage After Attack can be Reversed Through Gene Therapy
The research group was led by University of Washington (UW) Professor and Vice Chair of Bioengineering Michael Regnier and Dr. Chuck Murry, director of the Center for Cardiovascular Biology and co-director of the Institute for Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine at UW.

Normally, muscle contraction is powered by a molecule, the nucleotide called Adenosine-5′-triphosphate (ATP).

In a previous study of isolated muscle, Regnier, Murry and colleagues had found that one naturally occurring molecule, called 2 deoxy-ATP (dATP), was actually more effective than ATP in boosting muscle contraction, increasing both the speed and force of the contraction, at least over the short-term.

In the new study, the researchers wanted to see if this effect could be sustained. For this, they used genetic engineering to create a strain of mice whose cells produced higher-than-normal levels of an enzyme called Ribonucleotide Reductase that converts the precursor of ATP, adenosine-5′-diphosphate or ADP, to dADP, which, in turn, is rapidly converted to dATP.

The researchers found that increased production of the enzyme Ribonucleotide Reductase increased the concentration of dATP within heart cells approximately tenfold, and even though this level was still less than one to two percent of the cell’s total pool of ATP, the increase led to a sustained improvement in heart muscle function, with the genetically engineered hearts contracting more quickly and with greater force.

“The same pathway that heart cells use to make the building blocks for DNA during embryonic growth makes dATP to supercharge contraction when the adult heart is mechanically stressed,” Murry said.

Importantly, the elevated dATP effect was achieved without imposing additional metabolic demands on the cells, suggesting the modification would not harm the cell’s functioning over the long-term.

The findings suggest that treatments that elevate dATP levels in heart cells may prove to be an effective treatment for heart failure.

The study has been published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).

Source-ANI

Read more: Heart Damage After Attack can be Reversed Through Gene Therapy | Medindia http://www.medindia.net/news/heart-damage-after-attack-can-be-reversed-through-gene-therapy-116539-1.htm#ixzz2P4nMDWFJ

Vel Blood Type mystery solved

Deadly blood type solves 60-year-old medical mystery

By Charles Choi

Published March 29, 2013

LiveScience

  • 061106_blood_clot_02

    People with the rare Vel-negative blood type can die if they receive a Vel-positive transfusion, and now scientists know why. (Nicolle Rager Fuller, National Science Foundation)

A blood type that can turn blood transfusions deadly has proven a perplexing mystery for 60 years. Now researchers have finally identified the secret behind the blood type known as “Vel,” findings that could help make blood safer for hundreds of thousands of people worldwide.

The mystery began in 1952, when a 66-year-old woman in New York, sick with colon cancer, received a blood transfusion and unexpectedly suffered from a severe and potentially fatal rejection of the blood. Investigators referred to her, using her last name, simply as Patient Vel.

Further research found that Mrs. Vel had developed a potent immune response against some unknown compound found on the red blood cells she had received. However, scientists could not identify this compound, opening the mystery of a new blood type, “Vel-negative.”

“The molecular basis of the Vel-negative blood type remained elusive for more than 60 years despite intense efforts worldwide,” researcher Bryan Ballif, a biochemist and mass spectrometrist at the University of Vermont, told LiveScience. [The 9 Most Bizarre Medical Conditions]

How Vel works

Most people in the world are Vel-positive, but soon investigators discovered that Mrs. Vel was not alone; more than 200,000 people in Europe and more than 100,000 in North America share the Vel-negative blood type. For the 1 in 2,500 people of European descent with the rare blood, receiving a Vel-positive transfusion can easily result in kidney failure and death.

Everyone’s red blood cells are coated with molecules that can serve as what are called antigens, compounds that prompt the immune system to respond. It does so by pumping out proteins known as antibodies that latch onto and neutralize those antigens. However, people do not normally produce antibodies to their own red blood cell antigens, only to foreign ones — such as when they receive blood from another person who has a different blood type, and therefore an antigen they lack.

The most commonly known blood antigens make up the major human blood groups: A, B, AB and O. However, many less-common blood groups also exist, such as Vel, which can potentially make transfusions dangerous for patients.

Vel-negative blood is one of the most difficult blood types to supply in many countries. This is partly due to its rarity, but also to the dearth of any systematic way to screen for Vel-negative blood from donors. Previously, to identify whether someone was Vel-negative or Vel-positive, doctors had to use antibodies generated by the few known Vel-negative people after their bodies had rejected transfused blood. Many hospitals and blood banks lack access to these antibodies and thus any way to test for Vel.

Understanding rare blood types

Now Ballif, along with molecular biologist Lionel Arnaud of the French National Institute of Blood Transfusion and their colleagues have found the mysterious culprit behind Vel.

“Our findings promise to provide immediate assistance to health care professionals should they encounter this rare but vexing blood type,” Ballif said.

To find the missing piece, the international team used antibodies from Vel-negative patients to purify the Vel protein from human red blood cell membranes. Ballif and his colleagues then identified the culprit, a tiny molecule researchers had never before observed, andwhich is now dubbed small integral membrane protein 1, or SMIM1. Genetic analysis of 70 Vel-negative people revealed that each such patient was missing a short gene that instructs cells how to make SMIM1. [7 Biggest Mysteries of the Human Body]

Last year, the same researchers identified the proteins responsible for two other rare blood types, Junior and Langeris. With Vel, the global count of understood blood types now rises to 33.

“While there are still a couple of rare blood types whose molecular basis remains to be elucidated, the Vel-negative blood type was surely the most vexing mystery,” Arnaud told LiveScience.

The researchers developed DNA-based tests for identifying Vel-negative patients. These tests can easily be integrated into existing blood testing procedures and clinicians can complete them in two hours or less, the researchers said.

“For those rare Vel-negative individuals in need of a blood transfusion, this is a potentially life-saving time frame,” Ballif said. “Even if you are that rare one person out of 2,500 that is Vel-negative, we now know how to rapidly type your blood and find blood for you.”

The scientists detailed their findings online March 18 in the journal EMBO Molecular Medicine.

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/health/2013/03/29/deadly-blood-type-solves-60-year-old-medical-mystery/#ixzz2Ozqj5A85

Depression—Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Works When Drugs Don’t

Depression—Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Works When Drugs Don’t

Combining cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) with antidepressants as treatment for people with depression is three times more likely to make them feel better when antidepressants alone fail to work. This news is very promising for the two thirds of those with depression who haven’t seen any improvements from antidepressant use alone. Depressive patients who do not respond to targeted medication tend to have recurring bouts of depression. Dutch scientists in a previous study in 2008, found that CBT is very effective among those with recurrent depression. Nicola Wiles, leader of the study from the University of Bristol, said, “Until now, there was little evidence to help clinicians choose the best next step treatment for those patients whose symptoms do not respond to standard drug treatments.”

depression

CBT is a form of therapy that tries to change a patient’s pattern of thoughts and behavior, it follows the belief that by doing so their overall mood will improve, relieving many of the symptoms of depression. The study monitored 469 adults from 73 general practices (aged 18-75) who went through 6 weeks of treatment on an antidepressant but didn’t see any improvement. They were split into two different groups, one group of 235 patients continued pure antidepressant medication treatment while the other group of 234 patients received usual care treatment along with CBT. The follow up period was 12 months.

d2

They found that 46% of participants who received CBT as well as usual care saw improvements after 6 months compared to only 22% among those who solely used antidepressants. Those in the CBT group experienced less anxiety and were more likely to go into remission and experienced fewer and milder symptoms than those in the other group, with a reduction of depressive symptoms of at least 50%. Depression is the fourth leading disability in the world and one of the most common psychiatric disorders, it affects over 350 million people worldwide, according to the World Health Organization (WHO) and nearly 7% of adults in the USA develop it every year. The condition is predicted by 2030 to be the main cause of disability in developed nations.

Nicola Wiles added, “In many countries access to CBT is limited to those who can afford it. Even in the UK where there has been substantial investment in psychological services, many people who have not responded to antidepressants still do not receive more intensive psychological therapies such as CBT that take 12 to 18 sessions. In the USA, only about a quarter of people with depression have received any form of psychological therapy in the last 12 months.” The UK Government recently spent £500 million on the Improving Access To Psychological Therapies (IAPT) scheme, which according to Michael Otto from Boston University, USA, and Stephen Wisniewski from the University of Pittsburgh, USA, is very promising: “(These findings) add to the already impressive efficacy for CBT as assessed for other stages of treatment…If the broader IAPT vision is realized, it has the potential to serve as a model for depression treatment for other nations.”

d3

CBT is a short-duration treatment mainly for specific mental problems, such as panic attacks, phobias, anxiety, eating disorder and depression. Psychologists say that CBT is a combination of cognitive therapy and behavioral therapy. Cognitive therapy focuses on our thoughts, beliefs and attitudes. Behavioral therapy focuses on how we behave in response to those thoughts. Some people may have acquired unhealthy ways of thinking and behaving over many years or decades. The CBT therapist, who uses a set of structured techniques, sets out to identify thinking that causes troublesome feelings and problematic behavior. The patient (client) is then taught how to change this thinking, resulting in more appropriate and positive responses.

For example: Negative thoughts usually end up upsetting us, leading to angry feelings, which then impact on our mood and behavior. If such thoughts are not countered with a more positive approach, a negative spiral will follow, which can distort a person’s perceptions of things. CBT tries to get the person to challenge their beliefs about themselves and what they are capable of, so that their view of things or their situation is more realistic.

d4

A study carried out be researchers from John Hopkins University found that using computers late at night can be a cause of depression due to the exposure to bright light late at night which elevates levels of a certain stress hormone. Magnetic stimulation of the frontal lobs of the brain is effective at reducing symptoms of depression without the adverse side effects antidepressants have on sleep or arousal.

Source: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com

Reprinted from the Valley Schools Employee Benefits Trust (VSEBT) January 2013 Wellstyles Newsletter by Rebecca McGonigle.  VSEBT is a not-for-profit trust for administering insurance pools.  Contact information is Sheri Gilbert or Tom Boone at 623-594-4370.

Foods that Can Hurt Your Pets

People Foods to Avoid Feeding Your Pets

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Chocolate, Macadamia nuts, avocados…these foods may sound delicious to you, but they’re actually quite dangerous for our animal companions. Our nutrition experts have put together a handy list of the top toxic people foods to avoid feeding your pet. As always, if you suspect your pet has eaten any of the following foods, please note the amount ingested and contact your veterinarian or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435.

Chocolate, Coffee, Caffeine

These products all contain substances called methylxanthines, which are found in cacao seeds, the fruit of the plant used to make coffee and in the nuts of an extract used in some sodas. When ingested by pets, methylxanthines can cause vomiting and diarrhea, panting, excessive thirst and urination, hyperactivity, abnormal heart rhythm, tremors, seizures and even death. Note that darker chocolate is more dangerous than milk chocolate. White chocolate has the lowest level of methylxanthines, while baking chocolate contains the highest.

Alcohol

Alcoholic beverages and food products containing alcohol can cause vomiting, diarrhea, decreased coordination, central nervous system depression, difficulty breathing, tremors, abnormal blood acidity, coma and even death.

Avocado

The leaves, fruit, seeds and bark of avocados contain Persin, which can cause vomiting and diarrhea in dogs. Birds and rodents are especially sensitive to avocado poisoning, and can develop congestion, difficulty breathing and fluid accumulation around the heart. Some ingestions may even be fatal.

Macadamia Nuts

Macadamia nuts are commonly used in many cookies and candies. However, they can cause problems for your canine companion. These nuts have caused weakness, depression, vomiting, tremors and hyperthermia in dogs. Signs usually appear within 12 hours of ingestion and last approximately 12 to 48 hours.

Grapes & Raisins

Although the toxic substance within grapes and raisins is unknown, these fruits can cause kidney failure. In pets who already have certain health problems, signs may be more dramatic.

Yeast Dough

Yeast dough can rise and cause gas to accumulate in your pet’s digestive system. This can be painful and can cause the stomach or intestines to rupture. Because the risk diminishes after the dough is cooked and the yeast has fully risen, pets can have small bits of bread as treats. However, these treats should not constitute more than 5 percent to 10 percent of your pet’s daily caloric intake.

Raw/Undercooked Meat, Eggs and Bones

Raw meat and raw eggs can contain bacteria such as Salmonella and E. coli that can be harmful to pets. In addition, raw eggs contain an enzyme called avidin that decreases the absorption of biotin (a B vitamin), which can lead to skin and coat problems. Feeding your pet raw bones may seem like a natural and healthy option that might occur if your pet lived in the wild. However, this can be very dangerous for a domestic pet, who might choke on bones, or sustain a grave injury should the bone splinter and become lodged in or puncture your pet’s digestive tract.

Xylitol

Xylitol is used as a sweetener in many products, including gum, candy, baked goods and toothpaste. It can cause insulin release in most species, which can lead to liver failure. The increase in insulin leads to hypoglycemia (lowered sugar levels). Initial signs of toxicosis include vomiting, lethargy and loss of coordination. Signs can progress to recumbancy and seizures. Elevated liver enzymes and liver failure can be seen within a few days.

Onions, Garlic, Chives

These vegetables and herbs can cause gastrointestinal irritation and could lead to red blood cell damage. Although cats are more susceptible, dogs are also at risk if a large enough amount is consumed. Toxicity is normally diagnosed through history, clinical signs and microscopic confirmation of Heinz bodies. An occasional low dose, such as what might be found in pet foods or treats, likely will not cause a problem, but we recommend that you do NOT give your pets large quantities of these foods.

Milk

Because pets do not possess significant amounts of lactase (the enzyme that breaks down lactose in milk), milk and other milk-based products cause them diarrhea or other digestive upset.

Salt

Large amounts of salt can produce excessive thirst and urination, or even sodium ion poisoning in pets. Signs that your pet may have eaten too many salty foods include vomiting, diarrhea, depression, tremors, elevated body temperature, seizures and even death. In other words, keep those salty chips to yourself!

New Funeral Planning Service with Life Insurance Plan

The Valley Schools Employee Benefits Trust (VSEBT) in partnership with ING is providing the opportunity for all its members to participate in Everest Funeral Planning services.  This is a concierge program that helps the family and loved ones of the recently passed to help them with funeral planning and cost comparisons.  A brochure is linked here:

Everest Price Finder (2)

Often, the process of dealing with the death of a relative is difficult enough, without having to learn all about funeral costs, planning, and learning how to access life insurance benefits.  My wife was conservator of the will for her mother and it took a serious toll on her and the estate disposition took two years to resolve.  When her father died, she had to work for months to get his life insurance policies and funeral arrangements cleared.

everest price finder

This type of service is extremely valuable under those conditions.  It not only helps with the life insurance pay-out, but with the immediate issues of what to do and how to arrange a funeral.  The price finder keeps you from being taken by an unscrupulous operator during your most stressful time.

everest

Congratulations to VSEBT and ING for including this option for their members!

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Treatment for Depression

Depression effects an estimated one in ten Americans.  Depression has an array of symptoms which include fatigue, sleeping too much or too little, eating disorders, pain, failure to enjoy or complete tasks, along with sadness, feelings of worthlessness and even thoughts of suicide.  Depression effects each person uniquely and needs to be diagnosed and treated specifically for each patient.  Those with bi-polar disorder experience both depression and manic episodes.  Around 1% of the population suffers from bi-polar disorder.

depression map by state

There is still a stigma associated with depression that is unwarranted.  Receiving treatment for depression should be no different than seeking treatment for a broken arm.  Depression is caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain which effects mood control.  It can be treated through both drug therapy and cognitive therapy, with both being the most useful combination.  Depression as an illness is not “situational depression”.  Every one feels down from time to time when they go through a crisis, lose a job, have financial woes, or have other issues.  Depression as an illness is a pervasive mood caused by an imbalance that magnifies a bodies down feelings at all times.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Below is a very useful article from the January 2013 issue of Wellstyles, produced by the Valley Schools Employee Benefits Trust (VSEBT) and Rebecca McGonigle.

Remember, if you are feeling any symptoms of depression, see your Doctor, get their advice.  You don’t have to suffer in silence or try to “pull yourself together.”  You can no more will away depression than you can will away high blood pressure.  With both, you take medicine if needed and make lifestyle changes to help ameliorate your condition.

 

Depression—Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Works When Drugs Don’t

Combining cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) with antidepressants as treatment for people with depression is three times more likely to make them feel better when antidepressants alone fail to work. This news is very promising for the two thirds of those with depression who haven’t seen any improvements from antidepressant use alone. Depressive patients who do not respond to targeted medication tend to have recurring bouts of depression. Dutch scientists in a previous study in 2008, found that CBT is very effective among those with recurrent depression. Nicola Wiles, leader of the study from the University of Bristol, said, “Until now, there was little evidence to help clinicians choose the best next step treatment for those patients whose symptoms do not respond to standard drug treatments.”

depression 2

CBT is a form of therapy that tries to change a patient’s pattern of thoughts and behavior, it follows the belief that by doing so their overall mood will improve, relieving many of the symptoms of depression. The study monitored 469 adults from 73 general practices (aged 18-75) who went through 6 weeks of treatment on an antidepressant but didn’t see any improvement. They were split into two different groups, one group of 235 patients continued pure antidepressant medication treatment while the other group of 234 patients received usual care treatment along with CBT. The follow up period was 12 months.

They found that 46% of participants who received CBT as well as usual care saw improvements after 6 months compared to only 22% among those who solely used antidepressants. Those in the CBT group experienced less anxiety and were more likely to go into remission and experienced fewer and milder symptoms than those in the other group, with a reduction of depressive symptoms of at least 50%. Depression is the fourth leading disability in the world and one of the most common psychiatric disorders, it affects over 350 million people worldwide, according to the World Health Organization (WHO) and nearly 7% of adults in the USA develop it every year. The condition is predicted by 2030 to be the main cause of disability in developed nations.

Depression - In Men

Nicola Wiles added, “In many countries access to CBT is limited to those who can afford it. Even in the UK where there has been substantial investment in psychological services, many people who have not responded to antidepressants still do not receive more intensive psychological therapies such as CBT that take 12 to 18 sessions. In the USA, only about a quarter of people with depression have received any form of psychological therapy in the last 12 months.” The UK Government recently spent £500 million on the Improving Access To Psychological Therapies (IAPT) scheme, which according to Michael Otto from Boston University, USA, and Stephen Wisniewski from the University of Pittsburgh, USA, is very promising: “(These findings) add to the already impressive efficacy for CBT as assessed for other stages of treatment…If the broader IAPT vision is realized, it has the potential to serve as a model for depression treatment for other nations.”

 

CBT is a short-duration treatment mainly for specific mental problems, such as panic attacks, phobias, anxiety, eating disorder and depression. Psychologists say that CBT is a combination of cognitive therapy and behavioral therapy. Cognitive therapy focuses on our thoughts, beliefs and attitudes. Behavioral therapy focuses on how we behave in response to those thoughts. Some people may have acquired unhealthy ways of thinking and behaving over many years or decades. The CBT therapist, who uses a set of structured techniques, sets out to identify thinking that causes troublesome feelings and problematic behavior. The patient (client) is then taught how to change this thinking, resulting in more appropriate and positive responses.

For example: Negative thoughts usually end up upsetting us, leading to angry feelings, which then impact on our mood and behavior. If such thoughts are not countered with a more positive approach, a negative spiral will follow, which can distort a person’s perceptions of things. CBT tries to get the person to challenge their beliefs about themselves and what they are capable of, so that their view of things or their situation is more realistic.

A study carried out be researchers from John Hopkins University found that using computers late at night can be a cause of depression due to the exposure to bright light late at night which elevates levels of a certain stress hormone. Magnetic stimulation of the frontal lobs of the brain is effective at reducing symptoms of depression without the adverse side effects antidepressants have on sleep or arousal.

Source: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com

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