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

aspca

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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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ing

 

 

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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Bionic Eyes Being Developed to Cure the Blind

World’s only bionic eyes keep getting better

By 

War Games

Published March 21, 2013

FoxNews.com

The world’s only bionic eyes — implants that can bring sight to the blind — keep getting better.

Created by Second Sight Medical Products and recently approved by the FDA, the Argus II Retinal Prosthesis System uses an implanted camera and computer to convert the world at large into electronic signals, enabling the brain to see.

It’s the first implanted device that can provide sight to people 25 and older who have lost their vision from degenerative eye diseases like macular degeneration and retinitis pigmentosa.

And results just published in the latest British Journal of Ophthalmology indicate they’re even better than previously thought: Argus II enabled the 21 blind patients in a new study to locate and identify objects and people — and even read.

About 75 percent of blind patients given these new bionic eyes were able to correctly identify single letters. More than half of those with Argus II were able to read four-letter words.

Approximately 1.5 million people around the world and about 100,000 Americans are affected by the inherited disease retinitis pigmentosa, which damages the eyes’ photoreceptors — cells at the back of the retina that perceive light patterns and pass them on to the brain in the form of nerve impulses.

The brain takes these impulses and interprets them as images. Retinitis pigmentosa causes gradual loss of these light-sensing cells and potentially blindness.

Breakthroughs like the Argus II are also critical in pushing innovation that may help those with visual impairment due to other causes. For example, in the military there were 182,525 ambulatory and another 4,030 hospitalized eye injuries reported between 2000 and 2010.

How does the Bionic Eye work?
In healthy eyes, the rods and cones in the retina, called photoreceptors, take light and turn it into tiny electrochemical impulses. These impulses are sent through the optic nerve to the brain for decoding into images.

When the photoreceptors stop working effectively, this initial conversion process fails and the brain can’t translate the light. The Argus II implant bypasses disease-damaged photoreceptors altogether.

The system has three parts: a small electronic implant, a tiny camera and a video processing unit.

A small electronic device is first implanted in and around the eye. The patient then wears glasses that have a built-in video camera; it captures the surroundings and sends video to a small computer the patient wears, called a video-processing unit (VPU).

The VPU processes the video into instructions that are sent back to the glasses via a cable and then wirelessly transmitted to the implant in the eye. Electrodes there emit small electrical pulses that stimulate the retina’s remaining cells, sending the visual information along the optic nerve to the brain.

The brain perceives light patterns from this data, which patients learn to interpret — giving them back their sight.

Beyond Bionic Eyes
There are several other promising ways to restore sight in a patient that has lost his or her vision.

According to results published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, an Oxford University team has made progress in a technique that has the body rebuild the retina to restore sight.

They believe studies with mice show promise for treating people with degenerative eye disease.

In their approach, they inject “precursor” cells into the eye that create the building blocks of a retina. Within two weeks of the injections, a retina had formed.

Using this technique, totally blind mice had their sight restored and similar results had already been achieved with night-blind mice.

Meanwhile, research published in Nature by professor Robin Ali showed that transplanting cells could restore vision in night-blind mice and that the same technique worked in a range of mice with degenerated retinas.

It is hoped that eventually a doctor could put the cells in and reconstruct the entire light-sensitive layer of a human as well.

At Moorfields Eye Hospital in London, there are trials underway using human embryonic stem cells in patients with Stargardt’s disease.

Early results look safe and promising, but it will take several years for it to become available.

Ballet dancer turned defense specialist Allison Barrie has traveled around the world covering the military, terrorism, weapons advancements and life on the front line. You can reach her at wargames@foxnews.com or follow her on Twitter @Allison_Barrie.

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/science/2013/03/21/worlds-only-bionic-eyes-keep-getting-better/?intcmp=trending#ixzz2ORMqcIF2

Healthy lunches to bring to work

Healthy lunches to bring to work

By 

Published March 23, 2013

FoxNews.com

  • 1Goat Cheese Turkey Pitas
  • iStock

    2Avocado Sandwich With Grapes
  • ©Kelly Cline

    3Vegetarian Chef Salad
  • 4White Bean Apple Sandwich
  • iStock

    5Hummus Orange Wrap
  • Amie Valpone/The Healthy Apple

    6Banana Almond Butter English Muffin Sandwich

Looking for a few new ways to spruce up your brown paper bag lunch? Look no further – these recipes are quick to make and healthy, too.

Everyone needs a good sandwich recipe. It’s a well-known fact that a lunch filled with healthy fats, fiber and whole grains keeps you fuller longer. Skip the burger joint!

  • 1Goat Cheese Turkey Pitas

    Serves 4

    Pitas are so underrated. They’re easy to make and so fun to stuff with your favorite ingredients. Make sure you purchase whole-grain pitas and fill them with lean proteins such as turkey along with a few flavorful ingredients, like goat cheese, sun-dried tomatoes, spinach and red onion for a well-rounded lunchtime treat.

    Ingredients
    • 2 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
    • 8 large pitas, halved
    • 3/4 lb. organic turkey breast, thinly sliced from deli
    • 6 oz. goat cheese
    • 4 sun-dried tomatoes in oil
    • 1/4 tsp. sea salt
    • 1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
    • 2 cups fresh baby spinach
    • 1 small red onion, thinly sliced
    • 2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

    Directions
    1. Spread Dijon mustard into each pita half.  Stuff each half with remaining ingredients and serve.

  • 2Avocado Sandwich With Grapes

    iStock

    Serves 4

    Ingredients
    • 2 ripe avocados, peeled, pitted and mashed
    • 2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
    • 1/2 tsp. sea salt
    • 1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
    • 12 slices whole grain bread, toasted
    • 2 scallions, thinly sliced
    • 1 cup baby spinach
    • 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro
    • 1 bunch fresh grapes
    Directions
    1. In a medium bowl, combine avocado, olive oil, salt, and pepper; mash with a fork.
    2. Place 4 of the toast slices on a flat surface. Divide the avocado mixture onto each slice. Top with scallions, spinach, cilantro and then finish with the other 4 slices of toast. Slice each sandwich in half and serve with grapes.

  • 3Vegetarian Chef Salad

    ©Kelly Cline

    Serves 1

    Chef’s salads don’t have to be loaded with unhealthy ingredients and drenched in heavy dressings! You can easily make your own by combining a few protein such as chia seeds, almonds and a hard-boiled egg along with healthy fats from flax oil and avocado and combine them with fiber-filled romaine, tomatoes and mushrooms for an afternoon meal that you won’t regret diving into.

    Ingredients
    • 2 cups romaine lettuce, finely chopped
    • 1 hard-boiled egg, peeled and sliced
    • 1 tsp. Dijon mustard
    • 1 tsp. balsamic vinegar
    • 1 tsp. fresh lemon juice
    • 2 Tbsp. flax oil
    • 2 chives, finely chopped
    • 1/4 tsp. sea salt
    • 1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
    • 1/2 ripe avocado, thinly sliced
    • 1/3 cup grape tomatoes, halved
    • 4 button mushrooms, sliced
    • 1 Tbsp. chia seeds
    • 2 Tbsp. slivered almonds

    Directions
    1. In a large bowl, combine all ingredients; gently toss to combine. Transfer to a serving bowl; serve chilled.

  • 4White Bean Apple Sandwich

    Serves 4

    I bet you’ve never had this tasty combo in a sandwich! It’s cheap and easy to make- just purchase a can of white beans along with whole grain bread, romaine lettuce, olive oil and your favorite kind of apple. Add a punch of flavor from the chili powder and scallions and you’re all set for a lunchtime masterpiece. Your cubicle neighbor will be jealous!

    Ingredients
    • 2  (15 ounce) cans white beans, drains and rinsed
    • 2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
    • 1/2 tsp. sea salt
    • 1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
    • 1/4 tsp. chili powder
    • 12 slices whole grain bread, toasted
    • 2 scallions, thinly sliced
    • 4 large Romaine lettuce leaves
    • 2 large apples, thinly sliced

    Directions
    1. In a medium bowl, combine white beans, olive oil, sea salt, pepper and chili powder; mash mixture using a fork.
    2. Place 4 slices of toast on a flat surface. Top each slice with the white bean mixture, then scallions, romaine and apples. Top each open-faced sandwich with a piece of toast. Slice each sandwich in half and serve.

  • 5Hummus Orange Wrap

    iStock

    Serves 4

    Who doesn’t love an easy lunchtime wrap? Be sure to purchase whole grain wraps when food shopping as many brands sneak in unhealthy ingredients and you don’t want to sabotage your healthy lunch with one wrap! Pick your favorite flavor of hummus (I like garlic-flavored) and combine it with arugula, cucumbers, romaine and a fresh orange; wrap it up and enjoy.

    Ingredients
    • 8 Tbsp. hummus
    • 1/4 tsp. sea salt
    • 1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
    • 1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
    • 4 large whole grain or corn tortillas
    • 1 large cucumber, peeled and thinly sliced
    • 1 cup arugula
    • 2 Tbsp. ground flax seeds
    • 1 head romaine lettuce, finely chopped
    • 1 fresh orange, peeled segmented

    Directions
    1. In a medium bowl, combine hummus, sea salt, pepper and red pepper; mash mixture using a fork.
    2. Place 4 whole grain wraps on a flat surface; divide hummus mixture among them. Top with cucumber, arugula, flax seeds, romaine and orange segments; roll each wrap like a burrito, cut in half and serve.

  • 6Banana Almond Butter English Muffin Sandwich

    Amie Valpone/The Healthy Apple

    Serves 4
    English muffins aren’t just for breakfast! Dig into this fun ‘sandwich’ for lunch and enjoy the hearty protein from almond butter and a dose of fiber from a creamy banana. Cinnamon adds a sweet touch to keep you from downing those chocolate bars in the break room!

    Ingredients
    • 4 English muffin, toasted and halved
    • 4 Tbsp. almond butter
    • 2 large bananas, sliced into 1/2 inch piece
    • 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
    • 1/4 tsp. sea salt
    • 1 large apple, sliced

    Directions
    1. Lay 4 English muffin halves on a flat surface. Top with almond butter, bananas, cinnamon and sea salt. Finish with remaining English muffin halves. Cut muffin in half and serve.
    2. Serve with apple slices on the side.

 

Amie Valpone is a celebrity chef based in New York City and editor-in-chief of TheHealthyApple.com. Specializing in simple, gluten-free recipes, Amie has been featured in numerous magazines and on well-known websites, as well as TV. Visit Amie on Facebook,Twitter and Pinterest.

March Healthcare Update

This is the March 2013 UnitedHealthcare Newsletter and Bulletin sent to all Valley Schools Employee Benefits Trust (VSEBT) members.  Each month their tens of thousands of members who work at school districts throughout the state get the latest in health news, updates on regulatory changes and free webinars.  What does your health provider do for you?  If you want more information, please contact Sheri Gilbert at Valley Schools at 623-594-4370.  It is unfortunate that not every plan provides such up-to-date information each month.

Pardon the formatting, it was drawn from an email forwarded to our press release department.

logo vsmg

 

Monthly Business Communications
March 2013
In This Issue

Important Links:

 

United for Reform –

Resource Center

 

2013 Wellness Calendar & Source for Women

 

www.uhctv.com

 

 

Pharmacy News:

Learn more about Mail Order

“Not all drugs are created equal” – Cost and Value are not necessarily the same – View Total Health Care Value

Keep informed about OptumRX Transition

 

Important eServices update:

 

Please read about the new demos and videos soon to be displayed at:

www.welcometoemployereservices.com

 

 

Dear Districts,

Please see the attached March Care 24 Health Bulletin, Calendar and Poster, focused on “Getting Help for your Aching Back”.

Back pain affects about 80% of Americans at some point in their life. Back pain can range from a dull, constant ache to a sudden, sharp pain. Most back pain goes away on its own, though it can take time. While most backaches can be treated with self-care, if your pain is severe or doesn’t improve after three days, call your doctor. Or, if your pain is the result of an injury, make sure to get medical attention.

Depending on what kind of back pain you have, there are a wide variety of treatment options available:

If your pain is acute – pain that starts quickly and lasts less than six weeks, you may want to take acetaminophen, aspirin or ibuprofen to ease the pain. If your pain is chronic – lasting more than three months, your doctor may suggest hot or cold packs, certain exercises, medication, changes in how you move and sleep, alternative treatments such as acupuncture, injections or surgery.

To learn more about coping with low back pain, go to myuhc.com.

Make the most of our Care24 service. When you call you get one-on-one help from experienced professionals who are here for you and all your health and wellness concerns. Call 1-866-271-7340 to get started.

Please remember that full Care24 services are not isolated to medial consultation. There are other licensed professionals available to assist you with counseling needs, financial issues and legal consultation.

Please see the below recap to provide you updated information on Health Care Reform, Optum RX, Source4Women and Employer eServices.

Thank you for being a valued customer and please let us know if you need anything,

Sincerely,

Mark Baggot

Sr. Field Account Manager

 

 

UnitedHealthcare Profile and Preference Center – your source for UnitedHealthcare Communications!

 

 

Multicultural Sites offered by UnitedHealthcare

 

www.latinohealthsolutions.com

www.uhcasian.com

www.uhc.com/generations_of_wellness.htm

 

 

 

If you would like information on our Plan Bien program, please contact your Field Account Manager.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Just a little St. Patrick’s Day Trivia:

 

St. Patrick was actually born in Great Brittan near Kilpatrick, Scotland

 

St. Patrick’s Day use of the leprechaun has no direct relationship to St. Patrick and actually originates from a 1959 Walt Disney movie featuring a very American version of Irish folklore characters. This American leprechaun quickly evolved into a highly recognized St. Patrick’s Day symbol.

 

Boston was the first U.S. city to officially celebrate St. Patrick’s Day.

 

A “shillelagh” is a short and stout oak club.

 

 

Health Reform

United for Reform Resource Center

Welcome to a new era of health care.

When President Obama signed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) into law on March 23, 2010, we entered a new era of comprehensive health reform. The act includes several provisions which are designed to expand coverage, control health care costs, and improve the health care delivery system.

 

Our goal at UnitedHealthcare is simple: to help you understand what health reform means for you. New laws. New benefits. From children to seniors, changes are happening – we are with you every step of the way.

 

Please log onto www.uhc.com/reform for more information as you need.

2013 Wellness Calendar & Source4Women

Please see the attached 2013 wellness calendar. March focuses on “Healthy Fast Food”. Please join the seminar at the Source4Women site on Must Eat Foods for You and Your Family. That webinar will be March 12, 2013.

 

Please also view healthy recipes on www.uhctv.com

In addition to the seminar, submit your health recipe for a chance to win $2,000 in groceries! $$$$$$$$$$$$

Upcoming Online Seminars

 

 

Must Eat Foods for You and Your Family

Kathleen Zelman, MPH, RD
March 12 – 12:30 p.m. (ET), 11:30 a.m. (CT)
Register now | Speaker biography | Speaker blog

Good nutrition starts in the kitchen. The foods you choose to stock your pantry and refrigerator are the foundation for healthy meals and snacks. Upgrade your kitchen with our healthy cooking tips, simple recipe swaps, and great ways to pump up the protein and make your favorite recipes and meals healthier. Getting kids to enjoy and embrace a healthy diet may be a real challenge for parents. By loading your shelves with delicious and nutritious foods, your kids will stop begging for junk food. Join us for this informative webinar that will give you tips and tricks to help your family make healthier food choices and develop good eating habits that can last a lifetime.

 

Previously Recorded Seminars

Unable to attend the live broadcast? You can still watch previously recorded seminars on Source4Women. All seminars will be recorded and made available on the site a few days after the live event. See all previously recorded seminars.

Pharmacy News:

About UnitedHealthcare pharmacy services

UnitedHealthcare pharmacy provides full-service pharmacy management and OptumRx Mail Service solutions for United Healthcare’s commercial business. With more than 30 years of integrated pharmacy and medical management experience, we take a total health care approach to supporting better health for members, and lowering total costs for you and your employees.

 

We have a long history of leading the PBM industry in innovative total cost management – from introducing the first 3-tier drug benefit to integrated clinical services and member support. Plus, our OptumRx Mail Service Pharmacy specializes in the delivery, clinical management and affordability of prescription medications and consumer health products. (www.uhc.com/pharmacy)

Important eServices Update:

New, Redesigned Employer eServices Portal Launches March 18

UnitedHealthcare will launch a new, redesigned Employer eServices® portal on March 18. The portal will feature streamlined navigation, intuitive design and state-of-the-art tools, making it easier than ever for customers to administer benefits online, as well as launch workplace wellness initiatives.

 

The portal will be the result of years of research, including nearly 100 interviews with end users. Once launched, it will be the cutting-edge, source-of-truth benefits management system for UnitedHealthcare’s brokers, consultants and customers.

 

Employer eServices Portal Improvements – What’s New:

· Dashboard

· Navigation

· Health and Wellness Tools

· Notifications and Alerts

· Training and Resource Materials

  • · Watch for informational webinars later in March!

 

uhc