Cocoa improves thinking skills, memory

By: Beacon
Posted on: July 15, 2015

Chocolate is more than just a tempting treat. Certain compounds in chocolate, called cocoa flavanols, have been shown to boost health. But that doesn’t mean you should start loading up on the sweets.“Consuming cocoa flavanols in chocolate is tricky. You need to understand the risks and benefits first,” said Dr. Miguel Alonso-Alonso, a neuroscientist at Harvard-affiliated... READ MORE

Vitamin B3 may help prevent skin cancer

By: Marilynn Marchione
Posted on: July 02, 2015

For the first time, a large study suggests that a vitamin might modestly lower the risk of the most common types of skin cancer in people with a history of these relatively harmless yet troublesome growths.In a study in Australia, people who took a specific type of vitamin B3 for a year had a 23 percent lower rate of new skin cancers compared to others who took dummy pills. In absolute... READ MORE

Canned foods at least as nutritious as fresh

By: Kathleen Zelman, R.D
Posted on: June 24, 2015

Canned foods — fruits, vegetables and beans — are the ultimate convenience foods — nutritious, available year-round, and economical. Yet surveys show they’re misunderstood and not considered healthful choices.Historically, canning was developed to preserve summer’s bounty and extend food availability all year long to prevent seasonal starvation. The canning... READ MORE

Food-borne listeria illnesses can be deadly

By: Mary Clare Jalonick
Posted on: June 22, 2015

Large food recalls have forced consumers to throw away hummus and ice cream that may be contaminated with the same potentially deadly bacteria — listeria.In April, tainted Blue Bell ice cream products were linked to eight listeria illnesses in Kansas and Texas. Three of those who contracted the illness died. Blue Bell has recalled more than two dozen of its products.Sabra Dipping Co.... READ MORE

Medicare drug spending raises questions

By: Lauran Neergaard
Posted on: June 12, 2015

The most-used medicines in Medicare’s prescription drug program are generics, but the program spends the most on brand-name drugs, led by the heartburn treatment Nexium, according to an unprecedented recent release of government data.That contrast sheds light on prescribing practices and how they might be used to save money, specialists say.More than a million healthcare providers... READ MORE

New blood test may diagnose depression

By: Marla Paul
Posted on: June 05, 2015

The first blood test to diagnose major depression in adults has been developed by scientists at Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill. — a breakthrough approach that provides the first objective, scientific diagnosis for depression. The test identifies depression by measuring the levels of nine RNA blood markers. RNA molecules are the messengers that interpret the DNA genetic code... READ MORE