Stem cells may restore vision in the blind

By Alicia Chang
Posted on February 06, 2012

Two legally blind women appeared to gain some vision after receiving an experimental treatment using embryonic stem cells, scientists reported in January.While embryonic stem cells were first isolated more than a decade ago, most of the research has been done in lab animals. The new results come from the first tests in humans for a vision problem. Researchers caution the work is still very... READ MORE

Help test a new colorectal cancer screen

By Barbara Ruben
Posted on February 01, 2012

Colorectal cancer is the second leading cancer killer in the United States, and about 51,000 people will die of the disease this year, according to the National Cancer InstituteIt is often considered the most preventable, yet least prevented cancer. Colorectal cancer is highly treatable if found early, but 40 percent of adults age 50 and older do not get screened as recommended.Exact... READ MORE

Medicare data will be used to rate doctors

By Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar
Posted on January 30, 2012

Picking a specialist for a delicate medical procedure like a heart bypass could get a lot easier in the not-too-distant future.The government announced in December that Medicare will finally allow its extensive claims database to be used by employers, insurance companies and consumer groups to produce report cards on local doctors — and improve current ratings of hospitals.By... READ MORE

Eating between meals can be a good idea

By Karen Collins, MS, RD, CDM
Posted on January 30, 2012

Q: I’m confused by conflicting advice about whether snacking helps or hurts weight control and health. What do you suggest?A: Snacks can promote good health when you choose foods that fill nutritional gaps. For example, if you have trouble including enough fruit, dietary fiber and calcium-rich foods (such as dairy products and soymilk) in your meals, snacks offer a great chance to do... READ MORE

Study suggests pill reduces deep wrinkles

By Andy Coghlan
Posted on January 23, 2012

Beauty may be no more than skin-deep, but many of us think that leaves plenty of room for improvement. So a new dietary treatment that promises to shrink wrinkles from inside the skin is news.The makers of the three-a-day capsules say they use blends of natural food extracts to activate genes that improve skin tone — and early results suggest they may be on the right track.If the... READ MORE

Pythons’ hearts may hold clues for health

By Lauran Neergaard
Posted on January 23, 2012

You don’t think of pythons as big-hearted toward their fellow creatures. They’re better known for the bulge in their bodies after swallowing one of those critters whole.But the snakes’ hearts balloon in size as they’re digesting. And now scientists are studying them for clues about human heart health.The expanded python heart appears remarkably similar to the... READ MORE

Computer games can help you stay sharp

By Jim Miller
Posted on January 16, 2012

Can you recommend some good brain-fitness computer games that are designed to help seniors keep their minds sharp? I love to play solitaire on my computer, but I’m interested in expanding to some other games that can benefit my mind and memory.— Forgetful FrankDear Frank:There are actually a handful of great brain-training websites and computer software products on the market... READ MORE

Benefits attributed to pomegranate juice

By Joyce Hendley
Posted on January 09, 2012

There are many good reasons to pick up a pomegranate: the bright red fruits are festive, seasonal, pack tons of antioxidants and, a new study suggests, may help relieve symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis, an autoimmune disease.May reduce arthritis painIn a recent study from Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, researchers gave mice either a daily dose of pomegranate extract or... READ MORE

Concerns grow over vitamin supplements

By Marilynn Marchione
Posted on January 02, 2012

Two recent studies raised gnawing worries about the safety of vitamin supplements and a host of questions: Should anyone be taking them? Which ones are most risky? And if you do take them, how can you pick the safest ones? Vitamins have long had a “health halo.” Many people think they’re good for you and at worst might simply be unnecessary. The industry calls them an insurance... READ MORE

Medicare late enrollment opportunities

By Bill Salganik
Posted on January 02, 2012

Medicare’s best-known annual enrollment period — for prescription coverage and for Medicare Advantage (HMOs and other full health insurance plans) — ended Dec. 7, 2011. There are, however, other enrollment periods you need to know about. Here are some that you can use now:Basic Medicare The annual general enrollment period for Medicare Parts A and B is Jan.1 to March 31.... READ MORE