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Archive for March 9, 2012

Rhubarb & vodka jellies

You and your guests will be tickled pink with this colourful, creative dessert

  • Cook 30 mins
  • Prep 0 mins

Nutrition per serving

162 kcalories, protein 3.4g, carbohydrate 28.2g, fat 0.1g, saturated fat 0.0g, fibre 1.7g, salt 0.04g

Ingredients

Serves 4

  • 2 lb rhubarb
  • 14 fl oz water
  • 4 oz caster sugar
  • 4 sheets gelatine, soaked in cold water until soft or 1 sachet powdered gelatine
  • 4 tbsp vodka
  • 1 tbsp Cointreau

    Method

    1. Poach rhubarb in water with sugar until soft. Strain the liquid off into a jug and keep some of the rhubarb for serving. Warm the strained rhubarb liquid and stir in the softened gelatine sheets or powdered gelatine until dissolved. Stir in the vodka and Cointreau then strain into 4 glasses. Chill until set. Decorate with poached rhubarb.

Read More : GoodFood

Vegetarian Spring Rolls With Shredded Kohlrabi

Spring rolls are quite easy to make, and make a light and delicious lunch, appetizer, side dish or snack. You can find the rice flour spring roll wrappers in Asian markets.

1 3/4 ounces thin rice sticks

6 ounces marinated tofu, cut in dominoes 1/2 inch wide by 1/4 inch thick

1 medium carrot, shredded

1/2 pound kohlrabi, peeled and shredded (make sure to remove fibrous layer just under the skin before shredding)

Salt to taste

1 tablespoon ginger, cut in julienne

1 tablespoon seasoned rice vinegar

1/4 cup roughly chopped cilantro, plus 14 sprigs

2 tablespoons slivered Thai basil or mint leaves, plus 7 to 14 leaves

7  8 1/2-inch rice flour spring roll wrappers

1. Place the rice sticks in a large bowl and cover with boiling water. Soak for 20 minutes, or until the noodles are pliable, and drain. Transfer the noodles to another bowl. Using kitchen scissors, cut the noodles in half, into roughly 6-inch lengths. Leave the warm water in the bowl for softening the wrappers.

2. Meanwhile, toss the shredded kohlrabi with salt to taste and let sit in a colander placed in the sink for 20 to 30 minutes. Squeeze out excess liquid and toss with the carrot, ginger, chopped cilantro and slivered Thai basil or mint.

3. One at a time, place a rice flour wrapper in the bowl of warm water until just softened. Remove from the water and drain briefly on a kitchen towel. Place the softened wrapper on your work surface and put a line of tofu slices in the middle of the wrapper, slightly nearer the edge closest to you, leaving a 1 1/2-inch margin on the sides. Place a small handful of noodles over the tofu, then place a handful of the shredded vegetable mixture over the noodles. Lay a couple of sprigs of cilantro and a Thai basil leaf or a couple of mint leaves on top.  Fold the sides of the wrapper over the filling, then roll up tightly. Arrange on a plate and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Note: To make a quick dipping sauce, whisk together 1 to 2 tablespoons peanut butter with 1 tablespoon of the tofu marinade. Thin out as desired with more marinade or with water.

Yield: 7 spring rolls (4 to 5 inches long).

Advance preparation: These will keep for a day in the refrigerator.

Nutritional information per serving:  122 calories; 2 grams fat; 0 grams saturated fat; 1 gram polyunsaturated fat; 0 grams monounsaturated fat; 3 milligrams cholesterol; 23 grams carbohydrates; 4 grams dietary fiber; 298 milligrams sodium (does not include salt to taste); 5 grams protein

 

Read More : NYT

Arthritis sufferers ’40 per cent more likely to develop fatal heart problems’


A survey found that arthritis sufferers have a 40 per cent higher risk of suffering from an irregular heartbeat

Arthritis sufferers are far more likely to develop fatal heart problems and strokes, a major study reveals today.

It shows that patients with rheumatoid arthritis have a 40 per cent higher risk of suffering from an irregular heartbeat which can lead to heart attacks and death.

They have also been found to be at 30 per cent greater risk from suffering strokes.

Danish researchers believe the inflammation of joints that occurs in arthritis may cause the heart to beat irregularly – a condition known as atrial fibrillation.This can lead to the formation of blood clots which in turn can trigger a stroke.

Around 400,000 people in England and Wales suffer from rheumatoid arthritis which causes debilitating pain and swelling in the joints.

Scientists from Copenhagen University studied more than 4 million people of whom 18,250 had rheumatoid arthritis over a period of five years.

Those with rheumatoid arthritis were 40 per cent at higher risk of atrial fibrillation and 30 per cent higher risk of strokes than the general public.

Although this seems like a big increase, the overall risk still of having heart problems or strokes still remains low.

In a group of 1,000 normal patients, six would likely suffer from atrial fibrillation in any given year while 5.7 would be likely to have a stroke.

But amongst a group of 1,000 rheumatoid arthritis sufferers, 8 would be expected to have atrial fibrillation while 7.6 would be likely to have a stroke.

However the researchers – whose findings are published on the website BMJ.com – point out that doctors need to be aware of these heightened risks amongst their patients.

Professor Michael Ehrenstein, of Arthritis Research UK said: ‘Inflammation plays a central role in rheumatoid arthritis and in the disease process of many other related conditions, so it’s not surprising that it may also play a role in the development of atrial fibrillation.’

Rheumatoid arthritis tends to strike between the ages of 40 and 70 and is more common amongst women than men.

It happens when the body’s immune system attacks the cells lining the joints making them swollen, stiff and very painful.

Experts believe that it may trigger inflammation of the blood vessels which in turn triggers heart problems.

In 2010 Swedish researchers who had looked at 400,000 people found the condition was also linked to heart attacks.

They were found to be 60 per cent more at risk compared to other patients.

Read More: DailyMail

Changes to caramel colourings


FIZZY FEARS: There have long been concerns over the safety of caramel colours used in cola drinks.

 

Coca-Cola and PepsiCo are changing the way they make the caramel colouring used in their drinks as a result of a California law that mandates drinks containing a certain level of carcinogens come with a cancer warning label.

The companies said the changes will be expanded nationally to streamline their manufacturing processes.

They’ve already been made for drinks sold in California.

Coca-Cola and PepsiCo account for almost 90 percent of the soda drink market, according to industry tracker Beverage Digest.

A representative for Dr Pepper Snapple Group said all its caramel colouring now meet the new California standard.

The American Beverage Association, which represents the broader industry, said its member companies will continue to use caramel colouring in certain products but that adjustments were made to meet California’s new standard.

“Consumers will notice no difference in our products and have no reason at all for any health concerns,” the association said in a statement.

A representative for Coca-Cola, Diana Garza-Ciarlante, said the company directed its caramel suppliers to modify their manufacturing processes to reduce the levels of the chemical 4-methylimidazole, which can be formed during the cooking process and, as a result, may be found in trace amounts in many foods.

“While we believe that there is no public health risk that justifies any such change, we did ask our caramel suppliers to take this step so that our products would not be subject to the requirement of a scientifically unfounded warning,” Garza-Ciarlante said in an email.

The Center for Science in the Public Interest, a consumer advocacy group, in February filed a petition with the Food and Drug Administration to ban the use of ammonia-sulfite caramel colouring.

A spokesman for the Food and Drug Administration said the petition is being reviewed.

But he noted that a consumer would have to drink more than 1,000 cans of soda a day to reach the doses administered that have shown links to cancer in rodents.

The American Beverage Association also noted that California added the colouring to its list of carcinogens with no studies showing that it causes cancer in humans.

It noted that the listing was based on a single study in lab mice and rats. -AP

Read More: Stuff

Stem cells beat kidney rejection


The study involved eight patients

An injection of stem cells given alongside a kidney transplant could remove the need for a lifetime of drugs to suppress the immune system, say scientists.

Early tests of the technique at US hospitals were successful in a small number of patients.

The journal Science Translational Medicine reports how the majority no longer need anti-rejection medication.

Researchers said it could have a “major impact” on transplant science.

One of the key problems associated with organ transplantation is the risk that the body will “recognise” the new organ as a foreign invader and attack it.

To prevent this, patients take powerful drugs to suppress their immune systems, and will have to do this for life.

The drugs come at a price, preventing organ rejection but increasing the risk of high blood pressure, diabetes and serious infection.

Challenges

The study, carried out at the University of Louisville and the Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago, involved eight patients.

Their transplant came from a live donor, who also underwent a procedure to draw stem cells, the building blocks of their immune system, from the blood.

The transplant recipient’s body was prepared using radiotherapy and chemotherapy to suppress their own immune system.

Then the transplant went ahead, with the stem cells put into their body a couple of days later.

It’s almost surreal when I think about it because I feel so healthy and normal”

Lindsay Porter

The idea is that these will help generate a modified immune system that no longer attacks the organ or its new owner.

Although the patients started off with the same anti-rejection drugs, the aim was to reduce these slowly, hopefully withdrawing them completely over time.

Five out of the eight patients involved in the trial managed to do this within a year.

One of those is 47-year-old Lindsay Porter, from Chicago.

She said: “I hear about the challenges recipients have to face with their medications and it is significant.

“It’s almost surreal when I think about it because I feel so healthy and normal.”

Dr Joseph Leventhal, associate professor of surgery at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, said: “The preliminary results from this ongoing study are exciting and may have a major impact on organ transplantation in the future.”

He said that, as well as kidney patients, the technique might improve the lives of those receiving other organs.

While stem cells from organ donors have been used before, this is the first time it has been used for “mismatched” transplants, in which donors and recipients do not have to be related and immunologically similar.

 

Read More: BBC

Alzheimer’s patients ‘should stay on drugs for longer’


Alzheimer’s disease drugs raise levels of the neurotransmitter acetyl choline

 

Thousands of patients with advanced Alzheimer’s disease could benefit from drugs, research suggests.

A study in the the New England Journal of Medicine found that patients who stayed on the dementia drug Aricept had a slower decline in their memory.

The drug tends not to be prescribed once sufferers progress beyond moderate symptoms.

Medicines regulator NICE said its guidelines supported continuing treatment where there were benefits.

The patent for the medicine Aricept, which is used to treat Alzheimer’s disease, expired recently. Much cheaper versions under the generic name donepezil are already available for about £12 a month.

The researchers say their new evidence could lead to twice as many Alzheimer’s sufferers worldwide being given medication.

The trial involved 295 Alzheimer’s patients in England and Scotland who had been taking Aricept.

One set were given placebo tablets while another set stayed on Aricept. A third set were given another drug, Ebixa, or memantine, which is usually prescribed only in the later stages of Alzheimer’s.

For the first time, we have robust and compelling evidence that treatment with these drugs can continue to help patients at the more severe stages”

Professor Robert Howard Lead researcher

The fourth batch of patients received a combination of both drugs.

The researchers assessed each group for a year, looking at their cognitive scores on factors like memory, and also at how well they coped with everyday tasks such as dressing and eating.

‘Robust and compelling’ evidence

The drugs were unable to halt the decline of patients, but they slowed it down.

The study’s lead author, Professor Robert Howard from King’s College London Institute of Psychiatry, said: “For the first time, we have robust and compelling evidence that treatment with these drugs can continue to help patients at the more severe stages.

“Patients who continued taking donepezil were about four months ahead in how they were able to remember, communicate and perform daily tasks than those who stopped taking the drugs.

“It means a lot to doctors and carers to see differences like that. These improvements were sustained throughout the year.

“It’s fair to say that both drugs have independent, positive effects at this stage of dementia. I’m advising hospital colleagues to continue patients on donepezil, when it’s tolerated, and to add in memantine.”

It’s not so the NICE guidance that needs to change – but how clinicians interpret it”

Professor Clive Ballard Alzheimer’s Society

 

Controversial restrictions

About 500,000 people in the UK are thought to have Alzheimer’s disease – with only about 10% who are in the earlier stages currently on drug treatment.

NHS funding of dementia drugs has been controversial in the past. The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) set restrictions in 2006, which campaigners tried to overturn in court.

A year ago, revised NICE guidelines accepted that medicines including Aricept were cost-effective and could be prescribed earlier in the course of the disease.

Professor Clive Ballard from the Alzheimer’s Society, which part-funded the trial alongside the Medical Research Council, said: “Usual practice has been to discontinue the treatment once patients have declined to a certain stage.

“This trial suggests the default position should be the other way round, because most people are benefiting.

“It’s not so much the NICE guidance that needs to change – but how clinicians interpret it.”

NICE said its guidelines did not include any specific recommendations on when to discontinue medicines.

Dr Simon Ridley from Alzheimer’s Research UK said: “Trials such as this are extremely important for informing decisions about the way medication is prescribed.

“It would be helpful to see longer-term trials to determine exactly how long the benefits seen in this study might last.

“Sadly we still lack a treatment that can stop Alzheimer’s disease in its tracks.”

 

Read More : BBC

曲線美人 「38」就對了


今天是三八婦女節,國民健康局提醒姐姐妹妹們,若想維持健康窈窕的體態,應掌握「38法則」,也就是每天累積運動30分鐘,並讓腰圍保持在80公分(31吋)以下,身體質量指數(BMI)保持在18.5至24間,才能健康又美麗。 圖/東方影像非報系

今天是三八婦女節,台湾國民健康局提醒姐姐妹妹們,若想維持健康窈窕的體態,應掌握「38法則」,也就是每天累積運動30分鐘,並讓腰圍保持在80公分(31吋)以下,身體質量指數(BMI)保持在18.5至24間,才能健康又美麗。

國民健康局社區健康組長陳延芳指出,國健局去年曾經針對國內近兩萬名女性進行「健康行為危害因子電話訪問調查」,結果顯示,超過七成婦女沒有養成每周3天 以上,每天運動30分鐘的習慣;調查同時顯示,有近6成婦女,不知道女性健康腰圍標準,應保持在80公分(31吋)以下。

 

陳延芳指出,規律運動不但可減少心血管疾病、三高、骨質疏鬆症與乳癌等癌症與慢性病的發生機率,還可降低憂鬱與壓力,有效改善負面情緒。國內外相關研究也都發現,與不運動的人相比,每天只要運動15分鐘,就可延長3年壽命。

 

拖地、掃地等家事,可活絡筋骨,訓練四肢與背部肌肉。 圖╱本報資料照片
腰圍超標,成了小「腹」婆,是許多女性的苦惱。國民健康局長邱淑媞指出,腰圍大小可看出腹部肥胖程度,也是判斷代謝症候群與心血管疾病罹患機率的關鍵指標。

邱淑媞提醒,成年女性腰圍若超過80公分,堆積在腹部的脂肪,恐會影響代謝循環,易導致血糖與三酸甘油脂濃度升高,提高罹患心血管疾病與糖尿病風險,女性不得不防。

 

雙和醫院職業醫學部主任祝年豐提醒,女性若想維持健康與美麗,不該只單純計較體重胖瘦,在均衡飲食同時,應保持規律運動,才能維持健康曲線。若是喜歡宅在 家,建議可試著從拖地、掃地等家事動作,活絡筋骨同時訓練四肢與背部的肌肉力量;買菜時,可多走路繞到較遠的菜市場等。

 

對於久坐辦公室,想增加運動量的上班族女性,祝年豐認為,公車族可提早1、2站下車走路;上班族可多喝水,增加起身上廁所次數,平時能走樓梯,就盡量不要搭電梯等,都是掌握健康的好方法。

 

女性健康守則/增加運動量

1. 外出或上下班搭公車,提前一站下車步行。
2.與家人假日相約戶外騎單車運動。
3. 假日自己動手洗車,省錢又能運動。
4. 用家裡不用的巧拼地墊,疊至15至20公分高,用繩子綁好當階梯,在家隨時做階梯運動。
5. 每天運動30分鐘,可拆成2至3階段,分段累積運動量。

 

資料來源/國健局 製表/陳俐君 聯合報

原文出处: 聯合報

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