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Archive for June 18, 2012

Grilled Steak and Summer Vegetable Salad

Try grilled bruschetta with this supper: Brush thick slices of crusty bread with olive oil, then grill until toasted on both sides. Flank steak can be used in place of hanger.

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for grill
  • 2 sprigs rosemary
  • 5 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1 1/4 pounds hanger steak
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 1 medium eggplant, cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
  • 1 zucchini, cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
  • 1 yellow squash, cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
  • 1/2 pound cherry tomatoes on the vine, or plum tomatoes, halved
  • 1 bunch scallions
  • 1 sweet bell pepper (any color), cut into sixths, seeds and stem removed
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons honey

Directions

  1. Heat a grill to medium-high. Clean and lightly oil hot grill. In a small ovenproof pot, combine oil, rosemary, and garlic and place on grill. Cook until oil begins to bubble, 2 minutes. Remove herb oil from heat and set aside 3 tablespoons in a small bowl.
  2. Brush steak with herb oil, season with salt and pepper, and grill, turning occasionally, about 10 minutes per side for medium-rare (move steak to a cooler part of grill if it begins to overbrown). Transfer to a cutting board and tent with foil. Let rest 10 minutes before slicing thinly against the grain.
  3. In batches, brush vegetables with herb oil, season with salt and pepper, and grill, turning occasionally, until tomato skins are split and vegetables are tender, 3 to 5 minutes total. Transfer to a serving platter, along with sliced steak. Add vinegar and honey to reserved oil and whisk together. Season to taste with salt and pepper, then drizzle dressing over steak and vegetables.

MarthaStewart

Smoked Salmon with Lemon Crème Fraîche

Smoked Salmon with Lemon Cr

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup crème fraîche or sour cream
  • 3/4 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon (scant) finely grated lemon peel
  • 12 ounces thinly sliced smoked salmon
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced red onion
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh chives, divided
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh tarragon, divided
  • Dark, wheat, or multi-grain bread, sliced, each slice quartered

Preparation

  • Whisk crème fraîche, lemon juice, and lemon peel in small bowl. Cover and chill. DO AHEAD Can be made 1 day ahead. Keep chilled.
  • Overlap salmon slices on platter. Sprinkle onion slices over. Sprinkle freshly ground black pepper over. DO AHEAD Can be made 4 hours ahead. Cover and chill.
  • Stir 1 teaspoon chives and 1 teaspoon tarragon into crème fraîche mixture; sprinkle remaining herbs over. Serve salmon with lemon crème fraîche and bread.

 

Bonappetit

Graphic warning labels on cigarette packs ‘work better’

Warnings on cigarette packets

Large text warnings currently appear on the front of cigarette packaging and image warnings on the back

Images of patients on ventilators on cigarette packets help smokers heed the health warnings about smoking, says US research.

A study of 200 smokers in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine found that 83% were able to remember the health warning if it was accompanied by a graphic image.

This compared with a 50% success rate when text-only warnings were viewed.

The UK government is carrying out a consultation on cigarette packaging.

Using eye-tracking technology, researchers from the University of Pennsylvania measured how long smokers spent viewing each part of a cigarette advertisement containing warning labels.

After looking at the advertisement, each participant was asked to write down the warning to test how well they remembered the information.

We believe the government should quash the idea of plain packaging, which only serves to make counterfeiting cigarettes easier”

Jaine Chisholm Caunt Tobacco Manufacturers’ Association

The faster a smoker’s eyes were drawn to the text in the graphic warning and the longer they viewed the image, the more likely they were to remember the information correctly, the study said.

‘Valuable insight’

Dr Andrew Strasser, lead author of the study and associate professor at the department of psychiatry at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, said the findings were important.

“In addition to showing the value of adding a graphic warning label, this research also provides valuable insight into how the warning labels may be effective, which may serve to create more effective warning labels in the future,” said Dr Strasser.

Dr Strasser said that he hoped graphic warning labels would help people become better informed about the risks of smoking and lead to a decision to stop.

In April the UK government launched a consultation seeking views on whether tobacco products should be sold in standardised packaging.

As part of the consultation, it is exploring the options of no branding appearing on the packet, using a uniform colour for all packets or using standard font, text or imagery on every packet.

The Tobacco Manufacturers’ Association has previously said it welcomes the consultation.

But it also said there was no reliable evidence that plain packaging would reduce rates of youth smoking.

Jaine Chisholm Caunt, the secretary-general of the TMA, said: “We believe the government should quash the idea of plain packaging, which only serves to make counterfeiting cigarettes easier and make stock-taking and serving customers harder for legitimate retailers.”

In the US, health officials ordered that graphic warning labels should appear on cigarette packets from September this year, but tobacco companies are challenging the decision in court.

Australia is currently the only country which has so far agreed to plain packaging and a ban on branding on cigarette packets.

BBC

Parents warned over fake digital thermometers

An example of a fake thermometer

One of the fake thermometers seized in the MHRA raids
Parents have been warned about the sale on the internet of dangerous fake digital thermometers.

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) seized more than 400 fake digital thermometers after raids in Harrow and Oxford.

Some of the fakes were being sold for as little as 99p.

The MHRA warned they could give inaccurate readings, posing a serious threat to children with potentially fatal illnesses such as meningitis.

It is vital that people do not buy or use cheap, unapproved medical devices”

Dr Nicola Lennard, MHRA

The raids were launched after the parents of a young child with leukaemia used a fake thermometer they had bought online and realised it was giving a misleading reading. The child had a high temperature and was rushed to hospital for urgent medical care.

The MHRA says the fake thermometers have no recognised brand name and can be identified by the fact that they do not have the right CE safety markings, warnings or instructions for use.

They may also have no instruction leaflets or four-digit identification number, which would show the thermometer had been through the appropriate safety assessment.

During a UK-wide operation, the MHRA also seized other fake medical devices from locations around the UK, including seven counterfeit Kiddicare cool pads and three counterfeit Slendertone devices that had been sold on eBay.

The MHRA is also investigating into how these products came onto the UK market.

Dr Nicola Lennard, the MHRA’s deputy clinical director, said: “Inaccurate readings from cheap, fake thermometers could result in a delay to a child getting the medical treatment they need and it is vital that people do not buy or use cheap, unapproved medical devices.

“The MHRA is working with internet sites to ensure that fake medical devices are not sold to people, and we urge the public to report faulty medical devices.”

BBC

Global weight gain more damaging than rising numbers

World made of hot dogs and sweets
Extra weight could be the equivalent of adding an extra billion people to the planet.

Researchers say that increasing levels of fatness around the world could have the same impact on global resources as an extra billion people.

The team estimated the total weight of people on the planet and found that North America had the highest average.

Although only 6% of the global population live there, it is responsible for more than a third of the obesity.

The research is published in the journal BMC Public Health.

In their report, the researchers from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine calculate the weight of the global population at 287 million tonnes. They estimate that 15 million tonnes of this mass is due to people being overweight, and 3.5 million tonnes due to obesity.

Using World Health Organization data from 2005, the scientists worked out that the average global body weight was 62kg (137lb). But there were huge regional differences. In North America, the average was 80.7kg (178lb), while in Asia it was 57.7kg (127lb) .

One of the problems with definitions of obesity – it fosters a them and us ideal – when actually we’re all getting fatter”

Prof Ian Roberts London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine

While Asia accounts for 61% of the golbal population, it only accounts for 13% of the weight of the world due to obesity.

One of the authors of the paper, Prof Ian Roberts, explained the thinking behind the calculation.

“When people think about environmental sustainability, they immediately focus on population. Actually, when it comes down to it – it’s not how many mouths there are to feed, it’s how much flesh there is on the planet.”

Weight of the world

The researchers say that just focussing on obesity is divisive and unhelpful.

“One of the problems with definitions of obesity is that it fosters a ‘them and us’ ideal. Actually, we’re all getting fatter.” Prof Roberts told BBC News.

The scientists also compiled tables of the heaviest and lightest countries according to their estimates.

The US, with its well documented problems with weight, is top of the list. If the rest of the world were to emulate the Americans, Prof Roberts says, it would have dramatic implications for the planet.
Thin asian lady
Japanese people have a low average BMI but high standards of living.

 

“If every country in the world had the same level of fatness that we see in the USA, in weight terms that would be like an extra billion people of world average body mass,” he explained.

While countries like Eritrea, Vietnam and Ethiopia are at the other end of the scale from the US, the researchers argue it is not sufficient to say that being skinny is just a factor of poverty. The researchers point to a country like Japan which, according to Professor Roberts, could be a model for others.

“The Japanese example is quite strong. Average BMI (Body Mass Index) in USA in 2005 was 28.7. In Japan, it was 22. You can be lean without being really poor, and Japan seems to have puilled that off.”

Car culture

But other countries in the top 10 most weighty are more of a surprise, and include Kuwait, Croatia, Qatar and Egypt.

Prof Roberts says that the high number of Arab countries is due to the impact of the automobile.

“One of the most important determinants of average body mass index is motor verhicle gas consumptrion per capita. So, it is no surprise to see many of the Arab countries in the list – people eat but they move very little because they drive everywhere.”

The research team hopes its work will prompt new thinking about how the world weighs up issues of consumption, weight and population growth.

“We often point the finger at poor women in Africa having too many babies,” says Prof Roberts. “But we’ve also got to think of this fatness thing; it’s part of the same issue of exceeding our planetary limits.”

BBC

High cholesterol diet helps mice with Pelizaeus-Merzbacher disease

Nerves

The fatty myelin sheath, light green, around the nerve is vital.
A diet high in cholesterol may help people with a fatal genetic disease which damages the brain, according to early studies in mice.

Patients with Pelizaeus-Merzbacher disease struggle to produce a fatty sheath around their nerves, which is essential for function.

A study, published in Nature Medicine, showed that a high-cholesterol diet could increase production.

The authors said the mice “improved dramatically”.

Pelizaeus-Merzbacher disease (PMD) is one of many leukodystrophies in which patients struggle to produce the myelin sheath. It protects nerve fibres and helps messages pass along the nerves.

Without the sheath, messages do not travel down the nerve – resulting in a range of problems including movement and cognition.

Researchers at the Max Planck Institute of Experimental Medicine, in Germany, performed a trial on mice with the disease and fed them a high cholesterol diet.

‘Striking potential’

The first tests were on mice when they were six weeks old, after signs of PMD had already emerged. Those fed a normal diet continued to get worse, while those fed a cholesterol-enriched diet stabilised.

“This six-week-long cholesterol treatment delayed the decline in motor co-ordination,” the scientists said.

Further tests showed that starting the diet early was more beneficial, leading the researchers to conclude that in mice “treatment should begin early in life and continue into adulthood”.

This study was only in mice, meaning it is not known if there would be a similar effect in people – or if there would, how early treatment would have to start.

The authors of the report said: “Dietary cholesterol does not cure PMD, but has a striking potential to relieve defects.”

It is thought the cholesterol frees up a “traffic jam” inside cells in the brain. The disease is caused by producing too much of a protein needed in myelin, which then becomes stuck inside the cells. It is thought the extra cholesterol helps to free up the protein.

BBC

馬來西亞中醫師公會將於6月中旬舉辦壽氏脈學培訓班

據馬新社報道,馬來西亞中醫師公會將從6月19日起,舉辦爲期4天的第三屆壽氏脈學培訓班,並邀請了中醫心理脈象學說的創建人壽小雲教授到時現場講解。

該公會在公告中表示,中華脈學是中醫診斷疾病的手段之一,擁有前瞻功能和治未病功能,它對於動脈硬化冠心病、心肌肥厚、瓣膜病變等脈象特徵,呼吸、消 化、軟組織病變,以及泌尿生殖、各式腫瘤、各種體質、基礎心理脈象等的診斷非常精確,因此在療效上也取得立竿見影的效果。

馬來西亞中醫師公會將從6月19日起,舉辦爲期4天的第三屆壽氏脈學培訓班馬來西亞中醫師公會將從6月19日起,舉辦爲期4天的第三屆壽氏脈學培訓班。

畢業於中國北京中醫藥大學的壽小雲教授,現任世界中醫藥學會聯合會脈象研究專業委員會副會長。他長期從事中醫脈象基礎理論和臨床應用研究,研究中醫脈學 已有40年之久,對疾病脈診和心理脈診有深刻的認識和體會,並在挖掘傳統中醫脈學理論和融合各民族脈法基礎上,把中醫脈診運用到心理學研究領域,形成了中 醫心理脈學理論。他在當時所在的醫院內創建了中國獨家脈診專科門診,創造了國家級醫院裏單獨憑脈診病的先河。

該公會7日發表公告說,上述課程內容包括基本掌握病脈和心理脈象基礎技法,使大家快速學會傳統中醫脈法及現代醫學疾病診斷的精髓訣竅。並且指出,該學術組也將於6月17日下午2點至6點,舉辦2012年中醫傳統脈學研討會,屆時將討論脈學理論及運用。

醫藥日報

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