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Researchers have conducted studies on the safety of the artificial sweeteners (sugar substitutes) saccharin (Sweet ‘N Low®, Sweet Twin®, NectaSweet®); cyclamate; aspartame (Equal®, NutraSweet®); acesulfame potassium (Sunett®, Sweet One®); sucralose (Splenda®); and neotame and found no evidence that they cause cancer in humans. All of these artificial sweeteners except for cyclamate have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration for sale in the United States.

Although research has shown that cancer cells consume more sugar (glucose) than normal cells, no studies have shown that eating sugar will make your cancer worse or that, if you stop eating sugar, your cancer will shrink or disappear. However, a high-sugar diet may contribute to excess weight gain, and obesity is associated with an increased risk of developing several types of cancer.

With eye-catching models, interactive displays and engaging elements, the Genome: Unlocking Life’s Code exhibition is going on tour after having completed a 14-month engagement at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History (NMNH) in Washington.

On Sept. 1, 2014, the contemporary, high-impact exhibition—a collaboration between the museum and the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI), part of the National Institutes of Health— will start engagements at museums and science centers throughout North America.

In the United States, the likelihood of dying from cancer has dropped steadily since the 1990s. Five-year survival rates for some cancers, such as breast, prostate, and thyroid cancers, now exceed 90 percent. The 5-year survival rate for all cancers combined is currently about 66 percent.

It is important to note, however, that these rates are based on data from large numbers of people. How long an individual cancer patient will live and whether he or she will die from the disease depend on many factors, including whether the cancer is slow or fast growing, how much the cancer has spread in the body, whether effective treatments are available, the person’s overall health, and more.

It’s the Birthday of LBJ!

Lyndon Baines Johnson was born on August 27, 1908, in central Texas, not far from Johnson City, which his family had helped settle.

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Certain popular ideas about how cancer starts and spreads though scientifically wrong can seem to make sense, especially when those ideas are rooted in old theories. But wrong ideas about cancer can lead to needless worry and even hinder good prevention and treatment decisions.

Large parts of the country are experiencing power outages as a result of winter weather storms. If you’re using a portable back-up generator, make sure you run it outside to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning.

To make sure you’re operating your generator safely: Use it outside the house or garage. Keep it at least 20 feet away from windows, doors and vents. Use a battery operated CO detector outside bedrooms.  Never ignored a beeping CO detector. Go outside and call 911 if the alarm sounds.

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When the weather is bad, you should try to stay off the roads. But if you must drive in winter weather conditions, make sure you have emergency supplies in your car.

 

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If the power is out for less than 4 hours, then the food in your refrigerator and freezer will be safe to consume. While the power is out, keep the refrigerator and freezer doors closed as much as possible to keep food cold for longer.

If the power is out for longer than 4 hours, follow the guidelines below:

* For the Freezer section: A freezer that is half full will hold food safely for up to 24 hours. A full freezer will hold food safely for 48 hours. Do not open the freezer door if you can avoid it.
* For the Refrigerated section: Pack milk, other dairy products, meat, fish, eggs, gravy, and spoilable leftovers into a cooler surrounded by ice. Inexpensive Styrofoam coolers are fine for this purpose.
* Use a food thermometer:  Check the temperature of your food right before you cook or eat it. Throw away any food that has a temperature of more than 40 degrees Fahrenheit.

Tips on what to know when your power goes out.

* To prevent carbon monoxide poisoning, use generators, pressure washers, grills, and similar items outdoors only.
*  If the power is out longer than two hours, throw away food that has a temperature higher than 40°F.
*  Check with local authorities to be sure your water is safe.
* In hot weather, stay cool and drink plenty of fluids to prevent heat-related illness.
* In cold weather, wear layers of clothing, which help to keep in body heat.
* Avoid downed power lines, if a power line falls on a car, you should stay inside the vehicle.

Blood pressure is the force of blood against the walls of the arteries. High blood pressure (hypertension) increases your chance of heart disease, and is dangerous because it often has no symptoms. Prevent high blood pressure by reducing sodium (salt) intake, being active, and keeping a healthy weight.

 

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Study suggests that people prone to developing allergies are going to develop an allergy to whatever is in their environment. In the largest, most comprehensive, nationwide study to examine the prevalence of allergies from early childhood to old age, scientists from the National Institutes of Health report that allergy prevalence is the same across different regions of the United States, except in children 5 years and younger.

This winter, much of the country has been in a deep freeze. With all the snow and ice, many people have spent a great deal of their time in the house. Besides just causing cabin fever, the condition of your home itself has a great effect on the health of you and the members of your family.

Here are some everyday things that could be causing health problems in your home. Read the rest of this post »

Due to loss of loved ones, health problems, trouble paying bills, or other reasons, many older adults may feel lonely, sad, low, or stressed. You may not feel like doing anything, not eat enough, or overeat. Being good to yourself may help you improve your “get up and go,” eating habits, and health.

Here are some ideas for being good to yourself:

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NIH network study suggests no added benefit from pelvic muscle exercise. Two surgical treatments for a form of pelvic hernia affecting women have similar rates of success and safety, scientists in a National Institutes of Health research network have found. A guided exercise therapy to strengthen pelvic muscles did not add to the benefits of either surgery

Healthy older adults generally do not need to check with a health care provider before becoming physically active. However, health care providers may be able to recommend types of exercise that are best for you and ways to progress at a safe and steady pace.

If you have a health issue or problem, you should talk with your health care provider to find out if there are any limits on what you can do. Your provider can help you plan for the types and amounts of exercise that are healthy for you.

NIH intramural-led study uncovers biology behind improper graft remodeling, points to treatment strategies. National Institutes of Health researchers have identified a biological pathway that contributes to the high rate of vein graft failure following bypass surgery. Using mouse models of bypass surgery, they showed that excess signaling via the Transforming Growth Factor Beta (TGF-Beta) family causes the inner walls of the vein become too thick, slowing down or sometimes even blocking the blood flow that the graft was intended to restore. Inhibition of the TGF-B signaling pathway reduced overgrowth in the grafted veins.

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