Archive for May, 2009

DOCTOR IS IN: When will we get AIDS vaccine?

By Mark Mulligan, MD

Since the mid-1990s, thousands of patients with HIV/AIDS have been successfully treated with combinations of drugs known as “highly active antiretroviral therapy.” In many cases, these drugs have turned a disease that used to be a sure death sentence into a treatable, chronic condition.

Unfortunately, in spite of widespread efforts to prevent HIV, 33 million people around the world are infected, and in the U.S. alone the CDC estimates that about 56,000 persons are newly infected with HIV each year. Since therapy does not cure HIV, every new infection means a person must be treated for life with costly medications.

For this reason, the world desperately needs an HIV vaccine. Historically, vaccines have been our most effective weapons against infectious diseases. Unfortunately, over the past five years, two large clinical trials of HIV vaccines have failed to demonstrate efficacy of the candidate being tested, leaving many to wonder if we should simply give …

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Should courts force minors to have medical treatment?

daniel hauser

AP Photo/The Star Tribune, Kyndell Harkness

Latest update: In today’s hearing, the judge returned custody of Daniel Hauser to his parents as they have agreed to continue the court-ordered chemotherapy treatments. The judge will allow them to use alternative treatments in conjunction with the chemotherapy.

The case of
Daniel Hauser, the 13-year-old with Hodgkin’s lymphoma
who is refusing chemotherapy treatment has sparked a national debate. The child and his mother spent a week on the run from law enforcement in order to avoid further court-ordered treatment. A judge ruled that Daniel’s parents medically neglected Daniel after the child did not return for more treatments after completing one round of chemotherapy. Due to their religious beliefs, Daniel’s family seeks legal permission to use alternative, non-invasive treatments to battle their son’s cancer.

Hodgkin’s lymphoma has a 90 percent cure rate in children if treated with chemotherapy and radiation, but according to …

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THINNER YOU: 3 ways to stop negative thinking, sabotaging your efforts

BY Dean Anderson of SparkPeople

You’ve gone over you calories for the day or eaten something on your “forbidden” list. You figure that since you’ve blown your diet, you might as well keep on eating and start over tomorrow. You keep eating, but despise yourself for it.

You’ve done well all week, but the scale says you’ve gained a pound. You panic, feeling certain that you’re doomed to be fat forever.

You set the alarm an hour early to exercise, but hit snooze. Feeling like a lazy slug, you wonder if you have any willpower to do what you know you need to.

Do any of these scenarios sound familiar to you?

The tendency to leap from minor, trivial problems to overblown, unrealistic conclusions is something that everyone struggles with to some degree. This type of negative thinking is one of the biggest reasons that people have difficulty sticking to their weight loss plan—and why small problems can cause stress and misery that is often avoidable.

Of course, there are dozens of …

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THINNER YOU: Kettlebell training, the hottest fitness trend you never heard of

By Nicole Nichols of SparkPeople

Kettlebells were practically unheard of in North America until recently, but now exercising with a bowling-ball-shaped weight with a handle is the newest fitness trend. Used by fitness enthusiasts, collegiate athletes, and pro sports teams alike, more and more people are becoming curious about kettlebells. Here’s what you need to know.

What are kettlebells?
Kettlebells have been around for ages. Made out of cast iron, they’re cannonball-shaped weights with a single handle on top. Although they look really different from the free weights and machines that occupy most gyms, they are “one of the best and most efficient fitness tools you can use,” according to Henry Marshall, a NSCA-certified personal trainer and IKFF- and AOS-certified kettlebell trainer. Marshall explains that although kettlebells originated in Russia and continue to be popular in Eastern Europe, “American strongmen like Eugene Sandow and the Saxton Brothers trained with them …

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DOCTOR IS IN: How to prevent cardiac death in kids

By Robert Campbell, M.D.

Sudden death and young people are typically associated with one another. However, between 600 and 1,000 children a year experience sudden cardiac death. And despite what we often hear from the media, these children who have died suddenly were not “completely healthy.”

They often do not have “normal” hearts. Instead, these children have serious heart conditions that have not been diagnosed. Early detection of heart problems is the first step in preventing sudden cardiac death.

Many of the causes for sudden cardiac arrest are genetic. Often other family members have heart conditions. Parents who are worried about the safety of their children can start with a simple step—getting an accurate family health history.

Ask immediate family members questions like:

• Have you ever fainted, passed out, or had a seizure suddenly and without warning, especially during exercise or in response to auditory triggers like doorbells, alarm clocks, and ringing phones
• …

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THINNER YOU: What to eat before you work out

By Dean Anderson of SparkPeople

Everyone knows that athletes must plan and time their meals and snacks very carefully to reach their performance goals. But what about the rest of us? You try to squeeze in 30-60 minutes of exercise most days of the week. Do you have to be careful about what you eat before and after your workouts, too?

Usually not. If you’re eating a healthy diet and getting enough calories to support your activity level, you can probably rely on your own appetite, energy levels, and experience to tell you whether you need to eat anything before or after exercise and what it should be. The basic rule here is: Find out what works best for you, and do that.

There are some advantages to knowing how your body works and what it needs to perform at its best. The bottom line for healthy weight loss and fitness sounds simple: You have to eat fewer calories than you use up—but not fewer than your body needs to function at its best.

The size, timing, and content of your …

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DOCTOR IS IN: What are the benefits of breastfeeding to mom?

By Ruth Simmons, RNC, and Melissa Kottke, MD

Most experts agree that breast milk is the optimal source of nutrition for your baby’s health. What women don’t always hear about is the benefits of breastfeeding for mom.

This month, the medical journal Obstetrics & Gynecology reported a lower prevalence of cardiovascular disease and risk factors for cardiovascular disease, such as high blood pressure, diabetes and high cholesterol in postmenopausal women who had breastfed their babies. In addition, breastfeeding is linked to a lower risk of health problems such as breast cancer, ovarian cancer and osteoporosis.

Other benefits of breastfeeding to mothers that are more immediate are the healing after-effects breastfeeding brings on following birth. These include helping restore the uterus to its original size by inducing uterine contractions and decreasing postpartum blood loss. Breastfeeding provides intimate bonding experiences (skin-to-skin contact) and a time for mom to relax …

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HEALTHY EATING Lamb can be lean entree option

Char-broiled Herb Crusted Rack of Lamb with Thai Basil Aioli

Char-broiled Herb Crusted Rack of Lamb with Thai Basil


Tired of ordering the fish or chicken? If you scan the entree choices on restaurant menus aiming to find a lean meat that meets your healthy eating goals, you might overlook the lamb. On average, a 3-ounce serving of lamb has only 175 calories and meets the Food and Drug Administration’s definition for lean.

According to FDA guidelines, lean meat has less than 10 grams of fat, less than 4.5 grams of saturated fat and less than 95 milligrams of cholesterol for 3.5 ounces. And besides being an excellent source of protein (23 grams in 3-ounce serving), lamb is a powerhouse of many other important nutrients, including three B vitamins (B-12, niacin and riboflavin) and the minerals zinc and iron.

So, go ahead and order the roasted Colorado lamb rack and braised shoulder on the menu at Craft or the slow-braised lamb shank with Greek-style couscous at Kyma.

One of the foundations of choosing foods for a …

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HEALTHY EATING Get more of top 7 nutrients in diet

A gourmet oatmeal

A gourmet oatmeal


There’s so much attention being paid to what we’re supposed to avoid when we dine out that it got me thinking about a new way to peruse restaurant menus.

I get the fact, of course, that we’re all supposed to avoid overeating, oversalting and over slathering our food with butter and cheese sauce to keep our arteries clear and our waistlines in check, but what about the health problems that happen because we aren’t getting enough of something? What should we be ordering more of?

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s “What We Eat in America” report, the seven most neglected nutrients are calcium, potassium, fiber, magnesium and vitamins A, C and E.

Take the mineral calcium, for instance. Currently, nine out of 10 teenage girls fail to get enough calcium, which significantly impacts the likelihood of developing bone fractures now and osteoporosis later in life.

Teen years are the peak bone-building years. So, rather than suggesting …

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HEALTHY EATING Bar turns to juice for midweek boost

Mixologist Stephanie Ruhe of The Mansion on Peachtree turns The Bar into a juice bar each Wednesday with freshly made fruit and vegetable based libations.

Mixologist Stephanie Ruhe of The Mansion on Peachtree turns The Bar into a juice bar each Wednesday with freshly made fruit and vegetable based libations.


A man walks into a bar. Then he finds it’s been turned into a juice bar. So, in this scene the punch line is literally punch but it’s still designed to make you smile.

On Wednesdays next to the mixings for martinis, mojitos and a myriad of other popular cocktails, thirsty customers at the Bar at the Mansion on Peachtree in Buckhead see and hear a professional juicing machine at work turning a tower of fresh produce into colorful concoctions.

The Mansion’s mixologist, Stephanie Ruhe, came up with the idea as an alternative to afternoon teas and as a kind of new-age Happy Hour for those who need some midweek motivation, “Like a lot of people today I am really into wellness and make fresh juices of all kinds at home so I decided to plug in a juicer behind the bar and started what I call the Mansion …

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