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Mature Focus: Aug. 9

Essential oils for menopause Mainstream medicine is only beginning to seriously study the effects of essential oils, which are made from fragrant essences found in certain plants and are rapidly rising in popularity as a non-pharmaceutical treatment for a wide variety of health problems. Although research on their effectiveness is currently limited, some studies suggest that certain essential oils may help reduce the uncomfortable symptoms of menopause. Supporters of essential oils report that diffusing them in water for aromatherapy is enough to get good results. Essential oil diffusers for that purpose are widely available at stores and online. The oils ...

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Health Capsules: July 19

Safe travel on two wheels More bicyclists than ever are pedaling the roadways in pursuit of fun and fitness this summer. But as biking has risen in popularity, the number of related accidents also has gone up nationwide, particularly among male riders, according to a recent study. Researchers at the University of California-San Francisco found that over the most recent 15-year period for which data is available, hospital admissions due to bike crashes increased by 120 percent in the U.S. Men accounted for three-fourths of those injuries. During the entire 15-year study period from 1997 to 2013, there were 3.8 ...

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Health Capsules: July 5

Summertime safety behind the wheel For drivers in the St. Louis area and nationwide, particularly new teen drivers between the ages of 16 and 17, the summer travel season – often called the “100 deadliest days,” when teens are out of school – is the most hazardous time of year. Statistics from the American Automobile Association [AAA] Foundation for Traffic Safety show that teen drivers are three times more likely than adults to be involved in a deadly crash, and that risk climbs by 15 percent for them during the summer. Over the past five years, more than 1,600 people ...

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Mature Focus: July 5

More fatty acids, please While previous research has linked seniors’ dietary intake of certain polyunsaturated fats to better brain health, two new studies suggest that a wider range of fatty acids in the blood may also help to promote healthy aging and enhance cognitive abilities. The two studies, conducted at the University of Illinois, provide evidence that consuming both omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids may help to prevent age-related deterioration of certain parts of the brain. In both studies, the researchers looked for patterns of polyunsaturated fatty acids in the blood of adults between the ages of 65 and 75. ...

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Health Capsules: June 21

For men only Past research has shown that men are 25 percent less likely than women to have visited a doctor over the past year, and almost 40 percent more likely to skip recommended age-appropriate health screenings. During National Men’s Health Month in June, men of all ages are encouraged to make their health a priority. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has offered the following simple steps men can take to improve their overall health and solve small problems before they become big ones. • Get enough sleep. Most adults need between seven and nine hours of ...

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Health Capsules: June 7

Nearly 25 million American adults and children currently are living with asthma – and its incidence has been increasing in recent years, resulting in millions of emergency room visits and missed days of work and school.

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Mature Focus: June 7

Brain boost Blueberries are a known “superfood,” delivering significant amounts of disease-fighting antioxidants, fiber and vitamin C. Recently, another item was added to the list of blueberries’ potential health benefits by researchers at the University of Exeter in England, where a small study connected drinking concentrated blueberry juice with improvements in brain function for older people. In the study, 26 healthy people aged 65-77 either drank about an ounce of concentrated blueberry juice every day for 12 weeks or were given a placebo. The concentrate delivered the equivalent of just over 8 ounces of blueberries. People who ate more than ...

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Cancer survival rates improving

Death rates from cancer are on the decline for men, women and children, and for all major racial and ethnic groups, according to the most recent Annual Report to the Nation on the Status of Cancer.

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