‘World’s heaviest woman’ dies

(CNN)Eman Abdul Atti, once believed to be the “world’s heaviest woman,” died on Monday due to complications from heart disease and kidney dysfunction, according to a statement from Burjeel Hospital in Abu Dhabi, the United Arab Emirates.

The 37-year old Egyptian woman weighed 1,102 pounds (500 kg), her family reported, prior to undergoing weight reduction surgery at Saifee Hospital in Mumbai in March.
All signs looked positive immediately following the surgery for Eman, who had lost more than 200 pounds prior to the operation.
    “She is very happy, she started dancing in her bed,” Dr. Muffazal Lakdawala, the surgeon who performed her laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy operation, told CNN in March. “Her smile has come back.” The procedure involves removing part of the stomach so that only a “sleeve,” roughly the size and shape of a banana, is left behind, along with the muscle that controls emptying food into the intestine.
    On September 9, Eman celebrated her 37th birthday.

    Early difficulties

    Eman’s family said Eman had weighed 11 pounds (5 kg) at birth and suffered from thyroid problems since she was a child. The thyroid gland produces hormones that help regulate metabolism. By fifth grade, she’d stopped going to school because she’d begun to have difficulties moving and walking.
    For the past two decades, Eman has barely left her room, her family reported. She suffered a stroke and, unable to move or communicate, her weight increased to more than 1,000 pounds. Her health deteriorated rapidly.
    Her sister created a social media campaign last year and Lakdawala responded by offering to help. His proposed three-and-a-half year plan including two operations to help her reduce her weight to less than 220 pounds (100kg).
    Eman overcame a number of hurdles to reach what her family had hoped to be a life-saving surgery in Mumbai, including an initial refusal to grant her a visa because of her inability to get to the embassy in person. After surmounting that problem with the help of an Indian minister, she then faced the difficulty of boarding an airplane.
    Egypt Air specially adapted a cargo plane to transport her to India.
    Following the surgery, Lakdawala said her kidney function had improved.
    “She has done well post-surgery,” he told CNN in March. At that time, he intended for her to lose another 155 to 175 pounds (70 to 80 kg) within the next couple of months. The plan was to then send her home to Egypt and schedule a second surgery for next year.

    See the latest news and share your comments with CNN Health on Facebook and Twitter.

    Eman was later transferred to Burjeel Hospital in Abu Dhabi. There, her condition was managed by a medical team of more than 20 doctors in different specialties.
    However, her heart and kidneys could no longer function.
    Her family expressed appreciation for the care provided by Burjeel Hospital and the support of the people of the UAE, according to the hospital statement. “Our prayers and heartfelt condolences go out to her family,” Burjeel Hospital staff said in the statement.

    Read more: http://www.cnn.com/2017/09/25/health/heaviest-woman-dies-bn/index.html

    New report shows lifestyle changes lower cancer risk

    The American Cancer Society recommends that people at average risk of colorectal cancer begin routine screening at age 50. The most common screening method is a colonoscopy to check for masses and remove polyps that may be pre-cancerous.

    Colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer in the U.S., and with recent trends showing more and more patients being diagnosed in their 20s, it’s clear that colorectal cancer isn’t just a concern for senior citizens.

    The overall rates of colorectal cancer have been falling since 1998, but there’s been an uptick in rates among patients 20 to 34 years old. 

    Though the overall rate of colorectal cancer is still low in younger populations (9 out of 10 diagnoses still occur in patients 50 or older), researchers are eager to understand the trend and reverse it. 


    While an exact cause hasn’t been pinpointed, there are aspects of the typical American diet and lifestyle that have been shown to increase patients’ risk, and the American Institute for Cancer Research has recently released a new report which estimates that lifestyle changes could prevent 47 percent of colorectal cancers in the U.S.

    The report takes into account worldwide research on colorectal cancer risk, analyzing 99 studies and including data on 29 million people (a quarter of a million of whom were diagnosed with colorectal cancer). The lifestyle changes found to reduce risk were increased physical activity and whole grain intake. Risk factors that increased risk were consumption of alcohol, red meat, and processed meats. Obesity also increased cancer risk.

    Americans’ consumption of whole grains, such as breads made with whole-wheat flour and brown rice, has increased in the last decade but still falls woefully short of the U.S. Dietary Guidelines, which recommend that half of all grains consumed be whole grains. In the average U.S. household, whole grains are a fraction of total grain consumption. The new report concludes for the first time that eating more whole grains lowers your colorectal cancer risk independent of other factors. People who ate an average of three servings of whole grains daily had about a 17 percent reduced risk.


    Physical activity decreased cancer risk as well, though it only seemed to reduce the risk of colon cancer and had no impact on the incidence of rectal cancer. Only 1 in 3 adults receive the recommended amount of physical activity each week, and less than 5 percent engage in at least 30 minutes of physical activity each day.

    It was also found that processed meats like bacon and hot dogs increase the risk of colorectal cancer. About 50 grams of processed meat a day (about one hot dog) was linked to a 16 percent increase in risk, and the more you eat, the greater your risk. Other factors that increased risk included eating more than 18 ounces of red meat (beef or pork) each week, consuming an average of two or more alcoholic drinks per day, and obesity. (Excess weight also increases your risk for a host of other cancers, offering a powerful incentive to try to maintain a healthy weight whenever possible.)

    The report also found less conclusive associations between risk and lifestyle choices. It’s possible that low intake of fruits and vegetables increase cancer risk, especially for those eating less than a cup of each per day. Fish and foods high in vitamin C may also reduce your risk of colorectal cancer.


    Of course, there are no guarantees when it comes to cancer, but we know that a healthy lifestyle that includes physical activity and a plant-based diet lowers your risk not only of colorectal cancer but of other cancers, heart disease, and obesity.

    As research continues to reveal links between lifestyle factors and disease, we should feel empowered. Though lifestyle changes can be challenging, these findings show that many of us can improve our long-term health by making healthy choices on a daily basis.

    This article first appeared on AskDrManny.com.

    Dr. Manny Alvarez serves as Fox News Channel’s senior managing health editor. He also serves as chairman of the department of obstetrics/gynecology and reproductive science at Hackensack University Medical Center in New Jersey. For more information on Dr. Manny’s work, visit AskDrManny.com.

    Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/health/2017/09/21/new-report-shows-lifestyle-changes-lower-cancer-risk.html

    Collins to vote ‘no’ on Graham-Cassidy bill, likely killing latest Obamacare repeal

    (CNN)Sen. Susan Collins announced Monday afternoon that she will oppose the GOP’s latest plan to overhaul the Affordable Care Act, bringing the total number of public “no” votes to three and likely killing the last-ditch effort to repeal Obamacare this week.

    In a statement, the Maine Republican said the bill does not go far enough to protect people with pre-existing conditions and that the proposal’s cuts to Medicaid are too steep.
    “Sweeping reforms to our health care system and to Medicaid can’t be done well in a compressed time frame, especially when the actual bill is a moving target,” Collins said. The bill would also “open the door for states to weaken protections for people with pre-existing conditions, such as asthma, cancer, heart disease, arthritis and diabetes.”
      Collins told reporters that President Donald Trump talked to her on the phone Monday and that Vice President Mike Pence had called her over the weekend to discuss her stance on health care.

        Graham on health bill: It’s OK to fall short

      The decision, while widely expected, deals what is almost certain to be a lethal blow to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s eleventh-hour attempt to find 50 “yes” votes in his caucus. Collins joins Sens. John McCain of Arizona and Rand Paul of Kentucky, who have both said they will oppose the legislation. Sen. Ted Cruz also said he opposed the legislation as written.
      Collins was one of three Republican senators to vote against an Obamacare repeal bill in July — along with McCain and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska — stopping the bill’s passage on the Senate floor.
      Her decision to once again buck her own party comes the day after Republican leaders released a revised version Graham-Cassidy bill, written by South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham and Louisiana Sen. Bill Cassidy. The changes included boosts in funding for states like Maine and Alaska, but did not address concerns that many have raised about the erosion of protections for people with pre-existing conditions.
      Collins had foreshadowed her announcement on CNN’s “State of the Union” Sunday, saying she had a “very difficult” time envisioning a scenario in which she would support the Graham-Cassidy health care bill, but she was not definitive.
      Collins announcement came after the CBO released a partial score Monday evening of the GOP’s plan, saying the Graham-Cassidy bill would reduce the budget deficit by at least $133 billion, but millions would lose comprehensive coverage.
      The non-partisan scoring agency estimates that between 2017 and 2026, “the legislation would reduce the on-budget deficit by at least $133 billion and result in millions fewer people with comprehensive health insurance that covers high-cost medical events.”

        CBO: Millions uninsured under Graham-Cassidy

      New version released Sunday fails to sway no votes

      On Sunday evening, the GOP released its latest version of the health care bill, which aimed to convince members who are still undecided to support the bill. The changes aim to increase funding for states like Alaska, but there’s no proof that the bill will bring the undecided senators onboard now.
      In one new provision particularly beneficial to Alaska, the state would receive a 25% boost in federal matching funds for Medicaid due to its defined high-level of poverty.
      Despite the new version, there are still plenty of obstacles ahead. An aide to Paul said that the Kentucky Republican opposed this version of the bill as well, citing how his requested changes were not included in Sunday’s version. Another aide to Cruz, said the Texas senator is “opposed” to the revised bill.
      “It doesn’t address our concerns or include his requested changes,” that aide told CNN.
      Cruz made headlines on Sunday when he said at the Texas Tribune Festival that the legislation as written did not currently have his support, though his answer did not definitively rule out backing the bill and added that he wants “to be a yes.”

      Protests in the Capitol

      Hundreds of protesters gathered outside the committee hearing room Monday afternoon, and some interrupted the panel’s chairman, Utah Republican Orrin Hatch, when he started speaking. Hatch gaveled the committee into recess for a short time while demonstrators were removed.
      The top Democrat on the committee, Sen. Ron Wyden of Oregon, hand delivered pizza to the crowd before the hearing — making an impromptu, impassioned speech to the crowd.The top Democrat on the committee, Sen. Ron Wyden of Oregon hand delivered pizza to the crowd before the hearing — making an impromptu, impassioned speech to the crowd.
      “You are the faces of political change in America,” he said. “I’m bringing you some pizza because you can’t win a big battle against special interests on an empty stomach.” He said they are with them “in this battle every step of the way. We are going to beat Trumpcare!” Chants of “kill the bill!”‎ and “Kill Trumpcare, don’t kill me” followed from the raucous crowd.
      A large group of people sat gathered outside Murkowski’s office Monday afternoon. Murkwoski’s not expected to be back in the Capitol before this evening, but her staff met with those outside the office and brought them cups of water.

        Protesters disrupt health care bill hearing

      Deadline approaches

      A partisan health care bill must be voted on by the end of the week, when the vehicle that Republicans are using to move their plan is expected to expire.
      Over the weekend, the administration and the bill’s sponsors continued to lobby on-the-fence members, with aides telling CNN that the effort wouldn’t end until Republicans saw that third and final “no.”
      “Whatever sports metaphor you want to use about how it would take a miracle, it’s that,” a source acknowledged, noting that even a “Hail Mary” pass might be too generous to describe the odds at the moment.
      The stakes are incredibly high for members and Republican leaders who have tried to forge ahead with the bill. Gutting Obamacare was the GOP’s promise for seven years, and facing a second defeat would only expose the party to more criticism from its donors and base. The party is now split between supporting a bill that appears unpopular with stakeholders and hasn’t had even two full weeks to be vetted or moving ahead in an effort to pass anything it can.
      Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa made headlines last week when he openly acknowledged that fulfilling the GOP’s years-long campaign promise was just as important as the policy ramifications of the bill.
      “You know, I could maybe give you 10 reasons why this bill shouldn’t be considered,” the Iowa Republican said according to a report from The Des Moines Register. “But Republicans campaigned on this so often that you have a responsibility to carry out what you said in the campaign. That’s pretty much as much of a reason as the substance of the bill.”
      Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, who has been working with Cassidy and Graham on the legislation, told CNN that not taking action now will leave Republicans stuck with the blame on any future problems that arise in the health care system.
      “It’s either fix it and do it the right way or own the debacle that’s coming,” Santorum, a Republican, said. “This may be Obamacare but they’re going to blame Trump if it doesn’t work.”
      The fact that the Senate vote in July failed by just one — McCain’s third “no” vote — has also made it difficult for some Republicans to move on.
      Another political reality at play: Republicans, including Trump and his top aides, are desperate for a legislative victory.
      Trump and his top advisers have spent much of this year moving from one controversy to the next, all as the investigation into the Trump campaign’s possible collusion with Russia has loomed over the White House.
      Getting anything done on repealing Obamacare would mark an important win in a year that has lacked good news for the President.
      “For the White House, the desire to have a significant legislative accomplishment remains a big and important goal,” said Lanhee Chen, former chief policy adviser to Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney. “And the fact that they were so close suggests that they could get across the finish line, so the reality and possibility of success is there.”

      Read more: http://www.cnn.com/2017/09/25/politics/graham-cassidy-health-care-status/index.html

      Man ‘choked on anniversary steak’

      Image copyright Google
      Image caption Michael Pitts had been dining with his wife at The Grapevine restaurant in Odiham when he choked on the steak

      An 84-year-old man died after choking on a piece of ribeye steak while celebrating his 57th wedding anniversary, an inquest heard.

      Michael Pitts was dining with wife, Joan, 78, at The Grapevine restaurant in Odiham, Hampshire, on 16 June, when the meat became lodged in his throat.

      Restaurant staff and paramedics tried to resuscitate him but he later died in hospital.

      Coroner Andrew Bradley recorded a verdict of death by misadventure.

      ‘Bit chewy’

      He added a post-mortem examination showed the cause of death was asphyxia contributed to by heart disease and old age.

      Mrs Pitts told the Basingstoke inquest her husband had complained the steak was a bit chewy but when asked by the waiter if he wanted it changed, he said that it was “probably just the cow”.

      “It was his sense of humour,” she added.

      She continued: “I just saw him coughing and I thought he had something which catches.

      “I told him to have a glass of water, and with that his arms went down and he just fell backwards into his chair.”

      Blocked airways

      Staff at the restaurant attempted to resuscitate Mr Pitts and put him in the recovery position until paramedics arrived, the inquest heard.

      After about 40 minutes the medical team found his airways were blocked and extracted a piece of steak from his throat. He later died in hospital.

      Mrs Pitts said everyone “worked extremely hard” but added no-one initially realised food was stuck.

      Restaurant manager Sumin Lohani described the death as “very sad”, adding: “It should have been the best memory to celebrate their 57th wedding anniversary at my restaurant.”

      Mr Bradley said: “It was a celebration that went wrong, it could not go any more wrong than that.”

      Read more: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-hampshire-41229563

      5 Delicious Ways To Enjoy Your Pumpkin Seeds After You’re Done Carving

      The fall season is inching its way toward us, bringing with it its signature warm hues, nippy weather, bright orange pumpkins, and, something I’m sure you often forget about, pumpkin seeds! As much as everyone glorifies all things of the pumpkin variety this time of year, it’s not often you hear much about those little pumpkin seeds, which is a shame because they come with a whole host of benefits and can make any recipe a whole lot better. There are tons of easy pumpkin seed recipes that definitely don’t get the credit they deserve, especially come Halloween season.

      Whether roasted or raw (if you ask me, they taste way better roasted), pumpkin seeds make for a tasty snack that is loaded with magnesium, one of the seven essential macrominerals. Your body requires magnesium for support with the metabolism of food, synthesis of fatty acids and proteins, and for the proper functioning of muscles.

      Plus, research has suggested that increasing your consumption of plant-based foods like pumpkin seeds decreases the risk of obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and overall mortality, while promoting healthy complexion and hair, as well as increased energy levels. Not too shabby for some measly seeds, huh?

      So, as you can see, there are plenty of reasons to not throw away your pumpkin seeds after you’re done carving your jack o’ lantern this fall. Save those babies for later so you can spruce up a meal, add a garnishing touch, or even hold yourself over with a light, healthy, seasonal snack. Her are five delicious ways to make the most of your plethora of pumpkin seeds.

      1. Embellish Your Smoothie

      I personally love to make a protein smoothie with blueberries, spring mix, protein powder, almond milk and handful of pumpkin seeds sprinkled on top. And, I won’t lie, the finished product is totally Insta-worthy. But get this, not only do pumpkin seeds make my smoothie more photogenic, but they add a desired crunch to my protein-packed morning beverage.

      I don’t know about you, but when I have something like a smoothie, I need a little crunch — just something to chew on to make myself feel as if I’ve actually consumed something hearty (it’s all in the mind, baby). So, if you’re like me, sprinkling pumpkin seeds on top of your smoothie adds some much-needed texture to the mix, and also provides your body with some serious nutrient-dense benefits, like chlorophyll, which alkalizes and cleanses the body.

      2. Add Them To Your Homemade Muffins

      What I love about this is that, with pumpkin seed muffins, you can get that sweet, carb-loaded satisfaction, but with a slight hint of a nutty undertone — and to me, that sounds delectable.

      Plus, who says dessert can’t be nutritious? These apple pumpkin seed muffins courtesy of Homemade Food Junkie sound absolutely delicious.

      3. Add Them To Your Pesto Pasta

      Pumpkin seeds are a surprisingly versatile food, guys.

      If you love pesto, try adding pumpkin seeds to your usual mix for an extra kick to get that perfect balance of nutty crunch and savory flavor.

      4. Make Creamy Pumpkin Seed Butter

      There’s peanut butter, almond butter, and hazelnut butter, but there’s very little talk about pumpkin seed butter, and I honestly don’t know why.

      For a creamy butter spread on a warm piece of to-die-for bread, you can get all the healthful benefits of pumpkin seeds (like omega 3 fatty acids) at cost and delightful taste. can you pass that up?!

      5. Sprinkle Them Over Your Soup

      Not only does sprinkling pumpkin seeds over your soup provide for additional flavoring, but it can also make a really plain soup look very fanciful.

      If you’re having guests over for a cozy fall night and you plan on whipping up a hearty batch of soup, garnishing your dish with pumpkin seeds will make you look like your adulting skills are not to be f*cked with.

      Read more: http://elitedaily.com/envision/food/5-delicious-ways-enjoy-pumpkin-seeds-youre-done-carving/2062497/

      The healthiest part of the avocado may be the seed

      Avocados have become a staple for nutritious eating because of their healthy fats and potassium-rich insides. But it turns out, that’s not even the most nutritious part.

      A recent study from the American Chemical Society says that we’ve been throwing away the healthiest part of the nutrient-dense fruit – the seed.

      Researchers for this study have found that the seed husk – the delicate membrane outside of the avocado seed – contains chemical compounds that could be used to treat a number of debilitating diseases.


      “It could very well be that avocado seed husks, which most people consider as the waste of wastes, are actually the gem of gems because the medicinal compounds within them could eventually be used to treat cancer, heart disease and other conditions,” says Debasish Bandyopadhyay, Ph.D. and researcher for the study. “Our results also suggest that the seed husks are a potential source of chemicals used in plastics and other industrial products.”

      To reach this conclusion, researchers ground up about 300 dried avocado seed husks into 21 ounces of powder. The powder was then processed into oil and wax and analyzed. From the analysis, the research team found 116 chemical compounds in the oil and 16 in the wax.

      Among the chemical compounds found in the oil, several appeared to be medicinal – such as behenyl alcohol, which is used in anti-viral medications, and heptacosane, which may inhibit the growth of tumor cells.  


      The wax yielded compounds that are found in several flexible plastic and synthetic materials, like shower curtains and certain medical devices.

      The researchers presented their findings at the 254th National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society and are hoping to be able to translate their discovery into creating better medications.

      Until then, maybe think twice before throwing away that avocado pit.

      Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/food-drink/2017/08/22/healthiest-part-avocado-may-be-seed.html

      Confirmed: Color Genomics is in the final stages of an $80 million Series C financing round

      Genetic health screening startup Color Genomicsis in the final stages of allocations for an $80 million Series C financing round, TechCrunch has confirmed with the company.

      Axios first spotted Color had raised $52 million so far in a recent SEC filing. The company has since told TechCrunch it will soon be closing on $80 million in financing led by General Catalyst, which led Colors previous Series B round.

      Other investors in this latest round include Laurene Powell Jobs Emerson Collective and CRV.

      Color is similar to other genetics startups, like 23andMe and Ancestry, in that it provides information to you based on the DNA given in a spit tube test. Its main focus has been in providing a series of genetic cancer screenings in an at-home kit.

      The company recently launched a test for hereditary high cholesterol as an indication for possible heart disease and says it plans to release more genetic health screening kits in the future. Color tells us this new round of funding will help get it there.

      This new funding will enable Color to continue developing new tests for hereditary conditions where the science is clear and the results are actionable and new services that help our clients proactively manage their own health, co-founder and CEO Othman Laraki told TechCrunch.

      Color had raised a total of $98.5 million before this round, bringing the total to $179 million in venture capital raised thus far.

      Read more: https://techcrunch.com/2017/08/16/color-genomics-has-raised-52-million-in-equity-financing/

      Why You Should Stop Sleeping Late On The Weekends

      Weve got some bad news: Sleeping a few extra hourson the weekend may actually be bad for you. In effect, by spending a few additional hours in the land of dreams, you are giving yourself social jet lag, according to a new study published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism.This, they say, can lead to health problems in the long run.

      Circadian rhythms, which are also found in plants, animals, fungi and some bacteria, alloworganisms to coordinate their biological activity with the day-night cycle. Although this rhythm is built-in, it is adjusted to the local environment using zeitgebers (time givers), external clues like temperature, light levels and so on.

      By changing our sleeping patterns over a short period of time, we are causing our natural rhythm to become out of sync with the surrounding zeitgebers, which in effect is what jet lag is. This new study aimed to investigate this phenomenon in a non-invasive way, allowing the subjects to live their normal lives while the researchers unobtrusively monitored their sleep patterns.

      Over the course of the research, 447 peoples sleep patterns were tracked using sleep monitors attached to their wrists, which estimated sleep time based on the movement or lack thereof of the participants. Their health status was also assessed, and several blood samples were taken throughout the study. In particular, the researchers were looking for changes inblood sugar and cholesterol levels.

      As expected, participants’ sleep patterns changed over the weekend, with many of the subjects staying up later and sleeping for longer. Worryingly, the researchers found an apparent correlation between this shift in sleeping pattern and the appearance of markers of detrimental health effects. The more dramatic the weekend shift was, the more likely the subject was to show lower levels of good cholesterol and higher amounts of triglycerides (other fatty substances) in their blood precursors to heartdisease in the longterm.

      Image credit: Sleeping in on the weekends may be messing up your internal clock. cosma/Shutterstock

      Those with a more dramatic shift were alsothe most likely to experience weight gain and exhibit symptoms associates with the onset of diabetes. Although this study did not show that anyone developedheart disease or diabetes, it does imply that sleeping in and staying up far later on weekends, and then switching back to a normal weekday work pattern, may eventually have a negative effect on your health.

      However, the study did have some limitations: In particular, the researchers did not explore whether participants with greater social jet lag had different circadian rhythms than those with less. This means that certain people’s own circadian rhythms may have been more suited to the weekend sleeping pattern, whereas others’ may have been more compatible with the weekday sleep schedule.

      A similar study, albeit more invasive, was conducted in 2012 by Harvard University. In this instance, the subjects were locked in a laboratory for several weeks, and were only allowed 5.6 hours sleep a night on a 28-hour-long day. Without a doubt, the most significantdetrimental effect was to the subjects metabolism, their ability to convert nutrients into energy.

      At the beginning of the study, all the participants were physically healthy; by the end of it, three were beginning to show signs of prediabetes, in that they had incredibly high sugar levels that the body was almost unable to reduce. The others were progressing rapidly towards this state.

      Sleep disruption is already known to increase the likelihood of getting heartdisease, diabetes and obesity; this new study, along with others, implies that by snoozing in for longer on the weekend, we are effectively causing our own circadian misalignment and risking our health as a result.

      Read more: http://www.iflscience.com/health-and-medicine/sleeping-weekends-may-give-you-social-jet-lag

      Fruit and veg: For a longer life eat 10-a-day – BBC News

      Image copyright iStock

      Eating loads of fruit and vegetables – 10 portions a day – may give us longer lives, say researchers.

      The study, by Imperial College London, calculated such eating habits could prevent 7.8 million premature deaths each year.

      The team also identified specific fruit and veg that reduced the risk of cancer and heart disease.

      The analysis showed even small amounts had a health boon, but more is even better.

      A portion counts as 80g (3oz) of fruit or veg – the equivalent of a small banana, a pear or three heaped tablespoons of spinach or peas.

      What counts as five-a-day?

      The conclusions were made by pooling data on 95 separate studies, involving two million people’s eating habits.

      Lower risks of cancer were linked to eating:

      • green veg (eg spinach)
      • yellow veg (eg peppers)
      • cruciferous vegetables (eg cauliflower).

      Lower risks of heart disease and strokes were linked to eating:

      • apples
      • pears
      • citrus fruits
      • salads
      • green leafy vegetables (eg lettuce)
      • cruciferous veg
      Image caption Harriet is a big fan of spinach

      Harriet Micallef, from Chippenham, says she often manages eight to 10 portions a day and has multiple portions of spinach every day.

      She told the BBC: “I have a lot, I don’t ever have a meal without veg or salad so eight to 10 portions is a regular thing.”

      She starts her day with a veg-packed omelette containing spinach and sometimes avocado or tomatoes.

      Harriet’s salad-based lunch is also packed with a mix of veg and her evening meals tend to be stir fries or stews.

      Snacks during the day include blended fruit smoothies or peppers dipped in hummus.

      She added: “It’s definitely healthy, if you’ve got loads of colours on your plate then you’re pretty much okay.”

      The results, published in the International Journal of Epidemiology, also assessed the risk of dying before your time.

      Compared with eating no fruit or veg a day, it showed:

      • 200g cut the risk of cardiovascular disease by 13% while 800g cut the risk by 28%
      • 200g cut the risk of cancer by 4%, while 800g cut the risk by 13%
      • 200g cut the risk of a premature death by 15%, while 800g cut the risk by 31%

      The researchers do not know if eating even more fruit and veg would have even greater health benefits as there is little evidence out there to review.

      Dr Dagfinn Aune, one of the researchers, said: “Fruit and vegetables have been shown to reduce cholesterol levels, blood pressure, and to boost the health of our blood vessels and immune system.

      “This may be due to the complex network of nutrients they hold.

      “For instance, they contain many antioxidants, which may reduce DNA damage and lead to a reduction in cancer risk.”

      However, many people struggle to even eat the five a day (400g) recommended by the World Health Organization.

      In the UK, only about one in three people eats enough.

      Image caption Heather is a vegan who loves sweet potato curry

      Heather Saunders, 24 and from Oxford, routinely manages nine or 10 portions a day since becoming vegan.

      She has two pieces of fruit with breakfast, a “massive pot” of roasted vegetables at lunch and then at least four vegetables in curries or chillies in the evening.

      She told the BBC: “It is about making a conscious decision, I feel fuelling myself with plant-based foods is a more healthy way to sustain myself.”

      Her tips for anyone trying to eat more is to do it gently: “Maybe decide to have one or two meat-free days a week and phase more veg in, I quite like a sweet potato curry with spinach and chickpeas.”

      Dr Aune said the findings did not mean the five-a-day message needed to change.

      He told the BBC: “There are many different considerations if changing policy, it’s not just the health effects – is it feasible?

      “But our findings are quite clear in that they do support five a day, but there are even some further benefits for higher intakes.”

      Dr Alison Tedstone, chief nutritionist at Public Health England, said: “The five-a-day target is the foundation of a healthy balanced diet and is an achievable way to help prevent a number of diseases.

      “Whilst consuming more than five portions of fruit and vegetables a day may be desirable… adding pressure to consume more fruit and vegetables creates an unrealistic expectation.”

      Your questions answered

      Jonathan Shorney asked: “I eat a lot of apples, but that amounts to a lot of sugar. Could that amount of sugar be harmful?”

      Sugar seems to have become public enemy number one in the past few years. But it is important to remember the “war on sugar” is actually a “war on free sugar”.

      This includes sugars added to food as well as honey or those liberated in making fruit juices.

      However, this does not include any naturally occurring sugars in fresh fruit and vegetables and the World Health Organization says “there is no reported evidence of adverse effects of consuming these sugars”.

      Mike asked: “Do pulses contribute to the 10?

      Yes they do. All kinds of beans from kidney to cannellini as well as lentils count as a single portion according to Public Health England.

      Gary Kruger asked: “Should fruit and vegetables be heavily subsidised by the government to encourage further consumption?

      This is not being seriously considered, but something kind of similar is happening.

      Rather than making the healthy stuff cheaper, a sugar tax will make sugar-sweetened beverages more expensive with the aim of shifting buying habits.

      There is no VAT on fruit and veg, but the British Medical Association has called for the government to go further and use the proceeds of a sugar tax to discount fruit and veg.

      However, it is not clear how big a health impact there could be without knowing who it would be for (everyone or just the poor), how big the discount would be and then how that would change shopping habits.

      Harriet, who started cooking family meals at the age of 12, thinks more should be done to get children eating more.

      “I think it comes from schooling and the traditional British meat and two veg.

      “I think if you teach children to always have something green on their plate in addition then they’ll naturally start having more.

      “There’s just so many different veg that people don’t have like bean sprouts and chard.”

      Not all of the 95 studies that were analysed fully accounted for other aspects of lifestyle, such as exercise levels, that could also play a role in prolonging lives.

      However, Dr Aune said the conclusions were “quite robust”.

      Follow James on Twitter.

      Read more: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-39057146

      Most Vets Don’t Qualify For VA Dental Care. So These Dentists Are Giving It For Free

      Updated on Nov. 11, 2015 at 3:30 P.M.

      After years of neglect, William Bells teeth had deteriorated to the point that he looked liked he had been smoking meth every day for years. And though the U.S. veteran had kidney cancer, diabetes, PTSD and depression, he wasnt disabled enough to qualify for dental care through the Department of Veterans Affairs.

      I was trying to get my teeth worked on for three years. They wouldnt do it, Bell, who served three tours in Iraq and two in Afghanistan before retiring in 2013, told The Huffington Post. I can get major surgery done, but I cant get my teeth done.

      In order for veterans to qualify for full VA dental benefits, they have to be 100 percent disabled, have been a prisoner of war or have developed a dental condition during their service. The need is so great that homeless veterans list dental care among their top three unmet needs, along with housing and child care.  

      But now, even veterans who dont meet those criteria and dont have the funds to pay for dental care, have a company they can turn to that will take them in for free.

      As part of its growing efforts to support underserved patients, Aspen Dental, which has more than 500 offices nationwide, dispensed a mobile unit throughout the country for the first time last year. And after seeing one vet after another file into the 42-foot trailer-turned-dental-facility, the company decided to take a more proactive approach to serving former servicemen and servicewomen.

      This year, the organization partnered with Got Your 6, a nonprofit that supports veterans, mobilized its dentists around the country and served more than 4,000 veterans in need of dental care, Chedly Vincent, director of clinical support and community giving, told HuffPost. That came to $2.8 million in donated services.

      The group hopes to improve veterans’ appearances so they have better chances of securing employment, and also to prevent major health issues. Forgoing cleanings and other routine procedures can lead to a number of issues, including periodontal disease, which raises risks for stroke and heart disease, Vincent added. 

      Bell, 49, was one of those veterans who benefited from the new program.

      Before connecting with Aspen, Bell says his mouths decrepit state turned him into a recluse.

      Of his 20 remaining teeth, only one was deemed healthy enough to stay put.

      I didnt go out in public, Bell said. I had such an ugly smile, I didnt get out at all.

      He told HuffPost that the VA repeatedly turned him down for dental care and didnt provide him with any information about potential plans he could even pay for.

      The VA does offer veterans the opportunity to purchase dental insurance through Delta Dental and MetLife at a reduced cost, Meagan Lutz, VA press officer, told HuffPost.

      While Bell didnt have the confidence to leave the house, or resources to take care of his oral hygiene, he did his best to deal with his other plaguing medical issues, which were covered by the VA.

      In 2010, cancer led the Arkansas man to have a kidney removed. Hes now in remission. Bell was also facing diabetes, which he says is now at bay after he lost 90 pounds.

      Though Bell also had big dreams of becoming a pilot with the Arkansas Forestry Commission, he felt he had no chance of getting accepted because of his appearance.

      But Bell says hes now feeling confident about putting those plans into action after getting a full workup at an Aspen Dental office in Bryant, Arkansas.

      Last Thursday, Eric Sharks, a veteran who served in the Air Force in the 80s, volunteered to see Bell and do whatever it took to care of his numerous conditions.

      Bell had such severe periodontal disease that Sharks had to extract 19 of his 20 remaining teeth. Sharks recontoured the shape of Bells arches and smoothed out his bone tips. He took impressions for his dentures and, after about seven hours, sent Bell off with a brand new set of teeth.

      The entire procedure was valued at about $6,000.

      He had the entire office in tears, Sharks said.

      Sharks, who joined Aspen Dental six months ago, said Bell was the fourth veteran hes treated for free since starting at the company. He said the organizations push to help vets in need was one of the prime reasons he decided to take a job with Aspen.

      Encouraging dentists to adopt veterans is one of the ways Aspen works to support veterans.

      Through its Healthy Mouth Movement, the organization dispenses a mobile office to 30 states throughout the year. Local Aspen dentists and hygienists volunteer to work on the tractor-trailer when it comes through town, which handles services from X-rays to extractions.

      Back in June, Aspen dentists committed a day of service on a Saturday to seeing underserved veterans and, starting Veterans Day, its offering a 25 percent discount to any vet through the end of 2015. 

      As a thank you, Bell gave Sharks his retirement flag.

      It kind of makes me proud that we can hang a U.S. flag outside our office, Sharks said. Maybe more companies will jump on board.”

      Read more: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/11/10/veterans-dental-care_n_8536280.html