Testing It Up » January 2011

Monthly Archives: January 2011

Health & Wellness

Dietary Guidelines for Americans Updated

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So what’s new with the Dietary Guidelines for Americans? Nothing much, according to a feature on MedPage Today, despite the fact that this is the federal government’s first update of the guidelines in five years.

healthy dietThe revision of the dietary guidelines is a joint effort of the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Department of Health and Human Services. The updated guidelines carry a 2010 date, but were released end of January this year.

The changes consisted mainly of wording tweaks, a reorganization of how some of the recommendations were presented in the previous version, according to the feature. The basic recommendations for maximum intake of fats and cholesterol, sodium, potassium, and fiber, did not change.

The following daily limits were set by the updated guidelines:

• Fat intake: 20% to 35% of total calories
• Saturated fat: less than 10% of total calories (mono- and polyunsaturated fats may be substituted)
• Trans-fats: less than 1% of calories
• Cholesterol: less than 300 mg
• Fiber: 14 g per 1,000 calories
• Potassium: 4,700 mg
• Sodium: less than 1,500 mg for all African-Americans and those with hypertension, diabetes, and chronic kidney disease (including children), as well as persons older than 51; everyone else is advised to consume under 2,300 mg of sodium a day
• Fruits and vegetables: at least 2.5 cups
• Refined grains: less than 3 oz

When MedPage Today sought the opinion of academic physicians regarding the updated guidelines, they seemed to be unsure about the ability of the guidelines to change the eating habits of Americans.

Celebrity Substance Abuse Real Drug Stories Substance Abuse

David Arquette Completes Rehab

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As actor Charlie Sheen begins yet another attempt at rehab, David Arquette has completed his stay in an unnamed facility, which commenced at the start of this year.

According to a report on the New York Daily News, Arquette has left an unidentified rehabilitation facility after staying for about a month. The report also mentioned that the 39-year-old actor has repeatedly sought help for alcohol addiction as well as emotional issues.

David ArquetteTMZ had reported that Arquette checked himself into a live-in facility after partying at Beacher’s Madhouse at the Roosevelt Hotel on New Year’s Eve, which we shared in a previous post. Around that time, Arquette had been rather open and candid about issues regarding his marriage with former Friends star Courteney Cox, and had shared on Howard Stern’s radio show that he was seeing a psychologist, who told him that he was having a nervous breakdown.

Arquette’s estranged wife Courteney had issued a statement of support when he entered rehab, and told People, “I really admire David and his choice to take charge and better his life.”

Information regarding David Arquette’s leaving rehab came from his publicist, who reportedly told the Daily News on Sunday that the actor “has completed treatment.”

A source from People shared that the actor is “in great spirits,” is “feeling good,” and “is ready to move forward.”

News of Arquette and Cox’s separation came out last year, and reports shared that Arquette had been partying while at the same time declaring that he was “heartbroken” over their split.

New York Drug Screening

Health & Wellness

Pistachios as Healthy Snacks

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WebMD’s Elaine Magee has a suggestion for those times when you simply need to munch on something: pistachios, the green nut.

Nuts are great snack food, according to Magee, as they contain favorable fats, protein, and fiber, as well as key vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals. Pistachios in particular contain proanthocyanidins, flavonoids, alpha and beta-carotene, beta-cryptoxanthin, lutein and zeaxanthin, and stilbene resveratrol, phytochemicals which are associated with protective health benefits.

pistachiosPistachios are recommended as a mid-morning or mid-afternoon snack. A quarter cup of pistachios in shells contains 170 calories, 6 g protein, 9 g carbohydrate, 13 g fat, 1.5 g saturated fat, 3 g fiber, about 160 mg sodium (if roasted with salt).

Other ways to enjoy pistachios are as a topping for salads, stir fry, casserole or noodle dishes; as an ingredient in scones or muffins; or as a topping for hot cereal.

Early Disease Detection Health & Wellness

Broccoli and Other Vegetables Effective Against Cancer

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We have always been told that vegetables are good for us, but these are usually generic statements that are not accompanied by hard facts. A study shared on the Daily Health Report, however, gives the specific substance in vegetables that make them effective in the fight against cancer.

broccoliA study published in the Journal of Medicinal Chemistry shared that isothiocyanates (ICTs), which can be found in such vegetables as cauliflower and broccoli, have cancer-stopping principles. ITCs have been found to target the tumor suppressor gene P53, which is mutated in nearly every form of cancer. Since vegetables may target this gene, it can remove the mutated aspects of the gene.

Experts say that this knowledge may need to the development of potentially-life saving cancer treatments.

Health & Wellness Home Health Hazards

Toxic Waste Nuclear Sludge Candies Recalled Due to Toxic Content

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Toxic Waste’s Nuclear Sludge candies seem to have lived up to their brand name, as they have been found to contain high levels of lead, according to a feature on MedPage Today.

Toxic Waste Nuclear SludgeA voluntary recall of “Nuclear Sludge” 3-oz candies, which are imported from Pakistan, has been issued by its U.S. marketers because they contained elevated levels of lead. In a statement, Circle City Marketing and Distributing branch Candy Dynamics announced that it was extending an earlier recall from January 13 of “Toxic Waste” brand Nuclear Sludge 0.7-oz. Chew Bar candies “to include all products under the Nuclear Sludge label.”

The smaller Nuclear Sludge candies were found to contain 0.101 to 0.311 parts per million (ppm) of lead, which are above the FDA limit of 0.1 ppm of lead, after product testing conducted by the company. The amount of lead found in the larger candies, on the other hand, was 0.24 ppm.

The recall includes the following products, which are basically all the flavors of the 7-oz and 3-oz candies:

• Toxic Waste Nuclear Sludge Cherry (UPC 0 89894 81901 1)
• Toxic Waste Nuclear Sludge Green Apple (UPC 0 89894 81701 7)
• Toxic Waste Nuclear Sludge Blue Raspberry (UPC 0 89894 81801 4)
• Toxic Waste Nuclear Sludge Cherry Chew Bar (UPC 0 89894 81430 6)
• Toxic Waste Nuclear Sludge Sour Apple Chew Bar (UPC 0 10684 81410 7)
• Toxic Waste Nuclear Sludge Blue Raspberry Chew Bar (UPC 0 89894 81420 7)

The recall is limited only to the Nuclear Sludge label and does not include other products under the Toxic Waste brand.

Celebrity Substance Abuse Real Drug Stories Substance Abuse

Charlie Sheen Speaks Out: “I’m Fine”

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In a previous post, we shared that actor Charlie Sheen has voluntarily sought help for his issues and checked into a rehab facility. In an exclusive report, RadarOnline.com, one of the first to break the news regarding Sheen’s decision to go into rehab, shared that the actor had sent a text message to RadarOnline Senior Executive Editor Dylan Howard, around the time that the announcement was made.

Charlie SheenSheen reportedly said the following in the message: “I’m fine… People don’t seem to get it… Guy can’t have a good time and do his job also?”

Reports of the actor’s decision to go into rehab came after news that he had landed in the hospital after a wild party with porn stars, where he reportedly spend days smoking and snorting cocaine. RadarOnline reported further that Sheen was anemic, had an elevated white cell blood count, and was dehydrated.

A friend of Sheen’s had insisted, however, that he had been taken by ambulance early on Thursday to the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center for a hernia. He was released from the hospital Thursday night, after receiving treatment for what doctors suspected was an ulceration, according to the report.

Sheen was said to have been convinced by his father, Martin, as well as CBS, his employer, to seek help. CBS had announced that Sheen’s hit TV show, Two and a Half Men, was going on a production hiatus while Sheen tries to work on his issues.

The text message sent by Sheen to Howard was received at 4:23 pm PT. It was unclear as to whether he had already checked into the undisclosed rehab facility at the time that Howard received the message.

Health & Wellness

How to Cut Daily Caloric Intake

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When trying to lose weight, sometimes a little goes a long way. Come to think of it, the reason why some people are unsuccessful at attempts to shed extra pounds is that they try to do too much, too fast, and end up giving up along the way.

A feature on Health.com shared that it’s possible to lose a pound a week by simply trimming 500 calories from your daily caloric intake. It also shared easy, practical ways on how to get that done.

nutsSteer clear of nuts. While nuts are good for your health due to its heart-healthy fats, they are unfortunately high in calories – and are tempting to munch on mindlessly. A handful (1 ounce) of oil-roasted mixed nuts, for example, has 175 calories. Staying away from nuts altogether can cut more than 500 calories a day. If you can’t give them up, however, try munching on pistachios instead; they have less calories, and the fact that you have to shell them will keep you from munching mindlessly, and endlessly.

Don’t eat in front of the TV. Eating in front of the TV can make you end up eating 288 calories more, according to a study from the University of Massachusetts. Have your meals at the table instead, and trade an hour of TV for a casual walk. Number of calories burned: 527.

Use smaller plates. Keep yourself from heaping too much on your plate by switching to a smaller plate to begin with. You will end up eating 20 to 25% less.

Other suggestions include skipping whipped cream on your coffee, counting chips and crackers, kicking the soda habit, and getting enough sleep, among others.

Health & Wellness

Are You Getting the Right Amount of Calcium and Vitamin D?

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We have heard it one too often – too much of a good thing is not good. According to a feature on The New York Times, the same holds true for calcium and vitamin D.

supplementsThe Institute of Medicine issued the new daily recommendations for calcium and vitamin D in November, and an expert committee has concluded that most people are not in need to calcium and vitamin D supplements.

This expert committee included bone specialists, and issued a warning that there are serious health risks that may be associated with taking supplements of these nutrients at high doses; these risks include kidney stones and heart disease, as well as, interestingly enough, fractures – which vitamin D is supposed to protect people from.

Vitamin D needs to be present so that calcium is absorbed by the digestive tract, so the two nutrients usually go hand in hand for healthy bones. In order to find out whether you need supplements or can get enough of them from your diet, the food and beverages that one consumes on a regular basis, one’s personal and family history of broken bones, and the habits that may influence bone health, will need to be considered.

The recommended daily calcium intake is 1,000 milligrams for children 4 to 8, women and men 19 to 50, and men 51 to 70; 1,300 milligrams for children 9 to 18; and 1,200 milligrams for women 51 and older and men 71 and older. For vitamin D, it is 600 units a day for everyone, aged 1 to 70, and 800 units for men and women 71 and older.

New York Health Screening

Celebrity Substance Abuse Real Drug Stories Substance Abuse

Charlie Sheen Goes Into Rehab

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Actor Charlie Sheen has checked into a rehabilitation facility, according to a report on E! Online. A representative for the actor released a statement that said that Mr. Sheen “has voluntarily entered an undisclosed rehabilitation center.”

Charlie SheenThe statement said further: “He is most grateful to all who have expressed their concern… Mr. Sheen asks that his privacy be respected at this time and that no additional information be provided.”

CBS Entertainment also issued its own statement regarding the fate of Charlie Sheen’s hit sitcom, Two and a Half Men, along with Warner Bros. Television and executive producer Chuck Lorre, which read in part: “We are profoundly concerned for his health and well-being, and support his decision.” The show, according to report, “has been placed on production hiatus.”

Celebrity Substance Abuse Real Drug Stories Substance Abuse

Singer Bruno Mars to Plead Guilty on Cocaine Charge

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A media report released on Friday revealed that pop singer Bruno Mars (real name Peter Hernandez) will plead guilty to the cocaine possession charge that stemmed from his arrest in Las Vegas in September of last year, according to an article by Reuters.

Bruno Mars mugshotClark County District Attorney David Roger revealed to the Las Vegas Review Journal that the sentence for the 25-year old singer will include a year of probation, 200 hours of community service, drug counseling, and a $2,000 fine.

Bruno Mars was arrested after a bathroom attendant at the Hard Rock Hotel in Las Vegas saw him with “a baggy of white powder,” that was later confirmed to be cocaine, after testing. He is supposed to be due in court for a preliminary hearing on February 4, but has waived his appearance. A new court date will be scheduled, where he is expected to plead guilty.

If the singer can complete his sentencing without getting into any more trouble, he can choose to withdraw his plea, and the case against him will be dismissed, according to Roger. Such an arrangement was common, according to the Las Vegas Review Journal, in minor, first -time, drug possession cases.

Not counting the September cocaine-related arrest, Bruno Mars had a successful year in 2010. His collaboration with rapper B.o.B, “Nothin’ on You,” rose to the top of the pop charts last year. He also co-wrote the Travie McCoy hit “Billionaire,” and collaborated with Grammy nominee Cee-Lo Green on the song “F*ck You.” He then came out with his own solo hit, “Just the Way You Are.”

Las Vegas Background Screening