Compound Found In Aspirin Might Stop Diseases Like Alzheimer’s And Parkinson’s

A new study, published by PLOS ONE, has discovered that a breakdown product of aspirin interacts with one of the enzymes that is responsible for degenerative diseases such as Parkinsons, Alzheimers, and Huntingtons diseases.

The team discovered that salicylic acid, the primary component of aspirin, binds to the enzyme GAPDH (Glyceraldehyde 3-Phosphate Dehydrogenase), which is thought to be the cause of brain cell death in degenerative diseases. The study has shown that two synthetic versions of salicylic acid and two compounds extracted from the licorice plant, where it naturally occurs, are very effective at inhibiting GAPDH.

GAPDH is used by our body to regulate sugar absorption and use, but it has other functions as well. If a person has an excess of free radicals known asoxidative stress GAPDH mutates and enters the nucleus of neurons leading to cell death.

By binding itself to GAPDH, salicylic acid stops the enzyme from entering brain cells, thus avoiding cell deaths. Other drugs, such as deprenyl, act on GAPDH and they are used to prevent degenerative diseases.

“The enzyme GAPDH, long thought to function solely in glucose metabolism, is now known to participate in intracellular signaling,”coauthor Solomon Snyder, professor of neuroscience at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, said in astatement. “The new study establishes that GAPDH is a target for salicylate drugs related to aspirin, and hence may be relevant to the therapeutic actions of such drugs.”

The health benefits of salicylic acid has been known since ancient times, and it has been used to reduce fevers and provide pain relief. Before we could synthesize it in the lab, patients had to chew on the bark of willow trees, which is rich insalicylic acid.

In the last decade, there have been many studies interested in understanding the impact of aspirin on heart disease and cancer, with promising results, and larger studies are currently in the works. Salicylic acid has been shown to also stop HMGB1 (High Mobility Group Box 1) proteins, which cause inflammation by the same team who discovered the GAPDH inhibition mechanism. HMGB1 isassociated with diseases such as arthritis, lupus, and sepsis.

Professor Daniel Klessig, senior author of the research, added: “A better understanding of how salicylic acid and its derivatives regulate the activities of GAPDH and HMGB1, coupled with the discovery of much more potent synthetic and natural derivatives of salicylic acid, provide great promise for the development of new and better salicylic acid-based treatments of a wide variety of prevalent, devastating diseases.”

Read more: http://www.iflscience.com/health-and-medicine/aspirin-component-might-stop-degenerative-diseases


A Starbucks barista gave a note to a deaf man and became a shining example of service.

A man goes in for a coffee and comes out with a double shot of human compassion.

When Ibby Piracha, a deaf man from Leesburg, Virginia, headed into his regular Starbucks location last week, he wasn’t expecting a random act of empathy.

But then the barista pulled a surprise move. She handed him a note and then asked him in sign language what he wanted to drink.

Piracha told thelocal ABC news affiliatehe was moved that she was motivated to dedicate herself to learning American Sign Language (ASL).

“She actually wanted to learn a different language….Sign language is really a totally different language and it was something that she wanted to do because of me? Because I was a deaf customer? I was very, very impressed.”

Just how many people are missing out on easy transactions because of a hearing impairment?

According to the Gallaudet Research Institute’s calculationsfrom 2005, “anywhere from 9 to 22 out of every 1,000 people have a severe hearing impairment or are deaf.”

And HearingLoss.org reports that “hearing loss is a major public health issue that is the third most common physical condition after arthritis and heart disease.”

What would happen if more agencies, businesses, and online media outlets provided services for those who speak ASL, or provided transcripts for the deaf and hard of hearing?

The world might just be a little more inclusive, making Ibby Piracha and other deaf citizens like him feel just a little bit more at home.

Read more: http://www.upworthy.com/a-starbucks-barista-gave-a-note-to-a-deaf-man-and-became-a-shining-example-of-service?c=tpstream


Syria’s Children Are Mentally And Emotionally Shattered From Years Of War

Six years of brutal conflict and unspeakable atrocities have left some of Syrias children desperately wishing for their own deaths, according to a heartbreaking new report fromSave the Children.Many are living in a constant state of fear and toxic stress, the humanitarian group warns.

The war has killedhundreds of thousands of Syriansand displaced more than half the countrys population, with no end to the carnage in sight.Some 13.5 million people in Syria, including 5.8 million children, are currently in need of aid.

At least 3 million children have been born into the conflict, and those who remain in Syria are extremely vulnerable to immense psychological damage, increasing their longterm risks of self-harm, drug abuse and suicide, the report says.

Invisible Wounds documents a worsening mental health crisis among boys and girls trapped inside the war-torn country. Save the Children worked with its partners to interview hundreds of civilians to understand the scope of the tragedy, and the findings were devastating.

Many of Syrias children have seen their families torn apart, and witnessed loved ones suffer and die before their eyes. Two-thirds have been injured or had their homes hit by attacks. More than half are using drugs to help cope with the stress of living in a war zone, and nearly three-quarters have shown signs of post-traumatic stress disorder.

If left untreated, these conditions can have irreversible effects on the mental and physical health of an entire generation of children, the report notes.

Abdalrhman Ismail/Reuters
Some 5.8 million children in Syria are currently in need of humanitarian aid.

The children we spoke with in Syria are terrified to play outside, afraid to go to school, and soiling themselves when they hear a loud noise, said Save the Children President and CEO Carolyn Miles. We can end the toxic stress many children are suffering by stopping the bombardment of civilian areas and reaching everyone with lifesaving aid and psychological support.

Children who were interviewed described persistent feelings of anger, anxiety, depression and terror.

My parents are not here because I have already lost them, said one teenager in Aleppo. I am alone because everyone is dying.

A teacher in Madaya said children wish they were hit by a sniper and killed.

Children wish they were dead and that they would go to heaven [to] be warm and eat and play, she said.

Syrian girls and boys have been starved, robbed of their childhoods and deprived of a proper education, the report explains.Thousands of schools have been bombed out of use, and hundreds of thousands of education professionals have fled the country. Some parents fear that sending their kids to school is too dangerous. Almost one-third of school-aged children in the country are not in school.

Alkis Konstantinidis/Reuters
At least 3 million children have been born into Syria’s raging war, which broke out in March 2011.

Alexandra Chen, a child protection and mental health specialist based at Harvard University, warns that the detrimental impacts of the war may outlast the conflict itself.

Extreme adversity in early childhood can hamper childrens healthy development and their ability to function fully, even once the violence has ceased, she said. The slow grind of toxic stress can disrupt the development of the brain and other organs, and increase the risk of stress-related diseases, heart disease, diabetes, immune system problems, substance abuse, depression, and other mental health disorders into adulthood.

But all is not lost, the report says; Syrian children are incredibly resilient, and continue to cling to their hopes and dreams for a better future. They stand to benefit tremendously from psychosocial support, but resources are currently extremely limited.

Save the Children has issued an urgent plea for warring parties to immediately halt all forms of violence against civilians, and for members of the international community to increase funding for programs that support childrens mental health.

To support crisis-afflicted Syrians, see The WorldPosts list of ways you can help. You can also donate to charities working in Syria.

Read more: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/syria-children-toxic-stress_us_58bece8be4b0d8c45f46a5e4?01zuqv040r2sdobt9&ncid=inblnkushpmg00000009


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


Study Reveals That Women With Big Butts Are Smarter and Healthier

Via: Elite Daily

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Read more: http://twentytwowords.com/scientific-study-reveals-something-very-interesting-about-women-with-big-butts/


The 5 ‘Game of Thrones’ moments that spiked your heart rate are not what you’d expect

Literally the most heart-racing moment of the season.
Image: macall b Polay/hbo

Game of Thrones tends to make your pulse quicken but now we know exactly which moments in the show are the most thrilling. Spoiler alert: nearly all of them are about character interactions, not big battle scenes.

The Apple Watch app Cardiogram, which has previously been able to warn users about early signs of heart disease, has turned its attention to HBO’s most popular show in a bid to discover what it does to our heart rate.

Cardiogram got 300 users to sign up for a “What Game of Thrones does to your heart rate” habit, which reminds them to start recording their heart rate every 5 seconds (the Apple Watch default is every 5 minutes) at 8:45pm on Sundays. From those 300 brave guinea pigs, it gathered a total of 2.3 million heart rate measurements.

As you can see from this anonymous example, even the anticipation of a new episode can get our hearts racing:

omg omg new ‘Game of Thrones’ omg

Image: cardiogram

Once Cardiogram knows that people are watching, it can link spikes in heart rate activity to particular scenes. Its conclusion? “The data confirms that drama rather than action is what makes Game of Thrones viewers’ heart rate race,” says Cardiogram co-founder Brandon Ballinger.

Here are the top 5 most pulse-quickening moments in Game of Thrones Season 7 so far:

1. Jaime’s charge against Daenerys and Drogon in Episode 4

Average heart rate: 91 beats per minute

Yes, we all got excited about the arrival of the dragon and the Dothraki. Our mouths dropped when Bronn’s Scorpion struck Drogo. But we didn’t really quicken our pulses until the final minute, when the main characters on both sides seemed headed for the worst kind of confrontation.

“This is the one action scene in the top five,” Ballinger points out. “True to principle, it focuses on a conflict between two main characters on opposite sides of a battle: Jaime Lannister and Daenerys Targaryen, immediately preceded by a scene showing Tyrion Lannister’s internal conflict at seeing his family’s army set aflame.”

2. Arya Stark’s revenge on House Frey in Episode 1

Average heart rate: 83.2 beats per minute

The opening scene of the entire season in particular, Arya’s “tell them Winter came for House Frey” drop-the-mic moment seems to have spiked our heart rates more than any other non-action scene. Even if it did look like something out of Scooby Doo.

3. Tie: Euron Greyjoy’s proposal to Cersei in Episode 1; Davos and Jon’s plea to Daenerys in Episode 3

Average heart rate: 83 beats per minute

You wouldn’t necessarily have placed either of these scenes in your top memories of the season. But it seems that Euron’s offer of marriage to Queen Cersei got our hearts thumping, possibly because it involved embarrassing Jaime to his face.

Equally exciting was that first Dragonstone throne room confrontation between Dany and Jon. You may remember Ser Davos pointing out that if the two don’t unite to fight the threat from the North, “it doesn’t matter whose skeleton sits on the Iron Throne.”

Was it the tension of Dany and Jon meeting for the first time? The fraught social situation? The possibility of conflict between Targaryan and Stark? The reminder of the White Walkers? Clearly more study is needed.

5. Daenerys turning on Varys in Episode 2

Average heart rate: 76 beats per minute

Out of the blue, Dany goes ballistic on one of her chief advisers for having served the King who usurped her father. Varys recovered with an assist from Tyrion but the incident left our pulses racing like few others.

Why? Perhaps this was the first moment we realized that Dany has a lot of the Mad King in her. Or perhaps, in our hearts, we all empathize with that nightmarish moment where the boss calls you out in front of the whole office and you have to think on your feet.

In short, Game of Thrones‘ most engaging moments appear to be about dialogue rather than the gruesome violence we might normally associate with the story.

Indeed, George R.R. Martin has often said he is guided by William Faulkner’s dictum that “the only thing worth writing about is the human heart in conflict with itself.”

When hearts are most in conflict on the screen, it turns out, so are the hearts in our ribcages.

Read more: http://mashable.com/2017/08/10/game-thrones-cardiogram-heart-rate/


Doctors fat-shaming their patients happens more often than you think

Fat shaming doesnt just hurt a person’s self-esteem. Studies show it can take a real toll on physical health too. And according to a new review of research presented this week the American Psychological Association annual convention, doctors are one of the biggest offenders when it comes to making people feel ashamed of the number on the scale. 

That statement may come as a surprise if you think of fat-shaming as mainly something that happens in social situations or over the Internetor something that women do to themselves. But it definitely resonates with those whove experienced it firsthand.

RELATED: 12 Plus-Size Swimsuits That Are Ready for the Beach

According to the review, this type of medical fat shaming can come in the form of disrespectful treatment, lectures about your weight, embarrassing comments, and a less thorough examination. Even well-meaning physicians, if they dont approach the topic carefully, can ruin a patients experience at the doctors officeand potentially inflict long-term damage to their well being.

Studies show that the most common source of fat shaming is family members, and after family comes doctors, says Joan Chrisler, PhD, a professor of psychology at Connecticut College, who presented the review at the conference. I find that kind of upsetting, because these are the people who should have your best interests at heart, and instead theyre making you feel the worst.

Doctors need to be aware of this tendency for bias, says Chrisler, and should be making efforts to stop such behaviors in their offices. They may think that fat patients dont know whats best for them and need to be protected from their unhealthy behaviors, she says. But really, most fat people know theyre fatthey dont need to be told when they come in for a sore throat or a broken arm,” adds Chrisler.

RELATED: 3 Easy Ways to Stay in Shape While You Travel

Practices like weighing patients at every visit (especially in open areas where other people can see the number on the scale) can also make people hesitant to visit the doctor, says Chrisler, even when the have a problem unrelated to their weight. Theyre not going to want to come back for a follow-up visit after that, she says, and that could be seriously hurting their health.  

The medical community does a disservice to larger patients in other ways, says Chrisler. Overweight people are often excluded from clinical trials, which means that recommended medication doses might not be appropriate for them. Some studies have suggested this to be the case for certain antibiotics and chemotherapy drugs.

Other studies suggest that medical professionals tend to make assumptions about overweight peoples health and motivations. This means they might not take patients symptoms as seriously, and could miss or misdiagnose serious but treatable conditions. In one study of more than 300 autopsy reports, obese patients were 1.65 times more likely than others to have significant undiagnosed medical conditions, including bowel disease and lung cancer.

Chrisler says that patients need to stand up for themselves and object when they feel their doctor is unfairly or inappropriately calling out their weight. They can also change doctors if they have a physician who is treating them disrespectfully, she says.

RELATED: 6 Stars on Why It’s Finally Time to Retire the Term “Plus Size”

She encourages patients to tell their doctors about the Health at Every Size movement, which advocates for compassionate self care, respect, and healthy behaviors for all people, no matter what their weight. She also recommends referring physicians to her 2016 article in the journal Fat StudiesSizeism Is a Health Hazard.

And while sometimes it is appropriate for doctors to discuss weight and recommend weight loss to patients, Chrisler stresses that theres a right and a wrong way to go about it.

We know that dieting usually fails and we know that making people feel bad about their weight is not the way to go, she says. People should be focused on trying to eat a nutritious diet, being more physically active, getting enough sleep, things like thatnot focused on what the scale says.”

This article originally appears in Health. 

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/lifestyle/2017/08/07/doctors-fat-shaming-their-patients-happens-more-often-than-think.html


5 Drawbacks Of Getting Too Much Sleep At Night That You Need To Know About

Mark Twain wasn’t mistaken when he said too much of anything can be bad for you. And I’m sorry if I’m about to ruin your day right now, but that same logic applies to your beauty sleep. As great as it may feel, sleeping too much at night may be bad for your health, and in more ways than one.

For one thing, according to new research published in the journal , getting too much sleep can increase your chances of having nightmares.

The study was performed by a team of researchers from the University of Oxford, and assessed the frequency and negative effects nightmares had on 846 participants over the course of two weeks.

Apparently, the longer you sleep, the longer you’ll spend in the late-night REM phase: a part of your sleep cycle when vivid dreaming and unpredictable body movements are most likely to occur.

Nightmares, however, should be the least of your worries.

James Pagel, an associate clinical professor at University of Colorado School of Medicine, toldIFLScience,

Dreams are basically a cognitive feedback system on how your brain is functioning, and nightmares, more so than other dreams, give you feedback on what’s going on inside your head.

Translation: While they can give you a scare,nightmares are really just a manifestation of yourconscious brain trying to sort through some deep-seated issues.

But trust me, there are way more drawbacks that can come with getting too much sleep at night that should concern you much more than the occasional nightmare.

1. Too Much Sleep Can Be A Sign Of Illness

Most of us can say we’ve slept for long periods of time amidst a fever or stomach virus, but as you get older, those long, sleepy nightscan be a red flag for the state of your health.

Susan Redline, MD, MPH, professor of sleep medicine at Harvard, and senior physician in the Division of Sleep and Circadian Disorders at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, toldPrevention,

Individuals who sleep more than 10 hours per day generally have worse health profiles than those who sleep seven to eight hours.

The predominant opinion is that long sleep is a marker for underlying health problems.

And on the flip side, allowing yourself to sleep more than the recommended six to eight hours may lead you to develop heart disease later on in life.

Clearly, there’s no winning, here.

2. It Puts You At Risk of Developing Diabetes

A study published in the November 2015 issue of found that even an extra two hours of sleep can increase your risk of developing type 2 diabetes, because your blood sugar raises when you snooze.


3. Brain Fog Gets Even Foggier

When I was on an anti-depressant during my junior year of college, one of the biggest problems I had with the medication was the fact that one pill would make me sleep well into the afternoon, and I’d rarely, if ever, feel refreshed once my body actually woke up.

Sleeping longer may sound luxurious on the surface, but more often than not, it can justleave you feeling lost.

4. Your Quality Of Sleep Could Be Suffering

The amount of sleep you’re getting could depend on the quality of your sleeping patterns.

According to Reader’s Digest,how much you sleep depends on whether or not your body is being interrupted throughout the night by things like an upset stomach, hot flashes, and how dark and/or how quiet the room is.

Be sure to assess your room in terms of how easy it is to get some peaceful shut-eye in there. It’s a checklist for sure, but it’s worth reviewing before settling under the covers.

5.Waking Up Can Feel Like A Bad Hangover

If you’ve ever woken up after a night of indulgent sleep with a nasty headache, it may be because you slept too long andneglected to nourish your body in the proper way.

You may have slept past the time when you’d normally feed yourself or get some coffee in your system, so the headache could related to caffeine withdrawals, dehydration, or even low blood sugar levels.

Read more: http://elitedaily.com/wellness/5-drawbacks-getting-much-sleep-night-need-know/2032527/


When racism cuts, Michelle Obama helps us heal

(CNN)Three weeks ago, my house was pelted with watermelon rinds. No other garbage. Just watermelons. As soon as I heard the noise, I ran outside. When I saw the mess, I was enraged. I wanted to confront the culprit.

My anger was caused by something much deeper than watermelons. You see, growing up in the United States, I’ve been culturally conditioned to see the world always through the suffocating prism of race. And it’s not just me. This is a basic instinct for Americans of every race. No matter how much we say “everyone is equal,” our government policies, our history and our daily social interactions betray this lie.
Without a second thought, I freeze with terror when I see a police officer — in any country — or wake up in a panic when I know that my son is driving home late. It often feels like there’s no escape from this nightmare.

      Michelle Obama called ‘ape in heels’

    So when I saw watermelon slices scattered all over my patio, I took it as a form of racist intimidation. The problem was, I wasn’t in the United States. I was in Costa Rica, where watermelon is just a delicious fruit enjoyed by all. There’s no racial stigma attached, no lingering racist Reconstruction Era cultural stereotypes about lazy blacks and watermelons.
    Calm down and breathe is what I told myself as I cleaned up those watermelon rinds. It’s nothing. But generations of toxic cultural indoctrination do not die easily and even now, weeks later, I’m still trying to get over it and my suspicions about some of my expat neighbors, many of whom like me are from the United States and travel around the world towing their own racial baggage as white Americans.
    This is what racism does to you. It scars you and dehumanizes us all. It makes us mistrust one another. And if you don’t fight it every day, the hate will defeat you.
    And this is exactly why a trailblazing woman like Michelle Obama is so inspiring. As the nation’s first black First Lady, Michelle was the object of equal parts adulation and scorn for eight years. And she still is. Recently, she spoke at a women’s empowerment conference in Colorado. She told the crowd that the racism she faced as First Lady was extremely painful, specifically one incident where a woman called her “an ape in heels.”
    That remark cut as it was intended, she said. But Michelle urges us to acknowledge our pain, work to heal our wounds and hold on to our power at the same time.
    “Women, we endure those cuts in so many ways that we don’t even notice we’re cut,” she said. “We are living with small tiny cuts, and we are bleeding every single day. And we’re still getting up.”
    She knows the path is not easy. The moment the Obamas stepped onto the national stage it was apparent that America just couldn’t resist the ugly racial jabs, whether done in jest or with malice. And it’s not just Twitter-crazed private citizens who’ve attacked.
    Media outlets — liberal and conservative — have helped instigate this hate. Fox News anchors took to calling Michelle, “Obama’s baby mama.” Impossible to imagine Barbara Bush or Melania Trump ever being denigrated in this way.
    And back in 2008, a New Yorker magazine cover depicted Michelle as a machine-gun toting, afro-wearing terrorist standing with Barack dressed in Muslim attire.

      Defining racial moments in Obama’s presidency

    The two were celebrating with a fist-bump standing beside a portrait of Osama bin Laden. As if black folks winning the White House was more horrifying than terrorists taking over our nation. The magazine called it satire, humor meant to make a mockery of all the racist stereotypes aimed at the Obamas. No black people I knew were laughing, though. We weren’t liberal enough to get that joke.
    The First Lady would have to be made of stone not to be hurt by these attacks. But she is not sidetracked. She has used her platform to improve the lives of girls, military families and young people around the world.
    In 2010, she launched Let’s Move!, a project to fight childhood obesity by making school lunch programs healthier, encouraging exercise and promoting community gardening. Her Joining Forces project, launched with Jill Biden, supports veterans and their families with mental health, education and employment services.
    Her Reach Higher Initiative helps students to expand their educational horizons beyond high school. And just two years ago, Michelle and President Obama together started the Let Girls Learn, a federal program that helps educate girls around the globe. (President Trump has already talked of eliminating some of Michelle’s programs.)
    Michelle understands that these days it’s easy for young people, for all of us, to get discouraged by life — especially people who look like her. And that our problems are much larger than name-calling or racist cartoons.
    According to the Washington Post database on police shootings, as of July 2017, 122 black and 90 Hispanics people have been killed by police this year. Yearly totals for 2016 were 233 blacks and 160 Hispanics killed, and, in 2015, 258 blacks and 172 Hispanics.
    Still, like the former First Lady, I believe we have the power change lives. Michelle’s refusal to let her humanity be stripped down by hatred is really the only hope for all of us. Because literally the chronic stress of racism is cutting our lives short.
    For years, psychologists have known the stress of racism — both perceived and real — is the cause of shorter lifespans in communities of color. African Americans, Native Hawaiians and Latin Americans have been impacted greatly by hypertension and diabetes due, in part, to chronic stress resulting from discrimination, according to the American Psychological Association.
    And Psychoneuroendocrinology journal published a 2015 study that showed how merely feeling like we’ve been discriminated against or thinking that we will be in the future is enough to trigger chronic stress ailments including high blood pressure, infant mortality, heart disease and mental disorders.

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    I need look no further than my own family over the past three generations. Black women and men stood strong because they were never allowed to be weak. I’ve watched my relatives sacrifice their mental and physical health, internalizing their pain day after day. Those sacrifices cannot be in vain. But it’s time we found a better way to manage our pain. We can practice self-care and still fight passionately for the full equality that has forever evaded us.
    Michelle’s ability to continuously rise above hate, to speak with love and compassion for all people is her true power — it is not her Harvard degree, her title or her husband. She has found a way to acknowledge her pain without sacrificing her dignity or robbing others of their own.
    She inspires me to join her on this journey.

    Read more: http://www.cnn.com/2017/07/30/opinions/michelle-obama-overcoming-racism-opinion-jones/index.html


    Drinking a few times a week ‘reduces diabetes risk’ – BBC News

    Image copyright Getty Images
    Image caption Raising a glass to the findings of the Danish study?

    People who drink three to four times a week are less likely to develop type 2 diabetes than those who never drink, Danish researchers suggest.

    Wine appears to be particularly beneficial, probably as it plays a role in helping to manage blood sugar, the study, published in Diabetologia, says.

    They surveyed more than 70,000 people on their alcohol intake – how much and how often they drank.

    But experts said this wasn’t a “green light” to drink more than recommended.

    And Public Health England warned that consuming alcohol contributed to a vast number of other serious diseases, including some cancers, heart and liver disease.

    “People should keep this in mind when thinking about how much they drink,” a spokeswoman said.

    ‘Better effect’

    Prof Janne Tolstrup, from the National Institute of Public Health of the University of Southern Denmark, who led the research, said: “We found that drinking frequency has an independent effect from the amount of alcohol taken.

    “We can see it’s a better effect to drink the alcohol in four portions rather than all at once.”

    After around five years, study participants were followed up and a total of 859 men and 887 women group had developed diabetes – either type 1 or the more common type 2.

    The researchers concluded that drinking moderately three to four times a week reduced a woman’s risk of diabetes by 32% while it lowered a man’s by 27%, compared with people drinking on less than one day a week.

    Image copyright Getty Images
    Image caption Red wine is thought to help with the management of blood sugar

    Findings also suggest that not all types of alcohol had the same effect.

    Wine appeared to be particularly beneficial because polyphenols, particularly in red wine, play a role in helping to manage blood sugar.

    When it came to drinking beer, men having one to six beers a week lowered their risk of diabetes by 21%, compared to men who drank less than one beer a week – but there was no impact on women’s risk.

    Meanwhile, a high intake of spirits among women seemed to significantly increase their risk of diabetes – but there was no effect in men.

    Unlike other studies, this research did not find a link between binge drinking and diabetes.

    Prof Tolstrup said this could be down to the small number of participants that reported binge drinking, which was defined as drinking five drinks or more on one occasion.

    Dr Emily Burns, head of research communications at Diabetes UK, said people needed to be wary as “the impact of regular alcohol consumption on the risk of type 2 will be different from one person to the next”.

    While the findings were interesting she said they “wouldn’t recommend people see them as a green light to drink in excess of the existing NHS guidelines”.

    That advice suggests that men and women should drink no more than 14 units of alcohol a week – equivalent to six pints of average strength beer or 10 small glasses of low strength wine – over the course of three days or more, with some days being alcohol-free.

    ‘Not helpful’

    Rosanna O’Connor, director of drugs, alcohol and tobacco at Public Health England, said: “It is not helpful to talk about the effect of alcohol consumption on diabetes alone.

    “Consuming alcohol contributes to a vast number of other serious diseases, including some cancers, heart disease and liver disease, so people should keep this in mind when thinking about how much they drink.”

    Prof Tolstrup and her team have used the same survey to research the effect of alcohol on other conditions.

    They found that drinking moderately a few times a week was linked to a lower risk of cardiovascular disorders, such as heart attack and stroke.

    But consuming any amount of alcohol increased the risk of developing gastrointestinal diseases, such as alcohol liver disease and pancreatitis.

    Prof Tolstrup added: “Alcohol is associated with 50 different conditions, so we’re not saying ‘go ahead and drink alcohol’.”

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    Read more: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-40740247