Eating monounsaturated fats boosts heart health

Nutritional Health
We've actually known this fact for sometime. In fact, monounsaturated fats are one of the reasons the Mediterranean Diet is so healthful. Which just shows that the success of a low-cholesterol diet can actually be improved by adding monounsaturated fat, which are commonly found in nuts, seeds, avocados, and oils such as olive oil, canola oil, and sunflower oil. And, now some new research is backing these facts. Here are the details from USA Today: In the study, researchers randomly assigned 17 men and seven postmenopausal women with mild to moderate elevated cholesterol levels to either a high-monounsaturated fat diet or a low one. Both groups consumed a vegetarian diet that included oats, barley, psyllium, eggplant, okra, soy, almonds and a plant sterol-enriched margarine. In the high group, the researchers…
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Should smokers get a screening CT scan?

Cancer
With the news that CT scans — or computerized tomography — can prevent lung cancer deaths, smokers and ex-smokers may wonder whether they should ask for a screening. USA TODAY did a nice job in asking experts for their advice: Q: How could a lung cancer screening help save lives? A: Like a mammogram, CT scans can find tumors when they're small and potentially curable, says the National Cancer Institute (NCI), which funded the $250 million study. Today, most lung cancers aren't found until people develop symptoms, such as a coughing or shortness of breath. At that point, the cancers are usually incurable. Q: Should everyone get a lung cancer screening? A: No. There is a risk of harm associated with the scans, so a patient's benefits must outweigh the…
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New Guidelines for Antidepressants

Men's Health
New guidelines say to select antidepressants based on side effects, other medical conditions, drug interactions, and cost ... because they're all similarly effective. This means the best bets for initial therapy are usually an SSRI, SNRI, bupropion, or mirtazapine ... along with appropriate counseling. Here are details from the experts at Prescribers’ Letter: Prescribing Antidepressants based upon Side effects: The new guidelines recommend prescribers take advantage of side effects when possible. For patients with insomnia, we prescribers should use a MORE sedating antidepressant, such as paroxetine or mirtazapine. For patients with fatigue or sleepiness we should use a LESS sedating drug, such as fluoxetine, bupropion, or venlafaxine For those who have sexual side effects on an antidepressant, we should try bupropion. For those who want to minimize weight gain on an…
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