The Gratitude Antidote

General Health, Mental Health
There are many ways to develop a positive attitude, but one easy way to begin is with the habit of giving thanks. Here's an excerpt on what I call "the gratitude antidote" from my book, 10 Essentials of Happy, Healthy People: Becoming and staying highly healthy. (more…)
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Study says smoking marijuana may have long-lasting effects on brain development

Alternative Medicine, Children's Health, Mental Health, Parenting
USA Today reported, "Teenagers respond differently to drugs than adults, and early use may lead to long-lasting effects on brain development, according to new research." Staci Gruber, of Harvard Medical School, presented the study "at the Society for Neuroscience meeting, in San Diego," noting "people who start using marijuana at a young age have more cognitive shortfalls." Gruber "evaluated 29 non-smokers and 35 chronic marijuana smokers," and said she found that "while the smokers performed tasks quickly, they did not learn from their errors when corrected -- a hallmark that the part of the brain that governs executive function is impaired." Notably, "functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) backed that up." Data from the National Institute on Drug Abuse show that "marijuana is the most commonly used illegal drug in the…
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“Vaccines cause autism” theory now suspected to be fraud

Bioethics, Children's Health, Medical Economics, Parenting
In a recent blogs I've told you, "Autism and Childhood Vaccinations: The Myth is Finally Debunked" and "U.K. bans doctor who linked autism to MMR vaccine." But, even I was shocked when, while watching ABC World News last night, I saw a report suggesting, that the vaccine-autism link now appears to have been a deliberate fraud. Not only have untold children have been harmed because of this alleged fraud -- but autism research has actually been set back. My hope is that criminal charges will soon follow. Here are the details: ABC World News reported reported that many parents "know that vaccines protection their children from serious illness. But many still fear that the vaccines might cause autism because of all of the reports through the years." Now, there is…
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Probiotics may ease kids’ belly aches (especially IBS)

Children's Health, Parenting
In a past blog about probiotics, I told you, "Friendly Bacteria (Probiotics) Help Calm Colicky Babies and May Help Constipated Babies." Now, an Italian study is suggesting that a daily dose of "friendly bacteria" (probiotics) could provide relief for kids suffering from the cruel pain of a CHRONIC tummy ache. Here are the details from a report in Reuters Health: Yet little evidence exists to date for helpful medications or dietary changes, Dr. Ruggiero Francavilla of the University of Bari, in Italy, told Reuters Health in an e-mail. Given recent research hinting at the therapeutic value of probiotics for adults with stomach problems, particularly a condition known as irritable bowel syndrome that can cause pain and abnormal bowel movements, Francavilla and his team wanted to see if good bacteria might benefit…
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Two-week course of antibiotic may benefit patients with IBS (irritable bowel syndrome)

Health Headlines, Medical Economics
In the category of a study that will change my practice in the area of giving patients with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) another treatment option, is a study discussed in a Los Angeles Times report that says, "A two-week treatment with an antibiotic" manufactured by Salix Pharmaceuticals "can ease overall symptoms in many patients with irritable bowel syndrome for at least 10 weeks and perhaps for much longer, according to a pair of clinical trials of more than 1,200 patients." The paper appearing in the New England Journal of Medicine reveals that the "proportion of patients who benefited -- about 11% -- was modest, but the fact that any at all were helped validated the idea that intestinal bacteria play a role in the onset of irritable bowel syndrome, commonly…
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Less Than 25% of Valerian Herbal Sleep Supplements Pass Tests For Quality

Alternative Medicine, Mental Health
Long-time readers of this blog know of my admiration for ConsumerLab.com, a leading provider of consumer information and independent evaluations of natural medications (herbs, vitamins and supplements). In fact, I use their findings almost daily in my practice to recommend natural medications to my patients. In its most recent evaluation of a natural medication, valerian, ConsumerLab found that MOST of the valerian herbal supplements tested contained less of the herb than expected and/or were contaminated with lead. Valerian is a popular herbal sleep aid used by approximately 6% of the U.S. population. Valerian accounted for $68 million in sales in the U.S. in 2009, up 10% from the prior year, according to Nutrition Business Journal. Among nine leading and best-selling products selected by ConsumerLab.com for review, only TWO passed testing.…
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9 Food Additives That May Affect ADHD

Children's Health, Mental Health, Nutritional Health, Parenting
In my book on ADHD, Why ADHD Doesn't Mean Disaster ... On sale now in both softcover and hardcover ... I say this about the association between food additives and ADHD: Dr. Ben Feingold first popularized the idea in his 1985 book, Why Your Child Is Hyperactive, that food additives caused ADHD. However, multiple medical studies since then indicate that the likelihood of these substances playing a role in ADHD is very, very low. Although food dyes or preservatives may affect some children, it is at most a very small percentage and a very small effect. Nevertheless, I also wrote this: While it is highly unlikely that ADHD is either caused or worsened by junk foods, there are plenty of other health reasons to restrict these foods at least on normal days. And, I…
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Celebrities With Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

Children's Health, Mental Health, Parenting
Writing the book Why ADHD Doesn't Mean Disaster brought me much joy. In the book I emphasize that people with ADHD are usually quite gifted, but as kids need to be parented in a special way. Kids with ADHD are very valuable but fragile gifts that must be unwrapped and cared for with special skills. (BTW, the book is now on clearance sale here for the softcover [$1.99] and here for the hardcover [$3.99]). I've found as I care for kids with ADHD, it's helpful for them to learn of celebrities who have ADHD. Here is a nice article of celebrities with ADHD from Health.com: Up to 10 million American adults have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)—also commonly referred to as ADD—so it's no surprise that some of America's most…
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Fast-food restaurants target U.S. kids, study shows

Children's Health, Obesity, Parenting
Fast-food restaurants are stepping up efforts to market themselves and unhealthy food products to children and toddlers with television ads, websites, and even their own menus, researchers have found. They're saying efforts by the industry to regulate itself have failed and are urging government officials at all levels to declare children a protected group and stop marketing efforts that are fueling child obesity, a serious U.S. health problem. Here are more details from Reuters Health: "What we found in the marketing data is a staggering amount of fast-food advertising that starts when children are as young as 2 years old," Jennifer Harris, of the Yale University Rudd Center for Food Policy & Obesity in Connecticut, told a telephone briefing. Harris and colleagues spent a year studying 12 big fast-food chains, analyzed…
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Timely Reminder: Adults urged to get vaccinated against flu and pertussis

Children's Health, Men's Health, Parenting, Woman's Health
USA Today serves up a timely reminder for us adults:  "Although the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends flu shots for everyone over six months old, only a third of Americans in this age group received one in 2009," and "even fewer adults are vaccinated against whooping cough." But, in light of California's current battle against "its largest whooping cough outbreak in more than 60 years, health officials are urging adults to get vaccinated as a way protect babies and other vulnerable patients." Indeed, "while whooping cough may be nothing more than a nuisance for an adult, it is a 'tragedy' for babies, who have no natural immunity against it and whose tiny airways make them especially vulnerable to respiratory bugs." Make an appointment today with your family physician…
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National Cancer Institute Should Tell Women of Abortion-Breast Cancer Link

Bioethics, Cancer, Woman's Health
Breast Cancer Surgeon Explains How Abortion Elevates Risk for Women For years the National Cancer Institute (NCI) has denied a link between abortion and breast cancer.  But NCI may soon have to apologize to the women it has misled—because one of its own researchers is starting to acknowledge the link. Here are the details from my friend, attorney Bill Saunders: In the last 18 months alone, five studies have demonstrated an increased risk of breast cancer following abortion.  One of those studies, co-authored by Louise Briton, a NCI branch chief, found a statistically significant 40 percent increased risk of breast cancer following abortion.[1] The study also acknowledged that its findings were “consistent with the effects observed in previous studies on younger women.  Specifically, older age, family history of breast cancer,…
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Larimore Family Newsletter – January 2011

General Health
Here are the contents of our Family Newsletter: Family Update Broadcast Update FamilyTalk Programs on Immunizations to air this month Publication Update Lintball Leo keeps on going – and, now on SALE! The Influenza Bomb keeps getting nice reviews A New Review for His Brain, Her Brain Events of the last month Upcoming Events Family Update It’s New Year’s Day, and we’re planning to watch the Rose Bowl Parade, the HGTV Dream Home Special, and some football. This evening, like last night, will be enjoying food and friends in front of a crackling fire – which is appropriate, as we’ve just had our first major snowfall. It’s f-f-f-freezing outside today! We’ve had a wonderful month at home and I’ve so enjoyed being able to work on two writing projects: (1)…
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