Review Category : Health

Five Cheerios Varieties to Go Gluten-Free This Summer

Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — General Mills announced on Thursday that five of its Cheerios products will go gluten-free come July.

Original, Honey Nut, Multi-Grain, Apple Cinnamon and Frosted Cheerios will all be available in gluten-free formulas this summer, the company announced. Only the multi-grain variety requires a reformulation, as that flavor contains wheat and barley. Those ingredients will be replaced with sorghum and millet.

“We know there are many customers — as much as 30 percent in the U.S. — who avoid gluten,” President of General Mills’ Cereal Division Jim Murphy said, according to the company’s website. The company explained that it has developed a way to sort out the small amounts of wheat, rye and barley that are inadvertently introduced at the farms where the oats used in the cereal were grown.

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New Chocolates Promise to Help With PMS Symptoms

Courtesy Tania Green(NEW YORK) — Even women with the strictest discipline can fall prey to the prime peril of PMS: chocolate.

Tania Green, 29, was one of those women. After tracking her moods daily for three years as a New Year’s resolution to be more mindful, she noticed a pattern — nearly all her bad moods fell on PMS days. And that on those days, she kept reaching for sugary treats.

“I live in the Little Italy of Boston, so there are tons of brownies and cookies and tempting things around. I like to stay fit, so I’m usually good, but around that time, I have intense cravings, so it’s hard to resist,” Green told ABC News.

To keep away from the really unhealthy treats, Green started experimenting in the kitchen to create a healthier alternative, which is how “PMS Bites,” her new company now on Kickstarter, was born.

The recipe for these date chocolate balls isn’t novel — similar versions are popular on vegan blogs and Pinterest — but Green added herbs to her recipe that she said studies have shown are proven to reduce PMS symptoms.

“There’s dandelion root, which helps with bloating, Siberian ginseng, which helps with irritability and chamomile, which helps you relax and unwind,” she explained. “I’m not sitting here, though, claiming this is going to end your PMS symptoms. What I’m claiming is it’s a healthy alternative to a Snickers bar or a dessert filled with sugar and no nutritional value whatsoever.”

The balls, which are gluten-free, all-natural and vegan, are made with dates, cocoa powder, almond butter, coconut oil and brown rice syrup and come in three flavors. The “Plain Crazy” is a chocolate bite made with premium fair-trade cocoa powder and hearty oats and coated with cocoa powder and coconut palm sugar. Green describes it as a cross between a chocolate truffle and brownie batter. The two flavor variations – “Coco-nutty” and “All Kinds of Nuts” — are the same bite, but one is rolled in coconut and the other in pecans.

Once Green settled on the perfect recipe, she developed a business and marketing plan, which led to the Kickstarter that she launched Tuesday morning at 9am with a goal of $5,000, which she surpassed in just 15 hours.

“It’s been awesome to see,” she said. “The messages pour in and just hearing people’s feedback has been great.”

Next up is mass producing the bites and starting her subscription service by the end of April. Women will be able to time delivery with when their PMS is scheduled to start, and six balls a month will be $20.

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London Has a “Fifty Shades of Grey” Problem

Fuse/Thinkstock(LONDON) — The London Fire Brigade has a request: Please think before trying to emulate some of the things you’ve read about or seen in Fifty Shades of Grey.

Ahead of the movie’s release this weekend, the Brigade announced Thursday that its chiefs were “concerned” that the film “could lead to more people being stuck or trapped in objects like handcuffs or rings” because emergency calls about these things have increased since the book was published in 2011.

Officials said that the Fire Brigade responds to at least one “embarrassing incident” a day.

“For example, in November last year firefighters came to the rescue of a man forced to undergo surgery to remove two metal rings that had been stuck on his penis for three days,” the London Fire Brigade said in a statement.

The man went to an emergency room at a London hospital “in the early hours but when doctors found they couldn’t remove the steel rings they called the Brigade. Two firefighters scrubbed up and removed the rings using pedal cutters — a hydraulic handheld piece of cutting equipment,” the Fire Brigade said in its statement.

So they started the “50 Shades of Red” campaign to urge caution.

“The Fifty Shades effect seems to spike handcuff incidents so we hope film goers will use common sense and avoid leaving themselves red faced,” Fire Brigade Officer Dave Brown said in the statement. “I’d like to remind everyone that 999 is an emergency number and should only be used as such. If there’s a genuine emergency, fire crews will of course attend and will be on the scene to help within minutes.”

Britain’s 999 is the equivalent of 911 in the U.S.

ABC News called emergency responders at six major U.S. cities, but those agencies could not determine whether they had experienced a similar Fifty Shades phenomenon.

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Rosie O’Donnell Talks Life After Weight-Loss Surgery

Lou Rocco/ABC(NEW YORK) — Losing weight has been only half the battle for Rosie O’Donnell.

“It’s not like all of a sudden you change and, boom, you lose the weight, everything’s fine, you got on a size 10, life is great. You’re having amazing sex. Nothing is wrong. It doesn’t work that way,” O’Donnell told the Dr. Oz Show airing Friday. “So all of the stuff that you carry with you as a heavy person in the world will still be there when you’re a thin person in the world.”

O’Donnell opened up to host Dr. Mehmet Oz about her life after weight-loss surgery.

The View co-host said she tried every diet imaginable, including one followed by former President Bill Clinton.

“I went to the Internet and I looked up where Bill Clinton did that weird diet and I went on that diet. Basically, impossible, in my opinion, but I did that diet for a couple months,” she said. “I went vegan for a couple months. I just couldn’t do it.”

Finally, after having a heart attack and nearly dying, she settled on gastric-bypass surgery despite her reservations.

“I had thought about gastric bypass before, but I was always concerned about some of the side effects,” she said, confessing that her biggest fear was of “dumping,” in which solid parts of a meal get “dumped” directly from the stomach into the small intestine without being digested.

“It was terrifying to me, who has a mild phobia of pee or poop in public,” she said. “That’s me! I can hold it all day, haven’t gone since 6 a.m. Don’t worry I won’t wet the seat!”

Having lost more than 50 pounds, O’Donnell doesn’t yet think of herself as beautiful.

“No, but I like when my kids tell me I am. I don’t think that, but I think that I’m working on that,” she told Dr. Oz.

O’Donnell is also making some big changes in her life. This week will be her last on The View and she is splitting from her wife of more than two years, Michelle Rounds.

In a video posted Monday, the 52-year-old comedian said, “The truth is, I had a heart attack two years ago and stress is very bad for a heart attack survivors.”

Her goal now is to cut down stress and maximize her well-being.

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Former Smokers Now Craving Nicorette Lozenges

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — If you’ve noticed others acting more fidgety around you lately, it could be that they’re itching for a Nicorette lozenge fix.

The popular smoking-cessation product has been off the market since last year because of apparent quality control problems.

Nicorette maker GlaxoSmithKline not only stopped making them, but the lozenges were also recalled from warehouses and distributors. Basically, retailers sold them until all the shelves emptied.

Many former smokers who swear by the lozenges say Nicorette chewing gum is not the same. They apparently like the way the lozenge gets rolled around in the mouth while providing users with 25 percent more nicotine than cigarettes.

Meanwhile, GlaxoSmithKline can’t say when it will resume production, making lozenge lovers even more anxious.
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A Broken Heart Can Feel Like a Heart Attack

iStock/Thinkstock(CHICAGO) — Doctors have figured out what becomes of the broken-hearted or at least some of them: the lovelorn think they’re suffering a heart attack.

While most people who get dumped persevere, there are those who suffer physical pain so profound that they actually experience chest pains and shortness of breath.

Loyola University Health System cardiologist Sara Sirna say that broken heart syndrome is real and usually follows a traumatic event such death, divorce, a serious medical diagnosis or a financial calamity.

Meanwhile, the typical broken heart syndrome patient is generally over 50 and most often a woman.

Sirna says the good news is that this condition is “usually is reversible, with no long-lasting effects on the heart muscle.”

But doctors advise people not to take chances. If it feels like a heart attack, it could very well be one so there should be no delay in calling 911.

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Naps Really Do Have Health Benefits

iStock/Thinkstock(PARIS) — Boys will be boys and men will be men but neither does well on just two hours of sleep a night. That is, unless, they can sneak in a short nap or two at some point.

Researchers at the University of Paris Descartes had 11 healthy men between the ages of 25-and-32 sleep two hours one night without naps and then two hours another night with two 30-minutes naps the following day.

The results were that after the men napped, there was no destabilization of hormones that help them deal with stress. Without naps, they all experienced a boost in norepinephrine, which drives up heart rate, blood pressure and blood sugar.

Another important finding was that after naps, the men produced normal levels of a protein with anti-viral properties that improves the immune system. Minus the naps, levels of this protein dropped, which weakens the immune system.

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Smoking Worse Than We Thought?

JanelleAnn/iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -– It’s known that smokers have a two to three times higher rate of death than non-smokers, but new research suggests doctors may have been lowballing the number of people killed by tobacco.

The new data, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, shows that doctors have been off in yearly reporting by about 25,000 people.

The surgeon general already formally links 21 diseases with smoking, but these diseases do not appear to account for all the deaths believed to be due to smoking.

Several diseases newly linked to smoking cause nearly 20 percent more deaths in smokers, according to the new study.

After reviewing data on nearly 1 million Americans, researchers found increased rates of infections, various cancers, kidney and liver disease, all conditions not previously linked to smoking.

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Troubling Ties Between Public Health and Sugar-Peddling Companies

rez-art/iStock/Thinkstock(LONDON) — If the public health sector had to describe its relationship with major players in the sugar industry on Facebook, it would probably be, “It’s complicated.”

A new investigation in the U.K., published in the BMJ, shows worrisome connections between organizations meant to serve the health interests of the public and major food companies marketing heavily sugared items such as Coca-Cola, Pepsi-co, Mars, and Nestle.

These connections take the form of millions in research funding to public health researchers from food companies, food company representatives on the boards of major public health organizations, and more.

Also concerning in the study were policy statements released by industry groups, in which they state a commitment to “protection and promotion of sucrose consumption” through research and sitting on dietary advisory committees.

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Commuters Exposed to Measles on San Francisco Transit System

cosmonaut/iStock Editorial/Thinkstock(SAN FRANCISCO) — Officials in Northern California said on Wednesday that commuters across the Bay Area may have been exposed to measles, after an infected person rode the Bay Area Rapid Transit system.

The Contra Costa County Department of Health said a person with measles rode BART between the Lafayette station in the East Bay and the Montgomery station in San Francisco while infected.

The person traveled between the two stations during the morning and evening commutes, from 6 a.m. to 8 a.m. and from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. between Feb. 4 and Feb. 6. Health officials say the person rode on the transit system before being diagnosed.

“Measles is circulating in the Bay Area and we don’t know yet where this person was exposed,” said Erika Jenssen, Communicable Disease Program Chief with Contra Costa Public Health.

“The ongoing measles outbreak in California highlights the need for people to be vaccinated, and this is just another example of how interconnected our region is and how important it is for everyone to be up to date on their immunizations,” Jenssen added.

Health officials said the risk of being exposed to measles on BART is low, but since the measles virus can stay in the air for up to two hours and BART cars circulate throughout the Bay Area, anyone who used the transit system during that time could have been potentially exposed to the virus.

Health officials urge anyone who shows symptoms of measles to contact their healthcare provider immediately.

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