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Home-cooked One Soup and Three Dishes Chinese Dinner

Chuckles of the Day

Chuckles of the Day




The Silent Treatment

A man and his wife were having some problems at home and were giving each other the silent treatment.

Suddenly, the man realized that the next day he would need his wife to wake him at 5:00 AM for an early- morning business flight. Not wanting to be the first to break the silence (and LOSE), he wrote on a piece of paper, “Please wake me at 5:00 AM.” He left it where he knew she would find it.

The next morning, the man woke up, only to discover it was 9:00 AM and he had missed his flight.

Furious, he was about to go and see why his wife hadn’t wakened him, when he noticed a piece of paper by the bed.

The paper said, “It is 5:00 AM. Wake up.”

(P.S. Men are not equipped for these kinds of contests.)

* * * * * * *

A Stone to Remember

A woman’s husband dies. He had $20,000 to his name. After everything is done at the funeral home and cemetery, she tells her closest friend that there is no money left.

The friend says, “How can that be? You told me he had $20,000 a few days before he died. How in the world could you be broke already?”

The widow says, “Well, the funeral cost me $6,500. And of course, I had to make the obligatory donation for the church and the organist and all. That was $500 and I spent another $500 for the wake, food and drinks, you know. The rest went for the memorial stone.”

The friend says, “$12,500 for the memorial stone? My God, how big is it?”

The widow holds up her hand, saying, “Only three carats…”




Could High-Dose Fish Oil Raise Odds for Atrial Fibrillation in Heart Patients?

Amy Norton wrote . . . . . . . . .

Many people take fish oil to protect their heart, but a new study suggests that prescription versions may raise the risk of a common heart rhythm disorder.

At issue are prescription-strength omega-3 fatty acids, which are naturally found in fish oil. The medications are often prescribed to people with very high triglycerides, a type of blood fat linked to increased risk of heart attack and stroke.

According to the American Heart Association, prescription omega-3s can lower triglycerides by 20% to 30% in most people.

But the medications are also controversial, because their ultimate benefits for the heart are unclear.

Now the new study — an analysis of five past clinical trials — suggests caution is in order. Overall, trial patients given omega-3s were over one-third more likely to develop atrial fibrillation (a-fib) than those given a placebo. The fish oil doses taken ranged from 0.84 grams to 4 grams per day.

A-fib is a common heart rhythm disorder, or arrhythmia, in which the heart’s upper chambers begin to quiver chaotically instead of contracting effectively.

A-fib is not immediately life-threatening, but it’s “not benign,” either, said Dave Dixon, one of the researchers on the study and an associate professor at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU), in Richmond.

Over time, Dixon said, a-fib can lead to complications like heart failure or stroke.

Exactly how prescription-strength omega-3 could contribute to a-fib is unclear, according to Dixon.

However, the increased risk was fairly consistent across the trials — more consistent, in fact, than heart benefits were, said co-researcher Salvatore Carbone, an assistant professor at VCU.

In all five trials, there were more a-fib cases among omega-3 patients than placebo patients, though the difference in risk was not statistically significant in all studies.

But when the researchers pooled the results of all five trials, there was a clear result: Omega-3 patients were 37% more likely to develop a-fib than placebo patients were.

In contrast, only one trial showed that an omega-3 product could cut the risks of other heart conditions.

In that trial, dubbed REDUCE-IT, patients using a product called Vascepa (icosapent ethyl) saw their risk of “cardiovascular events” drop by 25%. That included heart attack, stroke and death from cardiovascular causes.

Even in that study, though, a-fib risk rose among omega-3 users, by 35%.

Why has only one trial found heart benefits? Again, it’s not yet clear, Dixon said.

But, he added, Vascepa is different from the fish oil products tested in the other trials. It contains only one omega-3, called EPA, while the other products contain a combination of EPA and DHA.

And in the REDUCE-IT trial, Dixon said, higher levels of EPA in patients’ blood correlated to lower cardiovascular risks.

That hints, he said, that focusing on EPA might be “the way to go in the future.” But the conflicting findings on the benefits of omega-3s — along with the potential risk of a-fib — highlight the need for more studies, the researchers said.

The analysis was published in the European Heart Journal — Cardiovascular Pharmacotherapy.

Findings on the heart benefits of fish oil have indeed been “inconsistent,” said Linda Van Horn, a member of the heart association’s nutrition committee and a professor at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, in Chicago.

And that includes low-dose, over-the-counter fish oil supplements.

“There are limited and inconsistent data regarding the benefit or risk of taking fish oil supplements,” Van Horn said.

So the heart association recommends eating two servings of fish a week instead. Van Horn said that fatty fish, such as salmon, trout, albacore tuna and herring, are the best sources of omega-3s.

The trials in the current analysis tested prescription-strength omega-3s. But Carbone said he would be cautious about over-the-counter fish oil supplements, too.

“We don’t know if over-the-counter products could have these same effects,” he said.

Over-the-counter fish oil is considered a dietary supplement, so it is not regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration as a drug would be, Dixon pointed out.

Both he and Carbone said it’s best to talk to a doctor or pharmacist before starting any fish oil product — and that people on prescription omega-3s should speak with their doctor before stopping.

Source: HealthDay

World Food Price Continues to Rise in April, 2021

Source : United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization’s

Women Face Unique Risks for High Blood Pressure and Stroke

Women have a lot on their plates, and sometimes important self-care can take a back seat to work, family and other obligations. In fact, nearly 50% of adult women have high blood pressure, and nearly three-quarters of those with high blood pressure don’t have it under control. Uncontrolled high blood pressure can significantly increase a woman’s risk for a stroke, but a few important steps can help reduce that risk and give women (and their loved ones) one less thing to worry about.

“High blood pressure is a leading cause of stroke and we know that 1 in 5 women will have a stroke and stroke kills more women than breast cancer,” according to Dr. Monik Jiménez, a volunteer with the American Heart Association / American Stroke Association and associate epidemiologist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and assistant professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

“While high blood pressure isn’t directly linked to gender, different health issues throughout a woman’s life, such as birth control, pregnancy, and menopause, can increase the risk of developing high blood pressure, which can increase the risk of stroke if left uncontrolled,” according to Jiménez.

Doctors and researchers have found a link between birth control pills and an increase in blood pressure among some women. They say that it is more likely to occur in women who are already overweight, have kidney disease or have a family history of high blood pressure. A combination of birth control pills and smoking can be very dangerous to women and is not recommended.

A woman’s health during pregnancy can be a preview of her health in the future. Women who had high blood pressure during pregnancy are at an increased risk for developing high blood pressure and having a stroke later in life.

The physical changes associated with menopause also increase a woman’s risk of developing high blood pressure.

Of note, women of Black and Hispanic ethnicity may develop high blood pressure at a younger age and have a higher average blood pressure than other racial groups, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Fortunately, 80% of strokes may be prevented and lowering high blood pressures reduces stroke risk. Women can measure their blood pressure at home regularly and let their doctors know if it’s normally above 120/80. In addition, lifestyle adjustments such as getting enough exercise, eating healthfully, maintaining a healthy weight, and not smoking can go a long way to reduce women’s disease risk from high blood pressure.

Source: American Heart Association