31 Mar 2010 Leave a comment
Like their better known chemical cousins, the carotenes, flavonoids are plant pigments, creating a rainbow of colors. In addition, many flavonoids and carotenes function as antioxidants and protect plants from damaging free radicals. The big difference is that flavonoids are water soluble, whereas carotenes are oil soluble.
The flavonoids were first isolated in the 1930s by Albert Szent-Gyorgyi, Ph.D., the Nobel laureate who discovered vitamin C. Szent-Gyorgyi found that flavonoids strengthened capillary walls in ways vitamin C could not and, at first, they were referred to as vitamin P. But the chemical diversity of flavonoids precludes their classification as a single vitamin.
The major dietary sources of flavonoids include fruit and fruit products, tea, and soy. Studies have found that the flavonoids in these foods protect against heart disease and cancer.
The Benefits of Soy
The flavonoids in soybeans have also been attracting attention. In a recent analysis of 730 people and 38 medical studies, James W. Anderson, M.D., found that flavonoid-containing soy protein can dramatically lower blood levels of cholesterol.
Anderson, an endocrinologist and nutritionist at the University of Kentucky, Lexington, found that daily consumption of 47 grams of soy protein-one-tenth of a pound-significantly decreased total cholesterol, the “bad” low-density lipoprotein (LDL) form of cholesterol, and triglycerides.
Overall, substituting soy protein for about one-half of the meat protein in the diet reduced total cholesterol by an average of 9.3 percent, LDL by 12.9 percent, and triglycerides by 10.5 percent. People with very high cholesterol levels-above 335 mg per deciliter of blood-benefitted the most. On average, adding soy to their diet resulted in a 19.6 percent cholesterol reduction, according to Anderson’s article in the New England Journal of Medicine (Aug 3, 1995;333:276-82).
Although the amounts of soy protein consumed varied in the 38 studies, Anderson estimated that 25 grams daily would probably reduce blood cholesterol levels by an average of 8.9 percent and 50 grams by 17.4 percent.
According to Anderson, it would be very easy for people to increase their soy consumption. An 8-ounce glass of soy milk contains 4 to 10 grams of soy protein, 4 ounces of tofu contain 8 to 13 grams of soy protein, and a soy hamburger or hotdog contains about 18 grams of soy protein. Drinking two glasses of soy milk (instead of regular milk) and eating one soy burger daily would provide approximately 30 grams of soy protein.
28 Mar 2010 Leave a comment
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Public Law 11-148)
It is a federal Statute that was signed into law in the United States by President Barack Obama on March 23, 2010.
Along with the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010 (passed March 25), the Act is a product of the health care reform agenda of the Democratic 111th Congress and the Obama administration.
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act passed the Senate on December 24, 2009, by a vote of 60–39 with all Democrats and Independents voting for, and all Republicans voting against. It passed the House of Representatives on March 21, 2010, by a vote of 219–212, with all 178 Republicans and 34 Democrats voting against the bill. At the time of the vote, there were four vacancies in the House.
The bill was originally drafted by the Senate as an alternative to the Affordable Health Care for America Act, which was passed by the House two months earlier on November 7. However, after the Democrats lost their supermajority in the Senate on January 19, 2010, the House decided to pass the Senate version and amend it with a third bill. The Senate then passed a version of the third bill, amended to avoid application of the Byrd Rule, via the simple-majority reconciliation process. The amended third bill was then sent back to the House, where it passed.
day, Republicans introduced legislation to repeal the bill. Obama signed the bill into law on March 23, 2010.
H.R. 3590 is divided into 10 titles.
The bill contains provisions that will go into effect immediately, on June 21, 2010 (90 days after enactment); on September 23, 2010 (six months after enactment); and provisions that will go into effect in 2014. For simplicity, the amendments in the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010 are integrated into this timeline.
Below are some of the key provisions of the bill:
 Effective at enactment
The Food and Drug Administration is authorized to approve generic versions of biologic drugs and grant biologics manufacturers 12 years of exclusive use before generics can be developed.
The Medicare Improvement Fund is eliminated.
The Medicaid drug rebate for brand name drugs is increased to 23.1% (except the rebate for clotting factors and drugs approved exclusively for pediatric use increases to 17.1%), and the rebate is extended to Medicaid managed care plans; the Medicaid rebate for non-innovator, multiple source drugs is increased to 13% of average manufacturer price.
Federal Coordinating Council for Comparative Effectiveness Research that was founded under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act is eliminated.
Creation of task forces on Preventive Services and Community Preventive Services to develop, update, and disseminate evidenced-based recommendations on the use of clinical and community prevention services.
The Indian Health Care Improvement Act is reauthorized and amended.
 Effective June 21, 2010Adults with pre-existing conditions will be eligible to join a temporary high-risk pool, which will be superseded by the health care exchange in 2014.
 Effective September 23, 2010
This list is incomplete; you can help by expanding it.
Children will be permitted to remain on their parents’ insurance plan until their 26th birthday.
Insurers are prohibited from charging co-payments or deductibles for preventive care and medical screenings on all new insurance plans.
Individuals affected by the Medicare Part D coverage gap will receive a $250 rebate, and 50% of the gap will be eliminated in 2011. The gap will be eliminated by 2020.
Insurers’ abilities to enforce annual spending caps will be restricted, and completely prohibited by 2014.
Insurers are prohibited from dropping policyholders when they get sick.
Insurers are required to reveal details about administrative and executive expenditures.
Insurers are required to implement an appeals process for coverage determination and claims on all new plans.
Indoor tanning services are subjected to a 10% service tax.
Enhanced methods of fraud detection are implemented. 
Medicare is expanded to small, rural hospitals and facilities.
Non-profit Blue Cross insurers are required to maintain a loss ratio (money spent on procedures over money incoming) of 85% or higher to take advantage of IRS tax benefits.
Companies which provide early retiree benefits for individuals aged 55-64 are eligible to participate in a temporary program which reduces premium costs.
A new website installed by the Secretary of Health and Human Services will provide consumer insurance information for individuals and small businesses in all states.
A temporary credit program is established to encourage private investment in new therapies for disease treatment and prevention.
 Effective by January 1, 2011Insurers will be required to spend 85% of large-group and 80% of small-group plan premiums (with certain adjustments) on health care or to improve health-care quality, or return the difference to the customer as a rebate.
 Effective by January 1, 2014
This list is incomplete; you can help by expanding it.
All insurers are fully prohibited from discriminating against or charging higher rates for any individuals based on pre-existing medical conditions.
All insurers are fully prohibited from establishing annual spending caps.
Expand Medicaid eligibility; individuals with income up to 133% of the poverty line qualify for coverage.
Offer tax credits to small businesses who have fewer than 25 employees and provide health care benefits for them.
Impose a $2000 per employee tax penalty on employers with over 50 employees who do not offer health insurance to their full-time workers (as amended by the reconciliation bill). (In 2008, over 95% of employers with at least 50 employees offered health insurance.)
Impose an annual $695 fine on individuals who do not obtain health insurance; exemptions to fine in cases of financial hardship or religious beliefs.
Creation of a new voluntary long-term care insurance program; enrollees are provided aid in the event that disabilities or chronic illnesses make it difficult for them to live unassisted at home.
Creation of tax credits for individuals who purchase private insurance policies.
Employed individuals who pay more than 9.5% of their income on health insurance premiums will be permitted to purchase insurance policies from a state-controlled health insurance option.
Pay for new spending, in part, through spending and coverage cuts in Medicare Advantage, slowing the growth of Medicare provider payments, reducing Medicare and Medicaid drug reimbursement rate, cutting other Medicare and Medicaid spending.
Revenue increases from a new $2,500 limit on tax-free contributions to flexible spending accounts (FSAs), which allow for payment of health costs.
Chain restaurants and food vendors with 20 or more locations are required to display the caloric content of their foods on menus, drive-through menus, and vending machines. Additional information, such as saturated fat, carbohydrate, and sodium content, must also be made available upon request.
Establish health insurance exchanges, and subsidization of insurance premiums for individuals with income up to 400% of the poverty line, as well as single adults. According to Congressional Budget Office estimates, in 2014 the income-based premium caps for a “silver” plan would be the following:
Income Premium Cap as a Share of Income Middle of Income Range(a) Annual Enrollee Premium Average Cost-Sharing Subsidy
133–150% of federal poverty level 4–4.7% of income $30,000 $600 $3,300
150–200% of federal poverty level 4.7–6.5% of income $42,000 $2,400 $1,800
200–250% of federal poverty level 6.5–8.4% of income $54,000 $4,000 0
250–300% of federal poverty level 8.4–10.2% of income $66,000 $6,100 0
300–400% of federal poverty level 10.2% of income $78,000 $9,200 0
(a) Note:In 2016,the FPL is projected to equal about $11,800 for a single person and about $24,000 for family of four. See Subsidy Calculator for specific dollar amount.
Members of Congress and their staff will only be offered health care plans through the exchange or plans otherwise established by the bill (instead of the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program that they currently use).
Investment income of individuals earning $200,000 annually or couples earning $250,000 annually will be subject to Medicaid Payroll withholding.
Medicare Payroll withholding increases from 2.9% to 3.8% on all earned income.
A new excise tax goes into effect that is applicable to pharmaceutical companies and is based on the market share of the company; it is expected to create $2.5 billion in annual revenue.
Most medical devices become subject to a 2.9% excise tax collected at the time of purchase.
Health insurance companies become subject to a new excise tax based on their market share; the rate gradually raises between 2014 and 2018 and thereafter increases at the rate of inflation. The tax is expected to yield up to $14.3 billion in annual revenue.
The qualifying medical expenses deduction for Schedule A tax filings increases from 7.5% to 10% of earned income.
23 Mar 2010 Leave a comment
World Blood Donor Day 2010
HistoryThe World Health Organisation and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies initiated World Blood Donor Day (WBDD) in 2004. It takes place on June 14 each year and provides an opportunity for a united, national and global celebration on a day that has particular significance; the birthday of Karl Landsteiner, the Nobel Prize winner who discovered the ABO blood group system
Web site http://www.wbdd.org
Editor: Cumlet, Haagen P.
The focus of World Blood Donor Day, June 14, 2010, will be on Young Donors – with the slogan: “New blood for the world”. The Global Network for Blood Donation, a Rotarian Action Group (GNBD), liaises with the World Health Organization (WHO), the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), the International Federation of Blood Donor Organizations (IFBDO/FIODS) and the International Society of Blood Transfusion (ISBT), which jointly are sponsoring the WBDD.
Please note: This article is copied from a Rotary Club, but there are joint web sites for information on World blood doror day.
Please ask your Rotary club to join the celebration during the week of June 14 – recognize those who donate blood. The aim is to raise global awareness of the need for safe blood and blood products for transfusion and of the critical contribution voluntary, unpaid blood donors make to national health systems.
You and your Rotary club and district are invited to contribute by sharing your ideas, resource materials and plans for activities at national and local levels through the Global Network for Blood Donation, A Rotarian Action Group. Please contact GNBD at this mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org . Your involvement and support will help to ensure a wide impact for World Blood Donor Day 2010 and bring the world closer to 100 per cent voluntary non-remunerated blood donation. Materials in several languages are available at http://www.wbdd.org
“Celebrating the gift of blood”
Announcing World Blood Donor Day, 14 June 2010
The focus of World Blood Donor Day 2010 will be on Young Donors – with the slogan: “New blood for the world”.
The need for blood is increasing in all parts of the world. Young people can make an important contribution by donating blood and by recruiting other young people to become donors.
Initiatives such as young ambassadors’ programmes, Club 25, media campaigns directed towards young audiences and other youth-oriented activities will help bring “new blood to the world”. Many activities are planned around the world to focus on the role of young people in ensuring a safe blood supply.
World Blood Donor Day takes place on 14 June each year. The aim is to raise global awareness of the need for safe blood and blood products for transfusion and of the critical contribution voluntary, unpaid blood donors make to national health systems.
World Blood Donor Day is also an opportunity to celebrate those who already donate blood, in response to the worldwide increase in demand for voluntary non-remunerated blood and plasma donations. Today, 57 countries have achieved 100 per cent voluntary blood donation, up from 39 in 2002.
Since 2004, World Blood Donor Day has been jointly sponsored by four core agencies: The World Health Organization (WHO), the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), the International Federation of Blood Donor Organizations (IFBDO/FIODS) and the International Society of Blood Transfusion (ISBT). During 2009-10, IFBDO will be acting as the coordinating agency on behalf of the four core agencies to coordinate communication with any external agencies.
Each year, these core agencies identify a host country for a global event that provides a focus for an international media campaign.
The event is also designed to support national level blood transfusion services, blood donor organizations and other nongovernmental organizations in strengthening and expanding their voluntary blood donor programmes and to reinforce national and local campaigns.
The 2010 global event will take place in Barcelona, Spain. It will be hosted by the Spanish and Catalonian Health Care Authorities, the Spanish and Catalonian donor associations and the Spanish Red Cross.
The scale and volume of World Blood Donor Day events increases every year. Support from government leaders and celebrities, along with media campaigns and community-based activities, results in a celebration of the selfless individuals who donate their blood and plasma to save the lives and improve the health of people whom they will never meet.
Further details about plans for World Blood Donor Day 2010 will be provided over the coming months, but we take this opportunity to remind you that all the latest information is available on the joint website of the core agencies ( http://www.wbdd.org ). Here you will also find a new Campaign “Celebrating the gift of blood” 14 JUNE 2010 Kit and the World Blood Donor Day brochure which can be downloaded and used freely by anyone who wants to promote voluntary, non-remunerated blood donation.
Governmental activities will be presented on a separate WHO webpage ( http://www.who.int/worldblooddonorday ).
You are invited to contribute by sharing your ideas, resource materials and plans for activities at national and local levels through these websites.
Your involvement and support will help to ensure a wide impact for World Blood Donor Day 2010 and bring the world closer to 100 per cent voluntary non-remunerated blood donation. We wish you a successful celebration.
World Health Organization
International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies
International Societyof Blood Transfusion
International Federation of Blood Donor Organizations
See also related articles at this website:
“Surveys of Rotary’s influence on blood donation”;
“Outstanding Organization Award to RI “;
“You see this thing called blood …”
See also the #8, 2010 Neswletter from the Rotary International’s Health and Resource Group. Click here or go to DOWNLOADS.
20 Mar 2010 Leave a comment
The first day of spring is upon us, and what better way than to share with my readers a recipe for soup with the theme of spring.
SPRING VEGETABLE SOUP
A lighter variation on the more familiar Italian vegetable soups, it makes an excellent first course or complete meal at lunchtime
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup finely chopped scallions
1 tsp minced garlic
2 medium boiling potatoes
(8 ounces), peeled and cut into 1 /4 inch dice
3 1/2 cups Beef Broth, preferably homemade,
or defatted, low-sodium , canned broth
1 pound thin asparagus, washed, trimmed, and cut into 1-inch pieces ( see note)
In a heavy 5 -quart saucepan, heat oil over low heat. Add scallions and cook, stirring constantly, until they are soft but not brown, about 2 minutes. Stir in garlic and cook another 30 seconds.
Add potatoes and 1 cup of broth. Cook until potatoes are barely tender, about 4 minutes.
Add the remaining broth, 1 cup water, asparagus,and zucchini. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Turn the heat to low and cook, partially covered, until vegetables are tender, about 12 to 15 minutes .
Stir in thyme and season with salt and pepper. (Soup can be made up to 3 hours before serving. Reheat over low heat.)
Ladle into individual bowls and serve.
If thin asparagus spears are unavailable, you can use medium-size ones but they must be peeled with a vegetable peeler from base to spear, leaving tips intact, before cutting into i-inch pieces.
Calories 140 Cholesterol 0 mg
Fat 6 grams Sodium 237 mg.
Lean Italian Cooking by Anne Casale, c 1994.
18 Mar 2010 Leave a comment
Shrimp paired with spaghetti, what better way for a meatless menu on Friday or anyday of the week.
1/4 cup butter
1/1/2 pounds raw shrimp, shelled and deveined
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons chopped shallots
2 tablespoons warm Cognac
1/4 cup tomato puree
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon heavy cream
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil or 1/2 tsp dried basil
1 tablespoon finely chopped chives
1 egg yolk
1 pound spaghetti
2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley
1. Heat half the butter in a skillet and add the shrimp. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, and cook, turning once, until bright red on both sides.
2. Sprinkle with shallots and cook 1 minute, stirring. Add the Cognac and ignite it. Add the tomato puree and cook 1 minute over high heat.
3. Stir in one-half cup of the cream, the basil,the chives. Beat the yolk with the remaining tablespoon of cream and add to the sauce, stirring rapidly. Do not boil.
4. Cook the spaghetti according to package directions. Drain , toss with the remaining butter, and pour onto a hot platter. Pour the shrimp and sauce in the center and serve sprinkled with chopped parsley.
New York Times International cookbook by Craig Claiborne
Zucchini and Tomato Salad
6 zucchini 12 servings
water to cover
24 slices ripe red tomatoes
Freshly ground black pepper
1 clove garlic, finely minced
3/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup wine vinegar
1/3 cup chopped parsley, preferably Italian
1. Cut off the stem and bud end of each zucchini. Rinse well and dry. Cut the zucchini on the bias into slices about 3/4 inch thick. Place the slices in a saucepan and add water to cover and salt to taste. Bring to a boil and simmer gently just until the vegetable is crisp tender; do not overcook. Drain immediately, let cool and then chill.
2. When ready to serve , arrange alternating slices of zucchini , and tomatoes on a platter. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Combine the garlic , oil and vinegar and combine with a fork. Pour the sauce over the vegetables and sprinkle with chopped parsley.
12 Mar 2010 2 Comments
FRIDAY FILL-IN’S This is my first one.
And…here we go!
1. I am so looking forward to spring and planting tomatoes.____________?
2. We will be eating homemade Oriental vegetable stir-fry with brown rice and watching the tv show, the Ghost Whisperer later.
3. When you get started reading a book, you should finish .
4. _Spending time with family and attending church, and working as a nurse is a big part of my life.
5. If you need anything , just call me.
6. In the next three weeks will be planning a trip.
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I’m looking forward to spending the evening off from work with my husband (some Fri pm I work)____, tomorrow my plans include possibly going to a show after work to celebrate St. Patrick’s day_____ and Sunday, I want to enjoy a nice restaurant meal out with my husband !
Friday, March 12, 2010