Four Insurers Enroll Nearly 95% Of California Sign-Ups

Nonetheless, experts say California's online marketplace increased competition in the state's individual market. Meanwhile, lower-than-expected enrollment in Oregon creates budget issues, and a Democratic congresswoman from Arizona calls on the administration to extend the enrollment deadline past April 15.

Modern Healthcare:  Calif. Health Exchange Promotes Competition, Even With Dominant Players
Four insurers accounted for nearly 95% of the 1.4 million health plans selected by customers on California's insurance exchange during the recently concluded open-enrollment period, but despite that concentration, experts say the exchange increased competition in individual markets around the state (Demko, 4/22).

The Oregonian: Cover Oregon Budget Crunch Overshadows Whether To Fix Bug-Ridden Health Insurance Exchange Or Go Federal
Money could be as important as technology on Friday, when the Cover Oregon board decides whether to give up on its bug-ridden, unfinished health insurance exchange and switch to the federal version instead. On Thursday, an advisory committee will hear from staff the odds that more than two years and $130 million worth of work by Oracle Corp, the lead information-technology vendor, can be salvaged in time for the next open enrollment period, which begins in November. Just as important, however, is the price tag for salvaging Oracle's work. That's because far lower than expected enrollment numbers have Cover Oregon quietly grappling with a budget crisis (Budnick, 4/22).

The Hill:  Dem Calls For Another ObamaCare Enrollment Extension
Rep. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) is calling on the Obama administration to allow extra time for people attempting to enroll in health insurance coverage. The Obama administration has already extended the insurance enrollment period to April 15 for people who were "in line" on the federal exchange website by the original March 31 deadline. It has not allowed for more time beyond that date (Marcos, 4/22).

Lawsuit Challenging Health Law Subsidies Gains Backing Of 38 GOP Lawmakers

The challenge, brought by Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., targets the rule allowing the federal government to pay part of the health insurance premiums for lawmakers and some staffers.

The Washington Post: 38 GOP Lawmakers Join Ron Johnson’s Obamacare Lawsuit
Thirty-eight Republican lawmakers are signaling support for a lawsuit filed by Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) that challenges a rule by the Obama administration allowing the federal government to subsidize health insurance for lawmakers and some congressional staffers. With the health care law exceeding enrollment expectations and legislative attempts to undo the law failing to advance beyond the GOP-controlled House, Johnson's lawsuit is one of the few other attempts underway to chip away at the law (O’Keefe, 4/22).

CQ:  Lawmakers Back Senator’s Suit Targeting OPM Exchange Rule
Thirty-eight senators and House members have filed a brief backing a legal challenge to an Office of Personnel Management rule that interprets the health law as continuing employer sponsored coverage for members of Congress and their staffs with the start of insurance exchanges last fall. The OPM rule is a part of a series of unlawful actions by the Obama administration revising or ignoring provisions of the overhaul and it’s up to the courts to intervene, states the friend-of-the-court brief signed by a dozen GOP senators including John McCain of Arizona and Ted Cruz of Texas. Twenty-six House Republicans also joined in filing the brief (Reichard, 4/22).

Fox News: 38 GOP Lawmakers Join Lawsuit Against Obamacare Subsidies
Thirty-eight Republican lawmakers are backing a lawsuit filed by Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., challenging health insurance subsidies provided to lawmakers and their staffers who are required to obtain coverage under Obamacare. Johnson filed the lawsuit in January challenging a ruling by the Office of Personnel Management. The agency ruled that lawmakers and their staffs should continue to receive health care benefits covering about 75 percent of their premium costs after leaving the health insurance program for federal workers (4/23).

Survey: Most Americans Favor Health Law’s Birth Control Coverage Mandate

Though this health law provision continues to be controversial and is the subject of various legal challenges, a recent survey conducted by University of Michigan researchers found that 69 percent of Americans support the requirement.

Los Angeles Times: Nearly 7 In 10 Americans Say Health Plans Should Cover Birth Control
Among the various provisions of the Affordable Care Act, few are as controversial as the one requiring health insurance providers to include coverage for contraception. A new survey finds that support for this rule is widespread, with 69 percent of Americans in favor of the mandate (Kaplan, 4/22).

NBC News: Most Support Birth Control Mandate, Survey Shows
Most Americans — 69 percent — support the requirement that health insurance plans pay for birth control, a new survey shows. The 2010 Affordable Care Act requires health insurers to pay for contraception as part of 10 essential benefits, including vaccines and cancer screenings. It’s the most controversial requirement, with religious groups, some conservative commentators and some employers objecting (Fox, 4/22).

Viewpoints: Health Spending Ready To Start Climbing Again; Cruz’s ‘Nightmare’ Comes True

The New York Times: Acceleration Is Forecast For Spending On Health
Standing before a roomful of economists, policy makers and health care experts earlier this month, Amitabh Chandra, director of Health Policy Research at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, closed a presentation about the slowdown in health care spending over the last decade by citing an article in The New York Times. "Changes in the way doctors and hospitals are paid — how much and by whom — have begun to curb the steady rise of health care costs in the New York region," the article declared. "Costs are still going up faster than overall inflation, but the annual rate of increase is the lowest in 21 years." Then came the punch line. The article, written by my now-retired colleague Milt Freudenheim, was published in December 1993, when the so-called managed care revolution promised for a few hopeful years to change the way doctors practiced medicine and curb the breakneck rise in health care costs (Eduardo Porter, 4/22). 

Politico: Ted Cruz's Worst Nightmare Is Coming True. Obamacare Is Working.
"President Obama wants to get as many Americans addicted to the subsidies because he knows that in modern times, no major entitlement has ever been implemented and then unwound," [Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas] said. The worry, according to Cruz, was that once the ACA went into effect, we'd all be "addicted to the sugar." Then, it would be too late to roll it back. Cruz's nightmare, and the left's long-held dream, has come true. Finally, after years of failed reform efforts, the U.S. government is actually trying to provide affordable health coverage for all. And it’s working, despite Republicans’ relentless attempts to deep-six the law. As a result, the politics of Obamacare will never be the same (Richard Kirsch, 4/22).

Bloomberg: Pharma Mergers Make Sense
A wave of big mergers in the pharmaceutical industry is turning into a tsunami, with more than $100 billion in deals either announced or rumored this week. Oddly, this may be one of the rare cases where merger frenzy actually makes sense. ... One aim of the mergers is to prepare for leaner years. Producing new hits is harder because of increased regulatory scrutiny. It's also costlier: The average cost of developing and launching a new drug has been estimated at $5 billion in 2013, compared with $1.1 billion in the late 1990s. At the same time, expiring patents are driving the industry's revenue down (Leonid Bershidsky, 4/22).

Bloomberg: Pharma Mergers Aren't A Miracle Cure
The pharmaceutical industry, once a reliable source of large profits, is finding it harder and harder to make profitable new drugs. ... Focusing more intently on oncology drugs isn't going to help much if you don’t have promising targets, and if regulators and insurers are pummeling you for lower prices on whatever you do manage to produce. But no one really knows what to do about those problems. Merging and de-merging at least gives a worried management something to do with its time -- other than polishing up the old resume and finally getting serious about nursing school (Megan McArdle, 4/22).

Bloomberg: Sometimes Brand-Name Drugs Really Are Better
When you go to the pharmacy for aspirin, do you buy Bayer or the private-label generic alternative offered by chains such as CVS? The price for Bayer's version is more than twice that of CVS's, yet the active ingredient is exactly the same. The choice may seem trivial, but it provides insight into larger economic and health questions. Research by Matthew Gentzkow of the University of Chicago -- who last week won the prestigious John Bates Clark prize for the best young economist in the U.S. -- and co-authors studied exactly this question. They estimate that U.S. consumers would save $32 billion a year by switching to generic labels for goods (not just aspirin) that are equivalent to their brand-name alternatives (Peter R. Orszag, 4/22).

Detroit News: Michiganians Can't Afford Deep Medicare Cuts
It seems the federal government is often looking to cut spending, a goal many Americans could support. However, sometimes cuts can do more harm than good, or even lead to higher spending instead. One area that lawmakers may look for savings is our country’s health care system in particular is reimbursement for Medicare Part B drugs. But cuts to this essential program, however, will reduce seniors’ access to Part B medications, especially in rural communities (Dr. Amar Majjoo, 4/23).

Reuters: Why Not A War On Child Poverty?
Since 1969, the proportion of children and youth in poverty rose by 56 percent, even as the economic fortunes of the elderly improved under programs like Medicare and Social Security. Today, 32 million American children and youth are confronting poverty — including 7 million suffering utter destitution, another 9 million living in serious poverty and 16 million more in low-income households struggling just above poverty lines (Mike Males, 4/22).

JAMA Pediatrics: Children's Health Care and the Patient Protection And Affordable Care Act: What's At Stake?
The ACA's "essential health benefits" establish a benefits framework for products sold through the exchanges. Because children in low-income families eligible for federal subsidies constitute a new and potentially growing population under this new framework, it will be important to track its effect on children's health care. Notably, the ACA bars Medicaid from acting as a secondary payer to supplement subsidized coverage through the exchanges .... While ACOs are currently focused on achieving short-term cost savings from chronically ill adults, innovators must now pursue the challenging but critical work of forming pediatric ACOs, with children’s hospitals at the helm (Eileen K. Fry-Bowers, William Nicholas and Neal Halfon,, 4/21).

JAMA Internal Medicine: Overcoming Barriers To Discussing Out-of-Pocket Costs With Patients
Increased cost sharing, in the forms of higher copayments, deductibles, and yearly maximums, has been advocated to encourage patients to become smarter consumers and thus to reduce the overall cost of medical care. In our view, physicians have an ethical duty, at a minimum, to discuss out-of-pocket costs with patients in the same way that they would discuss the adverse effects of a treatment. But when physicians actually begin to consider out-of-pocket costs as part of clinical decision making, the challenges can seem over whelming (Drs. Kevin R. Riggs and Peter A. Ubel, 4/21). 

Former soldier Roxanne Yeatman, 65, demands £20k sex change on the NHS

Roxanne Yeatman, from South East London, says she was 'born in the wrong body' and that she needs the operation 'to be who [she] wants to be'.

Most couples have sex twice a week, but not for long enough, claims doctor

Dr Harry Fisch, a sexual health doctor in New York, says many men orgasm too quickly to enable them to satisfy their partners.

Children are naughtier when they bite chunks out of food, study claims

New research by Cornell University suggests children are rowdier when not eating cut food. They were up to twice as aggressive when using front teeth to eat.

First Edition: April 23, 2014

Today's headlines include a range of health policy news reports, including developments related to the health law, to the marketplace and at the state level.

Kaiser Health News: Is Bigger Better? Idaho Hospital Battle A Microcosm Of Debate Over Industry Consolidation
Kaiser Health News staff writer Phil Galewitz, working in collaboration with The Washington Post, reports: “When Idaho's largest hospital system bought the state's largest doctor practice in 2012, the groups expressed hope that the deal would spark a revolution in delivering better-quality care. Instead, it ignited a costly legal battle with state and federal regulators and rival hospital systems. Officials at Boise-based St. Luke's Health System thought they had the Obama administration on their side because the federal health law encourages hospitals to collaborate with doctors to improve quality and lower costs” (Galewitz, 4/22). Read the story.

The Wall Street Journal: Blum To Leave Centers For Medicare And Medicaid Services
Jonathan Blum, a top official at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, will leave his post on May 16. The departure of Mr. Blum, the agency's principal deputy administrator, was announced Tuesday in an email to staff by CMS Administrator Marilyn Tavenner. He was first appointed as the director for the Center for Medicare in 2009 before becoming a deputy administrator last year (Corbett Dooren, 4/22).

Los Angeles Times: Nearly 7 In 10 Americans Say Health Plans Should Cover Birth Control
Among the various provisions of the Affordable Care Act, few are as controversial as the one requiring health insurance providers to include coverage for contraception. A new survey finds that support for this rule is widespread, with 69% of Americans in favor of the mandate (Kaplan, 4/22).

The Washington Post: Va. Assembly, Reconvening Wednesday, Unlikely To Solve Medicaid, Budget Issues
Virginia legislators return to the Capitol on Wednesday intending to wrap up some unfinished business but with no plans to tackle the budget and Medicaid stalemates that could ultimately shut down the state government. The General Assembly will hold its annual “veto session” to complete work from the regular session that ended March 8. But no action is expected on the biggest issues looming over Richmond: Medicaid expansion and, because that matter was folded into the Senate’s two-year, $96 billion state spending plan, the budget (Vozzella, 4/22).

The Wall Street Journal: Centene Profit Rises On Expanded Memberships
Centene Corp. said first-quarter profit rose 43% as the Medicaid insurer posted double-digit revenue growth and expanded membership. Shares climbed as earnings beat expectations and the company raised its per-share profit outlook for 2014 by 10 cents, to $3.60 to $3.90. Centene said the sharp 38% growth in its premium and services revenue in the latest quarter primarily was a result of expansions in Florida and Ohio, the additions of the California, New Hampshire and three Centurion contracts, as well as participation in the Health Insurance Marketplaces and acquisitions (Stynes, 4/22).

The Washington Post: 38 GOP Lawmakers Join Ron Johnson’s Obamacare Lawsuit
Thirty-eight Republican lawmakers are signaling support for a lawsuit filed by Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) that challenges a rule by the Obama administration allowing the federal government to subsidize health insurance for lawmakers and some congressional staffers. With the health-care law exceeding enrollment expectations and legislative attempts to undo the law failing to advance beyond the GOP-controlled House, Johnson's lawsuit is one of the few other attempts underway to chip away at the law (O’Keefe, 4/22).

The Washington Post: Landrieu: I’ll Put GOP Foe On Defensive On Health Care
Senator Mary Landrieu is one of the most vulnerable of red state Democratic incumbents, and her reelection challenges — like those of other red state Dems — are said to be all about Obamacare. But in an interview today, Landrieu vowed to campaign aggressively against GOP foe Bill Cassidy’s opposition to the Medicaid expansion in the state, offered a spirited defense of the law — while acknowledging it has some problems — and even insisted he’d be at a “disadvantage” over the issue (Sargeant, 4/22).

The New York Times: Gilead Revenue Soars On Hepatitis C Drug
Record sales of a new hepatitis C drug pushed the first-quarter earnings of Gilead Sciences far beyond expectations, the company reported on Tuesday, but could also heighten concerns about the high cost of the drug, known as Sovaldi, and the ability of the health care system to pay for it (Pollack, 4/22).

The Associated Press: Novartis Reshapes Business With GSK, Lilly Deals
The deals unveiled Tuesday are the latest in a string of mergers and acquisitions that have engulfed the industry of late and which, analysts said, could trigger some further activity in the months ahead. (4/22).

The Wall Street Journal: Deal Flurry Shows Drug Makers' Swing Toward Specialization
The companies said the deals aim to focus each firm on specific sectors where it believes it has the size and expertise to generate significant sales growth. But the deals also may leave them more vulnerable to setbacks in their remaining businesses, analysts and industry officials said (Rockoff, Whalen and Falconi, 4/22).

NPR: FDA Advisers Vote Against Approving New Opioid Painkiller
A key government panel Tuesday voted unanimously against approval of a powerful opioid prescription painkiller intended to provide faster relief with fewer side effects. At the conclusion of a hearing, the Food and Drug Administration advisory committee voted 14-0 against recommending that the agency approve Moxduo, the first drug to combine morphine and oxycodone into one capsule (Stein, 4/22).

The Wall Street Journal: Court Strikes Down Ohio Hospital Merger
A federal appeals court on Tuesday ordered a major health system in northwest Ohio to unwind its merger with a local hospital on antitrust grounds. The unanimous decision by a three-judge panel of the Sixth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati comes amid growing concerns about hospital mergers and their effect on prices against the backdrop of America's health-care upheaval (Gershman, 4/22).

The Associated Press: Oklahoma Limits Abortion Drug Use
Gov. Mary Fallin signed a bill on Tuesday to further restrict the use of abortion-inducing drugs in Oklahoma, despite objections from opponents who say it will force more women to have surgical abortions. The bill was written in response to a recent Oklahoma Supreme Court decision that ruled a similar bill signed by Ms. Fallin in 2011 was unconstitutional (4/22).

Los Angeles Times: Measure Barring Covered California From Hiring Certain Felons Fails
A bill barring the state's health insurance exchange from hiring individuals convicted of certain felonies failed to advance Tuesday. Under the proposal by Assemblywoman Connie Conway (R-Tulare), Covered California would not be able to hire people who have been convicted of certain crimes--felonies concerning breach of trust or dishonesty--for jobs where enrollees' financial or medical data could be accessed (Mason, 4/22).

Los Angeles Times: UC Oks Paying Surgeon $10 Million In Whistleblower-Retaliation Case
University of California regents agreed to pay $10 million to the former chairman of UCLA's orthopedic surgery department, who had alleged that the well-known medical school allowed doctors to take industry payments that may have compromised patient care (Terhune, 4/22).

Tennessean/USA Today: Change In Tennessee Law Lets Hospitals Drop Patients
The amendment, sponsored by Rep. Andrew Farmer after he was approached by various hospitals, was added to a bill designed to protect those who are placed in the care of conservators. The amendment gave hospitals a way to petition for court approval to discharge patients they say no longer need the costly care of a major health facility. In Nashville the add-on provision has been used a dozen times to try to discharge people, more than half of them listed on court documents as currently or formerly homeless. In nine of the cases, including Gordon's, the petitions were approved by Davidson Probate Judge David "Randy" Kennedy (Roche Jr., 4/22).

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South Korean plastic surgery so good people need CERTIFICATES to prove who they are

Some hospitals in South Korea are said to be giving patients certificates to prove they have had surgery so they can get through passport control.

How Britons remain ignorant about HIV 3 decades after its discovery

A study conducted by the National Aids Trust revealed 20 per cent of people think people with HIV can only expect to live for 10 years after acquiring the virus.

More than a quarter of emergency contraceptives found in South America were counterfeit

For your information: MNT accounts were not affected by the recent Heartbleed bug, as we were not running a vulnerable version of OpenSSL.

One-off jab could cut migraines by two-thirds

Research shows that a single injection of two breakthrough new drugs can cut the number of migraines by two-thirds for those suffering them.

Tyrone Hospital to Open Rural Health Center in Houtzdale

Officials at the Tyrone Hospital have announced the opening of the Tyrone Hospital Rural Health Center-Houtzdale, a primary care physician practice, located in Houtzdale.

The secret to happiness? Visit a library… and avoid the gym: Study finds which activities most boost our contentment

The Department for Culture, Media and Sport survey asked 40,000 people about their participation in arts and sports before ranking leisure activities in terms of their effect on well-being.

DNA ‘edited’ to cure liver disease and could be used for Down’s Syndrome

Researchers in Massachusetts used a technique known as Crispr to correct a single ‘letter’ of the genetic alphabet in diseased mice.

An Ar AppealTHANK You for Your Help! We Made it

It shouldn't come as a surprise that that the far right is not just opposed to abortion, but contraception, too.

Breast cancer victims are denied new ‘wonder’ drug that can extend life by six months: Watchdog to block treatment on cost grounds

Rationing watchdog NICE is set to block routine use of the medicine on the NHS for those with the most aggressive form of the disease on the grounds of cost.

More than two-thirds of Americans support mandated coverage of birth control in health plans

Lead author Michelle Moniz, M.D., is an OB/GYN and researcher at the University of Michigan Medical School.

Hologic’s NovaSure System Reaches 2M Milestone Mark

Hologic, Inc. , a leading developer, manufacturer and supplier of premium diagnostic products, medical imaging systems and surgical products, with an emphasis on serving the healthcare needs of women, today announced that the Company's NovaSure global endometrial ablation system reached an important milestone: 2 million women have chosen the ... (more)

Are you a grazer or a rep-eat-er? 20-year study finds nation’s eating habits fall into just four categories

The Big Mealtime Audit by Birds Eye found over a quarter of Brits eat their breakfast on the commute, while one in ten eat dinner in either the office or the car.

‘Not tonight dear, I’ve got a headache’: Women ARE more likely to go off sex when they are in pain

Researchers at McGill University, in Montreal, found that male mice are still interested in sex even when they are in excruciating pain.

Molecular Testing Offers Health Benefits

When it comes to health care, big things are happening at the smallest level. That's the word from experts who say that medical tests known as molecular diagnostics represent one of the most important steps in medicine in the last century.

Study: Exercise Can’t Make Up for Your Soda Habit

Find out why rewarding yourself with a cold one after a tough workout could be bad news.

If you've ever justified drinking soda with the "I worked out today" excuse, you may be in for a big surprise: Exercising regularly may not undo the waist-inflating effects of drinking soda, suggests a new Brigham Young University study.

The researchers tracked the soda intake and weight gain of 170 women over a period of four years and found that those who regularly consumed sugar-sweetened soda packed on about six pounds by the end of the study. The non-drinkers only gained one. 

MORE: Diet Soda Sales Have Tanked

This isn't particularly surprising—until you consider this: Past research has shown that soda drinkers tend to be fairly sedentary, but in this study, they were just as active as the abstainers. In other words, their weight gain boiled down to excess calorie consumption—not a lack of exercise, the scientists say. 

Lesson learned: Kick the can, even if you've just had a hard workout and think you've earned a reward. Stuck on the sweet stuff? Learn how to quit your soda habit.

MORE: Drinking Soda is Even Worse For You Than We Thought


What Annoys Olivia Munn About Weight-Loss Talk

She might be the most down-to-earth celeb ever.

Calling all starlets who swear that they can scarf down junk food and still wear a size two: Olivia Munn's on to you. "I remember reading these articles when I was younger, and I just felt like, well, in order to look like that, you have to have some secret, magical unicorn blood that makes carbs disappear as they go into your body," the actress said in a recent interview with Allure. "I prefer the truth."

Right on, Olivia. While some people are genetically predisposed to being thinner, it's pretty much impossible to shed pounds without cleaning up your eating habits (and slim people who eat lots of junk aren't necessarily healthy, either).

The truth is that many stars fib about what they really eat—so instead of crossing your fingers and hoping that your chocolate habit will make you look red carpet-ready, check out seven celebrity weight-loss secrets we really believe in.

More from Women's Health:
8 Foods Celebrity Fitness Trainers Won't Eat
Kirstie Alley: "Just Because You're Skinny Doesn't Mean You're Happy"
Can Juicing Really Kill You?


4 Reasons Why Paleo Might Not Be Right for You

Should you cave to the caveman diet trend? Maybe not.

What could possibly be bad about eating like a hunter-gatherer? A lot, apparently. Earlier this year, the Paleo Diet came in 31st—that is, last—in the U.S. News & World Report Best Diets Rankings, losing out to other popular plans, including the Mediterranean diet, DASH, and the flexitarian diet. The primary reason: It's tough to follow.

MORE: 4 Super-Effective Diets You Probably Haven't Heard of 

This may be especially true for women. In a new Swedish study, researchers tracked the progress of 35 females asked to follow the Paleo plan for two years. After 24 months, they had dropped an average of 14 pounds—but the women said their weight loss came with some serious struggles:

You have to give up cheese, bread, and wine. After the first year, the Paleo dieters had shed 19 pounds but then regained five back by the two-year mark. What happened? The women found it tough to resist the plan's forbidden foods—especially cheese, bread, potatoes, and wine—for the long haul, especially if they didn't like fruits and vegetables, which the plan emphasizes.

MORE: 5 Ways Eating Cheese Can Help You Lose Weight 

The diet is complicated. The women in the study said they constantly found themselves wondering: What am I allowed to eat? The result: They felt insecure about their ability to adhere to the diet (and we all know how critical confidence is to weight loss). In other words, the Paleo prescription is so different from most women's normal way of eating that the amount of change required can be overwhelming.

There's little variety. Participants felt that the diet was so restrictive and had such little variety that they couldn't keep it up. One woman complained that she had to peel shrimp for breakfast every Saturday morning, while her husband ate whatever he wanted. Not fun.

It's pricey. Meat and vegetables—two staples of the caveman diet—are among the priciest items in the supermarket. In fact, many of the women said it would be less expensive to dine out at restaurants than to stick to the Paleo plan at home.

Of course, that's not to say that some of the major tenets behind the Paleo diet—like eating whole foods and loading up on produce—are bad ones. Any diet that involves rigid restrictions is going to be hard to stick with—but the more you approach healthy eating as a mindful lifestyle change and not just a list of rules to follow, the easier it will be to implement long-term.

MORE: The Food Lover's Diet 


5 Things You Should Know About Detoxing Juices

Calling all juice lovers! You're gonna want to read this.

Down a detoxing beverage to shrink your tummy, rev your metabolism, and clear up your skin. Bonus: more energy! Here are five crucial pointers you're going to want to know about how to get the most out of your juice.

Red Juices
Processed juices are often loaded with sugar, a source of empty calories that can contribute to harmful cellular inflammation, says May Tom, R.D., staff nutritionist at Cal-a-Vie, a health retreat in Vista, California. But pomegranate juice is packed with antioxidants, including ellagic acid, which Tom says assists your liver in its detox duties. And beet juice, known in Chinese medicine as a blood purifier, was recently found to increase athletic endurance. Use them in moderation (e.g., as an ingredient in smoothies).

Green Tea
It's chock-full of antioxidants known as catechins, which studies have shown may help reduce belly fat and lower the risk for melanoma.

Liquid Veggies
If you really want to flood your body with vitamins and antioxidants that will destroy age-causing free radicals, juicing is the way to go. "Not many people are going to eat four or five pounds of leafy greens in one sitting," says Eric Helms, author of The Juice Generation. "But juicing removes all the fiber, so those nutrients are absorbed more quickly into your bloodstream." And juicing raw veggies (organic, to avoid pesticide residues) preserves more of their nutrients than cooking them. Kale, spinach, and other leafy greens are low in sugar and high in polyphenols and carotenoids, two antioxidants that have been shown to help guard against sun damage.

Yeah, you know it's zero calories, but here's another reason the clear stuff is amazing: Research shows that we often mistake thirst for hunger, and drinking a glass or two of water before meals helps you eat less, which adds up to a leaner midsection. Guzzle it first thing in the morning to keep your metabolism stoked: "At night, we're not drinking anything for hours on end, so we tend to wake up slightly dehydrated," says Tom. That can slow your metabolism. Water also helps flush the toxins out of your system. And the more toxins you eliminate this way, the fewer will pass through your skin, where they can cause damage such as aging.

Fermented Drinks
Toxins are a leading cause of inflammation in your body, and when that occurs in your digestive tract, it can bloat your stomach and make your waistband snug. Probiotics, the kind of good-for-you bacteria found in yogurt, can soothe tummy troubles and deflate your belly. Get a dose from fermented drinks like kefir, which is dairy-based, and kombucha, a tea. Another plus: They may help increase your overall immunity.


Find a Green Tea You Love

Hate the stuff? You may just need to try a new brew.

You'd be hard-pressed to find a healthy-eating plan that doesn't tout the benefits of green tea (it may even help you lose weight!). But what if you hate the taste? We may have your fix: A new study in the Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture found that green tea's country of origin strongly influences its flavor, likely due to different processing methods in different places.

In other words, if the first brew you bought made you gag, you may just need to sample a green tea from another part of the globe.

Chinese Green Tea
The professional tasters in the study often described Chinese brews as astringent, bitter, and tobacco- and leather-like, although in many cases the bitterness was detectable but not intense. They also detected notes of "sweet aromatics" and thought Chinese brews were among the fruitiest.

Japanese Green Tea
Japanese brews were found to be astringent and bitter, with hints of green beans, asparagus, parsley, seaweed, and spinach. (Warning: These teas were among the most bitter of all varieties.)

Korean Green Tea
This bitter-yet-delicate variety was described as "straw-like," with notes of spinach and a burnt-tasting undertone.

Indian Green Tea
Indian tea was described as fruity, floral, perfume-y, and sweet. (It was also the only variety found to have a medicinal taste.) If you're passionately opposed to green tea, this may be one of your best bets: Past research has shown that U.S. consumers prefer green tea with low bitterness.

African Green Tea
African brews were likened to green beans and parsley, some with traces of nuttiness and citrus. 

MORE: How Many Antioxidants Are In Your Green Tea?


‘We were told to say our goodbyes’: Parents’ relief as daughter who was declared medically dead for seven MINUTES survives

Alexia Rose Crane was rushed to Blackpool Victoria Hospital when she was just 14 months old having suffered a heart attack.

Little Company of Mary Hospital Mourns the Loss of an Extraordinary Leader

Surrounded by LCM Sisters and her family, Sr. Kathleen passed away peacefully today, touched our lives in a very personal way.

Calling obesity a disease makes people ‘resigned to their condition’ – and encourages them to eat more

Researchers at the University of Richmond and the University of Minnesota found people who are told obesity is a disease place less importance on dieting.

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