Senior Olympics Food Allergies Live Healthier Longer Check Food Labels Cardiovascular Disease Eat Better Reduce Cruelty Get Better Sleep Chemotherapy Myth Or Fact

Golden Agers Win Olympic Gold

(NAPSI)—Getting older doesn’t have to mean getting out of the game.

Consider, for example, the Celadrin Tigerettes Senior Olympics Women’s basketball team. Ranging in age from 64 to 74, the team won the Senior Olympic gold medal at the last national games in Houston. In fact, they are seven-time Senior Olympic champions, and are poised to defend their title at the 2013 national games in July.

Mavis Albin, Mary Bendsen, Wanda Blailock, Loretta Hill, Nikki Leader and Catherine “Kitty” Sparacello, united by their love of basketball, have compiled a Michael Jordanesque record of 185 wins against a mere five losses while barnstorming the country to compete against other mature cagers. They have even played the Harlem Globetrotters in a pickup game.

In fact, they will be featured in a PBS documentary, “The Age of Champions,”, scheduled for release this summer.

Along the way, they’ve become role models—not only for their peers but for younger people who find inspiration in their prowess.

Former NBA sharpshooter Dennis Scott, who once held the record for the most three-pointers in one season, volunteers as their coach.

“These ladies are phenomenal. They’ve got so much energy and are just hilarious with their practical jokes. They really do put their hearts into the game,” said Coach Scott. “It’s incredible that they do what they do at their age. They are in great shape and this gives hope to people who fear the day they’re ‘too old.’ These grandmas definitely got game.”

“We all started playing basketball when we were young and we’ve just stuck with it. Training is very important to maintain your stamina and muscle tone but we also have our little secrets that help keep us going,” said team captain Albin. “As a team, we believe in proper nutrition, daily use of nutritional supplements and an active lifestyle.

“Diet and exercise are usually sufficient if you’re in your 20s, but at our age, a little extra help is needed. The ladies and I do our research on what works for us. Supplements such as fish oil, omega-3s and Celadrin help prevent inflammation and stiffness. We also watch our diets and make sure we’re getting enough whole grains, fruits, vegetables and protein. If we start making poor decisions, it will show up on the court,” added Albin. Celadrin Joint Flexibility & Relief is an all-natural blend of special fatty acids clinically shown to promote joint health, reduce knee discomfort and improve flexibility.

To learn more about the Tigerettes, go to


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Food Allergies And Genetically Modified Organisms

(NAPSI)—While the number of children with food allergies is on the rise—according to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, 8 percent of children under the age of 18 in the United States have a food allergy—food allergies can be managed appropriately.

“A food allergy reaction can be serious,” explains Steven Yannicelli, Ph.D., R.D. “In severe cases, children may experience life-threatening side effects, such as anaphylactic shock. Other symptoms, such as diarrhea and vomiting, can have negative effects on a child’s health and well-being.”

One concern that has been raised is that when the DNA of a certain plant is genetically modified, it may increase its risk of interacting with immunoglobulin E (IgE), which plays a key role in certain food allergies. Although not fully established by the medical community, there is a concern, based on two reports in The New England Journal of Medicine and Trends Biotechnology, that certain genetically modified organisms (GMOs) may increase risk of allergenicity in some individuals.

Foods containing genetically modified ingredients from GMOs are very common. Based on a report by the American Medical Association, about 70 percent of processed foods sold in the U.S. contain ingredients derived from these transgenic crops.

For babies and children with food allergies on an amino acid−based diet, there is a non-GMO product available. You may care to talk to your pediatrician about switching to a Neocate product. Neocate Infant is a non-GMO infant formula that contains DHA and ARA, nutrients found in breast milk. DHA and ARA help promote brain and eye development in your baby.

“Nutricia provides a choice for families who prefer a non-GMO hypoallergenic product,” says Yannicelli. None of the company’s products contains genetically modified ingredients.

Nutricia North America, the maker of Neocate, is a global health company that leads the development and use of advanced medical nutrition for specialized care. Its products and services transform the daily lives of millions of infants, children, adults and seniors.

For more information on nutrition for children with food allergies,

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Reishi Mushroom Offers Hope For Living Healthier Longer

(NAPSI)—When most people think about longevity, they don’t usually think about the immune system. Without the ability to fight off infections and abnormal cells, however, they wouldn’t live very long. This is where the reishi mushroom comes into play.

It’s been used for thousands of years and flourishes mainly on the trunks of plum trees. It’s very scarce, however...out of 10,000 plum trees, perhaps two or three will have reishi growth.

Today, there are over 5,000 studies documenting the health benefits of the six primary types of reishi—red, black, blue, white, yellow and purple. Traditionally, black and red reishi have been credited with the most significant health-enhancing effects.

Black and Red Reishi 
Activate Immune Cells

Reishi’s immune-enhancing properties are probably the most notable.

Reishi is used to fight immunosenescence—the loss of immune function that comes with age. Aging adults produce fewer white blood cells—the immune cells responsible for fighting against bacteria, viruses and abnormal cells.

According to Michael Smith, M.D., senior health science specialist with Life Extension in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and host of Healthy Talk radio on WWNN-AM, reishi mushroom extract can increase production of white blood cells from your bone marrow.

“Not only that, reishi helps to activate dendritic cells,” says Dr. Smith. “These cells present bacterial and viral antigens like to antibody-producing cells called B cells. As a result, you’re able to effectively fight infections before getting too sick. And if you do happen to get sick, you’ll feel better faster with more antibodies on board.”

Intrinsic Antioxidants

Reishi mushrooms are also believed to activate intrinsic antioxidants, helping to reduce oxidative stress, one of the leading theories of aging. Highly reactive oxygen compounds, generated from environmental toxins and normal cellular metabolism, bind to healthy cells and tissues, causing damage.

Naturally occurring compounds in reishi can boost intrinsic antioxidants, sequestering the damaging oxygen compounds and preserving healthy cell and tissue function. In animal models, reishi was shown to increase the intrinsic antioxidant activity of plasma glutathione by 34 to 42 percent, liver catalase by 19 to 30 percent and liver glutathione by 9 percent.

Boosting liver antioxidants, such as catalase and peroxidase, is considered an extremely important strategy for living longer, given the toxic environment. The EPA estimates that over 70,000 industrial chemicals are used in the U.S.

“And if that’s not enough to make you sick,” says Dr. Smith, “government scientists estimate the average American has over 700 chemicals in his or her blood- stream at any given time.”

Living Healthier Longer

A weak immune system and high levels of oxidative stress are counterproductive to living healthier longer. For many, reishi mushroom extract offers real hope for reversing these two aging processes.

The reishi mushroom extract complex delivers powerful compounds and represents the next generation of natural immune support. For more information about reishi mushroom extract, visit  or call 1-866-748-7542.

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What To Look For On The Label

(NAPSI)—Making sure you and your family are getting the nutrients you need doesn’t have to be confusing. What may be the best way to figure out if a food is good for you can actually be pretty easy—check out the Nutrition Facts Panel. Found on the side or back of a food package, it gives the details about the amount of calories, fat, carbohydrates, protein, vitamins and minerals found in the food.

How to Read A Food Label

When looking at the label, start with the number of servings per container. If it says there are two servings in the container but you plan on eating the whole thing, you need to multiply all the values listed on the label by two to find out what you’re really going to get.

Next, check out the calories. Is it the amount you want to eat? Your body needs calories for energy, but eating more than you need can lead to weight gain.

Look for lots of fiber, vitamin A, vitamin C and calcium. These nutrients will help you stay in good health and help reduce the risk of certain health problems, yet most Americans don’t get enough of them.

In fact, the gap between how much fiber Americans should eat and how much they do eat is so big that experts now recommend people eat both fiber-rich and fiber-fortified foods. Foods that provide a good source of fiber should contain 10 percent or more of the Daily Value for fiber.

To find foods that have fiber, look for such ingredients as:


• Beta-glucan


• Cellulose

• Chicory Root Fiber



• ‑Hydroxypropyl-Methylcellulose


• Methylcellulose

• Resistant maltodextrin


• Pectin



• Resistant starch.

It is important to eat a wide range of dietary fibers from different sources to get all the benefits that fiber can provide. In addition, you should try to limit saturated fat, trans fat and sodium.

Learn More

You can find more information about nutrition labels at and further facts about fiber at

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Cold Weather And Cardiovascular Disease

(NAPSI)—The cooler temperatures of winter can present health challenges for those with heart disease—and those who love them. To help, the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association offer some tips.

• People who are outdoors in cold weather should avoid sudden exertion, such as lifting a heavy shovelful of snow. Even walking through heavy, wet snow or snowdrifts can strain a person’s heart.

Many people aren’t conditioned to the physical stress of outdoor activities and don’t know the dangers of being outdoors in cold weather. Winter sports enthusiasts who don’t take certain precautions can suffer accidental hypothermia.

Hypothermia means the body temperature has fallen below 95 degrees Fahrenheit. It occurs when your body can’t produce enough energy to keep the internal body temperature warm enough. It can kill you. Heart failure causes most deaths in hypothermia. Symptoms include lack of coordination, mental confusion, slowed reactions, shivering and sleepiness.

Here are some additional tips:

• To keep warm, wear layers of clothing. This traps air between layers, forming a protective insulation. Also, wear a hat or head scarf. Heat can be lost through your head. And ears are especially prone to frostbite. Keep your hands and feet warm, too, as they tend to lose heat rapidly.

• Don’t drink alcoholic beverages before going outdoors or when outside.

• Flu and pneumonia pose greater dangers for people who have heart failure, or any heart condition, than for healthy people.

Ask a health care professional about getting a yearly influenza vaccine and a one-time pneumococcal vaccine (to guard against the most common form of bacterial pneumonia). Both vaccines are generally safe and seldom cause any severe reactions.

• As much as possible, avoid anyone who has a cold or the flu.

• Stay out of crowds during the height of flu season—usually October through March.

• Be sure to wash your hands thoroughly and frequently, especially after using the bathroom and before eating. Keep your hands away from your face and insist that all caregivers wash their hands thoroughly before approaching you.

• Always read the labels on all over-the-counter (OTC) medications, especially if you have blood pressure of 120/80 mm Hg or higher. Look for warnings to those with high blood pressure and to those who take blood pressure medications. Consult your doctor before taking any over-the-counter medications or supplements.

• Be aware that the use of decongestants may raise blood pressure or interfere with the effectiveness of some prescribed blood pressure medications.

• Check the sodium content of any OTCs. Some are high in sodium, which can raise blood pressure. People with high blood pressure should have under 1,500 mg of sodium a day from all sources.

Learn more online at Merck Consumer Care, maker ofCoricidin® HBP, is a sponsor of the American Heart Association’s High Blood Pressure website.

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Eat Better, Risk Less, Reduce Cruelty: An “Eggs”-planation

(NAPSI)—The next time you eat an egg, you may care to spare a thought for the hen which laid it-and what you can do to make her life and your own a bit better.

The Problem

At this very moment, throughout the U.S. and Canada, more than 300 million hens are living lives of intense pain and suffering as they labor to produce one of our most basic food staples—eggs.

Some 95 percent of egg-laying hens in this part of North America live their entire lives in small cages that they share with five or six other birds, in rows and stacks that fill dark warehouses. These chickens—intelligent, social animals—cannot spread their wings or even turn around. Their bones become brittle and they are bruised, battered and some cannot even stand.

The practice is banned in many countries, and it’s not only bad for the hens, it’s also bad for the people who eat the eggs. “The extraordinary levels of stress the hens experience, along with their deplorable living conditions, suppress their immune systems and make them highly vulnerable to infections and bacteria, including Salmonella,” points out the Executive Director, World Society for the Protection of Animals US (WSPA)-one of the world’s leading animal welfare organizations.

An Answer

Fortunately, there is another way. Hens don’t need to be kept in cages to produce lots of eggs. Cage-free farming provides significantly improved living conditions for hens and a safer, more wholesome product for consumers.

What You Can Do

You can help by trying to set—and eat at—only humane tables at the holidays and all through the year. Four things to do are:

1. Whenever you buy eggs you can choose the cage-free kind—they’re available at most grocery stores.

2. Encourage others to do so too, supporting the farmers who do things right.

3. Ask your favorite restaurants if they use cage-free eggs in their kitchens.

4. Look for labels that say cage-free, free range or certified organic.

Learn More

You can visit to get more information on how you can join the flock.

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Better Sleep

(NAPSI)—If a good night’s sleep seems a distant dream because dry mouth keeps disturbing your slumber, you may be able to wake up to some good news.

The condition, also called xerostomia and increasingly common with age, can be treated. Symptoms include cracked lips, bad breath, tooth decay and problems swallowing or chewing. Among the factors that can cause dry mouth are certain prescription drugs, mouth breathing while sleeping, CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) machines for sleep apnea, autoimmune diseases such as Sjögren’s syndrome, and head or neck radiation therapy. Dry mouth caused by low saliva is uncomfortable and can not only disrupt sleep, it can reduce your quality of life all day long.

Management of dry mouth can include products to lubricate the mouth and protect the teeth. But many cannot be used while sleeping and won’t last through the night.

Fortunately, one new treatment advancement, XyliMelts® for Dry Mouth, uses oral adhering discs to time-release xylitol and oral lubricant into saliva while you sleep, the time when dry mouth is worst and saliva is lowest, to moisturize and coat the mouth, stimulate saliva and reduce tooth decay. Oral adhering disc technology enables XyliMelts to stick to gums or teeth for all-night relief. It’s available at Rite Aid pharmacies starting March 2013 or by calling (877) 672-6541. Further facts are at

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Cancer and Chemotherapy: Is What You Know a Myth or a Fact?

(NAPSI)—Every year, approximately 650,000 people in theUnited States undergo chemotherapy.i Although everyone reacts differently, people can sometimes feel confused, anxious and overwhelmed. Many people also have preconceived notions about cancer and its treatment that sometimes aren’t true.

A new campaign called Chemotherapy: Myths or Facts™ aims to debunk common misconceptions associated with chemotherapy and encourages patients and caregivers to take charge of their cancer journey by speaking openly with their doctors. The campaign features Emmy®-nominated actress Maura Tierney and professional drag racer Jack Beckman, who are sharing their own experiences as cancer survivors to help others.

“When I was going through my cancer treatment, I learned that you can never ask a stupid question. I asked every single question that came to my mind, and I believe that helped to calm my own anxiety,” said Tierney. “The Chemotherapy: Myths or Facts campaign encourages patients and caregivers to ask a lot of questions, arming themselves with as much information as possible to take charge of their journey.”

One of the things Beckman realized during his cancer journey was the importance of surrounding himself with people and things that he loved. “When I first learned I had cancer and would need chemotherapy, I was afraid I would have to give up certain aspects of my life, including racing and teaching others to race,” he said. “This didn’t end up being the case for me. Speaking to my doctor and learning how to make adjustments to my regular routine while receiving chemotherapy helped make sure I didn’t have to put my life on hold.”

As part of the campaign, an interactive video booth is traveling across the country collecting personal stories from cancer patients and caregivers about chemotherapy myths or facts they uncovered during their own journey. Several of these stories will eventually be shared on the campaign’s website with the hope of helping others. For more information about the campaign, Chemotherapy: Myths or Facts is sponsored by biotechnology company Amgen.

There are many myths associated with chemotherapy and it’s important for those undergoing chemotherapy to arm themselves with the facts. For example, some patients believe they have to give up certain aspects of their life while undergoing treatment, such as:ii

• Spending time with loved ones

• Playing with their pets

• Eating fruits or raw vegetables

• Undertaking normal activities

While these may be true for some patients with certain kinds of cancer, it’s not true for everyone. In fact, several of these activities may actually help a patient’s overall well-being. As chemotherapy impacts everyone differently, it’s important for patients to speak openly with their doctor to fully understand their treatment and how it might impact them.iii Visit for more information.


i Kantar Health Cancer Impact. Drug Treated Patients.

ii National Cancer Institute. Chemotherapy and You.    Accessed 9 May 2012: 12,23,27,31.

iii National Cancer Institute. Chemotherapy and You.    Accessed 9 May 2012:14.

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