gifts of good health
SINCE 1988, December 1 has been a day
for worldwide focus on one major health
concern: acquired immune deficiency
syndrome (AIDS). World AIDS Day is a
time to support those living with the disease, commemorate those who have
died from it and disseminate facts about
the causes and prevention of AIDS.
Human immunodeficiency virus
(HIV) causes AIDS. The virus attacks
the immune system and leaves the
body vulnerable to a variety of life-threatening infections and cancers.
AIDS is the final stage of HIV disease,
and is the sixth-leading cause of death
among people ages 25 to 44 in the U.S.
People who are infected with HIV
may have no symptoms for 10 years
or longer, but they can still transmit
the infection to others during this
symptom-free period. If the infection
is not detected and treated, the
immune system gradually weakens
and AIDS develops.
While HIV has been found in many
body fluids, only blood, semen, vaginal
secretions and breast milk have been
shown to transmit infection to others.
December 1 is
World AIDS Day
HIV is spread
; Through sexual contact
; Through blood, by needle sharing among drug users. Also via blood
transfusion—extremely rare in the U.S.
; From mother to child,
by breastfeeding or through shared
blood circulation between mother and
fetus during pregnancy
; Via other rare occurrences such
as accidental needle injury, organ
transplant with infected organs or
artificial insemination with infected
HIV is not spread by:
; Hugging or casual contact
; Participation in sports
; Touching items that were
touched by a person with HIV
To date there is no cure for AIDS
and no vaccine to prevent HIV infec-
tion. Educating yourself about HIV
and avoiding behavior that exposes
you to HIV-infected body fluids is the
By Linda Melone
INSTEAD OF GIVING your loved one a partridge in a pear tree and lords a-leaping this
year, why not give a healthful gift that keeps
on giving? The following presents are as good
to give as they are to receive.
On the first day of Christmas my
true love gave to me: 1 molasses cookie.
Molasses may be helpful in weight loss,
according to research presented at the Society
for the Study of Ingestive Behavior. Scientists
found lower body weight and reduced body
fat in mice fed molasses extract for 12 weeks.
On the second day of Christmas my
true love gave to me: 2 ounces of almonds.
Research from St. Michael’s Hospital in
Toronto showed that eating nuts every day
could help control Type 2 diabetes and prevent its complications. Mixed, salted, raw or
dry-roasted, all showed benefits—and without weight gain.
On the third day of Christmas my true
love gave to me: 3 ounces of salmon.
The omega- 3 fatty acids found in salmon
act as natural anti-inflammatory agents and
may help reduce signs and symptoms of
osteoarthritis, according to a 2011 study from
the University of Bristol, published in
Osteoarthritis and Cartilage.
On the fourth day of Christmas my
true love gave to me: 4 ounces of red wine.
One 4-ounce glass of red wine a day for
women (two glasses for men) may help raise
one’s high-density lipoprotein, or HDL, the
“good” cholesterol in the body, and help prevent heart disease. Antioxidants in the grape
skin contribute to the benefits.
On the fifth day of Christmas my
true love gave to me: 5 yoga poses.
Yoga and stretching relieve back pain and
help improve back-related functioning,
The participants in the study practiced a style of yoga called viniyoga,
which modifies yoga principles for
people with health conditions.
On the sixth day of Christmas
my true love gave to me: 6 ounces of
Greek yogurt is
thicker than traditional
yogurt, with twice the
protein and approximately half the sugar.
A 6-ounce container of Greek
yogurt contains roughly
15 to 20 grams
of protein or
9 grams), equiva-
lent to 2 to 3 ounces of lean meat.
On the seventh day of Christmas my
true love gave to me: 7 servings of veggies.
A 2012 study from the University of
Warwick, published in the journal Social
Indicators Research, found that people who
eat seven portions of fruit and vegetables a
day have the highest mental well-being and
are the happiest.
On the eighth day of Christmas my
true love gave to me: 8 hours of sleep.
DECEMBER 2012 ;e Costco Connection 65
is a California-