Eating dairy cheese may protect against sodium-related health risks

[Science ★★★★]

cheese

(P1) Consuming dairy cheese instead of other sodium-laden foods may actually protect against some of sodium’s effects on the cardiovascular system, such as high blood pressure, according to researchers at Penn State.

(P2) The researchers say the protection comes from antioxidant properties of dairy proteins in cheese.

(P3) “This is a novel finding that may have implications for dietary recommendations. Newer dietary recommendations suggest limiting sodium, but our data suggest that eating sodium in the form of a dairy product, such as cheese, may be protective,” said Lacy Alexander, associate professor of kinesiology and co-lead researcher on the project.

(P4) “We are already aware that at the population level, people who eat more dairy typically have lower blood pressure,” Alexander added.

(P5) The data suggest that when sodium is consumed in cheese it does not have the negative vascular effects that researchers observed with sodium from non-dairy sources. The researchers interpret this to mean that the proteins and nutrients in cheese may be protecting the blood vessels from the short-term negative effects of sodium. However, it is not known if this protection extends over the long term.

(P6) For the study, Alexander and colleagues fed participants dairy cheese, pretzels, or soy cheese on five separate occasions, three days apart. They then compared the effects of each food on the cardiovascular system using a laser-Doppler, which shines a weak laser light onto the skin.

(P7) The laser light reflects off red blood cells that flow through the vessels just under the skin, allowing researchers to measure how much the blood vessels dilate in response to skin warming and how much of that dilation is due to the production of nitric oxide, a gas that’s naturally produced in the body to deliver messages between cells.

(P8) The goal was to compare the effect of short-term dairy-cheese consumption to sodium consumption from non-dairy sources.

(P9) Soy served as an additional control to match the fat, salt, and protein content from a dietary source that is not dairy-based.

(P10) “We found that when our subjects ate a lot of sodium in cheese, they had better blood vessel function, more blood flow, compared to when they ate an equal amount of sodium from non-dairy sources, in this case, pretzels and soy cheese,” said Anna Stanhewicz, co-investigator and postdoctoral fellow in the Center for Healthy Aging.

(P12) “We know that more red blood cells mean more blood flow and more dilation. We observed that subjects had more nitric oxide-moderated dilation after eating dairy cheese, compared to after eating pretzels or soy cheese.”

(P13) The researchers reported their findings in the British Journal of Nutrition. Other researchers involved included Billie Alba, a pre-doctoral student in the Department of Kinesiology, and W. Larry Kenney, professor of kinesiology and Marie Underhill Noll Chair in Human Performance.

(P14) An ongoing follow-up study tests the same effects over a longer period of time.

WORDS: 473

SOURCE: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/11/161102102053.htm

VOCABULARY: cardiovascular, antioxidant, kinesiology, dilate, fellow (postdoctoral)

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS:

If you found the passage difficult to read or had problems understanding specific words or idiomatic expressions, please discuss them with your tutor. The following discussion questions should be answered in your own words and with your own arguments.

  1. Briefly, summarize the content of the article in your own words.
  2. Name some types of cheeses that people consume in your country.
  3. Do you think it’s important to obtain a doctorate’s degree? Why or why not?
  4. Do you think it’s important to study the effects of diary-cheese products and non-dairy cheese products in humans? Why or why not?

READING COMPREHENSION QUESTIONS:

  1. What’s the name of the organization that performed the research?
  2. Eating cheese will definitely protect people from cardiovascular diseases like high blood pressure. (T or F)
  3. The aim of the research was to compare long-term consequences of eating diary-cheese to non-diary foods. (T or F)
  4. What’s the name of the person from the Center for Healthy Aging?
  5. Billie Alba is not a postdoctoral student. (T or F)

EXPRESSIONS or PHRASES:

What do the following expressions or phrases mean?

  • a novel finding (P3)
  • if this protection extends over the long term (P5)
  • reflects off red blood cells (P7)
  • soy served as an additional control (P9)
  • an ongoing follow-up study (P14)

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Image source: by “unknown” http://kulinari.net/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/346-509×264.jpg

ObamaCare Premiums Are Going to Soar Next Year

[World News ★★★]

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(P1) Premiums will go up sharply next year under President Obama’s health care law, and many consumers will be down to just one insurer, the administration confirmed Monday. That’s sure to stoke another ObamaCare controversy days before a presidential election, the AP reports. Before taxpayer-provided subsidies, premiums for a midlevel benchmark plan will increase an average of 25% across the 39 states served by the federally run online market, according to a report from the Department of Health and Human Services. Some states will see much bigger jumps, others less.

(P2) Major national carriers such as UnitedHealth Group, Humana, and Aetna scaled back their roles, meaning about one in five consumers will only have plans from a single insurer to pick from. Republicans pounced on the numbers as a warning that insurance markets created by the 2010 health overhaul are teetering toward a “death spiral.” “It’s over for ObamaCare,” Donald Trump proclaimed at a campaign rally Monday evening in Tampa, Fla., promising that his own plan would deliver “great health care at a fraction of the cost.” Administration officials, however, stress that subsidies provided under the law, which are designed to rise alongside premiums, will protect most customers.

WORDS: 196

SOURCE: http://www.newser.com/story/233047/obamacare-premiums-to-leap-an-average-25.html

VOCABULARY: stoke, subsidies, benchmark, carriers, pounced, proclaimed

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS:

If you found the passage difficult to read or had problems understanding specific words or idiomatic expressions, please discuss them with your tutor. The following discussion questions should be answered in your own words and with your own arguments.

  1. Briefly, summarize the content of the article in your own words.
  2. Describe your country’s healthcare system?
  3. Do you think healthcare should be free for everyone? Why or why not?
  4. What is your opinion about the ObamaCare health program in the USA?

READING COMPREHENSION QUESTIONS:

  1. Many consumers will only have one choice for a healthcare insurer. (T or F)
  2. By what percent will mid-range health care plans increase?
  3. Every State in the USA will see the same increase in premiums. (T or F)
  4. Which insurers will decrease their roles in the ObamaCare program?
  5. Who said ObamaCare is finished?

EXPRESSIONS or PHRASES:

What do the following expressions or phrases mean?

  • down to just one insurer (P1)
  • federally run online market (P1)
  • scaled back (P2)
  • death spiral (P2)

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Image source: by Pablo Martinez Monsivais http://www.newser.com/story/233047/obamacare-premiums-to-leap-an-average-25.html

Shopping Benefits

[Health ★★★]

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(P1) Shopping may be bad for your wallet but it is good for your health, say some experts.  Recent studies have shown that “retail therapy” is an effective way of helping people to deal with depression.  People who are feeling blue often believe that they cannot control their surroundings.  However, making decisions about what to purchase helps restore feelings of control over environment and self.

(P2) Shopping can also be considered a form of entertainment, which can also help lift spirits.  Finding a great bargain, for example, can also build up one’s feelings of self-worth.Shopping for other people can also help people form healthy relationships.  For example, grandparents can bond with their grandchildren by purchasing new toys for them.  This connection can make them happier because they feel closer to their family.

(P3) Shopping can help improve a person’s mood and it can also be good for your physical health.  A recent article in The Daily Telegraph newspaper in Britain revealed that walking and carrying shopping bags can burn off 385 calories in a week.  A study by one department store in England says that women walk an average of three miles for every two and a half hours of weekly shopping.  Men tend to walk for only 1.5 miles during their average weekly shopping, which usually lasts around 50 minutes per week.  The charity, The Heart Foundation, also advocates people to shop because it prevents them from sitting, which can also be very bad for the heart.

WORDS: 245

SOURCE: http://dreamreader.net/lesson/shopping-benefits-2/

VOCABULARY: restore, bargain, build up, bond, burn off, advocates

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS:

If you found the passage difficult to read or had problems understanding specific words or idiomatic expressions, please discuss them with your tutor. The following discussion questions should be answered in your own words and with your own arguments.

  1. Briefly, summarize the content of the article in your own words.
  2. Do you like going to the shopping mall? Why or why not?
  3. When you go shopping, what do you like to shop for?
  4. Do you think shopping is addicting? Why or why not?

READING COMPREHENSION QUESTIONS:

  1. “Retail Therapy” can help people reduce what mental condition?
  2. Another benefit of shopping is it provides a way to entertain oneself. (T or F)
  3. Which periodical performed a study about the health benefits of shopping?
  4. A department store’s study suggests men walk 1 hour per week when shopping. (T or F)
  5. According to the article, sitting too much can increase heart disease. (T or F)

EXPRESSIONS or PHRASES:

What do the following expressions or phrases mean?

  • feeling blue (P1)
  • lift spirits (P2)
  • self-worth (P2)
  • tend to walk (P3)

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Image source: by “unknown” Public Domain

Sad movies help reduce pain

[Health ★★★]

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(P1) Watching sad movies can be just what the doctor ordered. A study shows that sad movies may boost our tolerance to pain. Researchers say that sad movies can increase the number of endorphins released by the brain. These chemicals are our body’s natural painkillers. They relieve physical or emotional pain. Dr. Robin Dunbar said the distress people get from tragedy triggers the endorphin system and relieves our pain.

(P2) Dr. Dunbar conducted tests to find out the effect sad stories have on us. One group of people watched a sad movie about a disabled man fighting homelessness, drugs, and alcohol. Another group watched a film on Britain’s geology. The pain tolerance of those who watched the sad film increased by 13.1%, while the pain tolerance for those who watched the documentary decreased by 4.6%. One reason we like sad movies is the natural high we get from the endorphins.

WORDS: 148

SOURCE: http://www.breakingnewsenglish.com/1609/160924-painkillers-4.html

VOCABULARY: tolerance, endorphins, distress, triggers, geology

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS:

If you found the passage difficult to read or had problems understanding specific words or idiomatic expressions, please discuss them with your tutor. The following discussion questions should be answered in your own words and with your own arguments.

  1. Briefly, summarize the content of the article in your own words.
  2. Do you like to watch sad movies? Why or why not?
  3. What are some things that can cause people emotional pain?
  4. What do you do if you have emotional or physical pain?

READING COMPREHENSION QUESTIONS:

  1. According to the study, what goes up when people watch sad movies?
  2. What do endorphins alleviate?
  3. Who managed the tests in the research?
  4. The research involved three groups of people. (T or F)
  5. What kind of high is produced when people watch sad movies?

EXPRESSIONS or PHRASES:

What do the following expressions or phrases mean?

  • the doctored ordered (P1)
  • our body’s natural painkillers (P1)
  • the effect of sad stories (P2)
  • pain tolerance (P2)
  • natural high (P2)

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Image source: by “unknown” http://nb9.stumbleupon.netdna-cdn.com/0WVe6nXnUDv-vPi3zhViwQ

Internet addiction sign of mental health problems

[Health ★★]

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(P1) People who use the Internet too much may have mental health problems, especially if they cannot get online regularly. A survey into the Internet habits of 254 students found 107 students were addicted or had problems like depression. We know little about the dangers of Internet addiction. We need to know more.

(P2) A researcher said students who are addicted to the Internet have more problems with their day-to-day life at home, at work, or school. He said people with Internet addiction were more depressed and had problems with time management. We need to know if mental health problems cause Internet addiction.

WORDS: 101

SOURCE: http://www.breakingnewsenglish.com/1609/160921-internet-addiction-0.html

VOCABULARY: habits, addicted, depression, dangers, researcher, time management

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS:

If you found the passage difficult to read or had problems understanding specific words or idiomatic expressions, please discuss them with your tutor. The following discussion questions should be answered in your own words and with your own arguments.

  1. Briefly, summarize the content of the article in your own words.
  2. Why do you think people are addicted to the internet?
  3. How many hours per day do you use the internet?
  4. Should children be supervised when they use the internet? Why or why not?

READING COMPREHENSION QUESTIONS:

  1. Who may have mental health problems if they can’t get online daily?
  2. How many students were addicted to the internet in the survey?
  3. Students that are addicted to the internet have problems at home, work, and school. (T or F)
  4. What 2 problems do students have if they are addicted to the internet?
  5. Researchers know that mental health problems cause internet addiction. (T or F)

EXPRESSIONS or PHRASES:

What do the following expressions or phrases mean?

  • may have mental health problems (P1)
  • cannot get online regularly (P1)
  • day-to-day life (P2)
  • we need to know (P2)

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Image source: by “unknown” http://rightbullets.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/Internet-Addict-Poster.png

People With Chronic Fatigue May Be Fighting ‘Hibernation’

[Health ★★★]

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(P1) Chronic fatigue syndrome is a debilitating but still-mysterious ailment often marked by long-term fatigue, pain, and memory loss. But symptoms of CFS, or myalgic encephalomyelitis, vary considerably and no cause has been determined or diagnostic test developed, leading to the widespread notion that patients are dealing with a mental, rather than physical, illness, notes Pacific Standard.

(P2) Now a study out of the University of California at San Diego published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences could change that in a big way. As the Washington Post explains, the research suggests that the bodies of those with CFS have gone into a hibernation of sorts. And while hibernation can be of great benefit to creatures in the wild, it has awful effects in humans.

(P3) The scientists found that those with the syndrome have lower levels of metabolites, defined by PS as “the waste products of chemical reactions inside cells.” The resulting “metabolic signature” was strikingly similar to animals in hibernation mode, suggesting that patients’ cells went into defensive mode to ward off trouble and never quite came out of it. One professor out of Stanford is so impressed by the potential “game changer” that he’s collaborating with other scientists to try to replicate the findings in a larger study. “What they found is that there may be an ancient pathway, and maybe in humans, it’s not working very well,” he tells the Post. It holds the promise of a diagnostic test and treatment in the foreseeable future.

WORDS: 249

SOURCE: http://www.newser.com/story/230715/people-with-chronic-fatigue-may-be-fighting-hibernation.html

VOCABULARY: debilitating, hibernation, metabolites, ward off, game changer, replicate

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS:

If you found the passage difficult to read or had problems understanding specific words or idiomatic expressions, please discuss them with your tutor. The following discussion questions should be answered in your own words and with your own arguments.

  1. Briefly, summarize the content of the article in your own words.
  2. Do you ever get fatigued? Why or why not?
  3. What are some other things can be warded off?
  4. In your opinion do you think CFS is a mental or physical illness? Why?

READING COMPREHENSION QUESTIONS:

  1. What is another name for CFS?
  2. Going into hibernation is good for animals and people. (T or F)
  3. Which publication contains research by a university in San Diego, California?
  4. People with CFS have a decreased level of what?
  5. A diagnostic exam and a remedy are possible in the not too distant future. (T or F)

EXPRESSIONS or PHRASES:

What do the following expressions or phrases mean

  • often marked (P1)
  • of sorts (P2)
  • strikingly similar (P3)
  • foreseeable future (P3)

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Image source: by “unknown” https://i.ytimg.com/vi/-lYdFb1mwv8/hqdefault.jpg

Flu vaccine more effective this year; milder season so far

[Health ★★★]

flu

(P1) The flu vaccine is doing a better job this year.

(P2) Preliminary data suggest it is 59 percent effective. That’s a big improvement from last winter’s nasty flu season when the vaccine was less than 20 percent effective.

(P3) Unlike last year’s vaccine, this year’s is a good match to the strains making people sick.

(P4) It’s been a milder flu season so far, though health officials said it has not yet peaked.

(P5) The numbers were presented Wednesday at a meeting in Atlanta of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, which gives advice on vaccine use to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

(P6) The committee also amended its flu vaccine guidance for people with egg allergies, saying research has shown it’s OK for them to get the nasal spray version made from live virus grown in eggs.

(P7) The panel also said doctors no longer need to watch those with egg allergies for a half hour after a vaccination. But those who’ve had severe reactions should get vaccinated in a doctor’s office or medical setting.

WORDS: 172

SOURCE: http://www.koreatimesus.com/flu-vaccine-more-effective-this-year-milder-season-so-far/

VOCABULARY: preliminary, nasty, strains, amended, nasal, panel

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS:

If you found the passage difficult to read or had problems understanding specific words or idiomatic expressions, please discuss them with your tutor. The following discussion questions should be answered in your own words and with your own arguments.

  1. Briefly, summarize the content of the article in your own words.
  2. Do you get the flu vaccine every year? Why or why not?
  3. In your opinion, will there ever be a cure for the flu? Why or why not?
  4. Do you have any allergies or know somebody with allergies? If so, who and what allergies?

READING COMPREHENSION QUESTIONS:

  1. So far, how effective is this year’s vaccine for the flu?
  2. The previous year’s vaccine was a good match but was just less effective. (T or F)
  3. Who gives suggestions to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention?
  4. Which type of vaccine was approved for people allergic to eggs?
  5. Doctors still need to observe people with egg allergies for at least 30 minutes. (T or F)

EXPRESSIONS or PHRASES:

What do the following expressions or phrases mean?

  • not yet peaked (P4)
  • the numbers were presented (P5)
  • with egg allergies (P6)
  • severe reactions (P7)

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Image source: by AP Photo/Patrick Sison http://www.koreatimesus.com/flu-vaccine-more-effective-this-year-milder-season-so-far/