Many of the conditions, like obesity and high blood pressure, are affected by individual choices related to diet and exercise. Chronic diseases account for almost two-thirds of deaths around the world.

Half of all adults in the U.S. have at least one chronic disease, like diabetes, high blood pressure or obesity, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found. And more than a quarter have two or more conditions.

The government study, published in The Lancet, is part of a new series in the journal called “The Health of Americans.”

The researchers said that people can dramatically reduce their risk of chronic conditions by quitting smoking, eating right, getting exercise, drinking less and treating high blood pressure and high cholesterol.

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The first very large study to investigate the subject found that those who consume a daily average of five total servings of fruit and vegetables live more than three years longer than those who virtually never eat fruit and vegetables.

Overall, all-cause mortality was calculated, and compared to the number of fruit and vegetable (FV) servings consumed daily, through a questionnaire in a very large, population-based study of 38,221 men and 33,485 women, aged 45 to 83. In comparison with those consuming five servings of FV per day, those who never consumed FV died 37 months earlier than those who consumed 5 servings of FV daily.

 When scientists examined consumption of fruit and vegetables separately, they found that those who never consumed fruit died 19 months sooner than those who ate just one serving of fruit a day. Participants who never consumed vegetables died 32 months sooner than those who ate three vegetable servings a day.

This study will be published in the August 2013 issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

We live at an exciting crossroads in the world of health care. Ancient medical systems like Ayurveda and traditional chinese medicine are as accessible as modern medical treatments like pharmaceuticals and surgery. One excels at systemic issues, the other excels at acute issues. While the choice is something to celebrate, it can also be overwhelming: We can end up confused about when to choose what and how to sift through the possibilities.

To help you navigate through the maze of integrative medicine treatment options, both for your loved one and for yourself (hey, what caregiver couldn’t use a massage?), I have interviewed leaders in the field and will be writing a series of blog posts on topic. To kick off the series, here is my interview with Andrew Weil, M.D., founder and director of the Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine at the College of Medicine at the University of Arizona.

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Need more happiness, energy and calm in your life? A new study suggests it could be as easy as adding more fruits and vegetables to your diet.

After analyzing the food diaries of 281 young adults for 21 days, researchers at the University of Otago in New Zealand say they found a day-to-day relationship between those who reported a higher fruit and vegetable consumption and positive mood.

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NEW YORK (Reuters Health) – Despite hopes that a Mediterranean-style diet would be as good for the head as it is for the heart, a new study among French men and women found little benefit to aging brains.

The research, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, looked at the participants’ dietary patterns in middle age and measured their cognitive performance at around age 65, but found no connection between Mediterranean eating and mental performance.

“They did as careful of a job as possible to find something, but they didn’t find anything,” said Teresa Fung, a professor of nutrition at Simmons College in Boston who was not involved in the study.

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Science has confirmed just why an herb used in Chinese medicine possesses its healing properties.

The findings, published in the journal Nature, show that the herbal medicine Chang Shan, which is used to treat fever from malaria in Chinese medicine, works because of a derived compound in it called halofuginone.

The scientists from the Scripps Research Institute were able to find just howhalofuginone works to suppress the immune system (since an immune response is generally what causes fevers) by creating a high-res molecular structure of the compound.

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Based on studies of mice, experts at Columbia University Medical Center in New York City are suggesting that leptin, a hormone involved in energy metabolism, appetite, fertility, and building bone mass, may play a key role in the link between asthma and obesity — and possibly lead to development of a leptin-based treatment for weight-related asthma.

The researchers observed that some patients who are anorexic or obese also have asthma, which makes sense because both abnormally low or high body weight and fat mass can result in narrowing of the airways and diminished lung function.

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(CNN) — Your child’s pediatrician isn’t likely to ask whether you are giving your youngsters herbs or treating them to acupuncture.

But enough children are now using alternative therapies that physicians should be inquiring about it, and parents need to volunteer information about any complementary medicine approaches their children are using to avoid any potential harmful interactions with conventional treatments.

A new study published in the journal Pediatrics finds that the use of complementary and alternative medicine, or CAM, is common among children, especially those who have been diagnosed with chronic health conditions such as asthma.

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The Secretary of State for Health, Jeremy Hunt, was questioned by the BBC today on views expressed in a five year old letter to a constituent.  The letter defended NHS funding of homeopathic hospitals and the question was whether the Health Minister thought homeopathic medicine worked.  That was the wrong question. That was not what his letter – written while in Opposition – actually claimed. It had emphasised that healthcare was to be “patient-led”.

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When you have secondary progressive multiple sclerosis, you’re not supposed to get better. No one knows that better than Dr. Terry Wahls, the assistant chief of staff at the Iowa Veterans Affairs Medical Center. Wahls herself was diagnosed with MS in 2000 and watched her physical abilities steadily decline. Several years later, when she found herself unable to walk or even sit up in a wheelchair, Walhs became determined to improve. Having already seen the best doctors at the renowned Cleveland Clinic and taken the state-of-the-art drugs, she knew she had to do something radical.

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