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Of Human Interest: News lite

By ELLEN BECK, United Press International   |   Aug. 20, 2002 at 4:30 AM   |   Comments

OH, THOSE SWEET ANTIOXIDANTS

Eating blueberries might protect you against Alzheimer's Disease and honey might keep heart disease at bay. Researchers at the national meeting of the American Chemical Society this week said the reason in both cases appears to be these foods contain high levels of anti-oxidants -- chemicals thought to protect against organ damage.

Often foods such as honey or blueberries, which are dark in color, contain extra amounts of anti-oxidants.

"Typically, the more color in food, the better it is for you," said Nicki Engeseth, assistant professor of food chemistry at the University of Illinois, Urbana.

Studies find a chemical in blueberries known as anthocyanis -- the substance that gives fruits and vegetables their color -- might be helpful in protecting the brain.

While tea may lower cholesterol compared to drinking water alone, combining water and honey resulted in a greater significant difference in cholesterol levels.

(Thanks to Ed Susman, UPI Science News.)


SIMON REPLACES MCCARTNEY AT KENNEDY

The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts says singer-songwriter Paul Simon will replace Sir Paul McCartney on the list of 2002 Kennedy Center Honorees.

McCartney has a scheduling conflict and could not make the award presentation this year, so he will receive it in 2003 instead.

Kennedy Center Chairman James A. Johnson called the 60-year-old Simon "a musical legend ... a songwriter who helped shape several generations of young Americans."

Simon will join other award winners, actor James Earl Jones, conductor James Levine, entertainer Chita Rivera and actress Elizabeth Taylor, at the 25th annual Kennedy Center Honors during gala ceremonies in Washington on Dec. 7 and 8.


SOFTWARE MAKES FILMS OK FOR FAMILY

A Salt Lake City company is touting a software program it says will cover up the nasty bits in Hollywood movies and make "virtually any film" suitable entertainment for the whole family.

Trilogy Studios' MovieMask service uses up-to-date technology to replace bad words with good ones, cover up nudity and generally sanitize Hollywood's output so the kids won't be at risk of exposure to adult images or language.

Trilogy Studios markets the program as a way for concerned parents to let their kids watch the same stuff all the other kids -- presumably, those with unconcerned parents -- get to watch.

If you're concerned this sort of monkeying around with a movie's original content might have a tendency to mangle the original, Trilogy assures you the movies it has designed masks for are "carefully reviewed one at a time and edited with great care" to keep the original story intact.

(Thanks to UPI's Pat Nason in Hollywood.)


FLU SHOTS MAKE SENSE FOR YOUNG ADULTS

Although most healthy Americans do not get flu shots, vaccinations for healthy, young adults make medical and economic sense, researchers have concluded.

"We found that individuals and society will benefit if you vaccinate everyone with flu shots and use anti-viral medications with all people who get sick," Dr. Patrick Lee, lead researcher at Stanford University Hospital, told United Press International.

Ten percent to 20 percent of the U.S. population gets the flu each year, losing an average of 2.8 days of work. At present, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta limits its flu shot recommendation to the elderly, those with weakened immune systems and healthcare workers.

"Our conclusions depart from current conventional standards," Lee said.

© 2002 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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