Virtual Medical
Issue 110 | Tuesday 29 November 2011

Message from the VMC Medical Spokesperson

Dr Joe Kosterich



Dr Joe

Welcome to this edition of Health eNews!

The kidneys are the body's filter. The entire bloodstream will go through the kidneys every three minutes. Kidney cancer is not as publicly discussed as some other forms of cancer, yet around 2,000 Australians will be diagnosed with kidney cancer each year. Read on to learn more about this and keeping your kidneys healthy.

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In this newsletter's competition we are giving away 75 double passes to the movie Dolphin Tale. To enter simply tell us what you think would be the hardest thing for you to give up on. Please forward this newsletter to your friends and family too.


The winners of double passes in our members-only competition The Ides of March have been announced. You can see the lucky winners here.

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Yours in good health,

Dr Joe Kosterich

Kidney health

article image Research aims to prevent diabetic kidney failure
Blocking the action of the enzyme arginase-2 might lead to protection against renal disease in diabetes, according to researchers....
Read complete article

I think the wash shrunk my shirt!

article image Diet and exercise over the holidays
Holidays are fantastic, but returning to work can be a little confronting when you try on your favourite shirt after two weeks and realise its getting 'a little snug'....
Read complete article

Foxtrot, salsa, rumba!

article image Dancing their falls away
Twice weekly ballroom dancing classes for senior citizens could bring back the balance and strength needed to prevent falls in elderly Australians, according to University of Sydney researchers....
Read complete article

Intimate relationships

article image Couples need sex
If it's been years since your last orgasm, would you bring it up with your partner or brush it off, thinking that orgasms in sex are myths? If your intimacy needs are not met, would you just carry on....
Read complete article

Cervical screening in Australia

article image Aus cervical cancer rates at all-time low
Latest figures in a report released by the AIHW show the incidence of cervical cancer among Australian women remains at an historic low since 2002....
Read complete article

Smoking and the danger of heart disease

article image Blood test to ID smokers at risk for heart disease
A simple blood test could someday quantify a smoker's lung toxicity and danger of heart disease, researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center have found....
Read complete article

Statistics on assisted reproductive technologies

article image More women seeking help to conceive
The use of assisted reproductive technologies (ARTs, or IVF) in Australia and New Zealand grew by almost 50% over the 5 years to 2009, according to a report released by the AIHW....
Read complete article

NSAIDs increase stroke risk

article image Common painkillers increase stroke risk
Use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as celecoxib and diclofenac is associated with an increased risk of stroke, according to new research....
Read complete article

Virtual Medical Centre Interactive


VIDEO: How to manage urinary incontinence
Watch the video

3D animation ANIMATION: How do kidney transplants work?
View the animation
Tool TOOL: Are your kidneys working well?
Use this tool to find out.
Use the tool
Disease search on VMC ENCYCLOPAEDIA: Popular health topics
View the most popular topics on Virtual Medical Centre.

The support of the following commercial entities is gratefully acknowledged:

Ferring Pharmaceuticals
Novogen Regenerate

Specialised Therapeutics
Boehringer Ingelheim


St Jude
Bayer Health Care


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Marvellous guilt-free meatballs

Makes 4 serves


  • 400 g trim beef mince
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1 medium brown onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1/2 cup pine nuts
  • 1/2 cup finely cut spring onions
  • 1/4 cup finely cut coriander
  • 50 g low-fat tasty cheese, shredded
  • 2 cubes vegetable stock
  • Olive oil


1. Place the vegetable stock in very little hot water to melt.

2. Put the onion and garlic in a saucepan with some olive oil and cook until soft and brown.

3. Add the pine nuts. Cook until lightly coloured.

4. Place all the ingredients into a large mixing bowl and use your hands to mix.

5. Shape the mixture into small balls about 3 cm in size.

6. Place the meatballs on a plate, cover with cling wrap and place in the fridge for about 20 minutes.

7. Add a small amount of olive oil onto a pan and cook the meatballs until golden brown.

Preparation time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 15 minutes
Difficulty rating: Easy

View more healthy recipes.

Laughter is the Best Medicine

An old man walking along the beach found a bottle. When he rubbed it, like magic a genie appeared.

“I will grant you three wishes,” announced the genie. “But the catch is for every wish you make, your ex-wife gets the wish as well — only double.”

The salesman thought about this for a while. “For my first wish, I would like my own tropical island” he announced. Instantly the genie gave him a map, pointed out an island and assured the man that the island was his. “But your ex-wife has just received two islands,” the genie said.

“I’ve always wanted a Ferrari,” the salesman said. Instantly a Ferrari appeared. “But your ex has just received two Ferrari's,” the genie said. “And what is your last wish?”

“Well,” said the old man, “I’ve always wanted to donate a kidney for transplant.”

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