Virtual Medical
Issue 111 | Wednesday 14 December 2011

Message from the VMC Medical Spokesperson

Dr Joe Kosterich



Dr Joe

Welcome to this edition of Health eNews!

The festive season is a time to celebrate and catch up with family and friends. Yet sadly for some, it is a time of stress and sadness rather than joy. Staying healthy over the season is easy. Enjoy the finger foods and alcohol in moderation. Drink plenty of water and spend only what you can afford. Also spare a thought and perhaps a donation for those less fortunate than ourselves.

The team at VMC wish you a wonderful Festive Season and a healthy New Year!

Enter our new competition and win Movie Tickets

In this newsletter's competition we are giving away 75 double passes to the movie Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows. To enter simply tell us who your favourite celebrity is and why. Please forward this newsletter to your friends and family too.


The winners of double passes in our members-only competition New Year's Eve have been announced. You can see the lucky winners here.

Have a say
Login and browse our forum to see what everyone else is talking about.
If you have a new email address you can update your email here.

Yours in good health,

Dr Joe Kosterich

"Just Chill?"

article image Holiday relaxation can make you fatter?
Conventional wisdom says that exercise is a key to weight loss — a no-brainer. But now, researchers are revealing that life as a couch potato, stretched out in front of the TV, can actually be "active inactivity" — and cause you to pack on the pounds....
Read complete article

News on type 1 diabetes

article image Control glucose early for most diabetes benefit
Controlling blood glucose early in the course of type 1 diabetes yields huge dividends, preserving kidney function for decades. Compared to conventional therapy, near-normal control of blood glucose beginning soon after diagnosis of type 1 diabetes....
Read complete article

Alcohol abuse

article image More Australians seeking treatment
Increasing numbers of Australians are using drug treatment services for alcohol use, according to a new report. The report shows that alcohol was the principal drug of concern reported in almost half (48%) of the...
Read complete article

Quit smoking

article image Chantix unsuitable for first-line use
The poor safety profile of the smoking-cessation drug varenicline (Chantix™) makes it unsuitable for first-line use, according to a new study. Varenicline, which already carries a "black box warning" from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), showed a...
Read complete article

HIV and child conception

article image Assisted reproduction with HIV can be safe
People with HIV can safely conceive a child using assisted reproduction, according to a retrospective analysis. The study reviews the outcomes of 37 HIV-positive people with HIV-negative partners (known as 'serodiscordant' couples) who....
Read complete article

Contraception and women's pleasure

article image New birth control, same troubles
Today's hormonal forms of birth control are vastly different from those used by earlier generations of women, both with lower levels of hormones and with different means of delivery (not just a pill), but many of the same problems related to women's pleasure remain....
Read complete article

Mental health in Australia

article image Research reveals the daily struggle
A comprehensive study of thousands of people with psychotic illness provides compelling evidence of the need to provide more support and better-coordinated community mental health services in Australia....
Read complete article

Pollen season

article image 'Thunderstorm asthma' warning
Doctors are calling for extra warnings about the increased risk of asthma episodes when thunderstorms erupt in spring and summer after there has been a lot of pollen around, as evident in recent epidemics of 'thunderstorm asthma' in Melbourne....
Read complete article

Virtual Medical Centre Interactive


VIDEO: Great holiday advice: Dr Joe talks about mindfulness
Watch the video

3D animation ANIMATION: Holidays get your blood pressure up?
This is how it happens
View the animation
Tool TOOL: Stay safe: Estimate your blood alcohol concentration
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

friendly bannerFriendly banner

Today's Survey

What do you do to make your festive lunch healthy?

Include lots of fruit and veg as part of the lunch
Trim excess fat from meats
Go easy on the alcohol
Have the traditional lunch and play sports afterwards
View Results »



Orange Ginger Christmas Cake

A recipe for Christmas cake with the spice of ginger and the tang of orange. Quick and easy to prepare, it makes a perfect dessert or party treat. Dairy free, it's suitable for people who are lactose intolerant.

Makes 15 servings


  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup mild-flavoured extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 large eggs, yolk and white separated
  • 2 Tbs grated orange zest
  • 1/3 cup fresh orange juice
  • 100 g chopped crystallised ginger
  • 1 cup whole-wheat pastry flour
  • 2/3 cup plain flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • 5 oranges, separated into segments


1. Preheat oven to 180oC. Line a 20 cm round cake pan with baking paper and oil lightly.

2. Stir together honey, remaining oil, egg yolks, zest, juice and 3 tablespoons of crystallized ginger in a bowl.

3. Sift whole-wheat pastry flour, flour, baking powder and salt into a large bowl.

4. Beat egg whites with a mixer on high until soft peaks appear (1–2 minutes).

5. Stir the honey mixture into the flour mixture until smooth.

6. Fold in the egg whites with a spatula.

7. Pour the mix into the prepared pan.

8. Bake the cake until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean (around 35 minutes).

9. Transfer the pan to a wire rack to cool.

10. Just before serving, garnish with the remaining 2 tablespoons of ginger and orange segments.

Preparation time: 50 minutes
Cooking time: 35 minutes
Difficulty rating: Medium

View more healthy recipes.

Laughter is the Best Medicine

How to Have a Long, Healthy Life?

A woman walked up to a wrinkled, little old man rocking in a chair on his veranda.

"I couldn’t help noticing how happy you look," she asked. "What’s your secret for a long happy life?"

"I smoke three packs of cigarettes a day," he said. "I also drink a case of whisky a week, eat fatty foods, and never exercise."

"That’s amazing," said the woman, "how old are you?"


Send to a Friend
Update Your Details
Join Us on Twitter
Join Us on Facebook


Sent to *|EMAIL|*. Unsubscribe | Update Profile | Forward to a Friend