Virtual Medical
Issue 113 | Tuesday 10 January 2012

Message from the VMC Medical Spokesperson

Dr Joe Kosterich



Dr Joe

Welcome to this edition of Health eNews!

New Year's resolutions are made with good intentions but often fail early in the New Year when motivation wanes. In this newsletter we'll help you to follow through with your healthy plans for 2012 by giving you all the information you need about diets, quitting smoking and other resolutions you may have made. So read on to regain that lost motivation!

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In this newsletter's competition we are giving away 75 double passes to the drama J. EDGAR. To enter simply tell us what your first action would be if you became the most powerful person in the world. Please forward this newsletter to your friends and family too.


The winners of double passes in our members-only competition Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows have been announced. You can see the lucky winners here.

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Yours in good health,

Dr Joe Kosterich

Dieters beware

article image The truth about fad diets
Many Australians want to lose weight and can improve their health by doing so. Significant proportions of Australian men (64%), women (47%) and children are overweight or obese and may be tempted to try a 'fad' diet which promises fast weight loss. However, weight problems....
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Advice about healthy food choices

article image NHMRC release healthy eating guidelines
The National Health and Medical Research Council has released its draft Australian Dietary Guidelines and the Australian Guide to Healthy Eating for public consultation.....
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Flicking the dart

article image Life after cigarettes
Life without cigarettes is not all doom and gloom. There is no doubt that giving up smoking improves health and saves lives. What is less clear is how quitting smoking affects ex-smokers' quality of life....
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"Swap It, Don't Stop It"

article image A little help for your weight loss resolution
Australians who made a New Year's resolution to lose weight can count on some help to reach their target weight. Minister for Health Tanya Plibersek encouraged people to sign up to a free 12-week planner and make changes towards a healthier lifestyle....
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Mediterranean diet to prevent acute pancreatitis

article image Olive oil and fish good for your gut
Oleic acid and hydroxytyrosol - present in a particularly high concentration in virgin olive oil - and n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids - found in fish - affect the cellular mechanisms involved in the development of acute pancreatitis, researchers found....
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New treatment for Type-1 diabetes discovered

article image New sugar a treat for diabetes treatment
Researchers have identified a previously unknown process which causes destruction of the insulin-producing beta cells in the pancreas. The researchers found that the insulin-producing cells need a complex sugar, heparan sulphate, for their survival.....
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Childhood leukaemia

article image Smoking fathers linked to most common child cancer
New research from Perth's Telethon Institute for Child Health Research (ICHR) has found that children whose fathers smoked around the time of conception may have a 35 per cent higher risk of developing childhood leukaemia.....
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New portal answering questions about cancer

article image Drinking water prevents cancer? Debunking myths
In an effort to combat misconceptions, Cancer Council has launched a new website,, to provide evidence-based answers to questions about cancer.....
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Virtual Medical Centre Interactive


VIDEO: How to train the right way: Dr Joe talks about cardio training
Watch the video

3D animation ANIMATION: What happens to your body when you quit smoking?
View the animation
Tool TOOL: Monitor your exercise program with this energy expenditure tool
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


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Today's Survey

What do you find hardest about sticking to your New Year's resolution?

I set my goals too high
My friends and/or family are not making the same changes as I am
I don't have enough time to follow through
I don't know how to get started

Other (please comment)
View Results



Christmas Berry Soufflé

Makes 4 serves


  • 5 egg whites
  • 300 g berries (e.g. raspberries or mixed berries), puréed in:
    • 30 mL your favourite liqueur (e.g. marsala or grand marnier)
    • 70 mL fruit juice
  • 200 g berries for topping
  • 1 Tbs (20 g) castor sugar
  • 200 mL low-fat plain yoghurt


1. Put paper collars on 4 individual soufflé dishes.

2. Add castor sugar to cling to the sides (this aids rising).

3. Beat the egg whites until soft peaks form.

4. Fold the warm puréed fruit in gently.

5. Spoon into prepared soufflé dishes.

6. Put into 180oC conventional oven for about 10 minutes or until well risen and slightly browned on top.

7. Top soufflé with fresh berries and low-fat yoghurt.

Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 10 minutes
Difficulty rating: Medium

View more healthy recipes.

Laughter is the Best Medicine

Jemima was taking an afternoon nap on New Year's Eve before the festivities.

After she woke up, she confided to Max, her husband, 'I just dreamed that you gave me a diamond ring for a New Year's present. What do you think it all means?'

'Aha, you'll know tonight,' answered Max smiling broadly.

At midnight, as the New Year was chiming, Max approached Jemima and handed her a small package.

Delighted and excited she opened it quickly.

There in her hand rested a book entitled: 'The meaning of dreams'.

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