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Can-do Attitude

There is a well-established link between exercise involvement and reduction in depression, but why does that reduction occur? According to a recent study of 19 women suffering from depression, exercise gives participants greater feelings of "self-efficacy"; that is, they believe that they can control the stressful situations they find themselves in.

These feelings came from five contributing factors:
1) Making a commitment to improve physical health.
2) Learning health-related coping skills.
3) Setting small, attainable goals, which gave confidence.
4) Learning to self-manage actions by doing exercises independently at home.
5) Seeing themselves as people who could create positive impact in their own lives, rather than just being victims of depression.

Standards for Supplements

One of the key challenges the health-conscious consumer faces is judging the product labels on supplements. Since there is such a variety of testing methods for ingredients, it can be hard to compare products put out by different companies.

In order to establish a standard, the Association of Analytic Communities (AOAC) was asked to set up the Official Methods program. This program attempts to validate methods for determining ingredients in dietary supplements. This will confirm public confidence in the natural health products industry, so people can be assured that the products are safe and healthy for use.

The first method to be approved is the NOW Foods' glucosamine HPLC method. The approval process was intensive, involving two years of testing at a minimum of eight different laboratories. This is significant because it provides a standard by which all products containing glucosamine will be tested. Currently, the AOAC's Dietary Supplements Task Force is drawing up methods for 24 other products, such as Coenzyme Q10, echinacea, and garlic.

A Month of Awareness and Prevention

Violence against women is an issue that continues to plague virtually every society in the world. Research consistently shows that the experience of psychological, physical, or sexual abuse has severe effects on a woman's well-being long after the incident itself. According to one study, women who had experienced abuse in the previous 12 months were six times more likely to continue to experience psychological distress and four times as likely to use psychotropic drugs.

This month marks a few important days in the attempt to raise awareness of and to prevent violence against women. Ontario will observe Woman Abuse Prevention Month-see http://www.gov.on.ca/citizenship/owd/index.html. People around the world will observe International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women on November 25-see http://www.fac-aec.gc.ca/department/violence-against-women-en.asp.

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