This week, Dr. Leonard Weiner explains a mysterious polio-like illness affecting children in California.

Plus, Cristina Pope weighed nearly 250 pounds when she decided to get serious about losing weight. Within a year she shed more than 100 pounds by carefully watching her nutrition intake and working out regularly. Now, almost two years later, she's kept the weight off.

We'll share her secrets to success, which include exercising in a variety of ways and eating plenty of vegetables.

Nutrition facts label will be changing

Mar 21, 2014

The familiar nutrition label you see on every food and drink you buy will be changing. This week on WRVO's health and wellness show "Take Care," hosts Lorraine Rapp and Linda Lowen speak with Tracy Fox, president of Food, Nutrition & Policy Consultants in Washington D.C.  Fox discusses the current nutrition label and what changes might be coming.

Lorraine Rapp: I wondered if you would talk about how effective these labels have been in helping consumers make more informed decisions? Overall has the program been effective?

Quench your thirst for knowledge about water consumption

Mar 16, 2014
Vassilis Online / Flickr

We hear all sorts of recommendations when it comes to drinking water: drink 6-8 glasses of water a day, drink fluids when you have a cold and drink still water instead of flavored water or soda. All this advice is enough to make your head spin -- and your bladder swim.

This week on Take Care, Dr. Stanley Goldfarb discusses some common misconceptions about water consumption in part two of his interview. Goldfarb is a professor of medicine at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. He has a specialty in renal electrolyte and hypertension, and is a leading expert in the topic of water consumption.

Click 'Read More' to hear the second part of our interview with Dr. Goldfarb.

This week: how lubricants affect fertility

Mar 14, 2014
Upstate University Hospital

Couples trying to conceive may be surprised to learn that many sexual lubricants act as spermicides, reducing their changes of pregnancy.

Several commercial products and household oils are harmful to sperm and can slow the movement of sperm, according to a study conducted through the andrology laboratory at Upstate Medical University. We'll discuss the study and it's implications with the director of andrology services, Kazim Chohan, and Dr. Renee Mestad.

Then, Dr. Antonia Culebras explains how to reduce stroke risk for people with irregular heartbeats.

Myths about water consumption debunked

Mar 14, 2014
Some rights reserved by BaronBrian

There are many theories about water consumption: but are they true? Is carbonated water as healthy as still water? Should you drink more fluids when you have a cold ? This week on WRVO's health and wellness show "Take Care," hosts Lorraine Rapp and Linda Lowen,  speak with Dr. Stanley Goldfarb,  professor of medicine at the University of Pennsylvania.  Goldfarb debunks some of the myths about drinking water in part two of his interview.

A new book is shining a spotlight on the environmental issues within our nation’s schools.

"Toxic Schoolhouse," is an anthology that raises a number of issues including the absence of oversight of schools by the Environmental Protection Agency.

Madeleine Scammell, co-editor of the compilation, says the EPA has no regulatory authority in the local school, so watchdog responsibilities too often fall to teachers and parents.

How much water does the body really need?

Mar 7, 2014
[cipher] / Flickr

Taking a water bottle to the gym or drinking a certain amount of water each day may seem like good choices.  But do they provide health benefits? This week on WRVO's health and wellness show "Take Care," hosts Lorraine Rapp and Linda Lowen speak with Dr. Stanley Goldfarb, professor of medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Goldfarb explains what his research has shown about why water is so important to the body but how you may not need as much of it as you think.

Upstate University Hospital

For a woman in her late 40s to early 60s, just hearing a healthcare provider assure that "you're not alone, and you're not going crazy," can be a source of comfort.

Heather Shannon, director of the midwifery program at Upstate Medical University, says that the end of childbearing years for many women comes with a multitude of symptoms: hot flashes and night sweats, depression or anxiety and mood swings. Also during this time, women may develop problems with their thyroid and/or adrenal glands. It can leave women frustrated.

Some rights reserved by Antonio Garcia.

The Environmental Protection Agency finalized its federal emission standards for cars and gasoline Monday, putting them in line with programs already in place in California.

The cleaner fuel and car standards will be rolled out starting in 2017. Once fully in place, the EPA estimates they’ll lower overall pollution levels and help avoid up to 2,000 early deaths per year.

zen Sutherland / Flickr

Obsessive compulsive disorder is the most common anxiety disorder. At least five million Americans suffer from this disorder, which gives people obsessive thoughts. This week on WRVO's health and wellness show "Take Care," hosts Lorraine Rapp and Linda Lowen, speak with Dr. Robin Zasio, a clinical psychologist who specializes in treating anxiety disorders. Zasio discusses obsessive compulsive disorder, and how its symptoms can affect daily life.

Sudipto Sarkar / Flickr

The Syracuse Common Council’s new health committee used its first meeting to discuss a smoking ban in the city’s Cathedral Square neighborhood.

The Cathedral Square Neighborhood Association has been looking to push out smoking for about three years. Now it sees a possible way to do that with the council’s newly formed health committee. The neighborhood includes the blocks surrounding Columbus Circle in downtown Syracuse.

There are a lot of questions left to be answered, like legality of such a ban and enforcement of it, said councilor Khalid Bey.

Allergy drops could mean looking forward to spring again

Feb 16, 2014
Nomadic Lass / Flickr

If you've ever used the phrase "a shot in the arm" to describe something as invigorating, you're probably not an allergy sufferer who's had to endure ongoing injections to control symptoms. Shots are not only painful but often inconvenient to schedule into a busy life. Yet that's been the standard course of treatment for many allergy patients for the past hundred years. Recent developments, however, may make shots obsolete for those who suffer from hay fever.

This week on Take Care, Dr. Linda Cox, talks about the new development of allergy drops. Cox is the president of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, and an allergist and immunologist from Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.

Click 'Read More' to hear our interview with Dr. Cox.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO

The food budget for individuals receiving federal food stamps, now known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), comes down to $29.40 a week, $4.20 a day. Members of the Religious Roundtable of Interfaith Works of Central New York are in the midst of a one-week SNAP challenge, only eating what that amount of money will buy.  

Temple Concord Rabbi Daniel Fellman says this kind of budget limits people to a carbohydrate-heavy, highly processed diet.

New medicine may ease allergy suffering

Feb 14, 2014

For those who suffer from allergies, allergy shots are currently the best way to get symptoms under control. But a new development could change that. This week on WRVO's health and wellness show "Take Care," hosts Lorraine Rapp and Linda Lowen, speak with Dr. Linda Cox, the president of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology. Cox discusses allergy drops, which could potentially eliminate allergies for the user.

Sponsors of a bill to require the labeling of genetically modified foods, or GMO's, say they hope they have better luck this year advancing the legislation after it died in committee late last session.

The bill would require that all genetically engineered food sold in New York be clearly labeled. Assembly Sponsor Linda Rosenthal, a Democrat, says the measure would give consumers the choice of whether they want to buy genetically altered food, or not.

Tips for living your best life after age 50

Feb 2, 2014
Dark Dwarf / Flickr

Maybe you've taken your good health for granted. But once you turn 50, all bets are off. What you do during this decade will set the stage for a life of continued wellness or one of gradual but irreversible decline. But it's never too late to do the right thing for your body.

This week on Take Care, Huffington Post and AARP columnist Barbara Hannah Grufferman shares three essential tips for staying healthy after age 50. Grufferman has interviewed experts from around the field, and from her findings, she wrote a book called “The Best of Everything After 50.” She also serves as host of "The Best of Everything" on AARP's YouTube Channel.

Click 'Read More' to hear our interview with Barbara Hannah Grufferman.

Food packaging does more than protect food

Jan 31, 2014

Every day, American consumers rely on the cans, bottles, boxes and plastic that food is sold in to keep them safe. In fact, scientists research how food packaging can help preserve food and extend shelf life. Lorraine Rapp and Linda Lowen, hosts of WRVO's health and wellness show “Take Care,” recently spoke with Dr. Joseph Hotchkiss, director of the school of packaging at Michigan State University about the science of food packaging.

Linda Lowen: Every package protects its contents, but what is it providing protection against?

Karen Dewitt / WXXI

One day after President Barack Obama touted hydrofracking of natural gas as a bridge fuel, Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s environmental commissioner says it’s extremely unlikely that permits for drilling wells will be issued in the next year.

Cuomo’s Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Joe Martens testified at a legislative budget hearing. The state has had a de facto moratorium on hydrofracking for nearly six years.

Columbia University Medical Center researchers have used high resolution imaging to show that Alzheimer’s begins in a specific part of the brain, known as a gateway to the hippocampus.

Dr. Scott Small, co-author of the study, says this particular area plays a vital role in consolidating long term memories. The discovery could help with early diagnosis of the disease, and that, he says, could lead to more effective intervention.

News Briefs: Tuesday, Jan. 28

Jan 28, 2014
Erin Gardner/File Photo

A new law requires New York hospitals to screen newborns for heart defects; unemployment rates are down in the state (for the most part); if you don't feel like shoveling that sidewalk, you may end up with a fine; and $56 million in funds has been awarded to New York hospitals. Catch up on the news of the day with WRVO's news briefs.

Joanna Richards / WRVO

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand says the nation’s workplace policies are out of date and don’t reflect increasing women’s employment – and their roles as family caregivers. Gillibrand was in Watertown yesterday to make the case for paid family and medical leave.

Students and reporters jostled in a student lounge as Jefferson Community College president Carole McCoy introduced the senator. Gillibrand told the crowd of several dozen that her legislation would provide financial security to people dealing with the birth of a child, or sick or dying family members.

Ryan Delaney / WRVO

A decade ago, central New York welcomed a group of refugees from Sudan known as The Lost Boys. Their story is famous for the long journey they made to flee decades of civil war.

Now they’re watching a new wave of violence in their homeland from afar.

When illness causes parent-child role reversal

Jan 26, 2014
MTSOfan / Flickr

At the beginning of life, parents generally take care of children. But later in life, many adult children find that they become the ones who must take care of their parents. Whether that transition happens suddenly or slowly over the years, it can be difficult because the roles parents and children have played for decades are reversed.

This week on “Take Care,” Dr. Leana Wen, an emergency physician and director of patient-centered care research at George Washington University, discusses some of the things adult children should keep in mind as they become caregivers.

Click Read More to hear our interview with Dr. Wen.

Corning Inc Gorilla Glass

Upstate glass manufacturer Corning Inc. has developed the first antimicrobial glass for our proliferating smart devices, lap tops, and TVs. The glass is more resistant to bacteria but, doubts are emerging about the benefits of antibacterial products.

Play, the kale of behavior

Jan 19, 2014
Thaddeus Stewart / Flickr

That’s right, eat it up. Play has so many benefits that one play researcher describes it as the super food of behavior. Gwen Gordon is a pioneer in the field of transpersonal play. She’s worked with the MIT Media Lab, won an Emmy for children’s programming, and is currently producing the documentary “Seriously! A Movie About Play.”

Click 'Read More' to hear our interview with Gwen Gordon.

Can playing as an adult be good for you?

Jan 17, 2014
Eugene Kim / Flickr

You may think playtime is just for children, but research is showing that spending time just playing may be good for your health as an adult. Lorraine Rapp and Linda Lowen, hosts of WRVO's health and wellness show Take Care, recently spoke with Gwen Gordon, an expert in the scientific benefits of play.

Lorraine Rapp: What can you tell us about the actual health benefits of play?

Cornell University

Researchers in upstate New York have created an app that will allow users to test their cholesterol levels through a blood sample that’s analyzed directly through their smartphone.  

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO

A new play in Syracuse deals with one young adult's experience living with cancer with the goal of raising money for charity and bringing awareness to young adults who have the disease.

Jesse Pardee, 22, received her first dose of chemotherapy five years ago on Christmas Eve after being diagnosed with Ewing's sarcoma, a cancer of the pelvis.

"My family's memories are probably worse than mine of that first weekend because I was drugged up," she recalled. "It was all a blur for me."

Tom Dooley/WXXI

“You know the guys used to joke to me, they’d be like, man Goodyear’s been good to you Harry. They gave you a wife, because that’s where I met Diane, you have a father-in-law that you worked for, and the other thing you got at Goodyear was bladder cancer so you know, you got everything."

We’re well into the holiday season, when I sit down with Harry and Diane Weist in their renovated farmhouse in western New York. Our conversation’s interrupted a few times by their little chihuahua, who likes to get in on the act.


Dec 13, 2013

In a handful of labs around the U.S., researchers are creating human tissue from stem cells and manipulating them to replicate the functions of human organs, all on platforms about the size of a thumb drive. This research platform is known as a "human-on-a-chip," and it has the potential to change the nature of medical treatment.

Dr. Harry Salem has been involved in his fair share of exciting scientific breakthroughs, including the creation of the breathalyzer, the infant incubator, and Nyquil.