Health Alert 6-11-12

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June 11, 2012 - Scientists have taken a step forward in developing non invasive testing for birth defects. Using blood samples from the mother and saliva samples from the father, researchers at the University of Washington say they can read a fetus's entire genetic makeup. The screening may eventually be used to check for thousands of genetic disorders and it could be a safer alternative to the more common procedure of drawing fluid from the mother's uterus.

Also, a new study finds dark chocolate can even help people already at risk for heart problems. Australian researchers followed at risk patients who ate dark chocolate on a regular basis and found it lowered the risk of heart attack and stroke. The authors say doctors may want to consider encouraging their patients to eat a little dark chocolate daily because it can help lower blood pressure and cholesterol.

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