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Friday, 31 December 2010

Important Similarities Seen Between Coma and General Anesthesia

Three neuroscientists have said that the brain under general anesthesia isn't "asleep" as surgery patients are often told -- it is placed into a state that is a reversible coma.They have published an extensive review of general anesthesia, sleep and coma, in the Dec. 30 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine. This insight and others reported in their review article could eventually lead to new approaches to general anesthesia and improved diagnosis and treatment for sleep abnormalities and emergence from coma.The researchers explain that a fully anesthetized brain is much closer to the deeply unconscious low-brain activity seen in coma patients, than to a person asleep. Essentially, general anesthesia is a coma that is drug-induced, and, as a consequence, reversible. The states operate on different time scales -- general anesthesia in minutes to hours, and recovery from coma in hours to months to years, if ever. The study of emergence from general anesthesia and recovery from coma could help to better understand how both processes occur. Understanding that these states have more in common with each other than differences -- that they represent a continuum of activity with common circuit mechanisms being engaged across the different processes of awakening from sleep or emerging from coma or general anesthesia -- "is very exciting, because it gives us new ways to understand each of these states," says study co-author, Dr. Nicholas D. Schiff, a professor of neurology and neuroscience at Weill Cornell Medical College and a neurologist at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center. Co-authors of the study are Dr. Emery Brown of Massachusetts General Hospital, Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard Medical School, and Dr. Ralph Lydic from the University of Michigan. 



Aishwarya Rai Mulls Suing Elle Magazine Over 'Skin-Whitening' Scandal

Bollywood star Aishwarya Rai Bachchan is fuming over Elle magazine cover 'skin-whitening' scandal, reveal her pals. 

Fans of the actress were left stunned last week after her skin appeared to have been digitally lightened on the cover of the magazine's new issue.According to friends, the 37-year-old Bollywood star, who is widely believed to be the world's most beautiful woman, is said to be considering suing the Indian version of the title over what has been deemed 'racist airbrushing'. The actress herself has not commented on the situation, but friends of the 'Bride and Prejudice' star have said she is 'furious'. "Aishwarya's first reaction was disbelief," the Daily Mail quoted one of herpal as saying. "She believed that these things don't happen anymore. Not in this day and age when women are recognised for their merit, and not for the colour of their skin. She is currently verifying this skin-whitening allegation. If there is any proof of this, she might even take action," the pal said."She is clearly the global face of the contemporary Indian woman. The last thing she'd want is to have a global image coloured by a racial suggestion," another pal added. Neither Elle magazine or Mrs Bachan were available for comment today. The actress, a former Miss World who is married to fellow actor Abhishek Bachchan, is thought to be too preoccupied by her father, who is ill, to look into the matter further.


Alcoholism And Obesity Risks Go Together

Alcoholism and obesity risks go together, it seems. Addiction researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis say that the association between a family history of alcoholism and obesity risk is becoming clearer. Both men and women with such a family history were more likely to be obese in 2002 than members of that same high-risk group had been in 1992.“In addiction research, we often look at what we call cross-heritability, which addresses the question of whether the predisposition to one condition also might contribute to other conditions,” says first author Richard A. Grucza, PhD. “For example, alcoholism and drug abuse are cross-heritable. This new study demonstrates a cross-heritability between alcoholism and obesity, but it also says — and this is very important — that some of the risks must be a function of the environment. The environment is what changed between the 1990s and the 2000s. It wasn’t people’s genes.” Obesity in the United States has doubled in recent decades from 15 percent of the population in the late 1970s to 33 percent in 2004. Obese people — those with a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or more — have an elevated risk for high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, stroke and certain cancers. Reporting in the Archives of General Psychiatry, Grucza and his team say individuals with a family history of alcoholism, particularly women, have an elevated obesity risk. In addition, that risk seems to be growing. He speculates that may result from changes in the food we eat and the availability of more foods that interact with the same brain areas as addictive drugs.


World’s First Organ Donor Passes Away

The world’s first organ donor, Ronald Herrick died due to a heart problem at a rehabilitation center in Maine, United States. He was 79 years of age. Herrick became the first ever organ donor on December 23 1954 when he donated one of his kidneys to his identical twin brother, Richard, opening up a new branch in the field of surgery. The transplant allowed Richard to live for eight more years while lead surgeon Dr Joseph Murray went on to win the Nobel Prize.Herrick was 23 years of age when he donated his kidney to his brother and speaking on the 50th anniversary of the transplant, he revealed that he was nervous before the surgery. “It was just one of those things that was kind of out of this world, I thought. It was something that hadn’t been done before, you knew nothing about it. So I thought about it a long time. My stomach was churning many a morning going to school", he said on the National Public Radio in 2004. Herrick is survived by his wife, Cynthia, a sister, Virginia Griffin of Rutland and an older brother Van of Barrington, R.I. 


BHU grows different varieties of basil

The ever-growing areas of cultivation of 'tulsi' in the region are also aiding ayurvedic formulations that use parts of the plant. 
As per head, department of Dravyaguna, BHU, KN Dwivedi, each and every part of basil carries immense medicinal and therapeutic value and it can be used in various formulations to treat wide-raging disorders and ailments. Starting from serious ailments like renal, cardiac and respiratory disorders, parts of the plant can be used to cure common cold and fever. Similarly, various formulations and concoctions using parts of 'tulsi' plant like leaves, stems and roots have also proved beneficial in skin and paediatric disorders while the plant remains an important constituent of many ayurvedic cough syrups and expectorants. 
While the herbal garden under the department has already come up with varieties of 'tulsi' plants ranging from the locally grown plants to the wild varieties that are found on the hills and in the deep forests, some of the varieties have been also preserved as potted plants at Malviya Bhawan and were recently displayed to commemorate the 150th birth anniversary of Pt Madan Mohan Malviya, founder of BHU. 
"The wide-ranging medicinal properties of basil have not only made it a complete herbal plant, but the research activities are also being focused to unveil the hidden mysteries of the plant. As far as ayurveda is concerned, no herb comes even closer to basil that is a versatile medicinal plant in all respects," said Dwivedi.



             नववर्ष आप सभी को मंगलमय हो 
                        हैप्पी न्यू इयर २०११ 

Economically Hit Americans Eat Less Fruits And Vegetables

Economically hit Americans eat less and less fruits and vegetables, it seems.
The results from a new study by the National Bureau of Economic Research suggest that the frequency of fruits and vegetables consumption would decline by between 10-20 % among the most vulnerable populations such as low-educated individuals.The bureau has sought to utilize information from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (1990-2007) to explore the relationship between the risk of unemployment and the consumption of various healthy and unhealthy foods. 
The BRFSS, the largest telephone-based health survey available, has tracked health conditions and risk behaviors for adults 18 years of age and older in the US. The survey is conducted by state health departments in collaboration with the Centers for Disease Control.
The sample size is in the region of about 1.25 million. A higher unemployment rate in the respondent’s state of residence is associated with lower levels of consumption of fruits, juice, carrots, green salad, and vegetables.
A higher risk of unemployment is associated with reduced consumption of fruits and vegetables and increased consumption of “unhealthy” foods such as snacks and fast food, the bureau says in its paper. The impact may also be somewhat higher among married individuals and older adults.
The frequency of fruits and vegetables consumption is generally lower among males, with the exception of fruit juice. Healthy food consumption also increases with education, consistent with the hypothesis that educated individuals are more allocatively efficient and tend to choose healthier inputs.



Tasmania may Become World's First 'Smoke-Free' State

Tasmania may soon win the title of the world's first 'smoke-free state' by putting new legislature in place. 
The island state, which already has some of the world's strictest anti-smoking laws, is considering banning tobacco altogether, reports the Independent.The proposal was put forward by councillors in Burnie, in north-western Tasmania, in response to a discussion paper by the state government, which wants to reduce the smoking rate, one of Australia's highest.
Smokers in Tasmania are becoming increasingly marginalised: the state capital, Hobart, banned cigarettes from the city centre four months ago, and the second-biggest city, Launceston, recently decided to do the same.
Other councils are considering following suit, and there are also calls for smoking to be prohibited on the island's beaches.
Civil libertarians have denounced the idea and even health experts question the wisdom of such a drastic step.
But Burnie is standing its ground.
"We just wanted to take that extra step; to show how passionate we are about creating a healthy environment," one local official said.




EU To Ban Chinese Herbal Remedies Next Year

The European Union has decided to go ahead with its ban of herbal medicines, a majority of which is manufactured in China. Hundreds of herbal remedies will be banned from sale in Britain next year. From May 1, 2011, traditional herbal medicinal products must be licensed or prescribed by a registered herbal practitioner to comply with a EU directive passed in 2004.The directive, according to The Independent, was introduced in response to rising concern over adverse effects caused by herbal medicines. The UK Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has issued more than a dozen safety alerts in the past two years. Herbal practitioners say it is impossible for most herbal medicines to meet the licensing requirements for safety and quality, which are intended to be similar to those for pharmaceutical drugs, because of the cost of testing. According to the Alliance for Natural Health (ANH), which represents herbal practitioners, not a single product used in traditional Chinese medicine or ayurvedic medicine has been licensed.In Europe, around 200 products from 27 plant species have been licensed but there are 300 plant species in use in the UK alone. The ANH estimates the cost of obtaining a licence at between 80,000 pounds and 120,000 pounds per herb. Under EU law, statutorily regulated herbal practitioners will be permitted to continue prescribing unlicensed products. But the Coalition Government and the previous Labour administration have delayed plans to introduce a statutory herbal practitioner register. 


Thursday, 30 December 2010

Longest Stored Embryo Resulted in Live Birth After 11years

A baby girl born in Britain is a record breaker as she is the longest frozen embryo to result in a live birth after 11 years, 2 months and 5 days.
The embryo had been preserved for more than a decade at the Midland Fertility Services (MFS) in Aldridge, where baby Ryleigh’s parents, Lisa and Adrian Sheperd underwent in vitro fertilization (IVF) after Lisa had been diagnosed with endometriosis and polycystic ovaries. Previously the couple had twin daughters in August 1999 after a successful course of IVF and had opted to preserve the remaining 12 fertilized embryos in liquid nitrogen at -196 degree centigrade for a future pregnancy. Generally embryos are retained for 10 years. Every year the couple received a letter from MFS reminding them about the 12 embryos kept in storage. As the 10 years duration was about to end the family had to make a decision on their future and Lisa and Adrian decided to try for another baby.
Lisa said, "When Ryleigh arrived, she looked like both the girls did when they were born 11 years before. It was uncanny. The girls are thrilled to have a sister, and they know that she was conceived at the same time that they were but has been in the freezer." 



Wednesday, 29 December 2010

Politics resides on our Brain

In a recent study from University College London it has been highlighted that our political leanings are hardwired into our brains. 
The team scanned the brains of 90 students and found that those who had a more pronounced amygdala (a primitive part of the brain associated with emotion) were right wing but those aligned to the left had thicker anterior cingulates (an area associated with anticipation and decision-making).
"The amygdala is a part of the brain which is very old and very ancient and thought to be very primitive and to do with the detection of emotions. The right amygdala was larger in those people who described themselves as conservative," the Daily Mail quoted Geraint Rees director of the UCL Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience, as saying.
"It is very significant because it does suggest there is something about political attitudes that are either encoded in our brain structure through our experience or that our brain structure in some way determines or results in our political attitudes," he added.
Colin Firth, who commissioned the study, said, "I took this on as a fairly frivolous exercise: I just decided to find out what was biologically wrong with people who don't agree with me and see what scientists had to say about it and they actually came up with something."



President Obama Finally Quits Smoking

US President Barack Obama seems to have kicked his smoking habit once and for all. 
White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said that the President has done 'extremely well in quitting', and has not smoked in about nine months, reports the Telegraph.
He said he has not witnessed any evidence of Obama having a cigarette since March, when doctors advised him after a routine medical examination to give up the habit.
"It was a commitment that I think he made to himself at the end of the health care and with his two daughters in mind," Gibbs told CNN.
He said the President has helped to overcome his habit by chewing Nicorette gum.
During the presidential campaign, Obama vowed to quit smoking. However, since moving into the White House, he admitted there were times when he had 'fallen off the wagon' and smoked an occasional cigarette.
The news that he has not smoked for nine months will come as a relief to the First Lady, who has constantly badgered her husband to give up his reported two-decade habit.
Michelle Obama - a zealous anti-smoker - only supported her husband's presidential campaign on condition that he quit.



Private participation sought in promoting ayurveda

Food Processing Industries Minister Subodh Kant Sahay Monday called for increased participation from the private sector in the growth and development of ayurveda as an alternative system of medicine.
Speaking at the Botanicals in Integrated Health Care Convention 2010 in Kolkata, Sahay said: 'We need to fortify the resources for the development of ayurveda and for that purpose private participation is important. Along with the government initiatives private players need to play an active role'.
The three-day international convention, which began Sunday, focuses on bringing ayurveda into mainstream medical practices for its high degree of efficiency and cost-effectiveness.
The convention is being attended by representatives of South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) countries along with 300 delegates from various fields like conservation, herbal drug industry, marketing, research and development.
Satyanand Nath Jana received the Motivation Award for Cultivation of Medicinal Plants in Memory of Jagadish Chandra Bose. He has been cultivating various rare species of medicinal plants for the past 25 years.

Your Teeth Could be the Reason for Your Headache

Injury to the temporo-mandinbular joint can cause severe headaches. Decayed teeth could also lead to headaches. Dr. Mukul Dabholkar said, “Dental decay causes loss of ventricular relation (VR) - that is the upper jaw closes over the lower jaw. This over closure causes headache.”The temporo-mandibular joint is a unique joint which works in unison with teeth. The teeth tend to over close in a person who is suffering from temporo-mandibular syndrome. When the numerous muscles present around the jaw dislocate, it leads to anxiety and spasms. This pain persists in all the muscles of mastication.
Usually patients with such syndrome consult ENT specialists or neurologists. But consulting dentists could prove to be helpful. Even physiotherapists could help such patients. 


Stop this :Yoga 2011 calendars depict cats, dogs and nudes performing asanas

Yoga calendars for 2011 are out and many of these feature dogs, cats, puppies, kittens, and nude women-men demonstrating various yoga asanas (postures).
 Their names include: Sacred Form Nude Yoga Calendar, The Body as Temple Calendar, Yoga Dogs, Yoga Kittens, Yoga Puppies, Yoga Cats, etc., and some claim to be “inspiring” and “uplifting”. These vary between color and black-white and prices go up to $24 each. Besides English; these wall, boxed and desktop calendars are available in French and other languages, and some even come with multilingual edition.
 Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada (USA) today, said that yoga was a revered age old tradition and deserves more seriousness and respect. Some of these calendars were kind of distortion of the esteemed practice for mercantile greed and could be upsetting for the serious and genuine seekers and devotees.
 Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, further said that yoga, referred as “a living fossil”, was one of the six systems of orthodox Hindu philosophy and was highly venerated in Hinduism. Iwas actually a serious mental and physical discipline by means of which the human-soul (jivatman) united with universal-soul (parmatman).
 Rajan Zed points out that some sages have described yoga as the silencing of all mental transformations, which leads to the total realization of the Supreme Self. Some have used yoga attempting to gain liberation by removing all sensory barriers. According to Patanjali, author of the basic text, the Yoga Sutra, yoga is a methodical effort to attain perfection, through the control of the different elements of human nature, physical and psychical.
 Hinduism, oldest and third largest religion of the world, has about one billion adherents and moksh (liberation) is its ultimate goal.

Free yoga to unemployed in USA

Due to current high unemployment rates across USA, some yoga studios have reportedly started offering free or discounted yoga classes to the unemployed.
 When the national unemployment rate is around 10 percent, it is believed that yoga will help reduce stress, bring calmness, improve concentration and make the unemployed feel good about themselves. Many such people had stopped going to yoga studios thinking it as a “luxury” in tougher times.
 Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada (USA) today, welcoming the gesture of yoga studios, said that it was a “step in the right direction” and urged other yoga establishments across USA to offer this generosity. Although introduced and nourished by Hinduism, yoga was a world heritage and liberation powerhouse to be utilized by all.
 Rajan Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, further said that yoga, referred as “a living fossil” whose traces went back to around 2,000 BCE to Indus Valley civilization, was a mental and physical discipline handed down from one guru to next, for everybody to share and benefit from. As yoga was based on an eightfold path to direct the practitioner from awareness of the external world to a focus on the inner, unemployed persons thus would be able to approach the situation in a calmer perspective.
 Studios in New York, Ohio, California, Illinois, etc., which offer such classes, reportedly go by the word given by these unemployed instead of asking for any unemployment proof. Announcement of "Yoga on High" in Columbus (Ohio) about 90-minutes "Free Yoga Classes for the Unemployed" says: “There’s never a better time to take care of yourself and to expand your perspective than when you’ve lost

Tuesday, 28 December 2010

TASUDMA upset over exclusion of Sidha member in new state Expert Committee

World's Youngest Yoga Teacher: 6-Year-Old Girl

At just six, Shruti Pandey is the youngest yoga trainer in the world.
The bendy youngster has been teaching adults at an ashram, in northern India, for the last two years.

Her trainer, Hari Chetan, 67, set up the ashram 35 years ago and as soon as little Shruti became one of his students, as a tiny four-year old, he spotted her talents.Now she starts her classes at 5.30am every morning, at Brahmanand Saraswati Dham, in the Jhunsi town, dressed in white leggings and a red t-shirt surrounded by 30 eager pupils ranging from businessmen, teachers, housewives to pensioners.

Shruti said: 'It feels good when people follow my instructions, I feel like a real teacher.  
'I got interested in yoga after seeing my brother do it. I tried picking it up myself but it was too hard. So I asked my parents to send me to yoga classes.'  Her brother, Harsh Kumar, now 11-years-old, made the Limca Book of Records at the tender age of five by learning all 84 yoga positions - but he's never been interested in being a teacher like his sister.

Hari, who Shruti also calls her grandfather, think she's a miracle. 
'She's a fast learner and a perfectionist. She grasps techniques quickly unlike kids her own age, who get bored with something as patience consuming as yoga.
'Within just six months of her training, she surprised everyone by doing the toughest positions with ease and perfection. She's a natural.' Shruti can manage some of yoga's most challenging positions. She can easily hold her entire body on the strength of her little arms and hang her legs right over her head backwards.
One of Shruti's fans, 90-year-old Swami Bhanu, a retired teacher, said: 'The best thing about Shruti is she tries to provide an alternative position for the complicated ones that are difficult for an older person like me to do. She's very patient.'  
Businessman Lokendra Pal Singh, 48, has been attending Shruti's classes for three months and said, 'I have noticed a positive change in my life. I used to be short-tempered, but now I'm able to control my anger to quite an extent and it's all thanks to a little six-year old.'


Lifestyle Changes May Be Easier If You Know You're Genetic Makeup

A small dose of your genetic information is likely to make you more sensitive towards weight loss and exercise, reveals a new study. 
David Kaufman of the Genetics and Public Policy Centre quizzed 1048 customers who had ordered genome scans.

As many as 34 per cent of respondents said they were being more careful about their diet, 14 per cent said they were doing more exercise, and 16 per cent had changed their medications or dietary supplements.
"I was surprised at the number of people who said they'd made changes already," New Scientist quoted Kaufman, as saying.
However, the responses to genetic information may be out of proportion to its actual predictive value. For most common diseases, the genome scans available now explain relatively little about your future risks.
Even so, if genetic information has a disproportionate effect in getting people to heed advice that they should be following anyway, that could be a strong force for improving public health.
However, Toby Jayaratne, a specialist in health behaviour at the University of Michigan, worries that some people will adopt a fatalistic attitude if told that they have a genetic predisposition to a particular disease, and become less likely to act to improve their health.
Customers of personal genomics firms are typically relatively wealthy and well-educated.
"They tend to be people who are highly motivated health-seekers and science geeks," said Barbara Bernhardt of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, which conducted detailed interviews with 60 volunteers in the Coriell Personalized Medicine Collaborative.



Causes of Insulin Resistance

Insulin is a hormone produced by the beta cells. These beta cells are scattered throughout the pancreas. Insulin produced from the beta cells is released into the blood stream. Insulin is a vital hormone as it plays different roles within the body. Most of the insulin actions are directed at metabolism level like metabolism of carbohydrates (sugars and starches), lipids (fats) and proteins. Insulin also aids in cell regulation.Insulin resistance (IR) is a condition in which the cells of the body become resistant to the effects of insulin, that is, the normal response to a given amount of insulin is reduced. As a result, higher levels of insulin are needed in order for insulin to have its effects. The resistance is seen with both the body's own insulin (endogenous) and if insulin is given through injection (exogenous).

There are probably several causes of insulin resistance and there is thought to be a strong genetic factor (an inherited component), Some medications also can lead to insulin resistance. In addition, insulin resistance is seen often in the following conditions:

the metabolic syndrome



infection or severe illness


during steroid use

Type 2 diabetes is the type of diabetes that occurs later in life. Insulin resistance precedes the development of type 2 diabetes, sometimes by years. In individuals who will ultimately develop type 2 diabetes, it is believed that blood glucose and insulin levels are normal for many years; then at some point in time, insulin resistance develops.



‘Naturopathy cheaper, more accessible than regular medicine’

Naturopathy is an easily accessible and less expensive system to approach for the people of India, said S Gandhiselvan, Union Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare .
Gandhiselvan was in the city to visit the National Institute of Naturopathy (NIN) Pune on Wednesday.
He spoke about the scope of naturopathy along with the conventional medicine.
“A blend of naturopathy and other systems of medicine will be very useful for the treatment of the ailments and improve the public Health.”
Systems such as Naturopathy and Yoga play key roles in the present health scenario and are expanding across the country and abroad,
The NIN, which is celebrating its silver jubilee, on Wednesday announced the construction of a new treatment section building in order to upgrade its treatment facilities. The foundation stone was also laid.

Premier Catholic University in USA offers Yoga Philosophy course

Loyola Marymount University (LMU) in Los Angeles (USA), a premier Roman Catholic university rooted in the Jesuit and Marymount traditions, is offering Certificate Program in Yoga Philosophy.
 It includes study of classical yoga, various schools of Hinduism, Sanskrit, mantra chanting, Yoga Sutra of Patanjali, meditation, Samkhya Karika, hatha yoga, tantra, Kashmir Shaivism, moksha, Upanishads, Bhagavad-Gita, etc. Dr. John Casey and Dr. Christopher Key Chapple are the main instructors besides various guest lecturers who are experts in their respective fields.
 Welcoming the LMU’s interest in yoga, Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada (USA) today, said that although introduced and nourished by Hinduism, yoga was a world heritage and liberation powerhouse to be utilized by all. One could still practice one’s respective faith and do yoga. Yoga would rather help one in achieving one’s spiritual goals in whatever religion one believed in.
 Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, further said that yoga, referred as “a living fossil” whose traces went back to around 2,000 BCE to Indus Valley civilization, was a mental and physical discipline handed down from one guru to next, for everybody to share and benefit from. According to Patanjali who codified it in Yoga Sutra, yoga was a methodical effort to attain perfection, through the control of the different elements of human nature, physical and psychical.Yoga was based on an eightfold path to direct the practitioner from awareness of the external world to a focus on the inner, Zed added.
 Rajan Zed argued that yoga, which never had any formal organization, was the repository of something basic in the human soul and psyche. According to an estimate, about 16 million Americans, including many celebrities, now practice yoga.
 Founded in 1911, LMU, which enrolls over 9,000 students, is the largest Catholic university on the West Coast of USA. Its mission includes “the education of the whole person” and its sponsoring religious orders are: Society of Jesus (Jesuits) and Religious of the Sacred Heart of Mary. It offers 40 masters and doctoral degrees besides 113 programs, yearly undergraduate tuition is $36,404, and David W. Burcham is the President.

Monday, 27 December 2010

Yogurt's 'Good Bacteria' in a Controversy

Probiotic yoghurts and yoghurt drinks are in the midst of a controversy as the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA)negated earlier claims. 
The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has found that there is not enough evidence that these products have a positive effect on the immune system and digestive health.The manufacturers of these products had been claiming that these foods could help relieve digestive irregularity and boost the immune system, reports the Sydney Morning Herald.
The food industry's probiotics sector has complained that EFSA uses excessively rigorous scientific standards, similar to those used in the pharmaceutical industry, to assess claims.
But their complaints don't help the consumer, who simply wants to know whether probiotic food products, which range from yoghurts and yoghurt drinks to dietary supplements, are likely to benefit their health.
Probiotic expert Bob Rastall, head of Food and Nutritional Sciences at the University of Reading, firmly believes probiotics are useful for health.
He stresses that probiotics are considered to be "functional foods" - products that have ingredients or components in them that can improve health or reduce disease risk in humans.
Rastall said that by increasing the population of the so-called good bacteria (probiotics), the health of the gut could be improved.
Probiotics have also been found to reduce the incidence of antibiotic-associated diarrhoea in nursing homes, and the incidence and/or severity of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), bloating, abdominal pain and flatulence in some people



Nature’s balm

Having completed 25 years, the National Institute of Naturopathy has a string of activities planned to further transform the way 'healing through nature' is perceived
The huge signboards that point out the location of the institute are silent testimony of the importance of the place. And the number of years that have made the place what it is reflect its significance. The National Institute of Naturopathy (NIN), in its 25 years of existence, has made a name for itself in the field of care through nature. The NIN, which was first established in 1986 at the historical place of Bapu Bhavan at Tadiwala Road, has completed 25 years this month. So, what began as a humble attempt to usher in change in the way medical treatment is perceived has now been successfully transforming lives.
With an aim to conduct, facilitate and encourage research activities in all aspects concerning human health, the NIN presently runs training workshops, weekly lectures, a modern naturopathy clinic, eight yoga classes and an acupressure clinic along with a gymnasium and a diet centre. Dr Babu Joseph, Director, NIN, shares, “The NIN is all about healing through nature. In fact, the system that we follow here lays emphasis on education, self-responsibility and therapies to support and stimulate the individual’s self-healing capacity. And to propagate this, we have been providing free consultation, yoga lessons, clinics and even workshops that are available in regional languages also.”
Courtesy:Indian Express

Haryana Man Becomes Oldest Father at 94

A landless farm laborer in Haryana became the oldest father at the age of 94 years, following the birth of his son last month, surpassing the 90 year old Nanu Ram Jogi of a Rajasthan village who gave birth to his 22nd child back in 2007.Ramajit Raghav, who lives in the Kharkhoda town of Sonipet district, revealed that his wife Shakuntala, who is said to be in her 50s, gave birth to his son at a government hospital, the Times of India reported. Raghav claimed that the child was “God’s gift” and said that they have named him as Karamjit. 
Dr Mahender Kumar, who is the senior medical officer at Kharkhoda Civil Hospital confirmed that Shakuntala was admitted to the hospital and gave birth to a son last month. On being asked about the advanced age of the father, Dr Kumar said that while giving birth to a son at such as old age is a remote possibility, it cannot be ruled out.



A very high risk Rx

One of my doctors gave me a prescription and left a blank slip attached below it. One of my other doctors had stopped giving me a certain prescription, so I wrote it up myself and signed his name. The pharmacy filled the prescription (it was not for a narcotic).
I realize now that I might have broken the law. A friend of mine said that the pharmacy files prescriptions away and keeps them for a limited time. Is that true? Does the pharmacy send a notice to the doctor when it fills a prescription?
Forging a prescription is fraud and is considered a felony in most states. Even though the medication in question was not a narcotic, this is a very serious violation. That said, it is highly unlikely that the pharmacy would notify the physician that it filled the prescription. The prescription will be kept on file for several years.
You may escape detection this time, but never try such a dangerous stunt again. Not only is it illegal, but it also could be very bad for your health.
I suffer with insomnia, as do my friends. Zolpidem sometimes helps me drift off to sleep, but it doesn't last more than a few hours. Over-the-counter sleep aids don't work at all or cause the men in my group discomfort from prostate problems. 
Part of the problem may be the generic formulation of zolpidem (Ambien) — readers report that some are less effective than others. The sedating ingredient in OTC sleep aids, including drugs like TylenolPM or Advil PM, is diphenhydramine (Benadryl). It can cause problems for men with enlarged prostates.
Zaleplon (Sonata) is a short-acting sleeping pill that can be helpful for people who wake in the early hours of the morning. If they have at least four more hours to spend in bed, it can help them fall back to sleep.

 By :Joe Graedon, Teresa Graedon
  Courtesy:The People's PharmacyJoe Graedon is a pharmacologist, and Teresa Graedon is an expert in medical anthropology and nutrition.

Electronic Medical Records are now working in US

Medical professionals are working to streamline medical records. This helps save time and reduce errors. Bay Medical Center is working to implement a secure, comprehensive medical record.
Tina Menna, Director of Clinical Informatics at Bay Medical Center. She says physicians can now enter their orders directly into the computer, and that information is then available almost instantaneously.
The hospital also uses CABS, which are computers at the bedside. Using these allows for bedside bar coding of medications. There’s also a provider portal where physicians outside the hospital can access the information and records to help make decisions on a specific patient’s care. This can be helpful if you travel and for follow-up care with a doctor.


Sunday, 26 December 2010

India to invest $250 mn in Rwanda's Health Sector

An Indian company has signed a pact with the Rwanda Development Board (RDB) to invest $250 million for a knowledge hub and an integrated food park in this East African country, once associated with its fratricidal conflict that claimed nearly a million lives.India's Universal Empire Infrastructures (UEIL) has been in discussion with the Government of Rwanda for a few months and the company delegation also visited here, the capital of Rwanda. The delegation also held detailed discussions with six cabinet ministers of the Rwandan government.The memorandum of understanding inked now is a follow-up of the recent road shows held by RDB in New Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore and Ahmedabad, officials said.Clare Akamanzi, chief operating officer, and K Balachandran Nair, chairman and managing director, signed the pact on behalf of RDB and UEIL, respectively, in the presence of Munish Gupta, director of UEIL, and Rosemary Mbabazi, director for investment promotion with RDB.The pact focusses on the establishment of a knowledge hub that entails a multi-disciplinary university that comprises all schools, especially for medicine, in collaboration with Royal Colleges of either Scotland, Ireland or England, as also those for engineering, management, commerce, education, agriculture, arts and humanities, and basic sciences.It also calls for centres on employable skill development, IT, biotech and research, apart from a sports complex and convention centre, a medical resort with 300 rooms, wellness centre, naturopathy and water sports to spur tourism.
The second part of the pact focusses on the establishment of an integrated food processing park to develop agriculture and animal husbandry.Rwanda, now led by its second-term, democratically-elected President Paul Kagame, wants to leave the catastrophic genocide in 1994 behind and forge pacts globally to lift the impoverished country. Around 90 percent of the population of this country is engaged mainly in subsistence agriculture and processing of some minerals. 

FDA Warns Against Buying Breast Milk Online

Buying breast milk via the internet or through individuals may not be advisable, warns the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Breast milk is available for sale on some online forums like OnlytheBreast and EatsonFeets. This milk is made available from lactating mothers who make more breast milk than required for their nursing babies.
According to International Board Certified Lactation consultant Sam Doak, mom's milk is still the best option for the baby, followed by milk expressed by the mother, human milk from another lactating mother and then formula feeds. However government agencies have warned,"The donor is unlikely to have been adequately screened for infectious diseases or contamination risk."
Even the FDA has said, "It is not likely that the human milk has been collected, processed, tested or stored in a way that reduces possible safety risks to the baby."



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