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Saturday, 9 April 2011

Meditation Is The Best Way to Beat The Pain Than Drugs

Meditation is an art that helps people cope with anxiety, stress etc. Now a study has find that meditation can also ease pain more effectively than drugs in some cases.
"This is the first study to show that only a little over an hour of meditation training can dramatically reduce both the experience of pain and pain-related brain activation," said Fadel Zeidan, lead author of the study and a post-doctoral research fellow at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in North Carolina.The findings appear in the April 6 issue of the Journal of Neuroscience. "We found a big effect -- about a 40-percent reduction in pain intensity and a 57-percent reduction in pain unpleasantness. Meditation produced a greater reduction in pain than even morphine or other pain-relieving drugs, which typically reduce pain ratings by about 25 percent," he added.
Researchers looked at 15 fit volunteers who had never meditated. The subjects each took four 20-minute sessions to learn how to control their breathing and put aside their emotions and thoughts.
Before and after sessions, subjects' brain activity was monitored with a special type of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Called "arterial spin labeling magnetic resonance imaging" (ASL MRI), it is able to give readings on longer duration brain processes, such as meditation, better than a standard MRI scan of brain function.
When ASL MRIs were being taken, a pain-inducing heat device was put on participants' right legs. It heated a small area of their skin to 120° Fahrenheit, which most people would find painful, for five minutes.


Lose Weight in 17-days

A new weight loss diet organized as 4 cycles comprising of 17 days each is soon gaining popularity. The concept of this diet plan is to stimulate the metabolism by making variations in the food intake. Each cycle lasts for 17days, as beyond this stipulated period the body begins to recognize the diet as a habit and metabolism slows down.The diet recommends to use spices and not to eat fruits or certain carbohydrates after 2pm. Greek yogurt is recommended and the diet does not stop you from eating a cookie every now and then. But one has to avoid sugars and processed foods. Alcoholic beverages have to be excluded during the initial stages of the diet. Followers of this diet regime are supposed to walk everyday for 17 minutes.
The founder of this diet, Dr. Mike Moreno has claimed that dieters can expect weight-loss of 10-12 pounds in just 17-days. He believes that this is probably the only diet that is suitable for everybody and unlike other fad diets the results of this diet are sustainable. It does not aim just at weight reduction but focuses on good, proper digestive health. 


US Man Sexually Transmit Insect-Borne Disease To Wife

Brian Foy, an American, has become the first in the world to sexually transmit an insect-borne disease to his wife.
Foy, a vector biologist at Colorado State University who travelled to Senegal, was bitten by a mosquito and subsequently developed the Zika virus, which causes fatigue and joint pains.When Foy returned to the U.S. and had sex with his wife, he unknowingly transmitted the disease to her.
Foy, who co-authored the study with his wife, initially wrote about three anonymous patients.
He later revealed in an interview with Science Now that he is patient No. 1; his colleague, Kevin Kobylinski, a Ph.D student who accompanied Foy on the trip, is patient No. 2; and Foy's wife, Joy Chilson Foy, is patient No. 3.
Foy and Kobylinski returned from Senegal in August 2008 after collecting mosquitoes as part of their research.
Five days later, they both developed rashes on their torsos, fatigue, headaches, and swollen, painful wrists, knees and ankles. Foy said he also had an inflamed prostate, painful urination and blood in his semen.
By early September, Chilson Foy became ill - she also had a headache with hypersensitivity to light, muscle pains and chills. The Foy's children did not get sick.
The couple said they started to feel better within a week, except for the joint pains.
The Foys took their case to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention lab for insect-borne diseases in Fort Collins, Colo., and the scientists there were just as stumped.


Antibiotic-resistant Superbugs Could Take Us to 'Pre-Penicillin Era': WHO

The rise of antibiotic-resistant superbugs threatens to take us to pre-Penicillin era where even the smallest infection could be deadly, the World Health Organisation has warned.
The overuse and misuse of antibiotics, which is leading to 'unprecedented levels' of resistance, and a lack of development of new drugs means we could see current treatments become useless, reports the Telegraph.Already 25,000 people die each year from superbugs in Europe and there are a number of bacteria, which are now resistant to all drugs.
That figure will increase to ever-greater numbers unless new more powerful antibiotics are developed and we stop overusing antibiotics.
"Antibiotics are a precious discovery, but we take them for granted, overuse and misuse them," said Zsuzsanna Jakab, WHO director for Europe.
"There are now superbugs that do not respond to any drug. We need to raise the alert that we are at a critical point in time where antibiotic resistance is reaching unprecedented levels, and new antibiotics are not going to arrive quickly enough," she said. The WHO said abuse of antibiotics for humans and use in animals was fostering the emergence of antibiotic resistance and threatening to take the world to an era before the discovery of penicillin in the 1920s.
The problem is exacerbated because drug companies are put off from developing new antibiotics because they are not profitable enough.



Friday, 8 April 2011

100 Bedded Hospital of Yoga and Naturopathy will be soon established in Orissa

Orissa Health and Family Welfare Department has identified a patch of 20 acres under Bhubaneswar tehsil for the proposed Central Research Institute with 100-bedded hospital of yoga and naturopathy in the State.
Director of Central Council for Research in Yoga and Naturopathy has been requested to file a requisition before tehsildar of Bhubaneswar to process the case for alienation of land in favour of the council.
“We have identified the land at Binjhagiri which is to be transferred in the name of director of CCRYN free of cost. Land alienation process takes time.
But once the land comes under their possession, infrastructural development for the institute would begin immediately,” said D. P. Behera, joint secretary of State Health and Family Welfare department.
District magistrate of Khurda district was also asked to expedite official process for establishment of the Central Institute.
The institute would have Outdoor Patient Department, Indoor Patient Department and different branches of Yoga and Naturopathy, Mr. Behera said.
According to State Health Department sources, the institute would mainly deal with lifestyle diseases.
The Union Department of AYUSH is expected to invest Rs. 35 crore on the project, it added.
Upon materialisation, the hospital will be one of its kind in the State.
Naturopathy, which is a very old science, prescribes healthy living and a drugless system of healing.
It relies on diet and fasting therapies. Yoga is now the latest rage among health conscious people.

Ayurveda ban bitter pill for state

With barely a month to go before Ayurveda drugs go off the shelves across European Union, which has imposed a ban from May 1, the Rs.600-crore Ayurveda industry in Kerala, home to the traditional medical system, remains rattled and unprepared to face the situation.The ban is on the grounds that several of these drugs have tested to contain residues of heavy metals such as lead, zinc and cadmium that can prove hazardous to health.The industry has to provide sufficient documents based on research to prove that the formulations are not harmful and have been in use in the country for centuries.Mr Joy Varghese, chief executive officer of the Confederation for Ayurv-edic Renaissance Keralam Pvt Ltd (CARe-Keralam), a cluster of more than 60 Ayurveda drug manufacturing firms, says the ban threat has been in the air for quite some time. Though exports to the EU may account for hardly 5 per cent of the total revenue, there is an added threat of other countries following the EU.“Already CARe has begun research and documentation of drug formulations at its centre in Koratty. It is in collaboration with Ayush, the central department for traditional medical systems, to support research and provide necessary documents. The industry has also been demanding an ayurveda export council under the Director-General of Foreign Trade (DGFT),” he said.According to the EU notification, all herbal medicinal products must have prior authorisation before they can be marketed in the EU. This will mean that many medicines which go abroad as extracts and food supplements such as chavanprash, ashwagandha, etc will go out of sale across Europe from May 1.Dr D. Ramanathan, managing director of Sitaram Ayurveda Pharmacy Ltd and general secretary of the Ayurvedic Medicine Manufacturers Organisation of India (AMMOI), says these medicines have been in use since ages.
Source:Deccan Chronicle

HC irked over Ayurveda, Unani courses in UP medical colleges

The Allahabad High Court has expressed its displeasure over medical
 colleges in Uttar Pradesh conducting Ayurveda and Unani courses 
without due recognition from Central Council for Indian Medicine (CCIM),
 despite an order passed in this regard five years ago.On last Friday,
 Justice Sunil Ambawani asked the state Secretary (Ayurvedic and 
Unani medicine) to file an affidavit in this regard within three weeks, 
failing which the court would order that no admissions shall take place
 in the 10 medical colleges offering these courses for 2011-12 session.
The order was passed on a contempt petition filed by Rajesh Kumar
 Srivastava.The petition alleged that although the court had on July
 21, 2006 ordered that admissions be stopped in nine out of the 10 
colleges, students were being admitted for the aforesaid courses 
at all the institutions.The court has fixed April 24 as the next date
 of hearing in the case.
Source:IBN Live

Air Pollution from Cars and Trucks Damages Brain

Air pollution from cars and trucks is known to cause heart disease, cancer and respiratory problems. A recent study has revealed that exposure to freeway pollution can also cause brain damage. A study on mice showed that when they are exposed to pollution particles approximately the size of one-thousandth the width of a human hair, causes brain damage. Further, there were also indications of memory loss and Alzheimer’s disease.
In a statement, senior author Caleb Finch, an expert on the effects of inflammation, said, “You can’t see them, but they are inhaled and have an effect on brain neurons that raises the possibility of long-term brain health consequences of freeway air.” 



Homeopathy Industry Likely to be Rs. 4,600 cr. by 2012: ASSOCHAM

Indian homeopathy treatment market is likely to grow 30% annually and reach a size of Rs. 4,600 crore as the number of takers is growing fast within and outside the country, apex chamber ASSOCHAM said today.
Globally, the homeopathy market is estimated at Rs. 26,300 crore with France being the largest contributor, according to the study by The Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM). Last year, the domestic homeopathy market size was about Rs. 2,758 crore.Releasing the study, Mr. D S Rawat, Secretary General ASSOCHAM said that homeopathy which a few years ago was not considered a long lasting solutions has lagged behind allopathy in many respects as it kills the roots of aliments without any side effects. In one to one and personalized treatment with greater private interactions both homeopathy physician and its patients derive the utmost satisfaction with the least cost for consultation. This is another reasons as to why the Indian traditional treatment called the homeopathy has been spreading in every nook and corner of the country and world as well.It has been stated that the growth of homeopathy is not only confined to India but world over, its size has gone beyond Rs.263 billion and interestingly the growth rate is almost on par and that is around 25%. France, Interestingly contributes the largest size in world Homeopathy market, points out the ASSOCHAM study.
It cites reasons for growing homeopathy market in India, saying that homeopathy, besides providing for effective means treating chronic aliments is also available and easily accessible online to over 1.5 crore patients across the country. The online homeopathy connectivity worldwide is more than in 95 countries and interestingly majority of them are economies of scale in which allopathy until recently has been more prevalent and invouge.
In 2009-10, patients diagnosing their aliments with homeopathy throughout the country were estimated at 10-12 crore, whose number is likely to exceed about 16 crore in next 2-3 years in view of its popularity and acceptability among the general masses, says the ASSOCHAM study. Mr. Rawat made a mention of the ASSOCHAM recent assessment on “Homeopathy Demand on the Rise” in which it was found out that in metros like Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Bangalore and other satellite towns like Chandigarh, Hyderabad and Luknow. Over 75% of patients surveyed spoke very high for homeopathy, arguing that though it takes longer to root out aliments but the treatment is safe and physiologically satisfactory for, there are no side effects.Majority of them held that homeopathy users switch on to allopathy only on exceptional cases and in acute emergencies, otherwise homeopaths are best to be consultated for removal of majority of physical and other aliments. Many of them also said that homeopathy is increasingly becoming an alternate to allopathic medicines.There are over 5 lakh registered homeopaths in the country currently, with approximately 20,000 more being added every year. The size of the homeopathic drugs market is also expanding very fast even though these medicines cost only a fraction of allopathic or even ayurvedic medicines.Another reason for homeopathy’s popularity has been the growing disillusionment with conventional allopathic medicine, which has, for many years, been the first line of treatment for most patients. Many patients also feel that homeopathy is a more personalised treatment, with greater one-on-one interaction between the patient and the physician.There is a huge gap between homeopathy and healthcare industry. This gap will continue to persist due to the lack of hospitals and institutions. There are very few institutions for hospitalisation and that is where a lot of money comes from. To add to this, the distribution of products in homeopathy is very poor. This is because homeopathy medicines are hardly available in 15-25 outlets in a city, compared to the reach of allopathic medicines. But abroad, this is not the case. There are very few practitioners of homeopathy but the medicines are well distributed and hence, there is a big market in France, UK and USA.Homeopathy is an effective means of treating chronic ailments. These ailments include hair & skin problems, respiratory problems, arthritis and other miscellaneous treatments like thyroid, bed-wetting, diabetes, and obesity.

Thursday, 7 April 2011

CCRAS approves 2 cancer drugs for trials, open to examine more drug claims

Central Council for Research in Ayurveda and Siddha (CCRAS) has in principle approved a couple of Ayurvedic drugs used by some prominent practitioners to successfully treat the cancer patients and is planning to launch the multi-centric clinical trials. The Council also disclosed that it was open to examine other such claims with regard to ongoing successful treatment of critical diseases by Ayurvedic practitioners.
 On the recommendation of the Scientific Advisory Committee (Ayurveda), the CCRAS has initiated the study of ‘CARCTOL’ a proprietary medicine of Vaid Nand Lal Tiwari of Jaipur supposed to have anti-cancer properties. For verifying the therapeutic claim, standardization work has been completed by the Council. Safety and toxicity studies have also been completed, sources said.
 “CARCTOL has also been subjected to in-vitro study at Advanced Cancer Research Centre of TATA, Mumbai against 14 types of human cancer cells out of which it was found effective against pancreatic and lung cancer. It was placed on record that CARCTOL is being used for treatment of cancer patients both in the country and abroad. After preparation of dossiers, multi-centric clinical trials will be conducted,” sources in the Council said.
Pre-clinical study of ‘Cancer Gaza Kesari’ a proprietary drug of Vaid Krishan Gopal of Ajmer has also been conducted by the Council in collaboration with Veterinary College, Chennai. The study revealed that the drug significantly reduced the mammary tumour incidence, latency, frequency, rate of growth and malignancy. It was also subjected to in-vitro study against 14 types of human cancer cell line, out of which it has shown to be of effective against pancreatic and lung cancer, Council official said.
A pilot project was sanctioned by the Ministry in 1996 to study the effects of metal based formulations prepared by Vaid Balendu Prakash of Dehradun in the treatment of Acute pro-myllolic Leukaemia. The drug was patented jointly by the Council with Germany. Vaid Balendu Prakash has been treating cancer patients with the drug and the patent was in fact for the process. “So far only a pilot study of 21 patients has been conducted by the Council. Multi- cultural clinical trials of the drug were to be undertaken which would take four years,” sources said.
In another effort to develop ayurvedic drug for cancer, clinical trials of 'AYUSH QOL – 2C' developed by Central Council for Research in Ayurveda and Siddha (CCRAS) for improvement of quality of life of those receiving chemotherapy/radio-therapy, have been initiated at St. Johns medical college, Bangalore and at the All India Institute of Medical Science, New Delhi. The ethical approval and release of funds for trials at AIIMS have been completed and the registration of patients will begin shortly. Simultaneously, 10 patients have been enrolled for study at St. Johns Medical College.
“Whenever any claim is submitted to Council, the same is examined and put before Scientific Advisory Committee to carry out scientific validation. In this context, two claims on cancer have been subjected to pre-clinical studies based on which clinical trial will be carried out as per lead. If any drug is finally marketed, the benefit will be shared by Council and the claimant,” sources said about possibility of examining claims by practitioners.


Superbugs evolving faster than medicine, worried experts warn

ANTIBIOTIC-RESISTANT SUPERBUGS are now evolving and developing too quickly for modern medicine to keep up with, the World Health Organisation was warned.Marking international World Health Day yesterday, the UN’s health watchdog called for a new global push to come up with new drugs, without which humans could face the “nightmare scenario” of a worldwide spread of untreatable infections.Among the steps recommended by the WHO were a push to develop comprehensive and financially national programmes to combat the spread of the drugs, the increased ‘rational’ use of existing medicines, and the introduction of new anti-infection measures.“The discovery and use of antimicrobial drugs to treat diseases such as leprosy, tuberculosis, gonorrhoea and syphilis changed the course of medical and human history,”the WHO’s statement said.“Now, those discoveries and the generations of drugs that followed them are at risk, as high levels of drug resistance threaten their effectiveness.”The WHO claimed that the spread of drug-resistant infections had been expedited by the misuse, overuse or underuse of existing medications.Tacking such infections on a global scale can be difficult, however, with different examples of such ‘superbugs’ – like MRSA, which is currently prevalent in Western Europe – being less prevalent in different parts of the world.The BBC adds that the global spread of such bugs has picked up pace, however, with researchers in Cardiff having ascertained that another drug-resistant bug recently found there had been brought from India and Pakistan.That superbug, called ‘NDM-1′, has previously contaminated the water supply in Delhi – which means that millions of people in that crowded city could be carrying the infection.

In US Southern Church Group Fights Construction of Homeopathic Medicine Facility

Though not quite as controversial as the Westboro Baptist Church who routinely protests military funerals across the U.S., The First Christian Church of Ellmore in Alabama is making their own headlines in their fierce opposition to the construction of a new homeopathic medicine facility near Ellmore.Robert “Red” Manly, self-appointed Bishop to the FCCOE tells reporters, “We don’t want no alternative medicine, alternative lifestyle or alternative anything taking root near our God-fearing, family-oriented, conservative little town”.  Add illiteracy to that list of town virtues, apparently.  Most of the residents living in or near Ellmore gathered in the town square to protest the zoning hearing which would have granted the Acme Homeopathy Company permission to begin construction.  “Leading to new jobs in the facility as well as an outlet for local farmers to sell certain herbs and other crops”, says Acme president, Alan Aldridge.  Local residents drowned out any chance for Aldridge to be heard as the group brandished their Bibles and launched a barrage of homophobic slurs at the entrepreneur. Aldridge eventually gave up, reportedly holding up a book of his own as he exited the city council building.  One resident spotting the book title was heard asking another, “Who is this Webster fella, and why is he on a bridge?”  Aldridge reportedly left his dictionary on a nearby bench in the hope that someone might look up a word or two, but it was quickly gathered up for the evening’s book burning activities.
Source:Glossy News

New Drug to Treat Diabetes

A new molecule entity, ZYGK1 for treating diabetes, developed by Cadila Healthcare has been approved by the FDA in the US for the first phase of a clinical trial.ZYGK1 is an Investigational New Drug (IND) taken orally as a glucokinase activator to identify glucose in the pancreas and to regulate glucose metabolism in the liver. When glucose levels rise above a certain level, the glucokinase enzyme enhances insulin release from pancreas and decreased glucose production in liver. In normal individuals, the pancreas secretes insulin in response to increased levels of glucose in the blood. But in patients with Type 2 diabetes, the GK activity is not sufficient in the pancreas and the liver. Cadila Healthcare will begin the phase I of a clinical trial for ZYGK1, Already in several preclinical models of Type 2 diabetes, ZYGK1 had proved its effectiveness in controlling both fasting and non-fasting blood glucose. Its safety profile was also good, the company claimed. 
The chairman and managing director of Zydus Cadila group, Pankaj Patel, stated that the company was working towards addressing metabolic disorders and cardiovascular diseases

Are More Americans turning to Yoga Based Programs Like 'Inner Engineering' to Reduce Health Care Costs in These Tough Economic Times? Research Says Yes.

 The health care industry and individual Americans are both paying more attention to prevention and wellness care with rising health care costs. The traditional health care system which focused primarily on treating disease is slowly changing. Health care companies have started offering complimentary gym memberships and yoga based programs like Inner Engineering, as bold initiatives that make members commit to their own health.Michael Gremly, CEO of Voice Prism said "The Inner Engineering program was fun, interesting, and informative. More importantly, the results I have been achieving from the Isha practice have been nothing less, than phenomenal. Incredibly my severe allergies and acid reflux I suffered since childhood completely vanished, my cholesterol dropped 35 points, and my blood pressure significantly reduced. From August 2009 t "More healthcare companies are looking at adding programs such as Inner Engineering, an online yoga-based program for achieving optimal health and well being, to their innovative member health offerings."Designed to revamp one's approach to life and health in a dramatic way and to teach a simple 21 minute daily yoga practice, Inner Engineering has produced remarkable results in its participants. Recently, a self reported study of 536 individuals who incorporated Inner Engineering practices into their daily routines showed significant health benefits for a wide variety of diseases, including diabetes, heart disease, gastrointestinal disease, hypertension, depression, anxiety and obesity."Many participants experienced a reduction and discontinuation of disease as well as medications. For example, 72% of respondents suffering from asthma noted improvement of symptoms after Inner Engineering, and 87% of those with depression noted improvement. With respect to both of these diseases, approximately one-half of those noting improvement also eliminated medications. Even after a few months of participation, Inner Engineering may help tangibly reduce costs with respect to hospital admissions, outpatient clinic visits and medicines. Best of all, members will experience an improved sense of well being, given that the study respondents described above also noted increased feelings of inner peace (91%), productivity (70%) and emotional balance (87%)."Inner Engineering is a two part program. 

Source:PR web release



Alternative Medicine Cuts Heart Disease, Prostate Cancer Risks

Taking herbal supplements is an effective way to get key nutrients on a daily basis, as well as of maintaining the healthy function of one's organs. Recent research has found that a drug related to a centuries-old folk treatment can reduce the risk of arrhythmia, congestive heart failure and prostate cancer.
Digoxin, which is extracted from the foxglove plant, appears to lower the risk of the prostate disease among men who take it as preventive medicine, according to a study in the journal Cancer Discovery.
The report's authors came to this conclusion after monitoring the prostate health of 47,000 men. All told, just over 5,000 participants were diagnosed with prostate cancer. Those who took digoxin had a 24 percent lower relative risk of the disease.Researchers are still trying to determine the mechanism by which the compound inhibits prostate tumor formation.
Similar substances, like saw palmetto extract, have been found to protect prostate health and reduce inflammation.Men who have prostate problems or who anticipate having them because of their family history may benefit from taking a daily herbal supplement.

Tuesday, 5 April 2011

Women & Homeopathy

Women's disorders range in severity from a minor disruption of the menstrual cycle to life-threatening malignancy. They may be of a physical origin such as an ovarian cyst causing abdominal pain or distension, or hormonal leading to menstrual problems, or even psychological such as anxiety and depression. The most common complaint is menstrual problems like Amenorrhoea or absence of menses, Dysmenorrhoea or painful periods affecting up to 80% women at some time or another, Oligomenorrhoea or period irregularity, and Menorrhagia or profuse bleeding during menses leading to anaemia. Later there is menopause with its problems like hot flushes, thinning of bones, weight gain, dryness of skin and vagina, and depression.Homeopathy has the potential to treat a wide range of disorders in women and there is a growing body of research evidence that appears to support its effectiveness in the following conditions: menopausal hot flushes, night sweats, headaches, fatigue, anxiety and depression; premenstrual syndrome; menstrual disorders; infertility; and complaints during and after pregnancy. Homeopathy is also effective in treating a range of diseases and complaints that are increasingly common in women, such as fibromyalgia (muscle, tendon and ligament pain, and fatigue), depression, migraine and tension headaches.Homeopathy can increase well-being prior to pregnancy, improve the chances of conception, treat morning sickness during pregnancy, post-partum bruising of mother and newborn infant, breast feeding problems and postnatal depression . A homeopathic remedy acts to help the body to heal itself.Homeopathy has a long history of successfully treating women and their health problems and is the preferred healthcare option chosen by a growing number of women. Gentle, fast, non-invasive, non-addictive and safe, homeopathy is the perfect option for the treatment of women’s healthcare problems. A number or studies have shown that women make up between 64 and 80 % of the clientele visiting homeopaths
Courtesy:BY: P.Chakravarty
DIgital Health Care

Tobacco Users Increasing in India Despite Pictorial Warnings on Sachets

Smokeless tobacco products which are being marketed in India contains about 3095 chemical components which have serious health implications with about 28 of these components being carcinogenic. Areca nut is the most commonly used carcinogen. Latest studies have demonstrated the presence of heavy metals like nickel, lead, cadmium, chromium and arsenic in these products. Studies have revealed abundant presence of Tobacco-specific N-Nitrosamines (TSNA) and even radioactive polonium in smokeless forms of tobacco products. There is no safe level for TSNA’s. There is an increased risk of cancer mortality and death due to cardiovascular diseases in smokeless tobacco users.30% gutkha brands that are available in the market exceed the provisional tolerable intake limits of lead and copper stated by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Food and Agriculture Office (FAO). The Union Health Ministry is in a discussion with the Agriculture Ministry to persuade the tobacco cultivators to grow some other crops. The Government has agreed that pictorial warnings of lung X-ray or the scorpion on the sachets of these products have not been successful in arresting the use of tobacco among people as many do not understand the meaning of these pictorial depictions. The Ministry feels that there is a need for regulation on the production and sale of these products as increasing number of youngsters and women are beginning to use them and many of the users are daily users (21.4%). Government officials have also stated that it is of no use to ban tobacco products in one state. The ban should be on a nationwide basis. 


An Ancient Art that Balances Body and Mind: Marma Point Training Offered this Summer by the California College of Ayurveda

Marma points are 107 energetic body points that allow access to the body, mind and consciousness. Marmas are commonly used in Indian martial arts and are used in Ayurvedic Medicine to bring about healing. The California College of Ayurveda announces its Marma Therapy course this summer as part of the pancha karma training intensives.
Marma therapy can be used as part of a panchakarma program. Pancha Karma (Panchakarma) is the Ayurvedic art of detoxification, purification, and rejuvenation, and is a powerful way to address the root cause of disease and has been used for thousands of years as a method for staying healthy, young, and vital.
Marmas are related to our mind and our emotions. In the words of Dr. David Frawley, "marmas can held emotions such as fear (vata), anger (pitta) or attachment (kapha), as well as the gunas or primary qualities of sattva (calm), rajas (aggression) and tamas (inertia)."
The California College of Ayurveda offers complete training in Ayurvedic marma therapy as part of its panchakarma and Ayurvedic training intensives. During the program, students will learn the history, classifications, theory and locations, and the effect of each point on the doshas and organs of the body.
Students will learn how to interact with each marma point using massage, essential oil application and pranic healing (Ayurvedic energy work) to restore balance to the body and mind. Specific protocols will be taught for bringing healing to different organ systems.
Source:PR web Press Release


Monthly Aspirin Use May Lower Pancreatic Cancer Risk

The use of aspirin at least once per month is associated with a significant decrease in pancreatic cancer risk, according to a study.Xiang-Lin Tan, Ph.D., M.D., a research fellow at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., said the findings from this large collaborative study are preliminary and do not encourage widespread use of aspirin for this purpose. "The results are not meant to suggest everyone should start taking aspirin once monthly to reduce their risk of pancreatic cancer," said Tan. "Individuals should discuss use of aspirin with their physicians because the drug carries some side effects."For the current study, Tan and colleagues enrolled 904 patients who had documented pancreatic cancer and compared them with 1,224 healthy patients. All patients were at least 55 years old and reported their use of aspirin, NSAIDs and acetaminophen by questionnaire.
Results showed that people who took aspirin at least one day during a month had a 26 percent decreased risk of pancreatic cancer compared to those who did not take aspirin regularly. The effect was also found for those who took low-dose aspirin for heart disease prevention at 35 percent lower risk, according to Tan.
The researchers did not see a benefit from non-aspirin NSAIDs or acetaminophen. "This provides additional evidence that aspirin may have chemoprevention activity against pancreatic cancer," said Tan. He added that more data must be gathered before we can prove a real benefit. 



Monday, 4 April 2011

Ginseng and Saffron can Act as Aphrodisiacs

Man’s quest for an aphrodisiac that can be commonly used in the diet can be at an end after a new study published in the journal Food Research International suggests that items such as ginseng and saffron can increase sexual desire.Researchers from University of Guelph, Ontario, analyzed hundreds of food items and found that apart from ginseng and saffron, other items such as cloves, garlic and yohimbine, a substance that grows naturally in West African trees, also increase sexual desire. The researchers also found some surprising facts. While chocolate is often considered to be a potent aphrodisiac, its consumption did not alter the level of sexual desire while drinking alcohol in fact interfered in sexual performance. “Aphrodisiacs have been used for thousands of years all around the world, but the science behind the claims has never been well understood or clearly reported”, lead researcher Massimo Marcone said. 



More Options Before Bypass Surgery, Study Finds

A new study offers a fresh strategy for treating patients suffering from both coronary artery disease and heart failure, afflictions linked to poor quality of life and high risk of death that affect as many as two million Americans.The 1,212-patient study calls into question the need for immediate bypass surgery in these patients—an approach commonly recommended by doctors. The study, called Stich, found benefits in treating people with medication only, and in treating people with a combination of bypass surgery and medication. Both approaches can be effective, with risks and benefits associated with each one."You don't have a good therapy and a bad therapy, you have a choice," said Clyde Yancy, chief of cardiology at Northwestern University's Feinberg School of Medicine, who wasn't involved with the study. "It really is about choice and not about which is superior."How best to treat these patients has been fraught with uncertainty. Many patients aren't evaluated for heart surgery to treat diseased arteries because they don't suffer classic chest pain or because doctors worry that hearts weakened by heart failure won't benefit from the procedure. Other doctors recommend immediate bypass surgery despite a lack of vigorous studies to support that strategy.In the Stich study, 41% of patients assigned to treatment with drugs alone died during the follow-up period, which averaged five years. That compared with a mortality rate of 36% among patients who received bypass surgery plus medication. Although the relative reduction in risk of death was 14%, the result didn't meet tests for statistical significance, meaning it could have resulted from chance alone.The findings were presented Monday at the annual scientific meeting of the American College of Cardiology in New Orleans and published online in the New England Journal of Medicine.In many cases, patients tested for coronary-artery disease "get put on an express train," said Eric J. Velazquez, a cardiologist at Duke University Medical Center, Durham, N.C., and lead investigator of the Stich study. "By the time people realize it, they've had bypass surgery."An arsenal of drugs has hit the market in recent decades that has transformed treatment for coronary artery disease and heart failure. Drug regimens, including aspirin, cholesterol-lowering statins, and such blood-pressure medications as beta blockers, ACE inhibitors and angiotensin-receptor blockers, can either stave off blockages that cause heart attacks or reduce the heart's workload, easing symptoms of heart failure.The Stich findings suggested that contrary to current practice, doctors and patients have time to consider bypass surgery over drug treatment alone. Open-heart surgery has an early risk of death, with nearly 5% of patients who underwent bypass surgery in the study dying within 30 days of surgery. The result was in line with surgical outcomes in both Europe and the U.S. for high-risk patients, Dr. Velazquez said. It was two years before the death rates in the two study groups evened out.Dr. Velazquez, who isn't a surgeon, said that even though the study didn't show an overall benefit for surgery he thinks the data generally favor the more aggressive treatment. He suggested that a patient with both heart failure and coronary artery disease who has a daughter or son getting married in three months might want to avoid or delay a decision to have bypass surgery. But, he said, if a wedding was, say, three years away, surgery might offer a better chance of survival.However, in an editorial in the New England Journal of Medicine accompanying the study, James Fang, a cardiologist at University Hospitals Case Medical Center in Cleveland, said doctors "should be comfortable" generally that surgery isn't better than the best medical therapy for the kind of patients participating in the study.Two participants in the Stich study, Donald Ferguson and Jimmy Spell, both of North Carolina, were each diagnosed eight years ago with heart failure and coronary artery disease. Mr. Ferguson and Mr. Spell both enrolled in the study at Duke and they are among the 750 participants alive at the end of the study.At the time he signed on, Mr. Ferguson, a retired commercial refrigeration repairman, appeared so gray when he looked in the mirror that it was as if "somebody made you over with clay," he said. He was assigned to the medical-therapy group.Mr. Spell, a retired textile technician whose health was complicated by diabetes, was regularly so short of breath, "I just couldn't do anything. I felt like my life was coming to an end," he said. He received bypass surgery and medication.Now 75, Mr. Ferguson still gets assignments repairing refrigeration on private airplanes. He says he keeps his temper under control, gets regular exercise and enjoys time with his grandchildren. "I'm still here and I don't intend to go anywhere," he said. He steadfastly takes his medicines, convinced that they are part of the reason he is still alive.Mr. Spell, who is a double amputee due to complications from diabetes, nevertheless remains active with the help of prostheses. The 66-year-old said he exercises three times a week, went on a missionary trip to Brazil two years ago and has four grandchildren. He knew he could have died during surgery, but said entering the study was the right decision. "I went from dying to living," he said."If patients are informed, they will make different decisions based on their own background," experiences and perception of risk, said Raymond Gibbons, a cardiologist at the Mayo Clinic who wasn't involved in the study. "I don't think doctors should be making the judgment for them."
Courtesy:Wall Street Journal

Vitamin D Improves Vascular Health

A higher level of vitamin D improves vascular health and loweres blood pressure, according to researchers from the Emory University School of Medicine in the US. The research examined 554 participants, at the average age of 47 and generally healthy.The researchers discovered that a lower level of the ‘sunshine vitamin’ meant stiff arteries and an inability of blood vessels to relax. This could lead to high blood pressure and the risk of cardiovascular disease.
The average level of 25-hydroxyvitamin D in participants' blood was 31.8 nanograms per milliliter. 14 percent had 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels considered deficient, or less than 20 nanograms per milliliter, and 33 percent had levels considered insufficient, less than 30 nanograms per milliliter.
The ability of participants' blood vessels to relax was examined by inflating and then removing a blood pressure cuff on their arms. Blood vessels must relax and enlarge to allow blood to flow back into the arm, and this was monitored by ultrasound.   Ibhar Al Mheid, MD, a cardiovascular researcher who led the study reports,"We found that people with vitamin D deficiency had vascular dysfunction comparable to those with diabetes or hypertension."  
On the other hand, when participants increased their vitamin D levels, their vascular health was improved and blood pressure lowered.  Al Mheid explains, "It could be strengthening endothelial cells and the muscles surrounding the blood vessels. It could also be reducing the level of angiotensin, a hormone that drives increased blood pressure, or regulating inflammation." 



China hands over ayurvedic centre in Nepal

The government of China  handed over National Ayurvedic Training and Research Centre (NATRC), at Tribhuvan University, Kirtipur, to the government of Nepal. Chinese Ambassador Qio Guohong said the centre would play a positive role in promoting Ayurveda, conducting research on medicine made from natural herbs, training medical professionals and strengthening exchange and cooperation between China and Nepal in the health sector. The Chinese government has constructed a research centre, a training centre and a 25-bed hospital at the centre.
Dr Praveen Mishra, secretary at the health ministry, said the centre would help protect, preserve, develop and commercialise indigenous knowledge and herbal resources. Nepal ranks 25th in the world and 11th in Asia in terms of biodiversity. It has around 264 species of indigenous herbal plants and 3,500 non-indigenous ones. An estimated 140 indigenous medicinal herbs are being used by foreign medical companies.Dr Ram Chandra Adhikari, health inspector at the Department of Ayurveda, said the centre would produce and export herbal medicines by establishing coordination between traditional Chinese medicine and Nepali indigenous medicinal system. He added that the country would be able to register medicinal plants and protect and promote those herbs that cost billions.“The country is losing its herbal resources for want of a research centre,” said Dr Shyam Babu Yadav, coordinator of the centre. He said the centre would help preserve a sustainable ground for ayurvedic treatment, research and development of traditional knowledge for economic, environmental and social prosperity. The centre will also produce human resources in Ayurveda through education and training. 

Sunday, 3 April 2011

UK Student Diagnoses His Rare Heart Illness Through Wikipedia

A UK student has finally diagnosed his rare heart illness himself thanks to Wikipedia even after 10 docs fobbed him off. Edward Green, 26, spent eight years being told his symptoms were harmless even though he was once rushed to hospital after collapsing at his home, reports the Sun.Finally he typed "high heart rate" and "chronic fatigue" in Google and hit on a Wikipedia article about Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia. Computing student Green, of Worcester, showed his GP, who had never heard of the illness but referred him to a specialist who confirmed he had it. If left untreated, the condition - which leads to a racing heart and causes dizzy spells - can cause serious coronary damage. "I was certain something was wrong. No one would listen," said Green, now on pills.
Since having his fears confirmed his GP has even struck him off, citing an "irretrievable breakdown in the doctor-patient relationship". "He's been ill since he was 18 but was fobbed off by doctor after doctor," said his mother Annette.

Significant Progress in AYUSH Sector

A Consultative Committee attached to the Ministry of Health and Family praised the progress made by the Department of AYUSH in the last sixteen years.
The meeting which was chaired by Health and Family Welfare Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad noted that the Department of AYUSH has been making significant strides in providing an enabling environment to develop these systems with its infrastructure of national institutes, research councils, pharmacopoeial laboratories, the Indian Medicines Pharmaceutical Corporation Limited and also the National Medicinal Plants Board.
Azad highlighted the successful strategy of mainstreaming of AYUSH systems under the National Rural Health Mission. He also elaborated on the efforts made by the department towards ensuring quality control of drugs.
Azad, however pointed out the acute shortage of doctors in rural areas and sought the views of members in mitigating the situation by utilizing the AYUSH doctors to fill the felt need at grass root levels.
Secretary, Department of AYUSH, Anil Kumar, drew the attention of members to the new initiatives taken in the Eleventh Plan, particularly the scheme on acquisition cataloguing, digitization and publication of text book and manuscripts; projects on local health tradition; scheme on AYUSH clusters and public health initiatives.
Committee members shared the concern of the department over some key issues like low capacity reflected in vacancies; pending utilisation certificates from states; weak drug enforcement machinery; collaborative research and building quality - drugs, therapies, hospitals, laboratories, teaching colleges.
They requested Azad to ensure employment and utilization of trained manpower and suggested that AYUSH services should be more visible at the grass root level so that benefits of progress made by the department reach the people.


India's First Homeopathy University will be opened in Rajasthan

 Chief minister Ashok Gehlot on Sunday inaugurated first homeopathy university at Saipura village in this district. This university is coming-up to popularise homeopathy treatment especially in the rural areas besides promoting research work in this field. "This university will produce medical officers who will join their counterparts in delivering quality medical service in the state," said Gehlot. He asked the National Homeopathic Council to affiliate six existing homeopathy colleges in this university. The state government has announced a grant of Rs 25 lakh for the university for developing infrastructure besides developing a public park along with a community centre in the village. This university was upgraded from the existing Dr MPK Homeopathy Medical College and Research Centre. It will start its maiden session from July with one academic and administrative block with two hostels --- one each for boys and girls with capacity of 90 students each. The university will hold its own admission test in June with 100 seats in undergraduate and 18 seats in post-graduate discipline. The admission would be done on the basis of merit. A 10+2 pass-out with PCB but not less than 17 years of age can apply for the bachelors' course. Eligibility for PG course will be a BHMS degree. Dr Ramjee Singh, president, Central Council of Homeopathy, said, "This university would offer two academic courses: Bachelor of Homeopathic Medicine and Surgery (BHMS) and Doctor of Medicine in Homeopathy. "This residential university will offer bright prospects for homeopathy graduates and post-graduates in the near future as medical officers, research officers and lecturers in colleges and employment in the government and private sectors,"added Singh. The university will cultivate all types of medicinal herbs in the campus. They'll be developing world class herbarium for research scholars. It has been established by the state government under the Homeopathy University Act 2010. 

Research: Brain can Rotate Letters and Words Reflected in the Mirror

Human brain can mentally rotate words reflected in a mirror around and understand them automatically and unconsciously, at least for a few instants, a team of scientists from the Basque Centre on Cognition, Brain and Language (BCBL) has shown.
The finding could pave way to better understand dyslexia."At a very early processing stage, between 150 and 250 milliseconds, the visual system completely rotates the words reflected in the mirror and recognises them, although the brain then immediately detects that this is not the correct order and 'remembers' that it should not process them in this way," said lead author Jon Andoni Dunabeitia.
Dunabeitia and his team used electrodes to monitor the brain activity of 27 participants while carrying out two experiments in front of a computer screen. In the first, the participants were shown words with some of the letters and other information rotated for 50 milliseconds (an imperceptible flash, which is processed by the brain); while in the second case the entire word in the mirror was rotated (for example HTUOM instead of MOUTH).
The results of the encephalogram showed in both cases that, at between 150 and 250 milliseconds, the brain's response upon seeing the words as reflected in the mirror was the same as when they are read normally.
"These results open a new avenue for studying the effects of involuntary rotation of letters and words in individuals with reading difficulties (dyslexia) and writing problems (dysgrafia)," said Dunabeitia.


Anesthesia is Dangerous for the Obese

Undergoing anesthesia is twice as dangerous for obese people compared to those who do not suffer from obesity, a new study published in the British Journal of Anesthesia reveals. The researchers also warned that the risk increased with increasing weight and said that the risk was four times higher for severely obese people.
Such people who develop some serious airway complications when under anesthesia, the researchers added. The study is to be presented at the Royal College of Anesthetists (RCoA) on Wednesday. 

Lead researcher Dr. Nick Woodall said that the study was important for both the patients as well as the anesthetists. “We hope our findings will encourage anesthetists to recognize these risks and choose anesthetic techniques with a lower risk, such as regional anesthesia, where possible, and also prepare for airway difficulties when anesthetizing obese patients”, he added.


Are Attractive People Happier and More Successful?

Beautiful people do get more attention than their not-so-good-looking counterparts. They seem to make the initial good impression, but does beauty have a bearing on success in life or the capacity to make money, or simply the gift of happiness? The study conducted by University of Texas shows that good-looking people seem to be happier and financially better-off than their simple-looking counterparts.In the attractiveness scale, those that were present in the top 15 percent of beauty were found to be 10 percent happier than those who were at the bottom.
It could be confidence that give the beautiful people a good start to seek their goals. Armed with the early advantage, there seems to be no looking back in making a success of their lives. 



New Diet Plan Recommended for Weight Loss

Eating fewer, regular-sized meals with higher amounts of lean protein can make one feel more full than eating smaller, more frequent meals, new research suggests."We found that when eating high amounts of protein, men who were trying to lose weight felt fuller throughout the day; they also experienced a reduction in late-night desire to eat and had fewer thoughts of food," said Heather J. Leidy, an assistant professor of nutrition and exercise physiology at the University of Missouri who was a postdoctoral researcher at Purdue for this study. 
"We also found that despite the common trend of eating smaller, more frequent meals, eating frequency had relatively no beneficial impact on appetite control. The larger meals led to reductions in appetite, and people felt full. We want to emphasize though that these three larger meals were restricted in calories and reflected appropriate portion sizes to be effective in weight loss," he added.
"Our advice for people trying to lose weight is to add a moderate amount of protein at three regular meals a day to help appetite control and the feeling of fullness," said Wayne W. Campbell, Purdue professor of foods and nutrition.
"Egg and lean pork products are good sources for protein, and if they are incorporated at meals when people do not normally consume protein, such as at breakfast and lunch, they may prove to be a nice strategy to control weight; promote satiety, which is the feeling of being full; and retain lean tissue mass, which is essential for people as they age," he added. The findings are detailed in the current issue of Obesity.



Running Away from Problems Could Be Good: It Helps Achieve Work-Life Balance

Having trouble achieving work-life balance? Worry not, for a new research has suggested that a little self-reflection could do us all a world of good.
The study was carried out by the University of Toronto Scarborough (UTSC)."People need to ask themselves, 'What roles do I play?' and 'Are these roles working for me?'" said Julie McCarthy, associate professor of organizational behaviour at UTSC.
"And if they're not working, we then need to ask, 'What are the strategies I'm using to make things better?'"
In her latest study, the UTSC associate professor of organizational behavior worked with Tracy Hecht of Concordia University to look at how undergraduate students attempted to achieve balance. All of the participants were UTSC students with jobs outside of school.
McCarthy and Hecht looked at three strategies often used to deal with opposing demands on time, attention and energy: solution-driven active engagement (problem-focused), venting to others (emotion-focused) or ignoring those problems altogether and distracting ourselves with other activities (avoidance-focused).
While the problem-focused approach is traditionally viewed as the best of the three, McCarthy and Hecht's research found that strategy could actually cause more problems as a result of stress, over-exhaustion and lack of recovery time.
"People need time to refocus in order to learn or study well," said McCarthy.
The most surprising conclusion had to do with the third coping mechanism: avoidance. When the student participants simply set aside some of their issues for a while, they actually experienced a reduction in conflict between life roles.
"This technique is traditionally seen as 'running away from your problems'," said McCarthy.
"But maybe by backing off and taking breaks, students are able to replenish their resources."
Feeling drained leads to lower levels of satisfaction with life and higher rates of burnout, depression and ill-health. And while playing multiple roles can be stimulating, interesting and lead to sense of accomplishment and achievement, McCarthy said there are real risks we need to be aware of.
"People need to assess which strategies they're using to cope with their problems and make sure they're making time for resource recovery," she said.
"Too many roles can be detrimental unless we begin asking ourselves honest, pointed questions," she added. 



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