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Saturday, 6 August 2011

Health ministers from 11 SE Asian region decide to step up efforts on immunisation of children

As around 500 000 children die each year from vaccine-preventable diseases in  South East Asia Region, the health ministers and experts from 11 member States of the region have decided to step up efforts to increase and sustain immunization coverage in the region.
This was decided at a two-day high-level ministerial meeting of South East Asia region recently in Delhi. The ministers from Bangladesh, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, Maldives, Myanmar and Nepal attended the conference, which  was inaugurated by Union Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad. The WHO has declared 2012 as the Year of Intensification for Routine Immunization in the South East Asia Region.
Recognized as one of the most cost-effective and powerful public health interventions, immunization is critical to achieving Millennium Development Goal 4 (MDG 4): a reduction of deaths of children under the age of five. Despite the achievements in routine immunization in the region, the coverage is not uniform between countries and within different geographical areas in the same country, the meeting was told.
“About 10 million children still do not receive the third dose of DTP vaccine in the Region. Millions of children in the Region have no access to vaccines that are routinely given to children in the industrialized world” said Dr. Samlee Plianbangchang, WHO’s Regional Director for South-East Asia. “Access to safe and effective vaccines is a basic right of all children” he added.
Basic vaccines in routine immunization consist of four vaccines against six diseases namely BCG (vaccine against childhood tuberculosis), DTP (combined vaccine against diphtheria, whooping cough and tetanus), OPV (vaccine against polio) and measles vaccines.
Reaching high-risk communities and those in hard-to-reach areas is one of the challenges to routine immunization in South-East Asia. Inadequate resource allocation and lack of trained health workforce add up to the low coverage in the Region. Inadequate vaccine delivery mechanisms and a weak cold chain infrastructure also pose a big challenge to effective immunization coverage.
In 2005, the World Health Assembly endorsed the Global Immunization Vision and Strategies (GIVS). One of the most important goals was to achieve 90 per cent immunization coverage nationally and 80 per cent coverage in all districts. However, only seven countries in South-East Asia Region had reached the national coverage of 90 per cent in 2010. Though these countries have reached the national coverage of 90 per cent, there are still districts with coverage below 80per cent.

American Indian physician group continues to tackle health problems in Native populations

National experts will gather Aug. 9-14 at the Jantzen Beach Red Lion Hotel in Portland to detail how traditional healing can be part of modern medicine

PORTLAND, Ore. — As a group, American Indians suffer some of the worst health disparities in the United States.
American Indians die at higher rates than the U.S. population as a whole from:  tuberculosis (500 percent higher); alcoholism (514 percent higher) and diabetes (177 percent higher).
And American Indian and Alaska Native infants are two to four time mores likely than Caucasian infants to die of sudden infant death syndrome.
These health disparities — and what physicians can do to battle them — will be the focus of discussion at the 40th annual meeting and national health conference of the Association of American Indian Physicians in Portland Aug. 9-14.
More than 200 American Indian and Alaska Native physicians from around the nation will gather for the conference, which will feature more than 30 experts talking about American Indian health issues, including, for the first time, the president of the American Medical Association. The president of the American Psychiatric Association and the director of the federal Indian Health Service will also speak at the conference.
"American Indians in the United States are dying in large numbers from diseases they shouldn't have to die from," said R. Dale Walker, M.D., president of the AAIP and professor of psychiatry and public health and preventive medicine at Oregon Health & Science University. "We are bringing together some of the best minds in American Indian health care — and top U.S. health leaders — to talk about how to address that crisis."
The conference, to be held at the Jantzen Beach Red Lion Hotel, will include a range of experts speaking on a variety of American Indian health issues. Among them:

•  David Baines, M.D., an Alaska Native physician for 29 years, will speak about how physicians can better understand traditional American Indian healing methods and how to better work with patients who are seeing Traditional Healers.

•  Walker, who is also head of the One Sky Center at OHSU, will speak about chronic behavioral health issues of American Indians — depression, anxiety, addictions, suicide — and how these problems can be more effectively managed by establishing a broader network of community-based care.

•Daniel Dickerson, D.O., M.P.H., an assistant research psychiatrist at the University of California, Los Angeles, will speak about his work with traditional "drum-assisted recovery therapy" for American Indians with substance abuse disorders.

• Shane Morrison and Rebecca Stellato, teaching assistants at the Stanford University School of Medicine, will speak about their experiences with "Med 202" — a Stanford class that combines a full medical school course in American Indian and rural health care with a week of work serving American Indians at a health clinic and Habitat for Humanity sites in Rosebud, S.D.
The conference will also have some highly visual ceremonies. It will include a "Sunset Drum and Music" welcoming ceremony at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 11, during which members of the Confederated Tribes of Grande Ronde will canoe ashore on the Columbia River to welcome their guests to their ceded lands. The conference also will include a Pow Wow dance event on the evening of Saturday, Aug. 13, during which some featured speakers at the conference 
will perform traditional song and dance.

Test To Detect Deadly Fungal Infection Faster

New Zealand researchers have developed a test that could help detect candidemia faster. It is a fungal infection most commonly seen in immunosuppressed or immunocompromised patients, or in patients with intravenous catheters.
It is known to be caused by Candida species (also known as Candidemia, Candedemia, and Invasive Candidiasis), but can be caused by other fungi as well.
 Recently it has also been suggested the otherwise immunocompetent patients taking infliximab may be at a higher risk of developing the dangerous infetion. 

The diagnosis is complicated, as routine blood cultures have poor sensitivity.
Now a team led by a Massey University researcher has developed a diagnostic tool that could save the lives of some of the 60 people estimated to die each year in New Zealand from candidemia – and thousands of such patients worldwide.
Dr Jan Schmid, a senior lecturer in microbiology within the Institute of Molecular Biosciences BioMedical Research group, has discovered a particular strain of Candida albicans, which is twice as likely to lead to death in young immuno-compromised patients such as prematurely born infants.
“Candidemia is a disease that is time-consuming and difficult to diagnose,” Dr Schmid says. “It affects patients, who are already quite sick, and by the time it is diagnosed through blood analysis it is often too late.”
Dr Schmid’s team discovered a Candida genotype that is more virulent in young patients. “We analysed a strain collection in Italy with mortality data from patients,” he says. “What we found is that young patients with this particular genotype were twice as likely to die from candidemia.”


Make Healthy Eating Spontaneous Rather Than With Conscious Effort

It is important to cultivate the art of eating healthy without so much as a second thought, and this helps in weight management.
 "Our homes are filled with hidden eating traps," said Brian Wansink, PhD, who presented his findings and strategies for a healthier lifestyle in a plenary address entitled "Modifying the Food Environment: From Mindless Eating to Mindlessly Eating Better."
"Most of us have too much chaos going on in our lives to consciously focus on every bite we eat, and then ask ourselves if we're full. The secret is to change your environment so it works for you rather than against you," Wansink said 
Wansink identified several myths about eating behavior as a way to explain why Americans, on average, have been getting fatter. "People don't think that something as simple as the size of a bowl would influence how much an informed person eats," he said.
However, several studies show exactly that, including Wansink's study of 168 moviegoers, who ate either fresh or stale popcorn from different size containers. People ate 45 percent more fresh popcorn from extra-large containers than large ones and the people who were eating stale popcorn ate 34 percent more from the extra-large buckets than people eating fresh popcorn, according to the study.
They just don't realize they're doing it," said Wansink. This strategy also applies to what we drink. His research found that people pour about 37 percent more liquid in short, wide glasses than in tall, skinny ones of the same volume.


Railroad 'Therapy' Being Sought Out by Desperate Indonesians

The chaotic healthcare scene in Indonesia is forcing many people to turn to electric therapy on railroads to cure their diseases.
Poor people in Indonesia can no longer afford expensive medications and do not have funds to visit their doctor as well. They are turning to the so-called electricity therapy by lying on rail tracks, believing that the electricity generated by the friction of a passing train holds the cure for many diseases.
 Marius Widjajarta, chairman of the Indonesian Health Consumers Empowerment Foundation says that the decentralization efforts by various governments in Indonesia have failed, thus leaving consumers without any viable healthcare program. 

Medical experts say there is no evidence that railroad therapy offers any relief, but villagers in Indonesia insist that the electric therapy cures diabetes, high blood pressure and even fever. 

Friday, 5 August 2011

Study: Healthy eating means spending more at store

 healthy diet is expensive and could make it difficult for Americans to meet new U.S. nutritional guidelines, according to a study published Thursday that says the government should do more to help consumers eat healthier.
An update of what used to be known as a food pyramid in 2010 had called on Americans to eat more foods containing potassiumdietary fiber, vitamin D and calcium. But if they did that, the study authors said, they would add hundreds more dollars to their annual grocery bill.
Inexpensive ways to add these nutrients to a person's diet include potatoes and beans for potassium and dietary fiber. But the study found introducing more potassium in a diet is likely to add $380 per year to the average consumer's food costs, said lead researcher Pablo Monsivais, an assistant professor in the Department of Epidemiology and the School of Public Health at the University of Washington.
"We know more than ever about the science of nutrition, and yet we have not yet been able to move the needle on healthful eating," he said. The government should provide help for meeting the nutritional guidelines in an affordable way.
He criticized some of the marketing for a healthy diet — for example, the image of a plate of salmon, leafy greens and maybe some rice pilaf — and said a meal like that is not affordable for many Americans.
Food-assistance programs are helping people make healthier choices by providing coupons to buy fruits and vegetables, Monsivais said, but some also put stumbling blocks in front of the poor.
He mentioned, as an example, a Washington state policy making it difficult to buy potatoes with food assistance coupons for women with children, even though potatoes are one of the least expensive ways to add potassium to a diet.
The study, published in the journal Health Affairs, was based on a random telephone survey of about 2,000 adults in King County, Wash., followed by a printed questionnaire that was returned by about 1,300 people. They noted what food they ate, which was analyzed for nutrient content and estimated cost.
People who spend the most on food tend to get the closest to meeting the federal guidelines for potassium, dietary fiber, vitamin D and calcium, the study found. Those who spend the least have the lowest intakes of the four recommended nutrients and the highest consumption of saturated fat and added sugar.
Hilary Seligman, assistant professor of medicine at the University of California, San Francisco, said Monsivais' research is an interesting addition to the debate about healthy eating and food insecurity, her area of expertise.
A lot of people assume the poor eat cheap food because it tastes good, but they would make better choices if they could afford to, said Seligman, who was not involved in the study.
"Almost 15 percent of households in America say they don't have enough money to eat the way they want to eat," Seligman said. Recent estimates show 49 million Americans make food decisions based on cost, she added.
"Right now, a huge chunk of America just isn't able to adhere to these guidelines," she said.
But Monsivais may have oversimplified the problem, according to another professor who does research in this area. Parke Wilde, associated professor at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University, said it's not expensive to get all the nutrients a body needs to meet the federal guidelines.
What is expensive, in Wilde's opinion, are the choices Americans make while getting those nutrients.
He said diets get more and more expensive depending on how many rules a person applies to himself, such as eating organic or seeking local sources for food or eating vegetables out of season.
"The longer your list gets, the more expensive your list will be," he said.
Seligman said her list can get longer than Wilde's, but not everything is a choice. Adding to the cost of buying healthful food could be how far away from home a person needs to travel to get to a grocery store that sells a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables.
The government also affects food prices through the subsidies offered to farmers growing certain crops, she added.

Memory can be Unreliable and Manipulated, Says Survey

A new survey has revealed that many Americans think that memory is more powerful, objective and reliable than it actually is.
"This is the first large-scale, nationally representative survey of the U.S. population to measure intuitive beliefs about how memory works," said University of Illinois psychology professor Daniel Simons, who led the study with Union College psychology professor Christopher Chabris.
The telephone survey, carried out by the opinion research company SurveyUSA, asked 1,500 respondents whether they agreed or disagreed with a series of statements about memory.
Nearly two-thirds of respondents likened human memory to a video camera that records information precisely for later review. Almost half believed that once experiences are encoded in memory, those memories do not change.
Nearly 40 percent felt that the testimony of a single confident eyewitness should be enough evidence to convict someone of a crime.
But the researchers said these and other beliefs about memory aren't supported by research, which shows that memory can be unreliable and even manipulated. For example, even witnesses who are confident about what they've seen are wrong about 30 percent of the time.
"The fallibility of memory is well established in the scientific literature, but mistaken intuitions about memory persist," Chabris said. "The extent of these misbeliefs helps explain why so many people assume that politicians who may simply be remembering things wrong must be deliberately lying."


Alternative Treatments in Demand to Cure Arthritis, Osteoporosis

The study of more than 7800 adults found that approximately 24 per cent used complementary and alternative medicines (CAMs). 
A new study has found more people are using complementary and alternative medicines, often in combination with pharmaceuticals to treat arthritis and osteoporosis.
"We looked at five conditions - asthma, diabetes, arthritis, osteoporosis and heart disease," ABC Science quoted co-author Professor Laurie Brown of the National Centre for Social and Economic Modelling at the University of Canberra as saying.
The CAMs included in the study were vitamin or mineral supplements and natural or herbal remedies, including homeopathy.
The highest use of CAMs was by women over the age of 60 years, who had osteoporosis and arthritis.
Around 40 per cent who had osteoporosis were using CAM products, either on their own or with prescribed medicines.
Aproximately 21 per cent of people with osteoporosis used only CAMs, whereas around 24 per cent used only pharmaceuticals, and 19 per cent used them in combination.
In the case of arthritis, 22 per cent used only CAMs, 22 per cent used only pharmaceuticals and 16 per cent used a combination.
The study was recently published in the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health.




Indian medical industry to be worth Rs 10,800 crore by 2015

India's world-class medical technology coupled with a skilled medical workforce will ensure that the Indian medical tourism industry is worth Rs.10,800 crore ($108 billion) and that the number of foreign patients visiting the country crosses 32 lakh by 2015, a commerce chamber report said Friday. 
"Emerging Trends In Domestic Medical Tourism Sector", prepared by the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (Assocham) estimated the current worth of Indian medical tourism industry at around Rs.4,500 crore with about 8.5 lakh foreign patients annually getting treated here. 
"India enjoys strategic advantage of essential resources like world-class medical technology, infrastructure and skilled medical workforce. The rapid growth will not only earn foreign exchange but will also give a huge boost to the country's health sector," said the study. 
According to Assocham, top notch facilities, especially in sectors like cardiology, joint replacement, orthopaedic surgery, transplants etc. at a low price, are certain key factors making India a favoured destination. 
"High quality medical care at a fraction of a price people would traditionally pay in developed countries is the basic reason behind this surge in number of patients flocking to India for treatment purposes," said D.S. Rawat, secretary general of Assocham. 
As per the study, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, West Bengal and New Delhi are fast emerging as India's best medical centres with facelifts, dental and botox treatment, tummy tucks, eye care etc. the most sought after treatments. 
Further, with holistic medicinal services like yoga, meditation, ayurveda, allopathy etc. India offers a plethora of facilities difficult to match in other countries. 
"Ayurveda is increasingly becoming popular as a non-surgical treatment for various ailments among the patients hailing from abroad," said the study. 
India gets the most number of foreign patients from the Middle East, followed by the US, Europe and people from neighbouring countries like Bangladesh, Nepal, Pakistan, Afghanistan and others. 
However, Assocham added that India was facing tough competition from Australia, Belgium, Cuba, Costa Rica, Hungary among others that are actively promoting healthcare tourism. 
"We propose developing 'Multi-Specialty Health City' on public-private partnership basis at 10 centres across the country, which will help us secure a bigger share in the industry and also encourage reverse brain drain by attracting non-resident Indian doctors, experts," said Rawat. 

Source--Indo-Asian News Service

Fight mosquitoes the Ayurvedic way

Even as people of Kerala have no other option but to use a mosquito repellent if at all they want to sleep, the toxicity of the repellents is a constant worry. A fully ayurvedic non-toxic repellent developed by the Asha Workers in Udayamperoor panchayat seems to be the answer to that problem.The repellent contains herbs, which, when fumed in coconut shells or earthen pot kill mosquitoes instantly, but is believed to be toxic free. “The fumes of this unique mix have no health hazards. It is safe for even those suffering from diseases like acute asthma,” said M K Anilkumar, ward member of 19th ward Udayamperoor panchayat.The kits are being distributed free of cost in his ward.“We are planning to distribute the mix to other parts of the panchayat also through Asha workers,” he said.The Kochi Corporation and Tripunithura municipality are engaged in routine fogging which is not enough to control mosquitoes. Also, the highly toxic fog is considered hazardous to health. “The method of fogging is quite unscientific and can create many health problems,” said Harish CG, who was forced to stop his morning walk because of the fogging in the early hours.A shopkeeper near Statue Junction alleges that the workers often select the evening peak hours in the most crowded junctions for fogging. “We have to take special care to prevent suffocation,” he said.It is against this backdrop that the Health and Hygiene Committee of Udayamperoor panchayat has come out with the ayurvedic solution.Dr P Prabhakaran, an ayurveda doctor inaugurated the mission against mosquitoes by giving the medicinal kits to the residents. M K Anilkumar ward member, presided over the function. Biju S Nair Jr Health Inspector and Mini, ADS chairperson attended the function.
Source:IBN Live

Fat Loss and Glycemic Control With Omega 6 Fatty Acids in Post Menopausal Diabetic Women

Optimal health management of post-menopausal women can remain a challenge. It is a phase when the hormonal shift can change the health parameters in a short time and can sometimes adversely effect the health of a woman. During this phase women tend to gain fat, develop insulin insensitivity and lose lean body mass. At the same time losing weight becomes increasingly difficult for obese post menopausal women.In an effort to address these issues, Norris et al in their study on obese post menopausal women with Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus analyzed the effects of dietary conjugated linoleic acid  (CLA) and safflower oil (SFA) on body composition.
 Safflower oil is a commonly used cooking oil and conjugated linoleic acid is a compound naturally found in meat and dairy foods. CLA has been found to reduce weight and adipose tissue in various clinical trials and has been extensively promoted as a weight loss supplement.
 Both the dietary oils and dairy products are composed of poly unsaturated fatty acids , which are considered as “good fats” and are associated with various health benefits. They are rich in the essential omega - 6 fatty acids  (linoleic acid). A commercial mixture of CLA oil is used in most studies as the naturally occurring CLA from ruminant meats and dairy products is low in its adipose-lowering isomer. Safflower oil is a very popular cooking medium in the west.
 For the study, fifty-five postmenopausal women less than 70 years with Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus were recruited. The goal of the study was to compare the effects of CLA and SAF on body weight, body composition, and adipose tissue distribution.
 Subjects were randomly assigned to 2 groups in order to determine which supplement they would be taking first (CLA or SAF). The initial diet period was of 16 wk, followed by a 4-wk washout period and a second 16-wk diet period.
Subjects consumed 8 dietary oil capsules daily. Each CLA capsule contained 1.0 g CLA-80 oil and each SAF capsule contained 1.0 g SAF oil. A total of 8g dietary oil was consumed daily by all subjects.
 They continued with their hypoglycemic drugs throughout the study. Women were asked to fast and abstain from taking the diabetes medications and treatment capsules the morning of each study visit. Dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry was used to assess the body composition.
 With CLA supplementation a significant decrease in BMI was observed during the last half of each diet period. Total adipose mass was seen to significantly decrease with no effect on fasting glucose.
 On the other hand SAF significantly reduced trunk adipose mass and increased lean tissue.. SAF also significantly decreased the fasting glucose.
 Weight gain, increase in the body fat levels and abdominal fat accumulation are common post menopause. These changes increase the risk of developing heart ailments and metabolic syndrome. This particular study remains the first to show that even a modest amount (1-2/3 teaspoon or 8 mL) of linoleic acid–rich oil can have a significant effect on body composition. Postmenopausal women are at risk of losing lean tissue mass. But supplementation with CLA and safflower oil on the contrary did not cause a loss of the same. Rather SAF was seen to increase the total lean tissue.
 Postmenopausal women are at a risk of developing central obesity and insulin resistance. However with SAF supplementation the study reported decreased trunk adipose mass and lowered glycemia.
 Keeping aside the study limitations and the unfavorable events, the findings clearly suggest that dietery supplementation with oils rich in n−6 linoleic acid helps to positively affect body composition and improve glycemic control significantly. The study thus brings forth various important findings that could help manage the debilitating lifestyle related health threats. Discovering and implementing dietary methods to reduce the risk of heart disease, diabetes and its comorbidities can be a boon to the community.
 The study suggests that even a modest dose of 6.4 g/d, CLA can have a significant effect on body weight and fat mass.
 Use of lower doses of CLA over a period of time can actually prove to be an effective weight-loss aid.
 In the study, CLA did not appear to affect the fat burning hormones, whereas SAF increased the hormone called as adiponectin which might have been responsible for burning dietary fats. Previously conducted work on animals suggests that in the case of CLA, the fatty acids  allows the body to burn calories in a heat producing way.
 Experts add that long term use of any supplements that lower body fat brings forth various safety issues and questions. They suggest, that if the fat that leaves fat tissues is not utilized, then it deposits in the liver or muscles leading to insulin resistance and diabetes. Therefore the exact mechanism behind the fat burning and channelizing further needs to be understood.

CLA and the linoleic acid in safflower oil cannot be produced by the human body and must be obtained from food, or dietary supplements.

Acronyms used -

CLA - Conjugated Linoleic Acid

SFA - Safflower oil


Norris LE et al. Comparison of dietary conjugated linoleic acid with safflower oil on body composition in obese postmenopausal women with type 2 diabetes mellitus. The American journal of clinical nutrition.


Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Top 10 worst male health habits

From workouts to healthy diets, many of us make an effort to look after ourselves. However, we could be compromising our health on a daily basis without even knowing it. From bottling things up to eating fast food, here are the top 10 male habits you should try to break.
Avoiding the doctor
Research by the charity Men’s Health Forum has revealed that men are 20% less likely than women to visit their doctor, despite the fact that they have shorter life spans than women and are more likely to die from cancer. While visiting the doctor is rarely a pleasant experience, diagnosing most illnesses early increases rates of survival, so stop ignoring those symptoms and give your doctor a call.
Not doing self-checks
Just like with visiting the doctor, many men avoid doing necessary health self-checks due to fear, denial of the risks, or confusion over what to do. However, it is vital that men check themselves regularly for signs of testicular cancer as incidence of the disease is on the rise, particularly in young and middle-aged men. If you are not sure how to go about checking yourself, visit a reputable website or ask your doctor for tips on performing these necessary checks.
Binge drinking
Although women are rapidly catching up with men in the drinking stakes, binge drinking is still more common among men than women, and there are consistently higher rates of alcohol-related deaths and hospitalisations in men. Binge drinking not only affects long term health, but it puts your immediate safety at risk and can also lead to rapid weight gain. To safeguard your health, it’s important to stick to recommended limits and drink in moderation.
Bottling things up

On the whole, men are less likely than women to talk about their feelings, express emotion or ask for help and support. Perhaps as a consequence of this, men are half as likely as women to be diagnosed with depression, yet are 77 per cent more likely to commit suicide.
Depressed men are also twice as likely as depressed women to resort to alcohol and drug abuse. Bottling up anger is just as detrimental to men’s health, with research suggesting that men who don’t express their anger increase their risk of a heart attack.
Stressing over work

While men and women are equally exposed to workplace stress, according to a survey of 3,000 workers by Medicash, men are four times more likely than women to take a sick day due to work related stress and are twice as likely to turn to alcohol to help deal with it.
As workplace stress can be an important factor in the development of depression, heart disease and stroke, it is vital to seek a way to resolve your feelings and ease your stress; whether it is by talking to your boss, changing your job or seeking professional help.
Taking hot baths
Many men enjoying soaking in the tub, but for all those trying to conceive it may be time to swap those long baths for showers. Researchers from the University of California, San Francisco, found through their three-year study that having hot baths can significantly reduce male fertility.
As sperm develop best in cool surroundings, men should avoid any activity that leads to overheating this area, including sitting in hot tubs or Jacuzzis and regular, prolonged use of laptops.
Not applying sun cream
Although skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the UK, multiple research studies have shown that few of us regularly wear sunscreen, and that men are the worst offenders.
According to research by Mintel on sun cream use in France, Germany, Spain and the UK, an average of 52 per cent of women use sunscreen, compared to only 37 per cent of men. However, with many men spending significant time outdoor for sports, work or leisure, it is vital to cover up with appropriate clothing and sun cream before heading outside.
Poor bathroom hygiene
Do you wash your hands after you’ve visited the bathroom? According to a study by the American Society for Microbiology and the Soap and Detergent Association, one in three men don’t! Furthermore, a study by the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine carried out at UK service stations found that only a third of men washed their hands with soap. Not washing your hands is the quickest way to spread germs and infection, so protect your health and those around you by making sure you lather up before leaving the bathroom.
Not brushing their teeth
According to a study by the American Dental Association, only 66 per cent of men brush their teeth twice or more a day, compared to 86 per cent of women. Furthermore, research findings published in the Journal of Periodontology showed that women are almost twice as likely to have regular dental checkups than men. Failing to look after your pearly whites is not only bad news for your teeth and gums; research has shown that gum disease can increase risk of heart disease, erectile dysfunction and dementia.
Eating fast food and takeaways
In today’s fast food culture, many of us are guilty of hampering our weight loss by indulging in too much junk food, and this is particularly true for men. A survey by Pew Research Center revealed that 47 per cent of men eat in a fast food restaurant at least weekly, compared to 35 per cent of women. With an average takeaway containing over half your recommended daily calories and copious amounts of salt, do your health a favour by cutting back on takeaways and replacing with home-cooked meals.

Caffeine consumption linked to fertility problems

Experts have always suggested cutting back on caffeine if you are trying to conceive or if you are pregnant, but recent studies show that caffeine reduces muscle activity in the Fallopian tubes that carry eggs from a woman's ovaries to her womb.

According to Sean Ward, professor of physiology and cell biology at the University of Nevada School of Medicine, drinking caffeinated drinks can reduce a woman's chance of becoming pregnant.
Ward and his team studied the fallopian tubes of mice and discovered that caffeine stops eggs from moving freely down the fallopian tubes.
Human eggs are microscopically small, but in order to move down the fallopian tubes and towards the womb with ease, the egg is helped along its way by tiny hair-like projections called cilia. These are assisted by muscle contractions in the fallopian tubes, which move the egg through the tubes and closer to the womb.It is these muscle contractions that help the egg on its journey towards the womb that are inhibited by heavy caffeine intake.

Ward says: 'This provides an intriguing explanation as to why women with high caffeine consumption often take longer to conceive than women who do not consume caffeine."
He added: "As well as potentially helping women who are finding it difficult to get pregnant, a better understanding of the way Fallopian tubes work will help doctors treat pelvic inflammation and sexually transmitted disease more successfully."
Most practitioners will err on the side of caution and tell you to avoid caffeine or cut back on your caffeine intake if you are trying to get pregnant, during pregnancy or whilst breastfeeding. Try to limit your coffee consumption to about 300 mg per day (about 2 to 3 cups of coffee). Don't forget caffeine can be found in tea, soft drinks, some headache, cold and flu remedies and chocolate! This doesn't mean avoiding them altogether but it does mean cutting back. If you suffer from caffeine withdrawal symptoms, cut back slowly, or only fill your coffee cup half way with coffee and the other half with milk. Gradually you will be able to cut caffeine out of your diet altogether.
There are steps you should take to cut caffeine out of your diet if you are having any kind of fertility treatment such as IVF.
Evidence shows that caffeine reduces a woman's success rate when using reproductive technology and whilst no one knows why this actually happens, it's likely to be because high levels of caffeine affect your hormone balance that can affect ovulation from happening.


How living a healthier lifestyle can prevent Alzheimer's

A study has found that Alzheimer's can be prevented by making some simple lifestyle changes like smoking less and exercising more.Study author Dr Deborah Barnes, from San Francisco VA Medical Centre, called the findings "exciting".
"Over half of all Alzheimer's disease cases could potentially be prevented through lifestyle changes and treatment or prevention of chronic medical conditions," the Daily Express quoted her as saying.
"Analysing data from studies, we concluded that worldwide, the biggest modifiable risk factors for Alzheimer's disease are, in descending order of magnitude, low education, smoking, physical inactivity, depression, mid-life hypertension, diabetes and mid-life obesity.
"Together, these risk factors are associated with up to 51 percent of Alzheimer's cases worldwide - 17.2 million cases.
"What's exciting is that this suggests that some very simple lifestyle changes, such as increasing physical activity and quitting smoking, could have a tremendous impact on preventing Alzheimer's and other dementias worldwide.
"We are assuming that when you change the risk factor, then you change the risk.
"What we need to do now is figure out whether that assumption is correct," she stated.
The findings have been published in journal Lancet Neurology.

Dropping weight not harmful for elderly - study

Dieting to lose weight may not help older overweight adults to live any longer, but losing a little weight on purpose also does not seem to cause any harm, according to a study.

Previous studies had raised concerns that losing weight might be harmful to older adults, since some research had linked dropping weight to a higher rate of death.
"There is a general sense in geriatrics... that weight loss is a bad thing," said study author Stephen Kritchevsky, at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.
"There's been a little bit of a conundrum on whether it's a wise thing or not to ask an overweight older adult to lose weight."
But Kritchevsky added that research linking older adults and weight loss to the higher rates of death may well be due to the fact that unintentional weight loss in the elderly is often due to an underlying illness.
For the study, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Kritchevsky and his colleagues looked at data from a past study of overweight and obese adults with high blood pressure, some of whom had received training and counseling to help them lose weight and keep it off.
Participants in the weight-loss group lost close to 10 pounds, on average, while those who were told to modify the amount or salt in their diets or to not change their diets at all lost about two pounds.
Twelve years later, the researchers used national death records to figure out which of the original participants were still alive. By then they would have been in their late 70s, on average.
Out of about 600 people split between the weight-loss and non-weight-loss programs, about 50 died in each group. When the researchers took into account factors such as age, race and smoking, participants assigned to lose weight weren't any more or less likely to die during the follow-up than those not in the weight-loss group.
When analyzed separately from women, men from the weight-loss assignment group did seem to have a lower risk of death than those who hadn't tried to drop any extra pounds. But the researchers weren't sure why that was the case and warned it would have to be tested again in a larger study.
For now, Kritchevsky said the findings were a "reassuring message that weight loss is potentially beneficial regardless of your age, if you're overweight or obese."
He added that even if losing weight doesn't add years to an elderly person's life, it can have many other health benefits, such as easing disease risks, making activities like walking up the stairs easier.
Courtesy:Reuters Health

Even a Little Exercise Is Good for You

Getting even a little bit of exercise is better than getting none at all, and this may hold especially true for women, a new study shows.
The U.S government guidelines recommend getting 150 minutes of exercise a week, and the study showed that even people who exercised less than that had a lower risk of coronary heart disease than those who did not exercise.
Of course, more exercise is even better for you: People who did 150 minutes of moderate exercise weekly had a 14 percent lower risk of developing coronary heart disease than those who did no exercise, the study said.And those who did 300 minutes of exercise a week had 20 percent lower risk of developing coronary heart disease than those who did not exercise. At higher levels of activity, the risk became progressively lower.The association between more exercise and greater health benefits was stronger in women than it was in men, the study said, though it was unclear as to why. It could be that women have an overall lower risk of developing coronary heart disease than men do, so factors other than exercise that are difficult to measure precisely, such as diet, contributed to this effect. [Heart Disease a Serious, Silent Problem in Women]
The study provides the first evidence supporting the 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, issued by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the researchers said.
Previous research had shown that physical activity is associated with a 20 percent to 30 percent lower risk of coronary heart disease; however, it was not known how much exercise was needed to lower risks by this amount.The study researchers based their conclusions on 33 previously conducted studies of physical activity and heart disease.About 17 million people in the United States had coronary heart disease in 2010, the researchers said.
The study was published today (Aug. 1) in the journal Circulation.

Israeli scientists develop date-rape drug detector

The days of having to cart your cocktail to the ladies room may be over: two Israeli scientists say they have developed a sensor that can accurately detect date-rape drugs in drinks 100 percent of the time.

A bartender mixes a drink. The days of having to cart your cocktail to the ladies room may be over: two Israeli scientists say they have developed a sensor that can accurately detect date-rape drugs in drinks 100 percent of the timeProfessor Fernando Patolsky and Doctor Michael Ioffe of Tel Aviv University's school of chemistry say the sensor can tell you in real time whether your martini or your mocktail has been spiked with either of the two most common date-rape drugs.
"You just dip it into your drink, it might actually look like a stirrer in the final production, it's tiny, very tiny," Ioffe told AFP.
"And you don't even have to hold it up to the light and the system will let you know whether there are drugs dissolved in your drink."
The device sucks up a tiny drop of the suspect beverage and puts it in contact with the patented chemical formula devised by Patolsky and Ioffe.
"The drug itself is reacting with this chemical formulation and the previously clear formula becomes dirty and when the light shines it you can detect it," Ioffe said. "You don't have to do anything but dip it in your drink."
The two scientists tested their device on a range of popular cocktails as well as soft drinks and other beverages and found it was able to correctly tell which had been spiked 100 percent of the time.
"What's amazing is that there is no false positives until now," Ioffe said.
At present, the device can accurately detect the presence of the two of the most-commonly used date-rape drugs: GHB (gamma-hydroxybutyric acid) and ketamine.
The scientists are also working to expand the device's detection capacity to include Rohypnol, another drug commonly used to sedate the victims of date rape.
"We have some very, very optimistic preliminary results," Ioffe said. "All we need is money."
The pair expect the first batch of sensors could be commercially available within a year and a half.
The chemical formula that the device uses is cheap to produce and is not poisonous, meaning companies should be able to produce the sensor without requiring government approval.
All that remains is for the producers to decide how the device will let its users know whether their drink is safe for consumption, and a range of options are being considered, Ioffe said.
"We haven't decided how it will let you know. Maybe it will just light up or a part of it will rotate or maybe it will send a signal to your cell phone because you want to be discreet about it."

New randomized trial further substantiates the efficacy of whole cranberry powder in prevention of recurrent UTI in women

Lallemand Health Ingredients (LHI) and Decas Botanical Synergies (DBS), a subsidiary of Decas Cranberry Products, Inc., has announced the overall results of a second randomized clinical trial substantiating the efficacy of a premium PAC-standardized whole cranberry powder PACran in the prevention of recurrent urinary tract infections (UTI) in women. The new study followed Good Clinical Practice (GCP) and was conducted by the team of Dr Vidlar from the Department of Urology, University Hospital in Olomouc, Czech Republic. The first data was presented last week at the 15th annual PhytoPharm congress in Nuremberg and makes PACran the first and only PAC-standardized whole cranberry powder backed by two controlled clinical studies. PACran is distributed in Europe by Lallemand Health Ingredients, and suitable for the formulation of clinically supported food supplements of all galenic forms.
Julie Rosenborg, Product manager for Cranberry Ingredients for Lallemand Health Ingredients commented: “A recent market study (source: Innova Market Insights, 2011) has ranked ‘proven‘ as number one health trend. We are pleased to offer our customer the Whole Cranberry Powder with the strongest pool of clinical evidence on the market and are ready to support them in the development and marketing of innovative products addressing the urinary health segment.”
The aim of the 6 month intervention trial was to assess the efficacy of a daily dose of 500 mg of PACran in women with a history of recurrent UTIs. 165 women in total participated in the randomized study (79 in the PACran group, 86 in the placebo group). During the six months of the trial, there were 22 UTI events in the placebo group vs. 11 in the PAcran group.
The recurrence rate for the cranberry group was 14.2%, vs. 25.7% in the placebo group. This corresponds to an absolute reduction in UTI recurrence of 15%. These data further validate that a 500 mg daily dose of PACran is effective in reducing the recurrence of urinary tract infections in women.
The previous clinical trial with PACran in UTI prevention was published in April 2011 (1) and showed that the daily consumption of 500 mg of PACran by women suffering from recurrent UTIs was effective in both reducing the number of E. coli positive subjects and ameliorating the symptoms of UTI in these subjects. This is further supported by ex vivo data from Rutgers University (New Jersey) showing that the consumption of 500 mg PACran conferred the same level of ex vivo urinary anti-adhesion activity against uropathogenic E. coli over a 24-hour period as 300 ml of Cranberry Juice Cocktail containing 36 mg Proanthocyandines.
“PACran has been built from the ground up to deliver cranberry in support of urinary tract health,” said Rahul Shinde, Research Scientist for Decas Botanical Synergies. “This is the second clinical trial to show positive results for PACran’s support for women with urinary health issues. These results build on the extensive library of science we have developed in support of PACran.”
PACran is the cranberry constituent in Lallemand’s innovative probiotic & cranberry combination product - Cysbiotic, – targeting womens’ health. Associating the documented probiotic strain Lactobacillus Rhamnosus R-11 and PACran in a capsule stable at room temperature, Cysbiotic is recommended to support urinary tract health and improve gastrointestinal health.
Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) is the most common infection among women and has a high reoccurrence rate. Its main causative agent is E. Coli bacteria. Foxman et al. have shown that nearly 1 in 3 women will have had at least one episode of UTI requiring antimicrobial therapy before they reach 24 years of age. Another study estimates that nearly half of the women who have had a UTI will experience another one within 12 months (Ikäheimo et al. 1996).Cranberries are widely documented for their preventive effect against urinary tract infection, thanks to their unique anti-adhesion activity. This activity is primarily due to the presence of key phytochemicals: proanthocyanidines (PACs). PACs are present in other plants, but cranberry have been shown to contain a unique A-type PAC, while most other fruits contain only the more common B-type PACs. Researchers have linked the presence of A-type PAC in cranberry to its unique anti-adherence effect against pathogenic bacteria.PACran is the world’s first proanthocyanidin (PAC) standardized cranberry powder substantiated by two randomized clinical trials. PACran is produced in US using PAC-rich Early Black cranberries of the North American species (Vaccinium Macrocarpon) and has been clinically shown to support urinary tract health at a 500 mg daily dose. The unique patented formula of PACran provides superior potency at a substantially lower cost per dose. PACran is the first cranberry product in the world with a government sanctioned health claim. The Korean Food and Drug Administration (KFDA) in 2009 reviewed the complete clinical dossier and awarded PACran with a permissible urinary health claim. PACran is also the only cranberry product clinically shown to support prostate health (Vidlar, et. al. – British Journal of Nutrition, 2010).
Lallemand Health Ingredients manages the sales and service of strategic health ingredients to the dietary food supplements and functional food markets worldwide.
Headquartered in Carver, Massachusetts, Decas Botanical Synergies, a subsidiary of Decas Cranberry Products, Inc., is a developer, manufacturer and marketer of patented, value-added fruit-derived ingredients for the dietary supplement, functional foods, animal feed and nutrition, personal care and cosmetics, and oral health industries.

Dietary Salt Reduction Reduces Risk of Stroke

A new study published in The Lancet journal suggests that cutting down even a small amount of the daily salt intake could be of a significant benefit for our health.
The report comes just two weeks after another study conducted by researchers at Exeter University claimed that cutting down on salt intake did not have any noticeable benefit.
However researchers, led by Professor Graham MacGregor, said that the Exeter University study was wrong and a reduction of just 2g of daily salt intake could reduce the risk of cardiovascular events by more than 20 percent. “Contrary to the claims by Exeter scientists and many press headlines, these new results, along with all the other evidence, clearly demonstrate that a reduction in the whole of the UK population and worldwide, is immensely important”, he said.

World Breastfeeding Week from 1-7 August

                 “Breast Feed Your Baby Wholeheartedly”
                                                                                                                                       AYUSH DARPAN

With a goal to boost the health of infants worldwide and encourage mothers to breastfeed, nearly 120 countries around the world celebrate World Breastfeeding Week from 1-7 August every year

Sri Lanka’s Aitken Spence Group opens exclusive Ayurveda resort

Sri Lanka’s Aitken Spence Group has re-opened its first-ever property, the 34-year old Neptune Hotel, as an exclusive Ayurveda treatment and wellness facility called Heritance Ayurveda Maha Gedara, the company said last week.Aitken Spence, among the two biggest hotel groups in Sri Lanka alongside John Keells Hotels with Jetwing coming a close third, has a string of hotels in Sri Lanka under the Heritance brand and other properties in the Maldives, India and the Middle East.
Neptune, which opened in 1974 and situated on the southern coast of Sri Lanka, has been renovated and re-opened this month as a ayurveda resort where the traditional medicine and herbs of Sri Lanka would be practiced for health and wellness while food is also available based on one’s diet and illness, officials said. No one under 16 will be admitted as a guest at the hotel as the 64-room luxury facility is strictly for clients who seek ayurveda treatment facilities in luxurious comfort. It includes 12 suites.
Ayurveda tourism is a big draw in Sri Lanka with most hotels having special ‘Ayurvedic’ centres while a range of ayurveda hotels are also springing up. “Most of our clients for ayurveda treatment come from Germany and Holland,” a hotel official said.

Lata’s voice acts as elixir for ailing Hazarika

Lata Mangeshkar’s voice proved to be an elixir for legendary music composer and singer Bhupen Hazarika, who is fighting for his life at the Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani hospital in Mumbai.

Hazarika, 86, was put on ventilator last week and had stopped responding to medicines and treatment. The music composer, who basically hails from Assam, was only partially conscious.
However, when the nightingale of India made a phone call to filmmaker and Hazarika’s partner Kalpana Lajmi a miracle of sorts happened. When the veteran was made to hear Lata’s voice, he opened his eyes that had turned moist out of love for the melody queen.
Talking to a daily, Debasish Sarma, deputy resident commissioner of Assam Bhavan in Mumbai said, “The phone was placed near Bhupenda’s ears when Lataji spoke. To everyone’s surprise, Bhupenda opened his eyes. Lataji told him that they were all wishing for his speedy recovery and eagerly waiting to have him back among them.”
Often addressed as Goddess Saraswati (Goddess of learning and music) on earth, Lata and Hazarika have churned out many chartbusters with one of the noted number being ‘Dil Hoom hoom kare’ from `Rudaali`.
“His condition is much better today. His lung infection decreased significantly, almost by 70%. He is responding well to medicines for the past two days and is breathing about 25 times a minute. The doctors said he will be put off ventilator once he regains complete consciousness,” Sarma added.
We wish the music maestro a speedy recovery.

Monday, 1 August 2011

Human Smartness Ends Here: Researchers

Researchers have reason to believe that the human brain has reached the physical limits of intelligence and it is physically impossible for us to become any smarter.
They claim that in order to become any more intelligent the human brain would need vast amounts of extra energy and oxygen - and we simply cannot provide it.ambridge University researchers have analysed the structure of the brain and worked out how much energy its cells use up.
"'We have demonstrated that brains must consume energy to function and that these requirements are sufficiently demanding to limit our performance and determine design," the Daily Mail quoted Simon Laughlin, professor of neurobiology, as saying. "Far-reaching powers of deduction demand a lot of energy because for the brain to search out new relationships it must constantly correlate information from different sources. "Such energy demands mean there is a limit to the information we can process," added Laughlin.
Other scientists have claimed that the brain's "wiring" or network of fibres linking different areas to one another cannot get any better. They have found that the cleverest people have the best wiring, with messages carried very quickly between different parts of the brain.
But scientists claim that the wiring would need vast amounts of extra energy to become more efficient. As before, they say it is impossible for humans to provide this, therefore we cannot get cleverer.

Study Says Raising Good Cholesterol Has Little Impact

Increasing the blood levels of good cholesterol does nothing to lower the cardiovascular disease risk in patients already taking statins to lower their bad cholesterol, says study.
Scientists at the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), which led the study of some 3,400 Canadians and Americans, said Thursday they had prematurely terminated the trials after the results became clear.During the 32-month study, half the patients took extra doses of niacin, also known as vitamin B3, to raise their levels of good cholesterol, as well as a statin to lower their levels of bad cholesterol and triglycerides.
The other half took a placebo instead of the niacin, while continuing with the statin treatment.
While it is well known that lowering the level of bad cholesterol with statins like Lipitor or Zocor reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease, researchers were surprised to find that when patients also took high dose, extended-release niacin, there was no additional drop in heart disease or stroke.
"Although we did not see the expected clinical benefit, we have answered an important scientific question about treatment for cardiovascular disease," said Susan Shurin, the NHLBI's acting director.
"Seeking new and improved ways to manage cholesterol levels is vital in the battle against cardiovascular disease," she added. It is estimated that one American out of seven has high blood cholesterol, a major risk factor in cardiovascular disease, which kills some 800,000 people in the United States every year.

Depression Makes Diabetics Prone to Diabetic Retinopathy

A five-year study has found that depressed diabetics are at high risk of developing diabetic retinopathy, a disease that damages the eye's retina.
Diabetic retinopathy occurs when diabetes is not properly managed and is now the leading cause of blindness in patients between 25 and 74 years old, according to the study.Our study controlled for obesity, smoking, sedentary lifestyle and HbA1c levels, and still found that depression was associated with an increased risk of retinopathy," said co-author Wayne Katon, M.D. HbA1c is a blood test that measures a person's average blood sugar levels over several months.
Katon and his colleagues studied 2,359 patients with diabetes enrolled in the Pathways Epidemiologic Study and assessed their levels of depression using the Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9), a self-reported survey of depression symptoms. Over the five-year follow-up period, 22.9 percent of the patients who had PHQ-9 scores that ranked as "major depression" developed diabetic retinopathy, compared with 19.7 percent of the patients without depression. With a five-point increase on the PHQ-9 score, patients' risk of having diabetic retinopathy increased by up to 15 percent. "Our findings suggested that psychobiologic changes associated with depression such as increased cortisol levels and activity of blood-clotting factors may be linked to the development of retinopathy," Katon said.
The study has been published online in the journal General Hospital Psychiatry.

Sunday, 31 July 2011

Gayatri Mantra to open yearlong “Interfaith Studies Program” in California

“Gayatri Mantra”, considered the most sacred mantra in Hinduism, will reportedly open the maiden yearlong “Interfaith Studies Program” at California’s capital Sacramento (USA) on October 15.

Hindu statesman Rajan Zed will recite this inaugural mantra at this certificate program of The Sierra Center for Interfaith Studies being organized in association with Interfaith Council of Greater Sacramento.
Reverend Bhavani Girard, Director of the Program, says that this project includes outlines and discussions regarding major world religions like Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism, Judaism, Baha’ism, Confucianism, Daoism, etc., besides Native American Spirituality. She calls it a “full emersion” experience.
Rajan Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, and who will also teach Hinduism in this Program, stresses: All religions should work together for a just and peaceful world. Dialogue will bring us mutual enrichment.
Girard, who is the author of book titled “We Are One”, points out: Our goal is to contribute to a sense of unity among all people, to improve communication among diverse groups, and to celebrate the rich diversity of beliefs and practices found in different tradition


The recent irregularities reported in conducting of clinical trials by Axis Clinicals, a Hyderabad based CRO, in Andhra Pradesh has once again brought to focus the questionable ways in which clinical trials are being done in India by the pharmaceutical companies and their agents. The report said that the CRO conducted bio-equivalence studies for an anti cancer drug on poor women early this year without securing their informed consent. The episode came to light only last month when some women belonging to this group complained of severe body ache, joint and chest pain and extreme weakness after taking the drug. A few of them even had difficulty in walking. The office of the DCGI raided the premises of the CRO after report came in the media and suspended its license. Axis also will be disallowed from conducting all bio-availability and bio-equivalence studies at their centre for some time now. Investigation carried out by the DCGI officials found irregularities in procedures such as recruitments of subjects and in taking their informed consents. The DCGI also found that the ethics committee at the centre was not functioning independently as required under the existing ICMR guidelines. Many such violations by CROs while conducting clinical trials in India were reported in the recent past and actions were taken against the offenders. But, these offences keep occurring in various parts of the country and very few of them get reported in the media.
After the action taken against the Hyderabad CRO, the office of the DCGI decided to audit all CROs in the country to ensure that the bio-availability and bio-equivalence studies are performed strictly in accordance with the regulatory provisions and prescribed guidelines. The DCGI office has already completed auditing of CROs in Andhra Pradesh and Mumbai. The basic problem with the clinical research in the country is that the sector is not at all effectively regulated. The health ministry has been working for last ten years to put in place a set of comprehensive rules to regulate clinical research with huge flow of contract research jobs into the country. But that has not happened yet. Ethics Committees at most of the trial sites are not active with no monitoring of the trials. What the country has a set of guidelines after amendment of the Schedule Y of Drugs & Cosmetics Act and it is not yet notified. That is what emboldens the MNCs and CROs to conduct trials as they do it now. Now in the case of CROs, a set of draft rules for their mandatory registration was issued by the DCGI some time in July 2009 after it was approved by the Drug Technical Advisory Board. But the registration process is still not in place. The move to make registration mandatory for CROs was taken after finding a spate of irregularities in conducting trials in the past. In short, the slow decision making process in the health ministry is the prime reason for the whole chaos in clinical research front. The matter has to be taken up by the health minister seriously and urgently if this critical sector of the pharmaceutical industry has to function with some order.

Lose your weight by chewing your food-40 times

A new study has suggested that chewing each mouthful of food for longer might help you lose weight, and also reduce the amount of calories consumed during a meal.
The study showed that volunteers who chewed each mouthful 40 times ate 12 percent less food than those who chewed just 15 times.
It is thought that chewing for a long time checks over-eating as the brain is given more time to receive signals from the stomach that it is full.
It also apparently lowers the levels of ghrelin, a hormone that controls hunger by circulating in the digestive system. Researchers at Harbin Medical University in China carried out a couple of experiments on 16 slim men and 14 obese men in their late teens or twenties.
In the first experiment, they tested whether the obese men chewed their food differently to their lean competitors or not. Each volunteer was treated to a pork pie and captured by a secret camera to notice the number of times they chewed before swallowing.
The results showed that even though the obese men chewed at the same speed as the slim ones, they swallowed their food in quicker time than the leans.
In the second experiment, another portion of pork pie was given to both groups to chew 15 times before swallowing, and then the exercise was repeated but they were asked to chew 40 times instead.

Man Loses 175 lbs After being frightened of Diabetes Diagnosis

A 25-year old American man was so afraid that he could be suffering from diabetes that he immediately made drastic changes to his lifestyle and lost nearly 80kgs (175lbs) in 11 months.
University of Alabama graduate, Will Nevin experienced tingling sensations in his legs and later on felt that he was having a heart attack after experiencing tightness in his chest while on a road trip.
While he did not reveal his symptoms to anyone, he started visiting his university gym and went on 3 mile walks after fearing that there might be something seriously wrong with his health.
Eventually he lost a lot of weight and cannot believe that he is now fit and in fine fettle. Needless to say his so-called pre-diabetic symptoms are now a thing of the past.


Stem Cell Trial to Assess Impact on MS

Scientists in Britain will be conducting a major stem cell research in an attempt to find out whether they will be able to slowdown or stop the damage caused to the brain and spinal cord among patients with multiple sclerosis (MS).
More than 200 patients from across the world will be participating in the study which will cost over £10 million and will include scientists from around the world.
Multiple sclerosis is a disease that affects the brain and spinal cord after the immune system attacks a protective covering of the nerve cells known as myelin. This leads to disruption of the messages sent to and from the brain and leads to sight loss, muscle stiffness and bladder and bowel problems.
“This is the first time that researchers from around the world have come together to test stem cell therapies in MS in such a large-scale clinical trial. A trial of this scale would be impossible to run in one location which is why this type of collaboration is essential if we are to make progress in this field”, lead researcher Paolo Muraro said.

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