Monthly Archives: August 2007

Smokeless Tobacco Vs Cigarettes

A new study has found that smokeless tobacco, the kind users put between cheek and gum may be almost as effective as cigarettes in delivering nicotine and carcinogens.
Smokeless tobacco, the kind users put between cheek and gum, is one way to satisfy a craving for nicotine without offensive smoke. But a new study has found that it may be almost as effective as cigarettes in delivering nicotine and carcinogens.

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Researchers tested the urine of 420 smokers and 182 users of smokeless tobacco for cotinine, a marker of nicotine exposure, and for a group of closely related powerful carcinogens called NNAL. The subjects had been recruited for smoking reduction studies, and the measurements were taken just before the studies began.

Smokeless tobacco users had, on an average, 74 per cent higher levels of NNAL in their urine than smokers, and 94 per cent higher levels of cotinine.
In animal studies, NNAL has been shown to be highly carcinogenic, causing tumours in the lung, pancreas, nasal mucosa and liver of rats. “The main message of this study is that smokeless tobacco cannot be regarded as safe, because it delivers just as much of one of the carcinogens in cigarette smoke as cigarettes do,” said Stephen S Hecht, the lead author of the study, published in the August issue of Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention, and a professor of laboratory medicine at the University of Minnesota. “While it may be safer than cigarettes, it is not nearly safe enough,” he added.

Countering suggestions that smokeless tobacco might be a less harmful alternative for people unable to give up tobacco, the researchers wrote that smokeless tobacco is very risky, and should be discouraged.

Source:The times Of India

Amenorrhea

There are two types of amenorrhea, primary and secondary. Primary amenorrhea is the term used to describe menstruation that as not started at all by age 16. once menstruation has started at puberty, it is normal for it to stop during pregnancy, for a few months following childbirth, while breast-feeding, after ceasing to take oral contraceptive pills, and permanently at menopause. If menstrual periods stop at any other time for at least 3 continuous months, the condition is known as secondary amenorrhea.

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What are the causes?
Amenorrhea is often caused by disturbance in the female sex hormones, which may be brought on by factors such as stress or depression. Excessive exercise and extreme or sudden weight loss may also lead to such hormonal disturbances and are common causes of amenorrhea in athletes, gymnasts, and ballot dancers. Hormonal changes may lead to primary or secondary amenorrhea, depending on when they occur.

Primary amenorrhea is a characteristic feature of delayed puberty, and may be caused by a chromosomal abnormality. The failure of menstrual periods to start at puberty may also be due to a condition in which the hymen (the thin membrane over the vagina) has no opening, and menstrual blood cannot leave the body. in rare cases, the uterus is absent from birth, and therefore no menstruation can occur.

Secondary amenorrhea may be due to a pituitary gland disorder, such as pituitary tumor, or it may be due to a premature menopause, in which menstrual periods cease before age 35. Other possible causes are disorders of the ovaries, such as polycystic ovary syndrome, and treatments such as chemotherapy and radiation therapy, that can result in damage to the ovaries.

What might be done?
Treatment is not needed if amenorrhea occurs for a few months after stopping oral contraceptives or during pregnancy or breast-feeding. Enstruation usually resumes within a few months of giving birth if you are not breast-feeding or within a month of stopping breast-feeding. If you are near menopause, amenorrhea will be permanent.

Amenorrhea that occurs at any other time should be investigated. Your doctor will examine you and may do a pregnancy test. You may also need to have blood tests to measure hormone levels, ultrasound scanning of the ovaries and uterus, and ct scanning of the pituitary gland.

treatment of the underlying disorder induces menstruation in most cases. if the cause cannot be treated, hormonal treatment may be used to start menstruation. amenorrhea due to weight loss, stress, or excessive exercise should clear up once the problem is overcome.

Recommended Ayurvedic Therapy: Virechan , Basti

Click to learn more about Amenorrhea……(1).……(2).……(3)…….(4)

Homeopathic treatment of Amenorrhea ………………………………..(1).(2)…..(3)

Herbal Home Remedy of Amenorrhea ………………………….(1).……..(2)

Parsley is the most beneficial herb for the treatment of Amenorrhea

Disclaimer: This information is not meant to be a substitute for professional medical advise or help. It is always best to consult with a Physician about serious health concerns. This information is in no way intended to diagnose or prescribe remedies.This is purely for educational purpose.

Sources: http://www.charak.com/DiseasePage.asp?thx=1&id=278

Pine Nuts

Pine nuts are the edible seeds of pines (family Pinaceae, genus Pinus). About 20 species of pine produce seeds large enough to be worth harvesting; in other pines the seeds are also edible, but are too small to be of value as a human food.

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Stone Pine cone with pine nuts – note two nuts under each cone scale

In Europe, pine nuts come from the Stone Pine (Pinus pinea), which has been cultivated for its nuts for over 6,000 years, and harvested from wild trees for far longer. The Swiss Pine (Pinus cembra) is also used to a very small extent.

In Asia, two species are widely harvested, Korean Pine (Pinus koraiensis) in northeast Asia (the most important species in international trade), and Chilgoza Pine (Pinus gerardiana) in the western Himalaya. Four other species, Siberian Pine (Pinus sibirica), Siberian Dwarf Pine (Pinus pumila), Chinese White Pine (Pinus armandii) and Lacebark Pine (Pinus bungeana), are also used to a lesser extent.

In North America, the main species are three of the pinyon pines, Colorado Pinyon (Pinus edulis), Single-leaf Pinyon (Pinus monophylla), and Mexican Pinyon (Pinus cembroides). The other eight pinyon species are used to a small extent, as are Gray Pine (Pinus sabineana), Torrey Pine (Pinus torreyana) and Sugar Pine (Pinus lambertiana). In the United States, pine nuts are mainly harvested by Native American tribes; in many areas, they have exclusive rights to the harvest.

Pine nuts contain (depending on species) between 10  to 34% of protein, with Stone Pine having the highest content. They are also a source of dietary fibre. When first extracted from the pine cone, they are covered with a hard shell (seed coat), thin in some species, thick in others. The nutrition is stored in the large female gametophytic tissue that supports the developing embryo (sporophyte) in the centre. Although a nut in the culinary sense, in the botanical sense pine nuts are seeds; being a gymnosperm, they lack a carpel (fruit) outside.

The shell must be removed before the pine nut can be eaten. Unshelled pine nuts have a long shelf life if kept dry and refrigerated (at 5 to +2 °C); shelled nuts (and unshelled nuts in warm conditions) deteriorate rapidly, becoming rancid within a few weeks or even days in warm humid conditions. Pine nuts are commercially available in shelled form, but due to poor storage, these rarely have a good flavour and may be already rancid at the time of purchase.

Pine nuts have been eaten in Europe and Asia since the Paleolithic period. They are frequently added to meat, fish, and vegetable dishes. In Italian they are called pinoli or (rarely) pignoli (locally also pinoccoli or pinocchi; Pinocchio means ‘pine nut’) and are an essential component of Italian pesto sauce. The pignoli cookie, an Italian specialty confection, is made of almond flour formed into a dough similar to that of a macaroon and then topped with pine nuts. Pine nuts are also featured in the salade landaise of southwestern France. Pine nut coffee, known as piñón (Spanish for pine nut), is a specialty found in the southwest United States, especially New Mexico; it is typically a dark roast coffee and has a deep, nutty flavour. Pine nuts are also used in chocolates and desserts such as baklava.

Korean Pine pine nuts – unshelled, and shell, above; shelled, belowIn the United States, millions of hectares of productive pinyon pine woods have been destroyed due to conversion to grazing lands, and in China, destructive harvesting techniques (such as breaking off whole branches to harvest the cones) and the removal of trees for timber have led to losses in production capacity.
CLICK & SEE:    Korian Pine Nuts

Pine nuts can be pressed to extract pine nut oil, which is valued both for its mild, nutty flavour and its health benefits such as appetite suppression and antioxidant action. Pine nut oil also had economic importance in pre-revolution Russia

Pine nuts are excellent source of Iron,Manganese,Copper,Magnesium and high monosaturated fat, which keeps cardiovascular system healthy.It is also packed with Vitamins A,C & D. This makes it give a boost to the immune system. They contain almost three milligrams of iron in once-ounce serviing. Pine nuts are also higher in protein than most nuts & are good source of Thiamine,Potassium & Phosphorous. Pine nuts are best kept in refrigerator, in airtight containers.

Disclaimer:
The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resources:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pine_nut
http://www.adfs.in/dryfruit/pinenut.htm

Experiencing Nature By Night

Moon Gardens :
In the height of summertime’s heat, we drift outdoors at dusk to refresh ourselves in the temperate air of evening. Cricket song and the glow of fireflies come together with ever-lengthening shadows to create a natural symphony of overlapping sensations that invigorate the body and gladden the soul. As the sun sets, the vivid colors of most flowers and leaves fade, becoming a dull grey, but moon gardens provide us with a space to appreciate Mother Nature‘s bounty long after the light of day has retreated. Designed to be enjoyed from dusk until the coming of the darkness, these gardens serve as a perfect complement to silvery moonlight, mild summer nights, and the spirit of rejuvenation.

Most plant life worships the sun, but a select few shrubs and flowers come into their own in luna’s glow. The silvery leaves of lamb’s ears and artemisia reflect the radiance of the moon, while the bright-white flowers adorning yucca and evening primrose seem to shimmer brilliantly in dusk’s gloom. Certain blossoms such as the moonflower and four o’clocks open only at night, releasing their sweet fragrances in spectacular displays of scent and beauty. While creating a moon garden, remember to take each human sense into account. We appreciate the ghostly beauty of nighttime nature best when we can sit comfortably until our eyes have adjusted to the surrounding darkness. Bamboo and thick grasses make a comforting sound when bandied about by gentle nighttime breezes.

Transforming a portion of your existing yard or patio into a moon garden is simple, and the pleasure you will derive from your nighttime retreat will become worth it once you start to enjoy it. Green spaces come alive at night when nocturnal blossoms release their perfume into the air and ethereally lovely and luminous foliage dances in the breeze. In a moon garden, relaxation is a simple matter of attuning yourself to the stillness of evening and seeing, for the first time, the myriad shades of beauty that can be found in the darkness.

Source:Daily Om

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Getting the Lead Out

There is no question that lead poses a serious health risk to children. Exposure to lead can lower a child’s intelligence and lead to learning disabilities, hyperactivity, and reduced attention span.

Even though doctors and scientists cannot dispute the harmful effects of lead, they cannot seem to agree on just how much lead is dangerous. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has established 10 micrograms of lead per deciliter of a child’s blood as the threshold at which problems begin. About 1.6 % of American children ages one to five have blood lead levels (BLL) above this limit, according to the CDC. However, even levels below the cut-off can cause neu­rological problems, the CDC said in a recent report. Scientific research indicates that there really is no  safe threshold for children’s blood lead levels.

Lead paint is one of the leading sources of lead expo­sure in children, along with contaminated soil, dust, and drinking water. Most homes built before 1960 contain lead paint   that’s about four million homes in the U.S., according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Home remodeling makes up a big part of children’s lead exposure, experts say.

Protecting Your Kids from Lead Exposure:....CLICK & SEE

Regardless of which blood lead level is most dangerous, it’s a good idea to avoid exposing your kids to lead as much as possible. The following checklist, from the book 365 Ways to Keep Kids Safe (Balloon Press), can help you spot potential lead dangers and keep your kids away from this toxic substance.

*Test your children for lead. This is especially important if you live in an older home. A routine lead level test is simple to take an usually costs around $25. Have your children screened for lead once a year until they reach age three, then once every five years.

*Test your home for lead. A home lead test is the only way to determine if you have lead in your home, and if so, how much there is. Don’t try to test yourself, though. Although many companies advertise do-it-yourself tests, these tests are unreliable. You’re better off calling an EPA-certified examiner. To find an examiner, call the National Lead Infor­mation Center (NLIC) at 1-800-424-LEAD.

*Check for lead outside. Contaminated soil is a sig­nificant source of lead, especially when that soil is located close to high-traffic roads or old buildings. Your kids can easily track in lead-tainted dirt when they go outside to play. If you  are concerned about lead near your home, the EPA-certified examiner you call to check the inside of your home can also test the soil outside of it.

*Know where your water travels. Many homes contain lead pipes, which can leech lead into your drinking water. To clean up your water, the EPA advises that you use a NSF International water filter. To learn more about these filters, visit the NSF website at http://www.nsf.org/consumer/drinking_water/dw_treatment.asp?program=WaterTre. You can also contact your local water authority to find out whether or not they are doing anything to reduce lead in the water supply, and to have your water tested for lead.

*Change your wallpaper. If your home contains wallpaper that was made before 1978, it may contain lead. Consider removing it and painting or re-wallpapering your walls.

*Check your blinds. Several types of mini-blinds, especially those made in the Far East, can contain high levels of lead. Ask your lead examiner to check your blinds. If they do contain lead, have them replaced.

*Be aware of playground lead dangers. Metal equipment on public playgrounds may be covered with lead paint, and if the equipment is not well maintained that paint can chip onto the ground and come into direct contact with children. Call your local department of recreation and ask if the playground contains any lead paint.

Source:kidsgrowth.com

Stem Cell Therapy Newsletter.

Theravitae trumpets cardiomyopathy treatment success :
Millions of cardiomyopathy patients have been told their future lies in drugs or, rarely, a transplant as they await an otherwise certain death. This is no longer true as Theravitae s VesCell therapy is giving them a new, more active and longer life.
BANGKOK, Thailand, 24 August 2007  VesCell, the world’s leading adult stem cell product for heart patients is transforming the lives of dilated cardiomyopathy patients. These patients are gaining a new lease on life and leading more active and energetic lives with fewer distressing symptoms such as shortness of breath.

Theravitae is determined to lay to rest the myth that all severely ill heart patients can look forward to is a gradual decline in the quality of life, suffering, dependence on a cocktail of drugs and an early death. The more patients can demonstrate clinically measurable improvements the more the medical establishment will be forced to face the fact that objective measures do not lie.

Citing Amy Banner, a young wife and mother with cardiomyopathy from Spokane,Washington, Theravitae believes its therapy has measurable clinical benefits that can only be attributed to stem cell therapy. Just one month after receiving VesCell in Bangkok Heart Hospital Amy had her first follow-up appointment with her hometown cardiologist to learn the following clinical results.

Firstly, the report on her Premature Ventricular Contractions (PVCs) as recorded by her pacemaker. These contractions are like an extra heartbeat coming from an irritable area in the struggling ventricles and indicate rhythm disturbances. Prior to stem cell therapy Amy was experiencing some 35,000 uncomfortable PVCs a month. In the last month she recorded only 2200. No wonder I am feeling so good! she said.  This alone made it all worthwhile and now I don’t even notice them they are so mild, or maybe they are happening in my sleep.

Secondly, Amy’s cardiologist told her that her heart had shrunk from 8.7cm to 8cm and that as the left ventricle shrunk further her Ejection Fraction, which measures the ability of the ventricle to pump blood to her body, would rise further as efficiency increased.

Thirdly, Amy had a BNP blood test which measures a secretion in the ventricle indicating the degree of heart failure. From a dangerous level of 3000 she was told it now was 190  almost in the normal range.

For Amy the clinical measurements just added weight to how she was feeling. The bottom line is that I feel great. I have way more energy. My mom is no longer doing my housework and laundry for me. I can walk and play with my seven-year old daughter. Everything is running along very smoothly,  she said. Prior to stem cell therapy Amy could do little and as she deteriorated even small things like taking a shower or washing her hair became more of a challenge.

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Source:Vescell <pr@theravitae.com>

A Magical Potion

Morning Dew :
The world awakens each day from its nightly slumber, transformed by a sparkling layer of morning dew on the grass, on flower petals and leaves, on cars and car windows. These glistening droplets last only a little while, an integral part of what imbues the early morning with its aura of magic. If we sleep too late, we miss the magnificent display of sunlight playing upon an infinite amount of tiny crystal balls. To step onto the dew-covered grass is to anoint our feet with a form of water that comes only once a day for a short time, a rarefied gift of the night air that will soon evaporate in the full light of the sun. If we inhale slowly and consciously enough, it is almost as if we are drinking in this magical elixir formed in the boundary between darkness and light.

In one myth, morning dew is believed to be tears from heaven, and in another, the droplets are poured from the vessel of the goddess of dawn. When we see the earth draped with these shimmering drops, it is easy to imagine fairies bathing in the water, or a sky god weeping from a longing to be closer to his beloved earth goddess. Seeing the sparkling beauty of the earth emerging from darkness, we may understand this longing in terms of our own gratitude; how blessed we are to be here.

Perhaps heaven really does long to be here on earth, and perhaps that is why we are here—as conduits between the divine and the earthbound. As we drink the morning dew in with our eyes, our skin, our breath, it is easy to imagine that it really is a magical potion, a gift from heaven, a reminder of our true purpose, and a daily opportunity to be transformed.

Source: Daily Om

Exploring An Alternate Universe

What Makes People Tick?
All people have their own way of being in the world. It is easiest to comprehend this basic yet profound fact when we consider that every human being on the planet occupies a distinct role in the universe. We grow up in different environments, affected by a unique range of influences. The preferences, values, and beliefs we embrace are frequently related intimately to our origins. And the need to individualize our experiences is instinctive, as doing so enables us to cope when we must face challenges on our own. Consequently, each of us has developed a perspective that is uniquely ours. Interacting peacefully and constructively with people from all walks of life is a matter of first understanding where they are coming from. Then we can adjust our expectations so that we avoid making undue assumptions about what they are about.

In the face of emerging interpersonal conflict, it is easy to assume that others are being difficult, unreasonable, or stubborn. We are apt to grow frustrated when someone in our environment does not share our opinions or feel compelled to support us in our endeavors. It is likely that the individual or individuals before us may simply possess differing notions with regard to what is and what is not important in this life. We can ease the tension that exists between us by reaffirming our belief in the fundamental right of all beings to determine their own destinies. To foster a harmonious relationship, we need to do our best to relate to the unique universes they inhabit. And as we discover what makes them tick, our ability to find a mode of interaction that is pleasing to both of us is enhanced.

When there are barriers keeping you from connecting with someone else, think of questions you can ask them to gain a more thorough understanding of their point of view. You may discover that in addition to the differences in perspective dividing you, they are subject to insecurities and other personal issues that influence their way of seeing the world. It is likely that you will never fully grasp the myriad complexities embodied by humanity, but you can go a long way toward encouraging mutually satisfying relations by reaching out to others in the spirit of sympathetic comprehension.

Source:Daily Om

Some Health Questions And Answers

Q: I have a paunch. How can I reduce it?….CLICK & SEE

A: Spot reduction of a paunch alone is not possible. You have to attempt all-round weight reduction and toning exercises. This can be done with a judicious combination of diet and exercise. Either alone will work only in the short term.

Men tend to accumulate weight around their middle. It will probably be the first place you gain weight and the last place you lose it. The risk factors associated with a paunch are diabetes, hypertension and heart disease. In men the risk increases once the waist measurement crosses 102 cm.

No surgery
Q: My eight-year-old son has frequent attacks of tonsillitis when the weather changes or if he drinks or eats refrigerated things. The doctor says I should wait and not have them operated. Is that correct?

A: Years ago many children had their tonsils removed as they were considered a useless troublesome organ. Today, we know that the tonsils filter out harmful viruses and bacteria and prevent them from entering the body and causing disease. Surgery is seldom necessary. It is recommended if there are seven or more episodes of tonsillitis in one year, the swollen tonsils interfere with breathing or swallowing, or an abscess develops in the tonsils.

Infection occurs with bacteria and viruses. These are usually spread with close contact. The number of infections increases when the child starts school. The refrigerator probably has little to do with the frequent attacks.

The tonsils tend to decrease in size as the child grows older. Waiting and watching instead of rushing into surgery seems like a sensible option. Your doctor is right.

Safe period
Q: We are a newly married couple and do not want children. My wife dislikes condoms and refuses to take the pill. My friend advised natural family planning and the safe days. I was too embarrassed to find out the details. How do we go about it?

A: First, you have to calculate the length of your wife’s menstrual cycle. This can vary in different women and can be anywhere from 26 to 45 days. The first day of bleeding is taken as day one.

Pregnancy occurs if there is sexual intercourse around the time the egg is released. This is usually 14 days before the next period starts. The safe period is thus seven days before and seven days after menstruation. It is not a very reliable method though.

Some couples practice coitus interruptus. In this method, ejaculation takes place outside the vagina.

Medication and sterility
Q: My wife and I have been trying to have a baby for the last 20 years. She is now nearing 40. She has had two miscarriages in the past. I was given methotrexate on and off for my medical condition of psoariasis. I now think this may be the cause of our problem.

A:
Gonadotoxins are substances that interfere with sperm formation and quality. They may be chemicals, medication (both prescription and non-prescription), tobacco, alcohol and illicit drugs. The severity and reversibility of the problem depend on the duration and amount of exposure. Methotrexate is one of the medicines that can do this if taken long term.

Consult a reproductive medicine unit in a hospital near you. They will be able to work with your physician to determine the best course of action.

Memory loss
Q: I am preparing very hard for my exams. My marks used to be very good. Now the more I study the less I remember. My marks are decreasing. All these late nights are making me irritable.

A: Sleep deprivation leads to memory loss, irritability and a decline in reasoning. All the three would work against good academic performance.

Most people need around eight hours of sleep a day. Your brain automatically knows how tired you are. If you are consistently using an alarm clock to wake up, it means that you are forcing your brain to function when it is not ready. This decreases efficiency and impairs memory.

Perhaps your marks will be better if you put in 30 minutes of physical activity a day and also got rid of your alarm clock.

Source:The Telegraph (Kolkata, India)

Kids’ Fear of New Food is Hereditary

NEW YORK: UK researchers have provided an explanation for why some children hate to try new foods — it’s in the genes.

In a large study of twins, which included both identical and fraternal twin pairs, Dr Lucy J Cooke of University College London and her colleagues found that nearly 80% of children’s tendency to avoid unfamiliar foods was inherited.

“Parents can be reassured that their child’s reluctance to try new foods is not simply the result of poor parental feeding practices, but it is partly in the genes,” Cooke and her team write.

And, they add, repeatedly offering foods to children can make the foods more familiar, and eventually even liked.
Both humans and other animals show a reluctance to try new foods, known scientifically as ‘food neophobia’. This avoidance may have had an evolutionary advantage in preventing exposure to potentially toxic foods, the researchers note in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

“In the modern environment where foods are generally safe to eat, neophobia appears principally to have an adverse effect on food choices, particularly on intake of foods and vegetables,” they say. But these findings do not mean that parenting is unimportant in these behaviours.

Source: The Times Of India