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

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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.
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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