Monthly Archives: August 2008

Chew Gum to Reduce Stress

chewing gumsImage via Wikipedia

Chewing gum was found to help relieve anxiety, improve alertness and reduce stress among individuals, according to a new study.

The study, led by Andrew Scholey, professor of Behavioural and Brain Sciences, Swinburne University, Australia, was done on the Defined Intensity Stressor Simulation (DISS), a multi-tasking platform which reliably induces stress and also includes performance measures, while chewing and not chewing gum.

While chewing gum, participants reported lower levels of anxiety. They showed a reduction in anxiety as compared to non-gum chewers by nearly 17% during mild stress and nearly 10% in moderate stress.

Participants experienced greater levels of alertness when they chewed gum. The improvement in alertness over non-gum chewers was nearly 19% during mild stress and eight per cent in moderate stress.

Stress levels were also lower. Levels of salivary cortisol (a physiological stress marker) in gum chewers were lower than those of non-gum chewers by 16% during mild stress and nearly 12% in moderate stress.

Chewing gum resulted in a significant improvement in overall performance on multi-tasking activities. Both gum-chewers and non-chewers showed improvement from their baseline scores.

However, chewing gum improved mean performance scores over non-gum chewers by 67% during moderate stress and 109% in mild stress.

You may click to see:->Chewing Gum May Help After Surgery

Sources: The Times Of India

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Bromelain

Bromelain is a mixture of enzymes found naturally in the juice and stems of pineapples. Called a proteolytic enzyme, bromelain is believed to help with the digestion of protein.

Some bromelain appears to be absorbed by the body intact, so it’s also thought to have effects outside the digestive tract. In fact, bromelain is often marketed as a natural anti-inflammatory for conditions such as arthritis. It’s one of the most popular supplements in Germany, where it is approved by the Commission E for the treatment of inflammation and swelling of the nose and sinuses due to surgery or injury.

Bromelain is typically extracted from pineapples and made into capsule or tablet form. Because it’s able to digest protein, bromelain is available in some grocery stores as a meat tenderizer. A topical form of bromelain is also being explored experimentally for burns.

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When used for as a digestive aid, bromelain is usually taken with meals. When used for inflammatory conditions, practitioners typically recommend taking bromelain between meals on an empty stomach to maximize absorption.

History:
Bromelain is one of a group of proteolytic enzymes that are capable of digesting protein and is found in the stem and fruit of the pineapple plant. It is extracted from the pineapple by filtration or by chemical processing, and both are safe and effective. The German Commission E (the equivalent of the USFDA) recommends the use of Bromelain as a digestive aid, a treatment for traumatic injuries and joint inflammation and a treatment for bronchitis and sinusitis. There is a great deal of new research currently being conducted into its use as an antibacterial, an antiviral (including HIV) and an immune system enhancer.

Beneficial Uses:
Bromelain is considered an aid to good digestion, because it intensifies the digestive process by breaking down protein, and facilitates the passing of food to the intestine. The ability to speed protein digestion makes it useful in treating Crohn’s disease, and the protein digesting enzymes found in it may help to heal gastric ulcers and relieve symptoms of heartburn and stomach and gastrointestinal upset. It is believed to promote and maintain overall proper digestion and may be used as a digestive enzyme for pancreatic insufficiency. Interesting note: It is so effective in digesting protein that the food industry employs Bromelain to tenderize meat.

In the matter of diabetes management,
Bromelain’s ability to facilitate the passing of food to the intestine helps to counteract gastroparesis, a condition caused by long-term diabetic nerve damage, in which the stomach is unable to pass food along properly. Controlling gastroparesis is of considerable importance in diabetes management, since delays in passing flood through the digestive tract makes the timing of insulin medications and injections difficult, and the use of Bromelain may help diabetics time the need for their insulin and other medications. Moreover, Bromelain has also been used as a digestive enzyme for pancreatic insufficiency.

Bromelain has been called a fine anti-inflammatory and is widely used after traumatic injuries and surgery. It is said to “release” inflammation by breaking down proteins in swollen tissues and is thought to reduce swelling in virtually all kinds of inflammatory reactions. Bromelain apparently inhibits formation of prostaglandin E-2, a chemical that causes inflammation, and it also helps to stimulate the production of prostaglandin E-1, an anti-inflammatory chemical. Bromelain supplements may be as effective as some commonly used nonsteroidal, anti-inflammatory medications (ibuprofen, etc.) for reducing the pain of carpal tunnel sydrome, osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. It has also been said to ease pain and bruising, bursitis, cuts, lymphedema, sore muscles, tendonitis and speeds up the healing of joint and tendon injuries.

For the relief of bronchitis and sinusitis, Bromelain is said to suppress cough, reduce nasal mucus that is associated with sinusitis and relieve the swelling and inflammation caused by hay fever and allergies. Although not all experts agree, The Complete German Commission E Monograph recommends Bromelain for sinus inflammation. Bromelain supplements are believed to enhance the efficacy of antibiotics by keeping them in the system longer and helping them to treat infection. Bromelain may also stop sinusitis from progressing to bronchitis and is also thought to decrease bronchial secretions, increasing lung function, and inhibit upper respiration infections. There have been reports that the same actions that reduce blood platelet stickiness (see heart health below) also reduce the thickness of mucus in patients with chronic bronchitis or asthma. Bromelain is also approved by the Commission for treatment of sinus and nasal swelling, following ear, nose and throat surgery or trauma, which supports its anti-inflammatory properties.

Bromelain may support good heart health and lower blood pressure. It is said to stop blood clot formation by inhibiting the platelet-activating factor (PAF), a chemical that signals blood platelets to form clots. Inhibiting PAF short-circuits the entire clotting process and leads to lower blood pressure and reductions in angina pain. This anti-clotting action might help to prevent ischemic stroke and heart attack. Moreover, it is also believed that Bromelain breaks down arteriosclerotic plaques once they have formed. This blood thinning action has been said to help in cases of thrombophlebitis.

Women may find relief from premenstrual syndrome (PMS) with the use of Bromelain supplements. It is believed to balance the body’s production of prostaglandins, a class of regulatory hormones, including a number of substances that cause smooth muscles to contract. As a smooth muscle relaxant, Bromelain is thought to decrease spasms of the cervix that accompany PMS.

Bromelain is believed to have strong antiviral properties and may be very helpful in stimulating the immune system. Scientists at Sloan Kettering Cancer Hospital in New York City have observed that Bromelain dissolves cellular adhesion molecules that allow HIV to attach to surfaces of uninfected

T- cells and increases production of compounds called integrins that are depleted when HIV attacks cells in the central nervous system. It also inhibits protease, an enzyme the human immunodeficiency virus HIV needs to replicate itself. Its antiviral qualities appear to provide enzymes that dissolve warts and activate immune system against the viruses that cause them.

As an antiseptic, Bromelain shows great promise in copious current lab research. Some research has shown evidence that the supplement can fight against infectious agents, such as bacteria and viruses (see above), and may prove to be a useful addition to conventional treatment of bronchitis, pneumonia and urinary tract infections. Its antibacterial effects may also help to control diarrhea caused by bacteria. Bromelain is believed to increase the actions of antibiotics and chemotherapy, apparently by keeping them in the system longer.

Recommended Dosage:
Take one (1) capsule, one (1) time each day with water at mealtimes.

You may click to see:-->The Benefits of Bromelain to improve quality of life

>Bromelain The Natural Treatment For Rheumatoid Arthritis

Side Effects and Safety Concerns:

Some of the more common side effects of bromelain include indigestion, nausea and diarrhea. Other side effects may include vomiting, increased heart rate, drowsiness and abnormal uterine bleeding or heavy menstruation.

Bromelain has resulted in allergic reactions and asthma symptoms, including breathing problems, tightness in the throat, skin hives, rash or itchy skin. People with allergies to pineapples should avoid bromelain. Allergic reactions may also occur in people with allergies to latex, carrot, celery, fennel, rye, wheat, papain, bee venom or grass, birch or cypress pollens.

People with peptic ulcers should not use bromelain. People with other digestive disorders should consult a qualified healthcare professional before using bromelain.

Theoretically, bromelain may increase the risk of bleeding, so people with bleeding disorders and those taking medication that can increase the risk of bleeding should only use bromelain under the supervision of their physician. It should not be taken two weeks before or after dental procedures or surgery.

The safety of bromelain in pregnant or nursing women, children or people with liver or kidney disease isn’t known.

Possible Drug and Herb Interactions:-
People taking “blood-thinners” (anticoagulant or anti-platelet medication), such as aspirin, warfarin (Coumadin), heparin, clopidogrel (Plavix), non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications such as ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil), naproxen (Naprosyn, Aleve) should only use bromelain under a physician’s supervision. It should also be used with caution by people taking herbs and supplements that are thought to increase the risk of bleeding, such as ginkgo biloba and garlic.

Studies suggest bromelain may also increase the absorption of other medications, such as:

amoxicillin, tetracycline and other antibiotics

chemotherapy drugs such as 5-fluorouracil and vincristine

“ACE inhibitor” blood pressure medications such as captopril (Capoten) and lisinopril (Zestril)

medications that cause drowsiness, such as benzodiazepines lorazepam (Ativan) or diazepam (Valium), some antidepressants, narcotics such as codeine, and barbituates such as phenobarbitol.

Resources:

http://altmedicine.about.com/cs/herbsvitaminsa1/a/Bromelain.htm

http://www.herbalextractsplus.com/bromelain.cfm

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New Ear Hair Grown to Boost Hearing

The cochlea and vestibule, viewed from above.Image via Wikipedia

Scientists have used gene therapy on mouse embryos to grow hair cells with the potential to reduce hearing loss in adult animals, according to a study.

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The proof-of-concept experiments are a crucial step toward therapies that could one day treat deafness and inner-ear disease in humans, said the study, published in the British journal Nature on Wednesday.

Sensory hair cells inside the cochlea, the auditory portion of the inner ear, convert sound waves into electrical impulses that are delivered to the brain.

The loss of these cells and the neurons they contain is the most common cause of hearing impairment and so-called nerve deafness. At birth, humans have about about 30,000 hair cells, which can be damaged by factors like infections, aging, genetic diseases, loud noise or treatment with certain drugs.

In most cases, damaged hair cells do not regrow in mature humans. But recent research has kindled hope that nerve deafness may one day be curable.

A team of scientists led by John Brigande at the Oregon Health and Science University, in Portland showed that implanting a gene known as Atoh1 into the inner ear of a mouse embryo coaxed non-sensory cells to become hair cells.

Earlier research had pointed to similar results, but this is the first study to show that the cells generated by the gene therapy are functional.

The production of extra, working hair cells in a mouse embryo could be an important step toward using similar therapies in human patients, the study by the researchers in US said.

Sources:The Times Of India

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Inversion Exercise

Step-1
Step1

Kneel with your forearms and palms on the floor, shoulder‘s width apart. Spread your fingers. Straighten your legs and walk in until your heels are on the floor and your knees are straight.

Step 2:

Keep your head and shoulders lifted away from the floor. Slowly shift more weight to your right leg and begin to raise your left leg. Focus on keeping your hips and shoulders facing the floor. Pause for three breaths. Lower your leg and repeat on the other side.

Do three sets of the above exercise and take little rest.

Inversions take weight away from the legs and improve circulation. If done on a regular basis, they will enhance your concentration skills by bringing more blood flow to the brain. Use this simple inversion move to become familiar with the correct positioning.

Sources: Los Angeles Times

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How Safe is Stevia

The sweetener is banned from food products in the U.S. due to toxicity fears. But the findings of several recent studies suggest otherwise.

Satevia followers are a diverse bunch, including health nuts and food-industry magnates. The draw? The sweetener is all-natural and naturally calorie-free. But “natural” doesn’t necessarily mean safe, and scientists have long struggled to make sense of early evidence hinting that stevia could be toxic. A series of studies published last month in the journal Food and Chemical Toxicology put that question to the test for one type of stevia-based sweeteners.

Stevia, a South American shrub, has leaves up to 300 times sweeter than table sugar. Extracts have been available as a dietary supplement since 1995. It’s a popular food additive in Japan, Brazil and its native Paraguay, but in the U.S., where the Food and Drug Administration has determined there isn’t sufficient proof it’s nontoxic, stevia is banned from such uses. (Exceptions are made for food and drink items billing themselves as dietary supplements, such as the stevia-sweetened diet drink Zevia.)

FOR THE RECORD:
Stevia sweeteners: An article in Monday’s Health section about no-calorie sweeteners derived from the plant stevia said supermarket sales tests of stevia-derived rebaudioside A (sold as Truvia) were being conducted in New York with the blessing of the Food and Drug Administration. Permission from the FDA was not required for Truvia to be sold. However, Truvia is the subject of an FDA review process that will determine whether the product is safe and allowed to remain on the market. —

The sponsors of the recently published studies — food manufacturer Cargill and the Coca-Cola Co. — hope that in light of recent findings, the agency will reconsider its position on the calorie-free sweetener.

Scientists began studying stevia in the lab roughly 40 years ago, and the first findings gave food safety officials in several countries pause. A 1968 study in female rats showed that drinking a concoction of stevia leaves and stems significantly reduced fertility. A 1985 study, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, showed that steviol, a breakdown product of stevia, might cause genetic mutations. (In Paraguayan traditional medicine, stevia is used to lower blood sugar and as a contraceptive.)

Evidence of genetic and reproductive toxicity was sufficient to inspire a ban on the sweetener in the U.S. since the 1970s. (The 1994 Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act made it legal to sell stevia as a dietary supplement only, as long as it’s not an ingredient in food.) But the research on which the FDA based its long-ago decision may now be out of date. In the last decade, countless studies have revisited stevia, often using purer extracts.

The more-recent research has largely focused on purified forms of the two main chemicals responsible for the stevia plant’s sweetness: stevioside and rebaudioside A. Findings from some studies — still few in number — have resulted in a perhaps overstated claim: that stevia lowers blood pressure.

For example, a 2000 study of 100 adults in Taiwan showed that 250 milligrams of stevioside a day lowered subjects’ blood pressure by 8% to 12% within three months. A 2003 Chinese study in which nearly 170 adults were given 1,500 mg of stevioside daily in three 500 mg doses also reported that subjects’ blood pressure went down. (Both doses are far greater than the amount of stevioside in the few grains of powdered stevia it takes to sweeten a cup of tea.)

Authors of a 2006 report by the World Health Organization acknowledged the promise of the blood pressure studies. The authors also reviewed the dozens of lab and animal studies that had been done on stevioside and rebaudioside A in recent years — and concluded that the compounds appear unlikely to harm DNA or the reproductive system.

The eight studies published in Food and Chemical Toxicology last month went even further. One report showed no reproductive toxicity in rats exposed to the sweetener for two generations, and two human studies showed that 1,000 mg of rebaudioside A per day was safe for healthy adults as well as those with Type 2 diabetes. Rebaudioside A (dubbed Rebiana by Coca-Cola and Cargill) is “safe for human consumption,” three of the study authors wrote. They did not report on stevioside.

These latest findings — should the FDA find them compelling — may be good news for food manufacturers, which have long sought a natural zero-calorie sugar alternative to market to the calorie-conscious public.

But some aren’t convinced it’s good news for consumers just yet. Michael Jacobson, executive director of the Center for Science in the Public Interest Group, a Washington, D.C.-based nutrition advocacy group, said the research still hasn’t quelled concerns about stevia’s genetic toxicity. Although dozens of studies have shown stevia compounds to be harmless, a handful suggest it can damage genetic material. “It’s a warning flag,” he said.

Jacobson added that genetic toxicity may turn out to be attributable to a specific species or component of stevia. Cargill, meanwhile, is certain that at least one stevia component is safe. Rebaudioside A, under the brand name Truvia, is already on store shelves in New York as a test, with the FDA’s blessing. Consumers can expect to see it across the country this fall — if the FDA agrees.

Sources: Los Angles Times

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Biotin

Biotin (vitamin H)

CAS#: 58-85-5

Molecular Structure:.->

Molecular Formula: C10H16N2O3S

Molecular Weight:244.31

Quality Standard: USP30

Biotin contains not less than 97.5 percent and not more than percent of C10H16N2O3S.

Vitamin H redirects here. In medical slang, Vitamin H may also refer to haloperidol. In gamer slang Vitamin H may also refer to the Halo (series)
Biotin, also known as vitamin H or B7, has the chemical formula C10H16N2O3S (Biotin; Coenzyme R, Biopeiderm), is a water-soluble B-complex vitamin which is composed of an ureido (tetrahydroimidizalone) ring fused with a tetrahydrothiophene ring. A valeric acid substituent is attached to one of the carbon atoms of the tetrahydrothiophene ring. Biotin is a cofactor in the metabolism of fatty acids and leucine, and in gluconeogenesis.

Biotin is a B vitamin that’s needed for the formation of fatty acids and glucose, which are essential for the production of energy. It also helps with the metabolism of carbohydrates, fats and proteins.

Biotin is necessary for cell growth, the production of fatty acids, and the metabolism of fats and amino acids. It plays a role in the Citric acid cycle, which is the process by which biochemical energy is generated during aerobic respiration. Biotin not only assists in various metabolic reactions, but also helps to transfer carbon dioxide. Biotin is also helpful in maintaining a steady blood sugar level. Biotin is often recommended for strengthening hair and nails. Consequently, it is found in many cosmetic and health products for the hair and skin.

Deficiency is extremely rare, as intestinal bacteria generally produce an excess of the body’s daily requirement. For that reason, statutory agencies in many countries (e.g., the Australian Department of Health and Aging) do not prescribe a recommended daily intake.

Biotin deficiency isn’t common, unless you frequently eat a lot of raw egg white, which contains a protein that blocks the absorption of biotin. Genetic disorder of biotin deficiency, infant seborrheic dermatitis, surgical removal of the stomach, and excessive alcohol consumption may increase a person’s requirement for biotin.

Biotin deficiency may lead to skin rash, hair loss, high cholesterol and heart problems.

Sources:
Dietary
Biotin is widely distributed in a variety of foods, but most often at low concentrations. Estimates are that the typical U.S. diet provides roughly 40 mcg/day. There are only a couple of foods which contain biotin in large amounts, including royal jelly and brewer’s yeast. The most important natural sources of biotin in human nutrition are milk, liver, egg (egg yolk), and some vegetables.Biotin is found naturally in food. Good dietary sources of biotin include brewer’s yeast, nutritional yeast, cauliflower, salmon, bananas, carrots,  sardines, legumes and mushrooms.

The most important natural sources in feeding nonruminant animals are oilseed meals, alfalfa, and dried yeasts. It is important to note that the biotin content of food varies and can be influenced by factors such as plant variety, season, and yield (endosperm-to-pericarp ratio).

Adequate intake are determined for nutrients when there is insufficient scientific evidence to establish a Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA). These values are set as goals for individuals to support adequate nutritional status. NOTE: U.S. Food and supplement labels show 30 mcg of biotin as providing only 10% DV (Daily Value) because DVs are based on older and in some instances outdated RDAs for nutrients. Thus, the DV for biotin is 300 mcg even though there is now consensus that 30 mcg is adequate. There is no current Tolerable Upper Limit (UL) set for biotin as research has indicated that high levels of intake by humans has no detrimental effects.

Bioavailability
Studies on the bioavailability of biotin have been conducted in rats and in chicks. From these studies, it was concluded that biotin bioavailability may be low or variable depending on the type of food being consumed, but in general, approximately half of the biotin in most foods is considered to be biologically available. The biotin present in corn is readily available; however, most grain have about a 20-40% bioavailability of biotin .

A possible explanation for the wide variability in biotin bioavailability is that it is due to ability of an organism to break various biotin-protein bonds from food. Whether an organism has an enzyme with the ability to break that bond will determine the bioavailability of biotin from the foodstuff.

Factors that Affect Biotin Requirements
The frequency of marginal biotin status is not known, but the incidence of low circulating biotin levels in alcoholics has been found to be much greater than in the general population. Also, relatively low levels of biotin have been reported in the urine or plasma of patients who have had partial gastrectomy or who have other causes of achlorhydria, burn patients, epileptics, elderly individuals, and athletes. Pregnancy and lactation may be associated with an increased demand for biotin. In pregnancy, this may be due to a possible acceleration of biotin catabolism, whereas in lactation, the higher demand has yet to be elucidated. Recent studies have shown that marginal biotin deficiency can be present in human gestation, as evidenced by increased urinary excretion of 3-hydroxyisovaleric acid, decreased urinary excretion of biotin and bisnorbiotin, and decreased plasma concentration of biotin. Additionally, smoking may further accelerate biotin catabolism in women.

Medicinal Uses:

Hair Problems
Biotin supplements are often recommended as a natural product to counteract the problem of hair loss in both children and adults. There are, however, no studies that show any benefit in any case where the subject is not actually biotin deficient. The signs and symptoms of biotin deficiency include hair loss which progresses in severity to include loss of eye lashes and eye brows in severely deficient subjects. Some shampoos are available that contain biotin, but it is doubtful whether they would have any useful effect, as biotin is not absorbed well through the skin.

Cradle cap (seborrheic dermatitis)
Children with a rare inherited metabolic disorder called phenylketonuria (PKU; in which one is unable to break down the amino acid phenylalanine) often develop skin conditions such as eczema and seborrheic dermatitis in areas of the body other than the scalp. The scaly skin changes that occur in people with PKU may be related to poor ability to use biotin. Increasing dietary biotin has been known to improve seborrheic dermatitis[citation needed] in these cases.

Diabetes
People with type 2 diabetes often have low levels of biotin. Biotin may be involved in the synthesis and release of insulin. Preliminary studies in both animals and people suggest that biotin may help improve blood glucose control in those with diabetes, particularly type 2 diabetes. Specifically, biotin doses in excess of nutritional requirements lower postprandial glucose and improve glucose tolerance.

Deficiency:-
Biotin deficiency is relatively rare and mild, and can be addressed with supplementation. Such deficiency can be caused by the excessive consumption of raw egg whites, which contain high levels of the protein avidin, which binds biotin strongly. Avidin is deactivated by cooking, while the biotin remains intact.

Biotinidase deficiency is not due to inadequate biotin, but rather to a deficiency in the enzymes which process it.

Signs of Biotin Deficiency: In general, appetite and growth are decreased. Dermatologic symptoms include dermatitis, alopecia, and achromotrichia (absence or loss of pigment in the hair). Perosis (a shortening and thickening of bones) is seen in the skeleton. FLKS (fatty liver and kidney syndrome) and hepatic steatosis also can occur.

Toxicity
Animal studies have indicated few, if any, effects due to toxic doses of biotin. This may provide evidence that both animals and humans may tolerate doses of at least an order of magnitude greater than each of their nutritional requirements. There are no reported cases of adverse effects from receiving high doses of the vitamin, particularly when used in the treatment of metabolic disorders causing sebhorrheic dermatitis in infants.

Side Effects and Safety Concerns:-
The safety of biotin supplements in pregnant or nursing women, children or people with liver or kidney disease isn’t known.

People with a history of seizures shouldn’t use biotin unless under the supervision of a qualified health practitioner

Resources:

http://altmedicine.about.com/cs/herbsvitaminsa1/a/Biotin.htm#

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biotin.

http://www.sciphar.com/Vitamin%20Series%20&%20derivative/Biotin%20(vitamin%20H).asp

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Eleuthero

Botanical Name:Eleutherococcus senticosus (formerly Acanthopanax senticosus)
Family :Araliaceae
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Apiales
Genus: Eleutherococcus
Species: E. senticosus

Habitat:It is native to Northeastern Asia. Eleuthero is a shrub that grows in Siberia, China, Korea, and Japan.In Chinese medicine it is known as cì wu jia
Common names: Siberian ginseng, Ci wu jia, Touch-me-not, Devil’s shrub,devil’s shrub, devil’s root, touch-me-not

Description :The herb grows in mixed and coniferous mountain forests, forming low undergrowth or is found in groups in thickets and edges. E. senticosus is sometimes found in oak groves at the foot of cliffs, very rarely in high forest riparian woodland. Its native habitat is East Asia, China, Japan and Russia. E. senticosus is broadly tolerant of soils, growing in sandy, loamy and heavy clay soils with acid, neutral or alkaline chemistry and including soils of low nutritional value. It can tolerate sun or dappled shade and some degree of pollution. E. senticosus is a decidious shrub growing to 2m at a slow rate. It is hardy to zone 3. It flowers in July in most habitats. The flowers are hermaphrodite and are pollinated by insects.

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The dried root and other underground parts of the plant are used in herbal remedies for a variety of conditions. It is a distant relative of true (Panax) ginseng (which includes Asian ginseng and American ginseng), but it does not belong to the Panax group of herbs. Previously sold in the United States as “Siberian ginseng,” a 2002 United States law forbade the “ginseng” label, and the name “eleuthero” is now more commonly used.

Active Constituents:The constituents in eleuthero that have been most studied are the eleutherosides.1 Seven primary eleutherosides have been identified, with most of the research attention focusing on eleutherosides B and E.2 Eleuthero also contains complex polysaccharides (complex sugar molecules).3 These constituents may play a critical role in eleuthero’s ability to support immune function.

Eleuthero is an “adaptogen” (an agent that helps the body adapt to stress). It is thought to help support adrenal gland function when the body is challenged by stress

Medicinal Uses:
E. senticosus is an adaptogen which has a wide range of health benefits attributed to its use. Currently, most of the research to support the medicinal use of E. senticosus is in Russian or Korean. E. senticosus contains eleutherosides, triterpenoid saponins which are lipophilic and which can fit into hormone receptors. Supporters of E. senticosus as medicine claim it possesses a variety of medicinal properties, such as:

*increased endurance

*memory improvement

*anti-inflammatory

*immunogenic

*chemoprotective

*radiological protection

Eleutherococcus senticosis is more tonifying than the true Ginsengs (Panax sp.) It is neutral energetically and so is appropriate for daily use. Taken regularly, it enhances immune function, decreases cortisol levels and inflammatory response, and it promotes improved cognitive and physical performance. In human studies Eleuthero has been successfully used to treat bone marrow suppression caused by chemotherapy or radiation, angina, hypercholesterolemia, and neurasthenia with headache, insomnia, and poor appetite.

The major constituents of E. senticosus are Ciwujianoside A-E, Eleutheroside B (Syringin), Eleutherosides A-M, Friedelin and Isofraxidin.[2][unreliable source?] Most of the active constituents in E. senticosus are triterpenoid saponins. Though all terpenoid compounds have bioactivity in mammals, it is the triterpenes that are most important to the adaptogenic effect. The majority of known triterpenoid compounds in E. senticosus are found as saponin glycosides which refers to the attachment of various sugar molecules to the triterpene unit. These sugars are usually cleaved off in the gut by bacteria, allowing the aglycone (triterpene) to be absorbed. Saponin glycosides have the characteristic of reducing surface tension of water and will strip the lipids. This allows them insert into cell membranes (Attele et al., 1999) and modify the composition, influence membrane fluidity,[8] and potentially affect signaling by many ligands and cofactors.

Eleutherococcus senticosus has been shown to have significant antidepressant effects in rats

Although not as popular as Asian ginseng, eleuthero use dates back 2,000 years, according to Chinese medicine records. Referred to as ci wu jia in Chinese medicine, it was used to prevent respiratory tract infections, colds and flu. It was also believed to provide energy and vitality. In Russia, eleuthero was originally used by people in the Siberian Taiga region to increase performance and quality of life and to decrease infections.

In more modern times, eleuthero has been used to increase stamina and endurance in Soviet Olympic athletes. Russian explorers, divers, sailors, and miners also used eleuthero to prevent stress-related illness. After the Chernobyl accident, many Russian and Ukrainian citizens were given eleuthero to counteract the effects of radiation.

Eleuthero has been shown to enhance mental acuity and physical endurance without the letdown that comes with caffeinated products. Research has shown that eleuthero improves the use of oxygen by the exercising muscle.6 This means that a person is able to maintain aerobic exercise longer and recover from workouts more quickly. Preliminary research from Russia indicates it may be effective for this purpose. Other trials have been inconclusive8 or have shown no beneficial effect.

Eleuthero may also support the body by helping the liver detoxify harmful toxins. It has shown a protective action in animal studies against chemicals such as ethanol, sodium barbital, tetanus toxoid, and chemotherapeutic agents. According to a test tube study eleuthero also helps protect the body during radiation exposure. Preliminary research in Russia has suggested that eleuthero may help alleviate side effects and help the bone marrow recover more quickly in people undergoing chemotherapy and radiation therapy for cancer.

Eleuthero may be useful as a preventive measure during the cold and flu season. However, it has not yet been specifically studied for this purpose. Preliminary evidence also suggests that eleuthero may prove valuable in the long-term management of various diseases of the immune system, including HIV infection and chronic fatigue syndrome. Healthy people taking teaspoons (10 ml) of tincture three times daily have been shown to have increased numbers of the immune cells (T4 lymphocytes) that have been found to decrease during HIV-infection and AIDS.13 Further human clinical trials are needed to confirm that eleuthero may be helpful for this disease.

Dosages: Dried, powdered root and rhizomes, 2–3 grams per day, are commonly used.14 Alternatively, 300–400 mg per day of concentrated solid extract standardized on eleutherosides B and E can be used, as can alcohol-based extracts, 8–10 ml in two to three divided dosages. Historically, eleuthero is taken continuously for six to eight weeks, followed by a one- to two-week break before resuming.

Side Effects:Reported side effects have been minimal with use of eleuthero.15 Mild, transient diarrhea has been reported in a very small number of users. Eleuthero may cause insomnia in some people if taken too close to bedtime. Eleuthero is not recommended for people with uncontrolled high blood pressure. There are no known reasons to avoid eleuthero during pregnancy and breast-feeding. However, pregnant or breast-feeding women should be aware that some products may be adulterated with herbs that should not be taken in pregnancy, such as Asian ginseng. Only eleuthero from a trusted source should be used.

In one case report, a person taking eleuthero with digoxin developed dangerously high serum digoxin levels.16 Although a clear relationship could not be established, it is wise for someone taking digoxin to seek the advise of a doctor before taking eleuthero.

Drug interactions:
Certain medicines may interact with eleuthero. Refer to drug interactions for a list of those medicines.

*People with medicated high blood pressure should consult their doctor before taking E. senticosus as it may reduce their need for medication.

*E. senticosus may cause light sleep in some people, principally those who are “wired”. Users are recommended not to take it in the evening.

*E. senticosus will enhance the effectiveness of mycin class antibiotics.

*E. senticosus when purchased from non-GMP sources has occasionally been adulterated with Periploca graeca which can potentiate digoxin or similar drugs: however this is not an interaction of E. senticosus

You may click to learn more about Eleuthero->………………………….(1).(2)..(3)

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/Eleutherococcus_senticosus

http://www.revolutionhealth.com/articles/eleuthero/hn-herb_eleuthero

http://www.cancer.org/docroot/ETO/content/ETO_5_3x_Siberian_Ginseng.asp

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Eye Injuries

 

a small piece of iron has lodged near the marg...Image via Wikipedia

It’s common for a speck of dirt to get blown into your eye, for soap to wash into your eye, or for you to accidentally bump your eye. For these types of minor eye injuries, home treatment is usually all that is needed.

click to see the pictures

Some sports and recreational activities increase the risk of eye injuries.
*Very high-risk sports include boxing, wrestling, and martial arts.

*High-risk sports include baseball, football, tennis, fencing, and squash.

*Low-risk sports include swimming and gymnastics (no body contact or use of a ball, bat, or racquet).

Blows to the eye:-
Direct blows to the eye can damage the skin and other tissues around the eye, the eyeball, or the bones of the eye socket. Blows to the eye often cause bruising around the eye (black eye) or cuts to the eyelid. If a blow to the eye or a cut to the eyelid occurred during an accident, be sure to check for injuries to the eyeball itself and for other injuries, especially to the head or face. Concern about an eye injury may cause you to miss other injuries that need attention.

Burns to the eye:-
Burns to the eye may be caused by chemicals, fumes, hot air or steam, sunlight, tanning lamps, electric hair curlers or dryers, or welding equipment. Bursts of flames or flash fires from stoves or explosives can also burn the face and eyes.

*Chemical burns can occur if a solid chemical, liquid chemical, or chemical fumes get into the eye. Many substances will not cause damage if they are flushed out of the eye quickly. Acids and alkali substances can damage the eye. It may take 24 hours after the burn to determine the seriousness of an eye burn. Chemical fumes and vapors can also irritate the eyes.

*Bright sunlight (especially when the sun is reflecting off snow or water) can burn your eyes if you do not wear sunglasses that filter out ultraviolet (UV) light. Eyes that are not protected by a mask can be burned by exposure to the high-intensity light of a welder’s equipment (torch or arc). The eyes also may be injured by other bright lights, such as from tanning booths or sunlamps.

For more information, you may click to see :-> Burns to the Eye.

Foreign objects in the eye:-
A foreign particle  in the eye, such as dirt, an eyelash, a contact lens, or makeup, can cause eye symptoms.

*Objects may scratch the surface of the eye (cornea) or become stuck on the eye. If the cornea is scratched, it can be hard to tell whether the object has been removed, because a scratched cornea may feel painful and as though something is still in the eye. Most corneal scratches are minor and heal on their own in 1 or 2 days.

*Small or sharp objects traveling at high speeds can cause serious injury to many parts of the eyeball. Objects flying from a lawn mower, grinding wheel, or any tool may strike the eye and possibly puncture the eyeball. Injury may cause bleeding between the iris and cornea (hyphema), a change in the size or shape of the pupil, or damage to the structures inside the eyeball. These objects may be deep in the eye and may require medical treatment.

In the case of a car air bag inflating, all three types of eye injuries can occur. The force of impact can cause a blow to the eye, foreign objects may enter the eye, and chemicals in the air bag can burn the eye.
Eye injuries can be prevented by using protective eyewear. Wear safety glasses, goggles, or face shields when working with power tools or chemicals or doing any activity that might cause an object or substance to get into your eyes. Some professions, such as health care and construction, may require workers to use protective eyewear to reduce the risk of foreign objects or substances or body fluids getting in the eyes.

After an eye injury, you need to watch for vision changes and symptoms of an infection. Most minor eye injuries can be treated at home. You may click to See :->the Home Treatment.

EMERGENCIES:-
Call emergency services immediately!

Do you have any of the following symptoms that require emergency treatment? Call 911 or other emergency services immediately.

*An object has punctured and penetrated the eye. Note: Do not bandage or put any pressure on the eye. If an object has penetrated the eyeball, hold the object in place to prevent further movement and injury to the eye.
*An eyeball is bulging out of its socket or looks abnormal after an injury.
*Sudden partial or complete vision loss has occurred in one or both eyes. Note: Treatment is needed within 90 minutes to save vision.


*Severe pain continues after 30 minutes of flushing a chemical from the eye.
*Normal vision is limited to one functional eye.

PREVENTION:-

The following tips may help prevent eye injuries.

*Wear safety glasses, goggles, or face shields when you hammer nails or metal, work with power tools or chemicals, or do any activity that might cause a burn to your eyes. If you work with hazardous chemicals that could splash into your eyes, know how to flush chemicals out, and know the location of the nearest shower or sink.

*If you are welding or near someone else who is welding, wear a mask or goggles designed for welding.

*Wear protective eyewear during sports such as hockey, racquetball, or paintball that involve the risk of a blow to the eye. Baseball is the most common sport to cause eye injuries. Fishhook injuries are another common cause of eye injuries.
Protective eyewear can prevent sports-related eye injuries more than 90% of the time. An eye examination may be helpful in determining what type of protective eyewear is needed.

*Injuries from ultraviolet (UV) light can be prevented by wearing sunglasses that block ultraviolet (UV) rays and by wearing broad-brimmed hats. Be aware that the eye can be injured from sun glare while boating, sunbathing, or skiing. Use eye protection while you are under tanning lamps or using tanning booths. Laser pointers have not been shown to cause eye injury.

*Wear your seat belt when in a motor vehicle. Use child car seats.

Prevention tips for children:-
Eye injuries are common in children, and many can be prevented. Most eye injuries happen in older children. They happen more often in boys than in girls. Toys—from crayons to toy guns—are a major source of injury, so check all toys for sharp or pointed parts. Household items, such as elastic cords, can also strike the eye and cause injury.

Teach your children about eye safety. :-

*Be a good role model—always wear proper eye protection.

*Get protective eyewear for your children and help them use it properly.

*Teach children that flying toys should never be pointed at another person.

*Teach children how to carry sharp or pointed objects properly.

*Teach children that any kind of missile, projectile, or BB gun is not a toy.

*Use safety measures near fires and explosives, such as campfires and fireworks.

Any eye injury that appears unusual for a child’s age should be evaluated as possible child abuse.

Sources: MSN Health & Fitness

 

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Vacation Sex Spices up Love Life

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Want to pep up your love life? Well, then all you need to do is plan a “vacation” sex with your partner, for it can do wonders for your heart, mind, and soul, according to a new research.

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Sex on a holiday allows you to get away from pressures, distractions, worries and responsibilities – basically, any of those libido-killers that affect your love life most days of the year.

While on vacation, you can totally devote yourself to nurturing your sexual needs and desires – and to attending to those of your lover.

This is one of the reasons the vast majority of American marriage counsellors recommend a regular weekend away as the one thing that can help a marriage, especially a struggling one.

Vacation is the best place to get ‘sexperimental’. People love having sex in new places. This is in large part because of the neurotransmitter dopamine. When people have new experiences, dopamine spikes in the brain, triggering lust. And with that, many are willing to try something new and exciting.

In a new, romantic, or exotic place, lovers can rediscover one another. In trying different restaurants or embarking on a variety of nightlife activities, every evening that you’re away feels like a date night, each with its own distinct backdrop.

All of this enhances lovers’ moods, helping them to feel better about one another and more connected.
When you make the time for nothing but loving, that’s hopefully what you’re going to get – and lots of it. Sex will breed the desire for more sex, making both partners feel better about their sex life and the relationship.

This is both for couples already content with their sex life and those hoping their vacation will make for some romance repair.

Sources: The Times Of India

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How Contraceptive Pill Influences Partner Choice

The contraceptive pill may disrupt women’s natural ability to choose a partner genetically dissimilar to themselves. This could result in difficulties when trying to conceive, an increased risk of miscarriage and long intervals between pregnancies. Passing on a lack of diverse genes to children could also weaken their immune systems.

Humans tend to be attracted to those with a dissimilar genetic make-up to themselves, maintaining genetic diversity, which is signaled by subtle odors. A research team analyzed how the contraceptive pill affects odor preferences, and found that the preferences of women who began using the contraceptive pill shifted towards men with genetically similar odors.

Not only could genetic similarity in couples lead to fertility problems, but it could ultimately lead to the breakdown of relationships when women stop using the contraceptive pill, as odor perception plays a significant role in maintaining attraction to partners, researchers said.
Sources:
Eurekalert August 12, 2008
Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences August 12, 2008

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