Monthly Archives: October 2009

Listen to Your Body

Neanderthal cave men and women had tremendous physical prowess. They excelled in all kinds of physical activities. We, on the other hand, do not do everything — we are selective and specialise. We choose and pick our jobs, and this means we repeat some tasks, day after day. As a result, certain muscles and joints in our bodies get overused, while others atrophy from disuse. This has resulted in a spate of new diseases and diagnoses, namely, repetitive stress injuries or RSIs.


RSIs are a common affair in the computer era. Be it a student or senior citizen, computers have infiltrated everyone’s lives. People who had perhaps never imagined that they would need a computer — including housewives, schoolteachers, clerks, typists and salespersons in shops — are now forced to rely on the new technology. Everyone is busy using computers for work, browsing the Internet or playing games, or using the tiny keyboard on a mobile phone for repeated text messaging. These persistent rapid movements do not give the joints and muscles sufficient time to recover, resulting in inflammation, swelling and eventual damage. In children and teenagers, the growing ends of the bones are particularly susceptible.

Early signs of injury are stiffness of the neck, tingling, numbness or pain radiating to the arms, and feelings of weakness or fatigue. The fingers and arm joints may start to “trigger”. They get fixed painfully in a bent position and then get released with a painful internal pop.

Long hours in front of the computer take a toll on the eyes as well. Eyestrain can cause headaches, neck pain and transient blurring of vision.

An unfit workforce naturally means loss of man hours. A new science has thus evolved to tackle this problem. It is called ergonomics or the scientific study of people and their working conditions, especially to improve effectiveness. An ergonomically designed workplace goes a long way in reducing RSIs.

The seating arrangement is important while using a computer. Since people vary in height, the entire workforce cannot use similar chairs. A one-size-fits-all policy cannot be followed unless the height is adjustable. Chairs should also have a contoured back support. The feet should reach the floor comfortably. To check if the height of a chair is correct, place a pencil on the legs while sitting. It should slide towards the body, not away from it.

…….Proper seating while working in comp.

PROPER SEATING ARRANGEMENT WHILE WORKING  ON COMPUTER

The monitor should be placed at eye level, directly in front (not to a side), at an arm’s length from the eyes. If reading at this distance is a problem, increase the font size. The keyboard needs to be placed directly in front of the monitor. If it is angulated to a side, the eyes have to keep adjusting for different distances. Elbows should be placed close to the side of the body to prevent the wrists from bending. The fingers and wrists should remain at a 90-degree angle to the upper part of the arm.

Even if your work is hectic and engrossing, you should walk around or at least stretch your arms and legs every half an hour. If your work requires long hours on the computer, do static, seated exercises (you can get the information on the Internet).

To make it easier on the eyes, the lighting in the room should be soft, from the side and not directly overhead or from the back. You should also take eye breaks from time to time. Focus on a finger held a few inches in front of the face and then on something far in the distance and then back to the finger. Take eye breaks throughout the day. Consciously blink, as prolonged computer use can result in infrequent blinking and dry eyes.

Sports activities can also cause RSIs. If you walk or jog for an hour every day, you need to prevent RSIs to your lower limbs. Warm ups and cool downs taught in school are excellent. Unfortunately, these stretches are often forgotten or done half-heartedly as they seem unnecessary and time-consuming. They are vital to condition and prepare the muscles for exercise and for adequate recovery. To prevent repetitive injuries, it is also important at any age to try and vary the daily exercise. Alternate walking or running with bicycling or swimming so that different groups of muscles are used.

While exercising, wear appropriate footwear. Walking and jogging require running shoes or cross trainers, not Hawaii chappals or rubber sandals. Children require footwear suitable to the sport they are playing. Inexpensive, stiff plastic shoes or playing football barefoot can result in an injury.

Listen to your body and seek prompt medical advice for any discomfort during work, sports or leisure activities. Don’t concentrate on work alone. Incorporate aerobic exercises and stretches into your lifestyle. The benefits of regular exercise are immeasurable. Immunity and resistance to disease increase and the improvement in overall flexibility and strength can help prevent crippling RSIs.

Source: The Telegraph (kolkata, India)

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How Much Sunshine is needed to Make Enough Vitamin D?

Vitamin D deficiency is quite common, and a growing list of diseases and conditions are being linked with it. Regular sun exposure, without sunscreen, causes your skin to produce vitamin D naturally. But how much sun do you need?
Sunbath
You’ve probably seen some vague guidelines, recommending “a few minutes every day.” But these recommendations are far too general to be useful. The amount of sun you need to meet your vitamin D requirements varies hugely, depending on your location, your skin type, the time of year, the time of day, and even the atmospheric conditions.

The Vitamin D/UV Calculator
Scientists at the Norwegian Institute for Air Research have devised a calculator that will take all those factors into consideration and estimate how many minutes of exposure you need for your skin to produce 25 mcg (the equivalent of 1,000 International Units) of vitamin D.

It’s not the most user-friendly interface and it is very easy to enter the wrong information. But once you get past the technicalities, it’s very interesting to see how much the answers change when you vary the input.

It is also not written for US cities so you can go to this page to find out latitude and longitude of many cites and enter the numbers manually. The easiest way may be to simply google “altitude of [your town]”. Remember to convert it to kilometers. One kilometer is about 3300 feet.

If your latitude is 39 S, enter -39. If your longitude is 76 W, enter -76.
You’ll also need to enter the time of day you are going out in the sun, expressed as UTC (Greenwich Mean Time). Here is a converter that will convert local time into UTC. The calculator uses a 24 hour clock, so hours from 1 PM to midnight are expressed as 13 to 24.

The calculator also wants to know the thickness of the ozone layer. I suggest just setting this one to medium.

Be sure to click the radio button next to the entries. They are often not automatically selected when you fill in the values.

Keep in mind that the exposure times given are considered enough to maintain healthy vitamin D status. If you are starting out with a vitamin D deficiency, you might need more.

Resources:

Nutrition Data August 10, 2009

CNN October 4, 2009

Times Online October 10, 2009

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Vegetable Protein Reduces Blood Pressure

According to a new study, vegetable consumption may be linked to lower blood pressure due to the presence of a specific amino acid.
vegetable
The compound in question is glutamic acid, and according to the work conducted at the Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University in Chicago, boosting its intake may contribute to better health of the circulatory system.

The researchers analyzed data from the International Study on Macro/Micronutrients and Blood Pressure which involved 4,680 people aged between 40-59 in rural and urban populations in China, Japan, the UK and the U.S.

Increasing the consumption of protein-rich vegetables by 4.72 percent resulted in a 1.5 to 3 millimeters of mercury (mm Hg) decrease in systolic blood pressure and a 1 to 1.6 mm Hg reduction in diastolic pressure.

“It is estimated that reducing a population’s average systolic blood pressure by 2 mm Hg could cut stroke death rates by 6 percent and reduce mortality from coronary heart disease by 4 percent,” says Dr. Jeremiah Stamler, professor emeritus of the Department of Preventive Medicine in the Feinberg School.

In view of these results, the alkaline diet—which is rich in citrus fruits, vegetables, tubers, nuts and legumes—may also be beneficial for those at risk of high blood pressure.

Source: Better Health Research. Oct. 26.’09

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Different Types of Milk & Their Uses

 

CLICK & SEE……Cow’s milk.
Whole cow’s milk packs 150 calories per cup, and about half of those calories come from fat. (See the related chart for a nutritional breakdown of all these different milks.) The 8 grams of fat in a cup of whole milk includes 5 grams of saturated fat, which can raise blood cholesterol. The American Heart Assn. recommends limiting saturated fat intake to 7% or less of daily calories: An adult consuming 1,800 calories per day would get more than one-third of that in an 8-ounce glass of whole milk.

Skim and reduced-fat milks provide the same amount of protein without the high levels of saturated fats or the cholesterol whole milk also contains. They also retain all of the calcium found in whole milk — up to 300 milligrams, about one-third of the recommended daily intake. According to the Institute of Medicine, adults require between 1,000 and 1,300 milligrams of calcium a day for optimum bone strength. And cow’s milk has long been promoted by nutritionists and dietitians as a good source of this important mineral, as well as the vitamin D needed to absorb the mineral.

But “there’s a fair amount of controversy in that whole area,” says Larry Kushi, associate director for epidemiology in the division of research at Kaiser Permanente Northern California in Oakland. The issue is just how important calcium — and milk as a source of calcium — truly is for bone health.

Scientists increasingly began to question the relationship after several studies, including two unusually large ones, failed to find evidence linking increased milk consumption to a decreased risk of fractures, a sign of bone health.

A 12-year study of more than 77,000 women, conducted by Harvard researchers and published in 1997, found that women who drank two glasses of milk a day had roughly the same risk of hip or forearm fractures as women who drank one glass or less per week. A 2003 investigation of the same population found that although vitamin D intake reduced the risk of hip fractures in post-menopausal women, high calcium and milk intake did not.

The science on the relationship between cow’s milk and cancer is also somewhat murky, and researchers are working to clarify this. Population studies have produced good evidence that increased dairy consumption, including that of milk, may decrease the risk of colorectal cancer. But studies also suggest that the risk of prostate cancer may increase with increasing milk consumption.

The evidence for female cancers — including breast, ovarian and endometrial cancers — is more mixed. Studies conducted several decades ago were less likely to demonstrate a link between dairy consumption and female cancers than more recent ones, and some nutrition experts think this difference may be linked to industrial practices that have increased the levels of the hormone estrogen in cow’s milk.

Then there’s the issue of milk allergy, an immune-system reaction to any of the several types of casein, whey or other proteins in milk. About 2.5% of children develop cow’s milk allergies in their first year, according to the National Institutes of Health, and 80% outgrow it in adulthood.

Other individuals suffer from lactose intolerance, the inability to digest the dominant sugar found in milk. The intolerance (which causes gas, bloating and diarrhea) stems from a lack of lactase, the enzyme required to break down the milk sugar lactose. It is far more common than milk allergy. “Most of the world’s population can’t digest milk,” says Dr. Scott Sicherer, professor of pediatrics at the Jaffe Food Allergy Institute at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York, and co-author of the 2009 book “The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Dairy-Free Eating.” “Our bodies are not made to drink this stuff.”

CLICK TO SEE.Buffalow milk

Buffalo milk contains higher total solids than cow milk, which makes it thicker. Buffalo milk has 100% more fat content than cow’s milk, which makes it creamier and thicker. Due to high peroxidase activity (family of enzymes that are a catalyst for reactions), buffalo milk can be preserved naturally for a longer period. Buffalo milk contains more calcium, a better calcium to phosphorous ratio and less sodium and potassium which makes it a better nutritional supplement for infants. Cow’s milk is extremely rich in iodine. It has good amount of minerals like Calcium and Phosphorus.

CLICK & SEE……..Goat’s milk
The popularity in the U.S. of cow’s milk makes us a bit of an anomaly: Globally, goat’s milk is a far more popular drink.

But Americans may be getting a taste for it. Tracy Darrimon, director of marketing for Turlock, Calif.-based Meyenberg Goat Milk Products, the top producers of commercially available goat milk in the U.S., says that over the last four years the company has increased production more than 30% to keep up with demand.

Consumers choose goat’s milk because they perceive it as less allergenic, easier to digest and more healthful all round than cow’s milk. Some of those perceptions may be wrong. Since goat’s milk, like cow’s milk, is derived from mammals, “It’s much more likely to have similar effects on long-term health,” Kaiser’s Kushi says.

Consumers looking to avoid saturated fat and cholesterol, for instance, may do well to eschew whole goat’s milk: It has more saturated fat than cow’s milk and similar levels of cholesterol and is higher in calories and total fat. And goat’s milk, like cow’s milk, contains lactose. Though the levels can be slightly lower than those in cow’s milk, “It’s not enough to really make a difference if someone has lactose intolerance,” Bastyr’s Kazaks says.

In Europe, where goat’s milk consumption is far more common than in the U.S., a few studies have suggested that goat’s milk is less likely to cause allergies than cow’s milk. But Ohio allergist Dr. Julie McNairn, a spokesperson for the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, doubts that this is true. She says the proteins triggering allergy to cow’s milk are very similar to those found in goat’s milk.

More than 90% of the time, people allergic to cow’s milk are allergic to goat’s milk, Sicherer adds: “If someone’s allergic to cow’s milk, I tell them to stay away from mammalian milks.”

Click & see…Sheep milk
Sheep milk (or ewe’s milk) is the milk of domestic sheep. Though not widely drunk in any modern culture, sheep’s milk is commonly used to make cultured dairy products. Cheeses made from sheep milk include the feta of Greece, Roquefort of France, Manchego from Spain, the Pecorino Romano (the Italian word for sheep is pecora), the Pecorino Sardo and Ricotta of Italy, and the ?bejna from Malta. Yogurts, especially some forms of strained yogurt, may also be made from sheep milk. Though sheep produce a far smaller volume of milk than cows, it is richer in fat, solids, and minerals. This makes it ideal for the cheese-making process.

It is a delicious and healthy alternative to cow’s milk. It is particularly popular among those with lactose intolerance because of sheep milk’s low lactose properties.

Sheep milk can be used in every way that cow’s milk can: over cereal, cooking, baking, and desserts. The taste is often preferred over cow’s milk bland taste.

There are several reasons that you should choose sheep milk over traditional cow’s milk:

*Taste: After trying sheep milk, many people often conclude that cow’s milk is “tasteless” whereas sheep milk is sweet and creamy. It is comparable to goat’s milk, yet sheep milk does not have the faint bitterness or tanginess of goat’s milk, which makes it a more preferable option. With all changes, sheep milk may take a little while to get use to, but after the initial trial stage many people come to prefer the rich taste of sheep milk over any other milk on the market. Therefore if you prefer a sweet and creamy treat any time of the day, sheep milk is a viable and healthy option.

*Digestion:Nearly 75 percent of the world’s population is considered to have a lactose allergy, or are “lactose intolerant”. Those with a lactose allergy have difficulty digesting cow’s milk causing symptoms such as gas and diarrhea. However, most people with lactose intolerance are able to drink and enjoy sheep milk without the symptoms because of sheep milk’s low lactose content. With sheep milk being used in cheeses and yogurts, those that are lactose intolerant now have more options to enjoy dairy products once again.

*Nutrition:It may be a surprise to learn that sheep milk is actually more nutritious than cow milk and even goat milk. Though it contains a high level of butterfat, it is lower in saturated fat than cow or goat milk.

CLICK & SEE……CAMEL MILK

Compared to cow, buffalo and ship or ewe milk fat, camel milk fat contains fewer short-chained fatty acids, but the same long-chained fatty acids can be found. Some researchers claim that the value of camel milk is to be found in the high concentrations of linoleic acid among other polyunsaturated fatty acids, which are essential for human nutrition.

Camel milk has a high vitamin and mineral content and immunoglobin content. The composition of camel milk depends on its feed and species: Bactrian milk has a higher fat content than dromedary milk.

Camel milk is low in lactose compared with cow’s milk. However, levels of potassium, magnesium, iron, copper, manganese, sodium and zinc are higher than in cow’s milk.

*Cholesterol in camel milk is lower than cow or goat milk.
*Camel milk is three times higher in vitamin C than cow’s milk and 10 times higher in iron.
*It is also high in unsaturated fatty acids and B vitamins but lower in vitamin A and B2 (than cow milk).
*Camel milk has more fat and protein than cow’s milk

Camel milk is believed to modulate the immune system. A study showed its ability to ameliorate allergies in children. (Shabo Y, Barzel R, Margoulis M, Yagil R., Camel milk for food allergies in children.) However, the sample size of this study is evidently small.

Camel milk is also used as a medicinal product in India. The Bedouins of the Middle East believe it to have curative powers.
CLICK & SEE…Donkey milk

Donkey milk is considered to be the closest to woman’s milk. It is very nourishing because it contains more lactose and less fat than cow’s milk.[1] It was used until the beginning of the twentieth century as a substitute to breast milk. The 1928 testimony of Dr. Charles Porcher (1872-1933) of the Lyon National Veterinary Institution showed that the practice was still used, to a lesser extent, in the interwar years:

It seems that we are getting back to ass milk to raise children in the earliest infancy, notably when the child is of delicate health. Ass milk has not been quite totally abandoned, but if 25 or 30 years ago, a few well looked-after asses were easily found in the city to provide milk nourishing young babies, it is no longer the case today.

More recently, studies have shown that that ass’s milk could serve as an alternative to cow’s milk for children allergic to bovine proteins.

It has several other medicinal and cosmetic uses

CLICK & SEE………...Soy milk
Because soy milk is made from a plant, it contains no cholesterol and negligible amounts of saturated fat: just half a gram per cup.

Compared with whole cow’s or goat’s milk, it is lower in calories too, but a glass still provides the same levels of key nutrients present in those milks, including calcium, protein, vitamin A, vitamin D and potassium. That’s partly because soybeans contain calcium, protein and potassium. But soy milk is also fortified to be nutritionally comparable to cow’s milk.

Soy milk’s lack of cholesterol and low levels of saturated and total fat have made it a popular choice for people looking to improve their heart health, says Stacey Krawczyk, a research dietitian with the National Soybean Research Laboratory at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. For the last 10 years, soy foods have been allowed to bear the FDA-approved claim that a low-fat, low-cholesterol diet containing 25 grams of soy protein per day may reduce the risk of heart disease.

Soy milk may have another benefit: In recent decades, several large population studies have suggested consuming soy may be linked to a lower risk of cancer, including prostate, colorectal and breast cancer.

But the relationship between soy milk consumption and cancer remains unclear — largely because most studies have focused on populations, such as those in Asia, that consume whole soy products, such as tofu, tempeh and edamame, as a large part of their diet. Studies on the general U.S. and European populations have not been able to replicate the findings, in part because soy consumption levels here are much lower, Kushi says.

This protective effect against cancer, if there is one, is thought to be at least partly due to estrogen-like compounds in soy that may compete with human estrogen in the body, hindering it from prompting the cell proliferation that can trigger cancer. But the link between soy consumption and cancer may invert in women after menopause, when natural estrogen levels plummet. “The evidence is still unclear,” Kushi says.

Soy can be a good dairy alternative for most people with allergies to cow’s milk. Soy allergies affect 0.4% of children — more common than most food allergies but far less common than ones to milk. Soy milk allergy in children is often outgrown. And though people allergic to cow’s milk are often likely to have another food allergy, the differences in the two milks’ proteins means an allergy to one doesn’t automatically translate into an allergy to the other, McNairn says.

Soy milk also lacks lactose, so it’s easier for people with lactose intolerance to digest it.

A downside? Because soybeans have an inherently bitter taste, soy milk is often heavily processed — and sweetened — to mask that flavor, says Kantha Shelke, a food chemist with the Chicago-based food-science think tank Corvus Blue. Sweeteners are often high on the list of ingredients in soy milks, adding sugar and calories that consumers might not be aware of. Still, with about 5 grams of sugar per cup, even the more sugary soy milks contain fewer sugars than the 12 grams per cup in cow’s milk. (Soy milks labeled “unsweetened” contain about 1 gram.)

Soy milk presents its own digestibility challenges, Kazaks says. The milk contains high levels of oligosaccharides, carbohydrates that are hard for the body to break down. “It can really cause a lot of gas in some people,” she says.

CLICK & SEE…......Almond milk
“With almond milk, it’s more about what you don’t get” than what you do, says Sam Cunningham, an independent food scientist and consultant specializing in nuts, who helped develop almond milk for Sacramento-based Blue Diamond Growers as an employee of the almond processor in the 1990s.

Like soy milk, almond milk contains zero cholesterol. It’s free of saturated fats, so it’s a healthful option for people with, or at risk for, heart disease. It doesn’t contain lactose, so it’s an option for people with lactose intolerance. And it’s even lower in calories and total fat than soy milk: a glass contains just 60 calories and 2.5 grams of fat to soy milk’s 100 calories and 4 fat grams.

But although almonds, among nuts, are a good source of calcium and protein, almond milk’s calcium and protein levels don’t compare to the levels in cow’s, goat’s or soy milks. A glass of almond milk provides just 1 gram of protein. Some brands provide up to 20% of the daily recommended calcium intake (about 10% less than the other milks), but other brands provide none.

Almonds are also a good source of iron, riboflavin, vitamin E and some essential fatty acids. A cup of the ground-up nuts contains more than 11 grams of omega-6 fats (but very few omega-3s).

In recent years, several studies have hinted at a link between nut consumption and lower blood cholesterol and a reduced risk of heart disease. Since 2003, the Food and Drug Administration has allowed almonds (and other nuts) to bear the claim that eating 1.5 ounces of nuts daily, as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol, may reduce risk of heart disease.

Still, nuts are one thing — almond milk is another. The fraction of almond milk that’s actually comprised of finely blended almonds varies between products and can be minimal, Kazaks says. In many commercially available almond milks, almonds are the second or third ingredient, after water and sweeteners. (The same is true for many soy milks as well.) So despite the high vitamin E and omega-6 content of almonds, a glass of almond milk may contain none of the vitamin and just 300 to 600 milligrams of the omega-6s.

Almond milk is a fine alternative for people allergic to cow’s and soy milks, Jaffe’s Sicherer says, but almonds pose their own allergenicity hazards. Allergies to tree nuts, including almonds, are among the top allergies in the population, affecting 0.2% of children. And although cow’s and soy milk allergies are often outgrown, nut allergies are more likely to persist.

CLICK & SEE……..Rice milK
Like almond milk, rice milk’s main advantages are what it doesn’t contain. It is free of cholesterol and saturated fat. It doesn’t contain lactose. Allergies to rice are rare.

In fact, rice milk manufacturers commonly promote their product as safe for people with any of a number of allergies or intolerances — including cow’s milk, soy and nut allergies, as well as lactose and gluten intolerance. (Gluten, found in wheat and other cereal grains, is not present in any of the milks mentioned here.)

Rice milk, like soy and almond milk, is formulated to contain levels of calcium, vitamin A and vitamin D similar to (albeit lower than) those in cow’s milk. But it is not a good source of protein, with just 0.67 grams per serving, and often contains more calories than almond or soy milk: about 113 calories per cup. Its vitamin E levels exceed that of cow’s, goat’s and soy milk but don’t compare with that of some almond milks.

One more thing rice milk doesn’t have: flavor in need of masking with sweeteners. “It’s a very mild-flavored product,” Corvus Blue’s Shelke says.

CLICK & SEE……….Hemp milk
Among plant-based milks, hemp milk is unique, and not just because the cannabis plant it’s made from poses legal challenges for farmers.

A glass of hemp milk contains the same number of calories as soy milk, one-third to one-half of the protein, but 50% more fat: 5 to 6 grams. However, most of the fats in hemp milk are omega-3 and omega-6 essential fatty acids, key for nervous system function and healthy skin and hair. Certain omega-3 and omega-6 fats also appear to reduce inflammation and lower blood lipid levels.

Plant oils typically have an excess of omega-6 fats relative to omega-3s — and the hemp seed is no exception. A cup of hemp milk (which is made from the “nut” of the hemp seed but can also contain some of the hull) often provides about 1 gram of omega-3s and 3 to 4 grams of omega-6s. Still, that level of omega-3s is high for plants, making hemp milk a useful source of them — especially given that American diets typically provide too few omega-3 fats and too many omega-6s.

In fact, some nutrition experts recommend a dietary ratio of omega-3s to omega-6s of between 1:1 and 1:3, a ratio that occurs naturally in hemp milk.

But the story is more complicated than that. It is unclear whether the predominant omega-3 fat in hemp, alpha linolenic acid (ALA), has the same heart-health benefits of those found abundantly in fish oils (known as EPA and DHA for short), says William Harris, director of the Cardiovascular Health Research Center at the University of South Dakota.

Like soy milk, hemp milk is low in saturated fat and cholesterol-free. It’s also free of lactose, and allergies to hemp are rare. Christina Volgyesi, vice president of marketing for Portland, Ore.-based Living Harvest Foods, which makes hemp milk, says the milk is made from different cannabis varieties than those used to produce marijuana, and contains none of the mind-altering active ingredient THC.

Hemp milk contains many of the nutrients found in cow’s milk (including calcium, vitamin A and vitamin D) since it’s fortified. In fact, some brands provide 40% to 50% of the daily recommended allowance of calcium, as compared with the 30% found in cow’s milk.

Nutritionally, hemp seeds are similar to flax seeds, which have become increasingly popular sources of essential fatty acids in recent years. But not all seeds rich in the fats lend themselves to a palatable milk alternative.

“Flax milk would probably be dark brown,” Shelke says. “We are probably not prepared to drink something dark brown in color.”

Unless, of course, it’s chocolate milk — be it of cow’s, goat’s, soy, almond, rice or even hemp.
Resources:
The Los Angeles Times

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

http://www.diffen.com/difference/Buffalo_Milk_vs_Cow_Milk

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

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ass%27s_milk_%28Donkey%27s_milk%29

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Keep Firm Muscle Tone with the Age

Scientists have found and manipulated body chemistry linked to the aging of muscles, and were able to restore the ability of old human muscle to repair and rebuild itself.
click & see
Importantly, the research also found evidence that aging muscles need to be kept in shape, because long periods of atrophy are more challenging to overcome. Older muscles do not respond as well to sudden bouts of exercise. And rather than building muscle, older people can instead generate scar tissue if they exercise after long periods of inactivity.

Previous studies have shown that adult muscle stem cells have a receptor called Notch, which triggers growth when activated. An enzyme called mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) regulates Notch activity.

In the lab, the researchers cultured old human muscle and forced the activation of MAPK. The regenerative ability of the old muscle was significantly enhanced.

Resources:
Live Science September 30, 2009
EMBO Molecular Medicine September 30, 2009 [Epub ahead of Print]

Antibody ‘Fixes Internal Bleeds’

Scientists say they have discovered an antibody that could minimise the major internal bleeding seen in traumas like bullet wounds and car crashes.
Antibody 'fixes internal bleeds'
The team at Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation (OMRF) has discovered that a protein called histone is responsible for much of the damage.

They say they have found a specific type of antibody that can block the ability of histone to cause damage.

They say it could lead to new ways to treat diseases and serious injuries.

‘Life threatening’
Writing in the journal, Nature Medicine, the OMRF researchers found that when mice had a bad blood stream infection (sepsis), their blood contained high levels of histones.

They checked this in primates and humans and found the same result.

The histone protein normally sits in the nucleus of a cell, packed around the strands of DNA.

It regulates the DNA, causing it to fold and form the characteristic double helix.

bullet wounds
Bullet wounds often lead to severe internal bleeding

When the cell is damaged by injury or disease, the histone is released into the blood system where it begins to kill the lining of blood vessels, causing damage, the OMRF researchers said.

This, they believe, results in uncontrolled internal bleeding and fluid build-up in the tissues, which are life threatening.

Dr Charles Esmon, of OMRF who led the research, said: “When we realised that histones were so toxic, we immediately went to work looking for a way to stop their destructive tendencies.”

Mouse antibody
Marc Monestier, a colleague at Temple University in Philadelphia, had already discovered a specific type of antibody known as a monoclonal antibody that could block the histones.

It had been observed that patients with auto-immune diseases make antibodies to the proteins in their cell nuclei but it was not known why.

This antibody came from a mouse with an auto-immune disease.

The OMRF team have tested the antibody in mice with sepsis and it does stop the toxic effects of the histones and they recover, the researchers say.

They now want to test it in primates and eventually humans.

Dr Esmon said histones were similar in all mammals because they were such basic building blocks.

So a mouse antibody should work equally well in a human.

He said: “We think it was an adaptation during evolution.

“Millions of years ago, when people and animals got ill, they did not die of heart attacks or car accidents they died of infectious diseases.

“Their immune systems went into overdrive throwing everything at it and we believe the histones in the cell nucleus, part of the basic building blocks of life, were the last resort.”

Dr Stephen Prescott, president of OMRF, said: “These findings offer some clues as to why people suffering from one traumatic injury often experience a catastrophic ‘cascade’ of secondary traumatic events.

“If we can figure out how to control the initial injury, perhaps that will stop the domino effect that so often follows.”

Source: BBC News: 26th.Oct.’09

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White Wines ‘Bad for the Teeth’

Teeth of a model.
Image via Wikipedia

Enjoying a glass of white wine on a frequent basis can damage the teeth, something many wine makers and tasters will know first-hand, experts say.
……………….drinking white wine
Pale plonk packs an acidic punch that erodes enamel far more than red wine, Nutrition Research reports.

It is not the wine’s vintage, origin or alcohol that are key but its pH and duration of contact with the teeth.

Eating cheese at the same time could counter the effects, because it is rich in calcium, the German authors say.

It is the calcium in teeth that the wine attacks.

In the lab, adult teeth soaked in white wine for a day had a loss of both calcium and another mineral called phosphorus to depths of up to 60 micrometers in the enamel surface, which the researchers say is significant.

Riesling wines tended to have the greatest impact, having the lowest pH.

A “kinder” tooth choice would be a rich red like a Rioja or a Pinot noir, the Johannes Gutenberg University team found.

Power of saliva
Even if people brush their teeth after a night of drinking, over the years repeated exposure could take its toll, say Brita Willershausen and her colleagues.

Indeed, excessive brushing might make matters worse and lead to further loss of enamel.

But they said: “The tradition of enjoying different cheeses for dessert, or in combination with drinking wine, might have a beneficial effect on preventing dental erosion since cheeses contain calcium in a high concentration.”

This helps neutralise and boost the remineralising power of saliva to halt the acid attack.

But eating strawberries while supping on your vino or mixing sparkling whites with acid fruit juice to make a bucks fizz may spell trouble because this only adds to the acid attack.

Professor Damien Walmsley, of the British Dental Association, said: “The ability of acidic foods and drinks to erode tooth enamel is well understood, and white wine is recognised as being more erosive than red.

“But it’s the way you consume it that’s all important. If you’re going to have a glass of wine do so with your meal and leave a break of at least 30 minutes afterwards before you brush your teeth and go to bed.

“Consuming wine alongside food, rather than on its own, means the saliva you produce as you chew helps to neutralise its acidity and limits its erosive potential.

“If you’re going to have a glass of wine do so with your meal and leave a break of at least 30 minutes afterwards before you brush your teeth and go to bed.”….Says Professor Damien Walmsley of the British Dental Association

“And leaving time before brushing teeth gives the enamel a chance to recover from the acid attack and makes it less susceptible to being brushed away.”

Source: BBC News:Oct.20.’09

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Compassion Meditation: A Great Stress Buster

Individuals who engage in compassion meditation may benefit by reductions in inflammatory and behavioral responses to psychological stress, a new Compassion  study has found.
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“While much attention has been paid to meditation practices that emphasize calming the mind, improving focused attention or developing mindfulness, less is known about meditation practices designed to specifically foster compassion,” says Geshe Lobsang Tenzin Negi, PhD, who designed and taught the meditation program used in the study.

Negi is senior lecturer in the Department of Religion, the co-director of Emory Collaborative for Contemplative Studies and president and spiritual director of Drepung Loseling Monastery, Inc.

The study focused on the effect of compassion meditation on inflammatory, neuroendocrine and behavioral responses to psychosocial stress, and evaluated the degree to which engagement in meditation practice influenced stress reactivity.

“Our findings suggest that meditation practices designed to foster compassion may impact physiological pathways that are modulated by stress and are relevant to disease,” said Charles L. Raison, MD, clinical director of the Mind-Body Program, Emory University”s Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Emory School of Medicine, and a lead author on the study.

Sixty-one healthy college students between the ages of 17 and19 participated in the study. Half the participants were randomized to receive six weeks of compassion meditation training and half were randomized to a health discussion control group. Although secular in presentation, the compassion meditation program was based on a thousand-year-old Tibetan Buddhist mind-training practice called “lojong” in Tibetan.

A variety of student participation activities were employed such as mock debates and role-playing. Both groups were required to participate in 12 hours of classes across the study period. Meditators were provided with a meditation compact disc for practice at home. Homework for the control group was a weekly self-improvement paper.

After the study interventions were finished, the students participated in a laboratory stress test designed to investigate how the body”s inflammatory and neuroendocrine systems respond to psychosocial stress.

No differences were seen between students randomized to compassion meditation and the control group, but within the meditation group there was a strong relationship between the time spent practicing meditation and reductions in inflammation and emotional distress in response to the stressor.

Consistent with this, when the meditation group was divided into high and low practice groups, participants in the high practice group showed reductions in inflammation and distress in response to the stressor when compared to the low practice group and the control group.

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Buddhist Compassion Meditation Techniques
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Source: The Times Of India

Why Anti-Depressants Don’t Always Work?

More than half the people who take anti-depressants seldom get relief. A bnew study says this is because drugs designed to treat depression aim at the wrong target.

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The study led by Eva Redei, psychiatry professor at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine (NUFSM), found powerful molecular evidence that quashes the popular dogma that stress generally triggers depression.

Her new research reveals that there is almost no overlap between stress-related genes and depression-related genes.

Her findings are based on extensive studies with a model of severely depressed rats that mirror many behavioural and physiological abnormalities found in patients with major depression.

“This is a huge study and statistically powerful,” Redei said. “This research opens up new routes to develop new anti-depressants that may be more effective. There hasn’t been an antidepressant based on a novel concept in 20 years.”

She took four genetically different strains of rats and exposed them to chronic stress for two weeks. Later, she identified genes in the brain regions (linked with depression in rats and human), that had increased or decreased in response to the stress in all four strains.

“This finding is clear evidence that at least in an animal model, chronic stress does not cause the same molecular changes as depression does,” said Redei, according to a NUFSM statement.

These findings were presented at a recent Neuroscience conference in Chicago.

Source: The Times Of India

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A Flow of Joy

Good Vibrations ………Good Vibrations
Feelings vibrate, just as all things in the universe do, at a particular frequency. Negative feelings like anger, guilt, and depression vibrate at low frequencies, while positive feelings like joy, appreciation, and passion vibrate at high frequencies. These high frequency vibrations make us feel good. This is why people and places that inspire and cultivate positive feelings have what we call good vibrations.

Good vibrations inspire health, happiness, and optimism. When we are tuned in to good vibrations, our bodies heal, our hearts open, and our minds shift toward the light. We see new possibilities and feel powerfully energized to follow our inner visions. At the same time, we feel relaxed and capable of manifesting these visions without giving in to stress or struggle. Good vibrations put us in a state of perfect receptivity so that we feel it is the energy flowing through us that accomplishes what needs to be done. We feel guided, supported, protected, and nourished within this joyful flow. We sometimes forget that we are allowed to feel this way all the time.

Lower frequency vibrations are not bad in a moral sense, but they are bad in the sense that they simply don’t feel good. Still, they have a purpose, which is to alert us to the fact that we are blocking out the higher frequency vibrations that we need to function well. They are a call for healing ourselves from within. The key to our healing lies in remembering that it is our birthright to feel good and that feeling good is the essence of our true nature. When we are receiving and sending out good vibrations, we are in the flow. When we are not, we can begin to raise our vibration by seeking out people, places, and situations that vibrate at a higher frequency. Whether we need to go on retreat or just call a friend who makes us laugh, seeking out those good vibrations and basking in them is a sacred and loving practice that returns us, time and again, to the joyful flow of the universe.

Source: Daily Om

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