Monthly Archives: January 2011

Some Health Quaries & Answers

I want to shed weight fast

Q: I am getting married in a month’s time and want to lose weight fast. I have to shed six kilos. How do I do that?

A: Crash diets work for short lengths of time, but they aren’t healthy and shouldn’t be continued indefinitely. If you follow a balanced diet of 1,200 calories (60 per cent from carbohydrates, 30 per cent from proteins and 10 per cent from fat), you will have a daily deficit of 800 calories. Once you lose 3,500 calories, you would have lost around half a kilogram of body weight. This means you will lose 3.5kg in a month. Try to combine this with 40 minutes of aerobic activity. That’s a deficit of another 200 calories. The exercise will help develop muscle tone so you don’t have a sagging, aged and unhealthy appearance after the hard gained weight loss.

Hip surgery

Q: I have severe pain in my right hip, so much so that I can’t bend. This makes it difficult for me to sit, squat or even walk. I went to an orthopaedic surgeon who advised hip replacement surgery. At 78, I am nervous.

A: Generally, non-surgical treatment with pain relieving medication and physiotherapy is first recommended to reduce hip joint pain, improve joint function and increase the range of movement. Replacement is performed when these have failed. Senior citizens with osteoarthritis who undergo total hip replacement are able to care for themselves, thereby improving the quality of life. Studies have shown that though it is an expensive and invasive process, it is safe. There’s no age limit for hip replacement surgery.

No rice

Q: I don’t like rice, but am told it’s necessary and without it my health will suffer. Please advise.

A: Basically, 60 per cent of your calorific requirement needs to come from carbohydrates. Rice and other grains aren’t the only source of carbohydrates — they are also found in nuts, dairy products, fruits and vegetables. If you dislike rice, you can switch to wheat or oats. In Western countries, people hardly eat rice yet are healthy.

Self medication

Q: I had high fever. I went to a pharmacy and purchased some tablets recommended by the man behind the counter. I now have redness in the groin and armpit, itching and redness in the corners of my mouth. Could this be an allergy?

A: It could be an allergy. Maybe some of the tablets you took were antibiotics. They may have changed your normal bacterial flora so that there is now an overgrowth of a fungus called Candida. You may also have precipitated a vitamin B deficiency. See a doctor to find out what exactly it is. You can then receive appropriate treatment.

Stretch marks

Q: I was suffering from polycystic ovarian syndrome for the last two years. I consulted an endocrinologist who suggested regular exercise with medication. Now I have recovered. But I still have reddish marks on my lower abdomen. The doctor had said they would disappear with recovery.

A: The reddish marks on your abdomen are called stretch marks. They develop because of damage to the underlying layers of skin with rapid weight gain. They can be prevented to some extent with regular oiling. Coconut oil, olive oil, baby oils, vitamin E and aloe vera have all been used with some degree of success. Once the marks have developed, oils and creams work slowly over a prolonged period of time.

Surgical removal can be done with laser treatment, dermal ablation or tummy tucks. This is faster and more successful.

Immunity against tetanus

Q: I want to know about the tetanus vaccine and treatment for the disease. If I take a tetanus toxoid vaccine, how many weeks of immunity would it give? I’ve heard there’s a schedule of three doses (for adults) that gives immunity for three years. Please give me the timetable. If one is afflicted with tetanus, is there any life saving treatment?

A: Tetanus immunisation is provided free by the government to all children. It is given as a combined vaccine with those for diphtheria, pertussis and polio. Three doses are given in the first year and boosters at one, one and a half, five, 10 and 16 years. Pregnant women who have been immunised in childhood are given two doses in their first pregnancy. After the immunisation is complete — that is, up to 16 years — a booster needs to be taken once in 10 years.

Tetanus is caused by a bacterium called Clostridium tetani, which is found in the human intestine and soil. Once it causes an infection, it releases a poison that binds to the nervous tissue. Spasms of the muscles occur, making it difficult for the patient to swallow or breathe. This can eventually result in death. Individuals have survived with aggressive treatment with artificial muscle paralysis and ventilators for breathing.

Source: The Telegraph ( Kolkata, India)

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Healthy Heart

Introduction:
Why do you need to keep a healthy heart?

Heart disease is the number one  cause of death in men and women, greater than the next five causes of death combined!

According to the latest estimates by the American Heart Association, over 64 million Americans have one or more forms of cardiovascular disease (CVD).

Fortunately, there are ways to significantly lower your chances of developing heart disease and reverse the effects of a current heart condition you may or may not be aware of. Lower cholesterol, triglycerides, homocysteine and CRP levels are a start to promoting healthy hearts.

Healthy Heart Guide  educates people about the risk factors of heart disease, attempting to persuade them to adopt a healthier lifestyle .

Even if you’ve already been diagnosed with heart disease, making lifestyle changes can help you live a longer, healthier and more enjoyable life.

Essential Blood Tests :
Find out the risk factors for developing heart conditions:

*Risk Factors Heart Disease :
*Cholesterol Levels :
*Homocysteine Levels :
*Triglyceride Levels :
*C-Reactive Protein :

Lowering Your Risks:
Specific Ways to Promote a Healthy Heart
:


*Cholesterol Ratio

*CRP Blood Test
*Diet For Lowering Cholesterol
*Homocysteine and Heart Disease
*LDL Cholesterol Heart Disease
*Lowering Triglycerides
*Natural Blood Thinners

Being active:
Being active Being active is absolutely essential for a healthy heart – for the simple reason that your heart is a muscle. Even if you haven’t been active for some time, your heart can become stronger, so that it’s able to pump more efficiently giving you more stamina and greater energy. Becoming more active will also improve the ability of your body’s tissues to extract oxygen from your blood, help you

maintain healthy levels of blood fats and speed your metabolism. Three types of exercise are needed in order to become fitter and healthier. These are aerobic, resistance training and flexibility. All three are vital for all-round fitness.

Aerobic (cardiovascular) exercise:
Particularly important to prevent coronary heart disease is aerobic or cardiovascular exercise. This is any kind of activity that increases your breathing rate and gets you breathing more deeply. These activities include: walking, running, swimming, dancing or any of the aerobic (cardiovascular) machines at the gym such as the rowing machine, treadmill, stepper or elliptical trainer.

These are designed to increase the strength of your heart muscle by improving your body’s ability to extract oxygen from the blood and transport it to the rest of the body. Aerobic exercise also enhances your body’s ability to use oxygen efficiently and to burn (or metabolise) fats and carbohydrates for energy.

These are designed to increase the strength of your heart muscle by improving your body’s ability to extract oxygen from the blood and transport it to the rest of the body. Aerobic exercise also enhances your body’s ability to use oxygen efficiently and to burn (or metabolise) fats and carbohydrates for energy.
Stretching:
Stretching helps relax and lengthen your muscles, encourages improved blood flow, and helps keep you supple so you can move more easily. Experts say it’s good to stretch for 5-10 minutes every day. There are a number of simple stretches which you’ll find in virtually any book about exercise or can be taught by the instructor at the gym.

If you want more organised stretching, yoga and Pilates are safe and gentle for people with heart problems, as they help calm the mind and body and reduce stress. That said, there may still be some exercises or postures that are not recommended if you have heart disease, so check with your doctor first and tell your instructor if you have high blood pressure or heart disease.

Getting started:
There’s no need to join a gym or take part in organised sport, unless you want to, of course. Simply incorporating more activity into your daily life and doing activities like walking, gardening, cycling can be just as effective as a structured exercise programme.

Your aim should be to be moderately active for 30 minutes most days of the week. If you find it hard to fit this into your life, split it up into shorter periods. You should feel that your heart rate is increasing, you are breathing more deeply and frequently. You should be able to walk and talk at the same time – if you can’t then the activity is too strenuous.

Safety first:
If you experience any or all of the following, stop exercising and consult your doctor.

•Chest pain
•Dizziness, light-headedness or confusion
•Nausea or vomiting
•Cramp-like pains in the legs (intermittent claudication)
•Pale or bluish skin tone
•Breathlessness lasting for more than 10 minutes
•Palpitations (rapid or irregular heart beat).
•Continued fatigue (lasting for 24 hours or more)
•Fluid retention (swollen ankles, sudden weight gain)

Resources:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/health/physical_health/conditions/in_depth/heart/prevention_activity.shtml

http://www.healthy-heart-guide.com/

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Macela

Botanical Name :Achyrocline satureioides
Family : Asteraceae
Genus: Achyrocline
Species :  A.  satureioides
Kingdom :  Plantae
Division :  Magnoliophyta
Class : Magnoliopsida
Order :  Asterales
Synonyms: Achyrocline candicans, Egletes viscosa, Gnaphalium candicans, G. satureioides
Common Names: Macela, marcela, birabira, marcela-da-mata, hembra marcela, Juan blanco, macela-do-campo, marcela hembra, camomila-nacional, marcelita, mirabira, perpétua do mato suso, viravira, wira-wira, yatey-caa, yerba de chivo.

Habitat :Macela is indigenous to much of tropical South America including Argentina, Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay, and Venezuela,Brazil  including the Amazon Rainforest. It often springs up on disturbed soils and some consider it a weed.

Description:
Macela is aaromatic annual shrub that grows from 0.20 to 0.50 m. tall, is a medicinal plant well branched with leaves linear, alternate, entire, and whitish, having a size of about 5 cm long. It produces small white flowers with yellow centers and serrated green leaves.
The Achyrocline satureioides blooms from spring until mid or late summer. Peripheral flowers of this medicinal plant are female in number of 3-6, filiform, central flowers are hermaphroditic, so tubulosa, 1-2 in number.

CLICK & SEE

Click to see the picture
Marcela grows where the climate is mild and usually sandy or rocky soils with little moisture, as this causes the roots to rot.
Part of this medicinal plant used for medicinal purposes are the leaves and flowers of Marcela.
That is why the harvest is done when the Marcela is in bloom. It is usually between late spring and early summer.

click to see the picture

Medicinal Uses:
Parts Used: Aerial Parts, Leaves, Flowers

Properties/Actions:
Analgesic, Anti-inflammatory, Anti-mutagenic, Antiseptic, Antispasmodic, Antitumorus, Antiviral, Cytotoxic, Digestive, Emmenagogue, Genotoxic, Hypoglycemic, Immunostimulant, Insecticidal, Muscle Relaxant, Sudorific, Vermifuge .

Phytochemicals:
Alnustin, Auricepyrone,6-o-demethyl-23-methyl, Cadinene,delta, Caffeic Acid, Callerianin,caffeoyl, Calleryanin, Caffeoyl, Calleryanin, Protocatechuoyl, Caryatin, Caryophyllene, Caryophyllene Oxide, Caryophyllene,beta, Caryophyllene-1-10-epoxide, Chlorogenic Acid, Cineol,1-8, Coumarin, Flavone,5-8-dihydroxy-3-7-dimethoxy, Flavone,3-5-7-8-tetramethoxy, Flavonoids, Galangin, Galangin-3-methyl Ether, Germacrene D, Gnapahaliin,ISO, Gnaphaliin, Italidipyrone, Lauricepyrone,6-o-demethyl-23-methy, Luteolin, Ocimene,beta, Pinene,alpha, Pyrone,alpha, 6-(4′-hydroxy-trans-s, Tyryl)-4-methoxy, Quercetagetin, Quercetin, Quercetin-3-methyl Ether, Quercetin-3-methyl ether, Scoparol, Scoparone, Tamarixetin, Tamarixetin-7-glucoside

Traditional Remedy:
In Brazil  Macela has been used in natural medicine for many years there. The flowers and/or the dried plant is prepared into a tea with five grams of herb to a liter of boiling water and used for nervous colic, epilepsy, and gastric problems. It is also used as an anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic and analgesic for gastric disturbances, diarrhea and dysentery, and as a sedative and emmenagogue in herbal medicine and by local people in Brazil. In Argentina, 20 grams of the flowers are infused in a liter of hot water and taken to help regulate menstruation and for asthma. In Uruguay, it is used much the same way; for stomach, digestion and gastrointestinal disorders, as an emmenagogue and menstrual regulator and as a sedative and antispasmodic.

Traditional Preparation:
The therapeutic dosage is reported to be 1-2 g two or three times daily of dried whole herb and/or flowers. One cup of a whole herb infusion 2-3 times daily or 2-3 ml of a 4:1 tincture twice daily can be used.

..

Phytochemical analysis of Macela shows that it is a rich source of flavonoids included novel ones never before seen in science. Much of its active properties are attributed to these flavonoids as well as other sequiterpenes and monoterpenes isolated in the plant. Macela has been of recent clinical interest and its uses in natural medicine have been validated by science since the mid 1980′s. In animal studies with mice and rats, Macela demonstrated analgesic, anti-inflammatory and smooth muscle relaxant properties internally (gastrointestinal muscles) and externally without toxicity. This may well explain why Macela has long been used effectively for many types of gastrointestinal difficulties as well as asthma. In vitro studies have demonstrated that Macela is molluscidal, and mutagenic against salmonella and E. coli which could explain it’s uses against dysentery, diarrhea and infections.

Other research on Macela has concentrated on its anti-tumorous, antiviral and immunostimulant properties. It was shown to pass the initial anticrustacean screening test used to predict antitumor activity in 1993. In the mid-1980′s, German researchers extracted the whole dried plant and demonstrated that in humans and mice it showed strong immunostimulant activity by increasing phagocytosis. They isolated a polysccharide fraction in the Macela extract which seemed to be responsible for this effect. Japanese researchers showed that an extract of Macela flowers inhibited the growth of cancer cells by 67% in vitro in the mid-1990′s. In 1996, researchers in Texas found that a hot water extract of dried Macela flowers demonstrated in vitro antiviral properties against T-Lymphoblastoid cells infected with HIV. A US research group as well as a Brazilian group are currently studying Macela’s antioxidant properties.

With its potential anti-HIV properties combined with its immunostimulant actions, Macela could (and should) be the subject of futher AIDS research. Until then, a simple Macela tea is still a highly effective natural remedy for many types of gastrointestinal complaints, especially where inflammation and spasms occur. Many practitioners in South and North America are using Macela in tea or capsules for spastic colon, Crohn’s, colitis, irritable bowel syndrome and for a general digestive aid. Although not studied by scientists, many natural health practitioners in South America still use Macela to help regulate menstrual periods as it has been used for many years with reported good results.

Contraindications:
*This plant has been documented with hypoglycemic effects; people with hypoglycemia and/or diabetes should only use this plant under the care and direction of a qualified health care practitioner who can monitor blood glucose levels.

*This plant has a long history of use as a menstrual promoter and regulator and its biological effects during pregnancy have not been studied or reported. While these traditional uses have not been clinically validated, pregnant women should still refrain from using this plant.

*One study demonstrated barbiturate potentiation activity when a hot water extract of macela was injected in mice; it remains unclear if this effect is evident when taken orally. In herbal medicine systems, the plant is used as a sedative. Natural herb capsules, teas or tinctures might potentiate the effects of other sedatives and barbiturates. Use with caution when taking other prescription sedatives and pain-killers.

Known Hazards:: It has a sedative effect and might increase the effects of other sedatives. People with diabetes should use with caution as it has a mild hypoglycemic effect.

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://ip.aaas.org/tekindex.nsf/2a9c4e44835b04ea85256a7200577a64/a05a3c356224163585256af0006b4afe/Body/M1?OpenElement

http://pt.wikipedia.org/wiki/Macela

http://www.yourmedicinalplants.com/marcela/

http://www.southamericanspecials.com/product_info.php?products_id=81

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Acromegaly

Other Names: Somatotroph adenoma; Growth hormone excess; Pituitary giant

Definition:-
Acromegaly is a chronic metabolic disorder in which there is too much growth hormone and the body tissues gradually enlarge.
CLICK TO SEE THE PICTURES
It is a syndrome that results when the pituitary gland produces excess growth hormone (hGH) after epiphyseal plate closure at puberty. A number of disorders may increase the pituitary’s GH output, although most commonly it involves a GH producing tumor called pituitary adenoma, derived from a distinct type of cell (somatotrophs).

Acromegaly most commonly affects adults in middle age,  and can result in severe disfigurement, serious complicating conditions, and premature death if unchecked. Because of its insidious pathogenesis and slow progression, the disease is hard to diagnose in the early stages and is frequently missed for many years, until changes in external features, especially of the face, become noticeable.

Acromegaly is often also associated with gigantism.

CLICK TO SEE THE PICTURES
You may click to see :Netter Medical Images
Symptoms:-
Features that result from high level of GH or expanding tumor include:

*Soft tissue swelling visibly resulting in enlargement of the hands, feet, nose, lips and ears, and a general thickening of the skin. In particular the appearance of the hands can indicate to a knowledgeable person that a stranger may be developing acromegaly; there are documented instances of physicians warning strangers that they had acromegaly.

*Soft tissue swelling of internal organs, notably the heart with attendant weakening of its muscularity, and the kidneys, also the vocal cords resulting in a characteristic thick, deep voice and slowing of speech

*Generalized expansion of the skull at the fontanelle

*Pronounced brow protrusion, often with ocular distension

*Pronounced lower jaw protrusion with attendant macroglossia (enlargement of the tongue) and teeth gapping

*Hypertrichosis, hyperpigmentation, and hyperhidrosis may occur in these patients

Observations:

•Body odor
•Carpal tunnel syndrome
•Decreased muscle strength (weakness)
•Easy fatigue
•Enlarged bones of the face
•Enlarged feet
•Enlarged hands
•Enlarged glands in the skin (sebaceous glands)
•Enlarged jaw (prognathism) and tongue
•Excessive height (when excess growth hormone production begins in childhood)
•Excessive sweating
•Headache
•Hoarseness
•Joint pain
•Limited joint movement
•Sleep apnea
•Swelling of the bony areas around a joint
•Thickening of the skin, skin tags
•Widely spaced teeth
•Widened fingers or toes due to skin overgrowth with swelling, redness, and pain

Other symptoms that may occur with this disease:
•Excess hair growth in females...click & see
•Weight gain (unintentional)……click & see

Causes:-

Pituitary adenoma
In over 90 percent of acromegaly patients, the overproduction of growth hormones is caused by a benign tumor of the pituitary gland, called an adenoma. The pituitary gland, which is located just below the brain, controls the production and release of several different hormones, including growth hormone.

click & see

These tumors produce excess growth hormones and, as they expand, compress surrounding brain tissues, such as the optic nerves. This expansion causes the headaches and visual disturbances that often accompany acromegaly. In addition, compression of the surrounding normal pituitary tissue can alter production of other hormones, leading to changes in menstruation and breast discharge in women and impotence in men because of reduced testosterone production.

There is a marked variation in rates of GH production and the aggressiveness of the tumor. Some adenomas grow slowly and symptoms of growth hormone excess are often not noticed for many years. Other adenomas grow rapidly and invade surrounding brain areas or the sinuses, which are located near the pituitary. In general, younger patients tend to have more aggressive tumors.

Most pituitary tumors arise spontaneously and are not genetically inherited. Many pituitary tumors arise from a genetic alteration in a single pituitary cell which leads to increased cell division and tumor formation. This genetic change, or mutation, is not present at birth, but is acquired during life. The mutation occurs in a gene that regulates the transmission of chemical signals within pituitary cells; it permanently switches on the signal that tells the cell to divide and secrete growth hormones. The events within the cell that cause disordered pituitary cell growth and growth hormone oversecretion currently are the subject of intensive research.

Other tumors
In a few patients, acromegaly is caused not by pituitary tumors but by tumors of the pancreas, lungs, and adrenal glands. These tumors also lead to an excess of GH, either because they produce GH themselves or, more frequently, because they produce GHRH (Growth Hormone Releasing Hormone), the hormone that stimulates the pituitary to make GH. In these patients, the excess GHRH can be measured in the blood and establishes that the cause of the acromegaly is not due to a pituitary defect. When these non-pituitary tumors are surgically removed, GH levels fall and the symptoms of acromegaly improve.

In patients with GHRH-producing, non-pituitary tumors, the pituitary still may be enlarged and may be mistaken for a tumor. Therefore, it is important that physicians carefully analyze all “pituitary tumors” removed from patients with acromegaly in order not to overlook the possibility that a tumor elsewhere in the body is causing the disorder.

Pituitary gigantism
This condition of growth hormone excess is rare in children and is referred to as pituitary gigantism, because the excessive growth hormone produces excessive growth of bones and the child can achieve excessive height; from 2.1 to 2.7 m (6’11″ to 8’11″) in stature by adulthood if left untreated. As an affected child becomes an adult, many of the adult problems can gradually develop. The distinction between gigantism (occurring in children) and acromegaly (occurring in adults) can be made by the occurrence of the adenoma in relation to the closure of the epiphyses. If elevated growth hormone levels occur before the closure of the epiphyses (i.e. in prepubertal children), then gigantism ensues. If it occurs after the closure of the epiphyses (i.e., in adults) then acromegaly ensues.

Diagnosis:
If acromegaly is suspected, medical imaging and medical laboratory investigations are generally used together to confirm or rule out the presence of this condition.

*IGF1 provides the most sensitive and useful lab test for the diagnosis of acromegaly. A single value of the Growth hormone (GH) is not useful in view of its pulsatality (levels in the blood vary greatly even in healthy individuals). GH levels taken 2 hours after a 75 or 100 gram glucose tolerance test are helpful in the diagnosis: GH levels are suppressed below 1 ?g/L in normal people, and levels higher than this cutoff are confirmatory of acromegaly.

*Other pituitary hormones have to be assessed to address the secretory effects of the tumor as well as the mass effect of the tumor on the normal pituitary gland. They include TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone), gonadotropic hormones (FSH,LH), ACTH (adrenocorticotropic hormone), prolactin.

Exams and Tests
*High growth hormone level
*High insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) level
*Spine x-ray shows abnormal bone growth
*Echocardiogram may show an enlarged heart, leaky mitral valve, or leaky aortic valve
*An MRI of the brain focusing on the sella turcica after gadolinium administration allows for clear delineation of the pituitary and the hypothalamus and the location of the tumor.

This disease may also change the results of the following tests:

*Fasting plasma glucose
*Glucose tolerance test

Treatment:
The goals of treatment are to reduce GH production to normal levels, to relieve the pressure that the growing pituitary tumor exerts on the surrounding brain areas, to preserve normal pituitary function, and to reverse or ameliorate the symptoms of acromegaly. Currently, treatment options include surgical removal of the tumor, drug therapy, and radiation therapy of the pituitary.

Once the diagnosis has been confirmed by blood tests and scans, treatment can be provided. This may include a combination of surgery to remove the tumour, radiotherapy to destroy any tumour cells and drugs to suppress the production of GH.

Surgery is a rapid and effective treatment, of which there are two alternative methods. The first method, a procedure known as Endonasal Transphenoidal surgery, involves the surgeon reaching the pituitary through an incision in the nasal cavity wall. The wall is reached by passing through the nostrils with microsurgical instruments. The second method is Transsphenoidal surgery during which an incision is made into the gum beneath the upper lip. Further incisions are made to cut through the septum to reach the nasal cavity, where the pituitary is located. Endonasal Transphenoidal surgery is a less invasive procedure with a shorter recovery time than the older method of Transphenoidal surgery, and the likelihood of removing the entire tumor is greater with reduced side-effects. Consequently, Endonasal Transphenoidal surgery is often used as a first option, with Transphenoidal and other treatments, such as, medicinal therapy or radiostatic neurosurgery being used to reduce the remaining adverse effects of the remaining tumor.

These procedures normally relieve the pressure on the surrounding brain regions and lead to a lowering of GH levels. If the surgery is successful, facial appearance and soft tissue swelling improve within a few days. Surgery is most successful in patients with blood GH levels below 40 ng/ml before the operation and with pituitary tumors no larger than 10 mm in diameter. Success depends on the skill and experience of the surgeon. The success rate also depends on what level of GH is defined as a cure. The best measure of surgical success is normalization of GH and IGF-1 levels. Ideally, GH should be less than 2 ng/ml after an oral glucose load. A review of GH levels in 1,360 patients worldwide immediately after surgery revealed that 60 percent had random GH levels below 5 ng/ml. Complications of surgery may include cerebrospinal fluid leaks, meningitis, or damage to the surrounding normal pituitary tissue, requiring lifelong pituitary hormone replacement.

Even when surgery is successful and hormone levels return to normal, patients must be carefully monitored for years for possible recurrence. More commonly, hormone levels may improve, but not return completely to normal. These patients may then require additional treatment, usually with medications.

The primary current medical treatment of acromegaly is to use somatostatin analogues — octreotide (Sandostatin) or lanreotide (Somatuline). These somatostatin analogues are synthetic forms of a brain hormone, somatostatin, which stops GH production. The long-acting forms of these drugs must be injected every 2 to 4 weeks for effective treatment. Most patients with acromegaly respond to this medication. In many patients, GH levels fall within one hour and headaches improve within minutes after the injection. Several studies have shown that octreotide and lanreotide are effective for long-term treatment. Octreotide and lanreotide have also been used successfully to treat patients with acromegaly caused by non-pituitary tumors.

Somatostatin analogues are also sometimes used to shrink large tumors before surgery.

Because octreotide inhibits gastrointestinal and pancreatic function, long-term use causes digestive problems such as loose stools, nausea, and gas in one third of patients. In addition, approximately 25 percent of patients develop gallstones, which are usually asymptomatic. In rare cases, octreotide treatment can cause diabetes. On the other hand, scientists have found that in some acromegaly patients who already have diabetes, octreotide can reduce the need for insulin and improve blood sugar control.

For those who are unresponsive to somatostatin analogues, or for whom they are otherwise contraindicated, it is possible to treat using one of the dopamine agonists, Bromocriptine (Parlodel) or Cabergoline. These have the advantage of being tablets rather than injections, and cost considerably less. These drugs can also be used as an adjunct to somatostatin analogue therapy. They are most effective in those whose pituitary tumours cosecrete prolactin. Side effects of these dopamine agonists include gastrointestinal upset, nausea, vomiting, light-headedness when standing, and nasal congestion. These side effects can be reduced or eliminated if medication is started at a very low dose at bedtime, taken with food, and gradually increased to the full therapeutic dose. However, bromocriptine lowers GH and IGF-1 levels and reduces tumor size in fewer than half of patients with acromegaly. Some patients report improvement in their symptoms although their GH and IGF-1 levels still are elevated.

The latest development in the medical treatment of acromegaly is the use of growth hormone receptor antagonists. The only available member of this family is pegvisomant (Somavert). By blocking the action of the endogenous growth hormone molecules, this compound is able to control disease activity of acromegaly in virtually all patients. Pegvisomant has to be administered subcutaneously by daily injections. Combinations of long-acting somatostatin analogues and weekly injections of pegvisomant seem to be equally effective as daily injections of pegvisomant.

Radiation therapy has been used both as a primary treatment and combined with surgery or drugs. It is usually reserved for patients who have tumor remaining after surgery. These patients often also receive medication to lower GH levels. Radiation therapy is given in divided doses over four to six weeks. This treatment lowers GH levels by about 50 percent over 2 to 5 years. Patients monitored for more than 5 years show significant further improvement. Radiation therapy causes a gradual loss of production of other pituitary hormones with time. Loss of vision and brain injury, which have been reported, are very rare complications of radiation treatments.

No single treatment is effective for all patients. Treatment should be individualized depending on patient characteristics, such as age and tumor size. If the tumor has not yet invaded surrounding brain tissues, removal of the pituitary adenoma by an experienced neurosurgeon is usually the first choice. After surgery, a patient must be monitored for a long time for increasing GH levels. If surgery does not normalize hormone levels or a relapse occurs, a doctor will usually begin additional drug therapy. The current first choice is generally octreotide or lanreotide. However, bromocriptine or cabergoline are much cheaper and easier to administer. With both types of medication, long-term therapy is necessary because their withdrawal can lead to rising GH levels and tumor re-expansion. Radiation therapy is generally used for patients whose tumors are not completely removed by surgery; for patients who are not good candidates for surgery because of other health problems; and for patients who do not respond adequately to surgery and medication.

The following medications may be used to treat acromegaly:

*Octreotide (Sandostatin) or bromocriptine (Parlodel) may control growth hormone release in some people.
*Pegvisomant (Somavert) directly blocks the effects of growth hormone, and has been shown to improve symptoms of acromegaly.

These medications may be used before surgery, or when surgery is not possible.

After treatment, periodic evaluation is necessary to ensure that the pituitary gland is working normally. Yearly evaluations are recommended.

Possible Complications:-
*Arthritis
*Cardiovascular disease
*Carpal tunnel syndrome
*Colonic polyps
*Glucose intolerance or diabetes
*High blood pressure
*Hypopituitarism
*Sleep apnea
*Spinal cord compression
*Uterine fibroids
*Vision abnormalities
*Severe headache
*Enlarged heart
*Hypertension
*Diabetes mellitus
*Heart failure
*Kidney failure
*Compression of the optic chiasm leading to loss of vision in the outer visual fields (typically bitemporal hemianopia)
*Increased palmar sweating and sebum production over the face (seborrhea) are clinical indicators of active growth hormone (GH) producing pituitary tumors. These symptoms can also be used to monitor the activity of the tumor after surgery although biochemical monitoring is confirmatory.

Prognosis :
Pituitary surgery is successful in most patients, depending on the size of the tumor and the experience of the surgeon.

Without treatment the symptoms will get worse, and the risk of cardiovascular disease increases.

Prevention:
There are no methods to prevent the condition, but early treatment may prevent complications of the disease from getting worse.

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.

Resources:

http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/000321.htm

http://www.bbc.co.uk/health/physical_health/conditions/acromegaly1.shtml

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

http://www.sd-neurosurgeon.com/diseases/pit_tumors.html

http://www.elp.manchester.ac.uk/pub_projects/2002/MNBY9APB/THEPITUITARYCLINICAL.htm

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Endocrine_growth_regulation.svg

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Zinc

Introduction:

Zinc is a kind of metallic chemical element. It is considered to be a transition metal, similar to nickel and mercury. It has the chemical symbol of ZN with an atomic number of 30. In its pure form it has a kind of light blue color. It tends to be quite brittle at room temperature but, once it is heated, it transforms into something very soft and easy to shape. In fact, it is often added to other metals in order to make them more malleable.


People have been using zinc for centuries. The ancient Hindi civilization were the first to find many applications for it. By the 1500s, though, it made its way to Europe via trade. There, it was considered rare and was quite expensive to obtain. Today, however, people have found many zinc sources and it is considered a relatively abundant chemical.

Zinc is used to make metal alloys and is usually an ingredient in making batteries and coins. Zinc oxide, on the other hand, is an ingredient in sun screen. Zinc is also needed by the body. An average person needs 11 mg of zinc ever day; lack of zinc can lead to hair loss and diarrhea. Too much zinc, on the other hand, can cause anemia. Luckily it is possible to get the recommended daily allowance of zinc through food. Some foods that are rich in zinc are seeds and whole grains. However, it is also possible to get zinc supplements, or on the other hand, multi-vitamins that are enriched with zinc.

Dietary supplement:
Zinc is included in most single tablet over-the-counter daily vitamin and mineral supplements. It is believed to possess antioxidant properties, which protect against accelerated aging of the skin and muscles of the body, although studies differ as to its effectiveness. Zinc also helps speed up the healing process after an injury.

The efficacy of zinc compounds when used to reduce the duration or severity of cold symptoms is controversial. Zinc gluconate glycine and zinc acetate are used in throat lozenges or tablets to reduce the duration and the severity of cold symptoms. Preparations include zinc oxide, zinc acetate, and zinc gluconate.

You may click to see : Alternative treatments used for the common cold#Zinc preparations

Zinc preparations can protect against sunburn in the summer and windburn in the winter.[51] Applied thinly to a baby’s diaper area (perineum) with each diaper change, it can protect against diaper rash.

The Age-Related Eye Disease Study determined that zinc can be part of an effective treatment for age-related macular degeneration. Zinc supplementation is an effective treatment for acrodermatitis enteropathica, a genetic disorder affecting zinc absorption that was previously fatal to babies born with it.

Zinc lactate is used in toothpaste to prevent halitosis. Zinc pyrithione is widely applied in shampoos because of its anti-dandruff function Zinc ions are effective antimicrobial agents even at low concentrations. Gastroenteritis is strongly attenuated by ingestion of zinc, and this effect could be due to direct antimicrobial action of the zinc ions in the gastrointestinal tract, or to the absorption of the zinc and re-release from immune cells (all granulocytes secrete zinc), or both

Biological role:
Zinc is an essential trace element, necessary for plants, animals, and microorganisms. Zinc is found in nearly 100 specific enzymes (other sources say 300), serves as structural ions in transcription factors and is stored and transferred in metallothioneins. It is “typically the second most abundant transition metal [ sic ] in organisms” after iron and it is the only metal which appears in all enzyme classes.

In proteins, Zn ions are often coordinated to the amino acid side chains of aspartic acid, glutamic acid, cysteine and histidine. The theoretical and computational description of this zinc binding in proteins (as well as that of other transition metals) is difficult.

There are 2–4 grams of zinc distributed throughout the human body. Most zinc is in the brain, muscle, bones, kidney, and liver, with the highest concentrations in the prostate and parts of the eye. Semen is particularly rich in zinc, which is a key factor in prostate gland function and reproductive organ growth.

In humans, zinc plays “ubiquitous biological roles”. It interacts with “a wide range of organic ligands”, and has roles in the metabolism of RNA and DNA, signal transduction, and gene expression. It also regulates apoptosis. A 2006 study estimated that about 10% of human proteins (2800) potentially bind zinc, in addition to hundreds which transport and traffic zinc; a similar in silico study in the plant Arabidopsis thaliana found 2367 zinc-related proteins.

In the brain, zinc is stored in specific synaptic vesicles by glutamatergic neurons and can “modulate brain excitability”. It plays a key role in synaptic plasticity and so in learning. However it has been called “the brain’s dark horse” since it also can be a neurotoxin, suggesting zinc homeostasis plays a critical role in normal functioning of the brain and central nervous system

Enzymes:
Zinc is a good Lewis acid, making it a useful catalytic agent in hydroxylation and other enzymatic reactions. The metal also has a flexible coordination geometry, which allows proteins using it to rapidly shift conformations to perform biological reactions. Two examples of zinc-containing enzymes are carbonic anhydrase and carboxypeptidase, which are vital to the processes of carbon dioxide (CO2) regulation and digestion of proteins, respectively.

In vertebrate blood, carbonic anhydrase converts CO2 into bicarbonate and the same enzyme transforms the bicarbonate back into CO2 for exhalation through the lungs. Without this enzyme, this conversion would occur about one million times slower at the normal blood pH of 7 or would require a pH of 10 or more. The non-related ?-carbonic anhydrase is required in plants for leaf formation, the synthesis of indole acetic acid (auxin) and anaerobic respiration (alcoholic fermentation).

Carboxypeptidase cleaves peptide linkages during digestion of proteins. A coordinate covalent bond is formed between the terminal peptide and a C=O group attached to zinc, which gives the carbon a positive charge. This helps to create a hydrophobic pocket on the enzyme near the zinc, which attracts the non-polar part of the protein being digested.

Other proteins:
Zinc serves a purely structural role in zinc fingers, twists and clusters. Zinc fingers form parts of some transcription factors, which are proteins that recognize DNA base sequences during the replication and transcription of DNA. Each of the nine or ten Zn2+ ions in a zinc finger helps maintain the finger’s structure by coordinately binding to four amino acids in the transcription factor. The transcription factor wraps around the DNA helix and uses its fingers to accurately bind to the DNA sequence.

In blood plasma, zinc is bound to and transported by albumin (60%, low-affinity) and transferrin (10%). Since transferrin also transports iron, excessive iron reduces zinc absorption, and vice-versa. A similar reaction occurs with copper. The concentration of zinc in blood plasma stays relatively constant regardless of zinc intake. Cells in the salivary gland, prostate, immune system and intestine use zinc signaling as one way to communicate with other cells.

Zinc may be held in metallothionein reserves within microorganisms or in the intestines or liver of animals.[156] Metallothionein in intestinal cells is capable of adjusting absorption of zinc by 15–40%. However, inadequate or excessive zinc intake can be harmful; excess zinc particularly impairs copper absorption because metallothionein absorbs both metals

Dietary intake
Foods and spices containing zincIn the U.S., the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) is 8 mg/day for women and 11 mg/day for men. Median intake in the U.S. around 2000 was 9 mg/day for women and 14 mg/day in men.[159] Red meats, especially beef, lamb and liver have some of the highest concentrations of zinc in food.

The concentration of zinc in plants varies based on levels of the element in soil. When there is adequate zinc in the soil, the food plants that contain the most zinc are wheat (germ and bran) and various seeds (sesame, poppy, alfalfa, celery, mustard). Zinc is also found in beans, nuts, almonds, whole grains, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds and blackcurrant.

Other sources include fortified food and dietary supplements, which come in various forms. A 1998 review concluded that zinc oxide, one of the most common supplements in the United States, and zinc carbonate are nearly insoluble and poorly absorbed in the body. This review cited studies which found low plasma zinc concentrations after zinc oxide and zinc carbonate were consumed compared with those seen after consumption of zinc acetate and sulfate salts. However, harmful excessive supplementation is a problem among the relatively affluent, and should probably not exceed 20 mg/day in healthy people, although the U.S. National Research Council set a Tolerable Upper Intake of 40 mg/day.

For fortification, however, a 2003 review recommended zinc oxide in cereals as cheap, stable, and as easily absorbed as more expensive forms. A 2005 study found that various compounds of zinc, including oxide and sulfate, did not show statistically significant differences in absorption when added as fortificants to maize tortillas. A 1987 study found that zinc picolinate was better absorbed than zinc gluconate or zinc citrate. However, a study published in 2008 determined that zinc glycinate is the best absorbed of the four dietary supplement types available.

Deficiency:
Zinc deficiency is usually due to insufficient dietary intake, but can be associated with malabsorption, acrodermatitis enteropathica, chronic liver disease, chronic renal disease, sickle cell disease, diabetes, malignancy, and other chronic illnesses. Symptoms of mild zinc deficiency are diverse. Clinical outcomes include depressed growth, diarrhea, impotence and delayed sexual maturation, alopecia, eye and skin lesions, impaired appetite, altered cognition, impaired host defense properties, defects in carbohydrate utilization, and reproductive teratogenesis. Mild zinc deficiency depresses immunity, although excessive zinc does also. Animals with a diet deficient in zinc require twice as much food in order to attain the same weight gain as animals given sufficient zinc.

Groups at risk for zinc deficiency include the elderly, vegetarians, and those with renal insufficiency. The zinc chelator phytate, found in seeds and cereal bran, can contribute to zinc malabsorption in those with heavily vegetarian diets. There is a paucity of adequate zinc biomarkers, and the most widely used indicator, plasma zinc, has poor sensitivity and specificity. Diagnosing zinc deficiency is a persistent challenge.

Nearly two billion people in the developing world are deficient in zinc. In children it causes an increase in infection and diarrhea, contributing to the death of about 800,000 children worldwide per year. The World Health Organization advocates zinc supplementation for severe malnutrition and diarrhea. Zinc supplements help prevent disease and reduce mortality, especially among children with low birth weight or stunted growth. However, zinc supplements should not be administered alone, since many in the developing world have several deficiencies, and zinc interacts with other micronutrients.

Zinc deficiency is crop plants’ most common micronutrient deficiency; it is particularly common in high-pH soils. Zinc-deficient soil is cultivated in the cropland of about half of Turkey and India, a third of China, and most of Western Australia, and substantial responses to zinc fertilization have been reported in these areas. Plants that grow in soils that are zinc-deficient are more susceptible to disease. Zinc is primarily added to the soil through the weathering of rocks, but humans have added zinc through fossil fuel combustion, mine waste, phosphate fertilizers, limestone, manure, sewage sludge, and particles from galvanized surfaces. Excess zinc is toxic to plants, although zinc toxicity is far less widespread.

KNOWN HAZARDS:

Toxicity:

Although zinc is an essential requirement for good health, excess zinc can be harmful. Excessive absorption of zinc suppresses copper and iron absorption. The free zinc ion in solution is highly toxic to plants, invertebrates, and even vertebrate fish.[173] The Free Ion Activity Model is well-established in the literature, and shows that just micromolar amounts of the free ion kills some organisms. A recent example showed 6 micromolar killing 93% of all Daphnia in water.

The free zinc ion is a powerful Lewis acid up to the point of being corrosive. Stomach acid contains hydrochloric acid, in which metallic zinc dissolves readily to give corrosive zinc chloride. Swallowing a post-1982 American one cent piece (97.5% zinc) can cause damage to the stomach lining due to the high solubility of the zinc ion in the acidic stomach.

There is evidence of induced copper deficiency at low intakes of 100–300 mg Zn/day; a recent trial had higher hospitalizations for urinary complications compared to placebo among elderly men taking 80 mg/day. The USDA RDA is 15 mg Zn/day. Even lower levels, closer to the RDA, may interfere with the utilization of copper and iron or adversely affect cholesterol. Levels of zinc in excess of 500 ppm in soil interfere with the ability of plants to absorb other essential metals, such as iron and manganese. There is also a condition called the zinc shakes or “zinc chills” that can be induced by the inhalation of freshly formed zinc oxide formed during the welding of galvanized materials.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has stated that zinc damages nerve receptors in the nose, which can cause anosmia. Reports of anosmia were also observed in the 1930s when zinc preparations were used in a failed attempt to prevent polio infections. On June 16, 2009, the FDA said that consumers should stop using zinc-based intranasal cold products and ordered their removal from store shelves. The FDA said the loss of smell can be life-threatening because people with impaired smell cannot detect leaking gas or smoke and cannot tell if food has spoiled before they eat it. Recent research suggests that the topical antimicrobial zinc pyrithione is a potent heat shock response inducer that may impair genomic integrity with induction of PARP-dependent energy crisis in cultured human keratinocytes and melanocytes.

Poisoning:
In 1982, the United States Mint began minting pennies coated in copper but made primarily of zinc. With the new zinc pennies, there is the potential for zinc toxicosis, which can be fatal. One reported case of chronic ingestion of 425 pennies (over 1 kg of zinc) resulted in death due to gastrointestinal bacterial and fungal sepsis, while another patient, who ingested 12 grams of zinc, only showed lethargy and ataxia (gross lack of coordination of muscle movements). Several other cases have been reported of humans suffering zinc intoxication by the ingestion of zinc coins.

Pennies and other small coins are sometimes ingested by dogs, resulting in the need for medical treatment to remove the foreign body. The zinc content of some coins can cause zinc toxicity, which is commonly fatal in dogs, where it causes a severe hemolytic anemia, and also liver or kidney damage; vomiting and diarrhea are possible symptoms. Zinc is highly toxic in parrots and poisoning can often be fatal. The consumption of fruit juices stored in galvanized cans has resulted in mass parrot poisonings with zinc

You may click to see :Use  Zinc For Cold & Flue
Resources:

http://brainz.org/what-zinc/

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

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Acrodysostosis

Alternative Names  :Arkless-Graham; Acrodysplasia; Maroteaux-Malamut

Definition:
Acrodysostosis is an extremely rare  genetic disorder that is present at birth. It is a rare congenital malformation syndrome which involves shortening of the interphalangeal joints of the hands and feet, mental deficiency in approximately 90% of affected children, and peculiar facies. Other common abnormalities include short head (as measured front to back i.e. [[ ]]), small broad upturned nose with flat nasal bridge, protruding jaw, increased bone age, Intrauterine growth retardation, juvenile arthritis and short stature. Further abnormalities of the skin, genitals, teeth, and skeleton may occur.

click & see the pictures

Most reported cases have been sporadic, but it has been suggested that the condition might be genetically related i.e. in a autosomal dominant mode of transmission. Both males and females are affected. The disorder has been associated with older parental age.

Symptoms:
•Growth problems, short arms and legs
•Frequent middle ear infections
•Hearing problems
•Unusual looking face
•Mental deficiency

People with acrodysostosis have certain bones that mature rapidly, before they’ve had enough time to grow fully. The bones most often affected are those of the nose and jaw, and the long tubular bones of the hands and feet.

This abnormal bone development results in a collection of characteristic features, including a typical facial appearance (short nose, open mouth and prominent jaw), small hands and feet.

Those with acrodysostosis often have some degree of mental retardation and learning difficulties.

Causes:
The gene responsible for acrodysostosis has not yet been identified and the condition may result from different genetic problems rather than one specific condition.

Most patients with acrodysostosis have no family history of the disease. However, sometimes the condition is passed down from parent to child.

It appears to be inherited in an autosomal dominant fashion. This means that if one parent is carrying the gene, they will be normal but there is a one in two chance that any child of theirs will have the condition and seems to be more common among older parents.

There is a slightly greater risk with fathers who are older.

Diagnosis:
Exams and Tests
A physical exam confirms this disorder.

click & see the pictures

Findings may include:

•Advanced bone age
•Bone deformities in hands and feet
•Delays in growth
•Problems with the skin, genitals, teeth, and skeleton
•Short arms and legs with small hands and feet
•Short head, measured front to back (brachycephaly)
•Short height
•Small, upturned broad nose with flat bridge
•Unusual features of the face (short nose, open mouth, jaw that sticks out)
•Unusual head
•Wide-spaced eyes (hypertelorism), sometimes with extra skin fold at corner of eye
In the first months of life, x-rays may show spotty calcium deposits, called stippling, in bones (especially the nose). Infants may also have:

•Abnormally short fingers and toes (brachydactyly)
•Early growth of bones in the hands and feet
•Short bones
•Shortening of the forearm bones near the wrist

Treatment:
There’s no cure for acrodysostosis but appropriate support by orthopaedic surgeons and paediatricians is important.

Treatment depends on the physical and mental problems that occur.

Antenatal diagnosis may be made by ultrasound examination of the bones in babies whose mother has the condition, but routine screening isn’t done.

Possible Complications:
•Arthritis
•Carpal tunnel syndrome
•Worsening range of movement in the spine, elbows, and hands

Prognosis ;
Problems depend on the degree of skeletal involvement and mental retardation. In general, patients do relatively well.

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.

Resources:

http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/001248.htm

http://www.bbc.co.uk/health/physical_health/conditions/acrodysostosis1.shtml

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

http://www.gfmer.ch/genetic_diseases_v2/gendis_detail_list.php?cat3=1098

http://health.allrefer.com/health/acrodysostosis-info.html

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Durian (Durio zibethinus L./Murr)

Botanical Name :Durio zibethinus Murr.
Family: Malvaceae/Bombacaceae
Subfamily: Helicteroideae
Tribe
: Durioneae
Genus: Durio
Kingdom:
Plantae
Order: Malvales

Scientific Names : Durio zibethinus Murr.,Durio acuminatissima Merr.

Common Names : Dulian (Lan., Sul., Mag., Bag.) ,Durian (Lan., Span., Engl.),Duren (Indonesia) ,Durio (Bag.) ,Duryan (Tag., Ilk.) ,Duyan (Sul.) ,Liu lian (Chinese) ,Civet-cat fruit tree (Engl.)


Habitat
:The durian, native to Brunei, Indonesia and Malaysia, has been known to the Western world for about 600 years. The 19th-century British naturalist Alfred Russel Wallace famously described its flesh as “a rich custard highly flavoured with almonds”.

Description:
Tree grows to a height of 20 meterw or more. Leaves are dark green, smooth and shiny above, oblong to obovate-oblong, about 20 cm long, 5 to 9 cm wide. The flowers are white to white-yellowish with a pouchlike calyx. Fruit is globular, large, 15 to 25 cm long, covered by a hard shell with stiff, sharp spines. The shell breaks into five parts to which the flesh adherent, with 2 to 4 large seeds in each section covered by the flesh. The flesh is soft and whitish with the consistency of soft cheese. The flesh has a characteristic unpleasant rank and repugnant odor, a quality that bans it from hotel lobbies and rooms. The flesh can be consumed at various stages of ripeness, and it is used to flavour a wide variety of savoury and sweet edibles in Southeast Asian cuisines. The seeds can also be eaten when cooke..

Click to see the pictures.>…..(01)...(1).(2).…..(3).…..(4).…..(5)

Durian flowers are usually closed during the daytime.The name durian comes from the Malay word duri (thorn) together with the suffix -an (for building a noun in Malay). D. zibethinus is the only species commercially cultivated on a large scale and available outside of its native region. Since this species is open-pollinated, it shows considerable diversity in fruit colour and odour, size of flesh and seed, and tree phenology. In the species name, zibethinus refers to the Indian civet, Viverra zibetha. There is disagreement regarding whether this name, bestowed by Linnaeus, refers to civets being so fond of the durian that the fruit was used as bait to entrap them, or to the durian smelling like the civet.

Durian flowers are large and feathery with copious nectar, and give off a heavy, sour and buttery odour. These features are typical of flowers pollinated by certain species of bats that eat nectar and pollen. According to research conducted in Malaysia in the 1970s, durians were pollinated almost exclusively by cave fruit bats (Eonycteris spelaea). However, a 1996 study indicated two species, D. grandiflorus and D. oblongus, were pollinated by spiderhunters (Nectariniidae) and another species, D. kutejensis, was pollinated by giant honey bees and birds as well as bats.

Propagation & Cultivation:
Durian may be propagated by seed or grafting.  Seeds must be planted fresh, as they lose viability quickly, especially if allowed to dry out.  They germinate in about a week, and are fast growing.  Durian may be grafted by cleft, side veneer or approach.  Grafted trees begin to bear in 4-5 years, while seedlings can take 15 years or more.  In Thailand, ‘Chanee’ is commonly used as a rootstock.  Other species, such as Durio malaccensis, Durio mansoni and Durio lowianus are also used as rootstocks in order to impart disease resistance to the root fungus Phytophthora palmivora.  In India, the related species Cullenia excelsa is used as a rootstock to promote early fruiting.

Durian requires a tropical climate with relatively high rainfall which is fairly well distributed throughout the year.  It grows best in fertile, deep soils with abundant organic matter and a pH of 6-7.  Trees respond well to fertilizer, mulch and manure application, and supplemental irrigation during periods of drought.  Durian produces best from sea level to about 700 feet (213 m) elevation, but is reported to fruit as high as 2,600 feet (792 m) in elevation.  In Puerto Rico, durian flowers in April and May, and fruits ripen in August and September.  Average yield for mature trees is about 50 fruits per year, each fruit weighing from 3.3-9  pounds (1.5-4 kg).

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Edible Uses: There are 30 recognised Durio species, at least nine of which produce edible fruit. Durio zibethinus is the only species available in the international market: other species are sold in their local regions. There are hundreds of durian cultivars; many consumers express preferences for specific cultivars, which fetch higher prices in the market.
The seeds are eaten, either boiled or roasted.

Medicinal Uses:
Properties and constituents:-
• Fruit is considered tonic, operative, depurative, and vermifuge.
• The odor of the flesh believed to be dues to indole compounds which are bacteriostatic.
• Study identified the three strongest sulfury durian odorants and one non-sulfurous odorant with the highest odor impact.

Parts used : Fruit. leaves and root.

Nutritional Facts
• Serving size: 1 – cup, chopped or diced (8.6 oz)
• Calories 357
• Total Fat 13.0 g
• Cholesterol 0 mg
• Total Carbs 65.8 g
• Fiber 9.2 g
• Protein 3.6 g
• Calcium 14.6 mg
• Potassium 1059.5 mg *

Folkloric
· Decoction of root and leaves taken for fevers.
· Leaves are used in medicinal baths for jaundice.
· The juice is used in a solution for bathing the head of a patient with fever.
· Fruit walls used externally for skin problems.
· In Malaya, decoction of leaves and roots used as febrifuge.
• Leaf juice applied on head for fever.
• Leaves used in medicinal baths for jaundiced patients.
• Decoction of leaves and fruits used for swelling and skin diseases.
• Flesh used as aphrodisiac.
• In China, decoction of leaves and roots used for fever. Used for colds, phlegm. Leaves used in medicinal baths for patients with jaundice. Ash of burned rind taken after childbirth. Used to improve sexual function.
• In Malaysia, leaf juice applied to head for fever.
• A Malay prescription for fever is a decoction or poultice of boiled roots of Hibiscus rosa-sinensis, Durio zibethinus, Nephelium longan, Nephelium mutabile and Artocarpus integrifolia. source

Studies
• Lipid Lowering Effect: Lipid entrapment property of polysaccharide gel (PG) extracted from fruit-hulls of durian (Durio zibethinus Murr. Cv. Mon-Thong) : Results suggest that PG from fruit-hulls of durian may be a potential dietary fiber/ medicinal supplement for a blood lipid / cholesterol lowering effect.
• Durian-Alcohol Combination: Study investigated the adverse, and sometime lethal, effect of ingesting durian while imbibing alcohol with its Disulfiram-Ethanol type reaction arising from inhibition of aldehyde dehydrogenase (ALDH). (See Toxicity below)
• Immunomodulatory / Antibacterial: Polysaccharide gel from the fruit rind of D zibethinus has been characterized to be a pectic polysaccharide with immunomodulating and antibacterial activities.
• Hyperthermic Effect / Paracetamol Interaction: Believed to have body-warming properties with concerns on consumption with paracetamol. Rat study showed no significant body temperature elevation. Rats receiving a durian-paracetamol combination showed a significant drop in body temperature. No mechanism for toxicity was identified.
• Antibacterial / Wound Healing Effect: (1) Polysaccharide gel extracted from fruit-hulls of durian seems to have a beneficial effect on wound healing in a pig study.(2) Bactericidal effect of polysaccharide gel was clearly demonstrated against S. aureus and E. coli. Study showed accelerated wound healing.
• Phenolic Content / Antioxidant Effect: Study showed the durian cultivars’ high bioactivity and total polyphenols were the main contributors to the overall antioxidant capacity and provides a source of nutritional supplement.
• Fruit-Hulls Antimicrobial Activity: PG inhibited the growth of 2 bacterial strains tested: S aureus and E coli. The yeast strains were resistant.

Toxicity
• Durian with Alcohol: Reports have been made of believed adverse and sometimes lethal effects of ingesting durian while drinking alcohol. The scientific basis has not been established. A study showed a dose-dependent inhibition of yeast ALDH (aldehyde dehydrogenase) by sulphur-rich fruit extract. Results support the role of durian fruit’s high sulphur content in its ALDH-inhibiting property providing insight into the disulfiram-ethanol-like reaction with the simulataneous fruit ingestion and alcohol consumption.

Known Hazards:
As a potassium-rich food it could be a good fruit to supplement potassium needs for patients on diuretic therapy. However, it’s potassium content should be of concern in patients with kidney failure or varying degrees of renal impairment or those already taking other forms of potassium supplementaion or potassium-sparing diuretics.

Other Uses:
• Dried rinds burned as fuel and used to smoke fish>
• Ash used to bleach silk.

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://www.stuartxchange.com/Durian.html

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

http://www.montosogardens.com/durio_zibethinus.htm

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Lime-berry

Botanical Name : Triphasia trifolia
Family: Rutaceae
Genus: Triphasia
Species: T. trifolia
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Sapindales

Other scientific Names:Limonia trifolia Burm. f. ,Limonia trifoliata Linn.,Triphasia trifoliata DC. ,Triphasia aurantiola Lour.

Common Names: Sua-sua (Bik.),Suang-kastila (Bik.),Tagimunau (Neg.), Lime-berry (Engl.),Trifoliate limeberry (Engl.),Triphasia (Engl.),Kalamansito (Ilk., Ibn.),Kamalitos (Tag.), Limoncito (Span.),Limonsitong-kastila (Bik.)

Habitat : Triphasia trifolia is native to tropical southeastern Asia in Malaysia and possibly elsewhere.Grows throughout the Philippines, in thickets and settled areas; in some places, abundant.

Description:
It is an evergreen  smooth shrub growing to a height of 2 to 3 meters.
The leaves are trifoliate, glossy dark green, each leaflet 2-4 cm long and 1.5-2 cm broad.  They have two sharp and slender spines at the base. The short-petioled leaves have three leaflets, ovate to oblong-ovate, the terminal one 2 to 4 cm long; the lateral ones, smaller. The margins are crenate. Flowers are very short-stalked, white, fragrant, and about 1 cm long. Fruit is ovoid, fleshy and red, somewhat resinous, about 12 mm long, similar to a small Citrus fruit.

CLICK TO SEE THE PICTURES

Cultivation:
It is grown for its edible fruit, and has been widely introduced to other subtropical to tropical regions of the world; it has become naturalized on a number of islands in the tropical Pacific Ocean.

This tree is also considered a weed in other introduced locations.

Edible Uses:
*Fruit is edilbe, raw or cooked.
*Ripe fruit is pleasant and sweet tasting.
*Fruit can be pickled or made into jams.

Medicinal Uses:
Parts utilized  :Leaves and fruits.

Constituents and Properties
• Berries are lemon-scented.
• Fragrant white flowers have a scent of orange blossoms.
• Leaves exude a resinous scent when bruised.
• Considered antifungal and antibacterial.
• Study yielded a new bicoumarin from the leaves and stems; the two coumarinic moieties are derivatives of mexoticin and meranzin hydrate.
• From the oil 81 compounds were identified, the main constituent was germacrene B.

Folkloric
*Leaves applied externally for colic, diarrhea, and skin afflictions.
*Fruits used for cough and sore throat.
*Preparation: Peel the fruits and soak overnight lime (apog) water. Rinse, and boil in 1 cup water with 1/2 cup sugar. Rinse and boil a second and third time as preferred, syrupy or candied, using as needed for cough or sore throat.

Studies
• Phenolics / Anti-HSV: Study on the inhibitory effects of phenolic compounds on herpes simplex virus and HIV included 13 coumarins from Triphasia trifolia. The data suggests the bis-hydroxyphenyl structure as a potential target for anti-HSV and HIV drugs development.
• Bicoumarin: Study yielded a new bicoumarin from the leaves and stems of Triphasia trifolia.The two coumarinic moieties are derivatives of mexoticin and meranzin hydrate.

Others Uses:
*Leaves used in making aromatic bath salts.
*Leaves used as cosmetic.
*Cultivated for its ornamental fragrant flower and edible red fruit. Attractive as a garden hedge.
*The Limeberry has been used as a bonsai plant…....CLICK & SEE….

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://www.stuartxchange.com/Limonsito.html

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

http://www.tradewindsfruit.com/limeberry.htm

http://www.artofbonsai.org/galleries/worldview06.php

Acoustic neuroma

Other Names : Acoustic neurilemmoma, Acoustic neurinoma, Auditory tumor, Vestibular schwannoma


Definition:

Acoustic neuroma is a non-cancerous tumor that develops on the nerve that connects the ear to the brain.  The neuroma actually arises from cells called Schwann cells that cover the nerve, rather than from the nerve itself, and is therefore correctly called a vestibular schwannoma.

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The tumor usually grows slowly. As it grows, it presses against the hearing and balance nerves. At first, you may have no symptoms or mild symptoms. They can include

*Loss of hearing on one side
*Ringing in ears
*Dizziness and balance problems

Acoustic neuroma can be difficult to diagnose, because the symptoms are similar to those of middle ear problems. Ear exams, hearing tests and scans can show if you have it.

If the tumor stays small, you may only need to have it checked regularly. If you do need treatment, surgery and radiation are options. If the tumors affect both hearing nerves, it is often because of a genetic disorder called neurofibromatosis. The tumor can also eventually cause numbness or paralysis of the face. If it grows large enough, it can press against the brain, becoming life-threatening.


Symptoms
:
Invariably the acoustic neuroma develops only on one side of the head, causing symptoms to occur in that ear. These may include:

*Ringing (tinnitus) in the affected ear
*Vertigo
*Headaches, facial numbness, deterioration of sight and loss of co-ordination are late symptoms
*Hearing loss, usually gradual — although in some cases sudden — and occurring on only one side or more pronounced on one side
*Unsteadiness, loss of balance
*Dizziness (vertigo)
*Facial numbness and weakness

In rare cases, an acoustic neuroma may grow large enough to compress the brainstem and be life-threatening.

Causes:

The cause of acoustic neuromas — tumors on the main nerve leading from your inner ear to your brain (vestibulocochlear nerve) — appears to be a malfunctioning gene on chromosome 22. Normally, this gene produces a protein that helps control the growth of Schwann cells covering the nerves. What makes this gene malfunction isn’t clear. Scientists do know the faulty gene is inherited in about half the cases of neurofibromatosis 2, a rare disorder that typically involves the growth of tumors on the vestibulocochlear nerve on each side of the head (bilateral neuromas).

Most people are between the ages of 40 and 60 when an acoustic neuroma is discovered but why they develop one in the first place is unclear.

Acoustic neuromas may occur sporadically (meaning the cause is unknown), or in some cases occur as part of von Recklinhausen neurofibromatosis, in which case the neuroma may take on one of two forms.

In Neurofibromatosis type I, a schwannoma may sporadically involve the 8th nerve, usually in adult life, but may involve any other cranial nerve or the spinal root. Bilateral acoustic neuromas are rare in this type.
In Neurofibromatosis type II, bilateral acoustic neuromas are the hallmark and typically present before the age of 21. These tumors tend to involve the entire extent of the nerve and show a strong autosomal dominant inheritance. Incidence is about 5 to 10%.

The usual tumor in the adult presents as a solitary tumor, originating in the nerve. It usually arises from the vestibular portion of the 8th nerve, just within the internal auditory canal. As the tumor grows, it usually extends into the posterior fossa to occupy the angle between the cerebellum and the pons (cerebellopontine angle). Because of its position, it may also compress the 5th, 7th, and less often, the 9th and 10th cranial nerves. Later, it may compress the pons and lateral medulla, causing obstruction of the cerebrospinal fluid and increased intracranial pressure.

Schwannomas can occur in relation to other cranial nerves or spinal nerve roots, resulting in radiculopathy or spinal cord compression. Trigeminal neuromas are the second most common form of schwannomas involving cranial nerves. Schwannomas of other cranial nerves are very rare.

Diagnosis:
Signs and symptoms of acoustic neuroma are likely to develop gradually and because hearing loss, tinnitus and problems with balance can be indicators of other middle and inner ear problems, it may be difficult for your doctor to detect the tumor in its early stages. Acoustic neuromas often are found during screening for other conditions.

After asking questions about your symptoms, your doctor will conduct an ear exam and may request the following tests:

*Hearing test (audiometry). During this test conducted by a hearing specialist (audiologist), you wear earphones and hear sounds directed to one ear at a time. The audiologist presents a range of sounds of various tones and asks you to indicate each time you hear the sound. Each tone is repeated at faint levels to find out when you can barely hear. The audiologist will also present various words to determine your hearing ability.

*Brainstem auditory evoked response (BAER). This test checks hearing and neurological functions. Electrodes on your scalp and earlobes capture your brain’s responses to clicking noises you hear through earphones and record the responses on a graph.

*Electronystagmography (ENG). This test evaluates balance (vestibular) function by detecting abnormal rhythmic eye movement (nystagmus) often present with inner ear conditions. The test measures your involuntary eye movements while stressing your balance in various ways.

*Scans. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or computerized tomography (CT) scans of your head can provide images that confirm the presence of an acoustic neuroma.

Treatment :
Acoustic neuroma is a non-cancerous growth, which means it won’t spread to and damage other parts of the body. But it can continue to grow where it is, inside the skull.

It’s important to have it removed because although it grows slowly it can press on the nerves and part of the brain, causing permanent damage. This may result in hearing loss, poor balance and coordination, weakness in the muscles of the face and pain.

When a neuroma is suspected, diagnosis can be confirmed using a CT (computerised tomography) or MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) scan. These can also show the size and position of the tumour.

Most acoustic neuromas are surgically removed, after which many of the symptoms should disappear. This is more likely to be the case when the neuroma is small. Larger neuromas may have done irreversible damage to the brain and nerves before or during surgery.

Many patients have already lost a significant amount of hearing prior to surgery and this is not something that can be reversed although 40 per cent of patients who had tinnitus (ringing in the ears) noticed an improvement in that symptom after surgery.

This is why it’s best to treat an acoustic neuroma sooner rather than later. However, because they’re slow growing, only 1-2mm a year, very small neuromas may initially be just carefully monitored.

Stereotactic Radiotherapy (‘gamma knife’) may also be used to treat an acoustic neuroma.

Risk Factors:
The only known risk factor for acoustic neuroma is having a parent with the rare genetic disorder neurofibromatosis 2, but this accounts for only a minority of cases. A hallmark characteristic of neurofibromatosis 2 is the development of benign tumors on the acoustic nerves on both sides of your head, as well as on other nerves.

Neurofibromatosis 2 is known as an autosomal dominant disorder, meaning the mutation occurs on a nonsex chromosome (autosome) and can be passed on by just one parent (dominant gene). Each child of an affected parent has a 50-50 chance of inheriting it.

Other possible but unconfirmed risk factors for acoustic neuroma include:

*Exposure to loud noise
*Childhood exposure to low-dose radiation of the head and neck
*History of parathyroid adenoma, a benign tumor of the parathyroid glands in the neck
*Heavy use of cellular telephones

Copying & Support:

Dealing with the possibility of hearing loss and facial paralysis and deciding which treatment would be best for you can be quite stressful. Here are some suggestions you may find helpful:

*Educate yourself about acoustic neuroma. The more you know, the better prepared you’ll be to make good choices about treatment. Besides talking to your doctor and your audiologist, you may want to talk to a counselor or medical social worker. Or you may find it helpful to talk to other people who’ve had an acoustic neuroma and learn more about their experiences during treatment and beyond.
*Maintain a strong support system. Family and friends can help you tremendously as you go through this difficult time. Sometimes, though, you may find the concern and understanding of other people with acoustic neuroma especially comforting. Your doctor or a medical social worker may be able to put you in touch with a support group. Or you may find a real or virtual support group through the Acoustic Neuroma Association.

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.

Resources:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/health/physical_health/conditions/acousticneuroma.shtml

http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/acousticneuroma.html

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

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/acoustic-neuroma/DS00803

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Mañgoñgot

Botanical Name :Clerodendrum inerme (Linn.) Gaertn
Family : Verbenaceae

Other Scientific Names:  Clerodendrum commersonii Spreng.,Clerodendrum nerifolium Wall. ,Volkameria commersonii Poir.,Volkameria inermis Linn. ,Volkameria nereifolia Roxb.,Clerodendrum capsulare Blanco,

Common Names: Gaertn. Ang-angri (Ilk.),Baliseng (Bis.),Busel-busel (Ilk.),Mañgoñgot (Tag.),Samin-añga (Sul.),Tabang-oñgong (P. Bis.),Seaside clerodendron (Engl.) ,Garden quinine (Engl.) ,Sorcerer’s bush (Engl.),Wild jasmine (Engl.) ,Ku lang shu (Chin.)

Habitat : Mañgoñgot is found along the seashore and beside tidal streams throughout the Philippines. It also occurs in India to Formosa, and through Malaya to tropical Australia and Polynesia.

Description:
This plant is an erect or somewhat straggling shrub 1 to 4 meters high. The leaves are ovate, oblong-ovate, or elliptic-ovate, 4 to 8 centimeters long, 2 to 5 centimeters wide, shinning, smooth, entire, and pointed at the tip. The inflorescence (cyme) is usually composed of three flowers and is borne in the axils of the leaves. The calyx is green, narrowly funnel-shaped, and furnished with 5 very short teeth. The corolla is about 3 centimeters long and comprises a slender, white tube spreading, purple-tinged lobes which are about 7 millimeters long. The stamens are long-exserted, and purple. The fruit is obovoid, about 1.5 centimeters long, and splitting into 4 pyrenes. The calyx in the fruit is about 1 centimeter in diameter.

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Medicinal Uses:
Parts used: Root, leaves.

Constituents:
* Leaves yield a bitter principle that is entirely removed by ether; and treatment with alcohol and water yields extracts free from bitterness. The bitter principle shows a resemblance to Chiretta (Swertia chirata), a gentianaceous plant.
* Leaves also yield a fragrant stearoptin with an apple-like odor; resin; gum; brown coloring matter; and ash containing a large amount of sodium chloride (24.01% of the ash).
* Study of hexane extract of the aerial parts isolated an aliphatic glucoside characterized as pentadecanoic acid-ß-D-glucoside. A butanol extract yielded acacetin and apigenin.

Properties:
*Leaves are mucilaginous and fragrant.
*Considered alterative, febrifuge and resolvent.

Folkloric
*In the Philippines, root decoction is used as febrifuge and alterative.
*Leaves are used in poultices as resolvent.
*Elsewhere, the root, boiled in oil, is applied like a liniment for rheumatism.
*In Guam, the bitter root, leaves and wood are used by natives as a remedy for intermittent fevers.
*Poultices of leaves used for swellings to prevent suppuration.
*Leaves and roots, in tincture and decoction, used as substitute for quinine.
*Juice of leaves and root used as alterative in scrofulous and venereal diseases.
*Poultices of leaves applied to resolve buboes.
*Leaf bath recommended for mani and for itches.
*At one time, sailors of Macassar were reported to take the fruit, seeds and roots to sea, and a decoction or pounded seeds were ingested when taken sick by ingestion of poisonous fish and crabs.
*Leaves, eaten with rice, used to increase the appetite.
*In Java, fruit used as medicine for dysentery.
*In Africa, used to treat hypertension.
*In traditional Indian medicine, leaves used for treating fever, cough, skin rahses, boils; also, for treating umbilical cord infection and cleaning the uterus.

Studies :
• Megastigmane / Iridoid Glucosides: Study of aerial parts of C. inerme yielded two megastimane glucosides (sammangaosides A and B) and an iridoid glucoside (sammangaoside C) with 15 known compounds.
Hepatoprotective: Study of ethanolic extract of C. inerme leaves in CCl4-induced liver damage in Swiss albino rats showed hepatoprotective activity with significant reduction of liver enzymes ALT, AST and alkaline phosphatase, with significant increase in glutathione level.
Hypotensive Activity: Study of aqueous extract of Clerodendrum inerme leaves showed a hypotensive effect attributted to the presence of chemical elements such as alkaloids and polyphenols. Results support its traditional use for its hypotensive effect.
• Antifungal: Study of the ethyl acetate and hexane extracts of leaves and stems of C. inerme and C. phlomidis showed both inhibited inhibition of all plant and human pathogenic fungi. The leaf extract of C. inerme inhibited plant pathogenic fungi better than the human dermatophytes.
• Antioxidant / Free Radical Scavenging Activity: Study of methanolic extract of leaves of C. inerme showed free radical scavenging activity increasing with concentration, with maximum activity at 2500 mg/mL. Antioxidant activity may be due to phenolic compounds.
• Antibacterial / Wound Healing: Study of methanol, ethyl acetate and aqueous extracts showed significant inhibition against 15 of 18 bacterial tested. Results clearly showed the leaves were effective in controlling bacterial pathogens, particular gram positive bacteria. Results also confirmed its utility as a wound-healing agent.
• Anti-Inflammatory / Analgesic: Study of the methanol extract of C. inerme in animal models exhibited anti-inflammatory activty. In addition, it showed significant analgesic activity in acetic acid induced-writhing model. The effects were attributed largely to its antioxidant and lysosomal membrane stabilizing effects.

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://www.bpi.da.gov.ph/Publications/mp/pdf/m/mangongot.pdf

http://www.stuartxchange.com/Mangongot.html

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