TB (Tuberculosis) Skin Test Or Mantoux Test

 

Introduction :
The Mantoux skin test consists of an intradermal injection of exactly one tenth of a milliliter (mL) of PPD tuberculin. The size of induration is measured 48–72 hours later. Erythema (redness) should not be measured.The Mantoux test (also known as the Mantoux screening test, Tuberculin Sensitivity Test, Pirquet test, or PPD test for Purified Protein Derivative) is a diagnostic tool for tuberculosis. It is one of the two major tuberculin skin tests used in the world, largely replacing multiple-puncture tests such as the Tine test. Until 2005, the Heaf test was used in the United Kingdom, but the Mantoux test is now used. The Mantoux test is also used in Australia, Canada, Hungary, The Netherlands, Portugal, South Africa and the United States and is endorsed by the American Thoracic Society and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). It was also used in the USSR and is now prevalent in most of the former Soviet states

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The Mantoux skin test consists of an intradermal injection of exactly one tenth of a milliliter (mL) of PPD tuberculin.

 

The size of induration is measured 48–72 hours later. Erythema (redness) should not be measured.
.Tuberculosis is a bacterial infection that most often involves the lungs, but can involve many other organs. Although antibiotics can treat most cases, TB remains one of the most common causes of death worldwide. The TB skin test, also called the purified protein derivative (PPD) test or Mantoux test, shows if you’ve ever been infected with the bacteria that cause tuberculosis. Infections with these bacteria can be active or inactive. In active infections, the bacteria are reproducing rapidly, and the person is contagious when he or she coughs. In people with inactive infections, the bacteria are alive deep within the lungs, but “asleep.” Because inactive infections can later “wake up” and become active, it is important to recognize and treat both types of TB infections.

History:
Tuberculin is a glycerine extract of the tubercule bacilli. Purified protein derivative (PPD) tuberculin is a precipitate of non-species-specific molecules obtained from filtrates of sterilized, concentrated cultures. It was first described by Robert Koch in 1890. The test is named after Charles Mantoux, a French physician who developed on the work of Koch and Clemens von Pirquet to create his test in 1907.

In 1939, M. A. Linnikova in the USSR created a modified version of PPD. In 1954, the Soviet Union started mass production of PPD-L, named after Linnikova.

Procedure:
A standard dose of 5 Tuberculin units (0.1 mL) (The standard Mantoux test in the UK consists of an intradermal injection of 2TU of Statens Serum Institute (SSI) tuberculin RT23 in 0.1ml solution for injection.) is injected intradermally (between the layers of dermis) and read 48 to 72 hours later. A person who has been exposed to the bacteria is expected to mount an immune response in the skin containing the bacterial proteins.

The reaction is read by measuring the diameter of induration (palpable raised hardened area) across the forearm (perpendicular to the long axis) in millimeters. If there is no induration, the result should be recorded as “0 mm”. Erythema (redness) should not be measured.

If a person has had a history of a positive tuberculin skin test, another skin test is not needed

How do you prepare for the test?
Because vaccinations and steroids can affect the results of the test, tell your doctor if you’ve recently been vaccinated for an infectious disease or if you’re taking a steroid medication.

Classification of tuberculin reaction:
The results of this test must be interpreted carefully. The person’s medical risk factors determine at which increment (5 mm, 10 mm, or 15 mm) of induration the result is considered positive.  A positive result indicates TB exposure.

*5 mm or more is positive in

*HIV-positive person

*Recent contacts of TB case

*Persons with nodular or fibrotic changes on chest x-ray consistent with old healed TB

*Patients with organ transplants and other immunosuppressed patients

*10 mm or more is positive in

*Recent arrivals (less than 5 years) from high-prevalence countries

*Injection drug users

*Residents and employees of high-risk congregate settings (e.g., prisons, nursing homes, hospitals, homeless shelters, etc.)

*Mycobacteriology lab personnel

*Persons with clinical conditions that place them at high risk (e.g., diabetes, prolonged corticosteroid therapy, leukemia, end-stage renal disease, chronic malabsorption syndromes, low body weight, etc)

*Children less than 4 years of age, or children and adolescents exposed to adults in high-risk categories

*15 mm or more is positive in

*Persons with no known risk factors for TB

*(Note: Targeted skin testing programs should only be conducted among high-risk groups)

A tuberculin test conversion is defined as an increase of 10 mm or more within a 2-year period, regardless of age.

False positive result:
A false positive result may be caused by nontuberculous mycobacteria or previous administration of BCG vaccine. Prior vaccination with BCG may result in a false-positive result for many years afterwards

BCG vaccine and the Mantoux test:
There is disagreement about the role of Mantoux testing in people who have been vaccinated. The US recommendation is that tuberculin skin testing is not contraindicated for BCG-vaccinated persons and that prior BCG vaccination should not influence the interpretation of the test. The UK recommendation is that interferon-? testing should be used to help interpret positive Mantoux tests, and that serial tuberculin skin testing must not be done in people who have had prior BCG vaccination. Please refer to the chapter on latent tuberculosis for a discussion of the two approaches. In general, the US recommendation results in a much larger number of people being falsely diagnosed with latent tuberculosis, while the UK approach probably misses patients with latent tuberculosis who should be treated.

According to the U. S. guidelines, latent TB infection (LTBI) diagnosis and treatment for LTBI is considered for any BCG-vaccinated person whose skin test is 10 mm or greater, if any of these circumstances are present:

*Was in contact with another person with infectious TB

*Was born or has lived in a high TB prevalence country

*Is continually exposed to populations where TB prevalence is high.

Anergy testing:
In cases of anergy, a lack of reaction by the body’s defence mechanisms when it comes into contact with foreign substances, the tuberculin reaction will occur weakly, thus compromising the value of Mantoux testing. For example, anergy is present in AIDS, a disease which strongly depresses the immune system. Therefore, anergy testing is advised in cases where suspicion is warranted that it is present. However, routine anergy skin testing is not recommended.

Two-step testing:
Some people who were previously infected with TB may have a negative reaction when tested years after infection, as the immune system response may gradually wane. This initial skin test, though negative, may stimulate (boost) the body’s ability to react to tuberculin in future tests. Thus, a positive reaction to a subsequent test may be misinterpreted as a new infection, when in fact it is the result of the boosted reaction to an old infection.

Use two-step testing for initial skin testing of adults who will be retested periodically (e.g., health care workers). This ensures that any future positive tests can be interpreted as being caused by a new infection, rather than simply a reaction to an old infection.

*Return to have first test read 48–72 hours after injection

*If first test is positive, consider the person infected.

*If first test is negative, give second test 1–3 weeks after first injection

*Return to have second test read 48–72 hours after injection

*If second test is positive, consider person previously infected

*If second test is negative, consider person uninfected [6]

A person who is diagnosed as “infected” on two-step testing is called a “tuberculin converter”. The US recommendation that prior BCG-vaccination be ignored results in almost universal false diagnosis of tuberculosis infection in people who have had BCG (mostly foreign nationals). Please refer to the chapter on BCG for a discussion of boosting. The UK guidelines avoid this error

Recent developments:
As a replacement for the Mantoux test, several other tests are being developed. QuantiFERON-TB Gold is a blood test that measures the patient’s immune reactivity to the TB bacteria and is useful for initial and serial testing of persons with an increased risk of latent or active tuberculosis infection. Guidelines for the use of QuantiFERON-TB Gold were released by the CDC in December 2005. QuantiFERON-TB Gold is FDA approved in the United States, has CE Mark approval in Europe and has been approved by the MHLW in Japan.

Heaf Test:
The Heaf test is a tuberculin skin test formerly used in the United Kingdom, but discontinued in 2005.

The equivalent Mantoux test positive levels done with 10 TU (0.1 mL 100 TU/mL, 1:1000) are

*<5 mm induration (Heaf 0-1)

*5-15 mm induration (Heaf 2)

*>15 mm induration (Heaf 3-4)

Risk Factors:There are no risks.

Results:The result is known two to three days later when the skin is examined. If the test is positive, your doctor may do blood or urine tests and x-rays of the chest and possibly other parts of the body to look for evidence of an active infection. If you do not have an active infection, your doctor might prescribe an antibiotic given over several months, to help prevent you from developing active tuberculosis. If you do have an active infection, a much more intensive treatment involving multiple antibiotics is required.

Sources:
https://www.health.harvard.edu/fhg/diagnostics/tb-skin-test.shtml
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mantoux_test

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Nalleru

Botanical Name:Cissus quadrangula L.
Family :Vitaceae
syn.: Vitis quadrangula (L.) Wallich ex Wight & Arn.
English Names: edible-stemmed vine
Common (Indian) Names:-
Sanskrit: asthisonhara; vajravalli Hindi: hadjod; hadjora; harsankari
Bengali: hasjora; harbhanga
Marathi: chaudhari; kandavela
Gujrati: chadhuri; vedhari
Telugu: nalleru
Tamil: pirandai
Canarese: mangaroli

Habitat : In India, it grow as wild plant. Also under cultivation in fairly large areas.

Related Species
The genus Cissus include over 350 species. Some important species are:
Cissus adnata Roxb. syn. Vitis adnata Wall. ex. Wight. (Malyalam: nadena; Telugu: kokkita yaralu)
Cissus discolor Blume syn. Vitis discolor Dalz.
Cissus pallida Planch. syn. Vitis pallida W & A. (Canarese: kondage; Telugu: nalltige; Oriya: takuonoil)
Cissus repanda Vahl. syn. Vitis repanda W & A.
Cissus repens Lan. syn. Vitis repens W & A.
Cissus setosa syn. Vitis setosa Wall.

Description: Climbing herb, tendrils simple, opposite to the leaves, leaves simple or lobbed, sometimes 3-folialate, dentate. Flowers bisexual, tetramerous, in umbellate cymes, opposite to the leaves, Calyx cup-shaped, obscurely 4-lobed. Fruit globose or obovoid fleshy berries, one seeded, dark purple to black; seeds ellipsoid or pyriform. Flowering and fruiting time May-June.

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Cultivation :In India, it is mainly grown in fence and in between tree plantations. The fence wire and trees act as support to this climbing herbs. In many parts, it is grown as field crop and given support with the help of Bamboo sticks. Propagated by seeds, grafting

Chemical Constituents : Delphinicdin-3-gentiobioside, Malvidin-3-laminaribioside, Petunidin-3-gentiobioside, 4,6-hexahydroxydiphenny glucose, gallic acid, ellagic acid.

Delphinicdin-3-gentiobioside, Malvidin-3-laminaribioside, Petunidin-3-gentiobioside, 4,6-hexahydroxydiphenny glucose, gallic acid, ellagic acid

Medicinal Properties and Uses: It is mainly used as healer of bone fractures. It is one of the very frequently used herb by traditional bone setters of India. (In Hindi Hadj=bone; Jod=to fix). It is also used for piles, asthma, digestive troubles, cough, and loss of appetite.

Ayurvedic formulations: Asthisamharaka juice, powder and decoction of dried stalks.

Other Uses: Stems and roots yield strong fiber. Young shoots are used in curries.

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://apmab.ap.nic.in/products.php?&start=20#
http://www.hort.purdue.edu/newcrop/CropFactSheets/cissus.html

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Docs Claim Leukemia Cure with Arsenic, Vitamin A

Doctors appear to have safely and successfully treated patients with cancer of the blood and bone marrow with a combination of arsenic and vitamin A, according to long-term study in China.

In an article published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the doctors said they prescribed the regimen to 85 patients and monitored them for an average of 70 months. Of these, 80 patients went into complete remission and the researchers did not find any associated long-term problems and there was no development of secondary cancers.

“Two years after the treatment, the patients had arsenic levels well below safety limits, and only slightly higher .

Sources: The Times Of India

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Now, Bypass Without Cutting a Single Bone

In what is claimed to be the first of its kind procedure in the country, doctors at Indraprastha Apollo hospital have used a minimally  invasive technique to perform a multiple graft heart bypass surgery on a 53-year-old woman without cutting through a single bone.
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The new procedure, doctors claim, is less painful than conventional bypass surgery and leads to much faster healing. “This is the first time in India multiple grafts have been put, especially at the backside of the heart, through minimally invasive coronary surgery. In conventional bypass, the sternum is cut open and that takes at least 6-8 weeks to heal. In the new method no bone is cut,” said Dr Naresh Trehan, senior cardiovascular and thoracic surgeon, Indraprastha Apollo hospital.

The new procedure can be performed on any patient needing a coronory bypass and would be especially helpful for diabetics, who take longer to recover from conventional surgery, Dr Trehan said.

The surgery was performed on Suman Singhal, who was rushed to Apollo after she had radiating pain in her left arm and was diagnosed with multiple blockages last week. Suman was informed about the new technique and was quick to give her consent. “The cosmetic damage is very less. In women, one can’t even see the scar as it is below the breast. We procured specialized instruments on Friday and operated on her the next day,” said Dr Trehan.

Three incisions were made, two of which were used to insert the equipment that stabilized the heart and from the third the surgeon manually performed the bypass. “The equipment is designed such that the two instruments stabilize the heart. One instrument, called an octopus stabiliser, is inserted from the right side and has a suction pump attached to it. This instrument sucks the heart and stabilizes it. The other instrument, inserted from the left, also helps in stabilizing the beating heart. An 8cm-long incision is made underneath the breast through which we manually put the grafts taken from the internal mammary artery and radial artery,” explained Dr Trehan.

The new technique helps put grafts at the backside of the heart. “Accessing the backside of the heart is difficult through minimally invasive surgery. Even in robotic surgery, we can’t put grafts at the backside of the heart, but we are developing it further. But here, the instrument that holds the heart is able to rotate it such that the backside is clearly visible to the surgeon,” he added.

The advantages over conventional bypass are many, say doctors. “We don’t require many blood transfusions. In Suman’s case, we didn’t require any blood transfusion. The hospital stay is also short as compared to conventional surgery in which the patient stays in hospital for 7-8 days and takes 6-8 weeks for complete recovery,” said Dr Yatin Mehta, senior consultant, anaesthesia, Indraprastha Apollo Hospital. This surgery costs less than a conventional surgery “as the number of consumables used are less and hospital stay is just for 3-4 days,” said Dr Mehta.

Sources: The Times Of India

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Otaheite Gooseberry

Botanical Name:Phyllanthus acidus
Family: Phyllanthaceae

Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Malpighiales
Tribe: Phyllantheae
Subtribe: Flueggeinae
Genus: Phyllanthus
Species: P. acidus
Parts Used :  Whole plant
Other Names:Malay gooseberry, Tahitian gooseberry, country gooseberry, star gooseberry, West India gooseberry or simply gooseberry tree,Kuppanti, Buddabudama / Tankari / Physalis minima, Linn.
In Telugu it is called Nela Usiri
Habitat:This tropical or subtropical species is thought to originate in Madagascar, then carried to the East Indies. Now it is generally found in South India, and Southeast Asia countries, such as Southern Vietnam, Laos, Indonesia and Northern Malaya. It also occurs in the Indian Ocean islands of Mauritius, Réunion and Rodrigues and also in Guam, Hawaii and several other Pacific islands. In 1793, the plant was introduces to Jamaica from Timor. From there, it progressively spread to the whole Caribbean region, as far as the Bahamas or Bermuda. It is now naturalized in Central and South America.

In the United States, the tree is occasionally found as a curiosity in Florida. For instance, it is resistant enough to fruit in Tampa.

Description:The plant is a curious intermediary between shrubs and tree, reaching 2 to 9 m in height. The tree’s dense and bushy crown is composed of thickish, tough main branches, at the end of which are clusters of deciduous, greenish, 15-to-30-cm long branchlets. The branchlets bear alternate leaves that are ovate or lanceolate in form, with short petioles and pointed ends. The leaves are 2-7.5 cm long and thin, they are green and smooth on the upperside and blue-green on the underside. In general, the Otaheite gooseberry very much looks like the bilimbi tree.
You may click to see the pictures…...(01)...(1)..(2)…...(3)…...(4)..

LeavesThe flowers can be male, female or hermaphrodite. They are small and pinkish and appear in clusters in 5-to-12.5-cm long panicles. Flowers are formed at leafless parts of the main branches, at the upper part of the tree. The fruits are numerous, oblate, with 6 to 8 ribs, develop so densely that they actually form spectacular masses. They are pale yellow or white, waxy, crisp and juicy, and very sour. It has only one seed in each fruit.

Cultivation:
The Otaheite gooseberry prefers moist soil. Although it usually grows from seeds, the tree can also be multiplied from budding, greenwood cuttings or air-layers. It bears two crops per year in South India: one in April-May and the other in August-September. Elsewhere, it is mainly harvested in January. It is mostly cultivated for ornamentation.

Food Uses:
The flesh must be sliced from the stone, or the fruits must be cooked and then pressed through a sieve to separate the stones. The sliced raw flesh can be covered with sugar and let stand in the refrigerator for a day. The sugar draws out the juice and modifies the acidity so that the flesh and juice can be used as a sauce. If left longer, the flesh shrivels and the juice can be strained off as a clear, pale-yellow sirup. In Indonesia, the tart flesh is added to many dishes as a flavoring. The juice is used in cold drinks in the Philippines. Bahamian cooks soak the whole fruits in salty water overnight to reduce the acidity, then rinse, boil once or twice, discarding the water, then boil with equal amount of sugar until thick, and put up in sterilized jars without removing seeds. The repeated processing results in considerable loss of flavor. Fully ripe fruits do not really require this treatment. If cooked long enough with plenty of sugar, the fruit and juice turn ruby-red and yield a sprightly jelly. In Malaya, the ripe or unripe Otaheite gooseberry is cooked and served as a relish, or made into a thick sirup or sweet preserve. It is also combined with other fruits in making chutney and jam because it helps these products to “set”. Often, the fruits are candied, or pickled in salt. In the Philippines, they are used to make vinegar.

The young leaves are cooked as greens in India and Indonesia.
The juice can be used in beverage, or the fruit pickled in sugar. When cooked with plenty of sugar, the fruit turns ruby red and produces a kind of jelly, which is called m?t chùm ru?t in Vietnamese. It can also be salted.

The fruit is called “Grosella” in Puerto Rico. Since the fruit is tart, it if often eaten in “Dulce de Grosellas”. The preparation of this dessert consist in simmering the berries with sugar until they are soft and turn red in color. The liquid from the cooking is also used as a beverage.

Other Uses
Wood: The wood is light-brown, fine-grained, attractive, fairly hard, strong, tough, durable if seasoned, but scarce, as the tree is seldom cut down.
Root bark: The root bark has limited use in tanning in India.
Medicinal Uses:Enlargement of Spleen, to restore flaccid breasts, to restore lost vigour,Bronchitis, Erysipelas, Ulcers, Ascites,Tonic, Diuretic, Purgative.

In India, the fruits are taken as liver tonic, to enrich the blood. The sirup is prescribed as a stomachic; and the seeds are cathartic. The leaves, with added pepper, are poulticed on sciatica, lumbago or rheumatism. A decoction of the leaves is given as a sudorific. Because of the mucilaginous nature of the leaves, they are taken as a demulcent in cases of gonorrhea.

The root is drastically purgative and regarded as toxic in Malaya but is boiled and the steam inhaled to relieve coughs and headache. The root infusion is taken in very small doses to alleviate asthma. Externally, the root is used to treat psoriasis of the soles of feet. The juice of the root bark, which contains saponin, gallic acid, tannin and a crystalline substance which may be lupeol, has been employed in criminal poisoning.

The acrid latex of various parts of the tree is emetic and purgative.

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

Resources:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Otaheite_gooseberry
http://apmab.ap.nic.in/products.php?&start=10#
http://www.hort.purdue.edu/newcrop/morton/otaheite_gooseberry.html

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Chemists Shed Light On Health Benefits Of Garlic

It has long been believed that the organic compound allicin, which gives garlic its characteristic aroma and flavor, acts as the world’s most powerful antioxidant. But until now it hasn’t been clear how allicin works, or how it compares to more common antioxidants such as vitamin E and coenzyme Q10.

…………………………Garlic. Chemists have discovered the reason why garlic is so good for us. (Credit: iStockphoto/Jorge Farres Sanchez)

.A research team investigated whether allicin could be as effective as claimed. Through experiments with synthetically produced allicin, they found that sulfenic acid produced when the compound decomposes rapidly reacts with dangerous free radicals.

Researchers said that the reaction between the sulfenic acid and radicals is as fast as it can get, limited only by the time it takes for the two molecules to come into contact. No other compound has been observed to react as an antioxidant so quickly.

Sources:
Science Daily January 31, 2009

Angewandte Chemie International Edition December 22, 2008, Volume 48 Issue 1, Pages 157-160

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Chockeberries

Botanical Name:Aronia
Family:Rosaceae
Subfamily: Maloideae
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Rosales

Habitat: Native to eastern North America and most commonly found in wet woods and swamps.

Description; The chokeberries (Aronia) are two species of deciduous shrubs.The chokeberries are often mistakenly called chokecherries, which is the common name for Prunus virginiana. Further adding to the ambiguity, there is a cultivar of Prunus virginiana named ‘Melanocarpa’ easily confused with Aronia melanocarpa. In fact, the two plants are only distantly related within the Rosaceae.

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The two species are readily distinguished by their fruit color, from which the common names derive. The leaves are alternate, simple, and oblanceolate with crenate margins and pinnate venation; in autumn the leaves turn a bold red color.

Dark trichomes are present on the upper midrib surface. The flowers are small, with 5 petals and 5 sepals, and produced in corymbs of 10-25 together. Hypanthium is urn-shaped. The fruit is a small pome, with a very astringent, bitter flavor; it is eaten by birds (birds do not taste astringency and feed on them readily), which then disperse the seeds in their droppings. The name “chokeberry” comes from the astringency of the fruits which are inedible when raw.

Chokeberries are very high in antioxidant pigment compounds, like anthocyanins. They share this property with chokecherries, further contributing to confusion.

Aronia is closely related to Photinia, and has been included in that genus in some classifications (Robertson et al. 1991).

Red chokeberry,(http://www.illinoiswildflowers.info/savanna/plants/bl_chokeberry.htm)   Aronia arbutifolia, grows to 2-4 m tall, rarely up to 6 m. Leaves are 5-8 cm long and densely pubescent on the underside. The flowers are white or pale pink, 1 cm diameter, with glandular sepals. The fruit is red, 4-10 mm diameter, persisting into winter.

Red Chokeberry-aronia-arbutifolia

Black chokeberry, Aronia melanocarpa, tends to be smaller, rarely exceeding 1 m tall, rarely 3 m, and spreads readily by root sprouts. The leaves are smaller, not more than 6 cm long, with terminal glands on leaf teeth and a glabrous underside. The flowers are white, 1.5 cm diameter, with glabrous sepals. The fruit is black, 6-9 mm diameter, not persisting into winter.

Black chokberry-aronia-melanocarpa

Click to see The Berries Gallery:
.The two species can hybridise, giving the Purple Chokeberry, Aronia x prunifolia. Leaves are moderately pubescent on the underside. Few to no glands are present on the sepal surface. The fruit is dark purple to black, 7-10 mm in diameter, not persisting into winter.

Uses:
The chokeberries are attractive ornamental plants for gardens. They are naturally understory and woodland edge plants, and grow well when planted under trees. Chokeberries are resistant to drought, insects, pollution, and disease. Several cultivars have been developed for garden planting, including A. arbutifolia ‘Brilliant’, selected for its striking fall leaf color, and A. melanocarpa ‘Viking’ and ‘Nero’, selected for larger fruit suitable for jam-making.Juice from these berries is astringent and not sweet, but high in vitamin C and antioxidants. The berries can be used to make wine or jam after cooking. Aronia is also used as a flavoring or colorant for beverages or yogurts.

The red chokeberry’s fruit is more palatable and can be eaten raw. It has a sweeter flavor than the black species and is used to make jam or pemmican.

Antioxidant qualities
Aronia melanocarpa (black chokeberry) has attracted scientific interest due to its deep purple, almost black pigmentation that arises from dense contents of phenolic phytochemicals, especially anthocyanins. Total anthocyanin content in chokeberries is 1480 mg per 100 g of fresh berries, and proanthocyanidin concentration is 664 mg per 100 g (Wu et al. 2004, 2006). Both values are among the highest measured in plants to date.

The plant produces these pigments mainly in the skin of the berries to protect the pulp and seeds from constant exposure to ultraviolet radiation. By absorbing UV rays in the blue-purple spectrum, pigments filter intense sunlight and thereby have a role assuring regeneration of the species. Brightly colorful pigmentation also attracts birds and animals to consume the fruit and disperse the seeds in their droppings.

Anthocyanins not only contribute toward chokeberry’s astringent property (that would deter pests and infections) but also give Aronia melanocarpa extraordinary antioxidant strength that combats oxidative stress in the fruit during photosynthesis.

A test tube measurement of antioxidant strength, the oxygen radical absorbance capacity or ORAC, demonstrates chokeberry with one of the highest values yet recorded — 16,062 micromoles of Trolox Eq. per 100 g.

There is growing appreciation for consumers to increase their intake of antioxidant-rich plant foods from colorful sources like berries, tree or citrus fruits, vegetables, grains, and spices. Accordingly, a deep blue food source such as chokeberry yields anthocyanins in high concentrations per serving, indicating potential value as a functional food or nutraceutical.

Analysis of anthocyanins in chokeberries has identified the following individual chemicals (among hundreds known to exist in
the plant kingdom): cyanidin-3-galactoside, epicatechin, caffeic acid, quercetin, delphinidin, petunidin, pelargonidin, peonidin and malvidin. All these are members of the flavonoid category of antioxidant phenolics.
For reference to phenolics, flavonoids, anthocyanins and similar plant-derived antioxidants, Wikipedia has a list of phytochemicals and foods in which they are prominent.

Medicinal Uses:
Chokeberries’ rich antioxidant content may be beneficial as a dietary preventative for reducing the risk of diseases caused by oxidative stress. Among the models under evaluation where preliminary results show benefits of chokeberry anthocyanins are colorectal cancer (Lala et al. 2006), cardiovascular disease (Bell & Gochenaur 2006), chronic inflammation (Han et al. 2005), gastric mucosal disorders (peptic ulcer) (Valcheva-Kuzmanova et al. 2005), eye inflammation (uveitis) (Ohgami et al. 2005) and liver failure (Valcheva-Kuzmanova et al. 2004).

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

Resources:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aronia

http://www.illinoiswildflowers.info/savanna/plants/bl_chokeberry.htm

http://www.natures-health-foods.com/Aronia.html

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Turmeric The Miracle Spice

For more than 5,000 years, turmeric has been an important part of Eastern cultural traditions, including traditional Chinese medicine and Ayurveda. Valued for its medicinal properties and warm, peppery flavor, this yellow-orange spice has more recently earned a name for itself in Western medicine as well.

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Turmeric comes from the root of the Curcuma longa plant, which is native to Indonesia and southern India, and is widely used as an ingredient in curry dishes and yellow mustard. As research into this powerful spice has increased, it has emerged as one of nature’s most powerful potential healers.

Said Dr. David Frawely, founder and director of the American Institute for Vedic Studies in Santa Fe, New Mexico:

“If I had only one single herb to depend upon for all possible health and dietary needs, I would without much hesitation choose the Indian spice Turmeric. There is little it cannot do in the realm of healing and much that no other herb is able to accomplish.

Turmeric has a broad spectrum of actions, mild but certain effects, and is beneficial for long term and daily usage. Though it is a common spice, few people, including herbalists know of its great value and are using it to the extent possible. It is an herb that one should get to know and live with.”

Turmeric’s Beneficial Effects in a Nutshell:
*Strengthens and improves digestion
*Reduces gas and bloating
*Assists in the digestion of protein and with rice and bean dishes
*Improves your body’s ability to digest fats
*Promotes proper metabolism, correcting both excesses and deficiencies
*Maintains and improves intestinal flora
*Improves elimination of wastes and toxins

Supports healthy liver function and detox:
*Turmeric helps increase bile flow making it a liver cleanser that can rejuvenate your liver cells and recharge their *capability to break down toxins
*Helps to prevent alcohol and other toxins from being converted into compounds that may be harmful to your liver
*Supports formation of healthy tissue

Purifies your blood :
*Stimulates formation of new blood tissue
*Anti-inflammatory: Helps to reduce irritation to tissues characterized by pain, redness, swelling and heat

Contains curcuminoids that fight cancer, arthritis, and Alzheimer’s :-
*Curcuminoids are potent phytonutrients (plant-based nutrients) that contain powerful antioxidant properties

*Counteract the damaging effects of free radicals in your body

*Relieve arthritis pain and stiffness, anti-inflammatory agent

*Anti-carcinogenic: “Curcumin has been shown to prevent a large of number of cancers in animal studies. Laboratory data indicate that curcumin can inhibit tumor initiation, promotion, invasion, angiogenesis and metastasis.”

*Supports treatment of Alzheimer’s disease: “Because Alzheimer’s disease is caused in part by amyloid-induced inflammation, curcumin has been shown to be effective against Alzheimer’s. Clinical trials are in progress at UCLA with curcumin for *Alzheimer’s.”

Curcumin: Turmeric’s Active Anti-Inflammatory “Ingredient”:-
Most notably turmeric is known for its potent anti-inflammatory properties, which come from curcumin — the pigment that gives turmeric its yellow-orange color, and which is thought to be responsible for many of its medicinal effects. There are an estimated three to five grams of curcumin in 100 grams of turmeric.

Curcumin has been shown to influence more than 700 genes, and it can inhibit both the activity and the synthesis of cyclooxygenase-2 (COX2) and 5-lipooxygenase (5-LOX), as well as other enzymes that have been implicated in inflammation.

Turmeric’s Cancer-Fighting Properties:-
In India where turmeric is widely used, the prevalence of four common U.S. cancers — colon, breast, prostate and lung — is 10 times lower. In fact, prostate cancer, which is the most frequently diagnosed cancer in U.S. men, is rare in India and this is attributed, in part, to turmeric.

Numerous studies have looked into this potential cancer-fighting link, with promising results. For instance, curcumin has been found to:

*Inhibit the proliferation of tumor cells
*Inhibit the transformation of cells from normal to tumor
*Help your body destroy mutated cancer cells so they cannot spread throughout your body
*Decrease inflammation
*Enhance liver function
*Inhibit the synthesis of a protein thought to be instrumental in tumor formation
*Prevent the development of additional blood supply necessary for cancer cell growth

As for the results of research studies, a study in Biochemical Pharmacology found that curcumin can slow the spread of breast cancer cells to the lungs in mice.

*Curcumin acts against transcription factors, which are like a master switch,” said lead researcher, Bharat Aggarwal.

*Transcription factors regulate all the genes needed for tumors to form. When we turn them off, we shut down some genes that are involved in the growth and invasion of cancer cells.”

A second study in Biochemical Pharmacology also found that curcumin inhibits the activation of NF-kappaB, a regulatory molecule that signals genes to produce a slew of inflammatory molecules (including TNF, COX-2 and IL-6) that promote cancer cell growth.

Turmeric’s Essential Role for Your Liver:-
Your liver’s primary role is to process and remove toxins carried in your bloodstream. When functioning at its peak, it can filter up to two liters of blood per minute and easily break apart toxic molecules to reduce their toxicity. Your liver is also a crucial part of vitamin, mineral, protein, fat, carbohydrate and hormonal metabolism.

However, poor diet, allergens, pollution and stress can cause your liver to become sluggish, and this can impair its vital functions. This is where turmeric can be a very useful part of your liver support system. Studies have shown that it:

*May increase important detoxification enzymes in your liver
*Induces the formation of a primary liver detoxification enzyme, glutathione S-transferase (GST) enzymes

Turmeric is also a natural cholagogue, a medicinal agent that promotes the discharge of bile from your system. Increased bile flow is important to help your liver detoxify and to help your body digest fats.

Click to learn more about Turmeric from Dr. Mercola’s article

You may click to see:->

Turmeric slows melanoma growth in lab study
Turmeric slows breast cancer spread in mice
Turmeric could help treat cystic fibrosis

Seated Twists Give Muscles a Lift

Twisting is a part of everyday movement, but if your body is not used to doing it correctly, you could easily get injured by twisting the wrong way. Here are two seated twists that will help stretch and strengthen the muscles of your back, abdomen, hips and legs. Once you feel comfortable with twists done safely on the floor, you can progress to standing twists. Always approach twists with caution, especially if you have a sensitive back.

Step 1. Sit on the floor with both legs stretched out in front of you. Bend your right knee, foot flat on the floor next to your left inner knee. Hug your right knee with your left arm and pull your body upright so you’re sitting tall. Move your right hand behind you, placing it flat on the floor to help you maintain a vertical spine. Now rotate your upper body to the right as far as you can. Stay in this position for 10 to 20 seconds while breathing evenly. Return to the starting position and switch sides or continue to the next pose.

Step 2. Stay in the twist as you grasp the outer edge of your right foot and slowly straighten your right knee and left elbow. Keep your spine upright as you stretch your right hand out and back . Stay in this position for 10 to 20 seconds. Bend your right knee, release your foot and turn to the front. Switch legs and repeat on the other side.

Sources: Los Angeles Times

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Sputum Evaluation (and Sputum Induction)

Pneumonia fills the lung's alveoli with fluid,...
Image via Wikipedia

Introduction:
If your doctor thinks you have pneumonia, he or she might examine a sample of your sputum, the phlegm that you cough out of your lungs, to try to determine what type of bacteria or other infectious agent might be the cause.

Sputum induction is also  a new support tool for the diagnosis and evaluation of occupational asthma.
In order to evaluate a new test for helping in the diagnosis and evaluation of occupational asthma, 24 workers with occupational asthma were recruited. Besides assessing their respiratory function, their bronchial inflammation was evaluated by sputum induction, a simple method that evaluates bronchial cellularity non-invasively. The results show that the functional and inflammatory parameters of subjects with occupational asthma improve mainly in the 6 months following removal from exposure. Furthermore, it appears that the workers with eosinophilic bronchial inflammation at the time of diagnosis evolve more favourably after removal from exposure than those without this inflammation.

CLICK & SEE

How do you prepare for the test?
Drink plenty of fluids the night before the test; this may help to produce a sample.

What happens when the test is performed?
You need to cough up a sample of sputum. To be useful for testing, the stuff you cough up has to be from deep within the lungs. If your cough is too shallow or dry, the doctor might ask you to breathe in a saltwater mist through a tube or mask. This mist makes you cough deeply, usually producing an excellent phlegm sample.

You may click to see:->

Method and apparatus for inducing sputum samples for diagnostic evaluation

Lung Tests in Asthma

Risk Factor: No risk is involved.

Must you do anything special after the test is over? : Nothing

How long is it before the result of the test is known?
The technician stains the sputum sample and views it under a microscope. Some of the sample is incubated to grow the bacteria or other germs in it for further testing. This step is called a sputum culture.While some stain results might be available on the day of your test, the culture usually requires several days.

Resources:
https://www.health.harvard.edu/diagnostic-tests/sputum-evaluation.htm
http://www.irsst.qc.ca/en/_projet_3045.html

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