Months After Smoking Ban, Heart Attacks Down by 40%

A smoking ban caused heart attacks to drop by more than 40% in one US city and the decrease lasted three years, federal health experts reported.

……………………..

Pueblo, Colorado, passed a municipal law making workplaces and public places smoke-free in 2003 and US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention officials tracked hospitalizations for heart attacks afterward.

They found there were 399 hospital admissions for heart attacks in Pueblo in the 18 months before the ban and 237 heart attack hospitalizations in the next year and a half – a decline of 41%.

The effect lasted three years, the team reported in a CDC report. “We know that exposure to second-hand smoke has immediate harmful effects on people’s cardiovascular systems, and that prolonged exposure to it can cause heart disease in nonsmoking adults,” said Janet Collins, director of CDC’s National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion.

“This study adds to existing evidence that smoke-free policies can dramatically reduce illness and death from heart disease.”

Long-term exposure to secondhand smoke can raise heart disease rates in adult nonsmokers by 25% to 30%, the CDC says.

Sources: The Times Of India

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Train That Brain

The negative effect of poverty on the intellectual level of children can be reversed.

……………………………

It may be a politically incorrect question to ask, but the answer may have profound implications for socio-economic development. How well can children from poor or uneducated families do in life? One could make the question even more incorrect, but at the least, equally relevant: what is the influence of children’s family backgrounds on their subsequent mental development? Research in the last few years has provided partial answers to the question, and they are deeply disturbing.

It now turns out that a child’s brain develops according to the stimulus it receives at home.
If you do not provide complex inputs, you do not get complex brains.

To give one example, the more sophisticated the language used at home, the better the chances of good brain development in the first 10 years of a child’s life.

To put it bluntly, if the parents are uneducated, the children can often end up with deficient brains by the age of 10, compared with children from more educated families. Is this the reason why poverty runs in many families through generations?

Scientists from the University of California, Berkeley, are conducting a set of experiments to understand the real nature of the problem. They put cameras in the dining rooms of families — rich and poor — to monitor dinner time conversation. They got children to their labs and tried to give them tasks and measure the brain response. Their initial finding: the brains of children from poor families often resemble that of stroke victims by the age of 10.

Research in other labs around the world corroborates this finding, while also providing explanations as well as solutions to the problem. Parents in poor families do not talk much to their children. “We hope that parents in poor families will at least talk to their children more than they do,” says Mark Kishiyama, psychologist at the University of California, Berkeley. But even if they do, their language is not complex enough. In fact, Adele Diamond, professor of psychiatry at the University of British Columbia, has shown that children in poor families hear 30 million fewer words by the time they are four years old.

Those with low socio-economic status perform poorly in language tests and long-term memory tests. Martha Farah, director at the Centre for Cognitive Neuroscience at the University of Pennsylvania, showed such differences two years ago. Enrico Mezzacappa at the Children’s Hospital in Boston also showed three years ago that low income children perform poorly in speed and accuracy in some problems when compared with those from higher income families. While common sense can attribute these differences to a lack of education and opportunities, neuroscientists suspected that some of these disparities stemmed from differences in the brain. There is now substantial proof for the differences of brain development in children.

The problem is in an area of the brain called the prefrontal cortex. This area is in the front part of the brain, just behind the forehead. The prefrontal cortex is the seat of problem solving and creativity. A deficient prefrontal cortex makes you poor at complex tasks and problem solving. The experiment now being conducted at the University of California at Berkeley has already shown that poor children have deficient prefrontal cortex, thus substantiating the research of Martha Farah. But we also know the reasons, and other research provides us with a means of solving the problem.

It is not just the lack of intellectual stimulus that interferes with brain development. Poor children are usually under high stress, and it is known that high stress interferes with brain development, by producing chemicals that destroy neurons. Another important factor is pollution: they are exposed to a higher amount of pollutants — lead in water is an example — than children in richer families. All these factors combine to work against the brains of poor children. No wonder, then, that poor children are often not able to measure up to their richer counterparts if they manage to enter institutions of higher learning.

However, science also provides us with a solution to the problem.
“The differences in the brain of children can be reversed with proper training,” says Tom Boyce, a developmental psychobiologist at the University of British Columbia. Neuroscientists are now discovering that the brain remains plastic well into old age. For example, in experiments performed at the University of California, San Francisco, scientists have taken old rats — with only a few weeks to live — and made their brains look young purely by providing more inputs.

There is now a booming industry in the West called the brain improvement industry. Some of their products provide mental exercises with visual and auditory inputs that can improve the brain even in old age. We can thus train young brains to be on a par with those of children from more privileged backgrounds, provided we recognise the problem first.

Sources: The Telegraph (Kolkata, India)

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

St.John’s Wort

Botanical Name: Hypericum perforatum
Family: Clusiaceae

Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Malpighiales
Genus: Hypericum
Species: H. perforatum

Saint John's Wort
Image via Wikipedia

Common Names: St. John’s wort, hypericum, Klamath weed, goat weed

Other Names: Spotted St. John’s wort, Hypericum, Klamath Weed, Touch-and-heal, Goat weed, Rosin Rose

Habitat:
St. John’s Wort is a perennial herb native to North America and Canada from Nova Scotia, Ontario Quebec south to the United States, eastern states. Found growing in open sunny or partial shady areas, along roadsides in dry, gravelly soils.

Description:
St John’s wort is a perennial plant with extensive, creeping rhizomes. Its stems are erect, branched in the upper section, and can grow to 1 m high. It has opposing, stalkless, narrow, oblong leaves which are 12 mm long or slightly larger. The leaves are yellow-green in color, with transparent dots throughout the tissue and occasionally with a few black dots on the lower surface. Its flowers measure up to 2.5 cm across, have five petals, and are colored bright yellow with conspicuous black dots. The flowers appear in broad cymes at the ends of the upper branches. The sepals are pointed, with glandular dots in the tissue. There are many stamens, which are united at the base into three bundles.

.click to see the pictures…>....(01).....(1)....(2)....….(3).……(4)..
Identification
St John’s wort can be visually recognized by leaf and flower type. Yellow, five petaled flowers approximately 20 mm across occur between late Spring and early to mid Summer. Leaves exhibit obvious translucent dots when held up to the light, giving them a ‘perforated’ appearance, hence the plant’s Latin name. When flowers or seed pods are crushed, a reddish/purple liquid is produced.

Cultivation
St. John’s Wort is easy to grow from seed or root division in spring or autumn, in any well-drained but moisture retentive soil. Succeeds in dry soils, prefers sun or semi-shade.

.Seedlings of St John’s wort-

Chemical Composition:
Herb and flowers contain different flavonoids (rutin, hyperoside, isoquercetin, quercitrin, quercetin, I3,II8-biapigenin, amentoflavone, astilbin, miquelianin). Phenolic acids (chlorogenic acid, 3-O-coumaroylquinic acid). Different naphtodianthrones (hypericin, pseudohypericin, protohypericin, protopseudohypericin), phloroglucinols (hyperforin, adhyperforin). And also essential oils (composed mainly of sesquiterpenes). The naphthodianthrones hypericin and pseudohypericin along with the Phloroglucinol derivative hyperforin are thought to be the active components.

Herbal Use and Medicinal Properties:-
There are 400 species of St. John’s Wort found throughout the world, it has been used as a medicinal for thousands of years, but has only recently been studied for its medicinal value. Now proven to have many highly active compounds including rutin, pectin, choline, sitosterol, hypericin and pseudohypericin. The flowers and leaves are medicinal as analgesic, antiseptic, antispasmodic, aromatic, astringent, cholagogue, digestive, diuretic, expectorant, nervine, resolvent, sedative, stimulant, vermifuge and vulnerary. Some compounds of the plant have been shown to have potent anti-retroviral activity without serious side effects and they are being researched in the treatment of AIDS.Hypericum perforatum is thought to be a mild antidepressant of the class “MAO inhibitor.” The mechanism by which St. John’s Wort acts as an antidepressant is not fully understood. Early research indicated that this it mildly inhibits the enzyme monoamine oxidase (MAO). MAO is responsible for the breakdown of two brain chemicals – serotonin and nor epinephrine. By inhibiting MAO and increasing nor epinephrine, it may exert a mild anti-depressive action. The antidepressant or mood elevating effects of Hypericum perforatum were originally thought to be due solely to hypericin, but hypericin does not act alone, it relies on the complex interplay of many constituents such as xanthones and flavonoids for its antidepressant actions. Hypericum perforatum may also block the receptors that bind serotonin and so maintain normal mood and emotional stability.

Hypericum perforatum is used in treating a wide range of disorders, including pulmonary complaints, bladder problems, diarrhea and nervous depression. It is also very effectual in treating bed wetting in children. It has a sedative and pain reducing effect, it is especially regarded as an herb to use where there are menopausal changes triggering irritability and anxiety. In addition to neuralgic pain, it will ease fibrosistis, sciatica and rheumatic pain. The oil extract of the plant can be taken for stomach ache, colic, intestinal problems, and as an expectorant for the congestion in the lungs. Externally, a medicinal infusion of the flowers in olive oil is applied to wounds, sores, burns, ulcers, swellings, cramps, rheumatism, tumors, caked breasts, and other skin problems. It is also valued in the treatment of sunburn and as a cosmetic preparation to the skin. Persons with fair skin should avoid exposure to strong sunlight and other sources of ultraviolet light, such as tanning beds, while taking St. John’s Wort. These individuals may suffer a dermatitis, severe burning, and possibly blistering of the skin. The severity of these effects will depend on the amount of the plant consumed and the length of exposure to sunlight.

Folklore
There are many ancient superstitions regarding this plant, its name Hypericum is derived from the Greek and means ‘over an apparition,’ a reference to the belief that it smelled so obnoxious to evil spirits that a whiff of it would cause them to fly. The plant was given to have magical powers. In ancient Greece, the herb was used to treat many ailments, including sciatica and poisonous reptile bites.

Recipes:-
For depression the usual dose is 300 mg 3 times a day. Timed release capsules are now on the market as well.One should remember to take it once a day. Effects should be felt within a few weeks.

“Medicinal” tea: Pour 1 cup of boiling water over l-2 teaspoonfuls of the dried herb and steep for l0-l5 minutes. This should be drunk three times a day.

Oil: Fill a pint jar loosely with dried herb, poor olive oil to top, seal tightly and allow to infuse for 4 to 5 weeks, shaking the jar occasionally.

What the Science Says:-
*There is some scientific evidence that St. John’s wort is useful for treating mild to moderate depression. However, two large studies, one sponsored by NCCAM, showed that the herb was no more effective than placebo in treating major depression of moderate severity.

*NCCAM is studying the use of St. John’s wort in a wider spectrum of mood disorders, including minor depression.

Side Effects and Cautions:-
*St. John’s wort may cause increased sensitivity to sunlight. Other side effects can include anxiety, dry mouth, dizziness, gastrointestinal symptoms, fatigue, headache, or sexual dysfunction.

*Research shows that St. John’s wort interacts with some drugs. The herb affects the way the body processes or breaks down many drugs; in some cases, it may speed or slow a drug’s breakdown. Drugs that can be affected include:

*Antidepressants

*Birth control pills

*Cyclosporine, which prevents the body from rejecting transplanted organs

*Digoxin, which strengthens heart muscle contractions

*Indinavir and possibly other drugs used to control HIV infection

*Irinotecan and possibly other drugs used to treat cancer

*Warfarin and related anticoagulants

*When combined with certain antidepressants, St. John’s wort may increase side effects such as nausea, anxiety, headache, and confusion.

*St. John’s wort is not a proven therapy for depression. If depression is not adequately treated, it can become severe. Anyone who may have depression should see a health care provider. There are effective proven therapies available.

*Tell your health care providers about any complementary and alternative practices you use. Give them a full picture of what you do to manage your health. This will help ensure coordinated and safe care.

You may click to learn more about St. John’s Wort

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://nccam.nih.gov/health/stjohnswort/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St_John’s_Wort

 

Why Vitamin A May Not Be as Useful or Harmless as You Thought

vitamin A, vitamin D, vitamins, cod liver oil, cod, omega-3, sunshine, sunA landmark paper from the Vitamin D Council asserts that a form of vitamin A, retinoic acid, can block the activity of vitamin D by weakly activating the vitamin D response element on genes. Since vitamin D levels are crucial for human health, that means it is essential to have the proper ratio of vitamin D to vitamin A in your body.

This means that vitamin A supplementation is potentially dangerous. Vitamin A production is tightly controlled in your body, the source (substrate) being carotenoids from vegetables in your intestine. Your body uses these carotenoid substrates to make exactly the right amount of retinol. But when you take vitamin A as retinol directly, such as in cod liver oil, you intervene in this closed system and bypass the controls.

The goal is to provide all the vitamin A and vitamin D substrate your body would have obtained in a natural state, so your body can regulate both systems naturally. This is best done by eating colorful vegetables and by exposing your skin to sun every day.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Gene to Spot Early Heart Risk

A US research team led by an Indian-origin doctor has pinpointed a gene that may help identify people who are at risk of suffering a heart attack before they turn 40.

Cardiologist Svati Shah at the Duke University School of Medicine and her colleagues have shown that a variant of the gene called NPY makes people susceptible to early coronary artery disease.

. NPY Gene->….

Scientists have known for years that some people are at risk of developing coronary artery disease even in their 30s and that this condition is inherited. But no one had succeeded in identifying the genes involved.

The Duke researchers examined genetic sequences from individuals across 920 families and found that the earliest age of onset of coronary artery disease was associated with a specific variant of the NPY gene.

The researchers are hoping their discovery leads to genetic tests that will allow them to find young people at risk of early heart disease and get them to change their diet or lifestyle to reduce the risk of heart attacks.

“These young patients are a vulnerable population, but they are particularly hard to identify,” said Shah, the lead author of a research paper on the discovery published yesterday in the journal Public Library of Science Genetics. “Such genetic findings may help us in future to identify these patients prior to the development or coronary artery disease or their first heart attack.”

The connection between the gene and early heart disease was even stronger in patients with heart disease before the age of 37. “If a person has the NPY gene variants in one of two copies from the mother and father, then he/she may develop coronary disease earlier,” said Elizabeth Hauser, associate professor of medical genetics at the Duke University.

Studies on mice have confirmed that the NPY gene and its protein are involved in promoting atherosclerosis — the buildup of deposits along walls of the arteries that can choke blood flow to the heart and raise risk of a heart attack.

The Duke team’s work has shown that variants of the NPY gene can be transmitted from generation to generation across a population of patients susceptible to early onset coronary artery disease.

This gene makes an important protein in the body that regulates appetite and feeding behaviour, in addition to other functions. “If you had one or two copies of this version of the gene, there could be a change in NPY level,” Shah said.

Sources: The Telegraph (Kolkata, India)

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Lumbar Puncture (or Spinal Tap)

Definition:
A lumbar puncture, also known as a spinal tap, uses a needle to remove a sample of fluid from the space surrounding the spinal cord. This fluid is known as cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). The test is used to diagnose meningitis infections and some neurological conditions.

.click to see the pictures..>.…....(1)..………..(2).…………...(3).……
It is a procedure to collect cerebrospinal fluid to check for the presence of disease or injury. A spinal needle is inserted, usually between the 3rd and 4th lumbar vertebrae in the lower spine. Once the needle is properly positioned in the subarachnoid space (the space between the spinal cord and its covering, the meninges), pressures can be measured and fluid can be collected for testing.

Cerebral spinal fluid (CSF) is a clear fluid that circulates in the space surrounding the spinal cord and brain. CSF protects the brain and spinal cord from injury by acting like a liquid cushion. CSF is usually obtained through a lumbar puncture (spinal tap).

Preparation for the Test:

You will need to sign a consent form, which is generally required when the procedure is done outside of an emergency situation. Tell your doctor ahead of time if you have ever had an allergic reaction to lidocaine or the numbing medicine used at the dentist’s office.
Doctors routinely do a physical examination and in some cases order a brain scan before recommending a lumbar puncture, to make sure you do not have a medical condition that could put you at risk for movement of the brain during the procedure, a very rare but serious complication.

What happens when the test is performed?
Most patients wear a hospital gown. Typically, you lie on your side with your knees curled up against your chest. In some cases, the doctor asks you to sit on the bed or a table instead, leaning forward against some pillows.

The doctor feels your back to locate your lower vertebrae and feels the bones in the back of your pelvis. An area on your lower back is cleaned with soap. Medicine is injected through a small needle to numb the skin and the tissue underneath the skin in the area from which the sample is to be removed. This causes some very brief stinging.

A different needle is then placed in the same area and moved forward until fluid can be obtained through it from the spinal canal. Because the needle must be placed through a small opening between two bones, the doctor must sometimes move the needle in and out several times to locate the opening. Because of the numbing medicine used in this area, most patients experience only a sense of pressure from this movement. Occasionally some patients do get a sharp feeling in the back or (rarely) in the leg. Let your doctor know if you feel any pain.

Sometimes the doctor measures the pressure of the fluid before taking a sample. The pressure is measured with a tube that looks like a large thermometer held against the needle. The fluid sample collected is usually less than three tablespoons. You will not feel any discomfort when it is removed. After this, the needle is taken out. Usually a Band-Aid is the only dressing necessary.

The whole lumbar puncture, including set-up time, takes 30–45 minutes. The needle is in place for close to one minute.

Risk Factors:
The most common risk of a lumbar puncture is that it can cause a temporary headache. Lying down for a few hours after the test can make a headache less likely to occur. Other problems are rare and include infection or bleeding. Because the volume of fluid is small, a lumbar puncture almost never causes movement of the brain or spinal cord, a serious complication.

What Must you do special after the test is over?
You may be told to lie flat for a while after the test, sometimes for a few hours.

Time for the result of the test is known?
Depending on the tests being done on the fluid sample, results take anywhere from a few hours to a few days.
For more knowledge you may click to see:-…………………...(1).…….(2).…….(3)
Resources:
http://www.health.harvard.edu/diagnostic-tests/lumbar-puncture.htm
http://www.clarian.org/ADAM/doc/CancerCenter/10/000303.htm

http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/imagepages/9587.htm

Enhanced by Zemanta

Hasna hana (Cestrum nocturnum)

Night-blooming jasmine Cestrum nocturnum
Image via Wikipedia

Botanical Name :Cestrum nocturnum
Family: Solanaceae
Genus: Cestrum
Species: C. nocturnum
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Solanales

Common name: Night-blooming cestrum, Night blooming jasmine, Rat ki rani (Hindi), Thabal lei (Manipuri), Hasna hana (Bengali), Raatrani (Marathi, Konkani)
Habitat:Native to Mexico, Central America, India and Cuba, Bangladesh.

It has become widely naturalised in tropical and subtropical regions throughout the world, including Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, southern China and the southernmost United States, and is difficult to eradicate. It is classed as a weed in some countries.

In Auckland New Zealand, it has been reported as a seriously invasive weed to the Auckland Regional Council and is under investigation. NS Forest and Bird is compiling an inventory of wild cestrum sites in order to place the plant on the banned list. The inventory can be viewed via Google Maps. Some nurseries still sell it without warning customers of the dangers to native bush reserves. It has been reported that the plant has been removed from some old folks’ homes due to the strong scent causing difficulties for the residents

Description:

Cestrum nocturnum   is an evergreen woody shrub growing to 4 metres (13 ft) tall. The leaves are simple, narrow lanceolate, 6–20 centimetres (2.4–7.9 in) long and 2–4.5 centimetres (0.79–1.77 in) broad, smooth and glossy, with an entire margin. The flowers are greenish-white, with a slender tubular corolla 2–2.5 centimetres (0.79–0.98 in) long with five acute lobes, 10–13 millimetres (0.39–0.51 in) diameter when open at night, and are produced in cymose inflorescences. A powerful, sweet perfume is released at night. The fruit is a berry 10 millimetres (0.39 in) long by 5 millimetres (0.20 in) diameter, the colour of an aubergine. There is also a variety with yellowish flowers. There are mixed reports regarding the toxicity of foliage and fruit.

click for photos...>…..(01)...(1).……...(2).………....(3)...……….

Cultivation :
C. nocturnum is grown in subtropical regions as an ornamental plant for its flowers that are heavily perfumed at night. It grows best in average to moist soil that is light and sandy, with a neutral pH of 6.6 to 7.5, and is hardy to hardiness zone 8. C. nocturnum can be fertilized biweekly with a weak dilution of seaweed and fish emulsion fertilizer.

Cestrum nocturnum  grows best in light, sandy soil. It is not salt tolerant, but is otherwise adaptable to a variety of conditions and usually requires little care except for frost protection.

Propagation: Night blooming jessamine is very easy to start from young, fast growing stem cuttings.
Medicinal Uses: Extract of the plant used as antispasmodic and treatment of epilepsy.

click for more informations

Pharmacology  & Nkown Hazards:
Ingestion of C. nocturnum has not been well documented, but there is some reason to believe that caution is in order. All members of the Solanaceae family contain an alkaloid toxin called solanine, though some members of the family are routinely eaten without ill-effect. The most commonly reported problems associated with C. nocturnum are respiratory problems from the scent, and feverish symptoms following ingestion.

Some people, especially those with respiratory sensitivities or asthma, report difficulty breathing, irritation of the nose and throat, headache, nausea, or other symptoms when exposed to the blossom’s powerful scent. Some Cestrum species contain chlorogenic acid, and the presence of this potent sensitizer may be responsible for this effect in C. nocturnum.

Some plant guides describe C. nocturnum as “toxic” and warn that ingesting plant parts, especially fruit, may result in elevated temperature, rapid pulse, excess salivation and gastritis.

The mechanisms of the plant’s psychoactive effects are currently unknown, and anecdotal data is extremely limited. In a rare discussion of traditional entheogenic use of the plant, Müller-Ebeling, Rätsch, and Shahi describe shamanic use of C. nocturnum in Nepal. They describe experiencing “trippy” effects without mentioning unpleasant physical side effects. Rätsch’s Encyclopedia of Psychoactive Plants also describes a handful of reports of ingestion of the plant without mentioning serious adverse side effects.

Spoerke et al. describe the following toxic effects reported from ingesting C. nocturnum: Ingesting 15 lb of plant material caused a cow to salivate, clamp its jaws, collapse, and eventually die. A postmortem showed gastroenteritis and congestion of liver, kidneys, brain, and spinal cord. Although the berries and the sap are suspected of being toxic, several cases of ingestion of the berries have not shown them to be a problem, with one exception. Morton cites a case where children ate significant quantities (handfuls) of berries and had no significant effects and another two where berries were ingested in smaller amounts, with similar negative results.

Ingestion of green berries over several weeks by a 2-year-old child resulted in diarrhea, vomiting, and blood clots in the stool.[citation needed] Anemia and purpura [discoloration of the skin caused by subcutaneous bleeding] were also noted. A solanine alkaloid isolated from the stool was hemolytic to human erythrocytes.

Plant extracts have shown larvicidal activity against the mosquito Aedes aegypti while showing no toxicity to fish. Plant extracts cause Hematological changes in the freshwater fish when exposed to sub lethal concentration of this plant.

General Uses: This is a popular landscape plant in warm climates. For a mixed border, background, or as a free standing specimen, night blooming jessamine is attractive and unpretentious. Use it in butterfly gardens, as night blooming jessamine provides food for some caterpillars.

 

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.flowersofindia.net/catalog/slides/Night%20Blooming%20Jasmine.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cestrum_nocturnum
http://www.crescentbloom.com/plants/specimen/ce/Cestrum%20nocturnum.htm

Enhanced by Zemanta

A Big Bottom Can Cut Diabetes Risk

Here’s some good news for women who find it hard to squeeze into their skinny jeans, courtesy their big bottoms: a generously proportioned derriere could be good for health, say scientists.
……………..CLICK & SEE
Accord to research, the fat in buttocks and hips may protect against type 2 diabetes.

Scientists at Harvard Medical School in America reckon that the type of fat that accumulates around the hips and bottom may offer some protection against developing the condition.

Fat found commonly around the lower areas, known as subcutaneous fat, or fat that collects under the skin, helps to improve the sensitivity of the hormone insulin. Insulin is responsible for regulating blood sugar and therefore a big bottom might offer some protection against diabetes.

The boffins said that fat which collects around the stomach can raise a person’s risk of diabetes and heart disease. But, people with pear-shaped bodies, with fat deposits in the buttocks and hips, are less prone to these disorders.

Lead researcher Dr Ronald Kahn said that the research on mice had shown that not all fat was bad and could help to prevent the onset of Type 2 diabetes.

The team is trying to find the substances produced in subcutaneous fat that provide the benefit because they could lead to the development of drugs, reports the Daily Express.

The study was published in the journal Cell Metabolism.

Sources:The Times Of India

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Osteoporosis Drugs May Lead to Cancer

Merck’s popular osteoporosis drug Fosamax and other similar drugs may carry a risk for esophageal cancer, a Food and Drug Administration official said .

Diane Wysowski of the FDA’s division of drug risk asessment said researchers should check into potential links between so called bisphosphonate drugs and cancer. In a letter in Thursday’s New England Journal of Medicine, Wysowski said since the initial marketing of Fosamax, known generically as alendronate, in 1995, the FDA has received 23 reports in which patients developed esophageal tumors.

Typically, two years lapsed between the start of the drug and the development of esophageal cancer. Eight patients died, she reported. In Europe and Japan, 21 cases involving Fosamax have been logged, with another six instances where Procter & Gamble’s Actonel or risedronate and Didronel or etidronate. Six of those people died.

Esophagitis, which is an inflammation of the lining of the tube carrying food to the stomach, is already known to be a side effect of the drugs.

Sources: The Times Of India

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Bio-Sensor to Make Our Food Safer

A microscopic bio-sensor that detects Salmonella bacteria in lab tests has been developed by an agricultural scientist.
………………..CLICK & SEE
This large bacterial colony of Salmonella enteritidis grew rapidly (62 millimeters in diameter in 16 hours) and readily contaminated eggs when given to chickens by injection but not when given by mouth.
People who eat Salmonella-infected food products can get salmonellosis, a disease characterised by nausea, vomiting, severe diarrhoea, and sometimes death.

The sensor could be adapted to detect other food-borne pathogens as well. It is part of an evolving science known as nanotechnology— the study and manipulation of materials on a molecular or even atomic level, measured in billionths of a metre.

There are examples of biosensors in nature. Insects detect tiny amounts of sex pheromones in the air and use them to find mates. And fish use natural bio-sensors to detect barely perceptible vibrations in the surrounding water.

Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientist Bosoon Park at the Quality and Safety Assessment Research Unit in Athens, Georgia, and cooperators at the University of Georgia (U-G) used nanotechnology to develop the biosensor.

CLICK & SEE

The detection method may have great potential for food safety and security, according to Park, said an U-G release.

The biosensors include fluorescent organic dye particles attached to Salmonella antibodies. The antibodies hook on to Salmonella bacteria and the dye lights up like a beacon, making the bacteria easier to see.

Sources: The Times Of India

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]