Tag Archives: Binge drinking

Exercise Before Alcohol

Rigorous physical exercise before binge drinking may reduce brain damage in adolescents.
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Monkeys are much like humans. If you leave them alone with alcohol, some of them are sure to get drunk quickly. But that’s a useful trait, because then you can study their brains easily. Scientists at the Scripps Research Institute near San Diego in the US did exactly that with adolescent monkeys, and came to some disturbing conclusions.

Chitra Mandyam and her colleagues at the Scripps Institute were investigating the effects of binge drinking among adolescents. They let the monkeys drink for an hour every day for 11 months. They then stopped the alcohol supply for two months, after which they examined the brains of the animals. The monkeys showed permanent damage in the hippocampus, an area that is crucial to the formation of new memory.

Adolescence — whether in rats, monkeys or humans — is a period of intense physical and mental change. “It is a vulnerable period,” says Mandyam.

According to several studies, binge drinking is increasing among adolescents. Over 60 per cent of these youngsters are at risk of developing brain disorders. It is thus necessary to understand how alcohol damages the brain, how lasting the damage is, and what can be done to reverse it.

“There have been several studies on rodents,” says Mandyam. “But this is the first time we studied binge drinking in monkeys.” There are many advantages of studying the phenomenon in monkeys. The animals are genetically similar to human beings, they drink like humans, and their brains are affected in a manner similar to that in humans.

Neurons in the hippocampus are generated the same way in monkeys as in humans. Since it is difficult to get the brains of adolescent humans for post-mortem, monkeys form the closest approximation for studying the effect of alcohol on adolescent humans.

Scientists at the Scripps Institute first selected a set of monkeys who liked to drink alcohol, and then divided it into two groups. One group was allowed to drink for 11 months and the other did not get to drink. Neurons in the hippocampus of the animals that drank had degenerated when seen even after two months of abstinence. The level of stem cells in the brain also decreased, suggesting the brain had less capacity to repair the damage.

The hippocampus is an important area of the brain that is involved in several functions like spatial memory formation, executive functioning and short-term and long-term memory formation. If damaged during adolescence, it could affect an individual’s functioning for a lifetime. This is particularly true if the stem cells are damaged. Mandyam’s study showed that as much as 90 per cent of the stem cells in the hippocampus could be damaged by binge drinking.

So the next question is: what can we do to reverse the damage? The brain is known to be very plastic, but can we invoke this plasticity when the stem cells in the hippocampus are damaged? There are no studies of monkeys, but those of rats suggest that one may be able to control this damage partly.

One particular study by Kimberly Nixon and her colleagues at the University of Kentucky in the US has shown that exercise before drinking may reduce the damage to a certain extent.

Nixon made rats exercise voluntarily for 14 days before four days of intense drinking. When the brains of the rodents were examined after that, they showed reduced damage compared with rats that did not exercise. However, we cannot necessarily conclude that all alcohol damage is reversible. “We do not know the threshold levels alcohol begins to be toxic,” says Nixon. “There is old data saying that over 50 per cent of alcoholics have persistent cognitive defects they never recover from.”

There may be several reasons why exercise shows reduced damage. It could be that the brain cells form new connections to compensate for lost cells. Abstinence and the passage of time may help the brain recover a bit. But we still do not know the many ways in which alcohol affects the brain.

However, we do know two things: binge drinking can permanently damage parts of the brain. And a period of exercise before drinking can prevent or at least reduce brain cell death.


Source :
The Telegraph ( Kolkata, India)

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Stretch of Imagination

Experts now say that stretching before exercise may actually harm you. ……Lenny Bernstein reports

It’s been a long, hard day at the office, and you need a good workout to blow off all that stress. But before you hit the free weights, the stationary bike or the elliptical machine, you spend 10 minutes carefully stretching all those stiff muscles, just as every coach, trainer and physical therapist has advised for as long as you can remember.

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Now the question is why ?

There’s no evidence that you’ll prevent injury. In fact, some people believe you’re more likely to cause one.

“There is not sufficient evidence to endorse or discontinue routine stretching before or after exercise to prevent injury among competitive or recreational athletes,” concluded the National Center for Injury Prevention Control, part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in a 2004 study that may be the most thorough look at the research on stretching.

Research and anecdotal information attribute many benefits to stretching: reduced muscle tension, improved circulation, pain reduction and management. Perhaps most important, stretching helps us maintain range of motion as we age, allowing older people to continue with the activities of daily living.

The question is whether “static stretching” — the most common type, which involves holding a muscle in one position for a defined period of time — has been misinterpreted, or oversold, as a preventive for what ails you.

“People believe all kinds of amazing things, and it changes every 10-15 years,” said William Meller, a physician and associate professor of evolutionary medicine at the University of California at Santa Barbara. The merits of stretching are “not based on any science. It’s spread by coaches, trainers and all kinds of people.”

According to Julie Gilchrist, a medical epidemiologist who helped conduct the CDC study, “it’s probably important that we maintain some norm of flexibility throughout our life spans, but I don’t think anyone has really defined what that (norm) is.

“Our belief is there are probably people who would benefit from stretching. But then the question is who should stretch, when to stretch,” how much to stretch and, most important, what benefits can be expected.

Even for the elderly, “we don’t have the kinds of controlled intervention studies that we need to make a definitive statement about the benefits of doing flexibility exercises,” said Chhanda Dutta, chief of the clinical gerontology branch at the National Institute on Aging.

Similarly, coaches wouldn’t dream of putting athletes on a field, even for practice, without a battery of stretches that help them take the pounding and awkward landings of contact sports.

“As a coach, if I didn’t do that and somebody got hurt, I would probably have a tough time sleeping at night,” said Paul Foringer, a football coach at a high school in Gaithersburg, Maryland. “It’s kind of common sense. If you take something that’s taut and tough and you yank it, you’re going to tear it.”

But that’s not what studies show. “Stretching was not significantly associated with a reduction in total injuries,” said the CDC study, “and similar findings were seen in the subgroup analyses.”

In static stretching, “you’re taking the muscle to the point where it naturally wants to go, and then you’re taking it a little bit farther,” said Meller. That produces microscopic tears of muscle fibres and does nothing to prevent injury, he said. It also may weaken the muscle slightly, increase the possibility of injury and inhibit performance, according to him and the CDC study.

For those who want to stretch, it should be done after a warm-up or at the end of an exercise routine because warm muscles are more pliable.

Research indicates that warming up before exercise is more valuable than stretching. Specifically, Meller said, you should spend three to five minutes gently putting your body through the actions you’re about to perform, slowly increasing the intensity. If you’re going to play tennis, he said, swing forehands, backhands and serves, and run forward, backward and laterally before you hit the first ball.

Source: The Washington Post

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Alcohol ‘Quickly’Cuts Heart Risk

Middle-aged non-drinkers can quickly reduce their risk of heart disease by introducing a daily tipple to their diet, South Carolina researchers say.

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Wine was found to have the biggest effect on heart disease

New moderate drinkers were 38% less likely to develop heart disease than those who stayed tee-total, a four-year study involving 7,500 people found.

Those who drank only wine showed the most benefit, the researchers reported in the American Medical Journal.

But cardiac experts warned alcohol was not a panacea for good heart health.

The results came from a study of 7,500 people taking part in a trial to look at risk factors for atherosclerosis – hardening of the arteries.

None of them drank alcohol at the start of the study but 6% began to drink moderate amounts – one drink per day or fewer for women and two drinks per day or fewer for men – during the course of the research.

The reduced cardiovascular risk remained when the researchers from the Medical University of South Carolina took into account physical activity, body mass index, demographic and cardiac risk factors.

There was no difference in deaths over the four-year follow up.

Cholesterol

Those who stuck to wine had the biggest reduction in cardiovascular events, such as heart attacks, compared with non-drinkers, heavy drinkers or those who drank other types of alcohol.

The study also found some improvement in HDL or “good” cholesterol in those who took up drinking.

Despite several studies showing an association with alcohol intake and reduced cardiovascular risk, guidance from the American Heart Association warns people not to start drinking if they do not already drink alcohol.

Study leader Dana King said he was surprised that the effect was so large and so quick.

“For carefully selected individuals, a ‘heart healthy diet’ may include limited alcohol consumption even among individuals who have not included alcohol previously,” he said.

However, Dr King said the benefits had to be weighed with caution against known adverse effects of drinking alcohol and it would not be advised in some people such as those with liver problems or cancer.

“I know there’s concerns about binge drinking but that is not the type of drinking pattern we’re seeing here.

“When we say seven drinks a week, we mean one a day not seven drinks on a Saturday night.”

Judy O’Sullivan, cardiac nurse at the British Heart Foundation, said the study added to the evidence that alcohol in moderation provides some protection for the heart.

But she added: “Alcohol is not a medicine and it should not be used as a panacea.

“There is a fine line between moderation and excess and alcohol can pose as many threats as it does benefits.

“Non-drinkers should not take up alcohol to protect their heart based on this study alone.”

Click to see also:->
A little alcohol ‘can be healthy’
Drink lowers blood pressure risks
Red wine health locations found
Wine ‘allows guilt-free gluttony’
Wine ‘can protect women’s hearts’
Red wine ‘wards off lung cancer’
A sherry could keep doctor away
A glass of red wine in a pill
Why red wine is healthier
Wine prevents repeat heart attack

Sources: BBC NEWS:8Th. March.’08

The Healing Power of Magnets

Magnets have been used for their healing properties since ancient times, and now a new study has found that they can reduce swelling when applied immediately after an inflammatory injury.

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In their initial study, researchers from the University of Virginia set out to investigate the effect of magnetic therapy on microcirculation, which is blood flow through tiny blood vessels.

They placed magnets of 70 milliTesla (mT) field strength, which is about 10 times the strength of the common refrigerator magnet, near rats’ blood vessels and found that they dilated constricted blood vessels, and constricted vessels that were dilated. The results suggested that the magnetic filed could relax blood vessels and increase blood flow.

In the more recent study, the researchers used magnets on rats’ paws that had been treated with inflammatory agents to simulate tissue injury. The magnets significantly reduced swelling in the rats’ paws by up to 50 percent when applied immediately after the injury.

Dilation of blood vessels is a major cause of swelling, and it’s thought that the magnets worked by limiting blood flow.

Muscle bruising and joint sprains are the most common injuries worldwide, and since injuries that don’t swell heal faster, the magnet therapy could have widespread applications.

The researchers envisioned using magnets in place of ice packs and compression to treat injuries in high school, college, and professional sports teams, as well as among retirement communities.

Click to learn  more about magnet healing………..(1)..……(2).…….(3)
Sources:
Science Daily January 3, 2008
American Journal of Physiology: Heart and Circulatory Physiology November 2, 2007

Food Poisoning

Bacteria and Foodborne Illness:

Definition:

Foodborne illnesses are caused by eating food or drinking beverages contaminated with bacteria, parasites, or viruses. Harmful chemicals can also cause foodborne illnesses if they have contaminated food during harvesting or processing. Foodborne illnesses can cause symptoms that range from an upset stomach to more serious symptoms, including diarrhea, fever, vomiting, abdominal cramps, and dehydration. Most foodborne infections are undiagnosed and unreported, though the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that every year about 76 million people in the United States become ill from pathogens, or disease-causing substances, in food. Of these people, about 5,000 die.

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Causes:

Harmful bacteria are the most common cause of foodborne illnesses. Some bacteria may be present on foods when you purchase them. Raw foods are the most common source of foodborne illnesses because they are not sterile; examples include raw meat and poultry that may have become contaminated during slaughter. Seafood may become contaminated during harvest or through processing. One in 10,000 eggs may be contaminated with Salmonella inside the egg shell. Produce such as spinach, lettuce, tomatoes, sprouts, and melons can become contaminated with Salmonella, Shigella, or Escherichia coli (E. coli) O157:H7. Contamination can occur during growing, harvesting, processing, storing, shipping, or final preparation. Sources of produce contamination are varied as these foods are grown in soil and can become contaminated during growth or through processing and distribution. Contamination may also occur during food preparation in a restaurant or a home kitchen. The most common form of contamination from handled foods is the calcivirus, also called the Norwalk-like virus.

When food is cooked and left out for more than 2 hours at room temperature, bacteria can multiply quickly. Most bacteria grow undetected because they don’t produce a bad odor or change the color or texture of the food. Freezing food slows or stops bacteria’s growth but does not destroy the bacteria. The microbes can become reactivated when the food is thawed. Refrigeration also can slow the growth of some bacteria. Thorough cooking is needed to destroy the bacteria.

Symptoms:
In most cases of foodborne illnesses, symptoms resemble intestinal flu and may last a few hours or even several days. Symptoms can range from mild to serious and include

  • abdominal cramps
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • diarrhea, which is sometimes bloody
  • fever
  • dehydration

Risk factors:

Some people are at greater risk for bacterial infections because of their age or an unhealthy immune system. Young children, pregnant women and their fetuses, and older adults are at greatest risk.

Complications of foodborne illnesses:

Some micro-organisms, such as Listeria monocytogenes and Clostridium botulinum, cause far more serious symptoms than vomiting and diarrhea. They can cause spontaneous abortion or death.

In some people, especially children, hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) can result from infection by a particular strain of bacteria, E. coli O157:H7, and can lead to kidney failure and death. HUS is a rare disorder that affects primarily children between the ages of 1 and 10 years and is the leading cause of acute renal failure in previously healthy children. A child may become infected after consuming contaminated food or beverages, such as meat, especially undercooked ground beef; unpasteurized juices; contaminated water; or through contact with an infected person.

The most common symptoms of HUS infection are vomiting, abdominal pain, and diarrhea, which may be bloody. In 5 to 10 percent of cases, HUS develops about 5 to 10 days after the onset of illness. This disease may last from 1 to 15 days and is fatal in 3 to 5 percent of cases. Other symptoms of HUS include fever, lethargy or sluggishness, irritability, and paleness or pallor. In about half the cases, the disease progresses until it causes acute renal failure, which means the kidneys are unable to remove waste products from the blood and excrete them into the urine. A decrease in circulating red blood cells and blood platelets and reduced blood flow to organs may lead to multiple organ failure. Seizures, heart failure, inflammation of the pancreas, and diabetes can also result. However, most children recover completely.

See a doctor right away if you or your child has any of the following symptoms with diarrhea:

  • High fever—temperature over 101.5°, measured orally
  • Blood in the stools
  • Diarrhea that lasts more than 3 days
  • Prolonged vomiting that prevents keeping liquid down and can lead to dehydration
  • Signs of severe dehydration, such as dry mouth, sticky saliva, decreased urination, dizziness, fatigue, sunken eyes, low blood pressure, or increased heart rate and breathing rate
  • Signs of shock, such as weak or rapid pulse or shallow breathing
  • Confusion or difficulty reasoning

Diagnoses:

Your doctor may be able to diagnose foodborne illnesses from a list of what you’ve eaten recently and from results of appropriate laboratory tests. Diagnostic tests for foodborne illnesses should include examination of the feces. A sample of the suspected food, if available, can also be tested for bacterial toxins, viruses, and parasites

Treatment:

Most cases of foodborne illnesses are mild and can be treated by increasing fluid intake, either orally or intravenously, to replace lost fluids and electrolytes. People who experience gastrointestinal or neurologic symptoms should seek medical attention.

In the most severe situations, such as HUS, hospitalization may be needed to receive supportive nutritional and medical therapy. Maintaining adequate fluid and electrolyte balance and controlling blood pressure are important. Doctors will try to minimize the impact of reduced kidney function. Dialysis may be needed until the kidneys can function normally. Blood transfusions also may be needed.

Causes Of Food Poisoning, Prevension & Treatment

Home Remedy Of Food Poisoning

Alternative medication for Salmonella food poisoning

Herbal treatment for Food Poisoning

Food Poisoning Alternative Medication

Homeopathic treatment of food poisoning ……………….(1)..……………(2)

Prevention:

Most cases of foodborne illnesses can be prevented through proper cooking or processing of food, which kills bacteria. In addition, because bacteria multiply rapidly between 40°F and 140°F, food must be kept out of this temperature range.

Follow these tips to prevent harmful bacteria from growing in food:

  • Refrigerate foods promptly. If prepared food stands at room temperature for more than 2 hours, it may not be safe to eat. Set your refrigerator at 40°F or lower and your freezer at 0°F.
  • Cook food to the appropriate internal temperature—145°F for roasts, steaks, and chops of beef, veal, and lamb; 160°F for pork, ground veal, and ground beef; 165°F for ground poultry; and 180°F for whole poultry. Use a meat thermometer to be sure. Foods are properly cooked only when they are heated long enough and at a high enough temperature to kill the harmful bacteria that cause illnesses.
  • Prevent cross-contamination. Bacteria can spread from one food product to another throughout the kitchen and can get onto cutting boards, knives, sponges, and countertops. Keep raw meat, poultry, seafood, and their juices away from all ready-to-eat foods.
  • Handle food properly. Always wash your hands for at least 20 seconds with warm, soapy water before and after handling raw meat, poultry, fish, shellfish, produce, or eggs. Wash your hands after using the bathroom, changing diapers, or touching animals.
  • Wash utensils and surfaces before and after use with hot, soapy water. Better still, sanitize them with diluted bleach—1 teaspoon of bleach to 1 quart of hot water.
  • Wash sponges and dish towels weekly in hot water in the washing machine.
  • Keep cold food cold and hot food hot.
  • Maintain hot cooked food at 140°F or higher.
  • Reheat cooked food to at least 165°F.
  • Refrigerate or freeze perishables, produce, prepared food, and leftovers within 2 hours.
  • Never defrost food on the kitchen counter. Use the refrigerator, cold running water, or the microwave oven.
  • Never let food marinate at room temperature—refrigerate it.
  • Divide large amounts of leftovers into small, shallow containers for quick cooling in the refrigerator.
  • Remove the stuffing from poultry and other meats immediately and refrigerate it in a separate container.
  • Wash all unpackaged fruits and vegetables, and those packaged and not marked “pre-washed,” under running water just before eating, cutting, or cooking. Scrub firm produce such as melons and cucumbers with a clean produce brush. Dry all produce with a paper towel to further reduce any possible bacteria.
  • Do not pack the refrigerator. Cool air must circulate to keep food safe.

For more information about prevention of foodborne illnesses, the U.S. Department of Agriculture provides a fact sheet on safe food handling.

What is food irradiation?

Food irradiation is the treatment of food with high energy such as gamma rays, electron beams, or x rays as a means of cold pasteurization, which destroys living bacteria to control foodborne illnesses. The United States relies exclusively on the use of gamma rays, which are similar to ultraviolet light and microwaves and pass through food leaving no residue. Food irradiation is approved for wheat, potatoes, spices, seasonings, pork, poultry, red meats, whole fresh fruits, and dry or dehydrated products. Although irradiation destroys many bacteria, it does not sterilize food. Even if you’re using food that has been irradiated by the manufacturer, you must continue to take precautions against foodborne illnesses—through proper refrigeration and handling—to safeguard against any surviving organisms. If you are traveling with food, make sure perishable items such as meats are wrapped to prevent leakage. Be sure to fill the cooler with plenty of ice and store it in the car, not the trunk. If any food seems warmer than 40°F, throw it out.

Links to Other Disorders Related to Foodborne Illnesses

Scientists suspect that foodborne pathogens are linked to chronic disorders and can even cause permanent tissue or organ destruction. Research suggests that when some people are infected by foodborne pathogens, the activation of their immune system can trigger an inappropriate autoimmune response, which means the immune system attacks the body’s own cells. In some people, an autoimmune response leads to a chronic health condition. Chronic disorders that may be triggered by foodborne pathogens are

  • arthritis
  • inflammatory bowel disease
  • kidney failure
  • Guillain-Barré syndrome
  • autoimmune disorders

Further research is needed to explain the link between these disorders and foodborne illnesses.

Common Sources of Foodborne Illness

Sources of illness: Raw and undercooked meat and poultry
Symptoms: Abdominal pain, diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting
Bacteria: Campylobacter jejuni, E. coli O157:H7, L. monocytogenes, Salmonella

Sources of illness: Raw foods; unpasteurized milk and dairy products, such as soft cheeses
Symptoms: Nausea, vomiting, fever, abdominal cramps, and diarrhea
Bacteria: L. monocytogenes, Salmonella, Shigella, Staphylococcus aureus, C. jejuni

Sources of illness: Raw and undercooked eggs. Raw eggs are often used in foods such as homemade hollandaise sauce, caesar and other salad dressings, tiramisu, homemade ice cream, homemade mayonnaise, cookie dough, and frostings.
Symptoms: Nausea, vomiting, fever, abdominal cramps, and diarrhea
Bacterium: Salmonella enteriditis

Sources of illness: Raw and undercooked shellfish
Symptoms: Chills, fever, and collapse
Bacteria: Vibrio vulnificus, Vibrio parahaemolyticus

Sources of illness: Improperly canned goods; smoked or salted fish
Symptoms: Double vision, inability to swallow, difficulty speaking, and inability to breathe. Seek medical help right away if you experience any of these symptoms.
Bacterium: C. botulinum

Sources of illness: Fresh or minimally processed produce; contaminated water
Symptoms: Bloody diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting
Bacteria: E. coli O157:H7, L. monocytogenes, Salmonella, Shigella, Yersinia enterocolitica, viruses, and parasites

Points to Remember

Foodborne illnesses result from eating food or drinking beverages that are contaminated with bacteria, viruses, or parasites.

People at greater risk for foodborne illnesses include young children, pregnant women and their fetuses, older adults, and people with lowered immunity.

Symptoms usually resemble intestinal flu. See a doctor immediately if you have more serious problems or do not seem to be improving as expected.

Treatment may range from replacement of lost fluids and electrolytes for mild cases of foodborne illnesses to hospitalization for severe conditions such as HUS.

You can prevent foodborne illnesses by taking the following precautions:

  • Wash your hands with warm, soapy water before and after preparing food and after using the bathroom or changing diapers.
  • Keep raw meat, poultry, seafood, and their juices away from ready-to-eat foods.
  • Cook foods properly and at a high enough temperature to kill harmful bacteria.
  • Refrigerate foods within 2 hours or less after cooking because cold temperatures will help keep harmful bacteria from growing and multiplying.
  • Clean surfaces well before and after using them to prepare food.

For More Information

American Dietetic Association
120 South Riverside Plaza, Suite 2000
Chicago, IL 60606–6995
Consumer Nutrition Hotline: 1–800–877–1600
Internet: www.eatright.org

Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition
5100 Paint Branch Parkway
College Park, MD 20740–3835
Food Information Line: 1–888–SAFEFOOD (723–3366)
Internet: www.cfsan.fda.gov

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
1600 Clifton Road
Atlanta, GA 30333
Phone: 1–800–311–3435 or 404–639–3534
Internet: www.cdc.gov

Gateway to Government Food Safety Information
Internet: www.foodsafety.gov

Partnership for Food Safety Education
655 15th Street NW, 7th Floor
Washington, DC 20201
Phone: 202–220–0651
Internet: www.fightbac.org

U.S. Department of Agriculture
1400 Independence Avenue SW
Washington, DC 20250
Meat and Poultry Hotline: 1–888–674–6854
Internet: www.usda.gov

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
200 Independence Avenue SW
Washington, DC 20201
Phone: 1–877–696–6775 or 202–619–0257
Internet: www.os.dhhs.gov

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Ariel Rios Building
1200 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20460
Phone: 202–272–0167
Internet: www.epa.gov

U.S. Food and Drug Administration
5600 Fishers Lane
Rockville, MD 20857–0001
Phone: 1–888–INFO–FDA (463–6332)
Internet: www.fda.gov

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

Sources:http://digestive.niddk.nih.gov/ddiseases/pubs/bacteria/index.htm