Tag Archives: Metabolism

Living healthy for 100 years

Living to be a 100 years old with sound health & mind is a very real possibility for many many people in the near future. After all, in present days there are sprightly 80 year olds running businesses, managing their finances and living independently (with a very little help from friends and relatives)!

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Health is the only key to a long and happy life. The only effort to maintain a healthy life allalong is to start when one is young, before disease sets in as one gain age.
A great deal of research has gone into understanding aging, as the world’s population is getting older. In one study, senior citizens were divided into three groups. The first group did an hour of aerobic activity (such as running, jogging, walking or cycling) a day combined with weight training with weights of 1-2 kilos. The second group did only little flexing and stretching exercises. The third continued with their usual sedentary life. After a period of six months, the first group was found to not only have gained muscle but also developed a positive outlook on life and become mentally strengthy & sharper. There was no noticeable difference in groups two and three. Uniformly though, they had lost muscle mass and “slowed down” mentally and physically.

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After research and several studies, 10,000 steps a day was declared a magic figure to maintain health. It works out to about five miles a day. Most people actually walk only 3,500 steps a day. The new smartphones, some watches and pedometers are able to track daily activity accurately. The other way is to get up every hour and walk for a minute. This can be added to, or alternated with, stair climbing – a 1,000 calorie per hour activity. Swimming, walking, jogging and running use about 300 calories per hour depending on the intensity, the distance covered and the speed.

Our body requires a certain amount of energy to stay alive even if we sleep all day. This can be calculated as the weight in kilos multiplied by 2.2 multiplied by 11. It works out to around 1,500 calories for a 60-kilo adult. 1,500 calories a day is a “restricted diet.” It is barely enough to enjoy a good meal or indulge even occasionally in tasty, high calorie snacks. To be able to eat more and enjoy it, you need to increase activity. Then the calories utilised in the activity can be added to the total daily consumption.

Every decade the metabolic rate falls by five per cent in men and three per cent in women. Muscles atrophy and become insidiously replaced by fat if they are not used, and with increasing age. Muscle, even at rest, consumes more energy than fat. This lowers the metabolic rate. It also reduces strength and affects balance. Weight training needs to be done. A litre bottle can be filled with water and held in each hand and the traditional school drill should be done using this. This consists of five up and down and side-to-side movements with the arms. Gradually work up to twenty repetitions of each circuit.

Mental activity like puzzles, Sudoku and learning verses by heart alone will not keep the brain sharp, it will only marginally delay the onset of Alzheimer’s and dementia. It has to be combined with an hour of physical activity a day, preferably outdoors in the sunshine. Even walking up and down a portico or around a block of flats is all right.

It is proved that a person who does regular Yoga exercise with Pranayama & Meditation, with moderate & control diet keeps and maintains long healthy life.

The effect of an hour’s effort today and everyday will make a hundred fold difference in a lifetime. The other fact – one is never too old to start.

It is modern days recommendation that the busiest person should do work out daily …one should consider it as a daily routine as one needs to sleep,get up in the morning,go to toilet, brushing teeth etc. There is a saying that persons who skip daily exercise or physical workout with the excuse they do not afford any time to do exercise will have to spent more time IN BED  when they suffer from different kind of diseases.

In the conclusion it can be said : PHYSICAL EXERCISE IS THE ONLY WAY TO KEEP ONE PERSON HEALTHY & FIT WITH  LONG LIFE
Click & learn : My 2015 Exercise Recommendations and Update by Dr. Mercola

Resources: Health article from The Telegraph (kolkata, India)

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Bai Zhu

Botanical Name :Atractylodes macrocephala
Family: Asteraceae
Tribe: Cynareae
Genus: Atractylodes
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Asterales

Parts Used : The rhizomes are collected in November when the lower leaves begin withering. They are stripped of the small roots and sun-dried or heat-dried.

Common Name : Bai Zhu

Habitats: E. Asia – China, Japan and Korea.   Pastures and waste ground. Grassland and forests at elevations of 600 – 2800 metres.

Descriptiopn :
Bai Zhu  is a  Perennial herbaceous plant, 40-60 cm. high. Stems cylindrical, much-branched in the upper part. Leaves alternate, toothed, the lower 3-lobed with long petiole, the upper entire, short-petioled. Inflorescence in terminal head; flowers small, lilac, all tubulous. Achene globose, with a coma of hairs.
It is hardy to zone 6. It is in flower from Jul to August, and the seeds ripen from Aug to September. The flowers are dioecious (individual flowers are either male or female, but only one sex is to be found on any one plant so both male and female plants must be grown if seed is required)
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The plant prefers light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and requires well-drained soil.The plant prefers acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils..It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade.It requires moist

Cultivation :
Succeeds in any well-drained soil in sun or partial shade. This species is probably hardy in most of Britain, it tolerates temperatures down to at least -15°c. Widely cultivated in China for its use as a medicinal herb. This species is dioecious. Both male and female plants need to be grown if seed is required.

Propagation :
Seed – sow spring in a cold frame and only just cover the seed. Prick out the seedlings when they are large enough to handle and plant them out into their permanent positions in the following spring or early summer.

Chemical composition: The rhizomes contain essential oil 1.5%, atractylol, atractylon; glucoside, inulin, vitamin A, potassium atractylate.

Medicinal Uses:
Antibacterial;  DiureticSedativeStomachic;  Tonic.

Bai Zhu is widely used in traditional Chinese medicine. The root contains an essential oil, glucoside and inulin. It is a bitter-sweet tonic herb that acts mainly upon the digestive system and strengthens the spleen. The root is antibacterial, diuretic, hypoglycaemic, sedative, stomachic and tonic. It is used in the treatment of poor appetite, dyspepsia, abdominal distension, chronic diarrhoea, oedema and spontaneous sweating. It is often used in conjunction with other herbs such as Codonopsis tangshen and Glycyrrhiza uralensis. Combined with Baical skullcap (Scutellaria baicalensis) it is used to prevent miscarriage. The roots are harvested in the autumn and baked for use in tonics

It has traditionally been used as a tonic for the digestive system, building qi and strengthening the spleen.  The rhizome has a sweet, pungent taste, and is used to relieve fluid retention, excessive sweating, and digestive problems such as diarrhea and vomiting.  It is also used in the treatment of poor appetite, dyspepsia, abdominal distension, and edema. It is often used in conjunction with other herbs such as Codonopsis tangshen and Glycyrrhiza uralensis. Combined with Baical skullcap (Scutellaria baicalensis) it is used to prevent miscarriage.

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.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_AB.htm
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Atractylodes+macrocephala
http://sulwhasoo-sulwhasoo.blogspot.com/2010/12/update-history-of-whoo-chung-line.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atractylodes

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All Wound Up

Our body wants to eat, sleep and work at specific times. Scientists now know what makes the biological clock tick, writes T.V. Jayan

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All living organisms — humans are no exception — are controlled by a master clock. This biological timepiece, located in the brain, aligns an organism’s biological, behavioural and physiological activities with the day and night cycle. Its tick tock wakes us up in the morning, reminds us to eat at regular intervals and tells us when to go to bed.

But what sets this internal timekeeping, known as the circadian rhythm, has remained a mystery for long. This, despite scientists having had clues about its existence for more than a century.

The puzzle is slowly unfolding, thanks to advances in modern biology that offer a better insight into genes and their workings. Scientists now know the exact location of the master pacemaker and how is it regulated.

Research has also shown the circadian rhythm shares a reciprocal relationship with metabolism. In other words, while the circadian rhythm can influence metabolic activity, food intake can also modulate the functioning of the biological clock.

The mechanism by which feeding modulates the components of the clock machinery was discovered last month by a team of researchers led by Gad Asher of the University of Geneva. The paper, which appeared in the latest issue of Cell, shows that a protein called PARP-1 is at play here. The scientists found that mice that lack the gene that secretes PARP-1 fail to give the correct food intake cues to the circadian clock, thereby disrupting the synchronisation.

“This is an important finding,” says Raga Krishnakumar, a University of California San Francisco University researcher who, together with her former mentor W. Lee Kraus, showed early this year that PARP-1 is a multi-faceted protein that also regulates the expression of another protein which plays a vital role in aging, apart from helping contain DNA damage.

Scientists believe disruptions in the synchronisation between the circadian rhythm and metabolism play a key role in triggering many disorders that plague the modern world such as obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular diseases.

The master clock occupies a tiny area in the hypothalamus region of the brain. Called the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN), this brain region — the size of a grain of rice — contains a cluster of nearly 20,000 neurons. These neurons, in response to light signals received from the retina, send signals to other parts of the brain as well as the rest of the body to control a host of bodily functions such as sleep, metabolism, body temperature and hormone production.

As per the cues received through these neurons from the master clock, the cellular clocks in the tissues in different body organs are reset on a daily basis. The operation of these cellular clocks is controlled by the co-ordinated action of a limited number of core clock genes.

The year 1994 was a watershed year in research on the circadian rhythm. American Japanese scientist Joseph Takahashi, working at Northwestern University in the US, discovered the genetic basis for the mammalian circadian clock. The gene his team discovered was named CLOCK in 1997. Subsequently, scientists discovered several other genes associated with the timekeeping function such as BMAL1, PER and CRY, which are also involved in the working of the main SCN clock machinery as well as subsidiary clocks in other parts of the body.

The cues received from the master clock are important. Based on them, various genes in the cells change their expression rhythmically over a 24-hour period. It times the production of various body chemicals such as enzymes and hormones so that the body can function in an optimal fashion.

In the normal course, the body follows the master clock in setting its physiological and psychological conditions for optimal performance. While the 24-hour solar cycle is the main cue for resetting the master clock — just like a wall-mounted clock resets after a 24-hour cycle — there are other time cues as well: food intake, social activity, temperature and so on. “Unlike geophysical time, the biological clock does not follow an exact 24-hour cycle on its own. Various external and internal time cues that it receives play a vital role in bringing the periodicity close to 24 hours,” says Vijay Kumar Sharma of the Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research, Bangalore, who has been studying the circadian rhythm for years.

However , modern society often imposes deviations from the regular work-rest cycle. “Basically, mammals including humans are diurnal (active during the day rather than at night). Whatever be the external compulsions (night shifts or partying late), the inner mechanisms of the body follow a diurnal pattern,” says Sharma. “It is bound to be out of sync if we deviate from the routine.”

“A major consequence of modern lifestyle is the disruption of the circadian rhythm. This leads to a number of pathological conditions, including sleep disturbances, depression, metabolic disorders and cancer. Studies reveal the risk of breast cancer is significantly higher in industrialised societies, and that the risk increases as developing countries become more and more westernised. Moreover, a moderate increase in the incidence of breast cancer is reported in women working nightshifts,” says Sourabh Sahar, a researcher working on the circadian rhythm at the University of California, Irvine.

Need more proof that the body has a mind of its own?

Source: The Telegraph (Kolkata, India)

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Green Tea Extract May be More Effective

Green tea could raise your energy expenditure, and possibly even help battle obesity, according to a new study.

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Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), a compound found in green tea, was shown to increase fat oxidation by 33 percent.

This result comes from one of many studies that have looked at green tea’s potential in weight loss. EGCG has been shown to be a key component in many of these studies.

There are a number of ways the EGCG could help aid weight loss:

•It could increase metabolism and fat oxidation
•It could inhibit fat cell development
•It could increase fat excretion

You may click to see->Green tea extract may prevent fatty liver :

Reources:
NutraIngredients April 9, 2010
European Journal of Clinical Nutrition April 7, 2010 [Epub ahead of print]

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Does More Frequent Meals Really Rev Up Your Metabolism?

You’ve probably heard that eating smaller meals, several times a day will stimulate your metabolism, and keep it revved to burn more calories throughout your day.
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The New York Times points out that although some studies have found modest health benefits to eating smaller meals, the research usually involved extremes.

Many weight-loss books and fad diets claim six meals a day is a more realistic approach.

But will it really make a difference?

The New York Times states:

“As long as total caloric and nutrient intake stays the same, then metabolism, at the end of the day, should stay the same as well. One study that carefully demonstrated this, published in 2009 in The British Journal of Nutrition, involved groups of overweight men and women who were randomly assigned to very strict low-calorie diets and followed for eight weeks. Each subject consumed the same number of calories per day, but one group took in three meals a day and the other six.

Both groups lost significant and equivalent amounts of weight. There was no difference between them in fat loss, appetite control or measurements of hormones that signal hunger and satiety. Other studies have had similar results.”

Exercise, on the other hand, seems to effectively increase metabolism according to studies.


Reources:

New York Times March 21, 2010
The British Journal of Nutrition November 30, 2009; 1-4. [Epub ahead of print]

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