Tag Archives: Newcastle University

Abdominal fat or belly fat

As people go through their middle years, their proportion of fat to body weight tends to increase. Extra pounds tend to park themselves around the midsection. At one time, we might have accepted this as an inevitable fact of aging. But we’ve now been put on notice that as our waistlines grow, so do our health risks. Abdominal, or visceral fat is of particular concern because it’s a key player in a variety of health problems. The good news is that visceral fat yields fairly easily to exercise and diet, with benefits ranging from lower blood pressure to more favorable cholesterol levels.

Though the term  abdominal fat  or belly fat might sound dated, “middle-age spread” is a greater concern than ever. As people go through their middle years, their proportion of fat to body weight tends to increase — more so in women than men. Extra pounds tend to park themselves around the midsection.
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At one time, we might have accepted these changes as an inevitable fact of aging. But we’ve now been put on notice that as our waistlines grow, so do our health risks. Abdominal, or visceral fat is of particular concern because it’s a key player in a variety of health problems — much more so than subcutaneous fat, the kind you can grasp with your hand. Visceral fat, on the other hand, lies out of reach, deep within the abdominal cavity, where it pads the spaces between our abdominal organs.

Visceral fat has been linked to metabolic disturbances and increased risk for cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes. In women, it is also associated with breast cancer and the need for gallbladder surgery.

Are you pear-shaped or apple-shaped?…….CLICK & SEE….

Fat accumulated in the lower body (the pear shape) is subcutaneous, while fat in the abdominal area (the apple shape) is largely visceral. Where fat ends up is influenced by several factors, including heredity and hormones. As the evidence against abdominal fat mounts, researchers and clinicians are trying to measure it, correlate it with health risks, and monitor changes that occur with age and overall weight gain or loss. .

The good news is that visceral fat yields fairly easily to exercise and diet, with benefits ranging from lower blood pressure to more favorable cholesterol levels. Subcutaneous fat located at the waist — the pinchable stuff — can be frustratingly difficult to budge, but in normal-weight people, it’s generally not considered as much of a health threat as visceral fat is.

Research suggests that fat cells — particularly abdominal fat cells — are biologically active. It’s appropriate to think of fat as an endocrine organ or gland, producing hormones and other substances that can profoundly affect our health. Although scientists are still deciphering the roles of individual hormones, it’s becoming clear that excess body fat, especially abdominal fat, disrupts the normal balance and functioning of these hormones.

Scientists are also learning that visceral fat pumps out immune system chemicals called cytokines — for example, tumor necrosis factor and interleukin-6 — that can increase the risk of cardiovascular disease. These and other biochemicals are thought to have deleterious effects on cells’ sensitivity to insulin, blood pressure, and blood clotting.

One reason excess visceral fat is so harmful could be its location near the portal vein, which carries blood from the intestinal area to the liver. Substances released by visceral fat, including free fatty acids, enter the portal vein and travel to the liver, where they can influence the production of blood lipids. Visceral fat is directly linked with higher total cholesterol and LDL (bad) cholesterol, lower HDL (good) cholesterol, and insulin resistance.

Insulin resistance means that your body’s muscle and liver cells don’t respond adequately to normal levels of insulin, the pancreatic hormone that carries glucose into the body’s cells. Glucose levels in the blood rise, heightening the risk for diabetes. Now for the good news.

Exercise and dieting can help you get rid of belly fat:

So what can we do about tubby tummies? A lot, it turns out. The starting point for bringing weight under control, in general, and combating abdominal fat, in particular, is regular moderate-intensity physical activity — at least 30 minutes per day (and perhaps up to 60 minutes per day) to control weight. Strength training (exercising with weights) may also help fight abdominal fat. Spot exercising, such as doing sit-ups, can tighten abdominal muscles, but it won’t get at visceral fat.

Diet is also important. Pay attention to portion size, and emphasize complex carbohydrates (fruits, vegetables, and whole grains) and lean protein over simple carbohydrates such as white bread, refined-grain pasta, and sugary drinks. Replacing saturated fats and trans fats with polyunsaturated fats can also help.

Scientists hope to develop drug treatments that target abdominal fat. For example, studies of the weight-loss medication sibutramine (Meridia), have shown that the drug’s greatest effects are on visceral fat.

For now, experts stress that lifestyle, especially exercise, is the very best way to fight visceral fat.
Source: Harvard Health Publication

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Brazilian Mint Tea Good for Pain Relief

An herb called Brazilian mint treats pain as effectively as some synthetic drugs, English researchers report.
……………..Brazilian Mint Tea
Traditional healers in Brazil have long used the herb Hyptis crenata to treat a range of health problems, including headaches, stomach pain, fever and flu. This study is the first to scientifically prove the pain-relieving properties of Brazilian mint.
In experiments with mice, the Newcastle University researchers found that Brazilian mint tea (the traditional way of administering the medicine) was as effective at relieving pain as a synthetic aspirin-style drug called Indomethacin.

The study came out on  Nov. 24 at a conference in India in advance of publication in an upcoming issue of the journal Acta Horticulturae.

“What we have done is to take a plant that is widely used to safely treat pain and scientifically proven that it works as well as some synthetic drugs. Now the next step is to find out how and why the plant works,”…….. study leader Graciela Rocha said in a university news release.

She and her colleagues plan to launch clinical trials to assess Brazilian mint’s pain relief qualities in people.

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Source: Newcastle University, news release, Nov. 24, 2009

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New Way to ‘Stop’ Premature Birth

A drug used to treat cancer can stop contractions and may prevent premature labour, researchers say.
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The Newcastle University team tested the drug Trichostatin A on tissue taken from 36 women undergoing a caesarean.

The researchers said the therapy worked by increasing the levels of a protein that controls muscle relaxation.

One expert said with rates of premature births rising – there are 50,000 a year in the UK – a new treatment was badly needed.

Preterm labour and birth continue to be the single biggest cause of death in infants in the developed world and around 1,500 babies die in the UK every year.

A number of drugs are used to try to stop early labour, but most have serious side effects.

Trichostatin A (TSA) is known to promote the death of cancer cells.

The researchers got permission to take samples of the muscles of women undergoing caesarean sections at the Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle, the Cellular and Molecular Medicine journal reported.

Contractions
They exposed the muscle to TSA and measured the effects on both spontaneous contractions and those induced by the labour drug, oxytocin.

They found an average 46% reduction in contractions for the spontaneously contracting tissue and an average 54% reduction in the oxytocin induced contractions.

It has been previously shown that a protein kinase A (PKA) is involved in controlling the relaxation of the uterus during pregnancy.

The researchers showed that TSA increased the levels of a protein sub-unit of PKA.

Professor Nick Europe-Finner, who led the research, said: “We will not give this drug to a patient because it can damage as many as 10% of the genes in a cell.

“But it does show us that other more specific agents that act on the same enzymes but only one at a time are worth investigating.”

New treatment
Dr Yolande Harley, deputy director of research at Action Medical Research which funded the study, said: “This project has uncovered some of the molecular pathways that regulate uterine contractions and so could be linked to premature birth.

“It could have a role in preventing premature birth – finding a new treatment for early labour would be a major step forward.”

Professor Jane Norman, a spokeswoman for the Royal College of Obstetrics and Gynaecology (RCOG), said: “At the moment, it’s not possible to treat preterm labour effectively. We only have drugs that delay it by 24 hours or so – not enough to deliver the baby safely.

“One of the interesting things about this research is that they are using a new kind of drug – the drugs we are currently using have been around for a long time.

“And they are targeting pathways we have not known about before.

“When you consider that preterm birth rates are rising in all four countries of the UK a new more effective drug is badly needed.”

Source:BBC News:Oct.22 ’09

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Bacteria that adds Flavour to Cheese

Researchers at Newcastle University have identified a new line of bacteria which they believe add flavor to some of the world’s most exclusive cheeses.

 

The team used DNA fingerprinting techniques to identify eight previously undiscovered microbes on the French cheese Reblochon.
One of France‘s great mountain cheeses, Reblochon is a ‘smear-ripened’ cheese where the surface of the cheese is washed with a salt solution containing bacteria.

This process helps to spread the bacteria across the surface of the cheese, ripening it from the outside in.
Other popular smear-ripened cheeses on the Christmas cheeseboard include Port de Salut, Livarot, Taleggio, Limburger and the Irish cheese Gubbeen.

The team has named the microbes Mycetocola reblochoni after the cheese they were first discovered in.
Project lead Professor Michael Goodfellow of Newcastle University said: “It has always been thought the bacteria cheese makers were putting in at the start of the process gave Reblochon its distinctive flavor.

“What our research actually showed was this new group of bacteria – the reblochoni -was responsible for the ripening process, influencing the taste, texture and smell of the cheese.”

Reblochon – a soft, creamy, brie-like cheese is made in the Savoy mountain region of France.
Using samples from three different farmhouses, the team carried out a series of modern molecular techniques to classify the bacteria.

Traditionally, smear-ripened cheeses such as Reblochon are exposed to a starter culture, a live mixture containing the microbe Brevibacterium linens, to ripen the cheese.

Now the research has shown that a new group of bacterial strains are involved in the later stage of ripening, out-competing the Brevibacterium and providing the flavor.

The reblochoni microbes are part of a large group of bacteria known as the Actinomycetes, many of which are already used in the production of antibiotics to treat diseases such as tuberculosis and diphtheria.
The study has been published in International Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology.

You may Click to see:->Essential Cheese Knowledge

Sources: The Times Of India

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Gum Disease

If you haven’t had gum problems yet, chances are you will: Three out of four adults overage 35 experience tender, swollen, or bleeding gums at some point in their lives. But there are plenty of things you can do to relieve pain, heal the gums, and preserve your teeth.

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Symptoms
Red, swollen, and tender gums.
A toothache made worse by hot, cold, or sweet foods or liquids.
Chronic bad breath or a bad taste in the mouth.
Loose or missing teeth.

When to Call Your Doctor
See your dentist if you experience red, swollen gums or loose teeth. It may save your
teeth. Have your teeth professionally cleaned if you haven’t done so in the previous year.

What It Is
There are two main types of gum disease: gingivitis and periodontitis. Gingivitis — marked by tender, inflamed gums — occurs when bacteria in the mouth form a thin, sticky film called plaque that coats the teeth and gums. If ignored, plaque will turn into tartar, a hard mineral shell that erodes gum tissue. Over time this will lead to the more serious — and harder to treat — condition known as periodontitis. In advanced periodontal disease, the gums recede in places and pockets form around the teeth, allowing bacteria to eat away at the bone anchoring the teeth.

What Causes It
Poor oral hygiene — including improper brushing, flossing, or rinsing — is the leading
cause of gum disease. Other precipitating factors include a high-sugar diet, lack of vitamin C or other nutrients, and smoking (the chemicals in tobacco smoke harm gums and teeth). In addition, certain medications can make gum disease worse because they inhibit saliva production, which helps wash away bacteria and sugars. Genetic factors likely make some people particularly susceptible to gum disease. Women seem to be more prone to gum problems during pregnancy and menopause because of hormonal changes. Diabetes and other chronic diseases that can lower resistance to infection also increase the risk.

How Supplements Can Help
Various supplements — used together — can help heal sore and bleeding gums. Benefits
should be noticed within two weeks. People at high risk for gum disease can also take them on a long-term preventive basis.

What Else You Can Do
Floss at least once a day and brush at least twice with a soft-bristle brush. It is
important to use the proper technique, including brushing the tongue, which collects the
same bacteria that stick to your teeth. If you’re not sure you’re flossing or brushing
correctly, ask your dentist or dental hygienist to show you how. Plan to spend five minutes or so each session.

Massaging of gum with yor finger and flowsing at least twice daily is said to be very helpful.
Limit your intake of sweets and sticky carbohydrates — or at least brush as soon as
possible after eating them. These foods can accumulate in gum spaces and pockets,
particularly in older people, who tend to have more exposed roots in their teeth.
See a dentist at least once a year for a professional cleaning — or more often if you have
a problem that needs special attention. Try natural toothpastes and mouthwashes containing the herb bloodroot. These supply an antibacterial substance called sanguinarine that helps reduce and prevent the accumulation of dental plaque — the first step in gum disease. Make a chamomile tea mouthwash using 2 or 3 teaspoons of herb per cup of hot water. Steep for 10 minutes, strain, and cool. Use as a daily mouthwash or gargle. Commission E, a noted panel of health experts in Germany that reviews herbal supplements, officially recognizes chamomile as an effective gargle or mouthwash for the treatment of gingivitis.

Supplement Recommendations

Vitamin C/Flavonoids
Coenzyme Q10
Vitamin E
Folic Acid Liquid
Vitamin C Powder

Vitamin C/Flavonoids
Dosage: 1,000 mg vitamin C and 500 mg flavonoids twice a day.
Comments: Reduce vitamin C dose if diarrhea develops.

Coenzyme Q10
Dosage: 50 mg twice a day.
Comments: For best absorption, take with food.

Vitamin E
Dosage: Break open a 400 IU capsule; rub contents on gums.
Comments: Alternate with folic acid/vitamin C treatments.

Folic Acid Liquid
Dosage: Dip swab in liquid; apply along gum line every other day.
Comments: Follow up with vitamin C powder. Alternate with vitamin E gum treatment every other day.

Vitamin C Powder
Dosage: Using 1/2 tsp. powder, brush along gum line every other day.
Comments: Alternate with vitamin E treatment every other day.

Reminder: If you have a medical condition, talk to your doctor before taking supplements.

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.

Source:Your Guide to Vitamins, Minerals, and Herbs (Reader’s Digest)

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