Tag Archives: Poultry

The Best & Healthy Way to Eat Eggs

Raw, hands down…. that many of you, especially women, will find this particularly difficult to accept. This is primarily because of the slimy texture but if you whip them up in a shake you won’t even know they are there.

Raw eggs are better because cooking them will damage the valuable nutrients like lutein and zeaxanthin, bioflavanoids present in egg yolk that are incredibly important for your vision.

Heating the egg protein also changes its chemical shape, and the distortion can easily lead to allergies.

Further, when an egg is overcooked, such as when it is scrambled, the cholesterol in it becomes oxidized, or rancid, and oxidized cholesterol can increase your levels of inflammation and lead to numerous health problems.

So if you want to get the maximum health benefits that eggs have to offer, choose organic varieties and eat them raw. The next best would be soft-boiled and then sunny-side up, with the yolk still very runny.

If you are worried about getting salmonella from eating raw eggs, as many people initially are, please read my past article on the topic — Raw Eggs for Your Health — to address your concerns. The risk is actually very, very small.

Remember the MYTH :Brown eggs are better than white eggs.  Fact:NOT TRUE : The nutritional content of egg has got nothing to do with the outer  shell colour.

Related Links:
Eggs are the Better Breakfast Choice
A Novel Way to Consume Raw Eggs
Eggs-aggerated Health Myth Debunked

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The Sunny Side of Eggs

Despite decades of advice that the cholesterol in eggs is bad for you, researchers now report evidence that eggs might actually reduce high blood pressure.

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The scientists found egg proteins that, in laboratory simulations of the human digestive process, seem to be as good as common prescription medications for lowering blood pressure.

However, it should be noted that funding for the research came from livestock and poultry industry groups. And the researchers emphasized that further study is needed to determine if the proteins actually work in humans.

Resources:

Live Science February 23, 2009

Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry February 11, 2009, 57 (2), pp 471–477

Dr.Mercola‘s Comments:-
Eggs are one of the healthiest foods you can eat, and it’s a shame they’ve been vilified for so long in the United States. As a result, egg consumption has been going down for the last 40 years, all because of concerns about cholesterol.

But the idea that eggs are unhealthy is a complete myth, one that’s easily debunked if you look at the evidence.

In this latest study, researchers identified several different peptides in eggs that act as potent ACE inhibitors, which are drugs used to lower high blood pressure. This means they may actually lower your risk of heart disease, not raise it as health officials like to say they do.

One particularly skewed belief is that eggs are bad for your heart; however, eating eggs on a daily basis may prove to hold numerous health benefits, especially a decreased risk of heart disease.

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A Shot for All

A vaccine in the making — equally effective for birds, men and other mammals — offers a shield against another outbreak of bird flu.

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Of all the viruses that can cause a devastating pandemic (worldwide outbreak), the influenza virus is the most likely to cause one. Influenza is a tricky disease to control. The world has already seen several outbreaks, of which the influenza pandemic in 1918 was the most serious: at least 20 million people died all over the world then. There were pandemics in 1957, 1968 and 1977, but of much less severity.

Recently, avian influenza (or bird flu) has emerged as a candidate that can cause a serious pandemic. Experts warn that another outbreak is imminent and we have only limited ability to control it if one breaks out. However, several vaccines — now in the laboratory stage — offer hope.

One of the problems of bird flu is that it affects birds as well as humans and other mammals. The virus may be slightly different in each of the animals, and it is difficult to give different vaccines for different animals during a pandemic. At the Department of Veterinary Medicine in the University of Maryland in the US, Daniel Perez and his colleagues have developed a vaccine that can control the disease in birds, humans and rodents. It is based on a region of the virus gene that is common to all the strains. “We have shown that the vaccine works in rodents and does not cause the disease,” says Perez.

This vaccine has been tested in rats but not yet in humans. Meanwhile, at the University of Pittsburgh medical college, scientists are testing a vaccine against the deadliest of all avian flu viruses, the H5N1. This is a genetically engineered vaccine that takes only 10 weeks to manufacture. The other vaccines now in the market are made using chicken eggs, and take several months to manufacture, apart from not being able to provide enough immunity. Two months ago, the institution received a $3.6 million grant to test the vaccine in non-human primates.

Currently, three companies manufacture vaccines against the avian flu virus H5N1, all of them approved in different countries in the last year and a half. Sanofi Pasteur’s vaccine was approved in the US in 2007, GlaxoSmithkline’s vaccine was approved in Europe in May this year. Australia approved a vaccine from CSL Limited. All of them are live attenuated virus — which have been so altered that they can’t cause disease — raised on chicken eggs. While all of them provide some protection, none of them can prevent a pandemic. This is because the virus mutates fast, and we do not know what strain of the virus would be involved in a pandemic.

One of the known — and fortunate — facts about the bird flu virus is its specificity. The virus that infects birds does not easily infect humans. This is why many outbreaks in birds have not resulted in human infections. Which is probably also why human to human transmission has not happened in large numbers so far.

However, such a transmission is not scientifically impossible. Since the virus mutates fast, strains of broader range can emerge. They can infect humans, pigs, rats, birds and other animals. It would be difficult, if not impossible, for us to make different vaccines for different animals. The Maryland University team has shown that it is possible to make a single vaccine effective in many animal species.

This vaccine is based on a DNA backbone that is common to all the strains. This backbone lies inside the virus and not outside. The scientists have a strain of the virus called WF10 with this backbone. They have isolated other influenza viruses that are related to this strain, including the human influenza virus. They had earlier shown that by tweaking the gene of this strain they could make a vaccine effective in birds. Now they have shown that, by further modification, this strain can protect many species against the influenza infection. In particular, they have shown that it provides protection in rats against H5N1, the most lethal strain against which human vaccines are made. Says Perez: “We have done animal trials, but we are yet to do human trials.”

There are other developments that could help in preventing a major pandemic. A series of DNA vaccines against H5N1 are also under development in several institutions. They are the Virology Research Institute in Maryland, which began clinical trials last year, the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, and the Rockefeller University. A DNA vaccine is a piece of DNA that can directly make the protein that produces an immune response. It is safe, because it cannot by itself cause the disease. The vaccines can be made rapidly, which is invaluable in case of an epidemic.

However, there are technical issues, which all these teams claim to have solved. If they work, we could soon have a vaccine that can be rapidly made when there is an epidemic. Let us wait and watch their progress.

Sources: The Telegraph (Kolkata, India)

Chip That Detects Flu Within 2 hrs

Europe‘s top semiconductor maker, STMicroelectronics, said it has developed a portable chip to detect influenza viruses including bird flu in humans.

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The device, which functions as a mini laboratory on a chip, can screen and identify multiple classes of pathogens and genes in a single test within two hours, unlike other tests available on the market that can detect only one strain at a time and require days or weeks to obtain results.

The chip can differentiate human strains of the Influenza A and B viruses, drug-resistant strains and mutated variants, including the Avian Flu or H5N1 strain. There have been 236 human deaths globally from the H5N1 strain, according to the World Health Organisation, though it remains mainly a bird virus.

“ST sees new high growth opportunities in the healthcare market, especially in areas like patient care,” said Francois Guibert, STMicro‘s Asia Pacific chief executive in Singapore on Monday marking the commercial launch.

It allows users to process and analyze patient samples — comprising human blood, serum or respiratory swabs — on a single disposable microchip.

Sources: The Times Of India