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Lab Report

Holy smoke

Smoke emanating from burning wood and a mixture of odoriferous and medicinal herbs used in religious rituals could reduce the number of airborne bacteria in a closed room by over 94 per cent within one hour. Researchers, including those at the National Botanical Research Institute, Lucknow, found that the room remained free of many disease-causing bacteria such as Enterobacter aerogenes (that causes skin and tissue infections) and Staphylococcus lentus for more than 30 days after the sacred fire was lit, even if it has been kept open. The findings are reported in the the Journal of Ethnopharmacology.

Ginger Everyday Keeps Ageing Away :

Eat ginger daily to stay young, say researchers at the National Institute of Nutrition, Hyderabad, India. The NIN scientists, led by Nirmala Kota, found that rats which were fed a diet containing ginger (even as little as 0.5 per cent) for a month exhibited improved antioxidant levels. The study appears in the February 2008 issue of the journal Food Chemistry. A boosted antioxidant status is an indicator of the body’s ability to remove free radicals implicated in the ageing process as well as in several diseases such as cancer, heart and lung diseases, rheumatoid arthritis, etc. Free radicals are formed during normal cellular metabolism and following exposure to agents like ultraviolet light, gamma radiation, environmental pollutants and cigarette smoke. After eating the ginger-rich food, the rats’ livers showed increased levels of enzymes such as superoxide dismutase, catalase and glutathione peroxidise, three important components of antioxidative defence. Also, the livers and kidneys had reduced levels of lipid peroxides, an indicator of cellular damage. The findings suggest that regular intake of ginger can fight tissue damage.

Sources: The Telegraph (Kolkata, India)

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