Positive thinking

Empathy in Action

An Experiment in Gratitude
Sometimes we forget to take the time to recognize the richness that defines our lives. This may be because many of the messages we encounter as we go about our affairs prompt us to think about what we don’t have rather than all the abundance we do enjoy. Consequently, our gratitude exists in perpetual conflict with our desire for more, whether we crave time, convenience, wealth, or enlightenment. Yet understanding and truly appreciating our blessings can be as simple as walking a mile in another’s shoes for a short period of time. Because many of us lead comparatively insular lives, we may not comprehend the full scope of our prosperity that is relative to our sisters and brothers in humanity.

If you find taking an inventory of your life’s blessings difficult, consider the ease with which you nourish your body and mind, feed your family, move from place to place, and attend to tasks at hand. For a great number of people, activities you may take for granted, such as attaining an education, buying healthy food, commuting to work, or keeping a clean house, represent great challenges. To experience firsthand the complex tests others face as a matter of course in their daily lives, try living without the amenities you most often take for granted. This can be a great experiment to undertake with your entire family or a classroom. Understanding working poverty can be as easy as endeavoring to buy nutritious foods with a budget of $100 for the week. If you own a car, relying on public transportation for even just a day can help you see the true value of the comfort and conveniences others do without. As you explore a life without things you may normally take for granted,! ask yourself for how long you could endure.

The compassionate gratitude that floods your heart when you come to fully realize your abundance may awaken pangs of guilt in your heart. Be aware, however, that the purpose of such an experiment is to open your heart further in gratitude and compassion. This awareness can help you attain a deeper level of gratitude that will allow you to savor and, above all, appreciate your life with renewed grace.

Source:Daily Om

News on Health & Science

Cold medication could be fatal for infants: Probe

NEW YORK: After investigating the deaths of three infants between 1 and 6 months of age linked to cough and cold medication use, officials with the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are emphasising that these drugs should be used only after talking with a physician.

Between 2004 and 2005, approximately 1,500 children younger than 2 years old were treated in US emergency departments for adverse events associated with cough and cold medications, A Srinivasan and colleagues at the CDC note in the January 12th issue of the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

For each of the three dead infants, a medical examiner or coroner determined that the cough and cold medications were the underlying causes of death.

Blood levels of the decongestant pseudoephedrine at autopsy ranged from 4700 to 7100 ng/mL, compared with blood levels of 180 to 500 ng/mL normally expected after therapeutic dosing in children between 2 to 12 years old.

Because of the risk of toxicity, the lack of dosing instructions, and the scarcity of published evidence on effectiveness of these medications in children younger than 2 years old, the authors advise that “parents and other caregivers should not administer cough and cold medications to children in this age group without first consulting a health-care provider and should follow the provider’s instructions precisely.”

In an editorial note, the CDC adds that the results of controlled trials indicate cough and cold medications are no more effective than placebo in children younger than 2 years of age.

Furthermore, the American College of Chest Physicians in 2006 released clinical practice guidelines for management of cough, advising clinicians to refrain from recommending cough suppressants for this age group.

Source:The Times Of India

Ailmemts & Remedies

Hair Problems

Americans face a variety of hair problems: dandruff, balding, brittle and graying hair, to name just a few. Though most are signs of the natural progression of aging, or basic genetic predispositions, various simple measures can contribute to a healthier head of hair.

Flaking or crusting of the scalp.
Increased loss of hair, such as when washing or combing.
Changes in hair color, texture, or growth patterns.
Irritated skin patches on the scalp.

When to Call Your Doctor
If hair loss occurs suddenly, especially when accompanied by symptoms such as the cessation of the menstrual cycle.
If the scalp develops dry, crusty patches or itches intensely.
Reminder: If you have a medical condition, talk to your doctor before taking supplements.

What It Is
Hair is a nonliving tissue, made up mainly of a fibrous protein called keratin — the same material found in your fingernails and toenails. The health of your hair requires a plentiful supply of nutrient-rich blood to nourish the hair follicles in the scalp, from which new hair sprouts. On average, hair grows about half an inch a month. It’s not unusual for people to shed up to a hundred hairs a day — fortunately, when one falls out, another usually grows in. Problems can arise when hair becomes dry or brittle, stops growing back, or becomes flecked with dandruff caused by excess flaking and shedding of skin on the scalp.

What Causes It
Stress, a poor diet, and hormonal changes (such as those accompanying pregnancy) can all contribute to hair loss. Some hair conditions may also be the result of nutritional deficiencies, environmental circumstances, an underactive thyroid gland, immune disorders, or genetic factors.

How Supplements Can Help
The recommended supplements, which can be taken together, may help your hair grow stronger and healthier by nourishing it at the roots. Though there’s no miracle remedy that can guarantee a luxurious head of hair, you may notice improvement within six months, when new hair has had time to grow in.

What Else You Can Do
Eat sensibly. Avoid fad diets that may deprive you of essential nutrients.
Wash your hair with a mild shampoo. Afterward, gently towel it dry and apply a conditioner. Avoid harsh chemicals, such as the chlorine in pools, and high heat from blow dryers or curling irons.
Protect your hair and scalp from the sun by wearing a hat.
Perform a weekly scalp massage. Not only does it stimulate blood flow, but it also helps relieve stress, which can contribute to hair loss.
Take acidophilus (one or two pills twice a day) to improve GI function and boost your body’s ability to absorb important hair-nourishing substances from the foods you eat. Thinning hair may be a sign that your gastrointestinal (GI) tract is not absorbing zinc and other nutrients properly.
Quit smoking. Scientists in England recently reported that, age notwithstanding, smokers were four times more likely to have gray hair than nonsmokers. The researchers also reported a link between smoking and hair loss.

Supplement Recommendations

Flaxseed Oil
Evening Primrose Oil
Vitamin B Complex

Flaxseed Oil
Dosage: 1 tbsp. (14 grams) a day.
Comments: Can be mixed with food; take in the morning.

Evening Primrose Oil
Dosage: 1,000 mg 3 times a day.
Comments: Can substitute 1,000 mg borage oil once a day.


Dosage: 30 mg zinc and 2 mg copper a day.
Comments: Add copper only when using zinc longer than 1 month.

Dosage: 1,000 mcg a day.
Comments: Can combat excessive oiliness and flaking; take with vitamin B complex.

Vitamin B Complex
Dosage: 1 pill twice a day with food.
Comments: Look for a B-50 complex with 50 mcg vitamin B12 and biotin; 400 mcg folic acid; and 50 mg all other B vitamins.


Dosage: 100 mg a day.
Comments: Promotes the health of the skin and scalp.


Dosage: 200 mcg twice a day.
Comments: Don’t exceed 600 mcg daily; higher doses may be toxic.

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

Healthy Tips

Oat Fiber

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 OAT FIBER is good for gas and upset stomach; helps prevent heart disease by reducing cholesterol; good source of VITAMIN B; good for skin and hemorrhoids – the extract has a calming effect on the body…..CLICK & SEE

OAT formulas relieve pain of the liver and gall bladder which may occur after excessive ingestion of fatty foods, alcohol or coffee. Such are useful when a person has been exposed to aromatic hydrocarbons including solvents and paints. This type of formula stimulates enzyme production, white blood cell cleaning and increases blood supply to the liver.

OATS are an effective cholesterol fighter. OATS also contain cancer-battling SELENIUM, and POTASSIUM, B VITAMINS and IRON). PUFFED WHEAT and OATMEAL are high in ZINC.

The correct diet should have fiber in it to help to regulate blood glucose levels, aid in lowering cholesterol, and help in the removal of toxins. Oat Fiber is a convenient method of adding beneficial Fiber to your daily diet. More concentrated than oat bran, oat fiber is about 90% dietary fiber by weight.

Heart disease is the number one killer in America. No wonder Americans are more concerned about having a healthy diet. Oats are high in soluble dietary fiber. Soluble dietary fiber helps lower blood cholesterol, therefore, reducing the risk of heart disease. Oat fiber contains more soluble dietary fiber than oats or even oat bran.

Oat fiber also serves as an excellent addition to low carbohydrate recipes. 100% Oat fiber. 0 net carbs. Oat fiber, which is an ingredient low in available carbohydrates, absorbs up to seven times its weight in water making it useful for the bakery and snacks, dairy and meat industries. When added to bakery products, oat fiber allows for the production of low carbohydrate breads, pastries, muffins, bagels, tacos and tortillas.

From the Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition (BMD, KPD, RCH, and CLM) and the Department of Health and Exercise Science (KPD, SDB, and LRD), Colorado State University, Fort Collins.

Background: No studies have examined whether increased consumption of oat cereal, rich in soluble fiber, favorably alters lipoprotein particle size and number.

Objective: Examined the effects of large servings of either oat or wheat cereal on plasma lipids, lipoprotein subclasses, lipoprotein particle diameters, and LDL particle number.

Design: Thirty-six overweight men aged 50–75 y were randomly assigned to consume daily for 12 wk either oat or wheat cereal providing 14 g dietary fiber/d. Before and after the intervention, plasma lipid and lipoprotein subclasses were measured with proton nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, and whole-body insulin sensitivity was estimated with the frequently sampled intravenous-glucose-tolerance test.

Results: Time-by-treatment interactions (P < 0.05) for LDL cholesterol (oat: -2.5%; wheat: 8.0%), small LDL cholesterol (oat: -17.3%; wheat: 60.4%), LDL particle number (oat: -5.0%; wheat: 14.2%), and LDL:HDL cholesterol (oat: -6.3%; wheat: 14.2%) were observed. Time-by-treatment interactions were nearly significant for total cholesterol (oat: -2.5%; wheat: 6.3%; P = 0.08), triacylglycerol (oat: -6.6%; wheat: 22.0%; P = 0.07), and VLDL triacylglycerol (oat: -7.6%; wheat: 2.7%; P = 0.08). No significant time-by-treatment interactions were observed for HDL cholesterol, HDL-cholesterol subclasses, or LDL, HDL, and VLDL particle diameters. Insulin sensitivity did not change significantly with either intervention.

Conclusions: The oat compared with the wheat cereal produced lower concentrations of small, dense LDL cholesterol and LDL particle number without producing adverse changes in blood triacylglycerol or HDL-cholesterol concentrations. These beneficial alterations may contribute to the cardioprotective effect of oat fiber.

Help taken from:Dr.Yang’s Herbs & Gems for Health and American Journal of Clinical Nutrition,


News on Health & Science

Obese survive heart attacks better than lean

NEW DELHI: It’s a well-known paradox that had little evidence to support it, until now. Doctors from UCLA’s David Geffen School of Medicine have, for the first time, successfully demonstrated that obese patients actually fare better and have better chances of survival when hospitalised for acute heart failure than their leaner counterparts.

In the first-ever large scale study to assess the relationship between Body Mass Index and survival in patients hospitalised with acute heart failure, doctors have found the obesity paradox — BMI being inversely associated with long-term mortality in chronic heart failure — to be real.

The study has found that by weight category, in-hospital mortality rate was 6.3% for underweight, 4.6% for healthy weight, 3.4% for overweight and 2.4% for obese patients.

Researchers also found that for every five-unit increase in body mass, the odds of risk-adjusted mortality fell 10%, irrespective of the patients age, sex, blood urea nitrogen, blood pressure and additional prognostic factors.

Speaking to TOI, Gregg Fonarow, the school’s director and lead author of this study, said, “The study suggests overweight, obese patients may have a greater metabolic reserve to call upon during an acute heart failure, which may lessen in-hospital mortality risk. Prior studies in outpatients with chronic heart failure had shown overweight patients had better chances of survival compared to patients who were normal weight, the so called obesity paradox.”

Fonarow said the study was initiated in October 2001 and involved 263 hospitals in the US. Researchers utilised data of over 100,000 patients with acute heart failure patients from the Acute Decompensated Heart Failure National Registry from October 2001 through December 2004.

“Further study is required but the finding suggests that nutritional/metabolic support may have therapeutic benefit in specific patients hospitalised with heart failure. Obesity is a known risk factor for developing heart disease and heart failure and every effort should be made to avoid it, but once heart failure has manifested, this paradox seems to occur,” Fonarow added.

According to cardiologist Dr K K Agarwal of Moolchand Hospital, obesity paradox is also called reverse epidemiology. “Such a paradox has been found in obese patients undergoing dialysis or suffering from advanced cancer and renal failure. Elderly patients who have better BMI have better chance of pulling through such severe health complications.”

Source:The Times Of India