Herbs & Plants

Ammi visnaga

Botanical Name: Ammi visnaga
Species:A. visnaga
Kingdom: Plantae

Synonyms : Ammi dilatatum. Apium visnaga. Carum visnaga. Daucus visnaga.

Common names : Bisnaga, Toothpickweed, and Khella.

Habitat: Ammi visnaga is native to Europe, Asia, and North Africa, but it can be found throughout the world as an introduced species.It grows in fields and sandy places.
Ammi visnaga is an annual or biennial herb growing from a taproot erect to a maximum height near 80 centimeters. Leaves are up to 20 centimeters long and generally oval to triangular in shape but dissected into many small linear to lance-shaped segments. The inflorescence is a compound umbel of white flowers similar to those of other Apiaceae species. The fruit is a compressed oval-shaped body less than 3 millimeters long. This and other Ammi species are sources of khellin, a diuretic extract.


It is in flower from Jul to September. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects.The plant is self-fertile.

Prefers a well-drained soil in a sunny position, succeeding in ordinary garden soil. Tolerates a pH in the range 6.8 to 8.3. This species is not fully winter-hardy in the colder areas of Britain, though it should be possible to grow it as a spring-sown annual. This plant is sold as toothpicks in Egyptian markets.

Propagation: Seed – sow spring in situ. ( Sow under cover Feb-March in a seed tray, module or guttering. Sow direct March-May and/or August-September.)
Edible Uses: Leaves are chewed raw for their pleasant aromatic flavour

Chemical constituents:
Khellin, a chemical obtained from Ammi visnaga gives rose red color with KOH (solid) or NaOH & 2-3 drops of water, was used at one time as a smooth muscle relaxant, but its use is limited due to adverse side effects. Amiodarone and cromoglycate are derivates of khellin that are frequently used in modern medicine.

The chemical visnagin, which is found in A. visnaga, has biological activity in animal models as a vasodilator and reduces blood pressure by inhibiting calcium influx into the cell.
Medicinal Uses:
Antiarrhythmic; Antiasthmatic; Antispasmodic; Diuretic; Lithontripic; Vasodilator.

Visnaga is an effective muscle relaxant and has been used for centuries to alleviate the excruciating pain of kidney stones. Modern research has confirmed the validity of this traditional use. Visnagin contains khellin, from which particularly safe pharmaceutical drugs for the treatment of asthma have been made. The seeds are diuretic and lithontripic. They contain a fatty oil that includes the substance ‘khellin’. This has been shown to be of benefit in the treatment of asthma. Taken internally, the seeds have a strongly antispasmodic action on the smaller bronchial muscles, they also dilate the bronchial, urinary and blood vessels without affecting blood pressure. The affect last for about 6 hours and the plant has practically no side effects. The seeds are used in the treatment of asthma, angina, coronary arteriosclerosis and kidney stones. By relaxing the muscles of the urethra, visnaga reduces the pain caused by trapped kidney stones and helps ease the stone down into the bladder. The seeds are harvested in late summer before they have fully ripened and are dried for later use.
In Egypt, a tea made from the fruit of this species has been used as an herbal remedy for kidney stones. Laborarory rat studies show that the extract slows the buildup of calcium oxalate crystals in the kidneys and acts as a diuretic.
This plant and its components have shown effects in dilating the coronary arteries. Its mechanism of action may be very similar to the calcium channel-blocking drugs. The New England Journal of Medicine writes “The high proportion of favorable results, together with the striking degree of improvement frequently observed, has led us to the conclusion that Khellin, properly used, is a safe and effective drug for the treatment of angina pectoris.” As little as 30 milligrams of Khellin per day appear to offer as good a result, with fewer side effects. Rather than use the isolated compound “Khellin,” Khella extracts standardized for khellin content (typically 12 percent) are the preferred form.

A daily dose of such an extract would be 250 to 300 milligrams. Khella appears to work very well with hawthorn extracts. An aromatic herb which dilates the bronchial, urinary and blood vessels without affecting blood pressure.

Visnaga is a traditional Egyptian remedy for kidney stones. By relaxing the muscles of the ureter, visnaga reduces the pain caused by the trapped stone and helps ease the stone down into the bladder. Following research into its antispasmodic properties, visnaga is now given for asthma and is safe even for children to take. Although it does not always relieve acute asthma attacks, it do3es help to prevent their recurrence. It is an effective remedy for various respiratory problems, including bronchitis, emphysema, and whooping cough. In Andalusia in Spain, the largest and best quality visnaga were employed to clean the teeth. Khella is the source of amiodarone one of the key anti-arrhythmia medications. The usual recommendation calls for pouring boiling water over about a quarter-teaspoon of powdered khella fruits. Steep for five minutes and drink the tea after straining.

Its active constituent is khellin, a bronchiodilator and antispasmodic that makes it useful for asthma sufferers It’s best used to prevent asthma rather than to counter an attack and can be taken on a daily basis with no contraindications. Because khella builds up in the blood, its use can be decreased after a period of time. Khella is safer than ma huang (ephedra) for asthma sufferers because it’s nonstimulating and nonenervating. Unlike ma huang, it doesn’t rob the body, especially the adrenals, of energy.

Spasmolytic action of khellin and visnagin (both furanochromones) is indicated for treatment of asthma and coronary arteriosclerosis.
An extract from khella (Ammi visnaga) is so far the only herb found to be useful in vitili. Khellin, the active constituent, appears to work like psoralen drugs?it stimulates repigmentation of the skin by increasing sensitivity of remaining pigment-containing cells (melanocytes) to sunlight. Studies have used 120-160 mg of khellin per day. Khellin must be used with caution, as it can cause side effects such as nausea and insomnia.

Another use is for vitiligo (an extract from ammi visnaga appears to stimulate repigmentation of the skin by increasing sensitivity of remaining pigment containing cells, melanocytes to sunlight)

Other Uses: The fruiting pedicel is used as a toothpick whilst the seeds have been used as a tooth cleaner

Known Hazards : Skin contact with the sap is said to cause photo-sensitivity and/or dermatitis in some people. Avoid during pregnancy and lactation. Avoid if on warfarin or other blood thinning medication. Prolonged use may lead to: constipation, appetite loss, headaches, vertigo, nausea and vomiting.

Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

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Low Fat Recipe


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Bariatric surgery may help cure diabetes:-

In these days of take-one-get-one-free, a surgical procedure for curbing obesity too comes with a freebie. Get under the scalpel to get rid of excess fat and your diabetes will be gone, forever.

Independent experts say that they are not surprised by the finding, as being overweight or obese leads to diabetes and so when obesity is treated — surgically or otherwise — diabetes can also disappear, at least briefly. Normally, the beneficial effect lasts up to two years for those who undergo weight-loss surgery, commonly known as bariatric surgery.

The researchers — who did the study at Pune’s Ruby Hall Clinic — however, assert that there is an element of surprise in their findings. They found that the anti-diabetic mechanisms kicked in much before substantial weight loss had occurred. This means that the remission of diabetes did not happen just because the patients had their obesity problem under control, but something else. “It seems certain gastro-intestinal hormones are at play here,” says Shashank S. Shah, a bariatric surgeon at Ruby Hall Clinic, a co-author of the study.

The researchers — led by David E. Cummings, professor at the University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle — also found that not just the obese, but thinner diabetics too can benefit from such surgery. The study was published in the latest issue of the journal Surgery for Obesity and Related Diseases.

India currently has more than 42 million known cases of diabetes. The numbers will, it is feared, shoot up to 59 million by 2025, according to the World Diabetes Foundation, a Denmark-based organisation.

The researchers used one of the most popular forms of bariatric surgery called gastro bypass surgery. The procedure makes the stomach smaller and allows food to bypass part of the small intestine. But as of now, only extremely obese people — who have a body mass index (BMI) of 40 kg/m2 (or a BMI of 35 with metabolic complications like diabetes) — are advised bariatric surgery.

The researchers chose 15 people — both men and women — in their forties who have been extremely diabetic for three to 13 years. Nearly 80 per cent of them were on insulin before the surgery was performed, while the rest were on oral medicines.

Cummings says they chose people of Indian descent because of their higher risk of developing Type 2 diabetes at lower BMI levels than those of other ethnic communities such as Caucasians. According to the World Health Organisation, the BMI of overweight adult Indians is 23-25 kg/m2, while for the obese it could be more than 25 kg/m2. In the case of other populations, the latter value is more than 30 kg/m2. This is because for any given BMI, the body fat percentage is 3 to 5 per cent higher in Indians than in others. The subjects selected for the study had BMI values in the range of 22 to 35 kg/m2.

“Our patients had very high diabetes at the outset (with very high levels of blood sugar despite the use of anti-diabetes medicines). In spite of this, all of them experienced complete diabetes remission,” says Cummings. Moreover, the effect was very fast: 80 per cent of the patients had no evidence of diabetes by the first month following the surgery while the rest showed complete remission by three months, he adds. The duration of follow-up lasted another six months.

According to Cummings, the results were several notches better than reported elsewhere. On an average, bariatric surgeries conducted in the past reported diabetes remission in only 84 per cent of cases.

Another interesting finding that emerged from the study is that lean patients had better diabetes remission than those who were fatter.

Kesavadev Jothydev, who runs a specialist diabetes clinic in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, says that the results are not surprising. But bariatric surgery is a major process and entails several short and long-term risks. “When part of the gut is removed (or bypassed), absorption of some vitamins and minerals are permanently impaired. This requires lifelong supplementation,” he says.

Bariatric surgery may sound like an attractive option, but only to those who are lazy and do not want to shed the extra kilos through dieting and exercise. Jothydev fears that it may in the long run be misused if wrong messages are conveyed. “Currently, in India, bariatric surgery is permitted only for those with a BMI of more than 32.5 kg/m2,” says Anoop Misra, head of the department of diabetes and metabolic diseases, Fortis Hospitals, New Delhi. “Depending on weight loss, this procedure leads to a marked benefit in all diseases associated with obesity”.

Cummings, however, discounts the risks involved in bariatric surgery. “The operative risks of bariatric surgery have been decreasing steadily over the past several years, largely owing to progressively better and less invasive laparoscopic techniques,” he told KnowHow.

The researchers are now planning to conduct a larger study involving nearly 100 patients in four countries — India, Brazil, Chile and the US. “We would also try to ascertain the exact mechanism involved in diabetes remission,” says Shah.

However, one word of caution from the researchers: the process is recommend to only those who have exhausted other options of medication and lifestyle modification. “Bariatric surgery remains an aggressive intervention and it should be reserved for cases in which medical and behavioural strategies to control diabetes have proven ineffective,” warns Cummings.

: The Telegraph (Kolkata, India)

Featured Health Alert

Some Common Health Myths

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There’s nothing like a health message to make you feel even more anxious about your body. But it seems many commonly held beliefs about what we should  –  and shouldn’t  –  be doing are entirely unfounded. Here we tried through different internet websites  to reveal the steps we ought to be taking to protect our health…


FACT: Research shows that the chances of a 50-year-old, non-smoking man suffering a heart attack is about one in a million in any hour.

Having sex increases these odds to two in a million. Sex, like any other form of physical exertion, does raise the heart attack risk in men with heart disease, or who experience severe chest pains regularly, have very high blood pressure or have a weak heart muscle or heart palpitations.

Sex raises your heart rate to around 130 beats a minute, which is roughly the same effect as climbing stairs for 15 to 20 seconds  –  so if you feel comfortable climbing the stairs, sex shouldn’t be a heart attack worry.
If you are comfortable climbing stairs you shouldn’t worry about having sex

FACT: It is always wise to try to avoid drinking alcohol when taking medication, since there is a possibility the combination will make you feel unwell. But doing so while taking antibiotics is unlikely to have any effect.

It’s likely the myth came about since there are many drugs which can interact with alcohol, and either increase in potency of the medicine, or make you get drunk quicker.

The only exception, says Sean Woodard, a spokesman for the Royal Pharmaceutical Society, is Metronidazole, an antibiotic used for a variety of infections. When mixed with even small amounts of alcohol, it causes vomiting.

Drinking alcohol has no effect on antibiotics but can make you drunker faster when combining the two

FACT: Diabetes is not caused by having too much sugar, but by a failure of the pancreas to produce enough insulin to control glucose levels in the blood, says Caroline Butler, a care adviser for Diabetes UK.

This means having too much sugar cannot in itself cause such a malfunction.

However, she points out that Type 2 diabetes can be triggered by excess weight gain, perhaps through eating too many sugary foods.

It is also a myth that those with the condition need to buy sugar-free foods suitable for diabetics. This is not the case, particularly as many products contain sweeteners which could have a laxative effect.

It is not necessary to cut sugar completely out of a diabetic diet. Intake should be moderate and monitored in accordance with insulin intake and general health.

Too much sugar doesn’t lead to diabetes but  may lead to excess weight gain

FACT: The idea that regular breast examinations prevent women from dying of cancer was discredited by a major American study.

In a survey of 266,000 women by the prestigious Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Centre in Seattle, the death rate from breast cancer was the same in the group taught to check their breasts as in the group given no information.

The researchers also found that self-examination led to an increase in anxiety and needless biopsies.

Rather than routine breast self- examination, it is far more important to be breast aware, advises Lester Barr, a consultant at the Genesis Breast Cancer Prevention Centre in Manchester.

‘Breast examination may not have an effect on mortality, but being quick to respond to any noticeable changes such as a lump, any puckering or pain, may reduce the need for more extensive treatment.’

He also added that screening programmes and mammograms have been shown to improve survival.


FACT: Though it might leave you with a sore arm or slight fever, you will not develop flu, says GP Dr Sarah Brewer, as the vaccine does not contain live germs.

Many people make this mistake because the jab is usually given in autumn, which is the peak time for viruses such as the common cold.

And when people go on to get a cold, this is misinterpreted as flu, and incorrectly linked to the vaccination.

It is also a myth that if you are healthy you don’t need the vaccination. It’s recommended to all over-65s, even if they’re fit and well, as they may have lower immunity to the virus.


FACT: You should never do this, says Dr Phil Stemmer, a dentist at the Teeth For Life clinic in London.

Whenever you eat something acidic or sugary it causes a temporary softening of the enamel.

So if you brush straight away, you are scraping off this protective coating and, in effect, spitting your teeth down the sink. Wait at least an hour before brushing with a fluoride toothpaste as the enamel will have hardened by then.
Dentists advise waiting an hour to brush teeth after eating something sweet


FACT: Headaches alone are very rarely sign of a brain tumour, says John Wadley, consultant neurosurgeon at barts and The London hospital.

Brain tumours may cause headaches, but generally this will by no means be the only symptom. Other signs to look for you’re worried include memory problems, personality change or unnsteadiness. But always see your doctor if the problem persists.


FACT: Since the disease is caused by uncontrolled cell division, many patients fear that massage or even pressing on the skin could encourage cancer cells to multiply.

However, Lester Barr says there is no evidence for this; many studies testify to the benefits of massage for patients, in terms of reducing anxiety and dealing with the symptoms of the disease or the side-effects of treatment.


FACT: As we get older, our eyesight naturally deteriorates which is why many of us start wearing glasses in our early 40s. People often assume this makes the eyes ‘lazy’, causing further deterioration.

This is wrong, says Dr Rob Hogan, President of the College of Optometrists. It’s true that when you take your glasses off, your sight seems much worse.

But this is a psychological impression: glasses improve your focus; when you take them off you lose that focus that’s all
Wearing glasses doesn’t make vision worse, but helps our eyes stay focussed

FACT: Unfortunately, a slow metabolism is no excuse for being overweight. In fact, according to Dr David Ashton, medical director of the Healthier Weight Centres, heavier people often have a faster metabolism.

He explains that the heavier a person is, the higher their basal metabolic rate (BMR)  –  meaning they need to consume more calories each day simply to sustain life.

‘People think that they’re overweight because their metabolism is slow  –  which means they burn calories very slowly and therefore can do nothing about it.

‘But heavy people actually carry more weight, have heavier organs and therefore need more calories to sustain themselves. As you lose weight, it is then that BMR slows down.’


FACT: Though a well-balanced diet, low in fat and rich in fruit and vegetables, is important for overall health, simply following this and using low-cholesterol products such as margarine is rarely enough to reduce high cholesterol significantly, says Dr Mel Lobo, a consultant in cardiovascular medicine.

In fact a ten per cent reduction is the best that’s ever been shown to be achieved. High cholesterol is often genetic, therefore dietary intake will make little difference to bringing it down.

The condition can be successfully treated with drugs such as statins.
However, Dr Lobo does point out that once cholesterol level drops through the use of drugs, a healthy diet is needed to help maintain it at an acceptable level.

High cholesterol is not dangerous in itself, but is a marker for potentially serious conditions such as high blood pressure, which is why it is vital to keep it in check.

FACT: Though tiredness and general fatigue is very common, it is usually caused by stress or depression or even a lack of exercise rather than ill health, says Dr Dawn Harper, a GP with a specialist interest in women’s health.

She says that being ‘tired all the time’ is such a common reason for a GP visit that patients will be given a diagnosis Tired All The Time.

Classic signs of anaemia include looking pale, weakness, feeling faint, shortness of breath, palpitations, headaches, sore mouth and gums, and brittle nails. As many doctors may do a routine blood test when a patient complains of tiredness, it is sometimes the case that unrelated anaemia is detected this way, causing patients to make the link.

Constant tiredness is more likely due to depression or lack of exercise
FACT: Skin cancer is a direct consequence of sunburn. Reducing exposure to the sun, through protective creams, can reduce the risk of burning, but this does not mean that you are protected from skin cancer, particularly if you spend hours in the sun.

Sun creams are simply filters, not total blocks, so they still allow some of the cancer-causing UV light to hit the skin, explains Mike Brown, sun-care scientific adviser for Boots.

The lesser forms of skin cancer, such as Basal cell carcinoma, are linked to rays known as UVB, while the more dangerous forms  –  malignant melanomas  –  are thought to be connected to UVA exposure.

When buying a sunscreen, look for a product that offers high protection against both (Mike Brown advises opting for a cream or lotion with four or five stars).

Sunscreen alone isn’t enough to protect us from skin cancer

FACT: Although smoking is the main cause of lung cancer, one in eight cases are not linked to smoking, explains GP Dr Dawn Harper.
Second-hand smoke and contact with some substances such as asbestos will increase the risk, though the disease can occur in those who have not had any obvious exposure.

An American study found around eight per cent of men and 20 per cent of women who are diagnosed with lung cancer have never smoked.

Even if you are not an obvious candidate, it is always wise to see your doctor if you experience symptoms such as a prolonged cough or unexplained pain and weight loss.

Although smokers have a higher risk of getting lung cancer, one in cases are diagnosed in non-smokers

FACT: The popping sound is caused by a change of pressure in the joints, which is created by the action of cracking the knuckles rather than as a result of wear and tear in the fingers, says Robert Moots, professor of rheumatology at the University Hospital Aintree in Liverpool.

Since there is no cumulative damage, cracking knuckles will not lead to arthritis. However, when joints produce a creaking sensation this is usually a sign of arthritis.


FACT: Doctors usually prescribe a couple of days’ worth of antibiotics more than are needed to ensure that the bacteria which cause an infection are killed off, explains Sean Woodward.

That’s why you may feel better even if you have a further couple of days worth of medication left. However, if you don’t finish the course there is always a risk that some bacteria remain in the system.

These will not only multiply, but can also mutate so that they become resistant to the antibiotics you have been taking in the first place, so always finish the course.



FACT: Pins and needles alone are very rarely a sign of multiple sclerosis, or any other serious neurological illness, says Dr Mike Boggild, consultant neurologist at the Walton Centre in Liverpool.

In most cases, pins and needles are caused by pressure on a nerve, and this can be triggered by anything from wearing tight shoes to sleeping on your arm. The sensation should pass after a few minutes.

The difference with MS, says Dr Boggild, is that the problem will persist for days on end  –  having a family member who suffers with the disease may also increase risk.

He also points out that pins and needles almost never occur in isolation if they are caused by the disease, and that a sufferer is likely to have other symptoms such as numbness or loss of feeling in the limbs.


FACT: Too much brushing can actually harm teeth, as once plaque has been removed, lengthy, aggressive brushing can damage the tooth enamel, causing the teeth to wear away.

Up to 20 per cent of people suffer from receding gums, often caused by scrubbing their teeth too aggressively.

Dr Phil Stemmer suggests brushing for no more than two minutes at least twice a day, using a rotating motion.

Place the brush at the neck of the tooth where it meets the gum and use small movements at a 45 degree angle. (Electric toothbrushes can do the job for you more easily, but should be used for just as long.)

This is completely false no matter what your mom told you. Reading in the dark can cause temporary strain to the eyes but rapidly disappears once you return to bright light. 200 years ago people were reading by candle light. There is just no scientific evidence to support this myth.

Most of the fluid we intake comes from juices, milk and even caffeinated drinks. Too much water has been proven to cause electrolyte imbalances, intoxication and sometimes death. Bottom line, drink when you are truly thirsty.

Sorry not this time. Soy in all of its forms contains Phytoestrogens (plant estrogens) while it is ok in small quantities, it’s when we exceed that limit we do more harm then good. A medical study done showed that eating lean cuts of beef helped lower bad cholesterol and raise the good. Soy in some cases actually raised bad cholesterol .

Reality check, go grab a 10-20 minute nap which has been proven to refresh the brain and improve memory function. Gingko Biloba does not have any effect on your memory.

While this might be partially true to help you in promoting good health, taking too many vitamins in unnecessary and will cause harm to your body. If you eat right you will take in all the nutrients and minerals your body needs without having to supplement them through vitamins.

Germs do not know the difference. Researcher’s found that anti-bacterial soap has no special germ fighting ingredients so the best way to get rid of germs is to wash your hands properly.

SPF 45 and SPF 60 block out the same percentage of rays. You cannot block 100% of the suns rays so if you use at least an SPF 30 broad spectrum sunscreen it is just as effective as a higher SPF so don’t waste your money.

Each year 4% of patients who develop this debilitating disease are under 60. Early on-set of the disease can strike men and women in their 30’s and 40’s. Your family history will determine your risk factors.

Not on your life! Frozen can be just as good as fresh if harvested at the proper time when plants are at the peak of their nutritional value and frozen right on the spot.

NOPE! Chilled air does not cause colds.

Myth-Feeling sore after exercise means you lost weight.

Actually, soreness is basically fatigue in your muscles. When you have a tough workout and have done numerous reps of an exercise, the burn you feel is the blood getting squeezed with your muscles. It doesn’t reduce the amount of fat around the muscles. To do that, one must combine regular exercise with healthy eating.

Myth-Not eating after exercising will help you lose more weight.

While it’s not advised to eat a huge meal right after you exercise, you need to refuel with a 200-calorie snack about 30 minutes after you work out and a full-size meal about two hours after. When you don’t eat, your body conserves food as fat, which is harder to burn off.

Myth-Once you find a fitness routine you like, you should do it all the time.

Variety is the spice of life, and changing your workout routine every six to eight weeks will help you to avoid a fitness plateau if you’re trying to lose weight. Your body will conform to the routine and will no longer be challenged. Mixing it up makes your workouts more interesting and will give you better results.

Myth- Being a vegetarian means you’ll be thin.

Vegetarians don’t just eat salads all the time. While some of the vegetarians I know became vegetarians because they wanted to lose weight, they found it was actually harder to maintain their weight. You need the protein found in meat to help stabilize your metabolism and give you energy to exercise. Also, foods like chicken and turkey often have fewer calories than some vegetarian dishes. Whether you are a carnivore or a herbivore, it all comes down to balance and moderation.

Myth- You’ll be happier once you lose 5 pounds.

Once you start that attitude, it’s very difficult to stop it. After losing 5 pounds, you want to lose five more, and then you’d be happy if you lost five more after that – it becomes a mess. Also, thinking that way just sets you up for disappointment. What if you don’t lose 5 pounds? Is your life over? Be confident in your size now. Feel good about yourself, eat healthy and work out because it makes you feel good, not because you want to live up to someone else’s standards.

You can test your own fitness myth savvy with The Fitness Myth Quiz on If you have other myths that you want busted, e-mail me at Feel free to send questions, comments and ideas my way.
Click to read more Myths:->……………(1)…….(2).….(3).…..(4)


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Key To Way Stomach Expands Found

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Scientists believe they may have found a potential new way to treat obesity by stopping the stomach from expanding….CLICK & SEE

…….The stomach expands to accommodate the food we eat

They have identified two cell proteins that relax the gut and help accommodate a big meal.

In theory, a drug which blocked this relaxation would reduce a person’s ability and desire to gorge on excessive amounts of food.

The University College London study appears in the Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics.

The two proteins identified by the researchers P2Y1 and P2Y11 – control both fast and slow relaxations of the gut.

The human stomach has a “resting” internal volume of 75 millilitres, but by relaxing its muscular wall can expand to an internal volume of two litres or more.

This expansion is controlled by nerves inside the stomach wall which release molecules that stimulate P2Y1 and P2Y11, which are embedded in muscle cells, also in the gut wall.

New approach :

Researcher Dr Brian King said: “The mechanism of slow relaxation of the stomach might represent a future drug target in the fight to control weight gain and reverse obesity.

“We are looking to identify drugs that would block the P2Y11 receptor and, therefore, prevent slow relaxation of the stomach.

“As a result of blocking the P2Y11-based mechanism, meal size would be smaller, offering the person a better chance of regulating their food intake.”

Dr King said this would represent a new approach to weight control.

At present, gastric banding or stomach stapling are used to reduce the maximum volume of the stomach.

But these are tricky surgical procedures, and carry a risk of serious side effects.

Dr Ian Campbell, medical director of the charity Weight Concern, agreed that an alternative treatment for obesity would be useful.

He said major surgery such as gastric banding was expensive and risky, and although current drugs that focused on appetite suppression, or on reducing fat absorption by the body did work, their long term effects remained unclear.

“We still have much to learn about the complex way we control our appetite, and food intake,” he said.

“For many the use of medication can be an important help towards their weight loss goals, but lifestyle change remains the best way of controlling weight.”

Click to see:->Weight Concern and National Obesity Forum

Sources: BBC NEWS:3rd.March.’08


Is Your Full Figure an Increased Risk for Diabetes?

A new study suggest that women who have smaller breasts in their late teens and early 20s may enjoy a lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes later in life. However, many doctors have cautioned that the results may have more to do with obesity than they do with breast size alone.

…………… & see

Researchers surveyed more than 92,000 women with an average age of 38, asking each of the participants to recall her bra size at the age of 20.

Women who recalled having a D cup or larger had about three times the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Women who reported wearing B cup and C cup bras also experienced a higher risk than women who wore an A cup, even after figuring in age, body mass index (BMI), waist circumference, eating habits, family history of diabetes, physical activity level and pregnancies.

The study lead investigator believes that the correlation has something to do with how breasts develop during puberty. Puberty is a period marked by raised insulin resistance. Just as breast development is both accelerated and more pronounced in obese girls, their levels of insulin resistance may be as well.

However, if that is the case, many experts question why they should abandon the tried-and-true methods of evaluating type 2 diabetes risk by calculating their BMIs and evaluating lifestyles.

ABC News January 28, 2008
Canadian Medical Association Journal January 29, 2008; 178(3): 313–315 (Free Full Text Article)