News on Health & Science

Sweeteners Make You Fat

A new study says that artificial sweeteners don’t work. T.V. Jayan reports

In the battle against the bulge, low or no-calorie artificial sweeteners may not have much of a role to play, contrary to what conventional wisdom says. In fact, they might even be counter productive, as the latest research shows.
…………….CLICK & SEE.
Scientists seem to have got the first glimpse of what artificial sweeteners could do to a living organism’s metabolism when they tried out saccharin-laden yogurt on laboratory rats. The researchers   Susan Swithers and Terry Davidson, both psychologists at Purdue University in the US   found that replacing sugar with saccharin in the animals  diet did reduce a few calories (equivalent of that contained in sugar), but the rats ended up hogging more, gained more weight and put on more body fat. More importantly, the animals failed to cut back on subsequent meals accordingly, the researchers say in a paper that’s appearing today in the journal Behavioral Neuroscience.

Swithers and Davidson found that as compared to rats that ate yogurt sweetened with glucose (a sugar with 15 calories per teaspoon    the same as in table sugar), those given yogurt sweetened with zero-calorie saccharin consumed relatively more calories. The rats in all groups were fed yogurt six days a week for five weeks.

In nature, sweetness is normally linked to food that is rich in calories. This association is ingrained in most animals very early in life, the first such experience being that of breast milk. With the growing use of non-calorific sweeteners, millions of people are being exposed to sweet tastes that are not associated with calorific or nutritive values. The scientists suspect this type of exposure may be partly impairing our body’s energy regulation.

By breaking the connection between a sweet sensation and high-calorie food, the use of saccharin changes the body’s ability to regulate intake, the scientists argue. This breakdown of self-regulation may partly be responsible for the ballooning obesity levels, which has coincided with the use of artificial sweeteners.


Sweet tasting substances are known to be strong elicitors of a number of reactions involving the hormones, body temperature and metabolic activity. The moment one pops a chocolate into the mouth or takes the first sip of a sugar-laden drink, a series of reactions sets in motion inside the body. The first one is what scientists call the cephalic-phase reflex. It ensures that gastric acids (that will eventually digest the incoming food) are released the very moment one begins to chew the food. Cephalic-phase reflexes make the system anticipate and prepare for the arrival of nutrients in the gastrointestinal tract so that it can increase the efficiency of nutrient utilisation and minimise the damage that could be caused to the internal environment by the onrush of high-calorie food. Ingestive and digestive reflexes gear up for that intake but when false sweetness isn’t followed by lots of calories, the system gets confused. This may make people eat more and expend less energy than they would otherwise.

The Purdue University researchers designed three different experiments to check whether saccharin changed the animals    ability to regulate their intake. They used different assessments  calorific intake, weight gain and the animals    ability to cut the flab later. The experiments also measured changes in the core body temperature. Normally when we prepare to eat, the metabolic engine revs up. However, the rats that had been trained to respond using saccharin (which broke the link between sweetness and calories) showed a smaller rise in the core temperature than those eating a sweet-tasting, high-calorie meal. The authors of the study think that this blunted response both led to over-eating and made it harder for the animals to burn off sweet-tasting calories.

The data clearly indicate that consuming food sweetened with no-calorie saccharin can lead to greater weight gain and adiposity than consuming the same food sweetened with a higher-calorie sugar,  they claim.

The study looks very sound, says Anoop Misra, an internal medicine specialist at Fortis Flt Lt. Rajan Dhall Hospital in New Delhi.   It certainly goes against the tide.

But Misra thinks there are several caveats here. One, the study was conducted in rats and the response of human beings may be different. Besides, lab animals are not bothered about obesity or the richness of the food they eat, while a human being — in fear of becoming overweight — would probably be conscious of the calories consumed. Thus, automatically, there would be a check on the quality and quality of the food eaten. Three, for someone who is determined to shed those extra pounds, artificial sweeteners are not the only way out. Such individuals may also go for walks or hit the gym, he suggests.

Swithers, too, agrees.   certainly wouldn’t say that artificial sweeteners are completely bad. From our perspective though, such products might actually contribute to weight gain because they interfere with an automatic process,  she told KnowHow. They may be useful for weight loss only if people use more conscious, cognitive methods like calorie counting, she says.

At this point, our data are derived only from animals, so it is difficult to predict how changes in their consumption would affect human obesity,  she adds.

…Spare the sugar, fuel the fat: Psychologists Susan Swithers and Terry Davidson

Moreover, as Misra points out, the study was conducted using saccharin, an artificial sweetener that is rarely in use today. Swithers, however, does not think the results with other artificial sweeteners such as aspartame, sucralose and acesulfame K would be dramatically different. The good news, she says, is that people can still count the calories to regulate intake and body weight.

But most dieters lament that counting calories requires a more conscious effort than consuming low-calorie foods. Swithers couldn’t agree more.

Click to read->Artificial sweeteners can be fattening

Sources: The Telegraph (Kolkata, India)

Ailmemts & Remedies


Conventional cancer treatments, including surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy, are often highly effective in battling this frightening illness. Gentle natural therapies may be used in conjunction with traditional methods to help curb their troublesome side effects and even boost their potency.

Unusual bleeding or discharge.
A change in either bowel or bladder habits.
Chronic indigestion or difficulty swallowing.
Unexplained increased appetite or weight loss.
A sore that doesn’t heal.
Thickening or lump in the breast, testicles, or elsewhere.
Persistent cough, hoarseness, or sore throat.
A change in a wart or mole.
Unexplained fatigue.

When to Call Your Doctor
If you have any symptom of cancer for two weeks or longer, and there is no other obvious cause.
Reminder: If you have a medical condition, talk to your doctor before taking supplements.

What It Is
There are more than a hundred types of cancer, all marked by uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells. Most begin as solid tumors, from which cancer cells can spread (metastasize) to other parts of the body. Untreated, cancer cells can overpower normal cells and sap the body’s vital nutrients, resulting in grave illness or even death… & see

What Causes It
Why healthy cells turn cancerous is unknown. But such factors as smoking, excessive sun exposure, pollutants, stress, and a poor diet appear to play a role. Any of these may weaken the immune system, which is then unable to attack cancer cells effectively, or expose the body to free radicals, unstable oxygen molecules that can damage cells. Heredity also seems to be a key element in the development of many types of cancer.

How Supplements Can Help
In cancer treatment, supplements stir especially intense debate. Studies conflict, and a parade of fraudulent “miracle cures” are offered — usually at a steep price. But a number of supplements, taken daily over the long term, do show special promise as valuable additions to conventional cancer therapies.
Vitamin A, along with the antioxidants vitamin C, vitamin E, carotenoids (especially beta-carotene and lycopene), selenium, and coenzyme Q10, helps protect cells from free radicals and may inhibit the growth of cancerous cells. These supplements may be particularly beneficial for people who have undergone chemotherapy or radiation — procedures that damage healthy cells as they attack cancer cells. Amino acids may speed healing and slow tumor growth as well.

Rotating echinacea in three-week cycles with extracts of medicinal mushrooms and other immune-boosting herbs may help to strengthen overall immunity during cancer treatments. (Vitamin C also bolsters the immune system, aiding it in fighting off any cancer cells remaining in the body after treatment.) The Coriolus versicolor mushroom has shown particular promise against lung, stomach, and colon cancers. Taking a liver detoxification formula (sometimes called a lipotropic combination in health-food stores) to help prevent the buildup of dangerous cancer-promoting toxins in the body may also be a good idea.

What Else You Can Do
Eat a balanced diet, rich in vitamins and minerals.
Join a support group: Studies show this step can prolong your survival.
Try exercise, meditation, biofeedback, massage, or imaging techniques to help reduce stress, lessen anxiety, and ease symptoms.
If nausea is a problem during chemotherapy, try ginger (100 to 200 mg every four hours, or a cup of ginger tea, as needed). Take it with food to avoid stomach irritation. Relaxation tapes or acupuncture may also help.

Supplement Recommendations
Vitamin A
Vitamin C/Vitamin E
Coenzyme Q10
Amino Acids

Vitamin A

Dosage: 50,000 IU a day for 1 month, then 25,000 IU a day.
Comments: Take only 5,000 IU a day if you may become pregnant.

Vitamin C/Vitamin E

Dosage: 2,000 mg vitamin C 3 times a day; 400 IU vitamin E twice a day.
Comments: Vitamin C helps boost the effects of vitamin E.

Dosage: 3 pills mixed carotenoids a day with food.
Comments: Each pill should supply 25,000 IU vitamin A activity.


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

Coenzyme Q10

Dosage: 200 mg each morning.
Comments: For best absorption, take with food.

Amino Acids
Dosage: Mixed amino acids (see label for dosage), plus NAC (500 mg 3 times a day) and L-glutathione (250 mg twice a day).
Comments: Take L-glutathione separately from other amino acids.

Dosage: 200 mg 3 times a day.
Comments: Rotate in 3-week cycles with astragalus (400 mg twice a day), pau d’arco (500 mg twice a day), and mushrooms (below).

Dosage: 500 mg reishi, 400 mg shiitake, 200 mg maitake 3 times a day; and/or 3,000 mg Coriolus versicolor divided into 2 daily doses.
Comments: Avoid reishi mushrooms if you’re on anticoagulants.

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)

News on Health & Science

Vaccine For Brain Tumour

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In an attempt to beat brain tumour, one the deadliest of all cancers, a researcher and his team in US has tried to harness a remedy by producing vaccine from the tumour itself, reports New Scientist……..Click & see

Andrew Parsa, a neurosurgeon from the University of California at San Francisco Medical Center, has helped create made-to-measure vaccines using a person’s surgically removed tumour, and he’s started testing the concept in a small group of patients.

The vaccine, which utilises specific proteins from the tumour, is administered through a needle to the arm every two weeks, with the aim of stimulating T-cells from the immune system to attack any regrowth of the cancer.

“We’ve now got some compelling data from the first six patients and it looks like clearly all six patients had an immune response,” said Parsa, the study’s principal investigator. “In other words, when I test their blood after the vaccination, it’s apparent that they have T-cells that weren’t there before that are specific to their tumour.”

“And of those six patients, five of them have lived longer or are living longer than 6.5 months after recurrence of glioblastomas, which is the most malignant kind of brain tumour you can have,” Parsa said in Orlando, Florida, where he presented his findings at the Society of Neuro-Oncology annual scientific meeting.

Four of the patients have survived almost a year. One woman died about 10 months after starting vaccinations, while the sixth patient died before 6.5 months the average expected period of survival for this form of brain tumour, which arises in tissue that surrounds nerve cells.Brain tumours known as recurrent gliomas are notoriously difficult to treat and remain among the deadliest of all cancers. High-grade recurrent gliomas, or glioblastomas, can be made up of several different types of cancer cells and may infiltrate many parts of the brain.But Parsa stressed that these are extremely preliminary findings, based on a small number of patients in a phase 1 study designed to ascertain safety not effectiveness. “It just so happens we have some really dramatic immunomonitoring data and some interesting survival data at this point,” he said.

Commenting on the research, neuro-oncologist Warren Mason of Toronto’s Princess Margaret Hospital said various types of experimental immune-stimulating therapies have been tried in the past, all without success.

Sources:   The Times Of India Publication