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Fucus vesiculosus

Botanical name :Fucus vesiculosus
Family: Fucaceae
Genus: Fucus
Species: F. vesiculosus
Kingdom: Chromalveolata
Phylum: Heterokontophyta
Class: Phaeophyceae
Order: Fucales

Common names:  black tang, rockweed, bladder fucus, sea oak, black tany, cut weed, dyers fucus, red fucus, and rock wrack,Kelp/Bladderwrack , Fucus, Seaweed, dried

Habitat ;Fucus vesiculosus is the most common algae on the shores of the British Isles. It has been recorded from the Atlantic shores of Europe, Northern Russia, the Baltic Sea, Greenland, Azores, Canary Islands, Morocco and Madeira. It is also found on the Atlantic coast of North America from Ellesmere Island, Hudson Bay to North Carolina

Description:
The fronds of Fucus vesiculosus have a prominent midrib and almost spherical air bladders which are usually paired but may be absent in young plants. The margin is smooth and the frond is dichotomously branched. It is sometimes confused with Fucus spiralis with which it hybridises
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Plants of F. vesiculosus are dioecious. Gametes are generally released into the seawater under calm conditions and the eggs are fertilised externally to produce a zygote. Eggs are fertilised shortly after being released from the receptacle. A study on the coast of Maine showed that there was 100% fertilisation at both exposed and sheltered sites. Continuously submerged populations in the Baltic Sea are very responsive to turbulent conditions. High fertilisation success is achieved because the gametes are only released when water velocities are low

chemical Constituents:
Primary chemical constituents of this plant include mucilage, algin, mannitol, beta-carotene, zeaxanthin, iodine, bromine, potassium, volatile oils, and many other minerals.

Medicinal Uses:
Properties: * Analgesic * Antiscorbutic * Appetite Depressant/Obesity * Laxative

This herb is used for cancer prevention & a diet fore wetloss.

It  is commonly used in herbal medicine to stimulate the thyroid function, and can be effective in weight loss as part of a low calorie diet. The consumption of seaweeds has also been associated with lower cancer rates.

Kelp, dried seaweed Fucus vesiculosis, was the original source of iodine, being discovered as such by Courtois in 1812. Iodine does not occur in nature in the uncombined condition but is widely, though sparingly, distributed in the form of iodides and iodates, chiefly of sodium and potassium, in seawater, some seaweeds, and various mineral and medicinal springs. Kelp is an important part of the diet in Japan, Norway, and Scotland. For vegans (vegetarians who eat no animal products at all), it supplies vitamin B12, otherwise found almost exclusively in animal products, and is a concentrated source of minerals, including iodine, potassium, magnesium, calcium, and iron. As a source of iodine, it assists in the production of of thyroid hormones, which are necessary for maintaining healthy metabolism in all cells of the body. The brown algae known as bladderwrack is a particularly common source of kelp.

The main use of bladder wrack (and other types of seaweed) in herbal medicine is as a source of iodine, an essential nutrient for the thyroid gland. Bladder wrack has been used in the treatment of underactive thyroid glands (hypothyroidism) and goitre.

Bladder wrack has been shown to help women with abnormal menstrual cycling patterns and menstrual-related disease histories. Doses of 700 to 1400 mg/day were found to increase the menstrual cycle lengths, decrease the days of menstruation per cycle, and decrease the serum levels of 17B-estradiol while was later carried out and showed similar effects.

Safety precautions:
Bladderwrack may contains significant amounts of iodine, which could cause an allergic reaction in sensitive people

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

Resources:
http://www.ask.com/wiki/Fucus_vesiculosus?o=3986&qsrc=999#Description
http://www.anniesremedy.com/herb_detail197.php

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Erythrasma

Definition:
Erythrasma is a bacterial infection caused by the bacteria Corynebacterium minutissimum. It occurs most often between the third and fourth toes, but it can also frequently be found in the groin, armpits, and under the breasts. Because of it’s color and location, it’s often confused with a fungal infection like jock itch. Erythrasma is more common in the following populations:

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It is prevalent among diabetics, the obese,elderly, and People in warm, moist climates   and is worsened by wearing occlusive clothing.

Symptoms:
The main symptoms are reddish-brown slightly scaly patches with sharp borders. The patches occur in moist areas such as the groin, armpit, and skin folds. They may itch slightly and often look like patches associated with other fungal infections, such as ringworm.

Erythrasmic patches are typically found in intertriginous areas (skin fold areas – e.g. armpit, groin, under breast) – with the toe web-spaces being most commonly involved.

The patient is commonly otherwise asymptomatic.

Causes:
Erythrasma is caused by the bacteria Corynebacterium minutissimum.

Erythrasma is more common in warm climates. You are more likely to develop this condition if you are overweight or have diabetes.

The patches of erythrasma are initially pink, but progress quickly to become brown and scaly (as skin starts to shed).

Diagnosis:
At times, your doctor can diagnose erythrasma based on its typical appearance. But more often, your doctor will need to perform other tests to help make the diagnosis. The best way for your doctor to tell the difference between erythrasma and a fungal infection is to do a Wood’s Lamp examination on the rash. Under the UV light of a Woods Lamp, erythrasma turns a bright coral red, but fungal infections do not.

Other tests that may help include:
*A simple side-room investigation with a Wood’s lamp:It is additionally useful in diagnosing erythrasma. The ultraviolet light of a Wood’s lamp causes the organism to fluoresce a coral red color, differentiating it from fungal infections and other skin conditions.

•Gram Stain: A way to identify bacteria from a sample of the scale. Unfortunately, this bacteria is difficult to get to stick to the slide so it requires a special technique.

•KOH Test: This is a test used to identify fungal elements. This test might be done to confirm that there is no fungus present.

•Skin Biopsy: A sample of tissue is removed and evaluated under a microscope. In erythrasma, the bacteria can be seen in the upper layer of the specimen.

Treatment:
Since this is a bacterial infection, erythrasma is best treated with antibiotics, and fortunately several antibiotics fit the bill.

The following are antibiotics that are typically prescribed for erythrasma:
•Erythromycin 250mg four times a day for 5 days
•Clarithromycin 1gm once
•The antifungal creams miconazole, clotrimazole and econazole, but not ketoconazole
•Topical antibiotics like clindamycin or erythromycin twice a day for 2 weeks

Gently scrubbing the skin patches with antibacterial soap may help them go away.

Prognosis:
Complete recovery is expected following treatment.

Prevention:
These measures may reduce the risk of erythrasma:

•Maintaining good hygiene
•Keeping the skin dry
•Wearing clean, absorbent clothing
•Avoiding excessive heat or moisture
•Maintaining healthy body weight

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.

Resources:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/health/physical_health/conditions/erythrasma1.shtml
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Erythrasma
http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/001470.htm
http://dermatology.about.com/od/infectionbacteria/a/erythrasma.htm

 

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Advancing Towards Baby Making

DNA fingerprinting will revolutionise the practice of IVF and eliminate multiple pregnancies.

Given a choice, Gita Kapoor, a 37-year-old banker in Bangalore, would have preferred just one child. She and her software engineer husband knew that with their busy work schedules raising even one child wouldn’t be an easy job. Two years ago, they opted for in vitro fertilisation (IVF) at a fertility clinic in their city. Today the Kapoors are proud parents of a pair of chubby twins — a boy and a girl.

It isn’t that the Kapoors are not happy to have more than one child. But they have two children not by choice but because of an inherent shortcoming in the assisted reproduction technique they opted for.

“So far there is no technique available to choose a single, viable embryo for implantation,” says Dr Trichnopoly Chelvaraj Anand Kumar, a veteran andrologist in Bangalore.

As a result, fertility doctors normally implant more than one embryo to increase the chances of pregnancy. “With a single embryo, the success rate of IVF is about 30 to 35 per cent. It goes up to 45 per cent with two embryos,” says Dr Indira Hinduja, who is the first Indian doctor to have produced a test tube baby in India in the 1980s.

There are a number of problems associated with multiple pregnancies. Often, babies born in a multiple birth are premature, have low birth weight and are prone to infections. Also, their mortality rate is slightly on the higher side, notes Dr Hinduja.

But thanks to a team of medical researchers in Australia and Greece, doctors may soon be able to find a way of successfully employing genetic screening to identify embryos that can lead to healthy babies.

In a paper reported in the latest issue of the journal Human Reproduction, the researchers say that DNA fingerprinting, a technique more commonly used in forensic applications and in resolving parenthood controversies, can be a useful tool in fertility clinics. The technique can help pinpoint a handful of genes that can help spot a better embryo that would lead to a successful pregnancy, says Gayle Jones, a researcher at Monash Immunology and Stem Cell Laboratories, Monash University, Australia.

When a couple attends a fertility clinic for IVF, eggs from the woman are fertilised with sperm from the man and the fertilised eggs are allowed to develop in the laboratory until they reach what doctors call the blastocyst phase, or the early stages of embryo formation. This normally takes about five days.

One of the difficult decisions, even for a better-trained fertility expert, is to decide which fertilised egg is to be chosen. With little help from technology to distinguish a viable blastocyst from a non-viable one, they often resort to implanting more than one to increase the chances. This often leads to multiple pregnancy.

But this need not be the case anymore, say researchers at Monash University and the Centre for Human Reproduction at Genesis Athens Hospital in Greece.

For their study, the scientists removed a few cells each from the outermost layer of the resulting blastocysts of 48 women who attended the clinic for IVF treatment.

Of the 48 women, 25 became pregnant, leading to the delivery of 37 babies. Once the babies were born, blood from the umbilical cords or swabs of cheek cells was collected. Subsequently, the scientists used DNA fingerprinting to see which genes were common to the material collected after delivery as well as the blastocyst biopsy.

“By analysing these genes, we have been able to identify those that are key to the processes involved in embryo implantation,” Jones told KnowHow.

Though it is too early, she thinks that they would be in a position to refine the gene set further to a smaller number of genes that are more highly predictive of a viable blastocyst. “The ability to select a single, most viable embryo from a cohort available for transfer will revolutionise the practice of IVF, not only improving pregnancy rates but also eliminating multiple pregnancies and the attendant complications,” Jones said.

The Monash University researchers hope that the technique would be available for clinical use within a couple of years if they achieve further success.

IVF being the most common and cheapest of all assisted reproductive methods in use, such improvements in its success rate will be a boon to a large number of infertile couples, says Dr Kumar.

Sources:The Telegraph (Kolkata, India)

Less Sleep Makes You Obese

No matter which part of the world you live in, if you don’t get enough of sleep, there’s a fair chance you are going to put on weight, states a new study.

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What’s more is that it doesn’t matter if you’re an adult or a child.

In one of the first studies to observe cross-sectional relationships between duration of sleep and obesity in both children and adults, researchers have discovered a consistent increased risk of obesity among short sleepers.

The study, led by Francesco P Cappuccio, MD, of Warwick Medical School in the United Kingdom, involved an orderly search of publications on the relationship between short sleep duration and obesity risk.

Of the 696 studies, the researchers short-listed 12 studies on children and 17 studies on adults based on the inclusion criteria. This involved report of duration of sleep as exposure, body mass index (BMI) as continuous outcome and prevalence of obesity as categorical outcome, number of participants, age and gender.

In children, the study included 13 population samples from the 12 studies, representing 30,002 participants aged between two to 20 years, and found that 7 of 11 studies showed a significant link between short sleep duration and obesity.

In case of adults, 22 population samples from the 17 studies were included that meant a total of 604,509 participants aged between 15-102 years. It was discovered that 17 population samples showed a significant association between short duration of sleep and obesity.

In fact, all studies in adults showed a consistent and significant negative association between hours of sleep and BMI, quite unlike studies in children.

Cappuccio said that this study showed a consistent pattern of increased odds of being a short sleeper if you are obese, both in childhood and adulthood.

“By appraising the world literature, we were able to show some heterogeneity amongst studies in the world. However, there is a striking consistent overall association, in that both obese children and adults had a significantly increased risk of being short sleepers compared to normal weight individuals. The size of the association was comparable (1.89-fold increase in children and 1.55-fold increase in adults),” said Dr Cappuccio.

He added: “This study is important as it confirms that this association is strong and might be of public health relevance. However, it also raises the unanswered question yet of whether this is a cause-effect association. Only prospective longitudinal studies will be able to address the outstanding question.”

Click to see also :->Lack of Sleep and Obesity

Lack of sleep ‘makes you fatter’

New Weight Loss Prescription
Sources: The Times Of India

Mother’s Diet Linked to Baby’s Sex

Oysters may excite the libido, but there is nothing like a hearty breakfast laced with sugar to boost a woman’s chances of conceiving a son, according to a study released.

Likewise, a low-energy diet that skimps on calories, minerals and nutrients is more likely to yield a female of the human species, says the study, published in Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, Britain’s de facto academy of sciences. Fiona Mathews of the University of Exeter in Britain and colleagues wanted to find out if a woman’s diet has an impact on the sex of her offspring. So they asked 740 first-time mothers who did not know if their unborn foetuses were male or female to provide detailed records of eating habits before and after they became pregnant. The women were split into three groups according to the number calories they consumed per day around the time of conception. Fifty-six per cent of the women in the group with the highest energy intake had sons, compared to 45 per cent in the least-well fed cohort. Besides racking up a higher calorie count, the group who produced more males were also more likely to have eaten a wider range of nutrients, including potassium, calcium and vitamins C, E and B12. The odds of an XY, or male outcome to a pregnancy also went up sharply “for women who consumed at least one bowl of breakfast cereal daily compared with those who ate less than or equal to one bowl of week,” the study reported.

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These surprising findings are consistent with a very gradual shift in favour of girls over the last four decades in the sex ratio of newborns, according to the researchers. Previous research has shown — despite the rising epidemic in obesity — a reduction in the average energy uptake in advanced economies. The number of adults who skip breakfast has also increased substantially. “This research may help to explain why in developed countries, where many young women choose low calorie diets, the proportion of boys is falling,” Mathews said.

The study’s findings, she added, could point to a “natural mechanism” for gender selection. The link between a rich diet and male children may have an evolutionary explanation. For most species, the number of offspring a male can father exceeds the number a female can give birth to. But only if conditions are favourable — poor quality male specimens may fail to breed at all, whereas females reproduce more consistently. “If a mother has plentiful resources, then it can make sense to invest in producing a son because he is likely to produce more grandchildren than would a daughter,” thus contributing to the survival of the species, explains Mathews. “However, in leaner times having a daughter is a safer bet.” While the mechanism is not yet understood, it is known from in vitro fertilisation research that higher levels of glucose, or sugar, encourage the growth and development of male embryos while inhibiting female embryos.

Click to see also:->

Low-fat dairy infertility warning

Beef diet ‘damages sons’ sperm’

High-calorie diet linked to boys

. Sources: The Times Of India