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Pine Bark Extract Reduces Jet Lag

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Pycnogenol, a bark extract from the French maritime pine tree, reduces jet lag in passengers by nearly 50%, a study suggests.

A recent two-part study, comprising a brain CT scan and a scoring system, showed Pycnogenol lowered symptoms of jet lag like fatigue, headaches, insomnia and brain oedema (swelling) in both healthy individuals and hypertensive patients.

Jet lag, also called desynchronosis, is a temporary disorder that causes a variety of temporary mental and physical impairments as a result of air travel across time zones.

“This study could not have come at a better time for the upcoming holiday travel season,” said Gianni Belcaro, a co-author of the study of G D’Annunzio University in Pescara, Italy.

Belcaro attributed Pycnogenol’s combined activities for better circulation and antioxidant potency to such remarkable results, said an Annunzio University release.

“Previous Pycnogenol flight studies have shown a reduction in jet lag; however this was the first study to solely focus on the condition.”

The study comprised 133 passengers who took flights that were seven to nine hours in length. Fifty mg of oral Pycnogenol was administered three times daily, for seven days, starting two days prior to the flight.

“I’m encouraged by the results of the study as Pycnogenol was effective in preventing jet lag related effects without any side effects,” said Belcaro.

While more research needs to be conducted on this topic, Pycnogenol is emerging as natural, yet safe option for long distance travellers.

These findings were published in Minerva Cardioangiologica.

Sources: The Times Of India

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Featured Healthy Tips

Beating Jet Lag With the Right Diet

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The U.S. Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory shared some exciting news that the frequent, and perhaps even the not-so-frequent, flyer will appreciate: Biologists at the laboratory have developed a comprehensive free source of information about how to use the famous Anti-Jet-Lag Diet — which helps travelers fend off jet lag.

………………...CLICK & SEE

The free online information provides a full frequently-asked-questions page that includes information about food choices, caffeine use and the Anti-Jet-Lag Diet’s origin and history.

And for a small fee, travelers can use Argonne-developed software to compute an individualized Anti-Jet-Lag Diet customized to their specific itinerary.

How Does the Anti-Jet-Lag Diet Work?

Anyone traveling across three or more time zones can use the Anti-Jet-Lag plan to eliminate or reduce jet lag (i.e. feelings of irritability, insomnia, indigestion and general disorientation) that occur when the body’s inner clock is out of sync with the time cues it receives from the environment. Such time cues include meal times, sunrise and sunset and daily cycles of rest and activity.

In other words, the Anti-Jet-Lag Diet uses nature’s time cues to help your body quickly adjust to a new time zone.

But Does the Anti-Jet-Lag Diet Really Work?

It certainly sounds promising; according to researchers, travelers who use the diet are:

Seven times less likely to experience jet lag when traveling west.

Sixteen times less likely when traveling east.

In fact, over the last two decades, the Anti-Jet-Lag Diet has helped hundreds of thousands of travelers — such as government agencies, athletes, musicians and service agencies — avoid jet lag.

Sources:http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2005/06/25/jet-lag-part-two.aspx

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News on Health & Science

Don’t Remove Earwax

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According to just-release U.S. national guidelines on earwax removal, you should leave it in your ears.CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

Earwax is a self-cleaning agent, with protective, lubricating and antibacterial properties. That’s why tiny glands in the outer ear canal constantly pump it out. Excess earwax normally treks slowly out of the ear canal, carrying with it dirt, dust and other small particles.

When individuals poke around in their ears with cottons swabs or other foreign objects, earwax can actually build up and block part of the ear canal.

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WHY CORNER

Why is a Dog’s Nose Black and Wet?

 

Most dogs have black noses, not all. The noses of Vizslas and Weimaraners, for example, are closer to their coat colours. And it’s not unusual for puppies to start out with pink noses that darken as they mature.

……………………………………….....CLICK  & SEE

In all likelihood, dogs have developed black noses as a protection against sunburn. While the rest of the animal’s body is protected by fur, the noses are exposed to the sun’s rays. Pink-nosed dogs and breeds that are hairless or have very thin hair on their ears need to be protected with sunscreen when they go outdoors, or they risk the same sort of cancers and burns that humans do.

The canine nose — or nasal planum — is normally cool and moist, but not always wet. It has no sweat glands. The mucus lining causes the moisture. The evaporation of moisture from the nose helps to cool the dog. This moisture also makes the dog more sensitive to odours. Generally a happy dog continually licks his nose. When the dog isn’t feeling well, he tends not to lick his nose. And this makes the nose dry. But this is not a direct correlation. The brachycephalic breeds (bulldogs, Bostons, pugs, etc.) have noses set so high on their muzzles that they can’t reach them with their tongues and thus the noses tend to become cracked and dry on the top.

Sources: The Telegraph (Kolkata, India)

 

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Featured News on Health & Science

Feline Dangers

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The human population can be divided into two categories: cat lovers and others. People generally regard cats as “safe” pets. This is because they know of “mad dogs” and the dreaded fatal diseaserabies — that they may transmit. Cats and dogs belong to the same mammalian species but come from different branches of the same family tree. And, as a matter of fact, cats spread the same diseases as dogs do.

CLICK & SEE

While dogs are leashed, confined and controlled, cats are never chained. They are, therefore, more likely to be infected by diseases. Public awareness about dog bites is high and this ensures that affected people immediately seek treatment. Cat bites or scratches, on the other hand, are not taken very seriously.

Domesticated cats can revert to their “wild” or “tom cat” ways on certain days. They disappear for varying lengths of time. During these periods, cats — even well fed ones — can attack, kill and eat other animals. They are also territorial and ferociously defend their area. These battles can leave them injured. Cats can acquire rabies during these forays because of contact with other infected cats or dogs. After getting infected, they may harbour the dreaded rabies virus, remaining asymptomatic all the while.

Unlike dogs, cats with rabies rarely become furious biters. Instead, they tend to develop the passive form of the disease. They remain silent and withdrawn but infective, until they eventually die.

Cats forage for food. If they come across the carcass or placenta of cows or buffaloes, they eat it. Domesticated cattle often harbour cysts of an organism called Toxoplasma gondii.CLICK & SEE The cats then acquire the infection but remain asymptomatic. As they groom themselves, they shed the infective oocytes (eggs) of the organism, and the floors of houses and other surfaces become contaminated. These oocytes can remain dormant for years unless they are accidentally swallowed.

Children are particularly susceptible to Toxoplasma infection because of their propensity to touch contaminated surfaces and then their mouths. Almost 40 per cent of the adult population has had asymptomatic infection with demonstrable antibody levels.

Toxoplasma infection is dangerous if it is acquired during pregnancy as the infection can be transmitted via the placenta to the foetus. It can affect the baby’s brain and result in a small head, developmental retardation, blindness and deafness.

Cats were worshiped in ancient Egypt and reared by the royal families (of the pharaohs). Killing a cat was a serious offence punishable by death. The royal families eventually perished, with many members dying young or born deformed with small (microcephalic) heads and having seizures and developmental retardation. These are classical symptoms of Toxoplasma gondii infection.

Almost 75 per cent of cats carry pasteurella bacteria in their mouths and can transfer the infection upon biting. Hence, wounds inflicted by cats need to be cleaned thoroughly with hydrogen peroxide solution. An antibiotic ointment (Neosporin or Bacitracin) should then be applied.

Cats often have fleas and ticks living on them unless these are manually removed by the owner. The insects can jump onto other warm-blooded hosts such as human beings. They cause red, itchy lesions. The patches can be mistaken for frustratingly recurrent eczema that remains unresponsive to treatment. The fleas also harbour the bartonella species of bacteria which can cause “cat scratch disease” with fever, body ache and enlarged lymph nodes.

Cats suffer from diarrhoea caused by the same viruses and bacteria that infect humans. Their excreta may dry unnoticed in a corner of the house, contaminating the environment and transmitting infection.

Similar groups of streptococcal bacteria cause tonsillitis in both humans and cats. The disease is mild in cats but can be severe, persistent, recurrent and unresponsive to treatment in children and immuno-compromised adults.

H. pylori, a bacterium implicated in stomach ulcers and cancer, is found in cats and can spread from them to humans. Many cat owners panicked when they read that H. pylori is a familial infection commoner in families that have cats as pets.

Mycobacteria (belonging to the TB group) species, typical and atypical, can cause diseases in cats. These can then be transmitted to humans too. This is likely to occur in immuno-deficient (HIV) individuals and young children.

Small pox has been eradicated, but cowpox infection still occurs and is transmitted by cats. The latter can cause fever and rash with a similar confounding appearance in humans, particularly children.

Diseases caused by cats are greater threats to children, pregnant women and immuno-compromised adults (HIV or cancer patients). The diagnosis may be missed as patients, unaware of the serious implications, fail to mention feline contacts to the attending physician.

ATTENTION CAT LOVERS :

Immunise your cat, yourself and your family against rabies

Treat all illnesses (diarrhoea, sore throat and cough) in your cat promptly

Do not allow cats in areas where food is prepared

Do not feed cats from your plate

Wash hands after contact with cats

Swab the house with a disinfectant solution daily

Sources: The Telegraph (Kolkata, India)

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