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Added Salt Increases Hypertension

Health experts are urging people to avoid food with high salt content because it may lead to health problems like hypertension and  strokes.

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Dr. Ken Flegel, Dr. Peter Magner and the CMAJ editorial team write that added salt in diets is unnecessary. They insist that customers must be vigilant, read food labels, and demand low salt food in stores and restaurants.

“Of the estimated one billion people living with hypertension, about 30 per cent can attribute it to excess salt intake,” write the authors. According to them, populations, such as the Yanomami Indians in South America, with very low levels of salt intake do not have hypertension.

In contrast, Japan, with a salt intake of 15 g per person, has high rates of hypertension and the highest stroke rates in the industrialized world. The authors recommend a maximum daily intake of 2.8 g for active young people, and 2.2 for older adults.

“The correct default should be no added salt in food we purchase, leaving those who still wish to do so free to indulge at their own risk,” they conclude.

Sources: The Times Of India

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Positive thinking

Today’s Parents are Poor Role Models’

Parents are usually considered to be a child’s first teachers and role models. But, a study has some dampening news for today’s generation of adults – you’re responsible for your kid’s lack of basic moral values.

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Researchers at the CIhildren’s Society in Britain have carried out the study and found that children aren’t acquiring basic moral values nowadays because today’s parents are actually poor role models.

For their study, the researchers questioned 1,176 people – they found that two thirds of adults believe that the moral values of young people have declined considerably since the time when they were young, the Times reported. According to the society, the rise of the celebrity culture and weakening family bonds are undermining traditional moral values among young people.

But it has also blamed adults for failing to engage with children and being too eager to criticise their behaviour rather than just intervening and helping them to navigate the challenges of modern life.

According to Bob Reitemeier, the chief executive of the society, adults need to take more responsibility for the young people around them. “We reap what we sow when it comes to teaching children values. Every adult plays a vital role, which we should nurture as much as we can.

“Unfortunately, it is easier to criticise children than to invest in them, and it is the children most in need of positive role models who are becoming disconnected from their communities and wider society.”

Sources: The Times Of India

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Premature Ejaculation Defined

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It’s official now — ejaculation in less than 60 seconds from start of intercourse is “premature”.

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A 20-member panel of the world’s leading sexual health experts, set up by the International Society for Sexual Medicine (ISSM), has for the first time defined premature ejaculation (PE) — a sexual dysfunction affecting 30% of the world’s adult men.

Speaking to TOI from Orlando, eminent American urologist Ira D Sharlip, the study’s main author, said the medical definition of PE — the bane of millions of men worldwide — was reached after “studying hundreds of international studies published on PE.” The team’s study, that backs the definition, will be published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine on Saturday. It will also be officially announced on May 19 at the American Urological Association‘s annual conference in Florida.

Dr Sharlip told TOI, “The definition of lifelong PE is now a form of sexual dysfunction in which ejaculation occurs within a minute of vaginal penetration, almost every time during intercourse. The previous definitions did not quantify the time limit and so many men who just reached a climax early, sometimes mistook themselves to be suffering from PE, causing them tremendous mental distress, depression, anxiety and marital discord.”

According to Dr Sharlip, the hope now is that more people reaching climax within a minute will understand PE as a medical condition and seek treatment without suffering in silence.

He says the definition would also help drug companies identify actual PE patients when conducting a drug trail in the future. In September 2006, ISSM reportedly felt the need for an objective evidence based definition of PE. They then set up a committee of 20 experts representing every continent. The panel of experts agreed that the constructs that were necessary to define PE were time to ejaculation, inability to delay ejaculation and negative consequences from PE.

“We reviewed hundreds of published papers on PE, specially 20 that specifically addressed objective measures to pinpoint PE. The committee met in Amsterdam in October to reach a conclusive definition. Those with PE should be immediately put on a combination of psychological and drug therapy,” Dr Sharlip said.

Reacting to the study, Dr Vikram Sharma, urologist at Max Hospital, told TOI that the standardization would now reduce incorrect diagnosis of PE cases across the world. Indian surveys have shown that 10% of all adult males in the country suffer from some sort of sexual dysfunction, a large chunk of which — nearly 7% — would be of PE.

According to Dr Sharma, PE most commonly affects Indian men aged 19-26 years and decreases by nearly 50% after they reach 30.

“Till now, whenever patients complained of PE or reaching climax before five minutes of intercourse, we first put them on counselling sessions. However, now we know that in patients who ejaculate within a minute, it is a pathological disorder that would need immediate medical intervention. In absense of any standardisation earlier, doctors failed to diagnose serious PE cases thereby prolonging mental and physical trauma for the patient,” Dr Sharma said.

Experts say PE is humiliating for adult men and so many don’t acknowledge and address it until it is too late.

Sources: The Times Of India

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Healthy Tips News on Health & Science

Music Eases Blood Pressure

If your blood pressure is high, do not fret. Just breathe slowly, turn on some quiet, slow rhythmic music and watch your blood pressure tumble drastically.

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According to researchers at the American Society of Hypertension’s 23rd Annual Scientific Meeting and Exposition (ASH 2008), patients with mild hypertension who listened to just half an hour of classical, Celtic or raga music a day for four weeks experienced significant reductions in 24-hour ambulatory blood pressure (ABP).

Hypertension, a common disorder in which blood pressure remains abnormally high, is responsible for causing at least five million premature deaths each year worldwide.

“Listening to music is soothing and has often been associated with controlling patient-reported pain or anxiety and acutely reducing blood pressure,” said study investigator, Prof Pietro A Modesti, Professor of Internal Medicine in the University of Florence in Italy.

“But for the first time, today’s results clearly illustrate the impact daily music listening has on ABP. We are excited about the positive implications for both patients and physicians, who can now confidently explore music listening as a safe, effective, non-pharmacological treatment option or a complement to therapy.”

At first, the patients wore a device that tracked their blood pressure for 24 hours. Next, they were given a CD of classical, Celtic, or Indian music.

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Sources: The Times Of India

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Bug That Causes Bad Breath Nailed

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Solobacterium moorei is the organism largely responsible for chronic bad breath, or halitosis, biologists reported at the annual meeting of the American Association for Dental Research in Dallas.

Persistent bad breath, which can be very embarrassing, is often caused by the breakdown of bacteria in the mouth, producing foul-smelling sulphur compounds that reside on the surface of the tongue.

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“Tongue bacteria produce malodorous compounds and fatty acids, and account for 80 to 90% of all cases of bad breath,” said Betsy Clark, a student at the State University of New York at Buffalo School of Dental Medicine.

Some cases of bad breath originate in the lungs or sinuses.

In a study of 21 people with chronic bad breath and 36 subjects without this problem, Clark and colleagues found S moorei in every patient that had halitosis compared with only four comparison subjects. The four people without halitosis infected with S moorei all had periodontitis, an infection of the gums that can also lead to chronically bad breath.

In a previous study of eight patients with halitosis and five without, S moorei was “always found in patients with halitosis and never in patients who did not have this problem,” Dr Violet I Haraszthy, who was involved in both studies, noted. “A number of other studies have also found this bacterium in halitosis patients.”

Sources: The Times Of India