Sunday, December 9, 2007

Weight Loss and Diet Pills

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Obesity is the new epidemic sweeping the nation. Reported levels of obesity have soared within the last couple of years and are an all time high. Being ibese is not something that should be taken lightly and a lot of effort should be put in place to hep people who are obese loose weight, if they don’t loose the weight serious consequences await them.

Obesity opens up doors for all sorts of health problems, not only that being obese cant make you feel good in general, you will always be panting after walking only a short distance, you wont be able to manage stairs, finding clothes will be hard and expensive (not to mention the clothes aren’t very fashionable) and basic tasks will take you longer than usual. Many people are unhappy about being obese but sit there waiting for someone else to take over and get them into shape, that has to stop and obese people need to take responsibility for their own actions.

Albeit some people are obese due to medical problems, for example glandular conditions and thyroid problems, but most of the time it is due to the fact that people are lazy, not eating properly and are shunning exercise! Obese people need to open their eyes and look in the mirror closely, they are not healthy and won’t be until they loose weight, loosing weight will be a struggle but there is plenty help available from doctors and services. If you don’t loose weight then you are digging your self an early grave.

Health problems such as diabetes, heart disease, high cholesterol, high blood pressure and arthritis can all be cause due to obesity and sometimes you can end up bed ridden because you are to large to get out of bed. In more serious cases people die because of strokes and heart attacks caused due to being obese! These health problems are serious ones and they inhibit day to day activities. The first step for someone suffering from obesity is to go to see their doctor and they will refer them to a qualified and registered nutritionist who will then help them on their road to weight loss.

Obesity needs to be addressed and the government are taking steps to emphasize the problems that it is causing, more health articles, adverts and surveys are being done and the government are plastering their findings as far and as wide as they can, but they can only do so much the rest is up to you.


The secret for a REAL weight loss

Visit a nearby newsstand and I am sure that you will come across some magazines promoting miraculous weight-loss formulas. Sometimes they turn to the mythic properties of fruit, like with the “Lemon Diet” or with the “Papaya Diet.” Other times they just create special nutritional plans, say the “Low-Carb Diet.” There are also the magic workouts and exercises that are supposed to reduce your belly circumference by 10 centimeters in three days – while toning your muscles….

Come on!

The reality is that there are no shortcuts or easy ways to get in good shape. Sorry, but someone needed to tell you this.

Now, don’t get me wrong, you won’t not need to starve for days or perform some Spartan training activities. As long as you get conscious about what you are doing, you will see the results. Below you will find the four principles that you need to keep in mind in your weight-loss journey.

1. Forget About Diets

People that go from diet to diet never reach a stable weight, let alone a good shape. The reason is quite simple: diets are, by their very nature, temporary. You can’t expect to eat properly for two or three weeks and fix your weight problems for the rest of the year.

I know it is encouraging to read that you could lose 20 pounds in 2 weeks if you were to eat this and that. It is encouraging but not true. They might even work in the short term, but after a couple of months you will recover what you have lost.

Many of these diets are not even targeted at fat loss. They promise that you will lose weight, but the caloric cut is so drastic that you end up losing many pounds of water and muscle mass along the way, and that is not what you should be aiming for.

If diets are not the solution, what is then? Proper nutrition, and we’ll cover this on the next principle.

2. Proper Nutrition

If you want to keep your weight and fat percentage under control, you will need to learn the basics of nutrition. Once you learn them, you will be able to eat healthy throughout the year.

Buy a nutrition book on some library and read it. At the very minimum you want to know how your body works, what sources of energy it uses, what are the roles of proteins, carbohydrates, fats, minerals and vitamins.

You will need to shift your paradigm about food. Many people, especially those with weight problems, tend to see food as a source of pleasure. They eat what they like, when they want to, and in whatever proportions it might take to satiate them.

This is not the correct approach. You should see food first and foremost as something functional. You will eat because food is the fuel for your body. If you adopt this mentality, you will start eating what you need, when you need, and in the correct amount.

It might sound extreme, but even with this approach you will be able to have pleasure while eating. It is just a matter of getting used to it. Once you detox yourself from the junk food you will see that an apple can be just as tasty as a sugar-jammed apple pie.

Needless to say that if you are trying to lose weight you will need to have a caloric deficit in place. That is, you will need to eat less calories than what your body needs to keep his weight. Ideally you want to jot down some numbers and calculate how much you should be eating. There are plenty of resources online that can help you here.

3. Physical Exercise

Eating healthy and having a caloric deficit will only take you half the way. The other key factor is physical exercise.

Low intensity cardio is the corner stone of any weight loss program. That is because the higher the intensity of the exercise, the lower the amount of free fat acids in your bloodstream (free fat acids come from your stored fat through the lipolysis process, and they are burned for energy).

So far so good, but what is considered low intensity cardio? The easiest way to determine is to find your max heart rate (220 – age = max heart rate) and calculate 40% and 60% of it. That is the range you should aim for when doing low intensity cardio. Suppose you are 20 years old. This means that your max heart rate is around 200, so your range for low intensity cardio is from 80 heart beats per second to 120 heart beats per second.

Pragmatically speaking, what activities can you do as low intensity cardio? There are many of them, from walking to swimming and riding a bicycle; just find something that you like to do.

Start with two weekly sessions, and build your way up. The same theory goes for the duration, find what you are capable of doing in the beginning (without feeling too tired), and build your way up. It might be 10, 20 or 30 minutes, it doesn’t matter as long as you make progress along the way.

4. Discipline and Perseverance

You can start eating healthy and exercising properly, but unless you stick doing it regularly, the results won’t appear (if they do, they won’t last).

Discipline and perseverance are key here.

You could find a friend to exercise together, a mentor to guide you throughout the way, or even write down your progress day after day. Do whatever it takes to stay on track.

That is pretty much all you need.

It won’t be easy, but very few worth things in life are easy to achieve, right?

Good luck!


Monday, December 3, 2007

Got a cold? Here are some herbs for you

Astragalus (Astragalus membranaceus): Antiviral and immunity-enhancer. If you tend to get every bug that goes around during the winter, you can build up your resistance to disease by taking this Chinese tonic herb on a daily basis. It's safe to take indefinitely.

Garlic (Allium sativum): Antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal, anticancer and cardiovascular tonic par excellence. The best home remedy for colds is to eat two cloves of raw garlic at the onset of symptoms. Chop or crush the cloves to release the allicin (a sulfur compound with strong antibiotic effects) and put them on a sandwich or swallow them in apple sauce. Don't chew and the garlic won't stay on your breath.

Eucalyptus (Eucalyptus globulus) and sage (Salvia officinalis): Decongestant and antibacterial. Inhaling steam that contains eucalyptus or sage is an excellent remedy for respiratory problems, including chest congestion, bronchitis, bronchial cough and sinusitis. The aromatic oils from eucalyptus and sage leaves help halt bacterial growth and reduce the risk of getting secondary infections. Do the steam routine at least twice a day. As a variation, try several crushed garlic cloves in the water. If you have a sore throat, drink sage tea.

Echinacea (Echinacea purpurea): Antibiotic, antiviral and immune-enhancer. This native American plant is a fine first-line treatment for colds and flu. At the first sign of trouble, begin taking echinacea and continue until the illness runs its course. Children under 10 can take half the adult dosage.

Ginger (Zingiber officinale): Warming, anti-inflammatory and anti-nauseant. Ginger root tea helps relieve head and chest congestion while staving off chills. Grate a one-inch piece of peeled ginger root. Place it in a pot with two cups of water, bring to a boil, lower heat and simmer for five minutes. Add 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper and simmer one minute more. Remove from heat. Add two tablespoons fresh lemon juice, one or two cloves of mashed garlic and honey to taste. Let cool slightly, and strain if you wish.

Goldenseal (Hydrastis canadensis): Antiseptic. Speed healing of sore throats by gargling with a warm goldenseal/salt-water solution for a few minutes at a time, at least four times a day.

Mullein (Verbascum thapsus): Expectorant, antitussive. Tincture of mullein relieves chest congestion and dry, bronchial coughs. Mullein oil can be used to treat ear infections.

Calendula (Calendula officinalis): Soothing. Calendula lotions and salves, made from the bright orange flowers of this popular ornamental plant, are gentle and effective remedies for chapped skin and chapped lips. Apply as needed.

Tiger Balm: This Chinese herbal remedy, based on camphor and menthol, is great for easing bronchial congestion. The camphor and menthol have a warming action that brings more blood to the area. Just rub Tiger Balm on the chest and cover with a warm towel.

St. John's wort (Hypericum perforatum): Antidepressant (effective for mild sedation). If you suffer from seasonal affective disorder (SAD), St. John's wort is a useful complement to light therapy. Take 300 mg of a standardized extract containing 0.3 percent hypericin three times a day. You can taper off this dosage as the days grow longer. Since St. John's wort may take six to eight weeks to work, start this well before the dark days of winter. In theory, an over-stimulated immune system could aggravate allergies or autoimmunity.
An immune support formula with Asian mushrooms.

Vitamin C : Vitamin C functions as a powerful antioxidant that has a role in the repair and regeneration of tissues. It may also support healthy immune function.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

New Male Contraceptives

Pills, sponges, IUDs, diaphragms -- women have many options for planning their fertility, none of them quite perfect. But what if men want to help out? They have only two options -- vasectomy, which is usually permanent, and condoms, which are crucial for dating but get old in long-term relationships. Will men ever have a way to reliably make sure that nobody is every calling them "Daddy" before they are ready?

For decades, pundits have predicted new contraceptives for men within the next 5 to 10 years. But judging from work presented today at the second "Future of Male Contraception" conference, we may finally be getting closer.

Some highlights from the second day of the conference:

- Researchers from the University of Washington tried a hormone regimen based on two products already available on the market. They used testosterone gel, which is marketed for men with low testosterone, plus a progestin shot used as a female contraceptive under the name "DepoProvera." The men got a shot once every 3 months and rubbed on a gel every day, and it worked well at knocking out sperm in 90% of them. However, men's opinions of the method varied widely: 6 dropped out, and of the remaining 38, half of them were satisfied or very satisfied, a third were dissatisfied or very dissatisfied, and the rest were undecided or had mixed feelings.

- Shepherd Medical Company announced the results of their very first U.S. study in men of the "Intra Vas Device" (a vasectomy alternative): after 6 months, 92% of the men had no sperm or almost no sperm. The Intra Vas Device blocks sperm in the vas deferens, the tube sperm swim through (the same tube that is cut in vasectomy). The set of plugs can be removed if a man changes his mind, so it is much easier to get sperm flowing again than after vasectomy. Animal studies have shown that fertility returns if the IVD is removed after short-term use, but that doesn't guarantee successful pregnancy after long-term use. The next step will be to find funding for long-term studies of effectiveness and fertility return.

- Columbia University researchers took advantage of the importance of vitamin A to design a new contraceptive approach. Men who are extremely low in vitamin A lose their fertility-- but they also become extremely sick, so avoiding vitamin A doesn't work as a contraceptive. Instead, Professor Debra Wolgemuth discovered a drug that had been abandoned by a pharmaceutical company precisely because it interfered with vitamin A receptors in the testes. Her team tested it in mice, and it worked with no health effects. "The receptors are everywhere, but the testis is exquisitely sensitive to the drug. So we can use a dose that is so low it has no effect on the rest of the body."
So the drug doesn't harm mice-- but will it be fine in men? Dr. Wolgemuth thinks the chances are good. "There's extensive toxicology data in rats and rabbits -- and at much higher doses-- because industry is developing it for other uses. So we're optimistic that there would be no adverse side effects in humans as well."

So how long must we wait? Advocates say it all depends on men speaking up. "We've seen today that the pipeline is full-- everything from new targets to actual human trials," explains Kirsten Thompson, director of the International Male Contraception Coalition. "And the demand is there-- hundreds of men have voiced their opinion on our website and in surveys. So it's just a question of whether policymakers act on that demand." Elaine Lissner, director of the Male Contraception Information Project, concurs. "We could have something like the IVD on the market in 4-5 years, if we make an all-out effort with funding and focus. But if we continue with just a study here and a study there, it could be an eternity."


Why fat girls plump for a chubby hubby

Some fall for beautiful eyes while others are smitten with a smile.

But when it comes to deciding on true love, you might be better off looking at your intended's waistline.

Scientists have shown that we tend to marry partners with a similar level of body fat to our own.

Flab, or the lack of it, is just as important as background, class or age in determining who we choose to spend our lives with.

It is thought the phenomenon - known as assortative mating - could be a key factor in Britain's growing obesity problem.

Adult obesity rates have nearly quadrupled over the last 25 years, making this the second-fattest nation in the developed world, trailing behind only the U.S.

Children of overweight couples are likely to inherit genes that make them prone to putting on weight too, and so be more likely to have a weight problem themselves-according to the researchers-from Aberdeen Universityand the Rowett Research Institute.

"If someone who is overweight or obese gets together or marries someone who is overweight or obese, their children could have a genetic disposition to obesity," said one of the researchers, Dr Diane Jackson.

The study, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, found body scans of 42 couplesshowed they shared similar levels of body fat.

The finding held true even when factors which can influence weight, such as age and class, were taken into account.

The study also showed that rather than couples simply growing fat together, they actually started off that way.

"In the 1940s and 1950s, people mostly got married in their early twenties before they were overweight or obese," said researcher Professor John Speakman.

"So it would have been difficult for them to assortatively mate for body fatness because it would have been impossible to distinguish somebody who was thin from somebody who was thin but going to become fat.

"Nowadays, we choose partners and have children much later, but if we are going to become obese, on average we do so much younger.

"This makes it possible for potential partners to select each other on the basis of body fatness.

What is currently unclear is how these associations come about.

Perhaps the social activities of the overweight and obese people coincide, making them more likely to meet partners who are also overweight or obese.

Recent research has shown that the company we keep has a huge effect on our weight.

Those with fat friends are almost three times more likely to become obese themselves.

Why women don't trust a handsome hunk

If fairy tales are to be believed, a girl can't do better than a tall, dark, handsome stranger. Reality, however, begs to differ.

Research shows that women dismiss macho types as being cold, domineering and with a roving eye. And bad fathers to boot.

In contrast, more feminine-looking men are regarded as warm, caring and committed - and ideal daddy material.

The researchers, from St Andrews and Durham universities, asked more than 400 men and women to rate a selection of male faces, which had been digitally altered to look more masculine or feminine, on whether they appeared to be ambitious, domineering, faithful, warm or a good parent.

The analysis showed that both sexes regarded the classic hunks as the big losers.

Dr Lynda Bothroyd, who led the research, said: "This shows agreement between women about what they see, personality wise, when asked to judge a book by its cover."

BY Fiona MacRae

Dark chocolate can prevent heart disease

Recent research showing that chocolate is good for our health may have triggered many a guiltfree binge.

Unfortunately, it appears that an ounce a day is all we can justify on medical grounds.

After reviewing previous studies into chocolate and heart disease, one expert has calculated the optimum daily dose.

Professor Roger Corder says that an ounce, or 25g - around two or three squares - is best.

The type of chocolate is also crucial as some contain more of the key ingredient, flavonoids.

These compounds, which occur naturally in cocoa beans, cut the risk of dangerous blood clots and relax blood vessels, stimulating the flow of blood around the body.

Flavonoids tend to be higher in dark chocolate, as it has a higher cocoa content. But Professor Corder, of Queen Mary, University of London, says some processing techniques damage the compounds more than others.

He said levels can even vary greatly between batches of the same brand, and called for manufacturers to include flavonoid content on labels.

He does however, have a few suggestions: "Lindt 85 per cent is what I have been eating. Their 75 per cent Ecuadorian chocolate is also very good."

Speaking at the British Association Festival of Science in York, the researcher said: "Chocolate should be part of a balanced diet. It can't be your fruit and vegetable component of a chips and pizza diet."

Professor Corder based his findings on years of research, including studies of tribes in central America whose diet is exceptionally rich in cocoa.

Dark chocolate may also stave off age-related macular degeneration, the most common cause of blindness in the elderly, and dementia.

By Fiona MacRae

Are you pregnant? Now you can drink wine...

Now pregnant women are told: 'It IS safe to drink daily glass of wine'

The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence said that women can drink up to 1.5 units of alcohol a day without harming their unborn baby.

This contradicts Department of Health advice that mothers-to-be should not drink at all and will leave women wondering which set of 'official' guidelines to follow.

In a draft document, NICE, which devises public health guidance for the Government, said the evidence behind the Department of Health's call for abstinence is 'unclear'.

After reviewing a series of studies on drinking in pregnancy, the NICE advisers, who include doctors and midwives, said that other than possibly increasing the risk of miscarriage, it appeared small amounts of alcohol did not harm the unborn baby.

Instead of cutting out alcohol altogether, pregnant women should limit their intake to 1.5 units a day and, if possible, avoid it in the first three months of pregnancy.

A small glass of wine counts as one unit, as does half a pint of ordinary strength lager, while a bottle of alcopop counts as 1.5 units.

A NICE spokesman said it was anticipated the Department of Health would issue 'clear advice' on the issue when the final version of the NICE guidance is issued next March.

However, the Department of Health said its advice to avoid alcohol all together was 'straightforward' and 'simple'.

A spokesman said: 'Although there is scientific uncertainty about the precise impact of excess alcohol on unborn babies, we believed the time was right to introduce a strong, consistent and precautionary approach.

'Our advice is simple: avoid alcohol if you are pregnant or trying to conceive.'

Doctors said the mixed messages could only confuse pregnant women.

Dr David Williams, consultant obstetric physician at the Institute for Women's Health at University College London Hospitals, described the Department of Health's message of abstinence as 'draconian'.

He said: 'I think the NICE advice is accurate according to the data we have got – a total ban is not a good thing. Most claim research shows that even very small amounts of alcohol can damage the health of the unborn child.

Dangers include foetal alcohol syndrome, which affects around 100 babies a year and causes low birth weight, flattened features, heart and kidney abnormalities, deafness and brain damage.

In addition, as many as 7,000 British babies a year are affected by the less serious foetal alcohol spectrum disorder, which causes attention deficit disorder, hyperactivity and poor co-ordination.

The British Medical Association advises that pregnant women who drink as little as a small glass of wine a day should be counselled over their consumption.

The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists says that abstinence is the 'safest option'.

And Andrew Shennan, professor of obstetrics for the baby charity Tommy's, said: 'The message from the Government provides a simple guideline for women to follow, insofar as no alcohol means no risk.'


Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Weight Found to Affect Prostate Cancer Outcome

A new study reports that overweight men with advanced prostate cancer seem not to live as long as those with normal body mass.

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Stuart Goldenberg

More Vital Signs Columns »
Times Health Guide: Prostate Cancer »
Web Link
Obesity and Mortality in Men With Locally Advanced Prostate Cancer (Cancer)In the study, published online Monday and scheduled to appear in the Dec. 15 issue of the journal Cancer, researchers looked at 788 men being given different types of therapies for prostate cancer. More than half were overweight or obese.

In an average eight-year follow-up, the overweight and obese patients were about 1.8 times as likely to die of prostate cancer as men of normal weight. The association persisted after controlling for type of treatment, age, race, cancer severity and other factors.

The reasons for the association are unclear, but the authors suggest that hormonal conditions of obesity may be conducive to severe prostate cancer, and that prostate treatment may be less successful in overweight men. (A study in The Journal of the American Medical Association last week found that overweight people are less likely than others to die of some diseases, but it did not specifically look at prostate cancer.)

Dr. Matthew R. Smith, an associate professor of medicine at Harvard who was the senior researcher for the prostate study, said that though the subjects had the same treatment and follow-up, “this one variable — their body weight — had a dramatic impact on their outcome. Weight loss after diagnosis might reduce the risk. But this study doesn’t prove that.”


Too Little Sleep May Pose Obesity Risk

Children who do not get enough sleep may increase their risk for obesity, a new study has found.

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Stuart Goldenberg

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Shorter Sleep Duration Is Associated With Increased Risk for Being Overweight at Ages 9 to 12 Years (Pediatrics)The researchers recorded sleep times and body mass index of 785 children in third grade and then again in sixth. Children slept an average of 9.45 hours a night in third grade and 8.78 in sixth.

After controlling for sex, race, maternal education, sleep problems like nightmares and other variables, the authors found that for every hour that sleep time declined over the three years, children were about 40 percent more likely to be overweight. The protective effect came mostly from earlier bedtimes rather than later wake times.

The authors concede that some unmeasured variables could have affected the results. For example, they write, parents may use food to pacify irritable sleep-deprived children, or sleep-deprived children may request and receive food more often.

The reason for the association is unclear, but parents are apparently not to blame. “We examined lax parenting,” said Dr. Julie C. Lumeng, the lead author of the study, which appeared in the Nov. 5 issue of Pediatrics, “and lax parenting is not the explanation.”

Instead Dr. Lumeng, an assistant professor of pediatrics at the University of Michigan, suggested three other possibilities.

“First, children who are grumpy may be more likely to ask for food,” she said. “Second, children who don’t get enough sleep are more likely to be tired the next day and less likely to exercise.” A third possibility is the hormone leptin, which is associated with fat metabolism and released in the body in relation to the sleep cycle.

“A disrupted sleep cycle,” she said, “may interfere with how the body stores calories.”


Cocktail with energizing drinks and vodka could be lethal

Cocktail with energizing drinks and vodka, can be life threating. It has similar effects to cocaine and heroin, as a recent study realized by the researchers at the Wake Forest University from North Carolina, concluded.
The combination between these 2 drinks can be lethal because of the opposing effects they have on the brain. The alcohol is a depressant of the nervous system, affecting judgment, the voluntary motor activity generating confusion and can also go into coma, meanwhile the caffeine contained in the energizing drinks is a stimulant of the nervous system.
The researchers discovered the fact that peoples which drink vodka mixed with energizing drinks , drink with 36% more alcohol and have doubled their weekly drunken episodes. The study also proved that 40% of the people who mix alcohol with energizing drinks frequently, get into specialized clinics for alcohol abuse.
The study point out the fact that people which consume this kind of cocktail have their chances of getting into big trouble or even die, doubled.


A Needle Can Save a Life

Got this via email. Worth noting. Never know who or when it may be needed ...

PATIENT-From Chinese professor
Keep a syringe or needle in your home to do this... It's amazing and an unconventional way of recovering from stroke, read it through it can help somebody one day.
This is amazing. Please keep this very handy.. Excellent tips. Do take a minute to read this. You'll never know. One's life may depend on you.
My father was paralyzed and later died from the result of a stroke. I wish I knew about this first aid before. When stroke strikes, the capillaries in the brain will gradually burst."(Irene Liu)
When a stroke occurs, stay calm. No matter where the victim is, do not move him/her. Because, if moved, the capillaries will burst. Help the victim to
sit up where he is to prevent him from falling over again, and then the bloodletting can begin. If you have in your home an injection syringe that would be the best, otherwise, a sewing needle or a straight pin will do.
1. Place the needle/pin over fire to sterilize it, and then use it to prick the tip of all 10 fingers.
2. There are no specific acupuncture points, just prick about a mm from the fingernail.
3. Prick till blood comes out.
4. If blood does not start to drip, then squeeze with your fingers.
5. When all 10 digits is bleeding, wait a few minutes then the victim will regain consciousness.
6. If the victim's mouth is crooked, then pull on his ears until they are red.
7. Then prick each ear lobe twice until two drops of blood comes from each ear lobe. After a few minutes the victim should regain consciousness.
Wait till the victim regain his normal state without any abnormal symptoms then take him to the hospital, otherwise, if he was taken in the ambulance
in a hurry to the hospital, the bumpy trip will cause all the capillaries in his brain to burst. If he could save his life, barely managing to walk, then it is by the grace of his ancestors.
" I learned about letting blood to save life from Chinese traditional doctor Ha Bu-Ting who lives in Sun-Juke. Furthermore, I had practical experience with it. Therefore I can say this method is 100% effective.In
1979, I was teaching in Fung-Gaap College in Tai-Chung. One afternoon I was teaching class when another teacher came running to my class room and said in panting, "Ms. Liu, come quick, our supervisor has had a stroke!"
I immediately went to the 3rd floor. When I saw our supervisor, Mr.Chen Fu-Tien, his color was off, his speech was slurred, his mouth was crooked-all the symptoms of a stroke. I immediately asked one of the practicum students to go to the pharmacy outside the school to buy a syringe, which I used to prick Mr. Chen's 10 fingers tips. When all 10
fingers were bleeding (each with a pea-sized drop of blood), after a few minutes, Mr. Chen's face regained its color and his eyes' spirit returned, too. But his mouth was still crooked. So I pulled on his ears to fill them with blood. When his ears became red, I pricked his right earlobe twice to let out 2 drops of blood. When both earlobes had two drops of blood each, a miracle happened. Within 3-5 minutes the shape of his mouth returned to normal and his speech became clear. We let him rest for a while and have a
cup of hot tea, then we helped him go down the stairs, drove him to Wei-Wah Hospital . He rested one night and was released the next day to return to school to teach.
Everything worked normally. There were no ill after-effects. On the otherhand, the usual stroke victim usually suffers irreparable bursting of the brain capillaries on the way to the hospital. As a result, these victims never recover.- " (Irene Liu)
Therefore stroke is the second cause of death. The lucky ones will stay alive but can remain paralyzed for life. It is such a horrible thing to happen in one's life. If we can all remember this bloodletting method and start the life-saving process immediately, in a short time, the victim
will be revived and regain 100% normality.

If possible, Please forward this after reading. You never know if it may help save a life from stroke.

Monday, November 12, 2007

The 20 Worst Foods in America

The U.S. food industry has declared war on your waistline. Here's how to disarm its weapons of mass inflation
By: Matt Goulding

Sure, a turkey burger sounds healthy. But is it, really? Not if you order the Bella from Ruby Tuesday, which packs a whopping 1,145 calories. (And yes, that's before a side of fries.)

To further enlighten you on the prevalence of preposterous portions, we spent months analyzing menus, nutrition labels, and ingredient lists to identify the food industry's worst offenders. Our primary criterion? Sheer caloric impact. After all, it's the top cause of weight gain and the health problems that accompany it. (As you read, keep in mind that 2,500 calories a day is a reasonable intake for the average guy.) We also factored in other key nutritional data, such as excessive carbohydrates and fat, added sugars, trans fats, and sodium. The result is our first annual list of the worst foods in America.

Eat at your own risk.

Worst Fast-Food Chicken Meal

20 Chicken Selects Premium Breast Strips from McDonald's (5 pieces) with creamy ranch sauce
830 calories
55 grams (g) fat (4.5 g trans fat)
48 g carbohydrates

The only thing "premium" about these strips is the caloric price you pay. Add a large fries and regular soda and this seemingly innocuous chicken meal tops out at 1,710 calories.

Change Your Chicken: 20 McNuggets have the same impact. Instead, choose Mickey D's six-piece offering with BBQ sauce and save yourself 530 calories.

Worst Drink

19 Jamba Juice Chocolate Moo'd Power Smoothie (30 fl oz)
900 calories 10 g fat
183 g carbs (166 g sugar)

Jamba Juice calls it a smoothie; we call it a milk shake. In fact, this beverage contains as much sugar as 8 pints of Ben & Jerry's butter pecan ice cream.

Turn Down the Power: Seventy-five percent of this chain's "power smoothies" contain in excess of 100 grams of sugar. Stick to Jamba's lower-calorie All Fruit Smoothies, which are the only menu items that contain no added sugar. And always opt for the 16-ounce "small."

Alzheimer's vaccine

Oklahoma City, Nov. 12, 2007 – Could a new vaccine be the key to stopping Alzheimer’s disease? A new research study from the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation shows that immunization could offer a way to blunt or even prevent the deadly, memory-robbing disease.

OMRF scientists immunized Alzheimer’s mice with a protein believed to play a key role in the disease-causing process. The mice who received the vaccination showed a significant reduction in the build-up of protein plaques that, when present in the brain for long periods of time, are believed to cause the cell death, memory loss and neurological dysfunction characteristic of Alzheimer’s.

The immunized mice also showed better cognitive performance than control mice that had not received the vaccine.

“These results are extremely exciting,” said Jordan Tang, Ph.D., the OMRF researcher who led the study. “They certainly show that this vaccination approach warrants additional investigation as a therapy for Alzheimer’s disease.”

The new research appears in The Journal of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology.

Tang and his colleagues at OMRF previously had identified the cutting enzyme (known as memapsin 2) that creates the protein fragments believed to be the culprit behind Alzheimer’s. In the current study, researchers used mice that had been genetically engineered to develop symptoms of Alzheimer’s, then immunized the animals with memapsin 2.

“What we saw is that the mice immunized with memapsin 2 developed 35 percent fewer plaques than their non-vaccinated counterparts,” said Tang. “Those immunized mice also performed better than control mice in tests designed to assess their cognitive function.”

Tang’s work with memapsin 2 also has led to the creation of an experimental drug to treat Alzheimer’s disease. That drug, which works by inhibiting the cutting enzyme, began human clinical trials in the summer of 2007.

Tang emphasized that the vaccine approach should be viewed as a supplement to—rather than substitute for—the experimental inhibitor and other treatments currently in development for the illness.

“Alzheimer’s is a complicated, multi-faceted disease,” said the OMRF researcher. “As with illnesses like cancer and heart disease, Alzheimer’s demands that we develop many different approaches to combat it. We cannot rely on a ‘one-size-fits-all’ strategy, because what works in one patient will not necessarily work in another.”

A vaccination approach—getting the immune system to clean up the plaques—has been considered a promising way to tackle the disease, but its success has been limited. In 2002, for example, the pharmaceutical company Elan halted trials of a different vaccine after 15 patients suffered swelling of the central nervous system.

OMRF President Stephen Prescott, M.D., is hopeful that Tang’s work will avoid the pitfalls that beset Elan’s vaccine. “This vaccination stimulates the immune system more gently than previous Alzheimer’s vaccines, so we are optimistic about its prospects going forward,” he said. “Once again, Dr. Tang has found an innovative way to make inroads against a devastating and poorly understood disease.”

The next step, said Tang, will be to progress the work to the point that it can be tested in humans. “There currently is no effective treatment for Alzheimer’s disease, so we must explore every possible option to find a way to stop it,” he said.

The research was supported, in part, by a grant from the Alzheimer’s Association.

“The Alzheimer’s Association is pleased to provide funding for innovative work such as this to develop possible new therapies for Alzheimer's,” said William Thies, Ph.D., vice president for Medical & Scientific Relations at the Alzheimer’s Association. “It is important to encourage imaginative researchers to test unconventional strategies, as Dr. Tang has done here. We face an overwhelming epidemic of Alzheimer's and dementia if we don't change the current unsatisfactory situation by greatly improving early detection, treatment and prevention.”

At OMRF, Tang heads the Protein Studies Research Program and holds the J.G. Puterbaugh Chair in Medical Research. His work with cutting enzymes has made important contributions to the study of HIV, gastric enzymes and Alzheimer’s and has earned him the Alzheimer’s Association’s highest research prize, the Pioneer Award.

About Alzheimer’s
Alzheimer’s disease is a neurological disorder characterized by slow, progressive memory loss due to the gradual death of brain cells. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, the disease affects more than 5 million Americans, including approximately 77,000 Oklahomans and nearly half the nation’s population over the age of 85.

About OMRF
Chartered in 1946, OMRF ( is an independent, nonprofit biomedical research institute dedicated to understanding and developing more effective treatments for human disease. Its scientists focus on such critical research areas as Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, lupus and cardiovascular disease. Discoveries at OMRF have given birth to three FDA-approved drugs, and it is home to a member of the National Academy of Sciences and Oklahoma's only Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator.


Benefits of the Dead Sea Salts

Since biblical times, the Dead Sea has been famous for its miraculous healing qualities. As science is finding out, the theory that this specific body of water is special is much more than just folklore or hype. It appears that the unique qualities of the Dead Sea do translate into ingredients that are not only beneficial to the skin, but can provide healing for skin conditions such as psoriasis, eczema and acne. This knowledge has brought many people with a variety of ailments to the banks of the Dead Sea, where there are numerous spas and treatment centers set up to help people with any number of medical problems, or simply to soak in the positive benefits that the air and the water of the region can bring. However, if you can’t afford to take a trip to the Middle East to see this phenomenon for yourself, you can now bring the Dead Sea to you in the form of beauty products that you can purchase and use in the privacy of your own home.

Why the Dead Sea?

At approximately 400 meters below sea level, the Dead Sea is the lowest natural place on earth. This results in a dense air that can actually filter dangerous UV rays, making it an effective location to soak up the sun without a danger of sunburn. This is one reason why this area is so beneficial for psoriasis sufferers. The water of the Dead Sea has the highest concentration of salt within it, which is nearly ten times greater than the salt content that is found in ocean water. This is why no plant or animal can survive life in the Dead Sea, but also why the water has so many beneficial qualities for the skin. The composition of the water is also unique, because it contains calcium, magnesium and potassium, in addition to the salt found in other waters. These characteristics combine to make the Dead Sea almost magical in its ability to soothe and heal the skin and body. Studies have shown that while salt baths are generally beneficial for psoriasis sufferers, bathing with Dead Sea salts can be particularly beneficial. Positive results have also been seen with people who have skin conditions like eczema and acne.

Even if you don’t have a particular skin condition that you want to treat, Dead Sea salt products can exfoliate your skin, clean your pores, and help rid your skin of toxins. Some users find that these products are a natural and healthy way to reduce the look of wrinkles as well. If you would like to try out Dead Sea salt products on your own skin, you will not have to look as far as Israel for your beauty supplies. In fact, you may only have to travel as far as your local beauty supply outlet, or let your fingers do the walking on the Internet. You will be able to find products such as bath salts, scrubs, masks and body wraps. Take your body on a trip to the Dead Sea today, right from the comfort of your own bathroom, and enjoy the healing and therapeutic benefits that these salts can bring.

Let's talk about Cellulite

How many times have you and your friends swapped stories of diets gone wrong and skinny jeans that just won’t fit? It’s second nature – we talk about our fat and our constant fight against it. It’s part of our make-up. But its’ not just you and your friends – it’s all of us. In fact, according to a new study co-authored by Denise Martz of Appalachian State University, it’s socially mandatory.

They call it “fat talk” and we start it in middle school. In fact the practice of fat talk is so socially ingrained that Martz points out that, “…both male and female college students know the norm of fat talk… females are supposed to say negative things about their bodies in a group of females engaging in fat talk.”

Martz and her colleagues showed 124 college students (both male and female) a scene where three women were engaged in fat talk. They then asked the test subjects to describe how they believed a fourth female would react and respond to the discussion in progress.

According to Martz, 40% of the males and 51% of the females predicted that the fourth female would join the conversation and degrade her own body right along with the rest of the women.

“Because women feel pressured to follow the fat talk norm, they are more likely to engage in fat talk with other females,” Martz said in one interview. “Hence, women normalize their own body dissatisfaction with one another.” She went on to hypothesize that “if there are women out there who feel neutrally or even positively about their bodies, I bet we never hear this from them for fear of social sanction and rejection.”

Researchers believe that the prevalence of fat talk is a coping mechanism for many. With more and more women finding themselves “Females like to support one another and fat talk elicits support,” Martz said. “An example would be one saying, ‘It`s like, I`m so fat today,’ and another would respond, ‘No, you are not fat, you look great in those pants.’”

With so many of us finding fault with ourselves, those who have a neutral – or even positive – outlook on their bodies are socially coerced to join in. No one likes a girl who’s full of herself and that’s what the practice of fat talk does – it sets up an unfair social norm where talking down about yourself is actually seen as being modest – something to aspire to.

According to Martz, “we tend to dislike arrogance and especially dislike it in women. Women are perceived as OK if they fat talk and acknowledge that their bodies are not perfect but they are working on it.”

Whether it’s right or not, it happens. We tear ourselves down when we’re together. So the next time you complain about your weight to your friends, take a moment and think of something good about yourself (even if you don’t say it out loud).

Hair Powder Created to Care Hair between Wash

Busy women can now maintain their hair even without visiting the hair salon thanks to a new hair powder. The product, Shampodwer, was developed by California-based cosmetic manufacturer, Buttercream Cosmetics.

According to the company, Shampowder works to deodorize and refresh hair while helping to maintain volume between wash. The powder is brushed into the hair and absorbs oil. Shampowder comes in two shades, one for dark hair and one for light colored hair. reported that Jayne Polan, President of Buttercream Cosmetics said, “Shampowder is aimed at women on the go whether they are busy mums, career women or anyone who woke up late and doesn’t have time to shower.”

The product was created with assistance from Classic Cosmetics.

The Beauty Benefits of Tea Tree Oil

Tea tree oil has become the latest addition to the list of ingredients that pack not only a powerful punch in the beauty world but in our health as well. Native to Australia, tea tree oil products are now sold worldwide. If you’re looking for something new to add to your beauty or health regimen, tea tree oil may be your answer.

Tea tree oil comes from the tea tree, which is a tree or shrub with needlelike leaves (think of a cypress tree) with soft, thick white bark and white flowers that bloom in the summertime. Tea trees can reach heights of up to eight feet and grow quickly. While originally from Australia, the tea tree is also cultivated and distributed in places such as New South Wales and the south Pacific. When the leaves are crushed, tea tree oil is released.

Tea tree oil has been used for years in traditional medicine and is very effective due to its ability to effectively fight against bacteria, fungi and viruses - a feat many other ingredients and chemicals cannot do alone. The use of tea tree oil has been the most significant in skincare. From troublesome skin conditions such as eczema and acne, to run of the mill cuts and bruises, tea tree oil is the ideal solution. When used to treat acne, tea tree oil reduces swelling, redness and scarring that commonly occur. This wonder oil even treats athlete’s foot. If you suffer from cold sores, a dab of tea tree oil to the area in the early stages prevents the cold sore from getting worse or spreading. Because of its ability to be easily absorbed into the skin, try adding ten drops of pure tea tree oil to your favorite body lotion or moisturizer to ensure smooth, soft and hydrated skin. Both men and women who shave or wax often can find relief by applying a few drops of tea tree oil to the area to reduce redness or swelling. Massaging the oil into the skin can even eliminate ingrown hairs.

As wonderful as it is for the skin, this essential oil isn’t just limited to skincare. The use of tea tree oil has also been found to be successful at treating dandruff. There are a number of tea tree oil based hair care products including shampoos and conditioners. Dry hair can also greatly benefit from a touch of tea tree oil. To treat dry and damaged hair, you can either purchase tea tree oil shampoo or pure tea tree oil, which you can add to your regular shampoo. Regular use of tea tree oil on the hair and scalp unclogs hair follicles, moisturizes and prevents bacteria and fungal problems from attacking the scalp.

The antiseptic properties of tea tree oil also make it ideal for use as a mouthwash. If you plan on going to the dentist anytime soon or want to keep cavities at bay, rinse out your mouth with pure tea tree oil twice a day to keep bacteria away, reduce the chances for plaque and to maintain healthy gums.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Do you want to live long? Have Sex

By:Kelly McCarthy

A study shows that men who have three or more orgasms a week are 50 percent less likely to die from coronary heart disease.

These findings suggest that sex can be used to help prevent heart attacks and strokes as one means of fulfilling physicians' recommendation for sustained physical activity for at least 20 minutes, three times a week. Conducted by a team of researchers from the University of Bristol and Queen's University of Belfast, the researchers studied 2,500 men aged 45 to 59 for 10 years.

"The relationship found between frequency of sexual intercourse and mortality is of considerable public interest," says study co-author Shah Ebrahim, Ph.D., a University of Bristol professor of epidemiology and aging, who presented the study results at the fourth World Stroke Congress. "It may however be a confounding [relationship] due to other aspects of a healthy lifestyle." Ebrahim cautions that further research is necessary.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Nasal Spray Will Help You to Socialize and Speak Better in Public

A nasal spray containing an antibiotic used to treat tuberculosis may help people to overcome their fears of public speaking, attending work parties or even performing karaoke.

Psychologists found that sprays emitting D-Cycloserine (DCS) significantly reduced the symptoms of people afflicted with chronic social phobias.

Patients suffering from irrational fears normally undergo "exposure therapy", which involves people confronting the things they are frightened of the most.

In the latest study, an Australian researcher asked 23 sufferers to make a speech after taking small doses of DCS and having exposure therapy.

He then compared the results with patients who also made a speech but without having had any treatment for their phobias.

Dr Adam Guastella, from the University of New South Wales, said the difference between the two groups was astonishing.

"These people were so shy they could not enter a crowded room or speak in public," he said.

"However, those who received DCS showed a great reduction in fear and also reported lasting improvements in work and social relationships."

Research in America suggests that as many as 13 in 100 people suffer from a social phobia and are worried about being watched, judged or criticised in public.

People usually show the first symptoms of social phobias at the age of 15, but they can continue for a long time if left untreated.

Scientists say that DCS has no effect on fear on its own, but enhances the therapy sessions by changing the neurotransmitters in the brain associated with learning to overcome fear.
By Nicole Martin

Fruit, vegetables may reduce pancreatic cancer risk

Pancreatic cancer symptom is hard to find (diagnose) because the organ is hidden behind other organs and is not readily felt in routine exams. The signs of pancreatic cancer are like many other illnesses, and there may be no signs in the early stages.Pancreatic cancer symptom also include diarrhea, fatigue, faintness, and unexplained weight gain.

An epidemiologic study suggested eating a lot of fruit and vegetables may help reduce the risk of pancreatic cancer in men.

The case-control study involved 585 pancreatic cancer cases and 4,779 controls in eight Canadian provinces between 1994 and 1999. The dietary habits were surveyed and analyzed using a multivariate analysis method. Identified and grouped were three dietary patterns, WESTERN characterized by high intake of meat, sugar, and refined grains; FRUIT/VEGETABLES characterized by high intake of fresh fruits and cruciferous vegetables; DRINKER characterized by high intake of liquor, wine and beer.

The study found that those who ate the highest amount of fruit and vegetables (highest quartile) are 50 percent less likely to have pancreatic cancer than those who used the lowest amount of fruits and vegetables (lowest quartile). There was no association with the Western dietary and drinker patterns.

Pancreatic cancer is the fourth leading cause of cancer death in men and the fifth in women. As predicted by the American Cancer Society, about 32,180 people in the US will be diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and about 31,800 will die of the disease.

The study was conducted by André Nkondjock and collegues from University of Montreal, Montreal, Quebec, Canada and other organizations. The results were published in the May 1 issue of International Journal of Cancer.

Pancreatic Cancer

50 ways to beat the Reaper

We've been told that the only sure things are death and taxes. But just as creative accountants have helped many men triumph over their 1040s, we can help you outrun the reaper. Maybe it's a game you can't ultimately win. But by following these 50 tips, you sure as hell can send it into overtime.

1. Drink at Least Five 8-ounce Glasses of Water a Day

Scientists at Loma Linda University found that men who drank this amount of H2O were 54 percent less likely to suffer a fatal heart attack than those who drank two glasses or less every day.

2. Take a Laugh Break

Watching 15 minutes of funny video can improve bloodflow to your heart by 50 percent, report researchers at the University of Maryland. "This may reduce blood-clot formation, cholesterol deposition, and inflammation," says study author Michael Miller, M.D. For your daily dose, click on the "hilarious" video link at

3. Don't Go to Work Sick

Over a 3-year period, men who clocked in despite feeling under the weather had double the heart-attack risk of guys who stayed in bed, according to a U.K. study.

4. Put Out the Fire in Your Chest

Untreated heartburn can lead to a heart attack, according to a study in the International Journal of Cardiology. Scientists discovered that as acid levels in the esophagus rise, the incidence of blocked bloodflow to the heart also rises by 20 percent. A natural remedy: Analyze your diet. Don't make a habit of drinking wine, juice, or carbonated beverages, all of which are highly acidic and may trigger heartburn, say South Carolina researchers.

5. Indulge Your Chocolate Craving

In a 15-year study, Dutch scientists determined that men who ate just 4 grams of cocoa a day had half the risk of dying from heart disease than those who ate less. That's the equivalent of two 25-calorie Hershey's Kisses -- an amount that can fit into any diet.

6. Say No to Froot Loops

In a review of 53 studies, Australian researchers found that regularly eating cereal made from refined grains raises insulin and C-reactive protein, and lowers good cholesterol -- all factors that boost your odds of developing heart disease. A better choice for your morning bowl: Post Shredded Wheat cereal, which is made from 100 percent whole grains and contains no sugar.

7. Take a Magnesium Supplement

Over an 18-year period, French researchers determined that men with the highest blood levels of magnesium are 40 percent less likely to die of any cause than those with the lowest levels. Magnesium can make multivitamins too bulky, so add a 250 milligram (mg) pill from or GNC to your daily regimen.

8. Burn 1,100 Calories a Week

Duke University scientists discovered that this amount of exercise prevents the accumulation of visceral adipose tissue -- the dangerous belly fat that causes arterial inflammation and hypertension. Falling short? Join a league: A recent British Medical Journal study reported that people who exercised in groups boosted their average calorie burn by 500 a week.

9. Take a Daily Multivitamin

Researchers at the University of California at Berkeley discovered that this helps prevent the DNA damage that causes cancer. We like Centrum Silver.

10. Hit the Weights

University of Michigan scientists found that men who completed three total-body weight workouts a week for 2 months lowered their diastolic blood pressure (the bottom number) by an average of eight points. That's enough to reduce the risk of stroke by 40 percent and heart attack by 15 percent.

Denny Watkins & Alison Granell & Heather Loeb

What I love is number 5. I surely will live very long...and from today on I have a good excuse to eat more chocolate...

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Common sense and marijuana policy

GateHouse News Service
A stream of witnesses brought a common sense approach to marijuana policy to a hearing on Beacon Hill this week. The current law making possession of small amounts of marijuana a criminal offense wastes money - $24 million a year, according to a Boston University study - and hurts people, especially young people, they testified. And after 35 years of the war on drugs, it's hard to argue that the current policy is preventing people from using marijuana.

The bill before the Joint Mental Health and Substance Abuse Committee would impose a $250 civil fine for possession of less than an ounce of marijuana, freeing offenders of the criminal record that can close off access to jobs and student aid.

Nobody showed up to speak in opposition to the bill, but that doesn't mean there is clear sailing ahead. The state Legislature has been reluctant to vote on anything that might brand members as soft on crime, and a spokeswoman for Gov. Deval Patrick reiterated his campaign pledge to veto any decriminalization measure.

Patrick, who looks more like a conventional politician by the day, showed more common sense in endorsing bringing casinos to Massachusetts. While agreeing that gambling can be addictive, he recognized that, for most people, it isn't. A 10-year study by Harvard Medical School found that 3 to 5 percent of people will develop a gambling problem, which is another way of saying that for 95 to 97 percent of the people, gambling is a harmless entertainment.

Can the same be said for marijuana? Yes, but alcohol is an easier comparison. Marijuana is far less addictive than booze and, strictly speaking, it's not addictive at all. It is less destructive to your liver and other organs than alcohol, nor is it as associated with violence, family break-up or other social ills. There is no known fatal dose of marijuana.

Alcohol prohibition failed because people finally admitted that, while alcohol is a problem for some people, it's a harmless entertainment for most. Marijuana prohibition is more punitive than alcohol prohibition ever was, since the Volstead Act never simple possession of alcohol illegal.

Consistency would argue that whether the vice in question is a hobby or a habit, drinking beer, smoking pot or playing poker is an individual decision, not something that should come with a prison sentence.

Consistency may be more than we can expect from our state Legislature. Rep. Ruth Balser, D-Newton, who has endorsed the marijuana decriminalization bill, is an opponent of legalizing casinos. A similar marijuana bill was approved by Balser's committee last year, but was never brought to the floor of either house for a vote.

In Massachusetts, as in other states, the public is way ahead of the politicians on marijuana reform. Since 2002, voters in 30 House districts approved nonbinding ballot questions endorsing some form of decriminalization, often by wide margins. Activists are now circulating petitions to put an initiative decriminalizing marijuana possession on the statewide ballot in 2008.

Eventually, common sense will bring change to the state and nation's drug policies. The wonder is that it is taking so long.

Serious diseases genes revealed

A major advance in understanding the genetics behind several of the world's most common diseases has been reported.
The landmark Wellcome Trust study analysed DNA from the blood of 17,000 people to find genetic differences.

They found new genetic variants for depression, Crohn's disease, coronary heart disease, hypertension, rheumatoid arthritis and type 1 and 2 diabetes.

The remarkable findings, published in Nature, have been hailed as a new chapter in medical science.

It is hoped they will pave the way for research into new treatments and genetic tests.
The £9m Wellcome Trust Case Control Consortium (WTCCC) involved 50 leading research groups analysing the DNA from 2,000 patients for each of the seven conditions and 3,000 healthy volunteers


They used "gene chips" to scan hundreds of thousands of DNA markers to identify common genetic differences across the whole genome.

Many of the genes identified by the team of 200 scientists were in parts of the genome not previously thought to be associated with disease.

In the future it may be possible to test people for combinations of genes to find out their lifetime risk of a disease, which would enable them to modify their lifestyle or undergo screening.

One of the most exciting finds was a previously unknown gene common to type 1 diabetes and Crohn's disease, a type of inflammatory bowel disorder, suggesting that they share similar biological pathways.

The team also unexpectedly found a process known as autophagy - a process of clearing bacteria from within cells - is important in the development of Crohn's disease.

And in type 1 diabetes, they identified several genetic regions that increase the risk of developing the condition.

The WTCCC project has already played a part in recent reports of an obesity gene, three new genes linked to type 2 diabetes, and a genetic region on chromosome 9 associated with coronary heart disease.

Major advances

Professor Peter Donnelly, chair of the WTCCC and professor of statistical science at Oxford University, said the research was a "new dawn" and they had learnt more in the past 12 months than they had in 15 years.

"If you think of the genome as very long road that you are trying to find your way along in the dark, previously we have only been able to turn lights on in a small number of places, but now we can turn on lights in a large number of places - in this case half a million lights.

"Many of the most common diseases are very complex, involving both 'nature' and 'nurture', genes interacting with our environment and lifestyles.

"By identifying the genes underlying these conditions, our study should enable scientists to understand better how disease occurs, which people are most at risk and, in time, to produce more effective, more personalised treatments."

Dr Mark Walport, director of the Wellcome Trust, added that all the data were being made publicly available to ensure that scientists across the globe had immediate access to the results.

"We have taken a big step forward in understanding the genetics underlying some of the most prevalent diseases affecting human health," he added.

Matt Hunt, Science Information Manager at Diabetes UK, commented: "The WTCCC has been an excellent example of collaborative working and has produced some exciting results about the genetics of Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes."

BBC News

Sexual intercourse on your head...

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - First, researchers grew enough fungus to give dandruff to 10 million people. Next, they sequenced its genes. Then they found out that not only does an icky fungus live on your head and cause dandruff-- but it could be having sex. On your head. Right now.

A team at Procter & Gamble Beauty said on Tuesday they had sequenced the genome of Malassezia globosa, a fungus that grows on the skin of between 50 percent and 90 percent of the population. It causes dandruff and a range of other skin conditions.

Writing in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the researchers said their study can shed light on ways to fight not only dandruff, but an infection that can threaten the lives of newborns.

"A complete genomic sequencing of a Malassezia genome opens tremendous opportunities for researchers to understand the interactions of fungi and humans," said Thomas Dawson, a scientist at P&G Beauty who led the study.

"It's amazing that the understanding of the genetic make-up of a microscopic organism can have broad implications ranging from human health to agricultural science."

The team at P&G Beauty, a subsidiary of the company that makes household products ranging from toilet tissue to shampoo, said M. globosa is capable of excreting more than 50 different enzymes that help digest and break down compounds in the hair and scalp.

"The M. globosa genome sequence also revealed the presence of mating-type genes, providing an indication that Malassezia may be capable of sex," they wrote in their report.

Other fungi can reproduce sexually, but this particular type had not been known to, Dawson's team said. This means it could find a way to evade dandruff shampoo. Continued...

Maggie Fox

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

How to give up caffeine

A few of the original readers of DLM may remember my article about quitting smoking. Well, after hearing that my father-in-law gave up coffee and caffeine 8 months ago and how it's impacted him, I decided to do the same.

Exactly 60 days ago I began the quest and for the last 30 days I have been caffeine-free. To put this into context a little, you should know that I drank at least a full pot (12 cups) of coffee per day. I never drank soda; for me it was coffee and I have been slurping it down for over 15 years. Oh yeah, the bean hooked me...bad.

Many may think that this addiction was a side effect from my abnormal but productive sleep schedule. I thought the same, however I was proven wrong. If anything, I am WAY more productive without the highs and lows that caffeine brings.

So here is how I did it, step-by-step.


Before you really make the choice to quit an addiction, you must first understand the reasoning. If you are simply doing it because DLM said it works, you are going to fail.
In humans, caffeine is a central nervous system (CNS) stimulant, having the effect of temporarily warding off drowsiness and restoring alertness. Beverages containing caffeine, such as coffee, tea, soft drinks and energy drinks enjoy great popularity; caffeine is the world's most widely consumed psychoactive substance, but unlike most other psychoactive substances, it is legal and unregulated in nearly all jurisdictions. In North America, 90% of adults consume caffeine daily. - Wikipedia
So we already get a glimpse into the fact that caffeine messes with you. Are there any naysayers? My personal choice to quit was because I hated the constant need for a pick-me-up. I wasn't twitching each time I passed a Starbucks or anything crazy like that, however, I honestly felt a major energy drain as the hours passed by each day. Grabbing some coffee was always the quick fix. In my opinion, any time you need to consume something as a quick fix, you have a problem.

So, let's wean ourselves off. These steps will get you off coffee, Mountain Dew, or any caffeine-laden drink that you are hooked on.

Reasons: What are the reasons? I explained mine but really what are the reasons you want to quit? Are your teeth brown as bark, do you have coffee breath? Your reasons are personal so don't rely on me to tell you what to do and why.

The count: As a baseline, you have to identify how much caffeine you are drinking today. Is it 9 Mountain Dews, a pot of coffee, or 16 Cokes? This baseline count will be your indicator of improvement.

The Wean: If you are drinking 5 cups of coffee per day, start by replacing 1 cup with a caffeinated tea. Yes, you read that right. I am all for slow transitions and the taste alone is enough of a change in the beginning. I did this for 3 days and then each day after, I replaced another cup of coffee for a cup of caffeinated tea. It took a while, but soon I was drinking all tea.

There are 90 different teas on the market so experiment a little and find something you really like. The key is to find a brand or flavor that comes in decaffeinated and caffeinated varieties. This process will be SO much easier if you actually like the taste of the replacement. You should also be aware of the varying health benefits of tea as you choose a replacement beverage.

The De-Caffeinization: Yes, I made up that word but this is where we really start making some chemical changes. Using the process I mentioned above, start replacing the caffeinated tea with decaf tea. This is why I told you to pick a brand with both varieties. The taste will remain the same, but the caffeine is obviously going to decrease.

DON'T Change your sleep: During this entire process, it is critical that you don't make changes to your sleep schedule. If you currently take power naps at 1:00, keep doing it. You don't want to replace caffeine with sleep, you want to get rid of the need for a supplement altogether.
As mentioned, this approach can be used with any caffeine drink you are hooked on and it doesn't have to be replaced with tea. Drink water, flavored water, or anything with a 0% caffeine content.

So that is how I did it. Now I will mention the effects:

I am never groggy. I have the same energy at 1:00PM as I do at 6AM or 4PM. This is THE largest benefit by far.

I don't have coffee breath and I can actually still taste my toothpaste at 11AM when I brushed at 6.

Stress and anxiety have plummeted although I took on more assignments at work. I am simply not as edgy.

I am asleep within 5 minutes each night

My blood pressure is perfect now. It had previously been a little high.

I don't seem to get as many headaches. In the past, I would get 2-3 headaches per week and take some Advil. Now, it's down to 2 times per month.
So that's my story. I am caffeine free and yes it was difficult. I think the toughest thing was making the tea and finding a flavorf that I liked. However, once I got over those hurdles it was simple and I am glad that I did it. The key is planning.


Stem cell transplant a success against Parkinson's

New research published in The Journal of Neuroscience asserts that transplanted neural stem cells can reduce the destruction of dopaminergic cells and replace cells lost to Parkinson's. A neural stem cell transplant in an animal study demonstrated that the animals continued to function normally, without the progressive loss of physical control that characterizes Parkinson's. The transplant occurred after a toxin was used to destroy neurons that are needed to make dopamine, a key neurotransmitter. The researchers said the therapy occurred at what would be the equivalent of an early stage of the disease.

"We are very cautious but to us, it's an indication that stem cells have promise for Parkinson's disease," says Dr. Cesario V. Borlongan, neuroscientist at the Medical College of Georgia and corresponding author of the study.

Fierce BioResearcher

Low-protein diet might reduce cancer risk

Researchers studying a group of vegetarians who'd maintained a diet relatively low in protein and calories found that they had lower blood levels of several hormones and other substances that have been tied to certain cancers.

Aspirin - can it cure cancer?

Aspirin stops headaches, reduces fever and prevents blood from clogging. Now a new research shows that the familiar drug can also stop the expansion of cancer tumours.
These findings may be the start of a new generation of cancer cures. The research was published recently in the American Magazine for Experimental Biology.
Many doctors advise patients over the age of 40 to take one Aspirin a day as maintenance for the prevention of heart disease and other circulatory problems. Since it's discovery in the 1930's Aspirin is considered a wonder drug that can help different ailments. Previous research has shown that people who take Aspirin have a reduced chance of having cancer. To find out why this is so, researches have now investigated the effect Aspirin has on cancer tumours. In a research conducted in the University of Newcastle, scientists placed Aspirin in contact with cells that create blood vessels. In a low dosage, the aspirin acids prevented blood vessels from being created. This research has established that the old drug Aspirin can help prevent cancer from spreading. The drug reduces blood veins that supply blood to the tumour, thus "suffocating" it and preventing its growths. This effect slows the disease and can even eliminate it.

The head of the research team, Dr. Helen Arthur, explains: "Blood vessels supply tumours with nutrition and oxygen that allow it to grow. Also the blood vessels are the means that a tumour uses to spread to other pats of the body. The prevention of creating new blood cells leading to a tumour help to kill it and prevent its further spreading." Dr. Arthur emphasizes that without blood vessels around it a tumour cannot become larger than a pea.


Sunday, June 10, 2007

Global warming

The G8 reminds me of the family photos of long ago. Big gatherings at table, smiles, group photos in lines, declarations, hand shakes for the photographers, The G8 nations represent 65% of the world economy. It’s possibly to calmly say that they are responsible, at least in part, for global warming, for the death of Africa, for economic inequalities, for an imprecise number of wars and warriors and for the interference in the affairs of other States. Let it be really clear: everything (nearly always) in an indirect way, using economic measures, diplomatic pressures and the media. Clean, whiter than white.

In the palace of Konstatinovskij, the Tsar’s summer palace in Saint Petersburg, they were eating Beluga caviar, smoked lobster, and strawberries with black pepper. Meanwhile they were amiably talking about energy, climate, poverty and famine in the world in a peaceful and serene atmosphere. The city is under the control of 200,000 soldiers. A group of demonstrators against the G8 has been provided for by Putin in the Kirov stadium, outside the city, in an area that is surrounded by ancient woodland and military police.

Tramps and homeless people have disappeared from Saint Petersburg and have been sent to Siberia in sealed trains just for the occasion. Bush hasn’t missed the opportunity to say his bit by citing Iraq as an example of the freedom of the press and religious liberty. Putin has responded with another gaff by saying that in Russia they don’t want the type of democracy that exists in Iraq. He prefers his democracy modelled in Chechen style.

All the Heads of State are there with their consorts, apart form the only true man present, Angela Merkel, wearing the skin of Bruno the bear, donated to her by the city of Munich. The G8 are always risking democratic participation. People wound up in the enthusiasm want to have their say. That’s why the future looks bleak for future meetings.

It’s not every time that there’ll be the availability of Putin, the Holy Mother Russia, and the post-soviet army ready to take control of the streets. The summits could take place in the Mariana Trench in a massive submarine, in the Gobi desert dressed up as camel handlers, or on the top of the Himalayas in oxygen tents. In places that are reserved for people who have private discussions about the problems of the world. Without outside influences. In private.

Posted by Beppe Grillo on July 17, 2006

The magical power of soy

Postmenopausal women who are eating a healthy diet may enjoy even greater protection from the cardiovascular damage caused by high blood pressure and elevated "bad cholesterol" by addind soy to their diet.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

An answer to Steve about high blood pressure

"I recently moved from beta blockers to enalapril 10 mg and have begun to feel much better. Carido work is more effective and other signs of physical improvements are emerging. I found your review of Hyperestol interesting. I am an informed 54 year old, generally healthy and want to grow old with optimal health and a hand with as few pills as possible in it. I am working hard to be drug free but in the meantime, how would I go about incorporating Hyperestol in my regimen while taking enalapril?

thank you Steve"

High blood pressure is not an illness in itself, even if you have to cure it.
First we must establish when considering it dangerous.
They say it shouldn't be more than 140/90.
But some people feel goood with 120/80 or lower and others have a normal blood pressure with 170/100.

They also say you have good chances to live longer if your blood pressure is lower.
I do not think it is a must.
You can die young with a low pressure as you can die old with a very high one.

The reasons why the blood pressure is high can be many.
Usually when you eat more than what you are supposed to and a lot of fat food, you are likely to have it.
As I said, our blood system is like a circuit where the heart is the pump.
If the pipes are free the blood runs more easily, so that the heart has to pump with less pressure.
If the pipes are not clean and the blood is fat and not fluid, then the heart needs more strenght and does a bigger job.
If you overuse your pump there comes the moment in which you can have big problems.
So, one way to fight high pressure is to make the blood more fluid and a way to make the blood more fluid is to eat less fat and having a good functioning liver that can transform the fat you eat and use it.

In principle, if you eat the right food and have some daily excercise, you wouldn't need any drug for high pressure, because you wouldn't have high pressure.

We all like to live the "easy and comfortable life" and think that anyway there is a "pill" for everything.
The reality is that there isn't "a pill" for everything and since the medical science is in its early beginnings in spite of what we are told, usually if a "pill" is good for one thing, it is bad for another.
Because our body is so perfect and wonderful that can ajust to every situation and find the "feedback" way to fight against something that changes ist balance.

That is for explaining that, whatever substance you use, your body gets used to it and ajust to the new situation, so that after a while you either have change drug or upgrade the doses.

That of course doesn't happen if you fight the real cause of your symptoms.
For example, if you have high pressure because you eat too much and the wrong food, the moment you change your lifestyle, the body will feel relieved and your heart will need to "pump" less and your pressure will be lower.

I do not say that all drugs are bad.
On the contrary, you must take what the doctor prescribes you, but in the meantime you have to find out the reason of it and, if possible, change your habits.
And believe me, high pressure is one of those symptoms that can be cured for 90% just changing your lifestyle.

This is all for today.

A pharmacist looking for a role

Yes, I am a pharmacist.
And being a pharmacist is almost like being a criminal.
Once a criminal, always a criminal, once a pharmacist always a pharmacist...

What does it mean to me being a pharmacist?
Once he was the one who could read the doctor's hieroglyphics and prepare something with his own hands, which was supposed to heal the "patient".

Now, he cannot compete with the huge pharmaceutical industry and so what is his job?
For me he has a even more precious role in a society where nobody has time for anybody, where money is the ultimate goal of any human action.
He has the role to give people his time and his knowledge of life.
And his knowledge of life is huge, at least mine is, since I listened for twenty years to people in pain, to people worried for somebody of the family, to people who wanted to know something more about themselves.

And to all I explained that the first requirement to have a good life was to have a good attitude towards life and why not? Also towards death...
Our soul will live forever, not as a spiritual entity, but as the DNA chain that our sons and the sons of our sons will pass from one generation to the other.
Our body will just finish his job sooner or later and the way it does his job depends from us.
If we are willing to listen to our body, if we are willing to LEARN to understand what our body tells us, then our life will be a good one.
If we will just pretend we know everything, and everything better, or we will believe that there is a pill for every situation, one day we will understand we are wrong.
And if you have to learn something it's better sooner than later or too late...