Archived Articles - January 2013


BPA hazardous for human health
    Jan-02-2013

Findings of two researches published recently corroborate that an extremely toxic chemical bisphenol A (also known as BPA) is hazardous for our health.

In fact, BPA, whose use has already been banned by many European nations in products meant for children, is extensively used by various industries manufacturing paper money, thermal paper, cans, CDs, flame retardants, dental fillings and so on. This industrial chemical is present in household dirt and also builds up in the human body. Several studies have found BPA to interrupt endocrine secretion and associated the chemical to elevated risks of cardiovascular ailments, cancer, malfunctioning of the reproductive system and also problems related to the behavior, brain and the nerves. Some scientists believe BPA may possibly have an effect on metabolism and augment the chances of developing obesity and diabetes.

According to University of Bonn's Dieter Swandulla, besides affecting the hormonal systems, BPA may negatively affect the enzyme as well as carrier proteins functioning. The fetus plus newborns are especially susceptible to this chemical.

Findings of a research undertaken by Swandulla and his colleagues, which was published in Molecular Pharmacology, state that BPA obstructs channels used by cells to carry calcium. Generally, calcium ions pass through 'channel proteins' akin to pores to control several processes, including muscle contraction, actions of enzymes and nerve cell communication. Tests undertaken on cell lines of humans and mice showed that BPA disrupted calcium channels in the same way as pharmaceutical drugs and toxins. Swandulla explains that medicaments used to control cardiac arrhythmia and hypertension as well as neurotoxins like heavy metals work akin to BPA on calcium channels, hinting that this chemical affects human health adversely.

Another study undertaken by the University of Michigan scientists detected the presence of BPA in virtually all things, even in the human body prior to birth. The researchers checked livers of 50 stillborn babies during the first or subsequent three months of their existence and found several possessing elevated BPA. It was noted that the BPA levels were three-fold more compared to that of partly metabolized forms, hinting that fetuses were not as efficient in flushing it out as the adults. Diana Dolinoy, lead research author, said that their findings revealed that the claim that this chemical is metabolized rapidly is not correct in the case of fetuses.

Emphasizing on the complete ban on BPA production, Swandulla feels that it would take an extremely long time to eliminate this hazardous chemical from the human body and environment, as it is not only produced in high volumes, but also due to its extensive presence.

While several studies have revealed that majority of us endure chronic exposure to BPA and have it in our body, the only bright side is that all these actions of this chemical are reversible and that treatment may possibly cure the harm caused, provided the sufferer is not exposed to it again.

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Asparagus may help to relieve a hangover
    Jan-03-2013

A study undertaken by researchers at the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) in 2009 and brought out in the Journal of Food Science hints that amino acids as well as different minerals present in the extract of asparagus may possibly help in relieving hangover owing to excessive alcohol consumption, and, simultaneously, defend the liver from toxic substances.

Scientists at the Korea-based Jeju National University and the Institute of Medical Science examined the constituents of tender leaves and shoots of asparagus to evaluate their biochemical impacts on the liver cells of rats and humans. According to B. Y. Kim, the lead author, they found that the asparagus leaves contained more amino acids and minerals in comparison to its shoots.

Besides causing horrible physical effects related to a hangover, the liver undergoes an oxidative stress owing to regular consumption of alcohol. Kim says that when the asparagus leaf and shoot extracts were employed to treat such conditions, there was a significant relief in cellular toxicity, adding that these outcomes offer proof of the manner in which asparagus may perform biologically to aid in improving hangover due to alcohol and also safeguard the cells of the liver.

It is worth mentioning here that Asparagus officinalis (scientific name of asparagus) is a very ordinary vegetable that is consumed extensively across the globe. This plant possesses anti-inflammatory, antifungal and diuretic attributes and has been employed in the form of an herbal remedy for long owing to its anticancer results.

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Depression may be related to diet
    Jan-06-2013

Some scientists hypothesize that like heart ailments, depression too may be related to low-grade inflammation, worsening lipid profiles and abnormal functioning of the endothelium. Perhaps, it may even be associated with diet. Therefore, in a recent article published in BMC Medicine, an open access journal of BioMed Central, authors Miguel A Martinez-González and Almudena Sanchez-Villegas, from Navarra and Las Palmas universities respectively, have opined that any research undertaken in the field of depression and diet ought to also pursue the pattern of researches into cardiovascular risk and diet.

The two authors did not find any connection between depression and diet while evaluating the data related to it. Elucidating the issue, they said that in several ways depression is similar to heart ailments, as both are related to low-grade inflammation, worsening lipid profiles and abnormal functioning of the endothelium. This implies that the basic reasons like a diet containing high trans-fats seem to be very similar.

While there is lots of proof regarding such a relation as well as the fact that consuming fast foods augments the chances of depression (in contrast, Mediterranean diet lessens the risk), the majority of such researches do not talk about any causality. According to Sanchez-Villegas, diet cannot be definitely blamed for depression; however, it is possible that food choice of people enduring depression is bad. Other problems of the study comprised 'confounders' that may affect food habits like exercise, marital status, smoking or alcohol, health conditions as well as social networks. Even genetics was one such confounder.

Concluding, Miguel A Martinez-González stated long-term as well as randomized clinical trials akin to those that were undertaken successfully for risks associated with cardiovascular disease and diet are necessary to deal with such issues, as this only will help to understand the influence of diet on depression.

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About 70% double mastectomies are useless
    Jan-07-2013

A recent study funded by National Cancer Institute, was undertaken by scientists from the University of Southern California, University of Michigan, Wayne State University and Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Centre has found that about 70% patients with breast cancer who go through double mastectomy actually do not require this procedure.

Globally, breast cancer comprises 23% of all types of cancers in women and about 14% of all cancer-related deaths in women. The American Cancer Society presumes that about 229,060 women would be diagnosed of having breast cancer and it will result in 39,920 deaths this year.

Of late, several women with breast cancer have got their both breasts removed through a surgical process called contralateral prophylactic mastectomy to avoid recurrence of the disease, despite one breast being healthy, resulting in concerns over the excessive use of this aggressive mode of therapy.

During the recent research, scientists interviewed 1,446 women, who had undergone successful breast cancer treatment with on incidence of recurrence, and looked at the treatment received by the patients and their clinical symptoms suggesting double mastectomy. They discovered that of all patients who had undergone mastectomy, nearly 20% had a double mastectomy, while seven per cent women participating in the study got both their breasts removed.

About 90% patients who had double mastectomy revealed that they were concerned regarding the chances of recurrence of the disease. Assessing the real risk of the disease recurring, the scientists said that contralateral prophylactic mastectomy was not necessary in 70% patients, as in most instances, when a woman is diagnosed of having cancer in only one breast it does not augment the chances of developing the disease on the second breast.

According to Sarah Hawley, a researcher, actually women opt for contralateral prophylactic mastectomy because they seem to be over concerned regarding the recurrence of the disease. This is not sensible, as removing a healthy breast does not lessen the risk of the disease recurring in the breast already affected. She further says that they would not recommend a double mastectomy unless there is a genetic finding or the patient has a convincing family history related to the disease. Hawley said that women having cancer on one breast face the risk of developing the disease on the other breast only when two or more of their close family members have endured an ovarian or breast cancer earlier or have a definite transmutation in the BRCA2 or BRCA1 genes.

Moreover, the cost of a double mastectomy, its effect on the patient, side effects of the treatment and the time required for recovery are much more compared to removing only the affected breast.

Currently, the scientists are working to develop a means that would facilitate women while deciding on the options for treating breast cancer endured by them. Sarah says that their toll would implore common fallacies related to treatment of breast cancer and offer a feedback to women to aid them in understanding the options and also the risks involved.

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Everyday foods that help to avoid gallstones
    Jan-11-2013

Believe it or not, you can avoid gallstones by regularly taking specific nutrients that ensure that the gallbladder functions normally and remains clean. A few helpful tips regarding everyday foods that help to avoid gallstones are noted below.

Together with the liver, the gallbladder works to assimilate food into the body and keep it free of toxins. However, when either or both these crucial organs are blocked owing to poor diet plus increase in toxicity, it may result in formation of gallstones provided cholesterol crystallizes with calcium. When this occurs, it is even difficult to split the stones and avoid further health complications. However, if you consume vegetables and fruits that alkalize on a regular basis it will help in alleviating inflammation and remove toxins from the liver as well as gallbladder with the help of enzymes. Preferably, you should drink raw, unrefined apple juice containing pectin, as it helps to break the gallstones and prevents the formation of new ones. In addition, consume celery, beets, lemons and tomatoes.

Another way of preventing gallstones is by ensuring that you consume sufficient healthy fats, especially fish oils rich in omega-3 fatty acids. While a section of experts ask people enduring gallstones to completely keep away from fats, particularly following a gallbladder surgery, specific fats are effective in protecting against existing as well as potential gallstones. Olive oil is frequently incorporated in several detoxification treatments for gallbladder - like nourishing saturated fats obtained from products made from animals fed on grass and coconut oil, which help in absorbing vital nutriments contained in additional foods that help to maintain a clean gallbladder and liver. You should also take care to keep off toxic fats like hydrogenated and vegetable oils, which are responsible for elevated cholesterol.

You should also supplement your diet with malic acid and apple cider vinegar, as this home remedy is a safe and dependable means to get rid of gallstones even without undergoing surgery or drugs. As apples also contain high amounts of malic acid and other vital substances that help in softening, this combination is recommended highly for the health of your gallbladder.

Taking supplements containing soy lecithin that is non-GMO (not genetically modified organism) or sunflower is among the simplest and fasted means of liquefying gallstones. An oily substance composed of inositol and choline, lecithin is a basic constituent of each cell membrane and needs elevated bile quantities to be digested. After lecithin gets into the liver, it is liquefied into bile and during this process it also dissolves congealed gallstones.

Including some additional amounts of turmeric in your meals also helps to maintain the health of the gallbladder. Findings of several researches have revealed that turmeric is mostly made up of curcumin, a potent antioxidant as well as an anti-inflammatory food that facilitates in sustaining the gallbladder's health. It has been found that turmeric is useful in dissolving bile. Therefore, additional turmeric denotes that the body finds it much easy to break substances which might otherwise result in the formation of gallstones.

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Fasting may help reduce epileptic seizures in children
    Jan-12-2013

Fasting has always been considered a vital part of dealing with a variety of ailments, counting epilepsy. Recently, scientists at Johns Hopkins University have researched the consequences of fasting together with taking the ketogenic diet (ingestion of foods having more fat, but less carbohydrates) following some initial proof that restraining carbohydrate consumption plus water fasting lessened the incidences of fits attributable to epilepsy in over 50% patients who undergo therapies based on fasting.

As ketogenic diet involves fewer intakes of carbohydrate, it deceives the brain to believe that it would be starving and, consequently, it begins to burn fats as its main source of energy. In the absence of carbohydrates, the liver starts metabolizing fats to fatty acids plus specific compounds called ketone bodies, which are subsequently carried to the brain and heart for being utilized in the form of a source of energy in place of glucose. Next, the high ketone levels in the bloodstream activate minor biochemical alterations within the brain. Experiments have shown that this diet facilitates 50% people trying it, whereas about 20% of them undergo huge improvements.

However, ketogenic diet, which includes consumption of just some vegetables and fruits that are usually rich in fat content, is an unbalanced diet owing to its particular constraints and exceptional benefits. Ketogenic diet is neither unhealthy, as it comprises avocados, olive oil, nut butters, cottage cheese, coconut oil, eggs, whole milk and cold water fish having high omega-3 fatty acids (such as mackerel and salmon) that contain lots of monounsaturated fats that protect the heart and brain, while enhancing the levels of HDL or 'good' cholesterol.

Another research undertaken by scientists at the Johns Hopkins University provides addition proof regarding the advantages of taking the ketogenic diet alongside fasting periodically. The findings of this study state that both approaches are balancing and for optimum results, they ought to be used in conjunction. According to Dr. Adam Hartman, a paediatric neurologist at the university, the evidences available hint at the fact that in addition to reinforcing the remedial impacts of ketogenic diet, in effect, fasting may signify a totally novel means to modify the metabolism of kids suffering from epilepsy.

During the course of the study, researchers examined children who derived reasonable results by only using ketogenic diet. Towards the end, the examinations revealed that four of the total six children who had undergone the trials showed notably less number of seizures, corroborating that fasting alone could be an effective therapy for kids having epilepsy that is drug-resistant. Dr. Hartman explains that they believe that fasting has an influence on the nerve cells that is entirely different from ketogenic diet. Following a previous study, he had demonstrated that fasting and ketogenic diet were two independent treatment methods that shielded to completely different types of seizures. Now, he is planning to focus his researches on finding out the causes for such dissimilarities, and probably develop new therapies for epilepsy that are diet-based.


Forget antibiotics; Chinese herbs, medicine more effective for coughs
    Jan-14-2013

Findings of an increasing number of studies suggest the use of the supposed 'outdated' remedies replacing conventional drugs to cure various health conditions, including flu or minor chest infections.

A study undertaken by University of Southampton scientists, headed by Prof. Paul Little and published in Lancet, involved approximately 2,000 patients from 12 European nations, who were asked to maintain a record of their ailments, discovered that there was no difference in seriousness as well as duration of the symptoms of patients treated using antibiotics and a placebo. According to Prof. Little, treating conditions other than pneumonia, which produces serious symptoms, with antibiotic amoxicillin would not only be harmful, but also not useful.

He added that excessive use of antibiotics to treat conditions where they are useless may result in resistance to the drug, in addition to side effects, including vomiting, diarrhea and rash. Prof. Little claims that their findings show that antibiotics benefit only a few patients and they need to identify such patients.

Incidentally, findings of previous studies undertaken to determine if antibiotics were helpful in treating chest infections with symptoms like high fever, debility, weariness, dyspneic conditions and coughing were contradictory, particularly in aged people.

The study undertaken by Prof. Little's team haphazardly divided and assigned patients, including even people above 60 years, in two groups. One group was given an antibiotic, while the other received a placebo for treating cough. It was found that there was no significant difference in the symptoms' duration and gravity. It was also found that patients taking antibiotics developed additional side effects like diarrhea, nausea and rash, in comparison to those taking a placebo.

Luckily, one is able to use traditional remedies which have been there for centuries to cure cough and infections. Discovery Health's Ellen Shefi and Bill Schoenbart write that traditional Chinese medicine is particularly helpful for treating coughs, as it carefully distinguishes different types. Citing examples, they state that coughs owing to heat generate muggy phlegm, which cannot be expectorated easily, and are treated using herbs that cool and moisten, while acupuncture is employed at particular body points to disperse the heat in the lungs. Contrarily, cough owing to cold occurs together with chills and plentiful mucus. Warming and drying herbs are needed along with applying moxibustion (an ancient Chinese therapy employing mugwort or moxa) to treat it.

According to Shefi and Shoenbart, there are two other alternative therapies for cough. The first entails using Sang Xing Tang (uttered as sahng shing tahng), a characteristic Chinese formula helpful in moistening the lungs and repel the harmful effect, to treat an arid cough attributable to wind. The second involves employing common acupuncture treatment for alleviating coughs caused by several different reasons. In this case, the acupuncture needle is introduced into the meridian called Conception Vessel (an additional meridian) just over the sternum to rapidly alleviate cough and make breathing easier.

Unfortunately, majority of the Americans still prefer non-prescription medications for treating coughs despite the fact that they are generally useless, while Chinese treatments are effective.


Blueberries, strawberries may help women to reduce heart attack risk
    Jan-17-2013

Findings of a new study published in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association state that consuming three or additional strawberry and blueberry servings every week may perhaps help in lessening the chances of heart attack in women by about 33%.

Both these berries enclose high amounts of flavonoids, compounds that also occur naturally in blackberries, grapes, wine, eggplant, in addition to other vegetables and fruits. The study found that anthocyanins, a particular sub-category of flavonoids, may be helpful in widening arteries to neutralize plaque accumulation and, simultaneously, offer additional benefits for the cardiovascular system.

An associate professor of epidemiology and nutrition at the Boston-based Harvard School of Public Health and a senior research author, Dr. Eric Rimm says that a woman can easily include strawberries and blueberries in the foods she takes each week, as this simple change in diet might help significantly in preventing heart attacks. The researchers chose to analyze the impact of strawberries and blueberries just because people in America consume these berries most. According to the scientists, other foods too may have similar impacts.

Researchers from the UK-based University of East Anglia and the United States' Harvard School of Public Health undertook a potential study involving 93,600 women in the age group of 25-42 years who have enrolled in the Nurses' Health Study II. During the study, which lasted 18 years and required the subjects to answer questions regarding their diet once in four years, 405 cases of heart attack were reported. It was found that the chances of having heart attacks were 32% in women consuming the most strawberries and blueberries in comparison to those who consumed them once every month or even less frequently, but consumed high amounts of other vegetables and fruits.

The findings of the study were notwithstanding additional risks, including age, hypertension, exercise, body mass, smoking, intake of caffeine and alcohol, in addition to any family history related to heart attack.

According to the lead author and Norwich-based University of East Anglia's Medical School's Department of Nutrition head Aedín Cassidy, Ph.D., their study has revealed that consuming more of these berries at an early age may also help in lessening the heart attack risks later on in one's life.

It may be noted that consumption of berries is encouraged by the American Heart Association, which believes it to be an integral element of a complete balanced diet, also comprising other vegetables, fruits and products containing whole grains. In fact, the most excellent means to obtain the precise nutrient amounts is to consume various foods.


Use natural remedies as alternatives to flu shots to prevent and treat flu
    Jan-18-2013

As the virus responsible for flu has become 'highly resistant' to vaccination, it has been advised that you use preventive measures and new remedies, for instance natural preparations like herbs, vitamins and homeopathy to prevent as well as treat this health condition this season. Earlier, studies undertaken by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had revealed that flu vaccine was effective in only 16-63% cases - very similar to the percentage of people who do not take the vaccination.

Going by statistics up to January 2013, the British Health Protection Agency has reported an 83% rise in the number of flu incidences in England since 2011. In the United States, the flu season began early this time and became widespread in January 2013 itself with as many as 47 states reported its extensive spread. While this disease, caused by two recognized virus strains - H1N1 and H3N2 as well as influenza B, results in symptoms like vomiting, nausea and diarrhea, one more flu causing headache and vertigo is also in circulation. Of total 1,586 cases examined, doctors found 2% were infected by H1N1, while the remaining 98% were affected by H3N2. In fact, these two strains of virus are components of the influenza shot in the Northern Hemisphere for this flu season, denoting that the vaccine is not effective for flu this time.

According to the CDC, the viruses of 2009 influenza A (H1N2) as well as A (H1N1) have become extremely resistant to adamantanes (rimantadine, amantadine) and they are not useful in eliminating viruses of influenza B. Adamantanes are basically hydrocarbon amalgams obtained from petroleum and have been used in the form of an antiviral medication since 1967 and also to treat Parkinson's disease. In 1979, the National Institute of Health had advocated its extensive use to check epidemics.

Till 1918, homeopathy was considered to be a useful therapy for flu. Hence, it is recommended that you use the homeopathic remedy Vertatrum album as a potential remedy for flu this year, provided the condition occurs together with cold sweats on your head and possibly vomiting and diarrhea. This remedy may prove to be helpful for the patient who is feeble and feels chilly when struck by flu. Similarly, patients experiencing giddiness, like that caused by alcohol consumption, or have infrequent vertigo and trembling inside, which is worse than exertion, may find Cocculus indicus to be an effective remedy.

Besides homeopathic remedies, vitamin C, which works like scavenger to combat flu viruses and found concentrated within the leucocytes, is effective for treating flu. It is recommended that you take this vitamin in dosages of 1,000 mg each hour for six hours and later 1,000 mg thrice daily to avoid and also alleviate symptoms of flu.

Vitamin D too has been shown to be useful in preventing and relieving flu symptoms. Findings of a study undertaken in 2007 shows that just only one in hundred people taking this vitamin were affected by flu.


Study reveals how damaged eye cells may prevent blindness
    Jan-20-2013

Eye cells that are sensitive to light depend on their external part to transform light into nerve signals that make it possible to see things. However, owing to their exceptional cylindrical form, the external segment is susceptible to breakage, resulting in loss of eyesight in humans.

On January 22 this year, Cell Press published the findings of a study in the Biophysical Journal revealing the involuntary properties responsible for the breakage of the external segment when stressed. The latest trial as well as hypothetical discoveries are helpful in clarifying the root cause of serious eye ailments and may bring about novel means to prevent blindness.

Aphrodite Ahmadi, senior author of the study and associated with the Cortland-based State University of New York, says that they believe that this is the maiden theory that throws light on the manner in which the firmness of the eye's external segment structure may make it vulnerable to harm. She adds that their hypothesis signifies a notable progress in comprehending the degenerative diseases related to the retina.

It may be noted that the external part of photoreceptors comprise discs full of a protein sensitive to light and known as rhodopsin. In fact, the disc produces during the night and those produced during the day are different creating a conjoining prototype which was noticed for the first time in frogs, however, it is widespread irrespective of the species. Often changes affecting photoreceptors weaken the external eye segment and may possibly harm the discs, resulting in the death of cells, degeneration of the retina, and also loss of sight in humans. However, till date, scientists are not certain regarding the precise structural attributes of the eyes external segment that are responsible for its vulnerability to impairment.

Dealing with this issue, Ahmadi's team used the microscope to study the photoreceptors of tadpoles when they were exposed to fluid influence and discovered that the intensely concentrated bands that are full of elevated levels of rhodopsin were extremely firm making them vulnerable to rupture compared to bands having low-density and comprising fewer rhodopsin. The model of these scientists corroborated the results of their experiments and helped them to ascertain the aspects that affect the vital force required for breaking the external eye segment.

According to Ahmadi, their findings endorse the perception that mutations that are responsible for the accumulation of rhodopsin may result in the destabilization of the eye's external segment, ultimately leading to blindness. She is of the view that the model's further enhancement has the potential to bring forth new means to make the external segment stable and may possibly also hold up the commencement of losing vision.


Vegetables, fruits, fish oil, probiotics cure childhood asthma naturally
    Jan-22-2013

Findings of a recent school-based, placebo-controlled, double-blind, randomized study, involving as many as 192 children having asthma in the age group of 10 to 12 years and undertaken by scientists at the College of Life Science's Department of Biochemical Science and Technology under the Taipei-based National Taiwan University are any indication, claim taking a diet that contains lots of vegetables, fruits, fish oils and probiotics and less conventional medications may possibly alleviate asthma in kids.

During the course of the study, one group of children were provided with a concentrate comprising fruits and vegetables, together with fish oil and FVFP supplement (probiotics), while the other group was provided with a placebo. The subjects were assessed prior to and again at the 8th and 16th weeks. It was found that there was considerable improvement in the functioning of the pulmonary system of first group in comparison to the placebo-controlled group. In addition, the first group showed a considerable reduction in children who used short-acting bronchodilators. The researchers suggest that the use of FVFP supplements possibly led to the reduced use of medication and improved functioning of the pulmonary system in these children.

Contrary to the findings of this research, other studies have demonstrated that consuming foods of other kind, especially fast foods may possibly augment the occurrence of asthma in children and it may sometimes prove to be fatal. A report carried by The Guardian of Britain on January 14, 2013 said that researchers in the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand and Germany have discovered that fast foods as well as those having very scant nutritional value could be responsible for the alarming rise in childhood asthma in developed nations.

Working in partnership, international scientists have discovered that those in their early teens are likely to be 40% more susceptible to have acute asthma provided they consumed burgers and fries in excess of thrice every week. According to them, children in the age group of 6-7 years were about 27% more prone to have asthma provided they consumed fast food equally frequently. They are also more prone to develop serious rhinitis and eczema and this is a fall-out of increasing consumption of fast foods by children worldwide, they said.

The global collaboration of scientists agreed with findings by the scientists at the College of Life Science that consuming more fruits helped to protect kids and younger teens from asthma as also allergies. They found that consuming three or additional fruit servings every week reduced the seriousness of the symptoms by about 11% in teens and about 14% in small children.

The findings of this team's study titled 'International Study of Asthma and Allergies in Childhood or "ISAAC' were carried by Thorax, a journal reviewed by peers and belonging to the British Medical Journal group. According to The Guardian, this global study was the largest in its category and involved as many as two million kids, divided into two groups - age groups of 6-7 years and 13-14 years, from over 100 countries.


Binge drinking and its consequences on the liver
    Jan-24-2013

Alcoholic liver disease or ALD is distinguished by a fatty liver, hepatitis, cirrhosis and fibrosis. Binge drinking is increasing throughout the world and become widespread in the United States. An assessment of the researches dealing with binge drinking consequences highlights the complicated relations among the liver's immune, epigenetic, signalling conduits and metabolic reactions to binge drinking.

According to the Margaret Proctor Mulligan Professor at the School of Medicine of University of Missouri, Shivendra D. Shukla, who is also the study's corresponding author, being primary metabolic site in our body, the liver is engaged in metabolism as well as disposition of nutriments and drugs, besides producing innumerable agents required for the biological functioning of the brain, heart, blood vessels and kidneys. As chemicals from the liver affected by ALD may also change cardiovascular health, immunity and coagulation, this condition may possibly cause a domino reaction on several organs.

Shukla says that as high as 43% college students reported a minimum of one binge incident in recent months and expressed the need for a complete understanding of its consequences at the molecular levels. In fact, this review is the first of its kind to underscore molecular pharmacology related to binge drinking and it may possibly offer an understanding of injuries induced by binge drinking and its extensive connotations.

The United States-based Distilled Spirits Council's Office of Science vice-president Samir Zakhari added that besides being the most important resistance against extreme alcohol consumption, the liver is the key organ for metabolizing alcohol. According to Zakhari, consequences of binge drinking on our liver is subject to whether or not binge drinking applies to persistent heavy drinking or alcohol is consumed without eating, particularly following fasting.

According to Shukla, constant consumption of alcohol makes the liver extremely vulnerable to damage due to binge drinking and such injuries have an effect on other organs too. Although, this view is not valued much by people, binge drinking causes changes in the small cell components and even intensifies the injury in the liver continually exposed to alcohol radically.

Meanwhile, Zakhari said binge drinking also impacts the entire mechanisms discussed earlier and may also result in the damage of the mitochondria resulting in cell death and disruptions in bioenergetics, adding that, hence, people ought not to binge drink, particularly without having food. Moreover, provided binge drinkers are also persistent heavy drinkers, it will worsen liver injury, particularly if they have comorbid conditions like obesity, HIV infections or hepatitis C.

In order to understand ALD better, the authors have emphasized on the value of further molecular studies into the effects of alcohol in the case of binge drinking. In addition, they recommend that all further researches should deal with developing remedial strategies for controlling binge drinking.

Shukla says that as their review emphasizes on the consequences of ALD on several molecules, which, sequentially influences several organs, they hope that it will promote R&D of latest approaches and means to regulate as well as improve the effects of binge drinking on health.


Black cumin: A miracle panacea
    Jan-28-2013

Believe it or not, there is a small seed that possesses such compactly packed healing chemicals that it can easily combat diabetes, ulcers, chronic inflammations, viruses, bacteria, cancer and several additional general health problems. This seed we are talking about is black cumin, also called the 'black seed', which is often mistaken to be sesame seed that also is black in color. In fact, black cumin means much more than what has been said about it so far and historically, it has a reputation of being a cure for all health conditions, barring death.

In case you are not familiar with the name black cumin (botanical name Nigella sativa), it is possibly because people in the West seldom talk about it. Despite being employed by folk as well as herbal medicine several centuries ago, black cumin has been abandoned long back for pharmaceutical medicines that are not only much less effectual, but also produce adverse effects. Nevertheless, if you are fed up of using patented medications to cure your conditions, it is advisable that you incorporate black cumin into your diet.

No less than 458 peer-reviewed studies relating to black cumin have been published since 1964 and they corroborate what North African and Middle Eastern cultures identified for many centuries - in effect, black cumin is a wonderful universal remedy. Scientific examinations have substantiated that black cumin possesses anti-inflammatory, analgesic, anti-fungal, antiviral, anti-ulcer, anti-hypersensitive, hyperprotective, and renoprotective attributes, in addition to being a tumor necrosis factor alpha and gluconeogenesis inhibitor plus interferon inducer.

The several benefits of using black cumin include alleviating pain in patients undergoing therapy for serious tonsillo-pharyngitis; facilitating the healing of people addicted to opioid drugs; relieving chronic rhinitis symptoms; putting off ailments that may be caused by coming in contact with chemical weapons; combating infection by H. pylori; treating type-2 diabetes; alleviating asthma symptoms; reducing hypertension; eliminating candidiasis and fungi; and checking epileptic seizures.

Black cumin is a potent remedy for cancer. In the Middle East, black cumin has been traditionally used as the most potent anti-cancer herb. Findings of several studies have revealed that taking black cumin or its oil on a regular basis may aid in preventing the development and spread of cancer cells in the colon. Scientists at South Carolina-based Cancer Immuno-Biology Laboratory discovered that this herb invigorates the actions of neutrophil granulocytes - the type of leucocytes found most in our body that eliminate carcinogenic cells even before they develop into tumors.

The study authors wrote 'black seed oil helps in producing bone marrow and immune system cells, in addition to enhancing interferon production, eliminating tumor cells, protecting healthy cells from damages caused by viral disease and also augments the number of B cells that produce antibodies'.

Black cumin tastes peppery and nut-like and you can sprinkle ground or whole black seeds on food, while its oil may be added to salads and other cuisines. These seeds may be pounded and put in water to prepare a moist and sticky gel that can be drunk or substituted for eggs in some baked items.


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