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Health Bulletin


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  1. #351
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    Re: Health Bulletin

    For better taste, perform a short ritual before every meal

    Blowing out the candles on a birthday cake isn't just for fun, it may actually improve the taste of the cake!

    The rituals we perform before eating — even the seemingly insignificant ones — can actually change our perception of the food we eat, according to a new collection of studies published in the journal Psychological Science . Psychological scientist Kathleen Vohs of the Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota wondered about the power of rituals after noticing the funny routines that people — including Vohs herself — often perform before eating and drinking.

    "Whenever I order an espresso , I take a sugar packet and shake it, open the packet and pour a teeny bit of sugar in, and then taste," Vohs said. "It's never enough sugar, so I then pour about half of the packet in. The thing is, this isn't a functional ritual, I should just skip right to pouring in half the packet," Vohs added.

    Vohs and colleagues conducted experiments to investigate how these kinds of ritualistic behaviours might influence our perception and consumption of various foods.

    In the first experiment, some participants were asked to eat a piece of chocolate following a detailed set of instructions. The other participants were simply instructed to relax for a short amount of time and then eat the chocolate bar in whatever fashion they wished.

    The results showed that those who had performed the "ritual" rated the chocolate more highly, savoured it more, and were willing to pay more for the chocolate than the other group.


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  2. #352
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    Re: Health Bulletin

    Patients like the ones in the study usually have only a few months left, he said. But now, three of the five have been in remission for 5 to 24 months. Two others died: one was in remission but died from a blood clot, and the other relapsed. The survivors have had bonemarrow transplants. Their prognosis is good, but relapse is still possible.





  3. #353
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    Re: Health Bulletin

    Skipping breakfast raises heart attack risk by 27%: Study

    Skipping breakfast, common the world over, has for the first time been associated with increase in heart attacks. Missing out on the morning meal has been found to increase coronary heart disease risk, reveals a 16-year-long study published in the American Heart Association journal Circulation.

    Men who skip breakfast have a 27% higher risk of heart attack or death from coronary heart disease than those who don't, the study says. Those who reported not eating breakfast were younger than those who did, and more likely to be smokers, employed full time, unmarried, less physically active and drank more alcohol.

    Also, men who reported eating late at night had a 55% higher coronary heart disease risk than those who didn't. Researchers analyzed food frequency questionnaire data and tracked health outcomes for 16 years (1992-2008) on 26,902 male health professionals ages 45-82 before coming to their conclusion.

    "Skipping breakfast may lead to one or more risk factors, including obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes, which may in turn lead to a heart attack over time," said Leah E Cahill, lead author from the Harvard School of Public Health.

    "Our study group spent decades studying the health effects of diet quality and composition, and now this new data also suggests overall dietary habits can be important to lower risk of coronary heart disease," said co-author Eric Rimm.

    Men who reported eating breakfast, on an average, ate one more time per day than those who skipped breakfast, implying that those who abstained from breakfast were not eating additional make-up meals later in the day. Although there was some overlap between those who skipped breakfast and those who ate late at night, 76% of late-night eaters also ate breakfast, researchers said.

    The study collected comprehensive questionnaire data from the participants and accounted for many important factors such as TV watching, physical activity, sleep, diet quality, alcohol intake, medical history, and body-mass index. It also included social factors like whether or not the men worked full-time, were married, saw their doctor regularly for physical exams, or smoked currently or in the past.

    "Don't skip breakfast," Cahill said. "Eating breakfast is associated with a decreased risk of heart attacks. Incorporating many types of healthy foods into your breakfast is an easy way to ensure your meal provides adequate energy and a healthy balance of nutrients, such as protein, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals. For example, adding nuts and chopped fruit to a bowl of whole grain cereal or steel-cut oatmeal in the morning is a great way to start the day."


  4. #354
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    Re: Health Bulletin

    Do one-minute belly breathing to free from chronic stress

    If you find yourself in chronic stress with deadlines to meet, children to constantly monitor, and have little support to deal with that stress, here's an instant stress buster that takes all of one minute and costs absolutely nothing — diaphragmatic breathing.

    "Also called abdominal breathing or belly breathing, it is a completely different way to get oxygen to your cells. This breathing is deep; it causes your belly to push out rather than your chest to rise up," says chiropractor Dr Nicholas Araza, based in California, US.

    This technique is accomplished primarily by the contraction of your diaphragm — a muscular umbrella at the bottom of your ribcage — that pulls air in and gently massages your internal organs in a rhythmic way. This is the way children breathe. Have you noticed a toddler? His breath seems to go all the way into his belly. It's the way humans are actually meant to breathe in general. It triggers the parasympathetic nervous system for rest and repair. "You can actually feel your stress decrease after just a few deep breaths," says Dr Araza.

    Assume the right posture. Stand (or sit up) straight and drop your shoulders back and down. Lift your chest to 45 degrees.

    Inhale slowly through your nose trying to get the air down as far as possible into your belly. Your belly will push out, that is normal.

    Pause for a second or less.

    Exhale slowly through nose (twice longer than inhalation).

    Repeat 5-10 times.

    Do this every hour and feel the stress fall away.

    This technique is an excellent tool to stimulate the relaxation response that results in less tension and an overall sense of well being.

    It also improves digestion.

    So, practise diaphragmatic breathing for 5-10 breaths before you go to sleep and before you eat a meal.


  5. #355
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    Re: Health Bulletin

    Weight jibes raise obesity risk

    Weight discrimination may drive people to become fatter instead of motivating them to slim down, research has shown.

    Angelina Sutin and Antonio Terracciano from the Florida State University College of Medicine compared the height and weight of over 6000 participants, measured in 2006 and 2010.

    They found that participants who experienced weight discrimination earlier were 2.5 times more likely to become obese by the follow-up assessment in 2010. Obese participants who perceived weight discrimination in 2006 were more likely to remain obese at the later time than those who had not experienced such discrimination.

    Discrimination based on other factors, such as sex or race, did not appear to have the same correlation with weight. The effect of 'weightism' also appeared independent of demographic factors like age, gender, ethnicity or education. The researchers conclude that weight discrimination has further implications for obesity than just poorer mental health outcomes.

    Sutin adds, "In addition to the well-known emotional and economic costs, our results suggest that weight discrimination also increases risk of obesity. This could lead to a vicious cycle where individuals who are overweight and obese are more vulnerable to weight discrimination, and this discrimination may contribute to subsequent obesity and difficulties with weight management."


  6. #356
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    Re: Health Bulletin

    Scientists show how bacteria inactivates cardiac drugs

    Scientists have shed light on the mechanism through which certain gut microbes inactivate cardiac drugs, says a study.


    In a paper published in Science, Peter Turnbaugh, a Bauer Fellow at the Center for Systems Biology in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, and Henry Haiser, a postdoctoral fellow, identified a pair of genes that appear to be responsible for allowing a specific strain of bacteria to break down a widely prescribed cardiac drug into an inactive compound, as well as a possible way to turn the process off, reports Science Daily.

    "The traditional view of microbes in the gut relates to how they influence the digestion of our diet," Turnbaugh said. "But we also know that there are over 40 different drugs that can be influenced by gut microbes. What's really interesting is that although this has been known for decades, we still don't really understand which microbes are involved or how they might be processing these compounds."

    To answer those questions, Turnbaugh and his colleagues chose to focus on digoxin, one of the oldest known cardiac glycosides. The medicine is typically prescribed to treat heart failure and cardiac arrhythmia.


  7. #357
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    Re: Health Bulletin

    Difference between Kosher Salt and Other Salt?

    With hypertension being a regular complain among the masses, 'choose salt substitutes' has been promulgated aggressively. Try coarser-grained sea salt instead of ordinary table salt. Because of the coarse characteristic, this type of salt takes up more volume for same amount of weight.

    The regular salt we use is treated, refined iodized and additives are added to it. Kosher salt has larger grains are not iodized with any additives either.

    Coarse grained sea salt does not dissolve as quickly as table salt, making it useful for giving a salty "feel" to the exterior of foods without using as much salt. In fact, this property is actually used to draw the blood out of meat.

    As for sodium content, if you substitute sea salt one-for-one for table salt, you will slightly decrease your sodium intake because of sea salt's greater volume: One teaspoon contains 1,920 milligrams of sodium, compared to 2,325 milligrams in table salt. By weight, however, both sea salt and table salt contain about 400 milligrams of sodium per gram.

    As far as nutrition is concerned, there is no major difference. Too much of either salt can cause problems in the body, such as high blood pressure.


  8. #358
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    Re: Health Bulletin

    Cancer risk increases with height

    A woman's cancer risk appears to increase with her height, a new study shows.

    An analysis of 20,928 postmenopausal women showed that the taller a woman is, the greater her risk for a number of cancers, including breast, colon and skin cancer, among others. Scientists say the association between height and cancer may help guide researchers to study hormones and growth factors that influence height and may also play a role in cancer.

    "We know that cancer is a disease in which hormones and growth factors modify things," said Geoffrey C Kabat, a senior epidemiologist in the department of epidemiology and population health at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University in New York. "Height itself is not a risk factor, but it really appears to be a marker for one or more exposures that influence cancer risk."

    Nobody really knows why cancer risk is associated with a taller stature. It may have to do with hormones and growth factors that spur both height and cancer cells. It may be that height simply increases the surface area of the body's organs, resulting in a greater number of overall cells and higher subsequent risk of malignancy.

    While the current study focused only on women, other research has also found an association between height and cancer among men. One study found that taller men were at slightly higher risk for aggressive prostate cancer. In May, the Journal of the National Cancer Institute reported that height differences between men and women may help explain why men have an overall greater risk of developing cancer in nonsex specific organs like kidneys and lungs.


  9. #359
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    Re: Health Bulletin

    Mom-to-child spread a big challenge in hepatitis fight

    As the world observes another hepatitis day on Sunday, doctors here are struggling to curb mother-to-child transmission of the virus. Low awareness and lack of specific screening during pregnancy leaves several newborns with the virus, as many women could be carriers. Experts say 70% of hepatitis cases are vertically transmitted.

    Hepatitis B is an infectious inflammatory condition of the liver caused due to a virus and spreads through exposure to infectious blood, vaginal fluid and semen. Despite scientists developing vaccines to prevent it, 2.4 lakh people die in India because of the disease every year. The modes of transmission are from a mother to child, sexual contact, transfusion of infected blood or blood products and use of contaminated needles or syringes.

    Dr Nayarayanasamy, head of the department of hepatology department at the Government General Hospital, points out that a majority of cases can be prevented.

    "During the last five months of pregnancy and the first month after delivery, when the viral load is high in the mother, there is 80% chance of the baby contracting it," said the doctor.

    The incidence of hepatitis B in pregnant women is about 5% in India. GH doctors conducted 13 screening camps in and around Chennai in the past one year and found that one in every 50 people had hepatitis, a majority of them hepatitis B.

    Hepatitis B transmits in the same pattern as HIV, and is deadlier as the infection rate is much higher. There is vertical transmission (mother to baby) and horizontal transmission (sexual contact).

    "In India, three-fourths of the cases are due to vertical transmission. The dangerous thing about vertical transmission is that if one contracts the virus early, for 95% of patients it stays in the system," said Dr Dinesh J, consultant liver transplant physician, Global Health City. He said testing and vaccination is the only way to check the spread of the disease.

    The silent killer goes undiagnosed until the blood samples are examined as it does not show any symptoms. "Patients with hepatitis B means have 40% of chance of contracting liver cancer. Pregnant women should undergo blood tests for hepatitis B," said Dr Dinesh


  10. #360
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    Re: Health Bulletin

    Heart disease number one killer of Indians

    Heart disease has emerged as the number one killer among Indians, a new survey has revealed.

    According to a recent study by the Registrar General of India ( RGI) and the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), about 25 percent of deaths in the age group of 25- 69 years occur because of heart diseases.

    If all age groups are included, heart diseases account for about 19 percent of all deaths.

    It is the leading cause of death among males as well as females and in all regions of India, the study found.

    India, with more than 1.2 billion people, is estimated to account for 60 percent of heart disease patients worldwide.

    According to the World Health Organization, heart related disorders will kill almost 20 million people by 2015, and they are exceptionally prevalent in the Indian sub-continent.

    Half of all heart attacks in this population occur under the age of 50 years and 25 percent under the age of 40.

    It is estimated that India will have over 1.6 million strokes per year by 2015, resulting in disabilities on one third of them. The need is urgent.
    It is in this context that the American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (AAPI) has launched educational "Networks" of renowned thought leaders in the areas of Cardiology, Diabetes, and Stroke to foster high quality medical education of physicians of Asian Indian origin in the US.


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