Nutritional Value of Common Figs


Figs are thought to be originally from small Asia and are one of the first fruits cultivated ever.
It is said that humans could live on Figs alone as a source of food -- such is the goodness and nutrition in the fruit!

Figs are a rich source of calcium, iron, magnesium, Vitamin B6, and potassium. Figs are low in fat and high in fibre. They provide more fiber than any other common fruit or vegetable.
Figs have many health benefits. Fresh and dry figs are high in pectin, a soluble fibre that can reduce blood cholesterol. The fruit is also believed to have a laxative effect and can aid those who suffer from chronic constipation.


Listed below are some common problems and illnesses and how they can be avoided by the use of figs:


Insomnia
Figs contain a nutrient called tryptophan. This promotes good sleep and helps the brain use glucose properly, encouraging and stimulating good circulation.


Memory loss
Figs contain a lot of natural sugar - up to 60%. Sugar stimulate the brain so we can think faster and recall information more quickly. So that you can think more clear and faster. Figs are the ultimate brain fuel!


Fatigue
Fresh Figs contain up to 80% of water, as well as being one of the fruits with the highest levels of natural sugars. So they are a brilliant source of energy and stimulant for the brain. Making you more alert, responsive, fresh, as well as de-toxing the self.


Skin
Due to the Fig's high water content, they are ideal for improving the skin. The skin requires a good level of water. This will clear the skin, act as a cleanser, improve acne, oil, and general well-being.


Constipation
Figs are a natural laxative. So they can aid those suffering from constipation. They have a high level of fibre.

The heart
Due to the Fig's high level of natural sugars, they are an excellent way to replace the bleached (white) sugars with a more healthy alternative. They contain a natural fructose and glucose sugar.

A high fibre diet is one of the best ways to improve cholesterol levels, and as a result aid oneself against heart related diseases.

The nutrient 'tryptophan' contained in Figs encourages good circulation, allowing blood to flow more easily around the body.

Figs contain the ingredient Pectin (and soluble Fibre) which is known for its colesterol lowering effects. Thus, Figs are beneficial for those of Old age, those suffering from High Blood-pressure, Diabetes, heart-disease, hyper-tension, and other such related illnesses.


Calcium

Studies show that 80% of Americans don't consume adequate amounts of calcium daily.
The majority of the calcium consumed by those in the US comes from dairy products. However, Figs are another source where much calcium could be obtained. This is also beneficial for those who are lactose intolerant.
Five figs provide about 250 mg of the daily recommended level of calcium.


Blood pressure
Figs are beneficial for those with heart-related diseases. Lowering colesterol, they are advantageous for those with high blood pressure.
Figs are a particularly good source of Poatassium. Potassium is a mineral crucial to the control of blood pressure. People who eat potassium-rich foods tend to have lower blood pressure and, subsequently, have less risk of related conditions such as strokes.


Stress
Physical stress results from having high levels of work to do, illnesses, not eating properly, lack of sleep. Emotional stress is triggered from dunya things, such as family woes, work/school troubles and so on. Figs are extreamely nutritious, and over-all an ideal fruit to overcome stresses and anxieties.
Figs are high in calories – about 50 calories per fig – but are highly nutritious snacks.


Anemia

Figs contain Iron which enriches the blood, and helps to produce it. Thus, they are ideal for women, girls and those suffering from Anemia (lack of Iron).


Digestion
Five figs provide more than 20 percent of the daily recommended allowance of fibre. Hence, they are excellent in aiding digestion and improving the condition of the stomach and bowels.


Hemorrhoids (piles)
Muhammad is recorded to have said to make use of Figs in order to curb Hemorrhoids.


Bones
Figs, with their high level of calcium are ideal for young growing children and for the development of bones. They are also invaluable for those suffering from Osteoporosis and brittle bones.

Weight control
Three figs, fresh or dried, contain about five grams of fibre. The soluble fibre contained in Figs can help people cut down on snacking because it causes nutrients to be absorbed more slowly, making people feel more satisfied after a meal. However, it should be remembered that Figs are high in calories.

Strokes

Due to modern lifestyle, many people are becoming victims of mini heart strokes, says a recent survey..


Picture this..You are watching an Alfred Hitchcock flick, and suddenly, you are unable to understand the dialogues. You start feeling uncomfortable, a sudden sense of numbness runs through your body, and you feel dizzy, and tend to lose your control and co-ordination. Many might ignore it as an after effect of a spooky film, but very often they can be symptoms of a Transient Ischemic Attack (TIA) or more commonly ‘mini strokes’).
A recent survey by Gallup, a data-related news provider, reveals that 97 per cent of adults over the age of 50 fail to recognise the warning signs of a stroke, and in recent times, this has fueled the number of strokes-related deaths. Knowing the symptoms of a stroke becomes vital for patients, as there is a time factor associated with it. Experts say that treatment usually has to begin within 60 minutes of a stroke to prevent the death of the brain cells, which are significant enough to cause paralysis.
However, they also added that symptoms can begin anywhere from a few minutes to days before the stroke, making it very difficult for the patient as well as his peers to spot them.
Says Dr Vikram Kumar, neurologist, Metro Hospital, "Strokes have a wide variety of symptoms, making it difficult for patients, and at times doctors, to recognise them. I think there should organise awareness campaigns, as they can often mislead patients, and can be hazardous to health."
Stressing on the time factor associated with strokes, Dr Kumar says, "The most important thing is to get the patient medical treatment within an hour after spotting the symptoms. They should be immediately treated with a clot dissolving drug or Thrombolysis."
According to the data provided by the Global Burden of Diseases (GBD), India experiences 6,19,000 stroke-related deaths in a year, suggesting a mortality ratio of 73 per 1,00,00 persons.
Experts opines that with rapid urbanisation and industrialisation, the older generation is increasingly getting exposed to the risk factors of stroke — diabetes, obesity, tobacco use, high blood pressure, and hence are falling prey to strokes, giving it a shape of an epidemic.
Doctors also add that the risk of having a stroke is directly proportional to one’s eating habits, as consumption of high-energy food with little dietary fibre (indigestible parts of a plant food) and micronutrients can lead to strokes.
Opines neurologist Dr Bhasir A. Ahmedi, "It is true that due to modern lifestyle, more and more people are falling prey to diseases such as strokes. Due to hectic schedules, people hardly get time to enquire about the nutrient value of the food they take, which is very important to curb strokes, and other such health hazards."

What are the warning signs of stroke?


Know that not everyone gets all of the following warning signs. And, sometimes these signs can go away and return. Treatments are most effective if given within one hour of when the attack begins. If you have any of these symptoms, call 911 right away!

  • Sudden numbness or weakness of face, arm, or leg, especially on one side of the body.
  • Sudden confusion or trouble speaking or understanding speech.
  • Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, or loss of balance or coordination.
  • Sudden severe headache with no known cause.
  • Blurred or double vision, drowsiness, and nausea or vomiting.
What is a stroke?


A stroke is the sudden loss of brain function caused by the interuption of blood flow to the brain or when a blood vessel in the brain bursts. This interuption of blood flow or the rupture of blood vessels causes the brain cells in the affected area to die. Your brain needs the oxygen and nutrients supplied by the blood to keep your body and systems functioning properly.


What is a "mini-stroke" or TIA?

A "mini-stroke" refers to a transient ischemic attack (TIA). In a TIA, there is a short-term reduction in blood flow to the brain. This causes temporary stroke symptoms (often just for a few minutes) such as weakness or tingling in an arm or leg.
TIAs don't cause brain damage, but they are important warning signs that a person is at risk of having a stroke. If you have a TIA, you should seek medical care right away to prevent a full stroke.

Hemorrhagic Stroke : the most common type of stroke 


In a healthy, functioning brain, neurons do not come into direct contact with blood. The vital oxygen and nutrients the neurons need from the blood come to the neurons across the thin walls of the cerebral capillaries. The glia (nervous system cells that support and protect neurons) form a blood-brain barrier, an elaborate meshwork that surrounds blood vessels and capillaries and regulates which elements of the blood can pass through to the neurons.
When an artery in the brain bursts, blood spews out into the surrounding tissue and upsets not only the blood supply but the delicate chemical balance neurons require to function. This is called a hemorrhagic stroke. Such strokes account for approximately 20 percent of all strokes.
Hemorrhage can occur in several ways. One common cause is a bleeding aneurysm, a weak or thin spot on an artery wall. Over time, these weak spots stretch or balloon out under high arterial pressure. The thin walls of these ballooning aneurysms can rupture and spill blood into the space surrounding brain cells.

Hemorrhage also occurs when arterial walls break open. Plaque-encrusted artery walls eventually lose their elasticity and become brittle and thin, prone to cracking. Hypertension, or high blood pressure , increases the risk that a brittle artery wall will give way and release blood into the surrounding brain tissue.

A person with an arteriovenous malformation (AVM) also has an increased risk of hemorrhagic stroke. AVMs are a tangle of defective blood vessels and capillaries within the brain that have thin walls and can therefore rupture.

Bleeding from ruptured brain arteries can either go into the substance of the brain or into the various spaces surrounding the brain. Intracerebral hemorrhage occurs when a vessel within the brain leaks blood into the brain itself. Subarachnoid hemorrhage is bleeding under the meninges, or outer membranes, of the brain into the thin fluid-filled space that surrounds the brain.

The subarachnoid space separates the arachnoid membrane from the underlying pia mater membrane. It contains a clear fluid (cerebrospinal fluid or CSF) as well as the small blood vessels that supply the outer surface of the brain. In a subarachnoid hemorrhage, one of the small arteries within the subarachnoid space bursts, flooding the area with blood and contaminating the cerebrospinal fluid. Since the CSF flows throughout the cranium, within the spaces of the brain, subarachnoid hemorrhage can lead to extensive damage throughout the brain. In fact, subarachnoid hemorrhage is the most deadly of all strokes.

Healthy steps to prevent a stroke

The more stroke risk factors you have, the greater the chance that you will have a stroke. You can't control some risk factors, such as aging, family health history, race and gender. But you can change or treat most other risk factors to lower your risk.
Here are some healthy ways to prevent stroke:
  • Eat a healthy diet low in saturated fat and rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.
  • Don't overeat, and keep your weight under control.
  • Get regular exercise (30 minutes a day, most days of the week, or more).
  • Find ways to manage stress in your life.
  • If you have high blood pressure, take your blood pressure medicine as prescribed by your health care provider.
  • If your cholesterol level is too high, talk to your health care provider about ways to lower it.
  • If you smoke, stop smoking. If it is hard to quit on your own, there are products like nicotine patches, support groups, and programs to help you stop smoking.
  • If you have heart disease or diabetes, take good care of yourself. See your health care provider and take your medicine as prescribed.
  • Get help if you have a TIA ("mini-stroke"). Talk to your health care provider to see if you need medicine or surgery.
  • Aspirin therapy may be useful, but check with your health care provider before starting to take aspirin on a daily basis.

WHAT CAUSES YOUR HEAD TO ACHE


HEADACHES ARE very common, everyone experiences them. There are two broad categories:
Primary, in which headache and its associated features are the disease in themselves,
and secondary, those caused exogenously, such as headache associated with fever.

Primary headache disorders:
? Migraine
? Migraine without aura
? Migraine with aura
? Tension-type headache
? Cluster headache


Secondary headache disorders:
Headache attributed to:
? Head and neck trauma
? Cranial or cervical vas cular disorder
? Non-vascular intracra nial disorder
? A substance or its with drawal
? Infection
? Disturbance of home ostasis
? Disorders of cranium, neck, eyes, nose, ears, sinuses, teeth, mouth or other cranial or facial structures
? Psychiatric disorder



Tension headaches, the most common type, generally develop gradually and often involve the entire head as well as the neck and shoulders. They probably are not caused by increased muscle tension, although muscle relaxation techniques can be very useful in treatment.

Migraine headaches are ‘bad headaches’. With classic migraine, a feeling that a headache will develop precedes the actual headache, followed by visual phenomena such as dark or bright spots, streaks of light, or tunnel vision (aura). The headache usually develops on one side. It is throbbing in nature, accompanied by nausea and increased sensitivity to light and noise.

Migraine headaches are vascular headaches, because they involve changes in the diameter or size and chemistry of blood vessels that supply the brain. These are treatable and often preventable, and most people with migraine headaches do not even experience prodrome or aura.

Cluster headaches are those lasting from minutes to hours and occurring every day at a similar time over a period of weeks. They are sharp and typically have a sudden onset (explosive in quality). People with cluster headaches often describe the pain as similar to an ice pick. They are typically one-sided and usually begin around the eyes or temple area.



TREATMENT
? To avoid headaches, employ good health habits.
? Get adequate sleep, healthy diet and regular exercise.
? Quit smoking.
? Relaxation and stress reduction therapies can diminish the frequency and intensity of headaches.
? Alternative therapies like yoga and other physical relaxation exer cises help.
? Any over-the-counter pain medication like aspirin, ibuprofen, naproxen sodium or acetaminophen can be very useful.
? Any headache medica tion, prescription or over-the-counter, can cause headaches if taken on a daily basis. They have other more serious and noxious side effects.


WHEN TO SEEK A DOCTOR:
? Severe, sudden headaches.
? Headaches accompanied by loss of conscious ness, alertness or sensa tion, confusion, a seizure or other neuro logical and/or personality changes.
? Recurring in one partic ular area such as an eye or temple.
? Recurring with high intensity or frequency.
? Accompanied by neck stiffness and fever.
? Those associated with head injury, even if the injury was a week ago.
? Change in the nature or frequency of headaches.
? Temporary change in vision or visual acuity.

Healthy relationships can help you to overcome Professional Stress

Do you go crazy over heaps of files while making presentations and filing reports in the office? Does meeting deadlines and working under pressure send your blood pressure soaring? If your answer is yes, then get alarmed because it might lead to many lifestyle disorders in the long run. Instead of building up the tension and crashing, you can easily beat the stress right in your office by following simple techniques and exercises.

Mostly stress starts due an undisciplined lifestyle. Skipping meals and having fast food at the wrong time disturbs the body clock. Avoid overeating, sugar, fatty food and caffeine. Fix a timetable for your lunch or dinner and make sure you stick to it. This will not only help in reducing stress, but also prevent from gaining more weight, which is a common problem faced by employees working on the desk. Dr Deepak Raheja, a psychologist at The Hope Foundation gives more tips on how to de-stress at the workplace. He says, "One should avoid having more than two cups of tea or coffee and tobacco because initially it stimulates the mind, but in the long run it leads to a crash. On the other hand, sipping green tea, herbal tea, fruit juices or lemon juice helps in detoxification and clears the lactic acid formation that causes stiffness in the muscles."


Another important factor that helps in preventing stress at the workplace is to maintain a good relationship with colleagues and bosses. It is very important to define boundaries of the work, advices Dr Raheja. He says, "Pressure in office usually builds up when there is mismanagement or no planning. To begin with, maintain a healthy relationship with your co-workers so even if you get stuck at a point, there are people around to help you. Do not complicate or mess up your relationship with colleagues and if there are issues with deadlines clear them with your boss directly."

Most of the physical and mental problems also rise due to a sedentary lifestyle that most office employees lead. Sitting at one place all the time and being immobile for many hours at a stretch is harmful. Dr Raheja says, "People working on the desk for long hours should take frequent breaks and do some stretching exercises. This helps in removing stiffness of limbs. Simple breathing exercises like inhaling and exhaling for five minutes will also bring a relief."

Apart from limbs other body parts like eyes, fingers and the brain also need rest. While working on the computers for long time, use an anti-glare screen. Do easy exercises to keep the eye muscles strain free.

Says Dr Raheja, "Shut your eyes for five minutes and do the progressive muscle exercises (PMR). These simple contraction and relaxation techniques relax the eye muscles. Visualising something beautiful and pleasant with your eyes closed helps in relaxing the mind and body."

World Heart Day 2008

Heart disease and stroke are amongst the world's largest killers, together claiming 17.5 million lives each year. World Heart Day is celebrated every year to create public awareness of the risk factors for heart disease and stroke and to promote preventive measures. The theme of this year's World Heart Day is ‘Know Your Risk!’. It is a call to action to help people better understand their personal risk for cardiovascular disease, including hypertension (high blood pressure). World Heart Day activities include free heart health screenings, walks, runs, fitness events, public talks, scientific forums, exhibitions and much more. Heart health screening and other activities for the public are being planned in over one hundred countries worldwide. The number of those affected by high blood pressure is predicted to increase by 50 per cent over the coming years. But by adopting suitable lifestyle changes and reducing the risk, the picture can change for the better. The level of risk for heart disease and stroke is a combination of modifiable and non-modifiable factors, of which high blood pressure is one of the most important. High blood pressure, or hypertension, currently affects more than a billion people worldwide and can damage the body. By knowing the level of risk one can take simple but significant step towards preventing life being affected by hypertension. Heart disease and stroke can be better prevented by regular exercise, no smoking and a healthier diet, low in salt and fat and rich in fibres, fresh vegetables and fruit

Be aware of your risk

An excellent way to find out your risk of heart attack or stroke is to know your parametres specifically those associated with fat (both abdominal and as a proportion of height and weight), cholesterol and blood pressure. Too much fat, especially around the abdomen or waist area, increases the risk for heart disease and stroke. So do high blood cholesterol and high blood pressure. Fortunately, all three risk factors can respond to changes in diet and physical activity. Medication also can help. Also,



* Know your blood pressure: High blood pressure usually has no symptoms, but can cause a sudden stroke or heart attack. Get your blood pressure checked.
* Know your blood sugar: Raised blood glucose (diabetes) increases the risk of heart attacks and strokes. If you have diabetes it is very important to control your blood pressure and blood sugar to minimise the risk.
* Know your blood lipids: Raised blood cholesterol increases the risk of heart attacks and strokes. Blood cholesterol needs to be controlled through a healthy diet and, if necessary, by appropriate medications.



Take Action

* Eat healthy. Eat plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables as well as a variety of whole grains.
* Exercise. Make exercise a regular part of your life. Each day, do at least 30 minutes of physical activity that raises your heart beat. Recommended activities include brisk walking, dancing and sports such as tennis and basketball.
* Drink lots of water. At least six glasses a day
* Reduce salt intake. It can help to reduce blood pressure
* Watch your cholesterol. Choose foods containing unsaturated or monosaturated fats. Avoid foods containing saturated fats, trans fats and cholesterol. Eat fewer fried foods. Eat lean meat and fish.
* Maintain a healthy weight. By avoiding obesity and overweight, you’ll reduce your risk of heart disease, stroke and diabetes.
* Stay on track. If you miss some exercise or eat an unhealthful meal, just get back on track.
* Monitor progress. Keep track of your achievements and reward yourself each time you reach a goal.
* Check up. Get your blood pressure, cholesterol and glucose levels tested regularly.

A Hearty Diet

Diet is a significant modifiable risk factor for cardiovascular disease (CVD). An unhealthy diet is high in saturated fats, salt and refined carbohydrates and low in fruits and vegetables.

Fat

* A diet high in saturated fats and trans fats leads to abnormal levels of fats in the blood, a risk factor for cardiovascular diseases (CVD).
* Saturated fats are found in animal products. Trans fats are oils that have been hydrogenated to turn them into semi-hard fats; they adversely alter the fat levels in the blood.
* Saturated fats should be replaced with unsaturated, polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats, which are beneficial for heart health. Olive and canola oils and nuts are sources of monosaturated oils. Soyabean and sunflower oils are sources of polyunsaturated fat.
* The essential fatty acids omega-3 and omega-6 are found in oily fish, nuts and seeds and actually protect the heart. Where fish consumption is high there is a reduced risk of death from CVD. One should eat 1 to 2 servings of fish a week as part of a heart protective diet.
* Saturated fat intake should not exceed 10% of total energy and for high-risk groups, like people with diabetes, total saturated fat intake should be 7% or less of total energy. Total fat intake should not be greater than 30% of total calories consumed.

Salt

* A diet high in salt increases the risk of developing high blood pressure, a risk for CVD.
* A universal reduction of about 3g of salt a day would lead to a 50% reduction in the number of people needing treatment for high blood pressure.
* A universal reduction of 3g of salt a day would lead to a 22% drop in the number of deaths resulting from strokes and a 16% fall in the number of deaths from coronary heart disease (CHD).

Fruits and vegetables

* Low fruit and vegetable intake accounts for about 20% of cardiovascular disease worldwide.
* Adults should consume at least 500g of fresh fruit and vegetables a day or 5 to 7 portions a day.

Nuts

* Eating nuts regularly is associated with decreased risk of CHD.
* Nuts are high in unsaturated fatty acids, low in saturated fats and improve the fat levels in the blood.
* Nuts are an energy dense food source and must be eaten as part of a balanced diet.

Wholegrain cereals

Whole grains have dietary fibre that has a positive effect of blood fat levels, lowering the risk of CHD.

Spinach juice curbs acidity

Being vegetarian is the in thing these days. I come across many people, typically from metros who profess to being vegetarian, but unfortunately, are anything but that. I’m amazed at the distorted concept people hold of being "vegetarian" because unfortunately, most vegetarians these days eat inadequate amounts or no vegetables at all. Apart from being powerhouses of good health, we now have substantial evidence about the healing properties of vegetables.

An inadequate or reduced intake of vegetables and fruits could precipitate chronic diseases such as heart ailment and cancer. You cannot call yourself a vegetarian in the true sense if your diet revolves around dal, rice, curd kadi, potatoes, puri-chole, idlis, dosas, pav bhajis (overcooked), pickles, parathas and perhaps a whole range of veg convenience or fast foods which come with oil laden, overcooked and mashed vegetables.

The biggest drawback in such diets is that it is devoid of fresh, raw or partially cooked vegetables and it is in these forms that we can derive and benefit from the healing properties of vegetables. However, broths and soups made from certain vegetables like carrots, tomatoes and spinach do retain their nutrient value.

Spinach: Its succulent green leaves emit health. Spinach is rich in chlorophyll, carotenoids, foliates, trace minerals and antioxidants. It displays blood building properties because the structure of chlorophyll simulates hemoglobin.

The laxative fibre present in spinach helps prevent constipation and raw spinach juice helps reduce acidity caused by smoking or excessive alcohol intake. Research indicates that regular spinach intake could check age-related damage to the retina of the eye which in turn, prevents progressive eye degeneration.

Potatoes: If you’re trying to reduce blood uric acid levels, try raw potato juice or potato skin. To derive the benefits of the skin, peel a few potatoes, collect the skin peels and boil till tender in a litre of water. Strain and drink three to four times a day, between meals. This decoction helps to make the blood alkaline and reduces symptoms of gout.

Raw potato juice is also beneficial for relieving inflammation and pain caused by gout. Take a raw unpeeled potato. Wash thoroughly. Ensure that the skin does not have any traces of green colour which indicates the presence of solanine which is an alkaloid toxin that could have adverse effects, then push it through a juicer. Drink this juice twice a day before meals.

Potatoes are highly alkaline in nature and assist in maintaining the alkali reserves of the body. They’re also a natural antidote for burning and acidity caused by factors such as a prolonged intake of antibiotics.

Pumpkin: Sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds are amongst the richest sources of zinc as compared to other foods.

It is due to its high zinc content that pumpkin seeds are effective in correcting prostrate gland problems. One tablespoon of powdered pumpkin seeds taken regularly could reduce pain associated with prostrate gland enlargement. You could also consume this powder mixed with honey. Remember, sound food choices and knowledge of the healing power of everyday foods could be your best defense against numerous ailments and your ticket to good health.






By Anjali Mukherjee

Nutritionist and Founder of Health Total

Direct your queries to query@health-total.com.

Contact numbers: 2673 2883/5604 4001




Movable CAMERA PILL

Scientists have developed a controllable camera that you swallow like a pill. As this report explains, the key feature is a tether that allows doctors to steer it.

What if swallowing a pill with a camera could detect the earliest signs of cancer? The tiny camera is designed to take high-quality, color pictures in confined spaces. Such a device could find warning signs of esophageal cancer, the fastest growing cancer in the United States.
A fundamentally new design has created a smaller endoscope that is more comfortable for the patient and cheaper to use than current technology. Its first use on a human, scanning for early signs of esophageal cancer, will be reported in an upcoming issue of IEEE Transactions on Biomedical Engineering.

“Our technology is completely different from what’s available now. This could be the foundation for the future of endoscopy,” said lead author Eric Seibel, a University of Washington research associate professor of mechanical engineering.

In the past 30 years diagnoses of esophageal cancer have more than tripled. The esophagus is the section of digestive tract that moves food from the throat down to the stomach. Esophageal cancer often follows a condition called Barrett’s esophagus, a noticeable change in the esophageal lining. Patients with Barrett’s esophagus can be healed, avoiding the deadly esophageal cancer. But because internal scans are expensive most people don’t find out they have the condition until it’s progressed to cancer, and by that stage the survival rate is less than 15 percent.

“These are needless deaths,” Seibel said. “Any screen that detected whether you had a treatable condition before it had turned into cancer would save lives.”

An endoscope is a flexible camera that travels into the body’s cavities to directly investigate the digestive tract, colon or throat. Most of today’s endoscopes capture the image using a traditional approach where each part of the camera captures a different section of the image. These tools are long, flexible cords about 9 mm wide, about the width of a human fingernail. Because the cord is so wide patients must be sedated during the scan.

The scanning endoscope developed at the UW is fundamentally different. It consists of just a single optical fiber for illumination and six fibers for collecting light, all encased in a pill. Seibel acted as the human volunteer in the first test of the UW device. He reports that it felt like swallowing a regular pill, and the tether, which is 1.4 mm wide, did not bother him.

Once swallowed, an electric current flowing through the UW endoscope causes the fiber to bounce back and forth so that its lone electronic eye sees the whole scene, one pixel at a time. At the same time the fiber spins and its tip projects red, green and blue laser light. The image processing then combines all this information to create a two-dimensional color picture.

In the tested model the fiber swings 5,000 times per second, creating 15 color pictures per second. The resolution is better than 100 microns, or more than 500 lines per inch. Although conventional endoscopes produce images at higher resolution, the tethered-capsule endoscope is designed specifically for low-cost screening.

Using the scanning device is cheap because it’s so small it doesn’t require anesthesia and sedation, which increase the cost of the traditional procedure.

“The procedure is so easy I could imagine it being done in a shopping mall,” Seibel said.

A wireless scope manufactured by a different group, originally designed to pass through the body and detect intestinal cancer, is now being marketed for esophageal cancer screening. The competing technology comes in a pill about the width of an adult fingernail and twice as long. By contrast, the UW’s scanning fiber endoscope’s dimensions are about half as big and the device fits inside a standard pill capsule. The pill could be even smaller, Seibel said, but the researchers chose a size that would be easy to handle and swallow.

Another disadvantage of wireless capsules is they only allow a single fly-by view.

“You have no control over the other pill once it’s swallowed. It just flutters down,” Seibel said. But since the UW scope is tethered, the doctor can move it up and down along the region of interest.

Only a small percentage of people who get Barrett’s esophagus, about 5 percent to 10 percent, develop cancer. So any screening method must have a low price to be cost-effective.

“The next big challenge is to make this cheaply,” Seibel said. The researchers are negotiating a contract to commercialize the technology. In the future they hope to not only take pictures, but also deliver treatments through the device, and to apply it to other diseases..Source: University of Washington.

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Headphones may cause heartache

For those 'staying tuned' to FM songs through headphones of mobile sets, here's some news that might not be music to the ears.

Non-stop and high-decibel radio programmes are sure to damage ear nerves, leading to gradual degrading of the hearing
system, doctors say. Moreover, the habit may develop psychogenic disorders and hypertension which will end up in cardiac ailments, they warn.

"Prolonged use of headphones is injurious to our hearing system as it has adverse impacts on the nerves. Excess of anything is harmful. Though the habit may not damage the ear diaphragm, the harm done to the nerves is irreversible," said Alok Agarwal of Sir Ganga Ram Hospital. Cochlea (the spiral cavity of the inner ear where sound impulses are produced) bears the brunt of head phone sounds. Any damage done to it will certainly cause hearing complications, he stressed.

Noting that the number of call centre employees approaching him with hearing problems was on the rise, he said, "they are susceptible to hearing impairments. Extended working hours using unhealthy devices may cause health risks." Disturbed sleep, headache and ear pain are some of the common abnormalities that stem from overuse of headphones.

According to J C Passey of Maulana Azad Medical College, the possible damage to hearing system depends on duration,volume and programme. Listening to high-decibel rock music for long hours is undoubtedly harmful.

Ever been guilty of gulping a bar of chocolate?


Well, now there are reasons to feel better.

Chocolate
– the thought of it leaves your mouth watering, doesn’t it? Well, chocolate is one of the few food items that are liked by people of all ages. So what makes chocolate so irresistible? Firstly, more than anything it is a rich blend that has the potential to please every palate. But according to nutritionist Hira Ranjan, “Several chemical reactions also take place. Chocolate leads to the secretion of endorphins that makes you feel happier or in other words ‘a high’.” Unlike the popular belief that it is an unhealthy snack, chocolate also has many health benefits.

Myth buster


When it comes to talking about health hazards, there are several myths that are making the rounds, and all you chocoholics would be glad to know that it is not as bad as it is assumed to be. Here’s a quick myth buster:

Myth: Chocolate leads to increase in weight
Fact: Chocolate does not lead to an increase in weight. The butter/cream, and sugar in milk chocolates lead to an increase in weight.

Myth: Chocolate can lead to tooth decay
Fact: According to Eastman Dental Center in Rochester, New York, chocolate contains phosphate and is therefore least likely to contribute to tooth decay. In fact, cocoa contains certain antibacterials that fight tooth decay.

Myth: Chocolate causes acne
Fact: Chocolate has no effect on acne, unless you are allergic to it or any other ingredient in the chocolate.

According to Samir Vadalar (name changed), nutritionist,“Chocolate contains a number of nutrients like potassium and magnesium. It also has vitamins like A1, B1, B2, D and E, and most health hazards attributed to a bar of chocolate are due to other ingredients that are added in the chocolate.” Ranjan further adds, “A bar of chocolate brings a smile on everyone’s face and remember there is nothing more healthier than a happy mind and a satisfied heart.”

So, are we trying to then say that chocolate has no health hazards? Not really. Says Vadalar, “In India, most people consume milk chocolates that are high in calorie count due to the butter and sugar content in it. So it could be harmful. Remember, it is always advisable to indulge in dark chocolate rather than milk chocolate.”

10 Reasons to eat chocolate

1. Chocolate is a high-energy food and contains many essential nutrients

2. Chocolate increases antioxidants in the blood

3. Apparently, people who eat chocolate regularly live longer!

4. Chocolate helps prevent cardiovascular diseases

5. According to an Italian study, dark chocolate can be used to control blood pressure and diabetes

6. Chocolates made from cocoa are one of the richest sources of magnesium

7. Eating moderate amount of dark chocolate can lead to health and well being

8. Chocolate reduces anxiety and acts as a painkiller

9. Chocolate can trigger the brain's natural opiates

10. And finally, it is indeed yummy!

So all you chocoholics can now rejoice as you can actually boost your health with chocolate! But remember the darker your chocolate is, the better it is for your health.

Anaemia -- Too Few RBC( Red Blood Cells)

About Anemia

Just over half the volume of your blood is made up of a yellowish watery fluid called plasma, which contains proteins, salts and other substances.
The rest of your blood is made up of the following cells and cell fragments, which are all produced in the bone marrow.

• Red blood cells make up more than 99 percent of the cells in the blood and carry oxygen around the body in a substance called hemoglobin, which gives blood its red colour. Iron is an important ingredient of hemoglobin.
• White blood cells are larger than red blood cells and make up less than one percent of the blood cells. There are several different types and they are important in protecting the body against infection.
• Platelets are tiny fragments of cells that are involved in blood clotting.

Anemia occurs when you don't have enough red blood cells, or enough of the oxygen-carrying pigment called hemoglobin. There are different types of anemia, including pernicious anemia, hemolytic anemia, aplastic anemia and sickle cell anemia.

Symptoms of anemia

The symptoms of anemia include:
• breathlessness with little exercise
• feeling very tired
• looking pale
• being intolerant of cold temperatures
• a rapid pulse
• palpitations
• headaches

Less common anemia symptoms can include tinnitus (ringing in the ears) and an altered sense of taste. There may also be other symptoms of anemia, which result from the underlying condition that is the cause of anemia.


Causes of anemia

There are many possible causes of anemia but they fall into the following three groups.


Loss of blood

Blood loss can result from an obvious injury, or surgery, but it's not always easy to detect, especially if it's happening inside the body (eg a bleeding stomach ulcer). Women who have heavy periods can develop anemia.


Not making enough red blood cells and/or hemoglobin

The bone marrow may not be able to make enough good-quality red blood cells because of a lack of essential vitamins such as vitamin B12 or folic acid, or because of a serious bone marrow disorder such as leukemia or aplastic anemia. Long-term (chronic) inflammation, for example in rheumatoid arthritis or long-term infections, may also suppress your bone marrow.

The most common cause is lack of hemoglobin due to iron deficiency. This usually results from long-term bleeding, for example in women, the monthly period (menstruation). The kidneys also have an important role because they produce a hormone called EPO, which tells the bone marrow to make red cells. If you have long-term kidney problems you may have anemia due to the lack of EPO.

Red blood cells broken down too quickly


Red blood cells normally live for about 120 days before they are broken down and replaced. Various inherited problems with the red blood cells, or their hemoglobin, or an attack on normal red cells by the immune system, may cause them to be broken down too soon. This is called hemolytic anemia. Some medicines may also be involved in causing hemolytic anemia.
People with a condition called sickle-cell anemia tend to have red blood cells that are broken down too soon. Sickle-cell anemia is an inherited condition in which the red blood cells can become crescent-shaped rather than round due to the presence of an abnormal type of hemoglobin (hemoglobin S) These cells don't survive as well as normal red blood cells.

Diagnosis of anemia


If you have symptoms of anemia, such as breathlessness and fatigue, you should visit your GP. He or she will ask about your symptoms, any previous illnesses or treatments and your eating habits. You will probably have a physical examination.

If your doctor thinks you have anemia, he or she will probably ask you to have a blood test. This involves taking samples of blood from one of the veins in your arm. The needle used is narrow and the amount of blood taken is small. For most people having a blood test is virtually painless.
The tests on your blood will include a full blood count (FBC), which is done by a machine in a hospital laboratory on a sample of your blood.

A full blood count gives information about your hemoglobin levels and how many of each of the different types of blood cells you have, as well as information about the size of your red cells (MCV) and the amount of hemoglobin each one contains (MCH). In America, the same test is known as a complete blood count (CBC).

The normal amount - or concentration - of hemoglobin for men is at least 13g/dl (13 grams of hemoglobin per decilitre of blood - a decilitre is 100ml) and 11.5g/dl for women. If your hemoglobin level is lower than this you have anemia.

If your hemoglobin level is low, the other results from a full blood count can give clues about what might be causing anemia. For example, if your hemoglobin is low and your red blood cells are small, you may have iron deficiency. However, if the hemoglobin is low and the red cells are large, you are more likely to have a deficiency of vitamin B12 or folate.

If the cause of anemia isn't clear, your GP may recommend further tests. These might include investigations into possible blood loss from the stomach or bowel, so you may need to have a test to see if you have blood in your faeces. This is called a faecal occult blood test. If your doctor suspects that you are losing blood into your gastro-intestinal tract you may also be offered an endoscopy. This is an examination of the lining of the stomach (gastroscopy) or large bowel (colonoscopy) using a thin, flexible telescope.

Your GP may also refer you to a haematologist - a doctor specialising in conditions of the blood - for further tests, which may include taking a sample of your bone marrow.

Treatment of anemia

Treatment of anemia depends on its underlying cause. You may need to improve your diet or your doctor may recommend that you take supplements of iron, folic acid or vitamin B12. If you are severely anaemic due to a serious underlying condition, you may need a blood transfusion. Or, if you have a condition such as chronic kidney disease, you may need to have injections of the hormone EPO.


Prevention of anemia

The best way to prevent anemia is to eat a healthy, balanced diet. For most people, this sort of diet provides enough essential nutrients, without the need for supplements.

As a guide, the main nutrients you need to make healthy red blood cells are:

iron - in meat, liver, green vegetables, dried fruit, pulses (eg chick peas and lentils) and fortified foods such as some breakfast cereals and bread

vitamin B12 - in meat, milk, cheese, eggs and fortified foods such as some breakfast cereals and bread. It is not found in vegetables

folate - in liver, yeast extract, green leafy vegetables (such as peas and spinach), oranges, milk and fortified foods such as some breakfast cereals and bread

If you don't eat animal products (a vegan diet) or have a condition that affects how well you can absorb nutrients (eg coeliac disease), you may need to take supplements of nutrients. You should also get advice from a doctor or a registered dietitian.

If you are pregnant, you are more likely to get a form of iron-deficiency anemia. Your antenatal checks will include regular blood tests to check your hemoglobin levels. Your doctor or midwife will prescribe iron supplements if you need them.

Understanding Stomach Cancer

What is Stomach For?

The stomach is a storage organ for food. When you eat your meals, food stays in the stomach for a while, and this is where digestion starts. Food is churned up, and mixed with acid until it is partly liquefied, when it is passed on into the rest of the bowel for further digestion, and for the nutrients to be absorbed. The stomach is actually a large hollow muscle, whose movement is controlled by nerves and hormones, triggered by the sight, smell or sound of food.

How does stomach cancer start?

Cancers of the stomach are not all the same, and it is likely
that there are different causes.

Certain conditions of the stomach may predispose to stomach cancer. These include pernicious anaemia, chronic inflammation, ulcers and large polyps. Smoking, and a high salt or high nitrate/nitrite diet may also cause problems. Nitrites are found in cured meats, pickled fish, and may also originate in fertilisers.

Helicobacter pylori is a bacterium which can infect the stomach. This may lead to ulcers, and is also thought to predispose to stomach cancer.

Stomach cancer does not often run in families; a family history of stomach cancer is found in less than one in ten patients with the condition.

How does an ulcer turn into a cancer?

The genes that control the growth of stomach cells become disorganised, making the cells grow quickly, and beyond their normal boundaries. As the tumour enlarges, the cells grow through the lining of the stomach, and can invade adjacent structures such as fat or the pancreas. Some cells can break away, travel up the bloodstream and go to other sites such as the liver or lungs. These are known as secondaries, or metastases.

What protects against stomach cancer?

A healthy diet containing fruit, vegetables and some animal fat and protein may help to prevent stomach cancer. The widespread use of frozen rather than pickled foods may have influenced the reduction in the incidence of the problem over the last fifty years.

Medical advice


Does early diagnosis make a difference?

The earlier a diagnosis can be made, the more likely it is that the problem can be cured. The longer a cancer is present in the stomach, the more likely it is that it will spread to other parts of the body such as lymph glands and the liver.

What are the symptoms of stomach cancer?

Stomach cancer can present in many different ways depending on which part of the stomach is involved. Indigestion (pain or discomfort in the upper abdomen related to eating or drinking), and loss of appetite are common, and associated with weight loss. If the cancer is at the top of the stomach near the gullet, it may cause difficulty with swallowing food. If it is at the bottom of the stomach, it may cause vomiting of food. Cancers can sometimes bleed, leading to symptoms of anaemia such as tiredness and shortness of breath.

Aren’t some symptoms similar to those of a peptic ulcer?

Many of the symptoms of stomach cancer are similar to those of a benign ulcer. It is very important that any new occurrences of the symptoms listed above are reported to your doctor if you are over 40.

How is the diagnosis made?

Occasionally a lump can be felt in the abdomen, but other tests are always needed.

Endoscopy (video examination of the stomach). This is a simple test carried out under local anaesthetic. A small sample of tissue is taken for examination under a microscope (histology) and a test is taken for Helicobacter pylori, a bacterium which can infect the stomach and is thought to increase the risk of stomach cancer.

CT scan – this is an X-Ray which takes 3 dimensional pictures of the chest, abdomen and pelvis areas. It gives information about the stomach itself, and also about other areas that disease may have spread to.

What happens once cancer is diagnosed?

If the tests show that you have stomach cancer, you will be referred to a cancer specialist – usually a surgeon – for further assessment. It is likely that you will have a staging laparoscopy. Under a general anaesthetic, a small telescope is passed through the belly button into the abdomen to examine the stomach and other areas closely. The results of your tests will then be discussed by a group of cancer experts, and a decision will be made on the best form of treatment.

How are cancers of the stomach treated?

Once checks have been made that it has not spread anywhere else, most stomach cancers will be removed by surgery. Either a part of the stomach or the whole stomach is removed, with lymph
glands that are close by. The stomach or gullet is then joined to the bowel (anastomosis). Once the cancer has been removed it is examined closely under the microscope to decide exactly what stage it is at. If the cancer is an early one that has not spread through the stomach wall, then no
further treatment may be necessary. If the cancer has spread through the wall, or involved lymph glands you may be offered further treatment such as chemotherapy, radiotherapy or a
combination of both. Sometimes chemotherapy is given before surgery.


What happens after surgery?


You will stay in hospital for about 10 days after your operation. You will take 6 to 8 weeks to recover fully. You will see a dietician who will advise you on the best foods to eat. The main advice will be to eat a balanced diet, little and often. All the test results will be discussed to decide if any further treatment is necessary. You will be told the results when you come back to see your surgeon about a month after surgery. You will be seen regularly in clinic over the months and years after your treatment, and will be offered regular blood tests. Sometimes further scans and endoscopies are needed to see if the cancer has come back. If the problem does recur, it can be treated again, usually with chemotherapy or radiotherapy.

What is advanced stomach cancer?

If the cancer has already spread beyond the stomach to other structures when it is diagnosed, it is sometimes not amenable to surgery. In this case it is treated by chemotherapy, and sometimes radiotherapy. There are some new minimal access (endoscopic) ways of dealing with problems such as blockages, by using fine mesh tubes called stents. Cancer can sometimes become advanced even after treatment, and careful follow up is usually necessary.

If I have had stomach cancer, what can I do to stop it coming back?

A healthy lifestyle, with a balanced diet and a positive mental attitude are good advice. Regular medical follow up is also important.

Are there any implications for my family?

Only about 4% of patients with stomach cancer have a close relative with the same problem. It is therefore not likely that other members of your family will need to be screened. They should however be advised on a healthy diet.

Is there a screening programme for stomach cancer?

In some areas of the world such as Japan, the incidence of stomach cancer is so high that endoscopic screening is carried out on everyone. In the UK, the incidence of the problem is a lot lower, so screening is not necessary.

What research is going on?

Recent research into the treatment of stomach cancer has centred around how medical treatment may improve the results of surgery. Treating some patients with chemotherapy before surgery may improve long term outcome, and some patients with more advanced disease may benefit from post-operative chemotherapy, sometimes with radiotherapy as well. Trials are in progress to study these factors in more detail.

Oh My GOD.. HEARt Attack!!!!! ( DONT PANIC )

How to Treat a HEART ATTACK?

A heart attack victim whose heart is still beating has a much better chance of survival than a victim whose heart has stopped! Most heart attack victims who die succumb within 2 hours after having their heart attack. Many of these victims could be saved if bystanders recognize the symptoms of a heart attack and get the victim to a hospital quickly! Indeed, many victims of heart attacks think they are experiencing HEARTBURN or other minor discomfort when in fact their life is in jeopardy! This is why this article provides basic information for emergency first aid.

Steps

# Comfort & reassure the victim

# Don’t panic. The casualty will likely clutch their chest and may fall over. Sit them down if they are conscious, with their knees up and back leaning on something. Call an ambulance immediately.

# If they are unconscious then lie them on their back, check that nothing is obstructing their airways (could be tongue) and listen with your ear just over their mouth for breathing.

# If you are on their right, rotate your head to the right, so that you can watch for the rise and fall of their chest. If they are not breathing after you have listened for a count of ten, then give two breaths, pinching their nose to prevent loss of air, and breathing away from them to maximize oxygen content.

# Check for circulation – if they have an obvious pulse that’s great, but any movement is a sign of circulation, and blueness and other discolouration is a sign of a lack of it. Pinching a digit (fingers) and watching for recolouring – if there is fast recolouring, this is a sign of circulation.

# Don’t waste time checking for circulation if it is slowing down the process. Someone else can do that as you check for airways.

# If there is not circulation, then start cardio resuscitation. This means putting a hand on the split of the casualty’s lungs (the top of the inverted V) and your other hand on top.

# Interlock and raise your fingers so the heel of your hand is all that touches them. Straighten your arms and depress their chest 5cm (if they’re over 8rys old) with your whole weight.

# Raise again and do this 30 times. Then perform two rescue breaths. Someone else can take over the chest compressions if they’re competent or if you’re tired but it is best just one person does the breaths.

# Continue the 30:2 cycle until help arrives or until you’re likely to become a casualty too. Don’t endanger yourself.

# The most important thing to remember is that you should call an ambulance the second you suspect it is a heart attack, or if you have an unconscious casualty.

Tips

Keep them calm and keep everyone else calm if you can. Assign jobs to prevent panic.

Warnings

  • This is only a guide to assist the person, not cure the heart attack. This care should be given to them while emergency crews are on their way.

People with sleep apnea run higher death risk

WHAT IS SLEEP APNEA??

T
he term “apnea” means without breath and sleep apnea is a disorder characterized by stopping or pausing breath during sleep. This is not a mild sleep disorder as longer pauses between breaths can lead to fatal consequences. Each pause in breathing spans between ten to twenty seconds or more but these pauses occur more than twenty to thirty times every hour.

Sleep apnea occurs because adequate air is unable to flow in to the lungs through the mouth or nose as one tries to breathe regularly causing a pause in the breathing activity. Normal breathing resumes with a sudden snort or choking sound but the oxygen levels in blood drop every time there is a pause in breathing.

Sleep apnea is broadly classified into two types: Central and Obstructive. Central sleep apnea is caused due to lack of effort in breathing regularly while Obstructive Sleep Apnea is caused due to a physical block in regular breathing despite effort.

If left untreated sleep apnea can cause: hypertension, stroke, irregular heart beat, heart failure or heart attack.

Symptoms of Sleep Apnea

- Loud snoring
- Dry or parched throat on waking up
- Gasping or choking for breath
- Poor quality of sleep leading to sleepiness during the day
- Memory problems
- Morning headaches
- Relatively higher levels of irritation
- Inability to concentrate for a longer duration
- Depression or mood swings

Causes of Sleep Apnea

The causes and concerns that lead to sleep apnea as a disorder are:

- Inability of the air to flow to the lungs from the mouth or nose due to physical obstruction or lack of effort
- Brief collapsing of the throat causing pauses in breath
- The extra soft tissues in the throat among obese or over weight persons make it difficult to keep the throat area open for circulation of air
- Large tonsils or adenoids may also cause disruption in air flow to the lungs causing pauses in breath
- Hereditary or genetic features of the body such that the shape of the head and neck result in a relatively small airway between the mouth and throat area

Remedies for Sleep Apnea

- Quit smoking and lose weight if a person is overweight
- Avoid alcohol and consumption of sleeping pills
- Change sleep positions to ensure regular breathing
- Tie a ball in socks and tie it across your waist such that you will change your position regularly
- Avoid sleeping on the back and try sleeping laterally
- Conduct polysomnography, a diagnostic test which measures and records a number of physiologic variables during sleep.

Diet for Sleep Apnea

There is no specific diet or particular foods that can help treat or prevent sleep apnea


People with sleep apnea run higher death risk

People with severe sleep apnea face a much higher risk of mortality than 'normal' people, which increases when the condition is untreated.

Results show that people who have severe sleep apnea, which involves breathing pauses during sleep, have three times the risk of dying due to any cause compared with people who do not have sleep apnea.

This risk is represented by an adjusted hazard ratio of 3.2 after controlling for age, sex and body mass index. When 126 participants who reported regular use of continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy were removed from the statistical analysis, the hazard ratio for all-cause mortality related to severe sleep apnea rose to 4.3.

Thyroid Imbalance causes Tiredness


Medical doctors of the Thyroid Society, based in Houstan say that if You are sleeping a lot, longer than usual , yet still have to drag yourself through a day, CAUTION: You may have a Thyroid Problem !!!

The Thyroid Gland , located in the neck just below the Adam's apple, produces hormones that tells your cells how fast you work.

For more information about Thyroid Glance at http://health2dy.blogspot.com/2008/07/interesting-faqs-about-thyroid.html

If the gland produces less than normal amount of thyroid hormone , the body suffers a metabolic slowdown; your heart rate may decline; you may ge constipated and experience muscle cramps; your skin can become dry, your hair thin and your voice husky, and you may gain weight for no obvious reason. This is called Hypothyroidism.

Having too much Thyroid hormone- Hyperthyroidism can also cause fatigue. It is because high hormone levels can weaken muscles Other symptoms are rapid heart beat, sweating and weight loss. Hyperthyroidism can strike at any age and unusually results from any age auto-immune disorder known as Grave's disease.

Doctors test for Thyroid trouble by feeling for an enlarged gland and by ordering special blood tests. Both Hyperthyroidism and Hypothyroidism require medication.

Tooth loss might raise cancer risk


Tooth loss and periodontal disease might increase the risk of developing various cancers. Periodontal disease is a chronic bacterial infection that affects the gums and bone supporting the teeth and eventually results in tooth loss.

Previous studies have suggested that tooth loss and periodontal disease might increase the risk of developing various cancers, but the role of smoking in the association has been unclear so far.

To assess whether periodontal disease or tooth loss is associated with cancer risk, American researchers collected data on more than 48,000 men, aged between 40 and 75 years. The most common cancers reported were colorectal, melanoma, lung and bladder and advanced prostate cancer.

After taking into account other risk factors, such as smoking and diet, the researchers found that men with a history of gum disease had a 14 percent higher risk of developing cancer compared with men did not have a history of the condition. The risk for specific cancers was typically higher. Compared to men with healthy gums, men with a history of gum disease had a 36 percent increased risk of lung cancer, a 49 percent hike in risk of kidney cancer, a 54 percent higher risk of pancreatic cancer, and a 30 percent increased risk of white blood cell cancers. Further, men who had fewer teeth at the beginning of the study had a 70 percent increased risk of developing lung cancer, compared with men who had 25 to 32 teeth.

It was also noted that the association between gum disease and lung cancer disappeared among men with gum disease who had never smoked. However, men with gum disease who did not smoke had a 35 percent increased risk for blood cancers and a 21 percent overall increased risk for cancer.

The findings indicate a small, but significant association between periodontal disease and increase in overall cancer risk, which persisted in never-smokers. However, more elaborate studies are expected to flow in to confirm the associations.

Fish prevents brain damage

Adults who regularly eat fish may have a lower risk of subtle brain damage that contributes to stroke and dementia.
Previous studies have shown that fish and fish oil can help prevent stroke but no study has yet looked into the impact of fish on silent brain infracts. To investigate the association between fish consumption and brain abnormalities, Finnish researchers studied the MRI scans of 3,660 adults aged 65 years and older. Food frequency questionnaires were used to assess the dietary intakes of the participants. The participants were scanned again after five years.

It was found that those who ate more fish were less likely to show certain silent brain infarcts, tiny areas of tissue that die because of an insufficient blood supply. Silent or subclinical brain infracts raise a person's longer-term risk of having a stroke or developing dementia. The participants who reported that they ate tuna and other baked or broiled fish at least three times per week were one-quarter less likely to have subclinical brain infarcts at the start of the study than those who rarely ate fish. Fish eaters also tended to be less likely to develop new infarcts over the next five years. No such benefits were linked to fried fish consumption.

The findings were attributable to two major omega-3 fatty acids found in fish-eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) that have clinically important health benefit of lowering the odds of developing silent brain infracts among adults.

Improve your CONCENTRATION...

We all have ability to concentrate on some of the time. But at other times our thoughts are scattered, and our minds race from one thing to another. HEALTH2DY tells you how to concentrate effectively.

Have you ever felt that you had been watching a movie for long and end up clueless what the story was about?

How many times have you ended up reading the same line in a book over and over again?
This can be frustrating,right?

It's time you got working on improving your concentration. Concentration is the ability to focus on one's thoughts in a particular direction without getting distracted. Here are some tips to improve your concentration skills.

GOOD SLEEP



A good Night's sleep will do wonders for your body and mind. Make sure you have an undisturbed sleep of eight hours. It is the best way of recharging your tired cells.

EAT BALANCED MEALS


Always have a balanced diet. An empty stomach will distract you more than a full stomach. Take good care of your body and mind and you ll be able to concentrate better.

REMOVE SURROUNDING DISTRACTIONS


Don.t let your surroundings disturb your attention. Clean up all the mess on your table. Keep things in order. Turn off your mobile phone and if you feel tempted to surf the net, shut down the computer.

BLOCK EXTERNAL DISTRACTIONS

Redirect your thoughts. When you find that you are staying from your thoughts, REDIRECT IT.Do not let yourself be distracted with petty worries and problems.

MEDITATION
Wake up early in the morning and try to meditate in a calm and peaceful surrounding. Meditation is sure to help you improve your concentration.

REWARD YOURSELF


Every time you increase your concentration time, reward yourself. This will motivate you to work better.

Improving your concentration will help you accomplish more in shorter period of time.