Contact lens solutions may contain more bacteria than you think

April 17th, 2014

img_01_240x240_apr17Scientists have found a bacterial strain that is associated with more severe infections and survives longer in contact lens disinfectant solution.

The study found that this different strain of the keratitis-causing bacterium Pseudomonas aeruginosa showed enhanced resistance to the disinfectant.

According to the researchers from University of Liverpool and Royal Liverpool University NHS Trust, the majority of clinical strains were killed within 10 minutes of being immersed in the contact lens solution, comparable with the standard reference strain.

However, the researchers found that there was one clinical isolate, P. aeruginosa strain 39016, which is associated with a more severe case of keratitis with a prolonged healing time, was able to survive for over four hours, much longer than the reference strain.

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Want bigger, stronger muscles? Eat green tomatoes!

April 17th, 2014

img_02_240x240_apr17Using a screening method that previously identified a compound in apple peel as a muscle-boosting agent, a team of University of Iowa scientists has now discovered that tomatidine, a compound from green tomatoes, is even more potent for building muscle and protecting against muscle atrophy.

Muscle atrophy, or wasting, is caused by aging and a variety of illnesses and injuries, including cancer, heart failure, and orthopedic injuries, to name a few. It makes people weak and fatigued, impairs physical activity and quality of life, and predisposes people to falls and fractures. The condition affects more than 50 million Americans annually, including 30 million people over age 60, and often forces people into nursing homes or rehabilitation facilities.

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Rice consumption linked to healthier diet

April 17th, 2014

food1_240x240Researchers have shown that consumers can improve their diets simply by enjoying white or brown rice as part of their daily meals.

In a study, lead author Theresa Nicklas, DrPH, of Baylor College of Medicine, analyzed the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey datasets from 2005-2010 and evaluated the association of rice consumption with overall diet quality and key nutrient intakes in a nationally representative sample of 14,386 U.S. adults.1

Nicklas said their results show that adults who eat rice had diets more consistent with what is recommended in the U.S. Dietary Guidelines, and they showed higher amounts of potassium, magnesium, iron, folate and fiber while eating less saturated fat and added sugars. She said that eating rice is also associated with eating more servings of fruit, vegetables, meat and beans.

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Sughavazhvu: Rural healthcare in India

April 16th, 2014

food_240A healthcare system for rural India, dubbed Sughavazhvu, which stands for ‘happy life’ in Tamil, is gaining popularity thanks to it’s use of innovative techniques for providing accessible and appropriate primary healthcare.

The techniques involve epidemiological solutions, alternative human resource models, advanced technological platforms and comprehensive health financing.

Zeena Johar , a key Penn Nursing partner and co-founder of SughaVazhvu Healthcare, said that with 75 percent of Indian medical practitioners positioned at urban locations and 72 percent of the Indian population residing in rural locations, there is an overarching need for human resource innovation for delivering health.

According to IKP Centre for Technologies in Public Health, India is home to 1.25 billion people and rural care facilities – often the first point of contact for primary care and gatekeepers to secondary care providers – face a near chronic shortage of professional health workers.

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Breast and prostratic cancers are common in India: Dr. Vasishta

April 15th, 2014

Dr_01_240x240-1

Dr. VG Vasishta is the founder & CEO of SBF Healthcare & Research Centre Pvt Ltd. Wg Cdr (Dr) VG Vasishta (Retd) joined the Army Medical Corps as a specialist medical officer with a passion to serve the country. However, the best in him was reserved for something better. He was instrumental in designing and implementing clinical studies to evaluate the use of Sequentially Programmed Magnetic Fields (SPMFTM) in treatment of arthritis and Cancer.

In the last seven years Dr. Vasishta has treated over 5000 cases (both cancer and arthritis patients) using this therapy. SBF Healthcare has centers in Bangalore and Mumbai and are the only centers that offer the modality of treatment pioneered by him.

Dr. VG Vasishta answered Sify readers’ queries related to the above in an exclusive chat. Read the transcript below.

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Drinking Earl Grey tea helps prevent heart disease

April 11th, 2014

pic_02_240x240_apr11A new study has revealed that drinking Earl Grey tea could help tackle heart disease .

According to the researchers, the key ingredient in Earl Grey tea, bergamot extract, was found to lower cholesterol and guard against a disease that causes more than a quarter of all deaths in the UK.

The study revealed that the fragrant Mediterranean fruit, which gives Earl Grey its unique flavour, contains enzymes known as HMGF (hydroxy methyl glutaryl flavonones), which can attack proteins in the body known to contribute to cardiovascular disease.

The scientists added that a dietary supplement of HMGF could be just as effective as statins in combating low-density proteins (LDL) or “bad” cholesterol.

The study was published in the Journal of Functional Foods.

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Why sleep is essential for your memory

April 11th, 2014

pic_01_240x240_apr11Researchers have claimed that infants who nap are better able to apply lessons learned to new skills, while preschoolers are better able to retain learned knowledge after napping.

Rebecca Gomez of the University of Arizona said that sleep plays a crucial role in learning from early in development.

A growing body of research shows how memories become reactivated during sleep, and new work is shedding light on exactly when and how memories get stored and reactivated.

In Gomez’s new work, she and he team are examining how young children can recognize instances similar, but not identical, to something they have learned and apply it to a new situation – so-called generalization. Examples in language include the ability to recognize the letter “A” in different types of font, understanding a word regardless of who is speaking it, or recognizing a grammatical pattern in a sentence never before heard.

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Turmeric: The new superfood!

April 11th, 2014

pic_03_240x240_apr11Researchers have said that turmeric could protect against a host of brain diseases, including Alzheimer’s disease.

Dr Michael Murray, co-author of the Textbook of Natural Medicine and one of the world’s leading authorities on natural medicine, said that various spices in Indian curries are used not only for their flavour, also but for their medicinal properties, News.com.au reported.

He said that since inflammation is a major factor in the development of most chronic degenerative diseases including cardiovascular disease, allergies, type 2 diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease, curcumin’s anti-inflammatory power holds great promise in all of these conditions and many more.

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Metabolic Syndrome: A growing epidemic in a corporate setting

April 11th, 2014

pic_02_240x240Indeed, today poor fitness, metabolic crisis and stress have reduced proficiency and well being in all levels of corporate professionals.

Statistics indicate that 90% of the employees show a distorted blood profile and metabolic syndrome in corporate settings. Health education is poor and awareness negligible, travelling and eating at restaurants is imperative in some settings. A sedentary lifestyle, stress and absence of well-being often come free with attractive corporate packages.

In such a scenario, it becomes imperative that corporate introduce integrated Lifestyle medicine and holistic interventions with components of nutrition therapy, exercise science, cognitive behaviour strategies and other alternative approaches for their employees. Health Promotion as well as holistic programs fixing the widely prevalent metabolic syndrome, as well as providing thorough skills to eat right on tours, work on portion size, perform simple exercises, especially breathing exercise regimens and muscle stimulation routines, while travelling need to be accessible by employees of all cadre.

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Eating lentils can help reduce bad cholesterol

April 10th, 2014

pic_01_240x240Eating beans, peas, chickpeas or lentils daily can reduce bad cholesterol

A new study has revealed that eating one serving a day of beans, peas, chickpeas or lentils can significantly reduce “bad cholesterol”.

The study, led by Dr. John Sievenpiper of St. Michael’s Hospital’s Clinical Nutrition and Risk Factor Modification Centre, has found that by eating one serving a day of pulses, people could lower their LDL (“bad”) cholesterol by five per cent.

According to Sievenpiper, the reduction of bad cholesterol would lead to a five to six per cent reduction in the risk of cardiovascular disease.

The study also revealed that pulses have a low glycemic index (meaning that they are foods that break down slowly) and tend to reduce or displace animal protein as well as “bad” fats such as trans fat in a dish or meal.

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