Archive for December 7th, 2012

Shower yourself the Ayurvedic way

Friday, December 7th, 2012

Ayurveda accords bathing to therapeutic activity that is designed to restore the balance of mind, body and spirit. Considered to be healing, it enhances physical energy levels, improves mental clarity, removes environmental toxins from the skin and helps relax the mind and balance the emotions.

The morning bath is therefore an important part of the Ayurvedic routine. A leisurely bath relaxes tense muscles, opens clogged pores, restores moisture to the tissues and adds a healing dimension to your day.


Not just in India, but several other world cultures have treated bathing as a healing activity. In ancient Greece, water was regarded as a gift of health from the Gods themselves. In Rome, ruins of hot and cold baths can still be seen at Pompeii. Napoleon’s wife Josephine Bonaparte’s bathtub is said to retain its musk perfume, more than 150 years after it was built.


Going to bed one hour earlier could help ward off high BP

Friday, December 7th, 2012

People who were showing the early signs of high blood pressure were able to restore readings to healthy levels in just six weeks if they had an extra hour in bed every night, a new study found.

High blood pressure, or hypertension, is thought to be responsible for half of all heart attacks and strokes, and lack of sleep and a stressful lifestyle have long been associated with an increased risk of the condition.

But the new study, carried out at Harvard Medical School in Boston, USA, is one of the first to prove that blood pressure can be brought under control by simply increasing sleep duration, the Daily Mail reported.

Researchers recruited 22 middle aged men and women who either had prehypertension, where their readings were not excessively high but had been increasing and were on target to reach dangerous levels.


Smoking while drinking may worsen hangover

Friday, December 7th, 2012

People who like to smoke when they drink may be at greater risk of having a hangover the next morning, according to a study.

Researchers found that college students were more likely to report hangover symptoms after a heavy drinking episode if they smoked more heavily on the day they drank. And it wasn”t simply because they smoked more when they drank more.

“At the same number of drinks, people who smoke more that day are more likely to have a hangover and have more intense hangovers,” said researcher Damaris J. Rohsenow, Ph.D., of the Center for Alcohol and Addiction Studies at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island.

Her team controlled for some other factors as well, such as whether students reported drug use in the past year. And smoking, itself, was linked to an increased risk of hangover compared with not smoking at all.


Blocking memories could help treat PTSD or drug addiction

Friday, December 7th, 2012

Researchers from Western University have revealed a common mechanism in a region of the brain called the pre-limbic cortex. This can control the recall of memories linked to both aversive, traumatic experiences associated with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and rewarding memories linked to drug addiction.

More importantly, the researchers have discovered a way to actively suppress the spontaneous recall of both types of memories, without permanently altering memories.

The study could lead to better treatments for PTSD and drug addiction.

The research was performed by Nicole Lauzon, a PhD candidate in the laboratory of Steven Laviolette at Western’s Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry.

“These findings are very important in disorders like PTSD or drug addiction. One of the common problems associated with these disorders is the obtrusive recall of memories that are associated with the fearful, emotional experiences in PTSD patients. And people suffering with addiction are often exposed to environmental cues that remind them of the rewarding effects of the drug. This can lead to drug relapse, one of the major problems with persistent addictions to drugs such as opiates,” explained Laviolette, an associate professor in the Departments of Anatomy and Cell Biology, and Psychiatry.


New discovery can help understand causes of skin cancer, eczema

Friday, December 7th, 2012

Researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine have identified a molecule that regulates the differentiation of all epidermal cells.

The surface of your skin, called the epidermis, is a complex mixture of many different cell types – each with a very specific job. The production, or differentiation, of such a sophisticated tissue requires an immense amount of coordination at the cellular level, and glitches in the process can have disastrous consequences.

Now, the Stanford researchers have identified a master regulator of this differentiation process.

“Disorders of epidermal differentiation, from skin cancer to eczema, will affect roughly one-half of Americans at some point in their lifetimes. Understanding how this differentiation occurs has enormous implications, not just for the treatment of disease, but also for studies of tissue regeneration and even stem cell science,” said Paul Khavari, who is the Carl J. Herzog Professor and chair of the Department of Dermatology.


No exercise? Vibrate to keep prediabetes away

Friday, December 7th, 2012

Whole-body vibration may keep prediabetes in adolescents at bay, significantly reducing inflammation, average blood glucose levels and symptoms such as frequent urination, researchers report.

Prediabetes is the state in which some but not all of the diagnostic criteria for diabetes are met. It is often described as the “gray area” between normal blood sugar and diabetic levels.

In mice that mimic over-eating adolescents headed toward diabetes, 20 minutes of daily vibration for eight weeks restored a healthy balance of key pro- and anti-inflammatory mediators, said Jack C. Yu, chief of plastic and reconstructive surgery at the Medical College of Georgia.

It was better than prescription drugs at reducing levels of hemoglobin A1c, the most accurate indicator of average blood glucose levels, according to a Georgia statement.

In normal mice, just four days of vibration also dramatically improved the ability to manage a huge glucose surge similar to that following a high-calorie, high-fat meal. “It’s a very good sign,” said Yu.


Aspirin cuts death risks from liver cancer

Friday, December 7th, 2012

Aspirin may help reduce risks of developing liver cancer or dying from liver disease, regardless of how often it’s taken, a new study has revealed.

The new study looked at more than 300,000 men and women between 50 and 71 years old who were enrolled in an AARP diet and health study. Participants on average were tracked for 10 to 12 years, and reported their use of both aspirin and non-aspirin nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) throughout the study period.

The researchers found people taking aspirin were 41 percent less likely to develop liver cancer, also called hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), and were 45 percent less likely to die from chronic liver disease (CLD).

People who took non-aspirin NSAIDs were 26 percent less likely to die from liver disease, but had no significant protection against liver cancer.


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