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Psychiatric disorders effective remedy: Yoga

Yoga – the 5,000-year-old Indian meditative practice – may have positive effects on major psychiatric disorders, including depression, schizophrenia and sleep problems, according to a review of over 100 studies.A systematic review of the exercise on major clinical psychiatric disorders by Indian origin researchers found yoga has positive effects on mild depression and sleep complaints, even in the absence of drug treatments, and improves symptoms associated with schizophrenia and ADHD. The review focusing on 16 high-quality controlled studies looked at the effects of yoga on depression, schizophrenia, ADHD, sleep complaints, eating disorders and cognition problems.However, yoga has become such a cultural phenomenon that it has become difficult for physicians and patients to differentiate legitimate claims from hype.

Yoga_2Researcher P Murali Doraiswamy, professor of psychiatry and medicine at Duke University Medical Center, US, explained that the emerging scientific evidence in support of yoga on psychiatric disorders is “highly promising” and showed that it may not only help to improve symptoms, but also play ancillary role in the prevention of stress-related mental illnesses.The review found evidence from biomarker studies showing that yoga influences key elements of the human body thought to play a role in mental health in similar ways to that of antidepressants and psychotherapy.One study found that the exercise affects inflammation, neurotransmitters, oxidative stress, lipids, growth factors and second messengers.While there has been an increase in the number of medications available for mental health disorders, many of which can be life saving for patients.Poor compliance and relapse as well as treatment resistance are growing problems, and medications are expensive and can leave patients with significant side effects.

 

 

 

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Transparency in labeling food packages: Important

food labelingDifferent labels on food that clearly display the total number of calories and nutrients in the entire package, rather than just part of it, might help people make healthier food choices, according to a study from the US Food and Drug Administration.FDA researchers, whose results appeared in Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, found that people were best at assessing things like chips and frozen meals – and comparing the healthfulness of multiple products – when the nutrition facts were presented for the entire container’s worth of food, or for both one serving and the entire container.This does away with the need to multiply the nutrition facts listed by the number of servings per package if people want to eat it all.Amy Lando and Serena Lo from the FDA surveyed close to 9,500 US adults, showing them one of the 10 different types of food labels that presented calories and nutrients per serving, or per container, in a variety of ways.Participants were asked how healthy they thought different products were, including how much fat, for example, was in one serving. They then compared types of chips or frozen meals to determine which was healthier.Currently, manufacturers are given a lot of leeway when it comes to deciding how much a serving size is, according to study.To make products appear healthier, some companies have started increasing the number of servings listed per container, thus lowering the number of calories per serving. All of that adds to consumers’ confusion.Researchers warned that it’s still not known whether clearer nutrition facts would change what people choose to buy or eat, and it’s also unclear if and when the FDA might issue changes to labeling requirements.But having a system that lists the nutrients for one serving and an entire package – as some products do already – would help simplify things,It’s so important to make the information as transparent as you can make it for consumers.

 

 

 
 

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Replace Energy Drinks with Fruit Juices, Milk

energy drinksScientists say there is an “overwhelming lack of evidence” that ingredients in energy drinks, other than caffeine, enhance physical or cognitive performance. In a new study published in the Nutrition Reviews journal, researchers suggested the main benefit of energy drinks is probably down to a generous dose of caffeine. Researchers found that while energy drinks often contain ingredients such as taurine, guarana and ginseng, there is an “overwhelming lack of evidence to substantiate claims that these ingredients boost performance”. Energy drinks often contain taurine, guarana, ginseng, glucuronolactone, B-vitamins, and other compounds. The researchers went through dozens of articles that examined the effects of energy ingredients alone and/or in combination with caffeine. With the exception of some weak evidence for glucose and guarana extract, there was little evidence substantiating claims that components of energy drinks, other than caffeine, contribute to the enhancement of physical or cognitive performance.Earlier this year, a study found that energy drinks have up to 14 times more caffeine than other soft drinks. Furthermore, doctors warned that children given energy drinks could pile on the pounds because they are not active enough to burn off the extra calories. They say energy drinks – which contain between 10 and 270 calories a serving – should never be given to children. Instead they should be offered water to quench their thirst, and drink the recommended daily amount of fruit juice and low-fat milk with meals.

 
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Posted by on December 17, 2012 in current affairs, Health, India

 

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White nose Bats may fight AIDS

Studying the immunology of bats with white-nose fungus – who sometimes suffer in the same way that humans with AIDS do – could help in the development of treatments for the deadly disease, scientists say.Carol Meteyer, a scientist for the US Geological Survey, peered through a microscope at hundreds of little bats and noticed that they had managed to survive the white-nose fungus that had killed millions of other bats hibernating in caves.However, they had succumbed to something else that had left their tiny corpses in tatters, their wings scorched and pocked with holes.

LMeteyer realised that the bats were killed by their own hyper-aggressive immune systems in a struggle to fight off the fungus that causes white-nose syndrome. Meteyer had stumbled upon a phenomenon never before seen in mammals in the wild – a similar finding had been observed only once before – in people with AIDS. Now scientists hope studying the immunology of bats might help in the development of treatments for AIDS.When bats hibernate in winter, their heart rates slow and their immune systems all but shut down, making them vulnerable to the cave-dwelling fungus Geomyces destructans that causes white-nose and eats away skin, connective tissue and muscle. It’s not natural. It’s cellular suicide. It comes out in a huge wave, going out to those areas of infection and kills everything. For AIDS patients, after antiretroviral treatment improves patients’ health, their restored immune systems can launch an exaggerated attack against any previously acquired infection the treatment didn’t catch, causing extensive damage. Scientists now hope to study the immunology of bats to try to uncover findings that can assist the development of treatments for AIDS. Meteyer envisions a day when “we can look closely at the mechanism driving this intense response in bats and potentially get insight into this phenomenon in humans.

 

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Cow’s milk: New protection against HIV: Study

Cows’ milk can be potentially developed into affordable creams that can help protect humans against HIV, a study has claimed. Lead scientist from University of Melbourne found that when pregnant cows were vaccinated with an HIV protein, the first milk produced by the cow after giving birth, called colostrum, produced high antibodies to protect its newborn against disease.Researchers were now planning to test the effectiveness and safety of the milk before turning it into a cream which will hopefully allow women to protect themselves against contracting the virus during sex, without relying on men. However, the final result could be a decade off. The researchers were able to inhibit the virus from infecting cells when combing the virus cells with milk. The antibodies bind to the surface of the virus and blocks the protein which needs to be freed to get in contact with human cells – like a key and lock system. If the key’s not accessible or you change the key, you can’t open the door, It’s a very cheap and easy way to produce a lot of antibodies. A lot of women, especially in Africa or South America they don’t have the power to say you need to use a condom before we have sex. “This milk looks like it can be a cheap, easy new prevention tool, because if you use drugs it’s really expensive.

 

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Study: Organic food nutritious than Conventional.

Organic produce and meat typically isn’t any better for you than conventional food when it comes to vitamin and nutrient content, although it does generally reduce exposure to pesticides and antibiotic-resistant bacteria, according to a U.S. study. Patients families ask about, ‘Well, are there health reasons to choose organic food in terms of nutritional content or human health outcomes.More than 200 studies that compared either the health of people who ate organic or conventional foods or, more commonly, nutrient and contaminant levels in the foods themselves. The foods included organic and non-organic fruits, vegetables, grains, meat, poultry eggs and milk. According to U.S. Department of Agriculture standards, organic farms have to avoid the use of synthetic pesticides and fertilizers, hormones and antibiotics. Organic livestock must also have access to pastures during grazing season. Many of the studies used, though, didn’t specify their standards for what constituted “organic” food, which can cost as much as twice what conventional food costs, the researchers wrote in the Annals of Internal Medicine. It was found that there was no difference in the amount of vitamins in plant or animal products produced organically and conventionally – and the only nutrient difference was slightly more phosphorous in the organic products. Organic milk and chicken may also contain more omega-3 fatty acids, but that was based on only a few studies. More than one third of conventional produce had detectable pesticide residues, compared with 7 percent of organic produce samples. Organic pork and chicken were 33 percent less likely to carry bacteria resistant to three or more antibiotics than conventionally produced meat. It was uncommon for either organic or conventional foods to exceed the allowable limits for pesticides, so it was not clear whether a difference in residues would have an effect on health.

“But Right now it’s all based on anecdotal evidence,” said Chensheng Lu, who studies environmental health and exposure at the Harvard School of Public Health. http://bit.ly/PShmuj

 
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Posted by on September 5, 2012 in current affairs, India

 

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Sit LESS…. Live MORE!!!!!

Searching for the elixir of life? Stand up! Sitting less than three hours a day may increase your life expectancy by two years, a new study has claimed. According to the researchers, being sedentary is an independent risk factor and is almost as harmful to health as smoking, the ‘ABC News’ reported. This translates into the fact that no matter how much time a person spends in the gym or how many vegetables one consumes, being on your butt for long periods of time every day can shave years off your life, the researchers said.

Sitting for long period is almost as harmful to health as smoking, says study author Peter T Katzmarzyk from the Pennington Bio-medical Research Center in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. The researchers aren’t exactly sure of how being on feet increases your life span, but earlier research has shown that a person’s large leg muscles are inactive while seated. Standing activates these muscles, which helps the body manage blood sugar and metabolize cholesterol, Katzmarzyk said. Ultimately, this reduces the risk for heart disease. A few easy ways to get on the feet after a long week at work includes getting off the couch. Katzmarzyk and his team found that limiting time on the couch in front of the television to less than two hours may extend a person’s life by 1.4 years. Similarly, placing remote near the TV instead of keeping it next to you so that you’ll have to get up to get up to change channels during commercials is another means to keep moving. Keep the cellphone out of sight – stash it on the opposite side of the room when you get home from work, suggests Manning Sumner, owner of LegacyFit in Miami, Florida, as this will force you to get up in order to answer an incoming text or phone call.

 
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Posted by on September 4, 2012 in current affairs, India

 

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