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Monday, September 24, 2007

Grapefruit Juice -- The Facts About It Interactions with Certain Medications

Researchers have identified that chemical as the one that allows grapefruit juice to interact with certain medications. The furanocoumarins in the grapefruit juice are metabolized by the enzyme cytochrome P450 3A4. That enzyme exists in the cells of the intestine. Grapefruit juice can decrease its intestinal activity. The enzymes in the liver must then focus on breaking down the furanocoumarins in the grapefruit juice.


The liver also contains cytochrome P450. Because the liver contains that enzyme, it can breakdown many of the medications that enter the body. The liver metabolizes those medications, creating their disease-fighting or condition-preventing components.

Scientists have known for a while about the ability of grapefruit juice to interact with certain drugs. A clinical trial first brought such interactions to light. During a clinical trial for calcium blockers, the research team wanted to disguise the alcohol aftertaste left by the drug. They did not want trial participants to know whether or not they had received the drug.

Grapefruit and drug interactions
The following drugs are known to have potentially serious interactions with grapefruit products, tangelos and
Seville oranges.

Drug name

Type of drug

Carbamazepine (Carbatrol, Tegretol)

An anti-seizure medication

Buspirone (BuSpar), clomipramine (Anafranil) and sertraline (Zoloft)

Antidepressants

Diazepam (Valium), triazolam (Halcion)

Tranquilizers

Felodipine (Plendil), nifedipine (Adalat, Procardia), nimodipine (Nimotop), nisoldipine (Sular) and possibly verapamil (Isoptin, Verelan)

Calcium channel blockers used to treat high blood pressure

Saquinavir (Invirase) and indinavir (Crixivan)

HIV medications

Simvastatin (Zocor), lovastatin (Mevacor, Altoprev) and atorvastatin (Lipitor), simvastatin-ezetimibe (Vytorin)

HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors used to treat high cholesterol

Cyclosporine (Neoral, Sandimmune), tacrolimus (Prograf) and sirolimus (Rapamune)

Immunosuppressant drugs

Amiodarone (Cordarone)

A drug used to treat and prevent abnormal heart rhythms (arrhythmias)

Methadone

Pain relief medication

Sildenafil (Viagra)

Erectile dysfunction medication

Interaction with the calcium blockers

The clinical researchers decided to use grapefruit juice as the "cover-up substance." They then found that the grapefruit juice could interact with the calcium blockers. Scientists have since found dozens of other medications that can interact with grapefruit juice.

Interaction with certain drugs used to lower the blood level of cholesterol

As the liver works to breakdown the grapefruit juice, the drug builds-up in the body. That leads to a breakdown of the body muscles. The breakdown products flood the urinary system, and that can cause a catastrophic kidney failure.

Interaction with certain antibiotics

A patient on clanthromycin, erythromycin or troleandomycin should be counseled against drinking grapefruit juice. The combination of antibiotic and grapefruit juice can cause diarrhea. The interaction of the juice with the drug can slow the drug's ability to fight the infectious organism.

Usually the pharmacist puts a warning label on medications that interact with grapefruit juice. Unfortunately, a number of patients fail to heed or even read such labels. In a hospital setting, a person on erythromycin might be told not to order grapefruit juice. Still, an unknowing hospital volunteer might offer that patient a cup of juice-grapefruit juice.

Interaction with the antiepileptic drug carbamazeprine

Such a drug might be used as an alternative to a more common antiepileptic, such as phenytoin. That substitution might occur if a woman on phenytoin has chosen to become pregnant. Her doctor might warn her not to drink grapefruit juice, since juice would seem like a "good" drink for a pregnant woman.

Interaction with certain the treat high blood pressure drugs

That interaction can produce irregular heart rhythms. Ironically, some blood pressure medications lower the level of potassium in the body. That can be corrected by eating a different fruit-a banana.

Interaction with the drugs sisdenafil and tadalafil

Those names probably mean little to the average reader. The reader would certainly recognize the names on the medications that contain those two chemicals-Viagra and Cialis.

Men have yet another reason to keep in mind the ability of grapefruit juice to interact with certain drugs. Grapefruit juice interacts with finasteride, a drug used to treat benign prostatic hyperplasia.

Sugestion to Avoid Serious Interactions

If you take any of these drugs, you should completely avoid grapefruit products, tangelos and Seville oranges, unless otherwise directed by your doctor. Waiting to take these medications, ”even up to 24 hours”, after you drink grapefruit juice will not prevent an interaction.

Talk to your doctor or pharmacist if you have concerns about the effect of grapefruit products on any of the medications you take.

From many source

Grapefruit Juice -- Drug Interactions

Fenomenon Diet of the 80s

In 80s, we can say that if you wanted guaranteed weight loss, the grapefruit diet was the plan to follow. Providing no more than 800 calories a day, the grapefruit diet menu involved eating lots of 'fat-burning' grapefruit to kick-start your metabolism. It same as much black coffee as you liked, some daily protein (mainly boiled eggs) and the odd piece of dry toast.

At the time, nutrition experts dismissed it as another fad diet. They explaining that the 'fat-burning' properties of grapefruit were, in fact, a myth and any weight loss that occurred was due to the extremely low and potentially dangerous calorie intake.

The Warning

But two decades on, it seems these nutritionists may need to rethink their views on the popularity of grapefruit as a 'diet food' if the results of a study published earlier this year to be believed. The latest research, the simple act of adding grapefruit and grapefruit juice to your diet, really can aid weight loss. But unlike the seriously restricted diet of the 80s, you get these results without changing what else you eat.

While this research might tempt you to fill up on grapefruit to boost your weight loss campaign, if you’re taking any medications you might want to speak to your GP first or check the literature that comes with your medication.

This is because a wealth of research shows that grapefruit juice can interact with a number of medications, potentially causing serious side effects. It works by inhibiting an enzyme in the intestines that’s responsible for the natural breakdown and absorption of many medications. When the action of this enzyme is blocked, blood levels of these medications increase and this can lead to potentially toxic side effects.

Research suggests that flavonoids and/or furanocoumarin compounds are the substances in grapefruit juice that block the enzyme in the intestines. Many drugs appear to be affected by grapefruit juice so if you are taking any medication, it’s essential to check whether you can safely consume grapefruit juice. In the meantime, it’s likely that grapefruit segments may also interact with certain medications so you’d be wise to consult your GP before eating lots of grapefruit. Other citrus fruits don’t seem to have any effect.

The Research

Grapefruit juice provides many nutrients, such as vitamin C and lycopene. But chemicals in grapefruit interfere with the enzymes that break down (metabolize) certain drugs in your digestive system. This can result in excessively high levels of these drugs in your blood and an increased risk of serious side effects.

The exact chemicals in grapefruit juice that cause this interaction aren't known. But these chemicals are present in the pulp and peel of grapefruit as well as in the juice. For this reason, any grapefruit products can interact with certain medications. Include dietary supplements that contain grapefruit bioflavonoids. If you avoid grapefruit, you may also want to avoid tangelos, a hybrid grapefruit, and Seville oranges, a type of bitter orange often used to make marmalade and compotes. They may have a similar effect.

The study included 100 obese people who were divided into three groups. The first group ate half a grapefruit before each meal three times a day. The second group drank grapefruit juice before each meal. The third group received no grapefruit. No other changes were made to their diets.

After 12 weeks, those participants who ate grapefruit with each meal lost, on average 3.6lb. Only a third of a pound a week, but pretty good considering they didn't make any other changes to their diet. Meanwhile, those who drank grapefruit juice three times a day lost 3.3lb in the 12 weeks. By comparison, the grapefruit-free participants lost, on average, only 0.5lb.

But weight loss wasn't the only health benefit seen when grapefruit or the juice was consumed. The research also found the grapefruit-consuming participants had lower levels of insulin, a hormone that regulates blood sugar levels and fat metabolism, which in turn might help to reduce the risk of diabetes or stroke.

The Theory

The researchers believe grapefruit contains unique plant compounds that reduce insulin levels, which in turn promotes weight loss.

The link between raised insulin levels and excess weight is complicated and multifaceted. To start with, high levels of insulin may indicate that sugar isn't efficiently utilised for energy with the result that it's more likely to be stored as fat. Secondly, high levels of insulin can make people feel hungry so that they eat more. And finally, high levels of insulin prevent the body from breaking down fat. Add these together, and it's easy to see why lower levels of insulin may promote weight loss. What exactly it is in grapefruit that has this insulin-lowering effect remains unclear.

Care needs to be taken when interpreting the results. It's the first study of it's kind and even the researchers believe more work needs to be carried out before recommendations are made regarding grapefruit intake. Fortunately, a larger study is already planned for later this year.

When it comes to reducing the risk of diabetes, experts also believe we should err on the side of caution before recommending vast amounts of grapefruit.

Nutrition experts also agree that more research is needed before rushing out to stock up on grapefruit. Most tend to agree with the nutritionalists of the 80s and say it's unlikely that grapefruit has any magical properties in terms of aiding weight loss in the absence of other diet or lifestyle changes. It's perhaps more likely that participant’s lost weight simply because they were taking part in a study and, as a result, were more focussed on their food intake and exercise habits.

From many source

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Night Eating Syndrome (NES) -- Sign Diagnose, Symptoms, Triggers, Prevention and Treatment

Do You Have Night-eating Syndrome?
  • You eat 50 percent or more of your daily food intake after dinner
  • You have no appetite for breakfast
  • You have trouble falling and/or staying asleep
  • When you wake up during the night you often eat
  • The foods you eat at night are mostly carbohydrates
When you’re spending more time each night in the kitchen than in the bedroom, you may have a newly identified eating disorder. Called night-eating syndrome (NES), the condition is characterised by a lack of appetite for breakfast; the consumption of more than 50 percent of daily calories after the evening meal, and waking up, at least, once a night to consume high-carbohydrate snacks. To receive a diagnosis of NES, symptoms must have continued for a minimum of three months.

If you have any combination of these signs, consult your doctor.

What is Night Eating Syndrome?

A new eating disorder spells a nightmare for those who suffer from it. Night eating syndrome is an eating disorder that has only been recognized as such since 1999, and affects between 1 and 2% of the population. NES is also characterized as a sleeping disorder. NES is often accompanied by or confused with sleep-related eating disorder (SRED), although the two are distinct.

Night Eating Syndrome is a disorder where the affected individual wakes multiple times during the night and is unable to fall back asleep unless they eat something. Foods eaten during the binge are often high caloric in content and unhealthy. The night eating behavior seems totally beyond the effected individual's control. For these individuals, 35% or more of their calories are eaten after dinnertime. Following the night binge, the person is often not hungry in the morning. Individuals suffering from Night Eating

This is an ongoing, persistent behavior, unlike the occasional late snack or skipped meal that most people have from time to time. In fact, people with this disorder are often unaware of their nocturnal meals, although some feel they won't be able to sleep without eating first. ( Note: a person falls asleep more easily on a full stomach. ) Among those who are aware of their night eating, there is often an emotional component; the diet of the night eater is comfort food.

What are the symptoms or behavior of NES?

People who suffer from night eating syndrome generally:
  • Skip breakfast, and go several hours after waking before their first meal.
  • Consume at least half their calories after dinner. (Many sources would list this as after 9 or 10 pm; dessert is generally not included, if one is eaten. ). Late night binges almost always consist of carbohydrates. However, this eating is typically spread over several hours, which is not consistent with a typical eating binge as seen in other eating disorders.
  • Suffer from depression or anxiety, often in connection with their eating habits. These night eating episodes typically bring guilt rather than hedonic enjoyment.
  • Has trouble sleeping in general; see insomnia. Is more likely than the general public to sleepwalk.

To be considered a bona fide disorder, this pattern should continue for two months or more. Syndrome are often caught in the vicious cycle of binge eating during the night and eating less during the day.

Are there Specific Triggers for NES ?

Triggers for Night Eating Syndrome include
  • depression
  • anxiety
  • interpersonal stressors
  • boredom
  • prolonged dieting
  • body image dissatisfaction

Night eating may temporarily relieve the stress of these unwanted feelings, but for the night eater these episodes are unfortunately followed by feelings of guilt, shame, disgust, and further depression. For the person suffering from NES, the eating episodes usually occur in secret and any evidence is often hidden from others. Similar to Anorexics, Bulimics, and Compulsive Overeaters, individuals suffering from NES are often struggling and unhappy with their weight. It is estimated that up to one percent of the population may be suffering from NES. Like Anorexia Nervosa Bulimia Nervosa, and Compulsive Overeating, NES is a disease and cannot be cured with willpower alone.

How is NES different from Binge Eating and Bulimia?

It is different from binge eating and bulimia. Individuals with night eating disorder consume relatively small snacks (with high calorie content) at night but far more frequently. Individuals with binge eating disorder and/or bulimia have very large and infrequent binges.

Can NES be Treated?

Yes. If you suspect that a family member has NES. Suggest that your family member see an eating disorder expert. Be prepared for denial, resistance, and even anger. A doctor and/or a counselor can help them battle their eating disorder. Treatment involves counseling, and paying attention to medical and nutritional needs.

The treatment should be tailored to the individual and will vary according to both the severity of the disorder and the patient's particular problems, needs, and strengths.

NES tends to lead to weight gain; as many as 28% of those seeking gastric-bypass surgery were found to suffer from NES in one study. In fact, while sufferers are not always overweight, one in four people who are overweight by 100 lbs or more are thought to suffer from night eating syndrome. The disorder is accompanied by what sufferers describe as an uncontrolable desire to eat, akin to addiction, and is often treated chemically.

Therapy to increase the natural nocturnal rise in melatonin, reduce the body's adrenal stress response and raise leptin levels or improve leptin sensitivity are options that may help these patients overcome the disorder. Another key may involve the availability of tryptophan, an important amino acid, in the body. More than 70% of the nighttime eating to combat anxiety involved binging on carbohydrates. These foods are believed to increase the amount of tryptophan available for conversion to serotonin, the calming neurotransmitter in the brain that promotes an overall sense of well-being and, in turn, converts to melatonin.

The antidepressant drug Zoloft has shown some ability to help NES sufferers.

NOTE: Addressing hormonal and biochemical imbalances in patients with chronic eating and mood disorders can be crucial for uncovering fundamental causes and contributing factors that underlie cyclical, habitual patterns of insomnia, overeating, and depression.

From Many Source

The Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) -- History, Applications and Current Recommendations

The Dietary Reference Intake is a system of nutrition recommendations from the Institute of Medicine of the USA National Academy (IOM). The DRI system is used by both the United States and Canada. It is intended for the general public and health professionals.

History

The Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) was developed during World War II by Lydia J. Roberts, Hazel K. Stiebeling and Helen S. Mitchell, all part of a committee established by the U.S. National Academy of Sciences in order to investigate issues of nutrition that might "affect national defense" (Nestle, 35). The committee was renamed the Food and Nutrition Board in 1941, after which they began to deliberate on a set of recommendations of a standard daily allowance for each type of nutrient. The standards would be used for nutrition recommendations for the armed forces, for civilians, and for overseas population who might need food relief. Roberts, Stiebeling, and Mitchell surveyed all available data, created a tentative set of allowances for "energy and eight nutrients", and submitted them to experts for review (Nestle, 35). The final set of guidelines, called RDAs for Recommended Dietary Allowances, were accepted in 1941. The allowances were meant to provide superior nutrition for civilians and military personnel, so they included a "margin of safety." Because of food rationing during the war, the food guides created by government agencies to direct citizens' nutritional intake also took food availability into account.

The Food and Nutrition Board subsequently revised the RDAs every five to ten years. In the early 1950s, USDA nutritionists made a new set of guidelines that also included the number of servings of each food group in order to make it easier for people to receive their RDAs of each nutrient.

Applications

Applications include:

  • Food labels in the United States and Canada
  • Composition of diets for schools, prisons, hospitals or nursing homes
  • Industries developing new food stuffs
  • Healthcare policy makers and public health officials

In 1997, at the suggestion of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy, the RDA became one part of a broader, more detailed set of dietary guidelines, called the Dietary Reference Intake.

Current recommendations

The current Dietary Reference Intake recommendation is composed of:

  • Estimated Average Requirements (EAR), expected to satisfy the needs of 50% of the people in that age group.
  • Reference Daily Intake (RDI), the daily dietary intake level of a nutrient considered sufficient to meet the requirements of nearly all (97–98%) healthy individuals in each life-stage and gender group.
  • Adequate Intake (AI), where no RDI has been established, but the amount established is somewhat less firmly believed to be adequate for everyone in the demographic group.
  • Tolerable upper intake levels (UL), to caution against excessive intake of nutrients (like vitamin D) that can be harmful in large amounts.

The RDI is used to determine the Recommended Daily Value (RDV) which is printed on food labels in the U.S. and Canada.

source: http://en.wikipedia.org
pic: http://www.rhs.org.uk

Vitamin -- Side Effects, Poisoning and Overdose

A vitamin is an organic compound required in tiny amounts for essential metabolic reactions in a living organism.The term vitamin does not include other essential nutrients such as dietary minerals, essential fatty acids, or essential amino acids, nor does it encompass the large number of other nutrients that promote health but that are not essential for life.

Vitamins are bio-molecules that act as catalysts and substrates in chemical reactions. When acting as a catalyst, vitamins are bound to enzymes and are called cofactors. For example, vitamin K is part of the proteases involved in blood clotting. Vitamins also act as coenzymes to carry chemical groups between enzymes. For example, folic acid carries various forms of carbon group – methyl, formyl and methylene - in the cell.

Until the 1900s, vitamins were obtained solely through food intake, and changes in diet (which, for example, could occur during a particular growing season) can alter the types and amounts of vitamins ingested. Vitamins have been produced as commodity chemicals and made widely available as inexpensive pills for several decades,allowing supplementation of the dietary intake.

Vitamin poisoning

Vitamin poisoning, or hypervitaminosis, refers to a condition of high storage levels of vitamins, which can lead to toxic symptoms. The medical names of the different conditions are derived from the vitamin involved: an excess of vitamin A, for example, is called "hypervitaminosis A".

High dosage vitamin A; high dosage, slow release vitamin B3; and very high dosage vitamin B6 alone (i.e. without vitamin B complex) are sometimes associated with vitamin side effects that usually rapidly cease with supplement reduction or cessation. Conversely, certain vitamins do not produce toxicity in excess levels. Vitamin C has been used in dosages over 100,000 mg for serious illness — over 1000 times the daily recommended intake — without ill effects.[citation needed] However, Vitamin C does have a pronounced laxative effect, typically when intake of vitamin C is in the range of 5-20 grams per day for a person in normal "good health".

Overdose

In large doses some vitamins have documented side effects, that tend to be more severe with larger dosage. The likelihood of consuming too much of any vitamin from food is remote, but overdosing from vitamin supplementation does occur. At high enough dosages some vitamins cause side effects such as nausea, diarrhea, and vomiting. When side effects emerge, recovery is often accomplished by reducing the dosage. The concentrations of vitamins an individual can tolerate vary widely, and appear to be related to age and state of health.

High doses of mineral supplements can also lead to side effects and toxicity. Mineral-supplement poisoning does occur occasionally due to excessive and unusual intake of iron-containing supplements, including some multivitamins, but is not common. The Dietary Reference Intake recommendations from the United States Department of Agriculture define a "tolerable upper intake level" for most vitamins.

Overdose of Vitamin A -- Hypervitaminosis A

Hypervitaminosis A refers to the effects of excessive vitamin A (specifically retinoid) intake. Its occurs when the maximum limit for liver stores of retinoids is exceeded. The excess vitamin A enters the circulation causing systemic toxicity. Vitamin A in the form of betacarotene is only selectively converted into retinoids, and hence does not cause toxicity.

Although hypervitaminosis A can occur when large amounts of liver are regularly consumed, most cases of vitamin A toxicity result from an excess intake of vitamin A in the form of vitamin supplements. Toxic symptoms can also arise after consuming very large amounts of preformed vitamin A over a short period of time.

Presentation of effects include:

* birth defects
* liver problems,
* reduced bone mineral density that may result in osteoporosis
* coarse bone growths
* hair loss
* excessive skin dryness/peeling

Signs

Signs of acute toxicity include nausea and vomiting, headache, dizziness, blurred vision, and loss of muscular coordination.

Recommended supplement limits

The Institute of Medicine has established Daily Tolerable Upper Levels (UL) of intake for vitamin A from supplements that apply to healthy populations, in order to help prevent the risk of vitamin A toxicity. These levels for preformed vitamin A in micrograms (µg) and International Units (IU) are:

* 0-3 years: 600 µg or 2000 IU
* 4-8 years: 900 µg or 3000 IU
* 9-13 years: 1700 µg or 5665 IU
* 14-18 years: 2800 µg or 9335 IU
* 19+ years: 3000 µg or 10,000 IU

The dose over and above the RDA is among the narrowest of the vitamins and minerals. Possible pregnancy, liver disease, high alcohol consumption, and smoking are indications for close monitoring and limitation of vitamin A administration. However, vitamin A has also been repeatedly tested and used therapeutically over several decades in larger amounts, 100,000 - 400,000 IU total dosage, for treatment of severe pediatric measles in areas where vitamin A deficiency may be present, in order to reduce childhood mortality.

Polar-bear liver

The liver of the polar bear is unsafe to eat because it is extraordinarily high in vitamin A. This danger has been recognized since at least 1597 when Gerrit de Veer wrote in his diary that, while taking refuge in the winter in Nova Zembla, he and his men became gravely ill after eating polar-bear liver.

Overdose of Vitamin B6 -- Impairment of proprioception

An overdose of pyridoxine can cause a temporary deadening of certain nerves such as the proprioceptory nerves; causing a feeling of disembodiment common with the loss of proprioception. This condition is reversible when supplementation is stopped.

Because adverse effects have only been documented from vitamin B6 supplements and never from food sources, only the supplemental form of vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) is discussed with respect to safety. Although vitamin B6 is a water-soluble vitamin and is excreted in the urine, very high doses of pyridoxine over long periods of time may result in painful neurological symptoms known as sensory neuropathy.

Symptoms include pain and numbness of the extremities, and in severe cases difficulty walking. Sensory neuropathy typically develops at doses of pyridoxine in excess of 1,000 mg per day.

However, there have been a few case reports of individuals who developed sensory neuropathies at doses of less than 500 mg daily over a period of months. None of the studies, in which an objective neurological examination was performed, found evidence of sensory nerve damage at intakes of pyridoxine below 200 mg/day.

In order to prevent sensory neuropathy in virtually all individuals, the Food and Nutrition Board of the Institute of Medicine set the tolerable upper intake level (UL) for pyridoxine at 100 mg/day for adults. Because placebo-controlled studies have generally failed to show therapeutic benefits of high doses of pyridoxine, there is little reason to exceed the UL of 100 mg/day.

Overdose of Vitamin C -- Vitamin C megadosage

Vitamin C megadosage is the consumption of vitamin C in doses which are well beyond the current Dietary Reference Intake. Proponents advocate that this dose is similar to the intake of other primates not producing vitamin C, and is required to attain concentrations reached by most other animals, who produce vitamin C.

High doses have been used in an attempt to obtain specific therapeutic effectsThere is a strong advocacy movement for such doses of vitamin C, despite a lack of conclusive scientific evidence of the purported benefits.There also exists some literature critical of governmental agency dose recommendations.

Although vitamin C can be well tolerated at doses well above the RDA recommendations, megadosing may cause side effects such as stomach upset, laxative effects, diarrhea, or kidney stones. The dose at which these effects may occur varies with the individual. Some test-tube experiments have also suggested that Vitamin C can induce production of DNA-damaging compounds, and by implication, cancer growth. However, some test-tube evidence has shown that Vitamin C is toxic to cancer cells, which has prompted new phase I toxicity trials of high doses of intravenous Vitamin C to determine its safety as a treatment modality.

Overdose of Vitamin D -- Hypervitaminosis D

Hypervitaminosis D is a state of Vitamin D toxicity. Overdose occurs at more than 100 times the recommended daily allowance (roughly one bottle of vitamin D tablets per day), over a period of months. Acute overdose requires over 50mg (ten thousand times the RDA). Foods contain low levels, and have not been known to cause overdose. Overdose has occurred due to industrial accidents, for example when incorrectly formulated pills were sold or missing industrial concentrate cans misused as cans of milk.

Symptoms and presentation

Symptoms of vitamin D poisoning include:

* Dehydration
* Vomiting
* Decreased appetite (anorexia)
* Irritability
* Constipation
* Fatigue

An excess of vitamin D causes abnormally high blood concentrations of calcium (hypercalcemia) which can eventually cause severe damage to the bones, soft tissues, and kidneys. It can also damage the kidney and produce kidney stones. Ongoing research indicates antagonism with oil soluble menatetrenone, MK-4, an internally transported natural form of vitamin K2, which is associated with bone formation and calcium retention in the bones.

Note: Hypervitaminosis D symptoms appear several months after excessive doses of vitamin D are administered. In almost every case, a low calcium diet combined with corticosteroid drugs will allow for a full recovery within a month.

source: http://en.wikipedia.org/
pic: http://images.jupiterimages.com/

Friday, September 21, 2007

Channa striata, The Fish -- The Most One of Albumin Source for Hypoalbuminemia

Curently, the snakehead murrel, Channa striata has got much of interest from people, especially for medical sector. This fish is the most one of albumin source for hipoalbumine suferer. It's good for after surgeon lesion or burning lesion.

Many causes make someone less an albumin, such as failure liver, renal, and less of nutrition. albumin has an important role for our body, because, the protein inside of a liquid blood has manage the liquid blood (plasma). Albumin has bound a bilirubin, grease abandon acid, calcium, and any type of medicine.

Loosing albumin on the human body has caused of intake or less nutrition. It causes by affiuent secretion, for example like secretion from human intestine. And a renal puncture can be causes of less albumin. This failure has recognized nephrotic syndrome or puncture a part of renal (glomerolus).

So if we get failure liver, we need particuar support nutrition from any albumin source, it could be from animal such as Channa striata, and the shape it could be a capsule, and eventhough infuse.

Scientific Classification

Kingdom:

Animalia

Phylum:

Chordata

Class:

Actinopterygii

Order:

Perciformes

Family:

Channidae

Genus:

Channa

Binomial name:

Channa striata

Species:

C. striata


Characterisic

The snakehead murrel, Channa striata, is a species of snakehead. It is also known as the common snakehead, chevron snakehead, striped snakehead and aruan, and has also been classified under the binomial names Ophiocephalus striatus Bloch and Ophiocephalus vagus Peters.

It grows up to 1 m in length, though because of fishing this size is not found in the wild. It has a widespread range covering southern China, Pakistan, most of India, southern Nepal, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and most of South-east Asia. It has more recently been introduced to the outmost parts of Indonesia, the Philippines, and Mauritius. Reports beginning in the early 20th century that it was introduced into the wild in Hawaii, particularly the island of Oahu, are the apparent result of misidentifications, according to a publication.

The only currently confirmed Hawaiian establishment of C. striata is on a commercial fish farm. Popular media and the US Fish and Wildlife Service were perpetuating this apparent mistake as recently as 2002. Early- to mid-20th century reports and texts referring to its introduction in California appear to be the result of a misunderstanding.

It is an important food fish in its native range and is of considerable economic importance. Adults are dark brown in colour with faint black bands visible across its entire body. Males and female both help to construct a nest out of water vegetation during breeding time and the eggs are guarded by the male.

It is common in freshwater plains, where it migrates from rivers and lakes into flooded fields, returning to the permanent water bodies in the dry season, where it survives by burrowing in the mud.

Source of Albumin

Eventough, in the village area, the boy who was get a circumcision, must be consuming this fish.
The disposal Channa striata extract have a positive coorelation with albumine plasma degree enhancement and for lesion surgery recover.

The process is, Channa striata flesh steaming, since we get the filtrate, and this is an extract menu for hipoalbuminemia and lesion suferrer.

The Channa striata phenom was ever taken to the one research by Prof. Dr. Eng. Eddy Suprayitno, MS. Full professor of biochemical Fishery Faculty of UNIBRAW( Brawijaya University, Indonesia) on 2003. The research title is Channa striata albumin for a fungsional food to solve a nutrition problem on the future, Eddy was husk away about The Channa Striata potention. "If we see from the amino acid, it has more completely structure more than another fish.

He said, for along time our people still have an image that if we consuming this fish same as we consuming a snake, it could be same because the appearance is like a snake. Whereas Channa striata life on fresh water, and the food is a worm, frog, litle fish, shrimp, insect and ketam (such as a crab).

The physc atribute, have a litle circle body, tall, convex backpart, flat abdomen, slim head. The backpart has a green and black color and abdomen has white and litle brown. And the leght has seems to be 90-110cm, so the weight of three fish could be 2kg. Eddy said, that we could see this fish in common water at Java, Sumatera, Borneo, Sulawesi, Bali, Lombok, Flores and Ambon.

So, how Channa striata can influence to interpolation the albumine? On the human body, albumine (is the one protein fraction) has syntetic by lever about 100-200 microgram/g every day. Albumine has distributing by vasculer on plasma and by extravascular.

Eddy said that sintesis albumin trouble, usualy happened on the lever cronic, renal and also less nutrition. Actually, Channa striata not only a protein source, but it can be a mineral source between zinc and another trace element which need by the body.

The Eddy’s research product was ever tried on RSU dr Saiful Anwar Malang. And the result was tested to the surgeon patient with low albumin degree (1,8 g/dl). And the result the albumin degree has normally again (3,5 - 5,5 g/dl).

Source: Jawa Pos Newspaper and
http://id.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ikan_gabus
Pic:
http://id.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ikan_gabus

Monday, September 10, 2007

New Risk Gene For Rheumatoid Arthritis And Lupus Opens Door To More Effective Treatments

Scientists at The Feinstein Institute for Medical Research have identified a critical gene that increases a person's risk for rheumatoid arthritis and systemic lupus erythematosus, and may be involved with other autoimmune diseases.

The genetic link, described in the September 6th issue of the New England Journal of Medicine, was a collaborative effort led by Peter K. Gregersen, MD, head of The Feinstein Institute's Robert S. Boas Center for Genomics & Human Genetics. A decade ago, Dr. Gregersen helped bring together scientists from a dozen institutes to pool patients and add strength in numbers as they collectively hunt for genes. More recently, the North American Rheumatoid Arthritis Consortium (NARAC) studied a region identified on chromosome 2 in previous linkage studies conducted by the same team. In the latest study, they analyzed DNA from 2,500 patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) or lupus. Genetic mapping enabled them to identify STAT4 as a culprit in susceptibility to both diseases.

"This work required the collection and genotyping of thousands of RA and lupus patients and volunteers, a task that would have been difficult to accomplish without the strong partnerships we forged," said Stephen I. Katz, MD, PhD, director of the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS). The federal institute has supported NARAC since its inception.

"Identifying STAT4 as the relevant gene on chromosome 2 is very exciting," added Elaine Remmers, PhD, a lead author in the NEJM study on STAT4 and a staff scientist in the NIAMS's Genetics and Genomics Branch. "We now are faced with trying to figure out how this variant of STAT4 increases a person's risk."

About 22 percent of people in the United States inherit this particular form of STAT4. Having this variant of STAT4 confers a 30 percent increased risk for developing rheumatoid arthritis. People with two copies of STAT4 have a 60 percent increased risk, Dr. Gregersen said. Rheumatoid arthritis is a painful inflammatory condition of the joints. It is an autoimmune disease, which means the body's immune system recognizes a product in the lining of the joint as foreign and wages an attack. Patients with lupus, also an autoimmune disease, have about double the risk compared to people without this variant of STAT4.

In a companion study by Dr. Gregersen and his colleagues, STAT4 popped up as an important risk gene in a population of patients in Korea. This paper is published this month in Molecular Medicine.

One percent of people will develop rheumatoid arthritis. There are probably dozens of genes, perhaps more, involved in triggering complex diseases like rheumatoid arthritis.

"Identifying this risk gene is important because it points us in the right direction," said Dr. Gregersen, who also just completed a whole genome-wide association study of rheumatoid arthritis that will appear later this month in the NEJM. The study is online as of September 6th with an accompanying editorial. In this paper, the scientists identified another risk gene -- TRAF1-C5.

"The identification of these two new autoimmunity genes has profound significance for our understanding of these complex diseases and our ability to develop more specific diagnostic tests and therapies," said Lindsey Criswell, MD, PhD, professor of medicine at UCSF and a co-investigator on both studies.

A lot is known about the STAT4 gene and the protein it makes. STAT4 is a signaling molecule that mediates the effects of immune system cytokines such as IL12 and some types of interferon. STAT4 controls the differentiation of T- cells into TH1 cells and may contribute to the development of TH17 cells, both of which seem to have a role in maintaining chronic inflammation in the body.

Inhibiting STAT4 can prevent or ameliorate arthritis in animal models of rheumatoid arthritis, suggesting that STAT4 could be a target for new therapies. The discovery of STAT4 can ultimately help scientists unravel the triggers for the disease, help in the development of a test to confirm a diagnosis and perhaps even help predict who will respond to treatments.

The NARAC and collaborators at Celera Diagnostics previously identified PTPN22 as another risk gene in 2004. PTPN22 influences the "trigger point" for activation of T-cells -- immune cells normally called on to wage battle against infection. In autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, PTPN22 appears to put people at higher risk of a wayward T-cell response. Dr. Gregersen said that the two genes -- PTPN22 and STAT4 -- appear to work independently to increase the risk for rheumatoid arthritis.

These are the first RA genes to be discovered since the 1980s when scientists reported detailed association with genetic variants in the HLA region known as the "shared epitope," work for which Dr. Gregersen is still widely recognized. The key to the new genetic discoveries, Dr. Gregersen said, is to have "more patients and controls. With higher numbers of volunteers, we will have more power to pull out additional new genes and figure out what they do in triggering these diseases. Continued international collaboration with colleagues at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm will be critical for these efforts."

In addition to Drs. Gregersen, Criswell and Remmers, the NARAC investigators on the STAT4 study include Christopher Amos, PhD, of The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center; Daniel Kastner MD, PhD, of NIAMS's Genetics and Genomic Branch; Michael F. Seldin MD, PhD, of the University of California, Davis; and Robert M. Plenge, MD, PhD, of the Brigham and Women's Hospital. Timothy W. Behrens, MD, senior director of immunology, tissue growth & repair at Genentech, Inc. was a key collaborator on the lupus research.

The NARAC team is also part of the whole genome association study to be published later this month in the NEJM. Other collaborators on this study include Lars Klareskog of the Karolinska Institute; Mark Seielstad of the Genome Institute of Singapore; and John Carulli, PhD, and Evan Beckman, MD, of Biogen Idec in Cambridge, Ma.

Headquartered in Manhasset, NY, The Feinstein Institute for Medical Research is home to international scientific leaders in Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease, psychiatric disorders, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, sepsis, inflammatory bowel disease, diabetes, human genetics, leukemia, lymphoma, neuroimmunology, and medicinal chemistry. The Feinstein Institute, part of the North Shore-LIJ Health System, ranks in the top 6th percentile of all National Institutes of Health grants awarded to research centers. Feinstein researchers are developing new drugs and drug targets, and producing results where science meets the patient.

Source: The Feinstein Institute for Medical Research
http://www.FeinsteinInstitute.org

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Head Lice Prevention Month

head lice prevention monthSeptember is National Head Lice Prevention Month, which makes sense as kids go back to school. This year, instead of just focusing on treatments for head lice when your kids get a head lice infestation, work towards teaching them how to avoid getting head lice in the first place.

Simple steps to avoid head lice include:

  • teach them to avoid sharing things that have been on or near another child's head, including hairbrushes, combs, hats, scarves, towels, helmets, etc.
  • make sure your child hangs up his coat and hat on an individual hook, or some other separate area, when he gets to school, instead of just throwing them in a pile with other classmates' clothing
  • regularly clean things that your child's head has direct contact with, such as car seats, pillows, head phones, etc., if you are sharing these items with other children
  • check your children regularly for nits and live head lice so that you can discover a head lice infestation as early as possible and begin treatment before it spreads to the rest of your family and your child's friends and classmates.
source: http://pediatrics.about.com/

Matching Tea with Food

Exploring the world of connoisseur-level teas is as intoxicating as that other beverage: Wine. For wine lovers, the current fashion is not to insist that whites pair up with poultry nor drink only reds with meat. This has led to many adventuresome pairings and new taste sensations.

Fortunately, teas pairings are also open to exploration. Anyone who says blacks are only for entrees or that greens must stand alone, haven't had the pleasure (or perhaps the opportunity) to pair a wide variety of teas with every part of a menu.

Greens like Dragonwell or Sencha are wonderful with seafood or fish fillets, salads, or chicken. Blacks like Ceylon or Assam from India are soft accompaniments to beef or steak dishes or spicy foods from Mexican, Italian, or Indian cuisine. Although it is traditional to have Oolongs with Chinese dishes, one may argue that rich black Yunnan or Keemun teas offer more complexity and layers to the experience of tea pairings.

Formosa Oolong and Pouchong teas seem to demand solo drinking, quiet, and something restful to look upon. However, oolongs are delicious in many foods. Try them to flavor liquids used for cooking rice or grains. They add a wonderful punch, and like all tea, no calories, sodium, or sugar!

For desserts, seek out the chocolatey essence of a Golden Monkey. This exquisite Chinese tea is hearty, rich, and tastes perfect when infused into baked custards, chocolate cakes, or drunk as a beverage with a rich dense strawberry shortcake. Assam is another rich black tea that complements chocolate desserts yet is a surprising foil against lemony or custard dishes.

As a digestive, nothing is better, more satisfying or more calming than an aged Chinese Pu-erh, the darker, the stronger, the better. The only intentionally aged tea, it is particularly good after a multiple-course feast like a Thanksgiving or similar heavy holiday meal. If you're a milk-and-cookies snacker before bedtime, try a Fruit Medley herbal infusion instead. You'll sleep better, and will wake up feeling great.

source: www.adagio.com

Soya -- Benefits and Products

Soya is one of the oldest and most nutritious foods in the world. In the 11th century BC it was primarily consumed in Northern China, spreading to the west and the U.S.A. in the middle of the 18th century and only more recently to Europe. Soya is mainly used in industry and for animal feed despite the fact that it is the third most important crop world-wide today and less than 3% is consumed by humans.

What has most interested scientists in recent years is the discovery of phytochemicals and the profound benefits of Soya on human health. Soya has many nutritional advantages as it contains protein, fibre and isoflavones which have positive effects on cholesterol, bone density, menstrual and menopausal symptoms as well as preventing certain cancers. It is thought to be a wonder food by the Chinese who believe it can cure kidney disease, water retention, common colds, anaemia and leg ulcers.

In China, the soya bean has been cultivated and used in different ways for thousands of years. Soya was considered as one of the 5 holy crops, besides rice, wheat, barley and millet.

Soya beans contain high amounts of protein, including all essential amino acids (the only such vegetable source). Soya beans are also a rich source of calcium, iron, zinc, phosphorus, magnesium, B-vitamins,omega 3 fatty acids andfiber.

Heart health

The cholesterol lowering effect of Soya milk and its role of heart disease was widely recognized in the mid 90s when the results of a meta-analysis of 38 clinical studies were published. The results demonstrated that a diet with significant Soya protein reduces Total Cholesterol, LDL cholesterol (the "Bad" cholesterol) and Triglycerides.

The average consumption in these studies was 47 grams per day of Soya protein, which is a considerable amount. One way to include this is to try a Soya protein beverage or powder that may add 20 grams preserving. Soya protein was effective even in people who were already following the American Heart Association's 30 percent-fat diet. Soya protein appears to lower triglyceride levels while preserving HDL cholesterol.

Researchers Erdman & Potter in 1993 reported in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition a 12 percent drop in cholesterol when 20 to 25 grams of Soya protein and fiber were included in the diet. Soya beans contain soluble fiber, which is known to interfere with the absorption and metabolism of cholesterol.

As a result of these findings, in 1999, FDA authorized a health claim about the relationship between Soya protein and Coronary Heart Disease (CHD) on labelling of foods containing Soya protein.

A heart health claim can be found on qualified Soya products.Health Claim:
Diets low in saturated fat and cholesterol that include 25 grams of Soya protein a day may reduce the risk of heart disease. One serving of [name of produce] provides [amount]g of Soya protein.

A few recent studies released in 2005 found that Soya only had a modest effect on cholesterol levels. The American Heart Associationno longer recommends Soya for heart disease. FDA is currently reviewing its policy on Soya health claim. So what should you do? Enjoy your Soya foods like before. It may not lower cholesterol to an extent we originally thought, but it certainly does not harm our health!

Healthy bones

Many Soya foods are naturally high in calcium (some fortified with calcium because it is a good source of a particular coagulating agent). In addition, Soya also contains magnesium and boron, which are important co-factors of calcium for bone health.

Isoflavones in Soya foods may inhibit the breakdown of bones. Daidzein, a type of isoflavone, is actually very similar to the drug ipriflavone, which is used throughout Europe and Asia to treat osteoporosis. One compelling study completed by Erdman in 1993 focused on post-menopausal women who consumed 40 grams of isolated Soya protein daily for 6 months. Researchers found that these subjects significantly increased bone mineral density as compared to the controls.

Another study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine in September 2005 also found that intake of Soya food was associated with a significantly lower risk of fracture, particularly among early post-menopausal women.

Alleviating menopausal symptoms

In Japan, where Soya foods are commonly consumed daily, women are only one-third as likely to report menopausal symptoms as in the United States or Canada. In fact, there is no word in the Japanese language for "hot flashes".

Current studies showed that Soya only helps some women alleviate menopausal symptoms. Indeed, Soya is more effective in preventing than alleviating hot flashes. Despite these findings, the North American Menopause Society in 2000 recommended that 40 - 80mg of isoflavones daily may help relieve menopausal symptoms.

Preventing cancer

Among all cancers, data on Soya and prostate cancer seems to be the most promising; many studies support its role in the prevention and possible treatment of prostate cancer.

While some studies showed Soya offers a protective effect against breast cancer, a few studies showed the estrogen-like effects in isoflavones may be harmful for women with breast cancer. American Institute for Cancer Research stresses that data on Soya and breast cancer are not conclusive, and more work is needed to be done before any dietary recommendations can be made.

What we know at this point is the phytoestrogens in Soya foods are "anti-estrogens". In other words, they may block estrogen from reaching the receptors - therefore potentially protecting women from developing breast cancer. Studies found that pre-menopausal women may benefit from eating Soya foods as their natural estrogen levels are high.

However, this may not be true to post-menopausal women. Studies found that Soya could become "pro-estrogen" in women with low levels of natural estrogen. In other words, concentrated Soya supplements may add estrogen to the body and hence increase breast cancer risk in post-menopausal women. Therefore, post-menopausal women should avoid taking concentrated Soya supplements until more is known. Eating Soya products, however, is not harmful.

Soya products

Soya beans are very versatile: soya beans can be used as whole soya beans, soya sprouts, or processed as soya milk (Calcium-fortified Soya milk), soya nuts, edamame, tofu, tempeh, soya sauce or miso. Other products such as Soya patties, Soya cheese, Soya yogurt and breakfast cereal.

Although it is still inconclusive that Soya can prevent any diseases, many studies have shown promising results. Include Soya products in your diet and enjoy the possible health benefits they may bring.

With increasing public concerns regarding genetically modified foods, look for Soya products which use non-genetically modified Soya crops in their production.

Soya is also used as ingredient for non-food products, such as candle wax and biodiesel. Soy candles are becoming more popular because they burn longer and healthier.

From Any Source

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Learn How One Man Went from Breasts to Pecs

By Melissa Browne

Some women may be willing to pay for nice ones. But for many men, having breasts is an embarrassing and sometimes devastating problem.

"I was in 8th grade and I had taken my shirt off in the locker room and one of the kids next to me who was playing sports with me was like, 'Wow you have like boobs,'" said Edward Brodrick. "From then on it was just tormenting."

The medical term for what Broderick was suffering is gynecomastia. It's what many crassly refer to as "man boobs."

Click here to watch a video on Broderick's pectoral procedure

No man wants them. And many will do just about anything to get rid of them - diet, exercise, even hormonal therapy. But what some guys don't understand is that there are hidden health factors that are associated with this condition.

"Sometimes, we see it caused by obesity or gaining a lot of weight," explained Dr. Stephen Greenberg, a board certified plastic surgeon in Woodbury, N.Y. "And other times, (it's caused by) medications, prescription medications for high blood pressure or even steroid use. When you hit puberty, there are a lot of hormonal changes that set in and sometimes the boys get gynecomastia."

Greenberg also said use of illegal drugs by males during their teens and early 20's can cause the condition.

This condition is common and Greenberg said nearly 30 percent of men are affected by gynecomastia. According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, more than 14,000 boys ages 13-19 underwent surgery to remove unwanted breast tissue in 2006. Greenberg said it's one of the number one cosmetic procedure that men come to see him for.

"In general, when you are talking about gynecomastia, it’s a benign situation" said Greenberg. "The appearance of it is what bothers most people."

And that's exactly what bothered 28-year-old Broderick.

"I have wanted to do this my whole life," he said recently, just before undergoing corrective surgery for the problem.

Greenberg said surgical options are really the only way to rid this problem, and the procedure is quick with little downtime -- something men look for in cosmetic procedures.

"We do a little liposuction in the area of the chest, followed by a small incision at which time we remove the actual gland, the breast tissue is removed," he said. "The whole procedure takes less than an hour, and patients go back to work within 48 hours. And they’re back to normal with gym activity within about three to four weeks."

Patients will see an immediate difference, but full results can take up to a month.

And it was worth the wait and the pain for Broderick, who said the first thing he'll do once healed, "Oh take my shirt off and go to the beach."

And Now, It's BananaFlavoredToo

Drug dealers develop new trends in cocaine flavors. Sacramento police reports growing traffics of flavored cocaine in the US.

Yolo County is where the most recent arrests were made. Six people being affected in drug affairs were arrested with three pounds of fruit flavored powder. The police reported strawberry and coconut as most popular flavors.

Roy Giorgi, commander of Yolo Narcotic Enforcement Team, said the new sweetened drugs' price has jumped up to 40% higher than the old prices.

Mr. Giorgi said that the users felt a sort of medicine taste in the back of their throats when the drug was snored, yet now, they have strawberries in their throats... and handcuffs on their hands.

Beside strawberry and coconut flavors, there were reports of such exotic flavors as vanilla, chocolate and banana. It is said that other dangerous drugs, such as ecstasy or methamphetamines are also being fruit-flavored.

Bird Flu - Back to Europe

Today reports came that there were cases of H5N1 type of avian influenza detected in Germany. This was reported by the German Ministry of Consumer Right Protection, Food Supplies and Agriculture. The H5N1 type of bird flu is the most dangerous type of this virus to people.

Tests in German laboratories for microbiology have proven that three swans were infected by the dangerous H5N1 strain in a lake near Nürnberg, in the Southern land of Bavaria. Scientists also examine two other specimen taken from a wild duck and a wild goose that were found in two different lakes near Nürnberg.

German authorities have passed the results of the tests further to the European commission and have declared quarantine in the regions were infected birds were found.

Current bird flu appearance is the first one in Germany and also the first case in Europe found by wild birds. On 20 June the first case of human dangerous bird flu virus was found in Czech Republic by local poultry.

Last year the bird flu was detected in 13 countries of the European Union, including Germany. According to the World Health Organization, since the very appearance of the bird influenza there were 300 cases of human infection, of which 200 were lethal. However, there were still no cases of lethal outcome in Europe.

It is worth mentioning that since the first reports of bird flu in Europe, a child was reported infected of this virus in Egypt, in Indonesia another, the 101st, case of infection with the dangerous H5N1 virus was confirmed and in Vietnam a 28-year-old woman died of this virus.

Medics are speaking about another epidemic spreading of the virus since in Czech Republic there were many cases of the virus and in Indonesia 80 people already died of this dangerous virus. This makes Indonesia the most suffering country, since almost a half of lethal outcomes were registered here.

Breakthrough - Healing Water to Regenerate Wounds Faster

Scientists from the United States have created a "super-oxidized" water. As they say, the new type of water is able to speed up the healing of wounds.

The firm that developed the "super-oxidized" water is called Oculus and it is located in California. The water was filtered through a salt membrane and according to the scientists from Oculus their water kills viruses, bacteria and fungi.

The new type of water has shown good results against MRSA. New Scientist magazine reported that scientists from UK are already testing the water on patients that have diabetic foot ulcers.

The main ingredient of Microcyn (which is the name of the "healing water"), are oxychlorine ions, which represent electrically charged molecules. This is how they work - the oxychlorine ions pierce the cell walls of free-living microbes.

It is worth mentioning that the water is only able to kill cells that are completely surrounded by it. This is because cells are bound tightly together in a matrix. To kill the cells scientists take purified water and then pass it through a membrane of semi-permeable sodium chloride. The latter produces the key ingredient of the "healing water" - oxychlorine ions.

One of the studies showed that the healing time of patients who had advanced foot ulcers was 43 days when they were treated with water and some antibiotic. This is much faster if compared to 55 days of standard treatment.

Plastic Blood and Airplanes Shifting Shapes – Close to Reality?

Plastic is everywhere and in the nearest future it may even float through our veins. The nature of plastic allows scientists to create a molecule similar to hemoglobin, the cells responsible for carrying oxygen. Plastic blood will provide a lot of advantages - it will be more painless to get, it will be easy to carry and store it.

Although plastic is widely used in aircraft manufacturing, scientists work on the development of plastics that would 'fly' airplanes directly into the science-fiction age. Shape memory polymers shift shape when heated - in future they can be used for producing aircrafts with wings becoming shorter or longer in mid-flight.

If you associate silicon with the computer age, the situation may soon change - circuits are printed right onto plastic chips. The flexible circuitry could be applied for developing foldable displays. Imagine electronic pages that you will be able to put into your pocket, solar panels you will drape over tents, or just everyone wearing electronic clothes.

Ninety percent of plastics are presently produced from oil but nobody knows what may happen with this product in future. The resilience is the plastic's basic characteristic that makes it just indispensable. At at the same time it means the material will continuosly cause the environment pollution.

At present day less than 10 percent of all products produced from plastic are recycled. As estimated by the Worldwatch Institute, an agency engaged in an environmental research, only in the U.S. about 100 billion plastic bags are annually discarded.

Although plastic initially replaced expensive organic materials, bioplastic produced from plants will probably replace materials dangerous for the environment. There already exists the Toyota Motor's I-unit, an electric car almost fully produced from material derived from sugar cane, corn, and the kenaf plant growing in Africa.

Plastics has greatly revolutionized our life during the past 100 years. Who knows what it holds for us in future, besides PVC boots and nylon stockings.

Alcohol kills faster than ecstasy

A new drug list was revised by Britain's drug experts to reveal that alcohol and tobacco put your health at greater risk than such dangerous drugs as LSD, cannabis and ecstasy.

Experts conducted a new all-compassing research with the government top advisory committee involved to make a shocking conclusion on the harm of regular tobacco and alcohol.

A modern classification of drugs doesn't reflect the real situation on harmful substances. Thus more than 20 drugs were tested on their social and individual impact and results lead to revision of ABC system.

A team of 29 psychiatrists took part in the the study to classify all drugs into nine groups that were analyzed on the physical harm, addiction and social danger. Another group consisted of 16 experts did the research in several fields including chemistry, pharmacology, psychiatry and legal field to say a final word on drug ranking.

According to this new drug list, alcohol is named A drug. It slightly outruns heroin and cocaine. Tobacco was placed ninth and fell within a category B drug, after amphetamine. Such dangerous drugs as cannabis, LSD, ecstasy were left far near the end of the drug list.

This latest study raised the question that government's drug policy was not paying enough attention to modern state of affairs and didn't take notice of the scientific findings.

There should be no surprise that ecstasy drug was placed almost at the end of the list. One person a day dies from acute alcohol poisoning in comparison to 10 people a year who die from ecstasy overdose.

A new classification brings to light many issues concerning drug policy with a more thoughtful approach and corresponding legal response.

New Saliva Test to Save 1,000 Unborn Babies Each Year

Scientists from UK are currently working on a simple saliva test that could easily and more effectively spot a deadly pregnancy complication, that kills hundreds of unborn babies each year. The complication is called pre-eclampsia and the new test will be able to detect it as early as possible. Thus scientists might reduce the risks to both mothers and their babies.

It is worth mentioning that there is no cure for the condition but giving birth to the baby. However, early detection of the problem could serve well for monitoring pregnant women for further complications.

Researchers, working at St. Richards Hospital in Chichester, make their study on 1,000 women, that take part in the saliva test. Scientists hope that the new test will be more effective and precise than the tests of urine and blood pressure that are currently used.

A defect in placenta is the problem that causes pre-eclampsia. The placenta supplies the baby with both nutrients and oxygen coming from mother's blood. About one in ten pregnancies have pre-eclampsia, and its severe form takes place once in 50 pregnancies.

Pre-eclampsia is a dangerous condition that leads to the deaths of 600 to 1,000 babies each year in the United Kingdom. The deadly complication each year kills up to five mothers. Every six minutes on the planet a woman dies of pre-eclampsia.

The only way to cure this condition is to deliver the baby. This, however, puts some infants at risk of death, due to the fat that they are being born prematurely. Most women that are at risk include: first-time mothers, women who are over their 40s, women that suffer from obesity and those that have a family history of pre-eclampsia.

The pre-eclampsia was, for the first time, identified 150 years ago. Till nowadays,however, doctors were not able to find what causes the condition.

Dr. Brian Owen-Smith, a retired hospital rheumatologist, was the one to develop the new saliva test. The test monitors increased levels of urate, which is a salt of uric acid. This acid is a waste product that the human body produces. Thus raised levels of urate can serve as an indicator of pre-eclampsia.

Researchers think that the saliva test might be more reliable. This is because saliva is seen by the scientists as the "overflow" system for urate. It is not excreted through the kidneys but in the gut. Thus the true raise in urate levels can be identified more precisely.

In case the trials of the test prove to be successful, researches hope the test could be performed at home using a simple kit.

The professor of obstetrics at the baby charity Tommy's, Andrew Shennan, outlined that any progress in the identification of women that are at risk is crucial.

Chemical Found in Cosmetics, Soaps and Lubricants is Hazardous for Men

Till now scientists have been aware of the fact that exposure to phthalates is linked to reproductive issues. Recently they have discovered that this chemical, found in nearly everything including plastics, shampoos, cosmetics, lubricants, paint and soaps, is strongly connected to abdominal obesity and insulin resistance in adult males. This scientific discovery was made by the University of Rochester Medical Center.

Scientists think that even in low doses the exposures to phthalates and several other common chemicals might reduce the levels of testosterone in men. Richard Stahlhut, A Preventive Medicine resident at the University of Rochester said that the exposure to such chemicals leads to the increase of obesity rates and an epidemic of such related disorders like Type 2 diabetes. He outlined that some significant declines in both testosterone levels and quality of sperm have been spotted during the last several decades in the United States and some other countries. Stahlhut stated that phthalates should definitely be in the list of chemicals that require a careful study.

It is worth mentioning that phthalates have been actively used for more than half a century. However, only now did scientist start thinking about the possible health problems to which the chemical might lead. Studies made on animals showed that phthalates consistently depress the levels of testosterone. Recently, while performing their studies on humans, scientists have found that the hazardous chemicals are linked to poor quality of semen in men. This also refers to reproductive organs in boy babies.

A group of scientists, working together with Stahlhut, launched a hypothesis that phthalates could be the cause of obesity because low testosterone seems to increase belly fat and pre-diabetes in men. The group made analysis on urine, blood, as well as other data provided by the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, which is a multi-ethnic, cross-section sampling of the population living in the United States, gathered routinely by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

According to the data from the period of 1999-2000, most recent years that the levels of the dangerous chemical were available, 1,451 adult men had data on chemical’s exposures, obesity, as well as waist circumference. A significant number of these men, and namely 651, in addition had fasting levels of glucose and insulin required to estimate the resistance to insulin. As it was expected the researchers found that some phthalates metabolites had a strong connection with the abdominal obesity. The discovery showed that men with a high level of phthalates, found in their urine, had more resistance to belly fat and insulin.

The research was made with adjustments for several other factors that might influence the results. These include men’s: age, race, food intake, as well as the levels of physical activity and smoking. The study showed that about 75 percent of all Americans have in their urine measurable levels of phthalates.

Pills Against Insomnia Cause Sleepwalking

Ambien and Lunest are often prescribed sleeping pills. These pills, however, cause the most strange side effects. The Food and Drug Administration reported yesterday such strange behavior as eating or driving while asleep.

These reports have provoked the F.D.E. to order the drug makers to make certain fliers for such sleeping drugs, where patients could read detailed instructions on how to use them.
The investigation of such side effects was caused by, but limited to numerous reports from the users of Ambien (the most prescribed sleeping drug). Their complaints ranged from harmless sleepwalking and hallucinations to eating while asleep, violent outbursts and driving, which is the most disturbing.

Those who suffer from night eating after taking the pill reported missing food, wrappers in bed and traces of cooking in the kitchen and they can't recall eating, cooking or anything at all.

The more disturbing group is the one of sleeping drivers. Such people say that all they could remember was taking a pill and going to bed. However they wake up in their pajamas in the middle of the road and being interrogated by a police officer. Fortunately, there were no death reports of sleep-driving.

These reports from citizens have also gained some scientific background, as there is a series of institutions, foundations and scientists to run various tests in this sphere.

Such examples of scientific proof were given by Laura J. Liddicoat in Wisconsin. She made a presentation based on six examples of driving 'under Ambien'. Other scientists, Dr. Carlos Schenck and Dr. Mark Mahowald of the University of Minnesota, investigated 30 cases of nighttime eating and also 'under Ambien'.

It should be mentioned here that some users don't remember doing anything while asleep, but the fact is that people reported to make phone calls, orders over Internet, to have sex or doing anything else and not being aware of it.

Dr. Russel Katz, director for neurology product at the F.D.A., said that the cause for all these effects could be alcohol. And even thought the manufacturers mention the danger of taking a sleeping pills while consuming alcohol, Dr. Katz thinks this mentioning should be limited to the fact that "not a drop (of alcohol) is allowed".

Thus the F.D.A. is going to claim from the drugs manufacturers additional guides for the consumers, where all the risks of mixing a certain drug with any quantity of alcohol or any other drug, which suppresses the nervous system, would be indicated. Samples of such guides should be submitted to the F.D.A. offices until May, Dr. Katz says.

Such warning notes will include a description of the side effects of the manufacturer's product, as well as some information on rare, but possible allergic reactions. For example, there have been registered swells up of air passages after using a drug called Rozerem, which is among the newest on the market.

The statistics show that Ambien was the main cause for all the dangerous side effects, but the agency concluded that such side effects could be aroused by any other sleeping drug. The explanation for Ambien causing the most of these side effects is simple: it had received the most of public attention due to a vast ad campaign, but there is no doubt there exists a possibility of other pills causing the upper mentioned side effects.

This labeling campaign was caused by a warning by the Australian authorities. In Australia Ambien is being sold under the trademark of Stilnox.

There have been 16 reports of unusual side effects of consuming sleeping pills in Australia and they were not limited to driving or eating while asleep. A woman said she woke up and discovered she had a paintbrush in her hand, while her front door was freshly painted.

HIV blood killed haemophilia patients

The first hearing began on the case of contaminated blood that was used for treatment of haemophilia patients in Britain.

The program created by NHS, a well-known health services in Britain, was meant to supply haemophiliacs with new blood product but it turned out that blood was infected with HIV and Hepatitis C. More than 2,000 patients infected through contaminated blood died or are reported to be seriously ill.

Newsnight BBC programme disclosed the hidden facts of contaminated blood use. It became known that doctors were using blood of the clotting agent Factor 8 and these supplies were taken from US prisoners. Specialists testing new blood products were neglectful of the danger and used blood from the donors who were infected with dangerous viruses.

The official data to prove the terrible incident disappeared. As the government officials said, documents were deleted or not exposed to the public due to its confidentiality.

From one of the letters it was revealed that warnings on the possible HIV risk from the blood were made by one of the public health surveillance center, but those facts were ignored by Britain's Department of Health.

It was also claimed that haemophiliac patients didn't know about the testing and didn't give their approval to test the blood. Some of them stayed unsuspicious of their HIV positive status for years.

The first hearing is going to take place at Westminster were families of the tragic incident can speak.