Friday, May 30, 2008

No More Tiredness

Your Guide to Never Feeling Tired Again

WebMD Feature from "Redbook" Magazine

By Nancy Rones

Redbook Magazine Logo22 ways to tackle life's biggest energy zappers.

Every day, 2.2 million Americans complain of being tired. Most of us chalk it up to having too much to do and not enough time to do it in, especially during extra-busy periods. But often the true culprits are our everyday habits: what we eat, how we sleep, and how we cope emotionally. Read on for some simple, recharging changes that can help you tackle all of the energy stealers in your life.

Energize Your Diet

Why is it that filling up on pasta or Chinese food for lunch leaves us snacky and sleepy an hour later? Or that falling short on fluids makes us forgetful and foggy? Fact is, eating habits play a powerful role in how well we function on every level. Below, six top fatigue-fighting nutrition strategies to chew on.

· Have breakfast... even if you don't feel hungry. You'll be a lot perkier: Studies show that people who eat breakfast feel better both mentally and physically than those who skip their morning meal. British researchers at Cardiff University even found that spooning up a bowl of breakfast cereal every morning is associated with lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol.

· Eat every three to four hours. Having three smallish meals and two snacks throughout the day can keep your blood sugar and energy levels stable all day long, says Roberta Anding, R.D., a spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association (ADA). Note the word "smallish." Supersized meals demand more of your energy to digest, which can leave you feeling lethargic. At each mini-meal, get a mix of carbohydrates (which the body uses for energy), protein (which helps sustain energy if needed), and healthy fats like those found in fish, nuts, and olives -- these fats and protein contribute to meal satisfaction, so you don't go hunting for sweets an hour later and wind up with a short-lived sugar high and subsequent crash. A few meal ideas: a low-fat yogurt parfait with berries and a couple of tablespoons of whole-grain granola; salmon over mixed greens with whole-grain crackers; and beef tenderloin with a baked sweet potato and asparagus.

· Fill up on more fiber. Fiber has a time-releasing effect on carbs, so they enter your bloodstream at a slow and steady pace, giving your energy staying power, says Anding. When choosing your mini-meals (see above), include fiber-filled options that add up to the daily recommended 25 to 30 grams of fiber (the average person gets only between 10 and 15 grams). Some suggestions: a bowl of raisin bran (5 grams of fiber per cup); black beans and cheese wrapped in a multigrain tortilla (beans have 7.5 grams per 1/2 cup; one tortilla has 5 grams); air-popped popcorn (3.6 grams per 3 cups); an apple with the skin (3.3 grams); and whole-wheat spaghetti (6.3 grams per cup).

· Fuel your brain with omega-3s. Found in fatty fish (such as tuna and salmon), walnuts, and canola oil, these essential fatty acids play a role in keeping brain cells healthy and helping you feel mentally alert. Another potential bonus: Omega-3s encourage the body to store carbs as glycogen — the storage form of glucose (blood sugar) and the body's main source of stored fuel — rather than as fat.

· Stay hydrated. Water makes up the majority of your blood and other body fluids, and even mild dehydration can cause blood to thicken, forcing the heart to pump harder to carry blood to your cells and organs and resulting in fatigue. Also, ample fluids keep energy-fueling nutrients flowing throughout the body, says Nancy Clark, R.D., author of Nancy Clark's Sports Nutrition Guidebook. To gauge your hydration, Clark recommends monitoring how often you urinate. You should be going every two to four hours, and your urine should be clear or pale yellow in color. Tip: Besides drinking more, you can also consume foods that naturally contain water, such as yogurt, broccoli, carrots, and juicy fruits, like watermelons, oranges, and grapefruits.

· Watch caffeine intake after noon. Typically, consuming a moderate amount of caffeine — 200 to 300 mg, the amount found in two to three cups of coffee — can make you more energetic and alert in the hours following, says Anthony L. Komaroff, M.D., a professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School. But when caffeine is consumed in large quantities — or anytime in the afternoon or evening — the quality of your sleep that night can take a nosedive, leaving you with heavy eyelids the next day. One caution for those who are highly sensitive to caffeine: Although switching to a decaf latte in the afternoon sounds like the answer, researchers at the University of Florida found that out of 22 decaffeinated coffee beverages tested, all but one contained some caffeine.

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Blood Type Test

Blood Type Test

Blood type tests are done before a person gets a blood transfusion and to check a pregnant woman's blood type. Human blood is typed by certain markers (called antigens) on the surface of red blood cells. Blood type may also be done to see if two people are likely to be blood relatives.

The most important antigens are blood group antigens (ABO) and the Rh antigen. Therefore, the two most common blood type tests are the ABO and Rh tests.

ABO test

The ABO test shows that people have blood in one of four types: A, B, AB, or O. If your red blood cells have:

  • The A antigen, you have type A blood. The liquid portion of your blood (plasma) has antibodies that fight against type B blood. In the United States, about 40% of the white population, 27% of African Americans, 28% of Asians, and 16% of Native Americans are type A.
  • The B antigen, you have type B blood. Your plasma has antibodies that fight against type A blood. In the United States, about 11% of the white population, 20% of African Americans, 27% of Asians, and 4% of Native Americans are type B.
  • Neither the A nor B antigen, you have type O blood. Your plasma has antibodies that fight against both type A and type B blood. In the United States, about 45% of the white population, 49% of African Americans, 40% of Asians, and 79% of Native Americans are type O.
  • Both the A and B antigens, you have type AB blood. Your plasma does not have antibodies against type A or type B blood. In the United States, about 4% of the white population, 4% of African Americans, 5% of Asians, and less than 1% of Native Americans are type AB.

Blood received in a transfusion must have that same antigens as yours (compatible blood). If you get a transfusion that has different antigens (incompatible blood), the antibodies in your plasma will destroy the donor blood cells. This is called a transfusion reaction, and it occurs immediately when incompatible blood is transfused. A transfusion reaction can be mild or cause a serious illness and even death.

Type O-negative blood does not have any antigens. It is called the "universal donor" type because it is compatible with any blood type. Type AB-positive blood is called the "universal recipient" type because a person who has it can receive blood of any type. Although "universal donor" and "universal recipient" types may be used to classify blood in an emergency, blood type tests are always done to prevent transfusion reactions.

Minor antigens (other than A, B, and Rh) that occur on red blood cells can sometimes also cause problems and so are also checked for a match before giving a blood transfusion.

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WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: July 27, 2006

This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.

@ 1995-2007, Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008


What are Blood Types?

Everybody has a blood type. The most common blood type classification system is the ABO (say "A-B-O") system discovered by Karl Landsteiner in the early 1900s. There are four types of blood in the ABO system: A, B, AB, and O. Your blood type is established before you are born, by specific genes inherited from your parents. You receive one gene from your mother and one from your father; these two combine to establish your blood type. These two genes determine your blood type by causing proteins called agglutinogens (a-GLOO-tin-a-gins) to exist on the surface of all of your red blood cells.

There are three alleles or versions of the blood type gene: A, B, and O. Since everybody has two copies of these genes, there are six possible combinations; AA, BB, OO, AB, AO, and BO. In genetic terms, these combinations are called genotypes, and they describe the genes you got from your parents.

In addition to the proteins (agglutinogens) existing on your red blood cells, other genes make proteins called agglutinins (a-GLOO-tin-ins) that circulate in your blood plasma. Agglutinins are responsible for ensuring that only the blood cells of your blood type exist in your body.

Your genotype determines your blood type.

The agglutinogen produced by the O allele has no special enzymatic activities. However, the agglutinogens produced by the A and B alleles do have enzymatic activities, which are different from each other. Therefore people whose genotype is OO are said to have type O blood, meaning the agglutinogen on their red blood cells doesn't have any enzymatic activity. People with Type O blood have agglutinins a and b in their blood plasma. Agglutinin a helps the body destroy any type A blood cells that might enter the circulation system. Agglutinin b helps the body destroy any type B blood cells that might enter the circulation system.

agglutinogens and agglutinins

People who have an AA genotype are said to have type A blood because the agglutinogen on their red blood cells has the enzyme activity associated with the A allele. It is important to recognize that people with the AO genotype also have the enzyme activity associated with the A allele, so they are also said to have type A blood. (Remember the O allele doesn't have any enzyme activity associated with it!) People with Type A blood have agglutinin b in their blood plasma. Agglutinin b helps the body destroy any type B blood cells that might enter the circulation system.

Likewise, people with the BB and the BO genotypes are said to have type B blood. These people have agglutinin a in their blood plasma. Agglutinin a helps the body destroy any type A blood cells that might enter the circulation system.

People who have the AB genotype have the enzyme activity associated with both the A and B alleles. These people have no agglutinins in their blood plasma.

The concepts of genotype and phenotype can be easily understood in the case of blood type. Genotype refers the actual genes an individual possesses that determine a particular trait. Phenotype refers to the characteristics of that trait an individual displays. In the case of blood type, both the AA and AO genotypes cause individuals to display the A blood type phenotype. Similarly, both the BB and BO genotypes cause individuals to display the B blood type phenotype. Individuals who are phenotypically type O or type AB have only one possible genotype, OO and AB, respectively.

In different parts of the world, the fraction of individuals with blood type A, B, O, or AB differs. The frequency with which blood types are observed is determined by the frequency with which the three alleles of the ABO gene are found in different parts of the world (allele frequency). Variation in the allele frequency at the ABO gene reflects the social tendency of populations to marry and reproduce within a national, regional, or ethnic group. As people throughout the world intermingle to a greater extent, the distribution of the different blood types will become more uniform throughout the world.

Next: What are Blood Transfusions? What are Blood Transfusions?

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Fast Food & Processed Foods

Fast food and processed foods

Fast Food Consumption Linked to Obesity

Studies show that practically one-third of children aged 4-19 in the U.S. consume fast food every day. This has each kid packing on six extra pounds per year and increasing their risk of obesity. A study of 6,212 youngsters by Dr. David Ludwig (Director of the Children's Hospital Boston’s obesity program) is alarming but not startling as billions of dollars are used up every year on fast food ads targeted at children. .

Fast-food fares offer more sugar, fat, and carbohydrates and fewer fruits and non-starchy vegetables than proper meals cooked at restaurants or at home. Another study assessed the dietary habits and physical activity of 3,301 black and white adults in the 18–30 age bracket. It included how often the subjects ate meals at places like Burger King, McDonald's, Arby's, Wendy's, Kentucky Fried Chicken and Pizza Hut.

Persons who ate fast food more than twice a week put on an extra ten pounds and had a doubly bigger increase in insulin resistance than subjects who ate less than once a week at one of these fast food places. Since fast food is designed to encourage consumption of the highest number of calories in the least amount of time, this may confuse the mechanisms we have that control the appetite and intake of food.

Healthy Fast Food, Anyone?

For the health-conscious, a fast food restaurant is not the best place to get a healthy meal. But there are ways to make the most of the healthier choices (salads, grilled fares, juices, etc.) now offered by some fast food restaurants.

  • Skip on add-ons like cheese, bacon bits and creamy salad dressings. Request for low calorie or fat free dressings, order them on the side, and use them in moderation.
  • Get rid of the sour cream on the baked potato and the mayonnaise on the sandwich. Opt instead for the vegetables—extra onions, lettuce, tomato, and pickles.
  • Rather than order fried or breaded meats, choose grilled. Fish and chicken burgers are also healthier choices. Take wheat bread over white.
  • Junk the soda. Switch to water, juice, and milk.

Processed Foods: Myths & Facts

Myth: Processed foods are not as healthy as fresh foods.

Fact: A lot of processed foods are exactly as nutritious or in some cases even more nutritious than fresh foods depending on the processing method.

Frozen vegetables are typically processed within hours of harvest. There is not much nutrient loss in the freezing so frozen vegetables keep their high vitamin and mineral content. Breads and breakfast cereals have vitamins and minerals included for extra nutrition. Processing can also make several nutrients more available. As in the processing of tomatoes into a tomato paste or sauce to boost the amount of lycopene (an antioxidant).

Myth: All food additives are synthetic.

Fact: Some of the best food additives are sugar, salt, and lemon juice.

Food additives come from many diverse sources, with fruits and vegetables are a frequent one. For example, thickening agents are frequently extracted from fruits, seeds, and seaweeds. Tartaric acid from fruits is used to make several foods more acidic. Some food additives are prepared from the fusion or biosyntheses from nature-identical products—ascorbic acid (fruits) and tocopherol (vegetable oils). Both are used to keep foods from turning rancid.

Myth: The additives and preservatives in processed foods are not required.

Fact: Food additives play a significant role in maintaining the freshness, taste, appearance, safety, and texture of foods.

Food additives are added for a specific purpose whether it is to guarantee food safety, to add dietary value or to enhance food quality. For instance, antioxidants stop fats and oils from turning rancid. Emulsifiers prevent peanut butter from breaking up into solid and liquid parts. Food additives keep bread mould-free.

There are national regulatory bodies charged with food safety in each country that pre-approve all food additives in processed foods.

©Copyrighted by Good Health Medicine All Rights Reserved 2006

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Fruits and vegetables


The four most important nutrients in fruits are vitamin C, fiber, phytonutrients or health-building substances and carotenoids (e.g. beta carotene).

These top ten fruits are high in vitamin C, carotenoids, fiber, folic acid, and calcium. They’re also widely available, safe and versatile.

1. Avocado
2. Papaya
3. Guava
4. Cantaloupe
5. Orange
6. Apricots (dried, unsulfured)
7. Mango
8. Strawberries (organic)
9. Kiwi
10. Grapefruit (pink or red)

Top Vitamin C Fruit Sources



Milligrams of Vitamin C

Guava, 1 medium



Papaya, 1 cup, cubed



Strawberries, 1 cup



Kiwi, 1 medium



Cantaloupe, 1 cup



Orange, 1 medium



Grapefruit, half



Top Fiber-Rich Fruits



Grams of Fiber per 100 calories

Raspberries, 1 c.



Blackberries, 1 c.



Strawberries, 1 c.



Prunes, 1/2 c., cooked



Papaya, 1 medium



Orange, 1 medium



Apple, 1 medium



Pears, 1 medium



Figs, dried, 5



Avocado, half



Allergies or sickness can cause the intestines to be more sensitive. Some fruits have sugars that are easily absorbed into the bloodstream, whereas the sugar in other fruits may ferment and cause gas to develop in the intestines.

Most Kind to the Intestines

Least Kind to the Intestines

White grapes





Sweet cherries







Vegetables can be quite a versatile food that easily fits into any healthy diet. Whether served raw or cooked, as a main meal or side dish, veggies are nutritional powerhouses:

  • packed with vitamins and minerals
  • good source of fiber
  • low in fat, sodium and calories
  • no cholesterol
  • have phytochemicals (that may help stop chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, and some cancers)
  • good sources of antioxidants

To get the nutritional benefits of veggies, try different types:

High in vitamin A

  • carrots
  • kale, collards
  • leaf lettuce
  • mustard greens
  • pumpkin
  • romaine lettuce
  • spinach
  • sweet potato
  • winter squash (acorn, hubbard)

High in fiber or good source of fiber

  • brussels sprouts
  • carrots
  • cooked beans and peas (kidney, navy, lima, and pinto beans, black-eyed peas, lentils)
  • spinach

High in vitamin C

  • broccoli
  • brussels sprouts
  • cabbage
  • cauliflower
  • chili peppers
  • collards
  • mustard greens
  • bell peppers

Cruciferous (a vegetable of the mustard family) vegetables

  • bok choy
  • broccoli
  • brussels sprouts
  • cabbage
  • cauliflower

©Copyrighted by Good Health Medicine All Rights Reserved 2006

Fruits & Vegetables

Eat More Fruits and Vegetables Every Day

By Shereen Jegtvig, Health's Disease and Condition content is reviewed by our Medical Review Board

Cut Fruits and VegetablesPhoto © Peggy Greb

Fruits and vegetables should make up a large portion of your diet. They are low in calories, which is good, and they are high in vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals and fiber, which is even better. Experts suggest that you eat five to nine servings of fruits and vegetables every day.

Eating the suggested amount of fruits and vegetables on a daily basis is difficult for many people. Busy schedules, eating on the run, and the temptation of junk foods are all barriers to getting enough fruits and vegetables into your diet.

Do you need some help getting more fruits and vegetables into your diet? Here are some tips:

Make Fruits and Vegetables Convenient at Home

Apples, pears, bananas, oranges and cherry tomatoes don't need any refrigeration. Keep your fruits and vegetables in plain view on your countertop or table. When snack time rolls around it will be easy to grab a piece of fruit or a handful of cherry tomatoes. With this idea in mind, make sure you keep the cookie jar and the candy bars out of sight.

Frozen vegetables are quick and easy: Heat them quickly on the stove or in the microwave. You can choose single vegetables such as peas, carrots, green beans, and cauliflower, or you can try seasoned blends of vegetables.

Pre-cut vegetables and fruit are convenient, but don't buy them with the idea that they will last a long time. Fruit may begin to spoil within a day or two after cutting, however some fruits can be purchased in frozen or canned forms that last much longer.

The pre-cut and pre-washed salads-in-a-bag make meal time easy too. Just don't assume that the pre-washed salad blends are really clean. Give them a good rinse before preparing your meal.

Make Fruits and Vegetables Convenient at Work

Dehydrated fruits such as raisins, dates and dried cranberries keep well in plastic bags. Tuck a bag of raisins in your purse or bag for an easy snack. Single serving packs of apple sauce or fruit cups that don't need refrigeration can also be kept at your desk. Pack sliced carrots and celery with your lunch for a nutritious afternoon snack.

Eating away from home can be difficult, but with some thought you can still get enough fruits and vegetables into your diet. At lunch, choose a side salad instead of French fries and drink juice instead of a soda. Order vegetarian sandwiches and wraps. They are usually low in calories and can give you two or three servings of vegetables with just that one sandwich.

Fruits and Vegetables as Snacks

After school snacks or nighttime snacks often mean bags of greasy chips, bowls of ice cream or bottles of sugary sodas. Those snacks are high in calories and low in nutrition. Here are some great snack ideas instead:
  • Freshly cut vegetables are absolutely delicious with your favorite dip. Eat them at snack time instead of potato chips or tortilla chips. Choose low-fat ranch, dill or French onion dip or make your own low fat spinach dip.
  • Drink juice instead of soda. Mix your favorite 100 percent fruit juices with club soda if you miss the fizz.
  • Make a delicious parfait instead of scooping up high calorie ice cream. Layer fresh or frozen berries with vanilla yogurt and nuts or granola.
  • Eat a chocolate-covered strawberry instead of a candy bar. Choose dark chocolate for the extra antioxidants.
  • Instead of milk and cookies, have a small bowl of whole grain cereal with sliced fruit or raisins and low-fat milk.
  • Keep seedless grapes in the freezer instead of popsicles and ice cream bars.

Add Fruits and Vegetables to Sandwiches, Salads and on the Side

Eating a salad can give you several servings of fruits and vegetables. Start with some lettuce and add sliced tomatoes, apples, pears, berries, celery, cucumbers, sprouts, raw green beans, broccoli or cauliflower. With so many combinations, you can eat a different salad every day. Eat a salad as a meal once or twice each week.

When you make a sandwich, be sure to add lettuce and a couple of thick tomato slices. Take the rest of the tomato, slice it up and serve it on the side. Add extra vegetables to your soup and stew recipes. If you choose canned soups and stews, add extra frozen vegetables when you heat them.

Set a goal to eat five to nine servings of fruits and vegetables every day. If you need a little help, you can add a delicious fruit and vegetable supplement beverage. Or buy a juicing machine to make your own fruit and vegetable juices.


"Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2005" Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Department of Agriculture (USDA), January 12, 2005.

More Nutrition Quick Tips

Wednesday, May 21, 2008


Good Health With Multivitamins

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Today people are very aware of the benefits of good health. And taking multivitamin supplements along with one’s daily diet is becoming more and more the norm in ensuring good health.

It has been found that the regular intake of multivitamins aids the body’s natural functions and helps it develop immunity to fight intruders. Along with good physical health good mental health is a natural benefit. They even come condition-specific like multivitamins for pregnancy where malnutrition of the mother may get passed on to the fetus, a regular intake of vitamin C and E for Alzheimer’s disease, CoQ10 for patients with heart diseases etc. It has been found that multivitamins in liquid form are far more easily and effectively absorbed by the body than in those in the tablet or capsule form.

Some other areas where taking multivitamins has great benefits are conditions like old age, people who smoke and drink a lot and people who are exposed to pollution. Those leading a very stressful life find that the additional nutritional supplements help them get through the day without getting tired, and apart from this, it has been found that taking multivitamins helps in warding off cancer and other cardiovascular diseases.

Our body needs thirteen essential vitamins to carry out its functions normally. Like a well tuned engine, the body needs vitamins A, B, C, D, E, K, B12 and seven B-complex vitamins. Most of these are processed by the body through the food we eat. But if the body falls ill, then certain deficiencies occur and these are the ones that need supplementing with multivitamins because they now become important for the body’s recovery process.

Supplements work to keep the body in good shape thanks to the combined effects of all the vitamins in them. Vitamin E works as a fat soluble antioxidant and neutralizes harmful free agents in the body along with ensuring good healthy skin because the membranes in the skin cells get protection. It also helps in good blood circulation and keeping the heart, nerves and muscles fit. Vitamin C aids collagen forming and is very effective in fighting blood cell infections, healing of wounds, bone structure and teeth formation, along with assisting iron absorption from the plant food that we eat. There are times when our body is not able to get enough of these essential vitamins to fulfill all of its requirements and that is when the external sources come in to play.

Be aware that this is not a total one-step solution to all your ailments and there are times when medical intervention is essential. If any troublesome symptoms persist, don’t delay in consulting a doctor.

Vitamins & Our Body

Vitamins and our Body
Featured Article

Have you ever wondered why the word 'essential' usually precedes the term, 'vitamins'? The reason is simple. Vitamins as well as minerals ensure that our bodies function as they were designed. Interestingly, as important as vitamins are, the body lacks the ability to manufacture most on its own. Instead, it must rely on outside sources to meet its nutritional needs.


Vitamins and our Body PDF Print E-mail

Have you ever wondered why the word 'essential' usually precedes the term, 'vitamins'? The reason is simple. Vitamins as well as minerals ensure that our bodies function as they were designed. Interestingly, as important as vitamins are, the body lacks the ability to manufacture most on its own. Instead, it must rely on outside sources to meet its nutritional needs.

Vitamins are organic compounds and as such they're found naturally in many of the foods we consume. They're also available in the form of vitamin supplements. Thirteen different vitamins are needed to perform such crucial functions as helping protect against infections and disease, helping the body's metabolism, helping the body grow and helping the body remove waste.

Vitamins are a lot like building blocks.A healthy body is able to put these blocks together to create the enzymes and hormones that, among other things, control heart rate, blood pressure, glucose levels and other chemical reactions.

How Much is Enough?

The recommended daily allowance (RDA) of the various vitamins is different depending on a person's age and current state of health. Women who are pregnant for example, need a different combination of vitamins to protect the fetus against birth defects. Adult men have different requirements than adult women. Children, teenagers and the elderly all have different nutritional requirements as well.

Thinking about food as a source of fuel is helpful. Give your body the right type of fuel and it will perform at optimum capacity. Fuel it with the wrong things, and over time, performance will begin to decline.

Problems Associated with Vitamin Deficiencies

Although perhaps not noticeable at first, vitamin deficiencies can lead to serious health issues further on down the road. Few people today eat what would be considered a nutritionally-balanced diet. Many in fact, have developed some pretty poor eating habits. High fat foods, processed foods, fast food and restaurant food have taken the place of healthy foods.

Because people can't see what is going on inside the body, it's difficult to get a good understanding of the negative effects a poor diet can have on the body. Generally, it's not until the body begins putting on excess weight that the effects start to become visually noticeable. But long before the excess weight settles in, trouble is already brewing inside.

What types of problems are associated with vitamin deficiencies? Insufficient Vitamin D can cause weak or even deformed bones. Not enough Vitamin E can lead to the destruction of red blood cells. Not enough Vitamin C can cause tiredness, weakness, sore muscles and can cause gums to bleed. An overall vitamin deficiency can even lead to death.

Vitamin supplements are an effective way to fill in the nutritional gaps caused by poor eating habits. But beyond that, the only accurate way of knowing if the body is getting enough vitamins is with a blood test. If you don't think you're getting enough vitamins, you probably aren't. Do yourself a favor and find out soon.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Whenever You Cry

What happens when you cry?

What happens when you cry:

  • The eye secretes 50 to 100 times its normal amount of fluids.

  • Tears are produced by the lachrymal glands, an almond shaped sliver of tissue surrounded by tiny muscles, triggered into a squeezing action by any stimulation, from a piece of fluff that flies into the eye, to the sight of something that hurts you emotionally. The muscles squeeze out the liquid from your eyes.

Body temperature rises, the heart beat goes up, and lungs and respiratory muscles pound.

If you cry when you get angry, find it impossible to take criticism without tears welling up, or regularly sniffle your way though soppy films, take consolation; crying is a healthy outlet that could even protect you from cancer.

So why don't men cry as much as women?

Because women have higher levels of prolactin, one of the hormones that stimulate breast growth. It's not known whether prolactin itself stimulates tears or women have more prolactin-rich tears, because they have more of it in their systems. However, it is clear that as women approach menopause, the prolactin levels drop by 40 per cent, which is why in later life, instead of crying, they have panic attacks or depression.

Psychiatrists say that it is healthier to give in to our desire to sob. The professional mourners of yore served a purpose: to make stunned family members break down and cry. Actually, the benefits increase if someone hears you cry and recognizes your sadness, rather than just shedding solitary tears into a pillow. The emotional SOS brings relief when someone picks up the distress signal, and this may even reduce high blood pressure.

Crying is also a healthier way to live. New research shows that women who don't express their grief after a death or divorce, may be more vulnerable to breast cancer.

INFO for Heart Patients

Preventing second blockages

Heart patients need to be extra careful to ensure the heart is kept free of blockages. Contrary to popular opinions, there are a couple of easy and economical ways to do this.

  • An extra dose of folic acid and B vitamins could go a long way in preventing further problems from setting in.

  • The supplements reduce the risk of another heart attack, or the need for another angioplasty. Angioplasty involves expanding the arteries of the heart. While this helps to clear the blocks, it is not without its risks. The walls of the artery could get slightly damaged during this procedure.

  • Repeat blockages could be formed if the patient produces too much scar tissue after the angioplasty procedure.

  • Patients with high levels of homocysteine (an amino acid) are more likely to suffer complications after a heart attack or heart surgery.

  • Additional supplements of folic acid or B vitamins are known to lower the levels of homocysteine. This reduces the risk of complications in heart patients.

  • Patients who were given these supplements for six months after angioplasty had less chances of suffering a heart attack or developing another block.

  • Low dose aspirins often act as an anticoagulant thus preventing the arteries from thickening.

  • It is always important not to try any self medication for heart problems. Always consult with your doctor on any treatment, no matter how simple it sounds.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Why FOLIC ACID Is Good for You

Go Green

Why folic acid is good for you.

In the last three years, scientists have uncovered one reason after another which shows that folic acid is important in the diet. First, it was linked to the prevention of birth defects, then to a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease. And now, a study of nuns has offered intriguing hints that a folic acid deficiency might be linked to Alzheimer's disease.

Dr. David A. Snowdon, an epidemiologist at the University of Kentucky presented the first results from his study of 678 nuns. The researcher, found that the nuns who showed little evidence of Alzheimer's disease at the time of their deaths also had high levels of folic acid. The findings reinforced a 1998 study in which Alzheimer's patients were found to have low levels of folic acid in their blood.

There is also some evidence that folic acid - or folate, one of the three B vitamins that help in the formation of red blood cells can combat depression and reduce the incidence of certain cancers. The other two B vitamins are B6 and B12.

It's easy to get folic acid into the diet-many vegetables, dried beans and leafy greens are rich in it. Yes, it is also conveniently available in pill form, but it may not do as much good if the diet is high in animal protein and low in carbohydrates.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Stones in Our Kidney???

Stones in your Kidney?


Who is likely to get stones in kidney?

Both men and women, though kidney stones are more common in men. People with a family history are two and a half times more likely to form stones than those without family history. The highest risk occurs between the ages of 20 and 50.

Stone formation occurs when either excessive amounts of a mineral are excreted into the urine or when the volume of fluid in your body is decreased because of dehydration.

It's called renal colic - one of the most intense of all pains - and it's caused by pressure on the kidney due to blocked urine flow. The pain often radiates along the path of the urinary tract, beginning high in the back over the kidney and traveling to the lower abdomen, groin and even into the genitals. The pain begins suddenly and quickly becomes unbearable. Renal colic is often accompanied by nausea and vomiting not because the stomach is involved, but simply because of the severe pain.

In about 90 per cent of all cases, kidney stones cause bleeding into the urine.


About 80 per cent of the time, the principal mineral in a kidney stone is calcium, usually combined with oxalate (60 percent of all stones) but sometimes paired with phosphate (20 percent) or other substances like uric acid.


  • Drink lots of water and other fluids, aiming for at least two litres a day.

  • Eat moderate amounts of calcium-rich foods. Stay away from calcium supplements and vitamin D supplements, which increase the intestinal absorption of calcium.

  • Avoid foods with high levels of oxalate; spinach, beets, sweet potatoes, nuts, instant coffee, tea and chocolate head this list.

  • Avoid excessive amounts of protein, especially from meat and other animal sources. Reduce your consumption of salt, staying below the recommended maximum of 2,400 mg per day.

  • Increase your consumption of citrus fruits and juices (except apple and grapefruit juices); in addition to potassium, they provide a second helpful nutrient, citrate.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Whenever You Are Angry

Don't get mad

Substitute anger and tears with a smile or a laugh

When you are angry

  • The brain tells the body to pump out the action-hormone 'nor-adrenaline'.

  • Breathing deepens, the heart beats more rapidly, blood pressure rises, and pupils dilate.

  • Blood is diverted from other organs to the heart, central nervous system, and muscles.

  • Digestion is suspended, glucose levels rise, men have testosterone boost. You're on red alert.

  • You clench your fist, teeth and colon.

Anger is the body's natural emotional and physical response to being threatened. It is one of the first emotions we experience as babies, when Mum isn't as forthcoming with the milk as we'd want. According to some experts many of us are addicted to the highs we experience when the body releases 'nor-adrenaline', the hormone which kick-starts us into action, by mobilising fatty acids from the body's fat deposits.

Once upon a time this gave us the strength to fight or flee, but now these responses are not always necessary. Our blood becomes thick with free fatty acids. Tests on racing drivers, for example, show exceptionally high blood plasma levels of free fatty acids, because the physical and mental stress of Grand Prix racing are similar to frequent bursts of anger.

But for those of us who aren't race drivers, anger brews into a noxious stew in which free fatty acids can fur up the blood vessels, narrowing the arteries, making our blood clot, and causing an increased need for oxygen in the heart - all harbingers of a heart attack.

Repressed anger causes a slew of destructive repercussions like anxiety, detachment, high blood pressure, asthma, phobias, hysterics, weight problems, insomnia and sexual dysfunctions.

Anger should be used to convey real feelings of displeasure. As a human being you are entitled to feel angry and to express that emotion openly and warmly at the time it occurs, to the person who causes it. This meaningful communication clears the air, reconciles differences, and frees the flow of all feelings needed for a rich relationship.

Sometimes Get angry-it's good for you!

Anger can be good if it is controlled. If you express yourself properly, you can tell the world that you refuse to be a victim. Discover the difference between good and bad anger and how you can use anger in a healthy way…

Anger is a billion-year-old human survival mechanism, there to protect us from becoming victims. Unfortunately, although it's perfectly natural, we have always been taught not to feel angry.

When directed properly, anger can do wonders for your health, especially your heart. In the journal Health Psychology, it was found that men who suppressed their anger tended to have higher blood pressure than those who vented it constructively.

The men who vented it constructively are people who use "controlled anger". They use the rush of adrenaline they get from anger to sharpen their senses and get the outcome they want. This is in contrast to the "toxic anger"-the kind that happens when your mouth runs amuck and you end up sounding like an idiot because your judgment becomes muddled. By the way, "toxic anger" can be fatal too. The journal Circulation reported that men with high levels of anger were twice as likely to have a heart attack than other men.

Don't get angry; get more knowledge.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008



Is it the new miracle drug?

Suddenly aspirin is more than an effective painkiller. It is being used in the prevention of bowel cancer, cardiovascular disease and strokes. Now people wonder if it could offer hope to smokers too.

It has been hailed as a versatile drug for which doctors are finding new uses all the time.

Recently, a hospital in America announced that aspirin could help to reduce the risk of lung cancer. A study revealed that a group of women who had taken aspirin three or more times a week for at least six months, had reduced risks of developing any kind of lung cancer. But there is no doubt about the fact that abstaining from smoking is by far, the best way to avoid lung cancer.

Heart patients and those who have suffered strokes have benefited with a daily dose of aspirin. It has anti coagulant properties, which prevents blood from clotting.

It is little wonder then that aspirin is widely acclaimed as a wonder drug. It is cheap and is easily available.

But aspirin, though largely considered very safe to consume, is not totally without side effects.

It thins the blood and prevents clotting. But it could cause one to bleed a lot more when injury occurs. It increases the risk of bleeding disorders and can lead to gastrointestinal haemorrhage.

Aspirin is also quite harsh on the lining of the stomach and can aggravate stomach ulcers.

It should be administered to children with abundant caution. When given to children with fever or chicken pox, it can cause a condition called Reye's syndrome - a devastating diseases that can damage the brain and liver.

Medical experts also warn that aspirin should not be used as a preventive drug. People with no history of heart disease or stroke should not start long-term aspirin medication.

It's always more sensible to first consult a renowned doctor.

Is Soy Safe?

Is soy safe?

How safe is Soy milk formula? That seems to be the latest bone of contention. There are more and more babies who are being steadfastly fed on Soy formula. But is it really as safe as previously thought? Well, new research seems to think otherwise. The new findings say it isn't all good news. But the old school is sticking to their guns.

What do parents do at times like that? They need to keep themselves well informed.

A team of researchers have concentrated their studies on soy products and immune functions. They seem to have a link between the regular intake of soy products and a weakened immune system. A component in Soy formula might weaken the immune system. Genistein - a component found in soy formula is being viewed suspiciously be the research team.

Genistein is the most prominent of three isoflavones found in soy. Isoflavones copy the effect of the hormone estrogen, which is a known immune system suppressor.

Researchers fear Soy might dramatically reduce the immune system organ called the thymus. The thymus is largely responsible for the development of immune cells and immune functions. Thus babies growing up on a soy formula might be less immune than those who don't. They will pick up diseases more regularly and fall ill more often.

Researchers firmly believe that mother's milk is the best for children. Cow's milk is ranked second as it closely resembles mother's milk.

Besides babies, millions of women also take soy supplements to ease menopause symptoms. Women who take regular doses of synthetically derived soy supplements experienced a decrease in their lymphocyte counts. These white blood cells returned to a normal level after the soy supplements were stopped.

But paediatricians say more research needs to be done on Soy formula before banishing it as unhealthy. They feel many babies fed on soy formula have grown up to be healthy adults. Nutrition experts feel that there is no firm evidence linking soya formula with weakened immune systems.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Make a Difference

Want to make a difference?

Even the simplest everyday activities when performed right, can make a difference to the environment that is already badgered and is getting wrecked by the growing apathy and irresponsibility of the public. True, a few NGOs are making some attempts to educate the public about their social responsibilities and a hue and cry is raised now and then when matters get out of hand. Witness the movement against the dumping of hazardous wastes by MNCs that have flooded the Indian market with their goods. These are the visible violations. What about those countless, thoughtless activities that are contributing in no small measure to the degradation of our planet? Don't we, as responsible citizens, have our duties to perform in this sphere? So, how can I as an individual, contribute towards the betterment of the world, you may ask. Simple. Follow these small remedial actions on a regular basis and help save our planet:

  • Did you realise that when you use the remote to turn off your televisions or stereos, you are still leaving the power on? That little standby light that you see means that power is still being used and you are therefore actually contributing to global warming.

  • Don't leave the water running when you brush your teeth. You are only adding to the millions of gallons of water that goes waste every day.

  • All of us wash vegetables every day to get rid of the toxins and dirt. In the process, we also use a lot of water that, when harnessed, can be used to water the garden. Device a method of diverting this water to use for your plants.

  • Find out how used batteries and other hazardous wastes can be safely disposed of. These are real dangers to the already heavily polluted atmosphere. Try and use rechargeable batteries wherever they can replace ordinary ones.

  • Contact a local NGO which has a collection service for used paper, glass, plastics and other waste. Segregate your garbage to recyclable and non-recyclable items. Educate your servants who may be ignorant about these basic safety measures.

  • Cards are a beautiful way of expressing your love and affection. Spare a thought for the clutter and ensuing waste though. Why don't you switch to e-cards instead? This will save the world the bother of disposing of a few million tonnes of paper!

  • Are you aware that the more throwaway conveniences we use in order to simplify our lives, the more we are adding to global pollution? Use material that can be reused and recycled. Do not add to the already burdened world's rubbish dumps.

  • Harvest rainwater. This will help to replenish dwindling ground water and may become our saviour in times of drought.

  • Plant trees and stop indiscriminate cutting down of full-grown trees. Maintain a garden however small it may be. At least have house plants that will brighten up your home and contribute to healthier air around you.

  • Avoid use of chemical pesticides or fertilisers. Look for the ‘natural' label when you buy. Try and make your own compost. Get advice on this from the local horticultural bodies.

  • Some herbs and plants when grown in your garden, act as natural pest repellants. Basil, mint, marigolds and chrysanthemums come under this category.

  • Do not ever pour harmful toxic liquids oil, or chemicals into the drains.

  • Drive to some serene garden or park whenever you feel stressed, preferably in the outskirts of the city. The air becomes fresh and you breathe out all your tensions.

  • Avoid asking for plastic bags in shops. These are an environmental hazard and should be shunned like the plague. Try taking your own bags when you go shopping for groceries or vegetables.

  • These days organically grown foodstuff is available in the market. Buying these will ensure that you are not exposed to toxins and other harmful agents.

  • Biodegradable cleaning agents are available in most shops. Just look for the right labels. These have less of a negative effect on the soil.

  • Check for the energy efficiency of any household appliances that you buy.

These are but a few steps that you can take on a personal level to help contribute towards a healthier and cleaner atmosphere. Are you ready to do your bit?

Smiles, it makes us Happy

Smiles, it makes everyone Happy

What happens when you smile.

  1. The muscles of the face crease, massaging underlying blood vessels and stimulating blood flow and the supply of oxygen and nutrients to the brain.

2. The stress relieving hormones, nor-adrenaline and cortisol, are released.

  1. Those happy hormones, called endorphins, whiz around your body.

We smile for a gaggle of reasons. But primarily it is a bonding mechanism, a social skill we learn as babies.

"The human baby is too weak to cling to its mother for hours on end. Crying will attract its mother's attention. But smiling will keep her attention.

As we grow older we smile in sympathy, in greeting, in apology, in appreciation. It is undoubtedly the most important bonding signal we have. But why do we also smile at inopportune moments?

Smiling is an appeasement gesture, a signal to others that you are friend rather than foe.. It is a weapon against depression, producing the same feel-good factor that comes after exercise, sex, or laughter.

Some experts even say that if you make yourself smile, you'll feel happier.

Friday, May 9, 2008


Emotional Quotient

Body Image

Is your body bothering you? When you peer into the mirror, do you really like what you see? Do you try to hide your body shape with whatever you wear? Do you give longing, lingering looks to all those svelte models with hourglass... more >>

Classic burn out symptoms and possible solutions

What is 'burn out'? We deal here with some classic burn out symptoms and give you possible solutions with which you will be equipped to tackle them effectively. more >>

Laughter is the best medicine

If smiling is man's most important body mechanism, laughter is the most complicated. And that's no joke. more>>

Smile, it makes everyone happy

What happens when you smile. As we grow older we smile in sympathy, in greeting, in apology, in appreciation. It is undoubtedly the most important bonding signal we have. more>>

What happens when you cry?

What happens when you cry. more>>

Don't get mad

Substitute anger and tears with a smile or a laugh. more>>





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