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Which aids heart health better? Sitting at home or at work?

It is a globally known fact that sitting for long straight periods of time take a toll on our health. But, researchers have found that there is a difference between occupational si

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Why do women face higher heart disease risk after breast cancer?

New research warns that, after completing breast cancer treatment, women aged 45 and over have a heightened risk of developing cardiovascular disease. The researchers' analysis re

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by Mrinalini R I

Lung cancer is the “second most common cancer" diagnosed, says the Doctors in America. It has also been noted as the reason behind most number of deaths, which makes its early recognition and treatment very relevant. The recognition of early stages of lung cancer through CT and PET scans has been faulty and costly. This is when researchers brought in canines to the picture. Dogs with their accurate sniffing skills were introduced to smell and made to detect even early stages of cancer. Study was conducted by researchers training 4 beagles for a period of 8 weeks. After the training period, 3 dogs were tested by giving them blood samples collected from individuals with non-small cell lung cancer and a set of blood samples obtained from healthy individuals. And they successfully detected the cancer with 97.5% specificity, and 96.7% sensitivity. “Right now, it appears dogs have a better natural ability to screen for cancer than our most advanced technology. Once we figure out what they know and how, we may be able to catch up." Says Prof. Thomas Quinn.

Which aids heart health better? Sitting at home or at work?

by Mrinalini R I

It is a globally known fact that sitting for long straight periods of time take a toll on our health. But, researchers have found that there is a difference between occupational sitting (sitting at work) and leisure time sitting (sitting at home, watching TV). As a result of studies conducted, researchers found that people who reported sitting and watching TV for 4 or more hours each day had a 50% higher risk of cardiovascular problems and premature death compared with individuals who sat in front of the television for 2 hours or less per day. “More research is needed, but it's possible that just taking a short break from your TV time and going for a walk may be enough to offset the harm of leisure time sitting. Almost any type of exercise that gets you breathing harder and your heart beating faster may be beneficial.", says Keith Diaz, Ph.D. Talking about the solution, researchers suggest that replacing some TV downtime with moderate to vigorous exercise could counteract the increase in cardiovascular risk. In fact, they noted that individuals who sat watching TV for 4 or more hours each day but also did 150 minutes or more of exercise per week did not have a heightened risk of heart health issues or premature death.

(Source: www.medicalnewstoday.com)

Why do women face higher heart disease risk after breast cancer?

by Mrinalini R I

New research warns that, after completing breast cancer treatment, women aged 45 and over have a heightened risk of developing cardiovascular disease. The researchers' analysis revealed that, when they compared them with women over 45 who never experienced breast cancer, those who had received breast cancer treatment had a much higher likelihood of having metabolic syndrome, diabetes, atherosclerosis, hypertriglyceridemia (elevated blood levels of fatty molecules), as well as abdominal obesity. All of these conditions are top risk factors for developing cardiovascular disease. Moreover, these women's risk of cardiovascular, event-related death was increased, matching death rates that experts associate with a breast cancer diagnosis. “Heart-healthy lifestyle modifications can decrease both the risk of recurrent breast cancer and the risk of developing heart disease. Thus women should be evaluated for heart disease risk, as they are being treated for breast cancer, and continue to be followed for increased risk after treatment for breast cancer." Says Dr. JoAnn Pinkerton, executive director of NAMS.

How strength training may help people with diabetes

by Mrinalini R I


Brazilian scientists conducted a study on mice and found that strength training can reduce liver fat and improve blood sugar levels in people with diabetes. In many cases, people can avoid diabetes by following a healthful diet and exercising. To develop new drugs that reproduce some of the benefits of physical activity, a team of scientists in Brazil analyzed the effects of strength training on the livers of mice. The new study, by researchers at the University of Campinas (UNICAMP) in São Paulo State, Brazil, found that strength weight training can reduce liver fat and improve blood sugar levels in people with obesity and those with diabetes. The results of the research appear in the Journal of Endocrinology. The liver plays a key role in blood sugar management and the development of diabetes. This organ produces, stores, and controls blood sugar levels. If the body produces too much fat, it can build up in the liver and lead to inflammation and liver failure. Overweight people are at high risk of developing both liver disease and diabetes. Studies were conducted on mice. The results showed that the mice that exercised produced less glucose than the sedentary obese group even though they received the same amount of pyruvate. These findings suggest that strength training caused metabolic alterations that made the liver more sensitive to insulin. This study demonstrated that strength training led to benefits in the liver tissue that were unrelated to skeletomuscular contractions. The researchers hypothesized that a protein called clusterin might play a role in the communication between the muscles and liver. If additional research confirms this hypothesis, the team may test treatments with synthetic alternatives.


Link between nature time and well-being

by Mrinalini R I

It has always been a proven fact that spending time in nature has abundant benefits in the mind and health of an individual. But, how long should we spend time in nature? That has been an answer unknown. A study was conducted to find the answer to it and results reflected that, a period of two hours every week is the optimal exposure to nature for an individual and anything less than 2 hours resulted in noticeable changes in the participants. 2 hours is also a realistic goal to everybody. It is not an excessive amount of time in a week. The study authors discuss the size of the positive effect, explaining that the increase in self-reported health and well-being following 2 hours of contact with nature each week is similar to the differences observed in: 

  • - people living in an area of low versus high deprivation

  • - people employed in a high versus low social grade occupation

  • - people who achieve the recommended levels of physical activity in the previous week versus those who do not

“Two hours a week is hopefully a realistic target for many people, especially given that it can be spread over an entire week to get the benefit.", says Study lead Dr. Mathew P. White.

(Source: www.medicalnewstoday.com)

Are artificial lights in sleeping environment a threat to obesity in women?

by Mrinalini R I

Obesity is a major issue faced by about 70% of the U.S population. The ever increasing rate of obesity has tripled across the globe since 1970’s and is putting us in an alarming state. Diet and exercise are the key factors to keep obesity at bay and now, studies also show the role of sleep and genetics. A study was done to know whether artificial light in the sleeping environment of a woman leads to obesity. 43,722 women participated in the study and scientists divided them into groups based on the exposure of their sleeping environments to artificial light. Results showed that, lower the exposure, lower was their body mass index (BMI) and waist to hip ratio were, on average. Also, sleep duration was shorter, physical activity and healthy eating lesser. “While our study provides stronger evidence than other previous studies, it is still not conclusive. Even so, it seems reasonable to advise people not to sleep with lights on.", says Dr. Yong-Moon Mark Park. Sleeping with T.V or other light imparting devices on is a habit hard to break. Also, living in crowded places will also make it hard to lower the impacts of outside light. Next, researchers are going to focus on how natural light affects obesity and whether there is a link between artificial light and high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes etc.

(Source: www.medicalnewstoday.com)

Do having more fingers benefit us

by Mrinalini R I

Polydactyly, the condition in which a person is born with more than the usual number of fingers on their hands or toes on their feet, is seen in many individuals. One in every 2000-3000 babies are born with polydactyly. It is considered a deformity as it is not a normal affair. Hence, most doctors remove any extra fingers or toes at the time of birth itself to avoid embarrassment in the future and also because these extra digits are considered useless. Now, the question of whether it has beneficial aspects, is arising among scientists who believe that polydactyly serves people with more dexterity in movement when compared to those with fewer digits of fingers and toes. Studies were conducted to learn more about this. "We wanted to know if the subjects have motor skills that go beyond people with five fingers and how the brain is able to control the additional degrees of freedom," says study co-author Prof. Carsten Mehring. During the study, participants were made to perform various tasks while their brain activity was being recorded continuously through functional MRI. Results showed that, they were able to perform tasks with a single hand, which could be done only using two hands for people without extra digits. Scientists explain that brain was able to cope up and control the extra finger only because it was there by birth and having control over parts developed in later stages of life is doubtful.Polydactyly, the condition in which a person is born with more than the usual number of fingers on their hands or toes on their feet, is seen in many individuals. One in every 2000-3000 babies are born with polydactyly. It is considered a deformity as it is not a normal affair. Hence, most doctors remove any extra fingers or toes at the time of birth itself to avoid embarrassment in the future and also because these extra digits are considered useless. Now, the question of whether it has beneficial aspects, is arising among scientists who believe that polydactyly serves people with more dexterity in movement when compared to those with fewer digits of fingers and toes. Studies were conducted to learn more about this. "We wanted to know if the subjects have motor skills that go beyond people with five fingers and how the brain is able to control the additional degrees of freedom," says study co-author Prof. Carsten Mehring. During the study, participants were made to perform various tasks while their brain activity was being recorded continuously through functional MRI. Results showed that, they were able to perform tasks with a single hand, which could be done only using two hands for people without extra digits. Scientists explain that brain was able to cope up and control the extra finger only because it was there by birth and having control over parts developed in later stages of life is doubtful.Polydactyly, the condition in which a person is born with more than the usual number of fingers on their hands or toes on their feet, is seen in many individuals. One in every 2000-3000 babies are born with polydactyly. It is considered a deformity as it is not a normal affair. Hence, most doctors remove any extra fingers or toes at the time of birth itself to avoid embarrassment in the future and also because these extra digits are considered useless. Now, the question of whether it has beneficial aspects, is arising among scientists who believe that polydactyly serves people with more dexterity in movement when compared to those with fewer digits of fingers and toes. Studies were conducted to learn more about this. "We wanted to know if the subjects have motor skills that go beyond people with five fingers and how the brain is able to control the additional degrees of freedom," says study co-author Prof. Carsten Mehring. During the study, participants were made to perform various tasks while their brain activity was being recorded continuously through functional MRI. Results showed that, they were able to perform tasks with a single hand, which could be done only using two hands for people without extra digits. Scientists explain that brain was able to cope up and control the extra finger only because it was there by birth and having control over parts developed in later stages of life is doubtful.


Chicken Ball And Spinach Soup

by (Source: food.ndtv.com)

For chicken balls:
500 Gram Chicken leg or breast (minced, leg will
result in a softer texture)
Spring onion greens, finely chopped
Carrots, shredded
1 tsp White pepper powder
2 Chicken stock cubes (crumbled)
1 Tbsp Sesame oil
2 1/2 Tbsp Ginger, grated
1 Egg (for binding)
To taste Salt
A pinch of Star anise powder
2 cloves Garlic, chopped
3 Tbsp Soya sauce
Potato starch (optional)

For the soup:
5 Cups Chicken stock or hot water mixed with 2
stock cubes
1/2 Cup Mushrooms, chopped
Few Spinach leaves (ripped)
Bean sprouts (cleaned and kept aside)
3 Lemons (juiced)
Soya sauce
To taste Salt
2 Eggs (beaten)

  1. Mix all ingredients above with mince till evenly distributed and place in the refrigerator.
  1. Heat stock and when boiling add the egg mix till it scrambles in the soup. Mix lightly.
  2. Take chicken out of fridge and form balls with wet hands. Add to soup.
  3. Now taste the soup and adjust seasoning with salt and soya sauce.
  4. Finally add mushrooms and shredded carrots. Let it cook till they have a nice crunch and not overdone.
  5. Add lemon juice. Taste. If you need more juice, add. Dont overcook the lemon juice.
  6. At the end, just before serving, throw in the bean sprouts and torn spinach leaves and serve.
  7. Serve with vinegar-chillies and your favorite chilli sauce.

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