Monday, November 30, 2009
Positive emotions and traits have been shown to influence a wide variety of well-being outcomes, from greater success at work to more and better quality social relationships. What may be the most important connection, however, is the growing evidence that positive affect plays an important role in physical health outcomes such as longevity, disease morbidity, and disease survival.
Now, a joint study between the University of Kansas and Gallup(1) using data on more than 150,000 adults in more than 140 countries has shown that positive emotions are linked to better health even when considering a lack of fundamental needs.
Sarah Pressman, assistant professor of psychology and Gallup senior research associate, said the association between emotion and physical health was more powerful than the connection between health and basic human physical requirements. Even without shelter or food, positive emotions were shown to boost health. Indeed, this association was strongest in the poorest countries surveyed.
1. 2009 Gallup Well-Being Forum http://www.gallup.com/consulting/wellbeing/109420/Speaking-Topics.aspx
Now, a landmark report from the Institute of Medicine entitiled, Secondhand Smoke Exposure and Cardiovascular Effects: Making Sense of the Evidence, confirms breathing secondhand smoke boosts nonsmokers' risk for heart problems, adding that indirect evidence indicates that even relatively brief exposures could lead to a heart attack is compelling.
Even before the new IOM report, there was already conclusive evidence that secondhand smoke causes death and disease, while smoke-free laws protect health and save lives.
Data on particulate matter in smoke from other pollution sources suggest that a relatively brief exposure to such substances can initiate a heart attack, and particulate matter is a major component of secondhand smoke.
The committee reviewed 11 key studies that showed that exposure to secondhand smoke appears to increase the risk of heart disease by about 25 to 30 percent among nonsmokers. In the United States alone, secondhand smoke is estimated to be responsible for approximately 46,000 deaths from heart disease, 3,400 lung cancer deaths, 150,000 to 300,000 lung infections, including pneumonia and bronchitis in children, an increase in the severity of asthma attacks from about 200,000 to 1 million in children with asthma, and more than 750,000 middle ear infections in children.
The report concludes smoke-free laws reduce the number of heart attacks and save lives.
Nonsmokers, do you want to continue meekly accepting the risk of secondhand smoke?
Our next postings will show you how you can help a smoker quit.
Secondhand Smoke Exposure and Cardiovascular Effects: Making Sense of the Evidence. The Institute of Medicine, 2009
Friday, November 27, 2009
ADULT: A person who has stopped growing at both ends and is now growing in the middle.
BEAUTY PARLOR: A place where women curl up and dye.
CANNIBAL: Someone who is fed up with people.
CHICKENS: The only animals you eat before they are born and after they are dead.
COMMITTEE: A body that keeps minutes and wastes hours.
DUST: Mud with the juice squeezed out.
EGOTIST: Someone who is usually me-deep in conversation.
HANDKERCHIEF: Cold Storage.
INFLATION: Cutting money in half without damaging the paper.
MOSQUITO: An insect that makes you like flies better.
RAISIN: Grape with a sunburn.
SECRET: Something you tell to one person at a time.
SKELETON: A bunch of bones with the person scraped off.
TOOTHACHE: The pain that drives you to extraction .
TOMORROW: One of the greatest labor saving devices of today.
YAWN: An honest opinion openly expressed. and last but not least.....
WRINKLES: Something other people have, similar to my character lines
Not convinced? Ask these guys at the ASPCA!
And visit your local volunteers
PAWS Animal Welfare Society
Subang Airport Road
Tel: +60 (0)3 7846 1087
URL : www.pawsmalaysia.com
Jalan Kerja Air Lama,
68000 Ampang, Selangor,
Tel : +603-42565312, 42535179
Fax : +603-42528382
Email : email@example.com
URL : www.spca.org.my
A study of 295 pre- and post-menopausal women in Australia who are sexually active more than twice a month found that those who self-rated themselves as being sexually satisfied had a higher overall psychological well-being score and scores for "positive well-being" and "vitality," compared with sexually dissatisfied women.1
This large study performed in the community emphasizes the role and importance of women's sexual health in women's overall health and well-being. It also reinforces the fact that frequency of sexual activity in women cannot be employed as a reliable indicator of sexual well-being.
This research will help health care professionals appreciate the need for overall women's healthcare to include women's sexual health care.
And, gentleman baby boomers, keep her happy by upgrading your act!
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Remember it is not the frequency of sexual activity but it’s quality that counts.1. Davison SL, Bell RJ, LaChina M, Holden SL, and Davis SR. The relationship between self-reported sexual satisfaction and general well-being in women. J Sex Med 2009;6:2690–2697.
Thursday, November 26, 2009
We know that moderate alcohol consumption, including wine, is associated with protection against coronary heart disease and ischemic stroke
A European study IMMIDIET published in the January 2009 issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition1 found moderate alcohol intake increases the amount of omega-3 fatty acids in plasma and red blood cells independently of the amount of fish consumed .
The study further suggests that wine does better than other alcoholic drinks. The researchers suspect that this could be due to polyphenols which occur naturally in wine.
Polyphenols are powerful antioxidants which are able to reduce oxidation processes caused by free radicals.
Winos please note: only one drink a day for women or two for men is considered moderate consumption. J
Teetotalers don’t despair. Go for the grapes that are used to make the wine.
di Giuseppe R, de Lorgeril M, Salen P, Laporte F, Di Castelnuovo A, Krogh V, Siani A, Arnout J, Cappuccio FP, van Dongen M, Donati MB, de Gaetano G, Iacoviello L; European Collaborative Group of the IMMIDIET Project. Alcohol consumption and n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids in healthy men and women from 3 European populations. Am J Clin Nutr. 2009 Jan;89(1):354-62.
Many studies have suggested that eating omega-3 fatty acids, mainly derived from fish, reduces the risk of heart disease; however, how fish is cooked affects the benefits of omega-3 fatty acids according to Abstract 1404/Poster 2071 presented at the American Heart Association's Scientific Sessions 2009.
Co-authors, Lixin Meng, Lynne Wilkens, and Laurence Kolonel examined the source, type, amount and frequency of dietary omega-3 ingestion among 82,243 men and 103,884 women ages 45 to 75 years old with no history of heart disease between 1993 and 1996.
The study suggests that there are greater cardio-protective benefits from baked or boiled fish than fried, salted or dried ones.
Of course, after savouring the delicious Teochew-steamed fish by the Sungei Aur (Bamboo River) in Port Klang, I will still reach out for my daily 2 x 1000mg omega-3 capsules.
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
God works in mysterious ways. After they crawl out of their cars, the man is yelling about women drivers.
The woman says, 'So, you're a man. That's interesting. I'm a woman. Wow, just look at our cars!
There's nothing left, but we're unhurt. This must be a sign from God that we should be friends and live in peace for the rest of our days.'
Flattered, the man replies, 'Oh yes, I agree completely, this must be a sign from God! But you're still at fault...women shouldn't be allowed to drive..'
The woman continues, 'And look at this, here's another miracle. My car is completely demolished but this bottle of wine didn't break. Surely God wants us to drink this wine and celebrate our good fortune.'
She hands the bottle to the man. The man nods his head in agreement, opens it and drinks half the bottle and then hands it back to the woman.
The woman takes the bottle, puts the cap back on and hands it back to the man.
The man asks, 'Aren't you having any?'
The woman replies, 'No. I think I'll just wait for the police...'
Monday, November 23, 2009
|Your Skin Smells Too! |
Metabolites produced in the axillae (underarms) are a primary source of human body odour. But nonaxillary skin also harbours volatile metabolites, possibly with different biological origins than axillary odorants.
A study to take inventory of the volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from the upper back and forearm skin identified nearly 100 compounds, some of which varied with age.1
These data may provide future investigators of skin VOCs with a baseline against which any abnormalities can be viewed in searching for biomarkers of skin diseases.
1. Gallagher M, Wysocki CJ, Leyden JJ, Spielman AI, Sun X, Preti G. Analyses of volatile organic compounds from human skin. Br J Dermatol. 2008 Sep;159(4):780-91
Body odour can have a negative impact on a person's social life.
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Saturday, November 21, 2009
Low consumption of DHA can be an effective and nonpharmacological way to protect healthy individuals from platelet-related cardiovascular events
To determine the optimal dose of DHA, Lagarde and colleagues4 examined the effects of increasing doses of DHA on both platelet* reactivity and antioxidant status in 12 healthy male volunteers between ages of 53 and 65.
Platelets play an important in the maintenance of haemostasis (the arresting of bleeding while maintaining blood flow through a damaged vessel, resulting in repair). This is achieved primarily by the formation of thrombi (blood clots), when damage to the endothelium of blood vessels occurs. On the other hand, thrombus formation must be inhibited at times when there is no damage to the endothelium.
In their report appearing in the September 2009 print issue of The FASEB Journal, the French scientists show that a 200 mg dose of DHA5 per day is enough to affect biochemical markers (platelet reactivity and platelet vitamin E, p38 MAP kinase phosphorylation and urinary isoprostane levels) that reliably predict cardiovascular problems.
The best source for DHA and EPA are fatty coldwater fish such as herring, mackerel, salmon and tuna, see table below. Fish oil and algae supplements can also provide omega-3 fatty acids.
Friday, November 20, 2009
High blood pressure is a risk factor for stroke; therefore, dietary measures that reduce blood pressure may in turn affect stroke risk. Consuming more magnesium, calcium and potassium has been associated with lower blood pressure in previous studies, while sodium has been positively associated with hypertension.
Susanna C. Larsson et al analyzed the diets of 26,556 Finnish male smokers age 50 to 69 years who had not previously had strokes.1
During an average of 13.6 years of follow-up, 2,702 of the men had cerebral infarctions; 579 had brain haemorrhage.
After adjusting for age and cardiovascular risk factors, such as diabetes and cholesterol level, men who consumed the most magnesium (an average of 589 milligrams per day) had a 15 percent lower risk for cerebral infarction than those who consumed the least (an average of 373 milligrams per day).
The results "suggest that a high consumption of magnesium-rich foods, such as whole-grain cereals, may play a role in the prevention of cerebral infarction," they write
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Wednesday, November 18, 2009
For those of you who may want the benefits of exercise on diabetic control but may be physically unable to complete strenuous activities due to age, condition or injury Tai Chi is a great alternative
Tai Chi is a Chinese martial art that combines diaphragmatic breathing and relaxation with gentle circular, fluid movements.
It is well known that Tai Chi improves respiratory and cardiovascular function, while improving flexibility and relieving stress. Many studies have also shown that diabetes control improves with Tai Chi.
This is reinforced in a recent study of ninety-nine adults diagnosed with type 2 diabetes who participated in a supervised tai chi exercise program two days a week with three days of home practice for six months.1 The adherent group significantly lowered their fasting blood glucose levels, improved their management of the disease, and enhanced their overall quality of life, including mental health, vitality and energy.
There are nearly 1.2 million people in Malaysia who have type 2 diabetes, a figure that is almost double the number of known type 2 diabetics in Australia with a similar population size.
Anyone 45 years old or older should consider getting tested for diabetes. If you are 45 or older and overweight getting tested is strongly recommended.
One in five people who have had chickenpox will get shingles (herpes zoster) later in life, usually after age 50, and the risk increases as people get older.
Tai Chi has previously been shown to improve immune system response, in contrast to strenuous physical activity, which depresses it.
An investigation into the impact of a 12 week Tai Chi Chuan exercise programme, on 30 patients found the levels interleukin-12, a signaling molecule which boosts the immune response, increased in level; interleukin-4, which lessens the immune response, declined.2 In an alternative explanation also suggested by the authors, the exercise may boost levels of fitness along with a feeling of well being -- this in turn may boost the health of the immune system.This low impact Tai Chi exercise may help baby boomers avoid getting shingles by increasing immunity to herpes zoster virus comparable to those achieved with the herpes zoster vaccine, according to the results of a randomized controlled trial.3
If you stay in the Klang district, the Tai Chi group that meets Tuesdays and Fridays at Hin Hua High School, Persiaran Raja Muda Musa welcomes beginners. Bilingual classes start at 8.30pm under the direction of Messrs Aw and Ng. Call our pharmacy on 03 31688469 for further details.
|1||Rhayun Song, Sukhee Ahn, Beverly L. Roberts, Eun Ok Lee, You Hern Ahn. Adhering to a T'ai Chi Program to Improve Glucose Control and Quality of Life for Individuals with Type 2 Diabetes. The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine. June 2009, 15(6): 627-632.|
|2||S-H Yeh, H Chuang, L-W Lin, C-Y Hsiao, P-W Wang, R-T Liu, K D Yang. Regular Tai Chi Chuan exercise improves T cell helper function of patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus with an increase in T-bet transcription factor and IL-12 production. Br J Sports Med 2009 Nov;43(11):845-50.|
|3||Irwin, M.R., et al. Augmenting immune responses to varicella zoster virus in older adults: A randomized, controlled trial of Tai Chi. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society (2007), 55(4):511-517.|