Sunday, January 31, 2010

Zestz for LAUGHS?

Upset tummy is one of several common side effects of PDE5 inhibitors. Read on for other side effects.

Three oral medications are approved by the Drug Control Authority of the Malaysian Ministry of Health for the treatment of erectile dysfunction:

  • Sildenafil (Viagra)
  • Vardenafil (Levitra)
  • Tadalafil (Cialis)

These three are known as phosphodiesterase-5 (PDE5) inhibitors. By blocking the PDE-5 enzyme, these drugs help the smooth muscles of the penis to relax and increase blood flow.

Other common side effects of PDE inhibitors include flushing, upset stomach, headache, nasal congestion, back pain, and dizziness.

Effects on the Heart. There have been reports of fatal heart attacks in a small percentage of men taking sildenafil (Viagra). Viagra can cause sudden and dangerous drops in blood pressure when the drug is taken with nitrate drugs, such as nitroglycerine, which are used for angina. No one taking nitrates, including amyl nitrate, should take sildenafil or any other PDE5 inhibitors.

Intercourse itself involves an increase in physical exertion and a small risk of heart attack for patients with known heart disease or those at risk.

Visual Effects. About 2.5% of men who take these drugs develop vision problems that include seeing a blue haze, temporary increased brightness, and even temporary vision loss in a few cases. The effect is usually temporary, lasting a few minutes to several hours. Men at risk for eye problems who take PDE5 inhibitors regularly should have frequent eye examinations with an ophthalmologist. Men should also see an eye doctor if visual problems last more than a few hours.

In a few cases, these drugs have been associated with partial vision loss. The vision loss was caused by non-arteritic anterior ischemic optic neuropathy (NAION), a condition that occurs from poor blood flow to optic nerves. However, doctors note that erectile dysfunction is itself linked to the same vascular problems that cause NAION. Patients who suffer from diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease are at higher risk for erectile dysfunction as well as other vascular problems such as NAION. Information concerning vision loss has been added to the labels of these drugs, but the risk of blindness appears small. Still, patients who use this medication and experience a sudden loss of vision should immediately stop taking the drug and contact their doctor.

Hearing Loss. A small number of men have experienced sudden hearing loss in one ear, sometimes accompanied by ringing in the ears and dizziness. If you have this symptom, immediately contact your doctor.

Seizures. There have been a few reports of seizures in men taking sildenafil. These are rare occurrences and it is not clear if there is any causal association.

Risk of Priapism. PDE5 inhibitors pose a very low risk for priapism in most men. (Priapism is sustained, painful, and unwanted erection.) Exceptions are young men with normal erectile function.

Interactions with Other Drugs. In addition to serious interactions with nitrates, PDE5 inhibitors may also interact with certain antibiotics, (such as erythromycin), and acid blockers, such as cimetidine (Tagamet). Patients should tell their doctor about any other medications they are taking.

If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.

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Saturday, January 30, 2010

Dragon Fruit

The red-fleshed pitaya or dragon fruit (Hylocereu polyrhizus) belongs to the family of Cactaceae and order of Caryophyllales. It is also known in Chinese as huǒ lóng guǒ 火龍果 / “fire dragon fruit” and lóng zhū guǒ “dragon pearl fruit”.

The glabrous berry with large red scales can weigh up to 1kg. Its flesh is translucent dark-red flesh with numerous soft black seeds.

Dragon fruit is a rich source of nutrients and minerals such as vitamin B1, vitamin B2, vitamin B3 and vitamin C, protein, fat, carbohydrate, crude fiber, flavonoid, thiamin, niacin, pyridoxine, kobalamin, glucose, phenolic, betacyanins, polyphenol, carotene, phosphorus, iron and phytoalbumin.

Dragon fruit has a remarkably high content of the amino acid proline (1.1 to 1.6g/litre of the juice). Mineral content is relatively high with potassium, the most prevalent ion, followed by magnesium and calcium.

The red colour of pitaya fruit is attributed to betalains, a rare and potent class of antioxidants.

Dragon fruit is reputed to help the digestive process, prevent colon cancer and diabetes, neutralize toxic substances such as heavy metal, reduce cholesterol levels and high blood pressure.

Ruzainah Ali Jaafar, Ahmad Ridhwan Bin Abdul Rahman, Nor Zaini Che Mahmod and R.Vasudevan. Proximate Analysis of Dragon Fruit (Hylecereus polyhizus). Am. J. Applied Sci., 6 (7): 1341-1346, 2009

Stintzing F.C., Schieber A., Carle R., Phytochemical and nutritional significance of cactus pear, Eur. Food Res. Technol. 212 (2001) 396–407.

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Zestz JAZZ

Unique Rachel Guerzo


Tuesday, 27 April 2010 at 9.00 p.m.

Click here to purchase your tickets, NOW!

Rachel Guerzo talks to TASHNY SUKUMARAN of The New Sunday Times Magazine, about her long-awaited debut album

FAMILIES are the darndest things — a support system, a refuge — and also a source of pressure. The Kennedys, for example. Rachel Guerzo is a shining example of this. A Guerzo on her father’s side and a Soliano on her mother’s (two of Malaysia’s most musical families), there was never really any question as to what she’d become. Music is her birthright.

Gifted with a charming, bubbly personality and silky, soulful voice, Rachel is the epitome of a diva — without the temper tantrums.

Was her family her inspiration? “It’s more like a curse!” she says with a laugh. “No la, I’m just kidding. It’s a lot of pressure coming from a musical family, but I wasn’t pushed to do music,” she says at her debut album launch at No Black Tie in Kuala Lumpur recently.

And if you weren’t doing this? “Selling strollers. I tried la. I have to tell you, I tried. But the pull of going and stage and singing... it was too strong.

“I just like playing and singing, it doesn’t matter where. It’s the music that drives me, every time,” reveals this fresh-faced thirty-something KL girl. Her advice for aspiring jazz musicians? “Don’t give up hope!”

Her album, Just Friends, is a classy-looking package with six jazzy tracks written by renowned artistes and originals from Malaysia’s own jazz legend, Alfonso Soliano (Rachel’s grandfather).

Rachel’s voice, reminiscent of female jazz icons of yesteryears, shines in each and every song, husky with beautiful control over the notes.

Particularly moving tracks are her cover of Irving Berlin’s They Say It’s Wonderful and Gadis Idamanku by Alfonso Solianos — the former is like liquid velvet, while the latter is both nostalgic and haunting.

“I would definitely consider my grandfather part of the inspiration for this album. He was ahead of his time.”

Alfonso Soliano was founder, arranger and composer of Orkes Radio Malaysia (which would become Orkestra RTM).

Rachel is also excited about her debut at the Dewan Filharmonik Petronas in April 2010. The music will be based around her album.

A stylistic mix of Diana Krall’s fluidity and Shirley Horn’s versatility — as well as an unnamable quality that’s all her own, it’s easy to see why Rachel’s voice has seized the hearts, and ears, of many Malaysians. I know I’m a fan.

Friday, January 29, 2010






對大多數人而言, 骨質疏鬆症是可以預防,而且預防是面對此疾病的首要選擇,因為坊間有諸多骨質疏鬆症的治療方法,但現有的醫療尚無法根治此病症。在30岁之前存好骨本,是對付骨質疏鬆症發生最好的方法。基於此症成因諸多,所以預防措施不僅僅是補充鈣質就足夠的。

補充鈣質對中、老年人的成果是具爭論性的,針對不同族群的調查顯示只有當骨質疏鬆症的主因是缺鈣時才會有效果, 同時也需注意到不同國籍人的鈣攝取量之習慣,才能真正發揮成效。


1. 改變生活習慣

v 避免抽煙,攝取過量的酒精及咖啡因

v 定期的運動如健走

2. 攝取足夠的鈣及維他命D

v 馬來西亞人的鈣攝取量之建議為800 . 維他命D可以幫助人體對鈣質的吸收及排

泄,暴露於日光是維他命D 形成的主要原因之一。

v 50岁以上的長者之維他命D 攝取量的建議為10微克/日。

v 建議多攝取擁有高鈣及維他命D的食物包括牛奶、乳酪、蛋及魚肝油。

3. 用醫療方法來預防骨質的流失


, 但在使用前需諮詢專業的醫療人員。