Friday, December 31, 2010

Makan Secara Sihat, Hidup Lebih Lama

Punca utama kematian telah beralih dari penyakit berjangkit ke penyakit kronik seperti penyakit jantung dan kanser. Penyakit ini mungkin dipengaruhi oleh diet.

Dalam sebuah kajian yang diterbitkan dalam edisi Januari 2011 Journal of the American Dietetic Association, penyelidik menyiasat data empirik mengenai kelompok pola diet dengan kematian melalui analisis pola makan lebih daripada 2,500 orang dewasa antara usia 70 dan 79 tahun dalam tempoh sepuluh tahun. Mereka mendapati bahawa diet menyukai makanan tertentu dikaitkan dengan penurunan kematian.

Pada tahun 2030, dianggarkan seramai 973 juta orang dewasa berusia 65 tahun atau lebih di seluruh dunia. Tujuan kajian ini adalah untuk menentukan pola diet dari sebuah kumpulan besar dan pelbagai orang dewasa yang lebih tua, dan untuk menjelajah kelompok dari pola diet dengan kehidupan peserta selama tempoh 10 tahun. Tujuan kedua adalah untuk menilai kualiti hidup dan status gizi peserta sesuai dengan pola diet mereka.

Dengan menentukan frekuensi pengambilan 108 jenis makanan yang berbeza, penyelidik membahagikan peserta menjadi enam kumpulan yang berbeza sesuai dengan pilihan makanan utama mereka:

* Makanan sihat (374 peserta)
* Produk susu tinggi lemak (332)
* Daging, makanan bergoreng, dan alkohol (693)
* Bijirin Sarapan Pagi (386)
* Bijirin yang diproses (458)
* Manisan dan pencuci mulut (339)

Kelompok "makanan sihat" ditandai dengan pengambilan yang relatif lebih tinggi produk susu rendah lemak, buah-buahan, biji-bijian, ternakan, ikan, dan sayur-sayuran, dan pengambilan lebih rendah dari daging, makanan bergoreng, manisan, minuman tinggi kalori, dan penambah lemak . Kelompok "produk susu tinggi lemak" mempunyai pengambilan yang lebih tinggi makanan seperti ais krim, keju, dan 2% susu dan yogurt, dan pengambilan yang lebih rendah dari ternakan, produk susu rendah lemak, nasi dan pasta.

Penyelidikan ini unik kerana ia menilai kualiti hidup dan status gizi peserta, melalui reaksi biokimia secara terperinci, sesuai dengan pola diet mereka. Setelah mengawal jenis kelamin, usia, bangsa, masalah klinikal, pendidikan, aktiviti fizikal, merokok, dan pengambilan kalori total, kelompok "produk susu tinggi lemak" mempunyai risiko kematian 40% lebih tinggi daripada kelompok "makanan sihat". Kelompok "manisan dan pencuci mulut" mempunyai risiko 37% lebih tinggi. Tidak ada perbezaan yang signifikan pada risiko kematian antara kelompok "makanan sihat" dan "bijirin sarapan pagi" atau "bijirin yang diproses”.

Menurut penulis Amy L. Anderson, Ph.D., Jabatan Ilmu Gizi dan Makanan, Universiti Maryland, "hasil kajian ini menunjukkan bahawa orang dewasa yang lebih tua yang mengikuti pola diet yang konsisten dengan panduan saat ini untuk mengambil jumlah yang relatif tinggi sayur-sayuran, buah-buahan, biji-bijian, produk susu rendah lemak, ternakan dan ikan, mungkin mempunyai risiko kematian yang lebih rendah. Oleh kerana peratusan besar orang dewasa yang lebih tua dalam kajian ini mengikuti pola diet kelompok 'makanan sihat',. pematuhan terhadap diet seperti muncul cadangan yang sesuai dan realistik untuk meneruskan kehidupan yang berpotensi meningkatkan kualiti hidup pada populasi orang dewasa yang semakin meningkat. "

Artikel tersebut adalah “Dietary patterns and survival of older adults” oleh Amy L Anderson, Ph.D.; Tamara B Harris, M.D., M.S.; Frances A Tylavsky, Dr.P.H.; Sara E Perry, M.A., M.P.H.; Denise K Houston, Ph.D., R.D.; Trisha F Hue, M.P.H.; Elsa S Strotmeyer, Ph.D., M.P.H.; dan Nadine R Sahyoun, Ph.D., R.D. Ia terdapat dalam “ Journal of the American Dietetic Association” Volume 111, Issue 1 (January 2011) terbitan Elsevier.

Picture Credit: www.playproviders.org.uk

Source: Elsevier Health Sciences

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CoEnzyme Q10 (CoQ10) is a compound found naturally in the energy-producing center of the cell known as the mitochondria. CoQ10 is involved in making an important molecule known as adenosine triphosphate (ATP). ATP serves as the cell's major energy source and drives a number of biological processes, including muscle contraction and the production of protein. CoQ10 also works as an antioxidant.

Antioxidants are substances that scavenge free radicals, damaging compounds in the body that alter cell membranes, tamper with DNA, and even cause cell death. Free radicals occur naturally in the body, but environmental toxins (including ultraviolet light, radiation, cigarette smoking, and air pollution) can also increase the number of these damaging particles. Scientists believe free radicals contribute to the aging process, as well as the development of a number of health problems, including heart disease and cancer. Antioxidants, such as CoQ10, can neutralize free radicals and may reduce or even help prevent some of the damage they cause.

Uses:

CoQ10 boosts energy, enhances the immune system, and acts as an antioxidant. Clinical research suggests that using coenzyme Q10 supplements alone or in combination with other drug therapies and nutritional supplements may help prevent or treat these and other conditions:

High blood pressure

Several clinical studies involving small numbers of people suggest that CoQ10 may lower blood pressure. However, it may take 4 - 12 weeks before you will see any beneficial effects. In fact, after reviewing 12 clinical studies, researchers concluded that CoQ10 has the potential to lower systolic blood pressure by up to 17 mm Hg and diastolic blood pressure by 10 mm Hg, without significant side effects. More research with greater numbers of people is needed to assess the value of CoQ10 in the treatment of high blood pressure.

High cholesterol

Levels of CoQ10 tend to be lower in people with high cholesterol compared to healthy individuals of the same age. In addition, certain cholesterol-lowering drugs called statins (such as atorvastatin, cerivastatin, lovastatin, pravastatin, simvastatin) appear to deplete natural levels of CoQ10 in the body. Taking CoQ10 supplements can correct the deficiency caused by statin medications without affecting the medication's positive effects on cholesterol levels. Plus, studies show that CoQ10 supplementation may decrease the muscle pain associated with statin treatment.

Diabetes

CoQ10 supplements may improve heart health and blood sugar and help manage high cholesterol and high blood pressure in individuals with diabetes. High blood pressure, high cholesterol, and heart disease are all common problems associated with diabetes. Despite some concern that CoQ10 may cause a sudden and dramatic drop in blood sugar (called hypoglycemia), two recent clinical studies in people with diabetes given CoQ10, 200 mg 2 times daily, showed no hypoglycemic response. If you have diabetes, talk to your doctor or registered dietitian before using CoQ10.

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* Sorry about this 'wise crack', but unfortunately these disorders tend to coexist, they are cormorbid in the medical term. Diet, exercise, medication and poistive thinking are fundamental, supplements are helpful but they are supplementary to these basics.

This bright New Year is given to me to live each day with zest, to daily grow and try to be my highest and my best!
William Arthur Ward


All of Us at ZESTZFULNESS wish that the dawning of this New Year will fill your heart with new hopes, open up new horizons and bring for you promises of brighter tomorrows. May you have a great New Year.


William Arthur Ward (1921–1994), author of Fountains of Faith, is one of America's most quoted writers of inspirational maxims.

Picture Credit : http://1.bp.blogspot.com

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Know Thyself : It's Enlightening!

Know Thyself

By Wendy Strgar

I write entirely to find out what I’m thinking, what I’m looking at, what I see and what it means, what I want, and what I fear. -Joan Didion

This daily discipline of coming to terms with my daily life and myself in its midst could be called an exercise in self awareness. I have recognized more of myself – both the flaws and the gifts of who I am from this year of writing than probably any other single activity I have ever done. I have come to witness myself, or as Eleanor Roosevelt once described it: “Somehow we learn who we really are and then live with that decision.”

Finding a clear vision of oneself that looks authentically at not only what we are doing, but more importantly how we do it every day, changes you. Your consciousness changes when you witness your abilities, frailties and virtues. You become responsible for yourself and kinder to yourself in the process because you are no longer a stranger to yourself. Most people don’t take the time and effort it takes to become one’s own friend. Worse still most of us are never taught that this first friendship to ourselves is the one that will make the difference about all the rest.

Doubt and fear about our own self worth is the most common of all human diseases of the heart. Even the most successful people in the world are often dogged and coerced by the parts of themselves they most want to avoid. The tragic thing about our broken pieces is that the longer we push them away and underground, the more broken they become. They grow in our avoidance and even as we avert our eyes or try any number of ways to deny them, they take up more room inside of us.

Here is a simple magic that I promise you works. Whatever is most hidden and dark is only seeking your recognition. All that we need to do is shine a light on the deep corners inside of us. The grief, fear, and guilt shrink as we witness it. Allowing the feelings to exist and pass through our bodies is how they leave us. Even the fears that seem as though they will paralyze us if we look in their direction, they too will let go their hold, just by resting our gaze on them.

Know thyself. This is the first great commandment of living a human life on earth. Lao Tzu put it like this: “Knowing others is wisdom, knowing yourself is Enlightenment.”

Wendy Strgar, owner of Good Clean Love, is a loveologist who writes and lectures on Making Love Sustainable, a green philosophy of relationships which teaches the importance of valuing the renewable resources of love and family. Wendy helps couples tackle the questions and concerns of intimacy and relationships, providing honest answers and innovative advice. Wendy lives in Eugene, Oregon with her husband, a psychiatrist, and their four children ages 11-20.

Picture Credit : CartoonStock.Com

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Pharmacy Compounding

Dermatologists, physicians, health care professionals and patients encounter numerous problems that may be helped with customized medications.

Dermatologics is the branch of medicine dealing with the skin and its diseases. Compounding helps the dermotologist with topical anesthetics that work with cosmetic procedures, providing chemical peels to meet patient needs, barrier creams for various applications and all sorts of skin and wound care formulations that improve results.

Compounding solutions improve treatment for:

  • Acne
  • Psoriasis
  • Eczema
  • Rosacea
  • Sunburn
  • Hair loss
  • Fever blisters
  • Plantar wart
  • Warts and molluscum
  • Fungal and viral infections
  • Wrinkles and photoaged skin
  • Pigmentation abnormalities
  • Plant irritations (i.e. poison ivy)
  • Traumatized or diseased nails
  • Head lice and Scabies
  • Scarring and Keloids

Zestz for Laughs : The Defective Parrot

A guy is browsing in a pet shop, and sees a parrot sitting on a little perch.

It doesn't have any feet or legs.

The guy says aloud, 'Jeesh, I wonder what happened to this parrot?'

The parrot says, 'I was born this way. I'm a defective parrot.'

'Holy crap,' the guy replies. 'You actually understood and answered me. !'

'I got every word,' says the parrot. 'I happen to be a highly intelligent, and a thoroughly educated bird'

'Oh yeah?' the guy asks. 'Then answer this, how do you hang onto your perch, without any feet?'

'Well,' the parrot says, 'this is very embarrassing, but since you asked, I wrap my weenie around this wooden bar, like a little hook. You can't see it, because of my feathers.'

'Wow,' says the guy. 'You really can understand, and can speak English, can't you?'

'Actually, I speak both Spanish and English, and I can converse with reasonable competence on almost any topic, politics, religion, sports, physics, philosophy. I'm especially good at ornithology. You really ought to buy me; I'd be a great companion.'

The guy looks at the $200.00 price tag.

'Sorry, but I just can't afford that.'

'Pssssssst,' says the parrot, 'I'm defective, so the truth is, nobody wants me, cause I don't have any feet. You can probably get me for $20, just make the guy an offer!'

The guy offers $20, and walks out with the parrot.

Weeks go by.

The parrot is sensational.

He has a great sense of humor, he's interesting, he's a great pal, he understands everything, he sympathizes, and he's insightful.

The guy is delighted.

One day the guy comes home from work, and the parrot goes, 'Psssssssssssst,' and motions him over with one wing.

'I don't know if I should tell you this or not, but it's about your wife, and the UPS man.'

'What are you talking about?' asks the guy.

'When the UPS man delivered a package today, your wife greeted him at the door, in a sheer black nightie.'

'WHAT???' the guy asks incredulously.

'THEN what happened?'

'Well, then the UPS man came into the house, and lifted up her nightie, and began petting her all over,' reported the parrot.

'NO!' he exclaims, 'and she let him?'

'Yes.

Then he continued taking off the nightie, got down on his knees, and began to kiss her all over.'

Then the frantic guy demands, 'THEN WHAT HAPPENED.?'

DUNNO?!? I got a hard-on, and fell off my perch!'

Submitted by Edwin, author unknown

Picture Credit: www.sweetpreserve.com. You can't see the weenie even with the feathers plucked because this is a different parrot lah.;-)

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Eating More Fried Fish May Contribute to Stroke

Omega-3 fatty acids from fish have been shown to have favorable effects on platelet aggregation, blood pressure, lipid profile, endothelial function, and ischemic stroke risk.

The amount of fish consumed, and preferences for preparation (i.e., fried versus nonfried), vary regionally and by race and may be a factor behind disparities in stroke, according to research published in the online issue of Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology (1).

Investigators led, by Fadi Nahab of Emory University in Atlanta, analyzed dietary data for 21,675 people aged 45 and older participating in a study program called REGARDS, for Reasons for Geographic and Racial Differences in Stroke. Of all the people whose records were examined, 21% were from the stroke buckle, 34% from the rest of the states in the stroke belt, and 44% were from other states.

Among the key findings:

  • Only 5,022 (23%) participants consumed ≥2 servings per week of nonfried fish.
  • People living in the stroke buckle were 11% less likely to eat two or more servings of non-fried fish than participants in the rest of the country.
  • People in the rest of the stroke belt were 17% less likely to eat recommended servings of non-fried fish on a weekly basis.
  • African-Americans were more than 3.5 times more likely to eat two or more servings of fried fish weekly than whites. African-Americans ate an average of 0.96 servings weekly of fried fish, compared to 0.47 servings for whites.
  • People in the stroke belt were 30% more likely to eat two or more servings of fried fish than people in the rest of the country.

The researchers defined adequate intake of nonfried fish as at least two servings weekly.

These differences remained evident even after adjusting for potential confounders, leading the researchers to conclude that racial and geographic differences in fish consumption may be one of the reasons for differences in stroke incidence and death in various areas around the country.

References:

(1) F. Nahab, A. Le, S. Judd, M.R. Frankel, J. Ard, P.K. Newby, V.J. Howard. Racial and geographic differences in fish consumption: The REGARDS Study. Neurology. Published online before print December 22, 2010; DOI: 10.1212/WNL.0b013e3182061afb

(2) The "Stroke Belt" is usually defined as an 8-12 state region (typically including Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee, and often including Florida, Indiana, Kentucky, Virginia, and Washington, D.C. as well) where stroke death rates are substantially higher than the rest of the country. Within the stroke belt, the highest stroke death rates are clustered in the coastal plains regions of Georgia, North Carolina, and South Carolina; this region has been called the "Stroke Buckle."

(3) Research indicates that the process of frying fish causes a loss of these beneficial Omega-3 fatty acids. Besides, fried fish tend to be higher in fat (and sometimes trans fat, depending on the type of fat used) and therefore higher in calories compared to the steamed fish. Furthermore, overheating or over-using the frying oil leads to formation of rancid-tasting products of oxidation, polymerization, and other deleterious, unintended or even toxic compounds. It is wise to cut down on fried fish, as fish from our tropical waters are noted to have less omega-3 fatty acids than cold water fish.

Picture Credit : farm4.static.flickr.com. If there's such a dish called "Southern Fried Fish", this is not it. What we have here is a Sundanese style of crispy fried fish (Ikan goreng renyah). :)

Monday, December 27, 2010

Pharmacy Compounding

What is compounding and what are its benefits

Pharmacy compounding is the art and science of preparing customized medications for patients. Its practice dates back to the origins of pharmacy; yet, compounding’s presence in the pharmacy profession has changed over the years. In the 1930s and 1940s, approximately 60 percent of all medications were compounded. With the advent of drug manufacturing in the 1950s and ‘60s, compounding rapidly declined. The pharmacist’s role as a preparer of medications quickly changed to that of a dispenser of manufactured dosage forms.

Within the last two decades, though, compounding has experienced a resurgence as modern technology and innovative techniques and research have allowed more pharmacists to customize medications to meet specific patient needs.

There are several reasons why pharmacists compound prescription medications. The most important one is what the medical community calls “patient non-compliance.” Many patients are allergic to preservatives or dyes, or are sensitive to standard drug strengths. With a physician’s consent, a compounding pharmacist can change the strength of a medication, alter its form to make it easier for the patient to ingest, or add flavor to make it more palatable. The pharmacist also can prepare the medication using several unique delivery systems, such as a sublingual troche or lozenge, a lollipop, or a transdermal gel or cream that can be absorbed through the skin. For those patients who are having a hard time swallowing a capsule, a compounding pharmacist can make a liquid suspension instead.

Compounding pharmacists have the opportunity to work with a variety of practice specialties, such as hospice, pediatrics, pain management, and OB/GYN, which in turn broadens the scope of their practices and creates other opportunities to provide other pharmacist care services. Your pharmacy can become a compounding pharmacy – one that is committed to providing high-quality compounded medications in the dosage form and strength prescribed by the physician. This triad relationship between the patient, the physician, and the pharmacist is vital to the process of compounding so all three can work together to solve unique medical problems.

Source: PCCA (Professional Compounding Centers of America)

Picture CreditL Glebe Apothecary

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Eating Healthier Means Living Longer

The leading causes of death have shifted from infectious diseases to chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease and cancer. These illnesses may be affected by diet.

In a study published in the January 2011 issue of the Journal of the American Dietetic Association, researchers investigated empirical data regarding the associations of dietary patterns with mortality through analysis of the eating patterns of over 2500 adults between the ages of 70 and 79 over a ten-year period. They found that diets favoring certain foods were associated with reduced mortality.

By 2030, an estimated 973 million adults will be aged 65 or older worldwide. The objective of this study was to determine the dietary patterns of a large and diverse group of older adults, and to explore associations of these dietary patterns with survival over a 10-year period. A secondary goal was to evaluate participants' quality of life and nutritional status according to their dietary patterns.

By determining the consumption frequency of 108 different food items, researchers were able to group the participants into six different clusters according to predominant food choices:

  • "Healthy foods" (374 participants)
  • "High-fat dairy products" (332)
  • "Meat, fried foods, and alcohol" (693)
  • "Breakfast cereal" (386)
  • "Refined grains" (458)
  • "Sweets and desserts" (339)

The "Healthy foods" cluster was characterized by relatively higher intake of low-fat dairy products, fruit, whole grains, poultry, fish, and vegetables, and lower consumption of meat, fried foods, sweets, high-calorie drinks, and added fat. The "High fat dairy products" cluster had higher intake of foods such as ice cream, cheese, and 2% and whole milk and yogurt, and lower intake of poultry, low-fat dairy products, rice, and pasta.

The study was unique in that it evaluated participants' quality of life and nutritional status, through detailed biochemical measures, according to their dietary patterns. After controlling for gender, age, race, clinical site, education, physical activity, smoking, and total calorie intake, the "High-fat dairy products" cluster had a 40% higher risk of mortality than the "Healthy foods" cluster. The "Sweets and desserts" cluster had a 37% higher risk. No significant differences in risk of mortality were seen between the "Healthy foods" cluster and the "Breakfast cereal" or "Refined grains" clusters.

According to lead author Amy L. Anderson, Ph.D., Department of Nutrition and Food Science, University of Maryland, the "results of this study suggest that older adults who follow a dietary pattern consistent with current guidelines to consume relatively high amounts of vegetables, fruit, whole grains, low-fat dairy products, poultry and fish, may have a lower risk of mortality. Because a substantial percentage of older adults in this study followed the 'Healthy foods' dietary pattern, adherence to such a diet appears a feasible and realistic recommendation for potentially improved survival and quality of life in the growing older adult population."

The article is “Dietary patterns and survival of older adults” by Amy L Anderson, Ph.D.; Tamara B Harris, M.D., M.S.; Frances A Tylavsky, Dr.P.H.; Sara E Perry, M.A., M.P.H.; Denise K Houston, Ph.D., R.D.; Trisha F Hue, M.P.H.; Elsa S Strotmeyer, Ph.D., M.P.H.; and Nadine R Sahyoun, Ph.D., R.D. It appears in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association, Volume 111, Issue 1 (January 2011) published by Elsevier.

Source: Elsevier Health Sciences

Picture Credit: NHS.UK/change4life/

Zestz for Laughs - An Election Campaign

While walking down the main street in a highland resort one day a particularly obnoxious Member of Parliament is tragically hit by a double-decker tour bus and dies.

His soul arrives in heaven and is met by St. Peter at the entrance.

"Welcome to heaven," says St. Peter. "Before you settle in, it seems there is a problem. We seldom see a high official around these parts, you see, so we're not sure what to do with you."

"No problem, just let me in," says the man.

"Well, I'd like to, but I have orders from higher up. What we'll do is have you spend one day in hell and one in heaven. Then you can choose where to spend eternity."

"Really, I have made up my mind. I want to be in heaven," says the Right Honourable*.

"I'm sorry, but we have our rules," says St. Peter.

And with that, St. Peter escorts him to the elevator and he goes down, down, down to hell. The doors open and he finds himself in the middle of a green golf course. In the distance is a clubhouse and standing in front of it are all his friends and other politicians who had worked with him.

Everyone is very happy and dressed in the finest batik there is. They run to greet him, shake his hand, and reminisce about the good times they had while getting rich at the expense of the people. They play a friendly game of golf and then indulge themselves on lobsters, caviar and the most expensive food there is.

Also present is the devil, who really is a very friendly guy who has a good time dancing and telling jokes. They are having such a good time that before he realizes it, it is time to go.

Everyone gives him a hearty farewell and waves while the elevator rises.

The elevator goes up, up, up and the door reopens on heaven where St.Peter is waiting for him.

"Now it' s time to visit heaven."

So, 24 hours pass with The Right Honorable joining a group of contented souls moving from cloud to cloud, playing the harp and singing. They have a good time and, before he realizes it, the 24 hours have gone by and St. Peter returns.

"Well, then, you've spent a day in hell and another in heaven. Now choose your eternity."

The Right Honourable reflects for a minute, then he answers:

"Well, I would never have said it before, I mean heaven has been delightful, but I think I am better off in hell."

So St. Peter escorts him to the elevator and he goes down, down, down to hell. Now the doors of the elevator open and he's in the middle of a barren land covered with waste and garbage.

He sees all his friends, dressed in rags, picking up the trash and putting it in black bags as more trash falls from above.

The devil comes over to him and puts his arm around his shoulder.

"I don't understand," stammers The Right Honorable. "Yesterday I was here and there was a golfcourse and clubhouse, and we ate lobster and caviar, drank honey, and danced and had a great time. Now there's just a wasteland full of garbage and my friends look miserable.

What happened?"

The devil looks at him, smiles and says, "Yesterday we were campaigning just like you during an election......

Today you voted."

Submitted by John. Author unknown

  • DISCLAIMER: Right Honourable, abbreviated as The Rt Hon., is an honourific prefix that is traditionally applied to certain people in the Anglo-Celt world, usually to members of parliament. Malaysian MPs are Yang Berhormat(s), so it should be crystal clear to everyone that NOBODY here is trying to cast any aspersions on the integrity of our YBs.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Zestz for Laughs : A Gen-Y and a Baby Boomer

A Gen-Y lawyer and a Baby Boomer are sitting next to each other on a long flight.

The lawyer is thinking that baby boomers are so dumb that she could get one over on them easy.

So the lawyer asks if the Baby Boomer would like to play a fun game.

The Baby Boomer is tired and just wants to take a nap, so she politely declines and tries to catch a few winks.

The lawyer persists, saying that the game is a lot of fun.

I ask you a question, and if you don't know the answer, you pay me only $5. Then you ask me one, and if I don't know the answer, I will pay you $500, he says.

This catches the Baby Boomer 's attention and, to keep the lawyer quiet, she agrees to play the game.

The lawyer asks the first question. 'What's the distance from the Earth to the Moon?'

The Baby Boomer doesn't say a word, but reaches into her handbag, pulls out a five-dollar bill, and hands it to the lawyer.

Now it's the Baby Boomer 's turn. She asks the lawyer, 'What goes up a hill with three legs, and comes down with four?'

The lawyer uses her laptop and searches all references she can find on the Net.

She sends e-mails to all the smart friends she knows; all to no avail. After an hour of searching, she finally gives up.

She wakes the Baby Boomer and hands her $500. The Baby Boomer took the $500 and goes right back to sleep.

The lawyer is going nuts not knowing the answer. She wakes the Baby Boomer up and asks, 'Well, so what goes up a hill with three legs and comes down with four?'

The Baby Boomer reaches into her handbag, hands the lawyer $5, and goes back to sleep.

Submitted by Edwin, author unknown
Picture credit: Accentonhealth.com.au

How To Drink Less During The Holidays

There seems to be a little bit more of everything during the holidays: more travel, more parties, more food, and certainly more alcoholic drinks.

The holidays shouldn't be an excuse to drink excessively.

Drinking in excess is not only bad for your health as it can harm vital organs such as your liver, it can also be dangerous.

Every day, about 32 people in the United States die in alcohol-related car accidents.

The following tips will help you keep your alcohol intake in check so that you can have a healthier and safer holiday season.

Set Personal Limits on Alcohol Consumption

The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism provides a variety of resources related to alcohol consumption, including strategies for reducing your alcohol intake. Some of these strategies are:

-- Set a limit on the number of drinks you plan to have at gatherings, parties, or throughout the holiday season. You can also establish days of the week when you will not have any drinks.

-- Drink slowly to avoid becoming drunk, especially as this can lead to more drinking. One idea is to have no more than one drink per hour, or have water, soda or juice between alcoholic beverages.

-- Avoid drinking on an empty stomach. Your body takes longer to absorb alcohol if you have food.

-- Have a designated driver or have the phone number of a cab company in case you have too much to drink.

Serve or Drink Non-Alcoholic Beverages

Alcoholic beverages don't have to be the focus of your holiday gatherings. If you are a host, consider serving non-alcoholic beverages, such as mineral water, juices, and flavored beverages.

You can also consider other measures:

-- Serve a limited amount of alcoholic beverages or stop serving them after a certain time.

-- Serve food that reduces the effects of alcohol, such as meat and cheese, which are high in protein and carbohydrates.

-- Serve coffee and dessert before the end of the party.

Resist the Temptation to Drink

Controlling alcohol consumption can be difficult for some people, especially during holiday parties when everybody seems to be having a drink. But that doesn't mean you have to have a drink too. If you are planning on cutting back, consider these tips:

-- Limit the number of holiday parties you attend as it is likely that there will be alcohol. You can also try keeping your distance from individuals who drink too much; this will help you avoid the social pressure to drink.

-- Learn to say no and have an answer ready in case someone offers you a drink, or insists that you have one.

-- Share your self-imposed drink limits with your friends and family so that they can help you fight the temptation to drink.

Adapted from: GobiernoUSA

Picture Credit: blog.itriagehealth.com

PS This is an apt reminder for some of us, :). You may want to forward this message to your friends. Have a Happy and Healthy Weekend!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Shingles : Prompt Treatment Avoids Complications

Shingles is caused by the herpes zoster virus, the same one that causes chickenpox.

After chickenpox subsides, the virus becomes inactive (dormant), until an unknown factor triggers its reemergence as shingles-- a painful, blistering rash.

The U.S. National Library of Medicine says you're more likely to develop shingles if you're 60 or older, had chickenpox before you were 1 year old, and have a condition that's caused a weakened immune system.

The agency says these symptoms are typical of shingles:

  • Pain in the abdomen.
  • Difficulty moving facial muscles.
  • Droopy eyelids.
  • Fever and chills.
  • Lesions near the genitals.
  • Headache.
  • Hearing loss.
  • Joint pain.
  • Inability to fully move the eyes.
  • Swollen glands.
  • Taste and vision problems.

There is no cure for shingles, but early treatment may shorten the length of illness and prevent complications.

As soon as you are diagnosed with shingles, your doctor probably will start treatment with antiviral medicines.

Antiviral agents like acyclovir(Avorax, Zovirax), famciclovir, or valacyclovir should be started within 72 hours after the onset of rash; they are unlikely to be helpful after lesions have crusted. Early treatment lower chance of having later problems, such as postherpetic neuralgia which can be serious and resistant to treatment.

Other treatment options include :

  • Oral pain medicines, such as paracetamol (Panadol, Uphamol) or ibuprofen (Brufen, ), to help reduce pain during an attack of shingles.
  • Topical anesthetics, such as lignocaine gel (Axcel), to numb the area.
  • Topical capsaicin cream (Menzza NP) may provide some relief from pain.
Complications of Shingles

Postherpetic Neuralgia, the most common complication of shingles. Postherpetic neuralgia occurs when damaged nerve fibers send confused and exaggerated messages of pain from your skin to your brain causing pain that lasts for months or years.

Other complications include:

Vision loss
Shingles in or around an eye (ophthalmic shingles) can cause painful eye infections that may result in vision loss.

Neurological problems
Depending upon which nerves are affected, shingles can cause:

  • Encephalitis, an inflammation of the brain
  • Hearing or balance problems
  • Facial paralysis
Skin infections
If shingles blisters aren't properly treated, bacterial skin infections may develop.

Magnesium dan Kematian Jantung Secara Mendadak

Peningkatan pengambilan makanan yang kaya magnesium dilaporkan dapat menurunkan risiko kematian jantung secara mendadak.

Sebuah kajian terbaru melaporkan kesan perlindungan terhadap risiko kematian jantung secara mendadak pada wanita yang mengambil diet magnesium pada tahap yang lebih tinggi dari biasa.

Para penyelidik di bawah arahan Stephanie Chiuve dari Harvard Medical School menilai data lebih dari 88,000 orang wanita(1).

Dalam masa 26 tahun, para penyelidik mendokumentasikan 505 kes kematian mengejut atau 'arrhythmic death' dan juga dianalisis kadar magnesium dalam 99 wanita yang meninggal kerana kematian jantung secara mengejut dan 291 wanita yang masih hidup.

Setelah mengambil kira faktor seperti merokok, umur, dan adanya penyakit jantung, para penyelidik mendapati bahawa pengambilan magnesium tinggi dikaitkan dengan penurunan risiko 37 peratus kematian jantung mendadak berbanding dengan pengambilan magnesium yang rendah. Kesan perlindungan yang nyata dari magnesium adalah ketara ketika para penyelidik menumpukan perhatian mereka pada jumlah darah, dengan setiap peningkatan 0,25mg per desiliter, melibatkan penurunan sebanyak 41 peratus risiko kematian jantung secara mendadak.

Kematian jantung mendadak (juga dikenali sebagai serangan jantung) berlaku apabila jantung tiba-tiba kehilangan fungsinya(serangan jantung). Mangsa mungkin didiagnosis mempunyai atau tidak mempunyai penyakit jantung.

Dalam 90 peratus orang dewasa yang meninggal secara tiba-tiba akibat serangan jantung, alasan mendasar adalah disebabkan penyakit jantung koroner, yang ditandai dengan pengumpulan plak dalam arteri yang membekalkan otot jantung. Di antara orang dewasa muda, kelainan jantung sering terlibat, dan kematian jantung mendadak mungkin dipicu oleh aktiviti fizikal atau sukan berlebihan. Penggunaan beberapa ubat jantung dan ubat lain, termasuk yang tidak berdaftar, boleh menyebabkan irama jantung abnormal yang mengakibatkan kematian mengejut.

Magnesium: Apa itu?

Magnesium merupakan mineral keempat paling banyak dalam tubuh dan sangat penting untuk kesihatan yang baik. Sekitar 50 peratus dari jumlah keseluruhan magnesium tubuh dijumpai dalam tulang. Separuh yang lain ditemui di dalam sel jaringan tubuh dan organ. Hanya 1% magnesium dijumpai di dalam darah, tetapi tubuh bekerja sangat keras untuk menjaga agar kadar magnesium dalam darah tetap kekal.

Magnesium berperanan di lebih daripada 300 reaksi biokimia dalam tubuh (2). Ini termasuk:

1. Fungsi normal otot dan syaraf

2. Kestabilan rithma jantung

3. Kesihatan sistem kekebalan.

4. Menjaga kekuatan tulang.

5. Menjaga paras gula darah.

6. Memastikan tekanan darah normal.

7. Metabolisme tenaga dan sintesis protein.

Kekurangan magnesium dapat mencetuskan sejumlah keadaan kesihatan dan masalah (3), seperti:

* Kecemasan

* Kemurungan

* Diabetes

* Migren

* Penyakit jantung

* Hipertensi

Makanan apa yang mengandungi magnesium?

Sayuran hijau seperti bayam merupakan sumber magnesium yang baik kerana pusat molekul klorofil (yang memberikan warna hijau pada sayuran) mengandungi magnesium. Beberapa kacang-kacangan (buncis dan kacang polong), kekacang dan biji-bijian, dan bijirin utuh yang belum diproses juga merupakan sumber yang baik dari magnesium. Bijirin yang diproses umumnya rendah magnesium. Ketika tepung putih ditapis dan diproses, tunas yang kaya magnesium dan kulitnya dibuang. Roti gandum yang diperbuat daripada bijirin tepung gandum menyediakan magnesium lebih tinggi dari roti yang dibuat dari tepung halus yang ditapis. Air paip boleh menjadi sumber magnesium, tapi jumlahnya bervariasi sesuai dengan sumber bekalan air. Air yang secara semulajadi mengandungi mineral lebih banyak digambarkan sebagai "keras". Air "keras" mengandungi magnesium lebih dari air "lembut".

Makan pelbagai jenis kekacang, bijirin, biji-bijian, dan sayur-sayuran akan membantu anda memenuhi keperluan sehari-hari diet anda untuk magnesium. KLIK DI SINI untuk sumber makanan tertentu dari magnesium.

Tinjauan diet sebelumnya menunjukkan bahawa sebahagian besar orang dewasa tidak memenuhi RDA untuk magnesium (320 mg per hari untuk wanita dan 420 mg per hari untuk lelaki).

Diet magnesium diserap di usus kecil. Magnesium dikumuhkan melalui buah pinggang.

BiO-LiFE Calcium & Magnesium PLUS : KLIK DI SINI untuk Tawaran Istimewa.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Caffeine Affects Young Children Negatively

Young children appear to be consuming more caffeine, so much so that caffeine could be contributing to sleep problems in primary school children, researchers found.

Dr. William Warzak and colleagues from the University of Nebraska Medical Center surveyed the parents of over 200 children between ages 5 to 12 on the types and amounts of snacks and beverages their child consumed on a daily basis.

They found that 75% of these children consumed caffeine on a daily basis, and the more caffeine the children consumed, the less they slept.

The average intake was two or three times higher than the 22- to 23-mg daily average reported nearly a decade ago, they noted.

Children aged 5 to 7 years old consumed approximately 52 mg of caffeine per day, and children aged 8 to 12 years old consumed approximately 109 mg -- the equivalent of nearly three 12-oz cans of soda.

But even the 52 mg of caffeine consumed by 5- to 7-year-olds on an typical day was well above the level known to have a physiologic effect on adults; caffeine raises your blood pressure, raises your heart rate, and can be addictive.

Nearly all of the caffeine intake was consumed through beverages. Few children got a meaningful amount of caffeine from food.

The study authors stress the importance of parental awareness regarding their child's caffeine consumption. "Parents should be aware of the potentially negative influence of caffeine on a child's sleep quality and daily functioning," Dr. Warzak asserts. The authors suggest that primary care pediatricians may be able to help by screening patients for caffeine consumption and educating parents about the potentially harmful effects of caffeine.

Journal Reference:

William J Warzak, Shelby Evans, Margaret T Floress, Amy C Gross, and Sharon Stoolman. Caffeine Consumption in Young Children. The Journal of Pediatrics, published online 17 December 2010. CLICK HERE for the complete paper.

Picture Credit

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Kids and Caffeine

Once upon a time – not that very long ago, actually – it was almost unheard of for children to drink coffee.

Nowadays, it’s common practice for teens to go for coffee after school – and even more common for them to gulp down cans of high-caffeine soda and energy drinks, many specifically marketed to young consumers. That’s a lot of caffeine. Contrary to popular myth, caffeine doesn’t stunt growth, but it can have a number of detrimental effects on growing children.


Caffeine Effects: Insomnia, Irritability and Obesity!?

Caffeine stimulates the central nervous system, which is why people often feel more alert when they drink coffee or other caffeinated beverages. However, it can also cause irritability, anxiety, increased heart rate and blood pressure, headaches and insomnia. Caffeine remains in the system for several hours (up to six) and negative effects can be felt throughout this time. In children, it doesn’t take much caffeine to bring on these feelings – and kids are consuming more caffeine now than ever before. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, soda consumption in kids aged 6-11 doubled from 1978 to 1994. Soda and other energy-boosting soft drinks and candy are often high in calories as well as caffeine, greatly increasing a child’s risk of obesity. Many caffeinated beverages are also heavily sweetened, and this high sugar content can result in tooth decay and cavities.

Caffeine can act as an appetite depressant, so kids who are filling up on soda aren’t getting the nutritional benefits of healthy food or drinks like milk and fruit juice. In fact, the phosphoric acid that carbonates soft drinks inhibits calcium absorption, which can impact bone and teeth development. Since caffeine is a diuretic, drinking high-caffeine beverages increases urination. This could cause dehydration in children, particularly in hot weather, when they’re likely to be outside, active and perspiring. Additionally, certain drugs, like cold medications, may either contain or interact with caffeine, so be sure to check with your health care provider about this before treating your children.

Caffeine Content in Popular Foods & Drinks

Caffeine is a common ingredient in soft drinks, coffee, tea, chocolate and some medications. There are no official U.S. government recommendations on caffeine limits for children, but Canadian guidelines suggest no more than 45 milligrams of caffeine a day for preschoolers. As a rule of thumb, older children’s daily caffeine consumption should be 100 milligrams or less. Here is the approximate caffeine content for some popular drinks and food items:

How to Limit the Caffeine in Your Kids Diets:


Caffeine Content in Popular Foods & Drinks
Coca-Cola (12 ounces) 34 mg (milligrams)
Pepsi (12 ounces) 38 mg
Jolt soft drink (12 ounces) 71 mg
Red Bull (12 ounces) 80 mg
Mountain Dew (12 ounces) 55 mg
Iced tea (12 ounces) 70 mg
Black tea (6 ounces) 70 mg
Green tea (6 ounces) 35 mg
Brewed coffee (5 ounces) 115 mg
Instant coffee (7 ounces) 85 mg
Espresso coffee (2 ounces) 100 mg
Dark chocolate (1 ounce) 20 mg
Milk Chocolate (1 ounce) 10 mg
Cold medication (1 tablet) 30 mg

One way parents can limit their children’s caffeine content is by eliminating soda and soft drinks at home – and encouraging kids to choose healthier alternatives when they’re at school and out with friends. Children shouldn’t drink more than one can of soda a day – talk to your kids about caffeine and instruct them to cut out or limit their soda intake. Serve water, milk and 100% fruit juice at home. If you want to treat your kids to an occasional soda or iced tea or coffee drink, make sure it’s decaffeinated, which generally still retains some caffeine, but in much smaller amounts. Don’t worry about having chocolate cake for dessert every so often or a bowl of coffee ice cream in the summer or hot chocolate on a cold winter day, as these treats don’t have very high levels of caffeine. Discourage teens from drinking a lot of coffee, either hot or in sweet, iced drinks, especially if they’re using the caffeine to help stay awake to study. If they’re already heavy coffee drinkers, help them cut back slowly, to avoid unpleasant (although just temporary) withdrawal side effects like fatigue, headaches and bad moods.

MORE at justmonnies.com

Picture from the mis-informed age.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Merry Christmas!

While possibly the most "popular" Christian holiday, Christmas has also evolved into a secular celebration observed in many parts of the world.

The best of all gifts around any Christmas tree: the presence of a happy family all wrapped up in each other. ~Burton Hillis

Wishing All of You the Best of Joy, the Best of Cheer for Christmas and the Coming Year
!

Burton Hillis is the pseudonym of William E. ("Bill") Vaughan (October 8, 1915 – February 25, 1977), an American columnist and author. He wrote a syndicated column for the Kansas City Star from 1946 until his death in 1977.

Amongst his many other folksy aphorisms is this New Year message :

"An optimist stays up until midnight to see the New Year. A pessimist stays up to make sure the old year leaves."

A Toast for Good Times and Good Cheer!

Drinking Pattern and Coronary Heart Disease

The World Health Organization estimates that 17.1 million people died from cardiovascular diseases in 2004, which represents 29% of all deaths. Of these deaths, 7.2 million resulted from coronary heart disease (CHD) and 5.7 million from stroke. In 2004, cardiovascular disease accounted for nearly 10% of the burden of disease attributable to alcohol in men worldwide.

However, many observational studies have reported inverse associations between some behaviours related to alcohol consumption and cardiovascular disease.

Moderate alcohol consumption is good for the heart but heavy drinking has the opposite effect. That’s a simplified summary of a fascinating study on the effect of alcohol intake patterns on ischaemic heart disease in two countries with contrasting lifestyles and drinking habits, Northern Ireland and France.

Regular and moderate alcohol intake throughout the week is the typical pattern for the Frenchmen. Alcohol consumption for the Belfast was confined largely to one day of the week—Saturday.

The research led by Jean-Bernard Ruidavets found that men who "binge" drink (drink =50 g of alcohol once a week) had nearly twice the risk of myocardial infarction or death from coronary disease compared with those regularly drinking the same amount of alcohol over the course of several days. Similarly abstainers were at higher risk.

9,778 men aged 50-59, free of ischaemic heart disease at baseline, were recruited between 1991 and 1994 and were followed-up over a 10 year period.

This study shows that regular moderate drinking (especially of wine) is associated with lower risk of MI, but episodic or binge drinking increases the risk. Lifetime abstinence has a similar adverse relation to CHD as does episodic or binge drinking

The authors do concede that other factors like lifestyle and diet could account for the Frenchmen’s low risk of heart disease.

Journal Reference

Jean-Bernard Ruidavets, Pierre Ducimetière, Alun Evans, Michèle Montaye, Bernadette Haas, Annie Bingham, John Yarnell, Philippe Amouyel, Dominique Arveiler, Frank Kee, Vanina Bongard, Jean Ferrières. Patterns of alcohol consumption and ischaemic heart disease in culturally divergent countries: the Prospective Epidemiological Study of Myocardial Infarction (PRIME). British Medical Journal 2010; 341:c6077 CLICK HERE for the complete article.

CLICK HERE for the fatal consequences of driving under the influence of alcohol!

Myocardial infarction (MI) is usually caused by a blood clot that stops blood flow in a heart (coronary) artery. You should call for an ambulance immediately if you develop severe chest pain. Treatment with a 'clot busting' drug or an emergency procedure to restore the blood flow through the blocked artery are usually done as soon as possible to prevent damage to your heart muscle. Other treatments help to ease the pain and prevent complications. Reducing risk factors can help to prevent an MI.
Picture Credit

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Saturday, December 18, 2010

Magnesium and Sudden Cardiac Death

Increased intakes of magnesium-rich foods have been reported to be associated with a reduced risk of sudden cardiac death.

A new study reports a protective effect against the risk of sudden cardiac death in women who consume higher levels of dietary magnesium.

Researchers under the direction of Stephanie Chiuve of the Harvard Medical School evaluated data from more than 88,000 women (1).

During 26 years of follow-up, the investigators documented 505 cases of sudden or arrhythmic death and also analyzed magnesium levels in 99 women who had died of sudden cardiac death and 291 women who did not die.

After allowing for factors such as smoking, age, and the presence of cardiovascular disease, the researchers observed that the highest intakes of magnesium were associated with a 37 percent reduced risk of sudden cardiac death compared with the lowest intakes. The apparent protective effects of magnesium are strongest when the researchers focused their attention on blood levels, with every 0.25 milligram per deciliter increase there was a 41 percent reduction in the risk of sudden cardiac death.

Sudden cardiac death (also known as sudden arrest) occurs when there is a sudden loss of heart function (cardiac arrest). Victims may or may not have diagnosed heart disease.

In 90 percent of adults who die suddenly from cardiac arrest, the underlying reason is coronary heart disease, which is characterized by accumulation of plaque in the arteries that supply the heart muscle. Among young adults, heart abnormalities are often involved, and the sudden cardiac death may be triggered by intense physical or athletic activity. Use of some heart medications and other drugs, including illegal ones, can cause abnormal heart rhythms that result in sudden death.

Magnesium: What is it?

Magnesium is the fourth most abundant mineral in the body and is essential to good health. About 50 percent of total body magnesium is found in bone. The other half is found predominantly inside cells of body tissues and organs. Only 1% of magnesium is found in blood, but the body works very hard to keep blood levels of magnesium constant.

Magnesium plays a role in more than 300 biochemical reactions in the body (2). These include:

  1. Normal Muscle and Nerve Function
  2. Steady Heart Rhythm
  3. Healthy Immune System
  4. Keeping Bones Strong.
  5. Healthy Blood Sugar Levels,
  6. Promoting Normal Blood Pressure
  7. Energy metabolism and Protein Synthesis.

Magnesium deficiency can trigger a number of health conditions and problems (3), such as:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Diabetes
  • Migraines
  • Heart disease
  • Hypertension

What foods provide magnesium?

Green vegetables such as spinach are good sources of magnesium because the center of the chlorophyll molecule (which gives green vegetables their color) contains magnesium. Some legumes (beans and peas), nuts and seeds, and whole, unrefined grains are also good sources of magnesium. Refined grains are generally low in magnesium. When white flour is refined and processed, the magnesium-rich germ and bran are removed. Bread made from whole grain wheat flour provides more magnesium than bread made from white refined flour. Tap water can be a source of magnesium, but the amount varies according to the water supply. Water that naturally contains more minerals is described as "hard". "Hard" water contains more magnesium than "soft" water.

Eating a wide variety of legumes, nuts, whole grains, and vegetables will help you meet your daily dietary need for magnesium. CLICK HERE for selected food sources of magnesium.

Earlier dietary surveys show that a large portion of adults does not meet the RDA for magnesium (320 mg per day for women and 420 mg per day for men).

Dietary magnesium is absorbed in the small intestines. Magnesium is excreted through the kidneys.

References

  1. Chiuve SE, Korngold EC, Januzzi JL Jr, Gantzer ML, Albert CM. Plasma and dietary magnesium and risk of sudden cardiac death in women. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 2010 Nov 24.
  2. Office of Dietary Supplements, National Institutes of Health, USA
  3. Guerrera MP, Volpe SL, Mao JJ. Therapeutic uses of magnesium. American Family Physician. 2009 Jul 15;80(2):157-62. FULL TEXT
  4. Picture Credit

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