Wednesday, September 28, 2011


"No matter how much you shake and dance, the last two drops get on your pants."

For many years when I sit down, or twist my body in a certain direction after going to the loo, some urine dribbles out. When I talked to my general medical practitioner (GP) about this, he shafted his gloved finger up my rectum (ouch!) and confirmed my prostate was not enlarged and would not have impinged on my urethra.

When I had an X-ray examination for urinary stones, I spoke to the urologist about the leakage problem. He pretended he did not hear me or he was indeed hard of hearing.

I tried Kegel’s exercise to strengthen my pelvic floor muscles, dosed myself with pumpkin seed and Saw palmetto extracts and took lots of tomato for its lycopene as a precautionary measure. Still the plumbing problem persisted. So I resorted to stuffing my undie with toilet paper and continue to do so using up rolls and rolls of the tissue until I met up recently with my elder brother, Kay Teong, who is practising medicine in Perth,WA. Over cups of coffee at the LoQuay Café by the Canning River while tucking into the great Aussie breakfast of bacon, eggs and sausages, our conversation naturally shifted to talking about sausages that eventually led to my ‘dribbling’ confession.

Big Bro advised me to simply “milk” out the trapped urine.

OK-lah, he actually provided more details than that.

Post-void dribble, or after-dribble in Strine, occurs in men when the urethra (the tube which carries urine from the bladder to the penis) is not completely emptied and escapes out of the tip of the penis, a few minutes after voiding.

This is not to be confused with terminal dribbling when it is difficult to shut off the stream immediately after passing urine - usually a sign of prostatic obstruction.

Post-void dribble occurs when the muscles surrounding the urethra do not contract properly, which in turn prevents the bladder from fully emptying.

Here’s how you can “milk” out the trapped urine.

After you finish urinating, reach down below your scrotum and push softly with one or two fingers the path from your rectum to the scrotum to encourage the flow of urine along and down the urethra.

An additional tip is to make sure that you pull down your undie properly to fully expose your penis and scrotum when you pee. The elastic from your undie will apply some pressure behind the scrotum and help straighten the urethra.

Your browser may not support display of this image.

Image downloaded from the website of The Prostate Cancer Charity, UK

Most men have mild post-void drips, hence the oft-quoted, "No matter how much you shake and dance, the last two drops get on your pants."

But frequent, excess leakage after urination is not normal and you should seek professional help.

This is where I was momentarily lost in thought about the other tell-tale signs, that I had been cautioned many times before, of serious plumbing problems that warrants professional intervention:

  • difficulty initiating the flow of urine
  • having to strain to empty your bladder
  • a slow urine stream when emptying your bladder
  • feeling the need to urgently empty your bladder
  • burning, discomfort or pain when emptying your bladder
  • blood-stained urine
  • having to get up several times overnight to empty your bladder, and

Then, as if to test myself, I felt the urge to go to the gents. When I came back Big Bro asked if I had “milked” it. I had to confess I just could not do it while standing next to a giant of an Aussie at the public urinal.

Anyway I tried it in a less intimidating environment and, wow, it worked!

So, it’s goodbye stuffed undies. But a piece of tissue is still useful to tidy up after the job*.

* This reminds me about the purported comforts in the ladies restrooms where you can get not only Warm Water, Warm Air, Powder Puff for your you-know-what but also an ATR. Just what the hell is an ATR? CLICK HERE for details :)

What is S.H.I.T.?

Picture credit:

Edwin Ng of Klang forwarded this piece of/on (we’ll let you decide) S.H.I.T.

If you can't stand this S.H.I.T, you can scroll down to take in the STOOL.

In the 16th and 17th centuries, everything had to be transported by ship and it was also before the invention of commercial fertilizers, so large shipments of manure were quite common.

It was shipped dry, because in dry form it weighed a lot less than when wet, but once water (at sea) hit it, not only did it become heavier, but the process of fermentation began again, of which a by product is methane gas of course. As the stuff was stored below decks in bundles you can see what could (and did) happen.

Methane began to build up below decks and the first time someone came below at night with a lantern, BOOOOM!

Several ships were destroyed in this manner before it was determined just what was happening

After that, the bundles of manure were always stamped with the instruction ' Stow high in transit ' on them, which meant for the sailors to stow it high enough off the lower decks so that any water that came into the hold would not touch this volatile cargo and start the production of methane.

Thus evolved the term ' S.H.I.T ' , (Stow High In Transit) which has come down through the centuries and is in use to this very day..

You probably did not know the true history of this word.

Neither did we.

We had always thought it had something to do with politicians.....Oh S.H.I.T. !

If you are still interested, here’s more S.H.I.T.


What are the signs of stool problems?

Changes in the color, consistency, size and frequency of stool can be a normal occurrence related to dietary changes. Stool symptoms often resolve on their own; those that last more than a few days may be related to a digestive tract condition.

Certain persistent changes in stool color are characteristic for specific conditions:

  • black, foul-smelling stool: intestinal bleeding (typically from the stomach and upper small intestine) due to ulcers, tumors; ingestion of iron or bismuth
  • maroon stool: intestinal bleeding (from the middle intestine or proximal colon) due to ulcers, tumors, Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis
  • clay-colored stool: lack of bile due to blockage of the main bile duct
  • pale yellow, greasy, foul-smelling stool: malabsorption of fat due to pancreatic insufficiency, as seen with pancreatitis, pancreatic cancer, cystic fibrosis, celiac disease

Floating stools, which may be bulky and unusually foul smelling, typically contain gas, which may be due to diet, infection, or absorption problems in the intestine. A greasy or oily appearance can be due to fat in the stool. Pus in the stool is an indication of infection. Mucus in the stool can be related to infection, inflammation, cancer, constipation, or conditions of the anus or rectum. Frequent, loosely-formed stool can be related to diet, medications, infection, inflammation, or food poisoning.

Narrowing of the colon, rectum, or anus from cancer, polyps, scarring, or other conditions can cause thin stool. An incomplete blockage of the intestines can cause diarrhea, as watery stool may be the only stool that can travel through it. Constipation followed by diarrhea can be related to fecal impaction, in which a large mass of hard stool forms in the rectum, preventing solid material from passing.

Stool symptoms that persist or are accompanied by severe symptoms may be due to a serious condition. Seek immediate medical care if you have bloody stool or vomit, black or tarry stool, stool with pus, severe abdominal pain, high fever (higher than 101 degrees Fahrenheit), profuse sweating, change in level of consciousness, rapid heartbeat (tachycardia), decreased urination, or excessive thirst.

If your stool symptoms are persistent or cause you concern, seek prompt medical care.

Source: BetterMedicine and MedicineNet

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Primary School Children Need At Least 9 Hours of Sleep

Lack of Sleep Hurts Kids' Academic Performance

A joint research carried out by Autonomous University of Barcelona (UAB in Spanish) and Ramon Llull University, published in the journal Cultura y Educación, indicates that children sleeping less than nine hours and with bad sleeping habits - such as going to bed late - do worse academically.

The study was carried out in several schools with 142 children aged 6 and 7 showed that when these children go to bed late and sleep less than nine hours each night, their academic skills suffer along with their memory and motivation.

"Most children sleep less than is recommended for their intellectual development, which is hindered because the lack of sleep cannot be recovered," Ramon Cladellas, a researcher at the faculty of psychology at the UAB said.

Cladellas and colleagues found that the children slept nearly eight hours each night, but 69 percent of them didn't get home until after 9 p.m. at least three nights per week. The children also went to bed after 11 p.m. at least four nights per week.

As a result, the study revealed, the young students that slept just eight or nine hours each night performed more poorly in school than those who slept nine to 11 hours a night.

"Taking into account the results obtained, we believe that more than nine hours' sleep and a nightly routine favors academic performance," Cladellas stated in the release.

Missing sleep and bad bedtime habits had a significant negative effect on certain skills linked to academic performance. To a lesser extent, lack of sleep also adversely affected skills related to cognition, such as memory, learning and motivation.

The lacking hours of sleep distorts children's performance in linguistic knowledge, grammar and spelling rules, and key aspects in the organization and comprehension of texts, to name a few examples.

“They are basic skills, meaning that if the pupil, due to a lack of sleep, develops problems in this area, it could have a repercussion on all subjects," explained Cladellas.

"Nowadays, there is great concern because children are glued to the television, computers and videogames, but the same importance is not given to them going to bed at the same time every night," he added.

The Zestzfulness Team underscores the Spanish authors’ exhortation that young kids should have good bedtime routines and healthy sleep habits that include at least nine hours of shut-eye each night to help ensure they perform their best in school. Lack of sleep has also been linked to childhood obesity, CLICK HERE for our report of May 8, 2011

Story Source:

The above story is reprinted (with editorial adaptations by The Zestfulness Team) from materials downloaded from the newsroom of the Autonomous University of Barcelona, on Sept. 13, 2011.

Journal Reference:

Cladellas R, Chamarro A, Badia M, Oberst U, Carbonell X. Effects of sleeping hours and sleeping habits on the academic performance of six- and seven-year-old children: A preliminary study. Cultura y Educación, 2011;23(1):119-128.

Additional resources:

The Nemours Foundation has more about healthy sleep for kids.

Fruits and Vegetables Will Save Your Mind

Picture credit: *

High Fruit & Vegetable Intake Positively Correlated with Antioxidant Status and Cognitive Performance

Researchers have investigated the relationship between fruit and vegetable intake, plasma antioxidant micronutrient status and cognitive performance in healthy subjects aged 45 to 102 years.

The study results, published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, indicate higher cognitive performance in individuals with high daily intake of fruits and vegetables. Mild cognitive impairment is thought to be a precursor to Alzheimer’s disease.

193 healthy community dwellers underwent cognitive testing and blood withdrawal for the measurement of antioxidant micronutrients and biomarkers of oxidative stress as well as administration of a food frequency questionnaire to assess the daily intake of fruits and vegetables.

94 subjects who consume about 400 g of fruits and vegetables daily had significantly higher cognitive test scores, higher levels of carotenoids, α- and γ-tocopherol as well as lower levels of F2α isoprostanes than the 99 subjects consuming low amounts (less than 100 g/day) of fruits and vegetables.

Fruit and Vegetable Intake Improves Cognition

Cognitive scores were directly correlated with blood levels of α-tocopherol and lycopene and negatively correlated with F2α isoprostanes and protein carbonyls.

The results were independent of age, gender, body mass index, education, total cholesterol, LDL- and HDL-cholesterol, triglycerides, and albumin.

Modification of Nutritional Habits Lowers Prevalence of Cognitive Impairment in Later Life.

Lead researcher Dr. M. Cristina Polidori explains:

“It is known that there is a strong association between fruit and vegetable intake and the natural antioxidant defenses of the body against free radicals. It is also known that bad nutritional habits increase the risk of developing cognitive impairment with and without dementia. With this work we show a multiple link between fruit and vegetable intake, antioxidant defenses and cognitive performance, in the absence of disease and independent of age.

Among other lifestyle habits, it is recommended to improve nutrition in general and fruit and vegetable intake in particular at any age, beginning as early as possible. This may increase our chances to remain free of dementia in advanced age.”

Journal Reference

Polidori MC, Praticó D, Mangialasche F, Mariani E, Aust O, Anlasik T, Mang N, Pientka L, Stahl W, Sies H, Mecocci P, Nelles G. High Fruit and Vegetable Intake is Positively Correlated with Antioxidant Status and Cognitive Performance in Healthy Subjects. Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease 2009;17(4):921-7.

CLICK HERE to access the full article.

* Nourish Interactive is a one stop resource for fun nutrition games for kids, interactive nutrition tools and tips for parents and health educators to use to promote healthy living for the whole family. Created by nutrition and health care professionals, Nourish Interactive's nutrition education website give children and families, including Baby Boomers, the knowledge and skills they need to make healthy choices. .

Other Lifestyle Habits to Prevent Alzheimer’s

KC Khoo forwarded us these 10 strategies which he found in Jean Carper’s latest book

100 Simple Things You Can Do to Prevent Alzheimer’s and Age-Related Memory Loss”

Have coffee. In an amazing flip-flop, coffee is the new brain tonic. A large European study showed that drinking three to five cups of coffee a day in midlife cut Alzheimer's risk 65% in late life. University of South Florida researcher Gary Arendash credits caffeine: He says it reduces dementia-causing amyloid in animal brains. Others credit coffee's antioxidants. So drink up, Arendash advises, unless your doctor says you shouldn't.

Floss. Oddly, the health of your teeth and gums can help predict dementia. University of Southern California research found that having periodontal disease before age 35 quadrupled the odds of dementia years later. Older people with tooth and gum disease score lower on memory and cognition tests, other studies show. Experts speculate that inflammation in diseased mouths migrates to the brain.

Google. Doing an online search can stimulate your aging brain even more than reading a book, says UCLA's Gary Small, who used brain MRIs to prove it. The biggest surprise: Novice Internet surfers, ages 55 to 78, activated key memory and learning centers in the brain after only a week of Web surfing for an hour a day.

Grow new brain cells. Impossible, scientists used to say. Now it's believed that thousands of brain cells are born daily. The trick is to keep the newborns alive. What works: aerobic exercise (such as a brisk 30-minute walk every day), strenuous mental activity, eating salmon and other fatty fish, and avoiding obesity, chronic stress, sleep deprivation, heavy drinking and vitamin B deficiency.

Drink apple juice. Apple juice can push production of the “memory chemical” acetylcholine; that's the way the popular Alzheimer's drug Aricept works, says Thomas Shea, Ph.D., of the University of Massachusetts. He was surprised that old mice given apple juice did better on learning and memory tests than mice that received water. A dose for humans: 16 ounces, or two to three apples a day.

Protect your head. Blows to the head, even mild ones early in life, increase odds of dementia years later. Pro football players have 19 times the typical rate of memory-related diseases. Alzheimer's is four times more common in elderly who suffer a head injury, Columbia University finds. Accidental falls doubled an older person's odds of dementia five years later in another study. Wear seat belts and helmets, fall-proof your house, and don't take risks.

Meditate. Brain scans show that people who meditate regularly have less cognitive decline and brain shrinkage — a classic sign of Alzheimer's — as they age. Andrew Newberg of the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine says yoga meditation of 12 minutes a day for two months improved blood flow and cognitive functioning in seniors with memory problems.

Take D. A “severe deficiency” of vitamin D boosts older Americans' risk of cognitive impairment 394%, an alarming study by England's University of Exeter finds. And most Americans lack vitamin D. Experts recommend a daily dose of 800 IU to 2,000 IU of vitamin D3.

Fill your brain. It's called “cognitive reserve.” A rich accumulation of life experiences — education, marriage, socializing, a stimulating job, language skills, having a purpose in life, physical activity and mentally demanding leisure activities — makes your brain better able to tolerate plaques and tangles. You can even have significant Alzheimer's pathology and no symptoms of dementia if you have high cognitive reserve, says David Bennett, M.D., of Chicago's Rush University Medical Center.

Avoid infection. Astonishing new evidence ties Alzheimer's to cold sores, gastric ulcers, Lyme disease, pneumonia and the flu. Ruth Itzhaki, Ph.D., of the University of Manchester in England estimates the cold-sore herpes simplex virus is incriminated in 60% of Alzheimer's cases. The theory: Infections trigger excessive beta amyloid “gunk” that kills brain cells. Proof is still lacking, but why not avoid common infections and take appropriate vaccines, antibiotics and antiviral agents?

Jean Carper is a New York Times best-selling author, contributing editor to USA Weekend Magazine (700 newspapers nationwide and 50 million readers) and a leading authority on health and nutrition. She is the author of 24 books, including “Your Miracle Brain, Miracle Cures, Stop Aging Now!, Food-Your Miracle Medicine, The Food Pharmacy, Jean Carper’s Complete Healthy Cookbook”—and now, her latest–“100 Simple Things You Can Do to Prevent Alzheimer’s and Age-Related Memory Loss,” which she wrote after discovering that she carries the major gene for Alzheimer’s.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Erectile Dysfunction May Be Linked With Cardiovascular Trouble

Independent Risk Factor for Heart Disease, Stroke and Death

Although it is well accepted that cardiovascular disease is a risk factor for erectile dysfunction (ED), it has not been clear whether ED is an independent risk factor for cardiovascular disease.

Reasearchers at Soochow University, China have established a significant association between ED and the increased risk of cardiovascular disease, heart disease, stroke and death.

Qin Li-Qiang and colleagues culled data on the relationship between ED and cardiovascular disease from 12 studies published 2005and 2011 that include a total of 36,744 people and an average follow-up of 4 to 16.2 years*.

They found that men with Erectile Dysfunction had

48% increased risk for Cardiovascular Disease

46% increased risk for Heart Disease

35% increased risk for Stroke, and a

19% increased of Dying of any cause

compared to men without ED,

Even after taking risk factors such as age, weight, blood pressure, diabetes, cholesterol and smoking into account, there as still a 54 percent increased risk for carbiovascular disease associated with ED alone. The reasons for this association are unclear, the reaserachers noted.

However, based on these findings, Qin’s group now thinks ED is an independent risk factor for cardiovascular disease and not just an early marker of the disease.

Journal Reference

Jia-Yi Dong, Yong-Hong Zhang, Li-Qiang Qin. Erectile Dysfunction and Risk of Cardiovascular Disease: Meta-Analysis of Prospective Cohort Studies. J Am Coll Cardiol, 2011;58:1378-1385, doi:10.1016/j.jacc.2011.06.024

* This process, called a meta-analysis, tries to pool data from several sources to tease out a pattern that might not be obvious in a single study.

For more information on erectile dysfunction (ED), visit the US National Library of Medicine.

The Zestzfulness Team advises men with ED to take proactive steps to talk to their medical doctor today, while adopting a healthy lifestyle to better control their cardiovascular risk factors:
  • Cholesterol
  • Diabetes
  • Diet
  • Hypertension
  • Obesity
  • Physical Inactivity
  • Stress
  • Tobacco

Xanthelasmata Linked to Increased Risk for Heart Disease

People with xanthelasmata — raised flat yellowish plaques on the eyelids composed mainly of cholesteryl esters — have increased risk for heart problems, according to a research published online in the British Medical Journal.

The study, led by Professor Anne Tybjærg-Hansen at the University of Copenhagen, followed nearly 13,000 Danish adults for an average of 22 years. At baseline, 4% had xanthelasmata, and 25% had arcus corneae (a white or gray opaque ring in the margin of the cornea).

After adjustment for traditional cardiovascular risk factors, participants with xanthelasmata were significantly more likely to experience myocardial infarction, ischemic heart disease, severe atherosclerosis, or death compared with those without xanthelasmata. They were not, however, at increased risk for ischemic stroke or cerebrovascular disease.

Arcus corneae were not associated with cardiovascular outcomes.

The Zestzfulness Team strongly recommends that you see a medical doctor if you think you have signs of xanthelasmata, or arcus conreae (if you are below 40 years of age).

Journal Reference:

Mette Christoffersen, Ruth Frikke-Schmidt, Peter Schnohr, Gorm B. Jensen, Børge G. Nordestgaard, Anne Tybjærg-Hansen. Xanthelasmata, arcus corneae, and ischaemic vascular disease and death in general population: prospective cohort study. British Medical Journal, 2011; 343: d5497. Download the full article HERE

Arcus corneae may be found either as an age-related condition (arcus senilis) or in association with hyperlipoproteinemia types 2 and 3 and systemic lipid abnormalities in younger people.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

An Apple or Pear a Day May Keep Strokes Away

Picture credit:

White Edible Portions Was Associated With A 52 percent Lower Stroke Risk

Dutch researchers have found that eating a lot of fruits and vegetables with white flesh may protect against stroke.

While previous studies have linked high consumption of fruits and vegetables with lower stroke risk, the researchers' prospective work is the first to examine associations of fruits and vegetable color groups with stroke.

The color of the edible portion of fruits and vegetables reflects the presence of beneficial phytochemicals such as carotenoids and flavonoids.

Researchers examined the link between fruits and vegetable color group consumption with 10-year stroke incidence in a population-based study of 20,069 adults, with an average age of 41. The participants were free of cardiovascular diseases at the start of the study and completed a 178-item food frequency questionnaire for the previous year.

Fruits and vegetables were classified in four color groups:

  • Green, including dark leafy vegetables, cabbages and lettuces
  • Orange/Yellow, which were mostly citrus fruits
  • Red/Purple, which were mostly red vegetables
  • White, of which 55 percent were apples and pears

High Intake of White Fruits and Vegetables May Protect Against Stroke

During 10 years of follow-up, 233 strokes were documented. Green, orange/yellow and red/purple fruits and vegetables weren't related to stroke. However, the risk of stroke incidence was 52 percent lower for people with a high intake of white fruits and vegetables compared to people with a low intake.

Each 25 gram per day increase in white fruits and vegetable consumption was associated with a 9 percent lower risk of stroke. An average apple is 120 grams.

"To prevent stroke, it may be useful to consume considerable amounts of white fruits and vegetables," said Linda M. Oude Griep, M.Sc., lead author of the study and a postdoctoral fellow in human nutrition at Wageningen Uninversity in the Netherlands. "For example, eating one apple a day is an easy way to increase white fruits and vegetable intake.

"However, other fruits and vegetable color groups may protect against other chronic diseases. Therefore, it remains of importance to consume a lot of fruits and vegetables."

Apples and pears are high in dietary fiber and a flavonoid called quercetin. In the study, other foods in the white category were bananas, cauliflower, chicory and cucumber.

Potatoes were classified as a starch.

Previous research on the preventive health benefits of fruits and vegetables focused on the food's unique nutritional value and characteristics, such as the edible part of the plant, color, botanical family and its ability to provide antioxidants.

U.S. federal dietary guidelines include using color to assign nutritional value. The U.S. Preventive Health Services Taskforce recommends selecting each day vegetables from five subgroups: dark green, red/orange, legume, starchy and other vegetables.

Before the results are adopted into everyday practice, the findings should be confirmed through additional research, Oude Griep said. "It may be too early for physicians to advise patients to change their dietary habits based on these initial findings," she said.

An accompanying editorial notes that the finding should be interpreted with caution because food frequency questionnaires may not be reliable.

In addition, "the observed reduction in stroke risk might further be due to a generally healthier lifestyle of individuals consuming a diet rich in fruits and vegetables," writes Heike Wersching, M.D., M.Sc., of Institute of Epidemiology and Social Medicine at the University of Münster, in Germany.

The results of the study was published in the September 15, 2011 online edition of the Stroke: Journal of the American Heart Association

Story Source:

The above story is reprinted (with editorial adaptations by The Zestfulness Team) from materials downloaded from the American Heart Association newsroom on September 15, 2011

Journal Reference:

Linda M. Oude Griep, W. M. Monique Verschuren, Daan Kromhout, Marga C. Ocké, Johanna M. Geleijnse. Colors of Fruit and Vegetables and 10-Year Incidence of Stroke. Stroke, 2011; DOI: 10.1161/STROKEAHA.110.611152

Additional Resources:

The American Heart Association recommends eating a diet rich in a variety of colors and types of vegetables and fruits, at least 4.5 cups a day.

To learn more visit: Eat More Fruits and Vegetables and Tips To Boost Fruits and Vegetablets To Your Diet.

Cooking with white fruits and vegetables can be easy – and healthy. Check out these recipes at the American Heart Association’s Nutrition Center.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Turmeric Component Fights Head and Neck Cancer

Curcumin in Turmeric Kicks Off Cancer-Killing Mechanisms in Human Saliva

Curcumin, the main component in the spice turmeric, suppresses a cell signaling pathway that drives the growth of head and neck cancer, according to a pilot study using human saliva by researchers at UCLA's Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Curcumin has a significant inhibitory effect, blocking two different drivers of head and neck cancer growth:

It binds to and prevent an enzyme known as IKK, an inhibitor of kappa β kinase, from activating nuclear factor kappa β (NFκβ), a transcription factor that promotes cancer growth.

It also affected the cancer by reducing pro-inflammatory cytokines within the saliva.

In this study, 21 patients with head and neck cancers gave samples of their saliva before and after chewing two curcumin tablets totaling 1,000 milligrams. One hour later, an additional sample of saliva was taken and proteins were extracted and IKKβ kinase activity measured. Thirteen subjects with tooth decay and five healthy subjects were used as controls.

"We believe curcumin could be combined with other treatments, such as chemotherapy and radiation, to treat head and neck cancer. It also could perhaps be given to patients at high risk for developing head and neck cancers — smokers, those who chew tobacco and people with the HPV virus — as well as to patients with previous oral cancers to fight recurrence," said senior study author Dr. Marilene Wang, a professor of head and neck surgery and a Jonsson Cancer Center researcher.

“While this is a promising pilot study, it's important to expand our work to more patients to confirm our findings," adds Wang.

“To be effective in fighting cancer, the curcumin must be used in supplement form. Although turmeric is used in cooking, the amount of curcumin needed to produce a clinical response is much larger. Expecting a positive effect through eating foods spiced with turmeric is not realistic,” Wang cautioned.

The study appears Sept. 15 in Clinical Cancer Research, a peer-reviewed journal of the American Association of Cancer Research.

Story Source:

This summary is prepared by The Zestzfulness Team from materials provided by the University of California Newsroom. You can view the press release HERE.

Journal Reference:

S. G. Kim, M. S. Veena, S. K. Basak, E. Han, T. Tajima, D. W. Gjertson, J. Starr, O. Eidelman, H. B. Pollard, M. Srivastava, E. S. Srivatsan, M. B. Wang. Curcumin Treatment Suppresses IKK Kinase Activity of Salivary Cells of Patients with Head and Neck Cancer: A Pilot Study. Clinical Cancer Research, 2011; DOI: 10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-11-1272

UCLA's Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center has more than 240 researchers and clinicians engaged in disease research, prevention, detection, control, treatment and education. One of the nation's largest comprehensive cancer centers, the Jonsson Center is dedicated to promoting research and translating basic science into leading-edge clinical studies. In July 2011, the center was named among the top 10 cancer centers nationwide by U.S. News & World Report, a ranking it has held for 10 of the last 12 years.


The University of Iowa offers Head and Neck Cancer Prevention Tips.

Turmeric has many uses in our recipes; it is easy to include it in our daily meal as a health maintenance measure.

Narcox is a tablet with a patented purified form of curcumin that is reputed to be 4000x better absorbed into the blood stream than raw curcumin. It is taken once or twice for moderate to severe joint pains without the severe side effects of NSAIDS such as cardiovascular problems, strokes and gastrointestinal injuries or bleeding.

The following are our other recent posts on curcumin:

Zestzfulness: NSAID Alternatives - CURCUMIN, Mar 12, 2011 Tumeric (Curcuma longa) and its main biologically active constituent, a polyphenol called curcumin, have remarkable, multiple health benefits as supported by an extensive body of clinical science. CLICK HERE to read about ...

Zestzfulness: Curry Spice Could Offer Treatment Hope for Tendinitis, Aug 13, 2011 In a paper published in the Journal of Biological Chemistry, the researchers at The University of Nottingham and Ludwig Maximilians University in Munich have shown that curcumin, which also gives the spice turmeric its ...

Zestzfulness: Curcumin: getting back to the roots, Mar 27, 2010 Modern science has revealed that curcumin mediates its effects by modulation of several important molecular targets, including transcription factors (e.g., NF-kappaB, AP-1, Egr-1, beta-catenin, and PPAR-gamma), ...

Petua Kesihatan: Pengurusan Penyakit Jantung Diabetik

Pengurusan Penyakit Jantung Diabetik

Risiko pembentukkan penyakit jantung diabetik (DHD) adalah berkaitan secara langsung dengan paras gula dalam darah seseorang, menurut Institut Jantung, Paru-paru dan Darah Negara.

Semakin tinggi gula dalam darah seorang pesakit diabetes, semakin tinggi risikonya terhadap penyakit jantung diabetik.

Penyakit jantung diabetik boleh termasuk penyakit jantung koronari (Coronary Heart Disease - CHD), juga dikenali sebagai penyakit arteri koronari, kegagalan jantung dan / atau kardiomiopati diabetik.

Penyakit jantung koronari adalah satu keadaan di mana bahan yang dipanggil plak terbentuk di dalam arteri koronari. Plak menyempitkan arteri dan mengurangkan pengaliran darah ke otot jantung anda. Ia juga menjadikannya lebih berkemungkinan terbentuknya darah beku di dalam arteri anda. Darah beku sebahagian atau sepenuhnya boleh menyekat aliran darah. CHD boleh menyebabkan sakit dada atau ketidakselesaan yang dikenali sebagai angina, degupan jantung yang tidak teratur yang dikenali sebagai aritmia, serangan jantung, ataupun kematian.

Kegagalan jantung adalah satu keadaan di mana jantung anda tidak boleh mengepam darah yang mencukupi untuk memenuhi keperluan badan anda. Ia tidak bermakna bahawa jantung anda telah berhenti atau berhenti kerja. Walau bagaimanapun, kegagalan jantung adalah satu keadaan serius yang memerlukan rawatan perubatan. Jika anda mempunyai kegagalan jantung, anda mudah menjadi letih dan perlu menghadkan aktiviti anda. CHD boleh membawa kepada kegagalan jantung dengan melemahkan otot jantung dari masa ke semasa.

Kardiomiopati diabetik adalah penyakit yang merosakkan struktur dan fungsi jantung. Penyakit ini juga boleh membawa kepada kegagalan jantung dan aritmia, walaupun pada mereka yang mempunyai kencing manis tetapi tidak mempunyai CHD.

Ikuti Pelan Rawatan Anda

Institut Jantung, Paru-paru dan Darah Negara menawarkan cadangan-cadangan untuk membantu pengurusan penyakit jantung diabetik:

  • Pastikan anda melakukan aktiviti fizikal yang kerap.
  • Menikmati diet yang sihat untuk hati.
  • Pastikan berat badan anda di bawah kawalan.
  • Mengekalkan kawalan gula darah anda.
  • Mencari jalan untuk mengurangkan tahap tekanan anda.
  • Jika anda merokok, segera berhenti.
  • Ikut pelan rawatan doktor anda untuk menguruskan kesihatan anda.
  • Dapatkan secara tetap, penjagaan berterusan daripada doktor, termasuk pemeriksaan dan ujian biasa.

Nasi Lemak 2.0

An Anthonian Baby Boomer was inspired to write a review of Nasi Lemak 2, in Chinese. It took another SPS, and a Banana to translate his work into English, see below for definition. In case we had interpreted inaccurately, will the author please forgive us.


I came home after spending a week in Kuala Lumpur. I had intended to write about my nephew’s wedding dinner in Kuala Lumpur but was distracted by the bad weather, raining heavily all day. So I ended up washing my car, doing my laundry and cleaning the floor. Being alone, it seemed more time was needed to complete the chore; though there was nobody to distract me, I found the work was monotonous and boring. Yesterday, I managed to devote 3 hours writing up on the wedding.

“Nasi Lemak 2.0” is in the cinemas nationwide starting from the 8th of September. I was very keen to attend premiere but had to abort my plan.


It was early in the morning of 10th September, while walking light heartedly to the nearby morning market that I realized that most of the whole housing estate was flooded by the swollen river. Strangely, the road along my house was not affected at all. I believed tthe huge water pump installed at the river bank towards the end of the road had saved us. Luckily, the rain had turned into a drizzle and the sun started to shine. So I decided to accompany a Malay colleague to his pineapple farm and came home later with some of the fruit. After dinner, I went out with another friend to catch the Namewee or Wee Meng Chee's maiden film which he created and directed and even acted in it.

我不是电影评论家,也从来没有写过影评。在这里,只是想追忆这部据说是支持一个大马概念的电影。黄明志是一个敢怒敢言,敢做敢当的热血爱国华裔大马人。他创写了很多歌曲,也创作了不少短片。我们可以在youtube看到他的杰作。他的一首NegaraKu Ku (鸟国家), 震醒了大众,惊动了巫统(UMNO),激怒了斯文又纯洁文化部长Rais Yatim. 他的父亲曾向警局调查部求情,有些华人政治家和社会领袖也为他辩护,终于,在会见首相部部长Nasri之后,政府不再追究。 他也一举成名!

I am not a film commentator and I have never published any film commentary. I only wish here to recall what I believe is a film that explores the concept of 1Malaysia which has thus far been allowed to remain a fuzzy slogan. Namewee is a daring and outspoken patriotic Malaysian of Chinese origin. He has written many songs and created numerous videos. We can see his masterpieces in Youtube. His song “Negara Ku Ku: (country of birds) had awakened the public, shakened UMNO, and even angered the “polite and pure” Rais Yatim, the Minister of Information, Communication and Culture. Namewee’s father was pressured to plead with the authorities after several police reports were lodged against him by shallow minded political and non-governmental groups on the supposedly anti-government undertones of this song. A few Chinese politicians and community leaders were compelled to defend him. Eventually, after a meeting with Nazri, the minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, the government stopped pursuing the case further and Namewee became famous overnight!

经过这场风波后,这个血气方干的台湾大学毕业生并没有退缩。为了正义,当然也为了饭碗,他再接再力的制作了他的第一部电影,辣死你妈2.0。。。。辣死你妈(NasiLemak)是椰酱饭。饭是以米加椰酱(最好加一些姜丝)煮成,然后加上另外煮调的辣料,可用江鱼,咸鱼,鲜鱼,虾,鸡和各种肉类。辣死你妈是又香又辣的食物,大马各民族都喜欢吃。我觉的黄明志以此片要大马各民族明了和睦相处的香 ,和感受到政府行政不公以及社会歪风的辣。。。

The energetic Taiwan graduate was not deterred by this stormy encounter. For the sake of justice and, of course, for his livelihood, he produced his first film “Nasi Lemak 2.0” …….Nasi Lemak (translated literally as "hot till your mother die") is coconut flavoured rice. It is cooked with coconut milk (and is best with slices of ginger thrown in), and then garnished with other cooked spicy ingredients such as ikan bilis (crispy anchovies), salted fish, fresh fish, prawns, chicken and other meats. Nasi lemak is a spicy and fragrant food enjoyed by all races in Malaysia. I feel that,Namewee hopes, via Nasi Lemak 2.0, to tease the various races in Malaysia into appreciating the “fragrance” of living in harmony and to feeling “hot” about our unhealthy society and bad government.



At the beginning of the show, a group of idle non-Chinese youths were seen openly robbing an ethnic Chinese lady hawker. Passersby did not give her a helping hand, acting as if that was none of their business. But then, a school boy happened on the scene. Hesitating for a while, he spied an empty can on the road and decided to kick it towards the rogues. It hit them. Annoyed, the rogues charged at the boy. They pursued him to a back lane where many people opened their back doors to gawk. When the boy screamed for help, the doors were closed on him. Won't anyone get not “hot” with this callous behaviour? This small hero grew up to be none other than Namewee.

片内有很多令人欢笑的情节,对话与歌曲中隐藏着特别讯息。这是一部好电影,有几首动听的歌曲。对我来说,最好听的是那首咖哩咧(Curry Neh!),我是福建人。 我感受到黄大侠一面在推销辣死你妈,一面戴歌戴舞的骂人。(应该是骂政府吧!)。。.让我们一起吃Curry Neh! Kan Lin Neh! Kan Lin Neh!...........

There were many comical scenes in this film, the dialogues and songs had special hidden messages. This was a good film with a number of beautiful songs. To me, “Curry Neh” was the best song. I am Hokkien, I could feel that Namewee was not only selling “Nasi Lemak”, but he also sang and danced while 'bombarding' others. (aiming at the government, I presume!)….. Together let's eat Curry Neh! Kan Lin Neh! Kan Lin Neh!........


I will stop here. It is better for readers to catch the show in the cinema. This show is worth watching. There were people who watched the show more than once. What are you waiting for? Hurry up, go and watch “Nasi Lemak 2.0” NOW!


Chew Wah Yeong, Chee Sai Gnow and Khoo Joo Lee completed their secondary education at the St Anthony’s School in Telok Anson (since renamed asTeluk Intan) in 1967. While Wah Yeong and Sai Gnow had the benefit of primary education in Chinese, Joo Lee spent all his 11 school years in the same building that housed St. Anthony’s

A 'BANANA' is a Chinese Malaysian who, while conversant in at least one Chinese dialect, mostly Hokkien or Cantonese, is illiterate in Mandarin, speaks better in English and Bahasa Melayu and tends to be Anglo-centric, a kind of WOC (as distinguished from WOGs, the C standing for Chinaman) You can get other and "more generous" interpretations of a 'banana man' HERE

SPS (是或否, yes or no). This is what 'bananas' frequently hear those folks from the remove class utter after each sentence; thus they came to be identified as 'SPS'. Remove class is where students with vernacular primary education had to spend a year orientating themselves to the national medium of instruction (Bahasa Melayu and a sprinkling of English); this practice was stopped many years ago when it was found to be redundant.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

High Cholesterol and Alzheimer’s Disease

New Study Reveals Link Between High Cholesterol and Alzheimer's Disease

Lowering cholesterol early in life may reduce the risk of Alzheimer's.

People with high cholesterol may have a higher risk of developing Alzheimer's disease, according to a study published in the latest issue of Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

"We found that high cholesterol levels were significantly related to brain plaques associated with Alzheimer's disease," said study author Kensuke Sasaki, MD, PhD, of Kyushu University in Fukuoka, Japan.

For the study, the cholesterol levels were tested for 2,587 people age 40 to 79 who had no signs of Alzheimer's disease. Then they examined 147 autopsied people who died after a long observation period (10 to 15 years). Of those, 50 people, or 34 percent, had been diagnosed with dementia before death.

The autopsies looked for plaques and tangles in the brain, both known to be trademark signs of Alzheimer's disease. Plaques are an accumulation of a form of the protein amyloid, which occurs between nerve cells. Tangles are an accumulation of a different protein, called tau, which occurs inside nerve cells.

People with high cholesterol levels, defined by a reading of more than 5.8 mmol/L, had significantly more brain plaques when compared to those with normal or lower cholesterol levels. A total of 86 percent of people with high cholesterol had brain plaques, compared with only 62 percent of people with low cholesterol levels.

The study found no link between high cholesterol and the tangles that develop in the brain with Alzheimer's disease.

In addition to high cholesterol increasing the risk of Alzheimer's disease, Sasaki previously found that insulin resistance, a sign of diabetes, may be another risk factor for brain plaques associated with Alzheimer's disease.

"Our study clearly makes the point that high cholesterol may contribute directly or indirectly to plaques in the brain," Sasaki said, "but failed treatment trials of cholesterol-lowering drugs in Alzheimer's disease means there is no simple link between lowering cholesterol and preventing Alzheimer's."

This study was supported by the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science and the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare.

Story Source:

The above story is reprinted (with editorial adaptations by The Zestfulness Team) from the September 12, 2011 press release by American Academy of Neurology.

Journal Reference:

T. Matsuzaki, K. Sasaki, J. Hata, Y. Hirakawa, K. Fujimi, T. Ninomiya, S. O. Suzuki, S. Kanba, Y. Kiyohara, T. Iwaki. Association of Alzheimer disease pathology with abnormal lipid metabolism: The Hisayama Study. Neurology, 2011; 77 (11): 1068. CLICK HERE for the full text.

Health Tip: When You're Under Stress...

Picture source:

When You're Under Stress...

... Suggestions to keep it under control

The first task toward keeping stress under control is recognizing the early symptoms of stress, such as muscle tension, headache or anxiety.

The American Academy of Family Physicians says managing stress depends on how you react to it. Recognizing that you're under stress may be easy, compared to changing your response.

Here are the academy's suggestions:

  • Don't fret about things over which you have no control, such as the weather.
  • Solve little issues or conflicts first -- this may help you tackle bigger ones.
  • Think of change in a positive way.
  • Discuss your stress with a trusted friend or family member.
  • Avoid tackling too much at once.
  • Exercise regularly.
  • Eat a healthy diet, and get enough rest.
  • Engage in activities that tend to ease your stress.
  • Prepare yourself for activities that you know will lead to stress.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Zestz for LAUGHS? 4-Hour Erection

What happens when you ask for help with an erection lasting more than 4 hours?

Beng walked into a drug store in Klang and asked to talk to a male pharmacist. The woman he was talking to said that she was the only pharmacist and as she and her sister owned the store, there were no male employees. She then asked if she could help him.

Beng said that it was something that he would be much more comfortable discussing with a male pharmacist. The lady pharmacist assured him that she was completely professional and whatever it was that he needed to discuss, he could be confident that she would treat him with a high level of professionalism.

Beng then agreed and began by saying, 'This is tough for me to discuss, but I get erections every day that last more than four hours. It causes me a lot of problems and severe embarrassment, and I was wondering what you could give me for it.'

The pharmacist said, 'Just a minute, I'll talk to my sister...'

When she returned, she said, "We discussed it at length and this is the absolute best we can do. 1/3 ownership in the store, a company Benz, a king size bed and $3,000 a month in living expenses

Story adapted from a recently netted flotsam.

Your browser may not support display of this image.

Certainly, our Poh Ching, Mahfuza, Fooi Mee, Jacqueline don’t look anywhere like these old birds.

We post the hypothetical question to them and got this answer:

'Persistent, painful, erection that lasts for more than four hours and occurs without sexual stimulation is called priapism. This happens when blood in the you-know-what becomes trapped and unable to drain. It can occur in all age groups, including newborns. However, it usually affects men between the ages of 5 to 10 years and 20 to 50 years.'

'Painful spontaneous and nocturnal erections are a common complaint of patients after penile and urethral reconstructive surgery.'

They added that old-cocks (actually, they said adults) considering elective circumcision or other surgeries involving their you-know-what can talk to their doctors about the oral antifungal ketoconazole (Fungazol, Nizoral).

Here’s the basis for their potent advice:

Evans, Peterson, Ruiz, and Costabile working on patients at the US Army Medical Center, Tacoma, Washington found that ketoconazole effectively prevents painful postoperative erections with minimal side effects.

Oral ketoconazole works by inhibiting testosterone production…. reversibly (grateful thanks to you-know-who)

The 38 patients had undergone penile and urethral reconstructive surgery.

Analgesics and topical agents ineffectively inhibit painful erections after penile and urethral surgery. Ice-cold refrigerant sprays (eeeee!), narcotics, and dorsal nerve blocks, to prevent painful postoperative erections frequently provide incomplete relief, and their effects are short lived.

31 patients received 400 mg of ketoconazole three times daily for 10-14 days postoperatively (the study group) and 7 patients did not receive ketoconazole (the control group).

Of the control group, 71% reported erections in the immediate postoperative period, and all these patients reported the erections were painful. Only 23% of the patient taking ketoconazole reported postoperative erections, and only 16% reported the erections were painful.

Journal reference:

Evans KC, Peterson AC, Ruiz HE, Costabile RA. Use of oral ketoconazole to prevent postoperative erections following penile surgery. Int J Impot Res. 2004 Aug;16(4):346-9.

Your doctor may be interested to read the full text of this paper HERE.

Health Tip: Recognizing Asthma in Children

Picture credit:

Here are common warning signs

Asthma is a chronic disease that causes the airways - the tubes that carry air in and out of your lungs - to become sore and swollen.

Asthma can develop in children of any age, but symptoms typically begin by age 5. Children have smaller airways than adults, which makes asthma especially serious for them.

The Cleveland Clinic says parents should watch for:

  • Frequent coughing spells that occur during playtime, laughing or at night.
  • Lack of energy during playtime.
  • Breathing rapidly, shortness of breath or wheezing.
  • Discomfort or pain in the chest.
  • A perceived tightness of the neck or chest muscles.
  • Feeling tired often.

The Cleveland Clinic is a nonprofit multispecialty academic medical center that integrates clinical and hospital care with research and education.

Read related posts on asthma here:

Secondhand Smoke May Increase Vulnerability to Nicotine Addiction

May 04, 2011 ... in 2006 that secondhand smoke causes heart disease and lung cancer in nonsmoking adults and many serious health conditions in children, including sudden infant death syndrome, respiratory infections, and more severe asthma.

Zestz Calling All Broccoli Enthusiasts

Jan 06, 2010 It may also help protect against respiratory inflammation that causes conditions like asthma, allergic rhinitis and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease4. If you are still not motivated, you should know that researchers at UCLA5, ...

Stress May Alter Gut Bacteria to Hinder Immune System

Mar 30, 2011 Because gut bacteria have been linked to diseases like inflammatory bowel disease, and even to asthma, a future goal of the study is to determine whether alterations of gut bacteria is the reason why these diseases tend to be worse ...

Zestzfulness: Inflammatory Responses To Social-Stress

Aug 11, 2010 As such, they have implications for understanding how social stressors may promote susceptibility to diseases with an inflammatory component; these includes asthma, rheumatoid arthritis, cardiovascular disease, ...

Health Tip: Managing Diabetic Heart Disease

Managing Diabetic Heart Disease

The risk of developing diabetic heart disease (DHD) is directly related to a person's blood sugar level, the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute says.

The higher the blood sugar in a person with diabetes, the higher that person's risk of diabetic heart disease.

Diabetic heart disease may include coronary heart disease (CHD), also called coronary artery disease; heart failure; and/or diabetic cardiomyopathy.

Coronary Heart Disease is a condition in which a substance called plaque builds up inside the coronary arteries. Plaque narrows the arteries and reduces blood flow to your heart muscle. It also makes it more likely that blood clots will form in your arteries. Blood clots can partially or completely block blood flow. CHD can lead to chest pain or discomfort called angina, irregular heartbeats called arrhythmias, a heart attack, or even death.

Heart Failure is a condition in which your heart can't pump enough blood to meet your body's needs. It doesn't mean that your heart has stopped or is about to stop working. However, heart failure is a serious condition that requires medical care. If you have heart failure, you may tire easily and have to limit your activities. CHD can lead to heart failure by weakening the heart muscle over time.

Diabetic Cardiomyopathy is a disease that damages the structure and function of the heart. This disease also can lead to heart failure and arrhythmias, even in people who have diabetes but don't have CHD.

Follow Your Treatment Plan

The National Heart Lung and Blood Institute offer these suggestions to help manage diabetic heart disease:

  • Make sure you get regular physical activity.
  • Enjoy a heart-healthy diet.
  • Keep your weight under control.
  • Maintain good control of your blood sugar.
  • Find ways to reduce your stress levels.
  • If you smoke, stop.
  • Follow your doctor's treatment plan for managing your health.
  • Obtain regular, ongoing care from your doctor, including regular checkups and tests.