Saturday, October 29, 2011

Omega-3 & Osteoarthritis

Omega-3 Fish Oil Capsules

New research has shown for the first time that omega-3 in fish oil could "substantially and significantly" reduce the signs and symptoms of osteoarthritis.

Osteoarthritis affects is caused when the cartilage at the ends of bones wears away and the underlying bone thickens, leading to stiff, painful joints. Currently, there is no effective treatment to slow down disease progression, and treatment is limited to pain relief and ultimately joint replacement.

According to the University of Bristol study, funded by Arthritis Research UK and published in the journal Osteoarthritis and Cartilage, omega-3-rich diets fed to guinea pigs, which naturally develop osteoarthritis, reduced disease by 50 per cent compared to a standard diet.

The research is a major step forward in showing that omega-3 fatty acids, either sourced from fish oil or flax oil, may help to slow down the progression of osteoarthritis, or even prevent it occurring, confirming anecdotal reports and "old wives' tales" about the benefits of fish oil for joint health.

Lead researcher Dr John Tarlton, from the Matrix Biology Research group at the University of Bristol's School of Veterinary Sciences, said classic early signs of the condition, such as the degradation of collagen in cartilage and the loss of molecules that give it shock-absorbing properties, were both reduced with omega-3.

"Furthermore, there was strong evidence that omega-3 influences the biochemistry of the disease, and therefore not only helps prevent disease, but also slows its progression, potentially controlling established osteoarthritis," he said.

Dr Tarlton added: "The only way of being certain that the effects of omega-3 are as applicable to humans as demonstrated in guinea pigs is to apply omega-3 to humans. However, osteoarthritis in guinea pigs is perhaps the most appropriate model for spontaneous, naturally occurring osteoarthritis, and all of the evidence supports the use of omega-3 in human disease."

Medical research director of Arthritis Research UK, Professor Alan Silman, said: "The possibility that omega-3 fatty acids could prevent osteoarthritis from developing has been a tantalising one. Some limited, previous research in dogs has suggested that we were a long way away from understanding the potential use in humans. However, this current research in guinea pigs is exciting as it brings us closer to understanding how omega-3 might fundamentally interfere with the osteoarthritis process, and that it could potentially be taken as a treatment."

Fish Oil Far More Effective Than Flax Oil

On the back of the results of his study, Dr Tarlton said that following government guidelines on dietary intake of omega-3 fatty acids could be effective in reducing the burden of osteoarthritis. Fish oil is far more effective than the flax oil based supplement, but for vegetarians flax oil remains a viable alternative.

"Most diets in the developed world are lacking in omega-3, with modern diets having up to 30 times too much omega-6 and too little omega-3. Taking omega-3 will help redress this imbalance and may positively contribute to a range of other health problems such as heart disease and colitis."

Further studies are needed to determine the influence of omega-3 fatty acids on established disease in guinea pigs, and to confirm the effects in human osteoarthritis, said Dr Tarlton.

Story Source:

The above story is prepared with editorial adaptations by The Zestzfulness Team from materials provided in the University of Bristol press release issued on October 17, 2011

Journal Reference

Knott L, Avery NC, Hollander AP, Tarlton JF. Regulation of osteoarthritis by omega-3 (n-3) polyunsaturated fatty acids in a naturally occurring model of disease. Osteoarthritis Cartilage. 2011 Sep;19(9):1150-7.

You can read the full report HERE.


Omega-3 fatty acids are considered essential fatty acids necessary for human health. The body cannot make its own omega-3 fatty acids, they must be taken in through the diet, or in supplement form. Omega-3 fatty acids are naturally found in fish, such as salmon, tuna, and halibut, other seafood including algae and krill, some plants, and nut oils.

Also known as polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), omega-3 fatty acids play a crucial role in brain function, as well as normal growth and development.

Research shows that omega-3 fatty acids reduce inflammation and may help lower risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease where clinical evidence is strongest.

Omega-3 fatty acids may also be used for:

High cholesterol

High blood pressure

Heart disease


Rheumatoid arthritis

Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE)



Bipolar disorder


Attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)

Cognitive decline

Skin disorders

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)


Macular Degeneration

Menstrual pain


Breast cancer

Prostate cancer

You can get more information from the University of Maryland Medical Center website HERE

Dick Smith?

If you compare the amount of my hair in this old photo with that in the recent photo below, you will realise that many years have intervened between these photos.

And that's how long it took me to find out where they make that solid thing!

OK lah, let's stop horsing around and get intellectual:

ZEN Results Raise Early Hopes for DES in Erectile Dysfunction

PDE-5 inhibitors easily make baby boomers the lucky generation.

Unfortunately some are not so lucky and do not respond to the vasodilating effect of PDE-5 inhibitors like Cilais, Levitra and Viagra.

These include men with focal atherosclerotic narrowing of one or both internal pudendal arteries. (The internal pudendal artery in the male is a blood vessel that branches off the artery of the pelvis, providing blood to the dorsal and deep arteries of the penis)

But even among these not so lucky ones, there is hope.

50 men this group were enrolled in a ZEN trial sponsored by Medtronic to test a drug-eluting stent (DES) of the internal pudendal artery (not the penis itself, :-).

Dr Jason Rogers (UC Davis Medical Center, Sacramento, CA) unveiled the early results at the recent VIVA: Vascular InterVentional Advances, 2011 Conference in Las Vegas, which suggest that this novel use for a DES is safe and associated with significant improvement in erectile function and satisfaction.

He stressed that the "exciting" positive results nevertheless mark a very early first step toward a treatment that will never be for all men with erectile dysfunction. A lot more investigation is required

A stent is a tiny tube placed into an artery, blood vessel, or other duct (such as one that carries urine) to hold the structure open. A drug-eluting stent is coated with a medicine that helps further prevent the arteries from re-closing

Penis Itself May Be Source of Male Hormones

Here’s another good news for aging baby boomers that Dr. Kathleen Hwang, currently an assistant professor of surgery/urology at Brown University described as “actually very exciting”

Textbooks have long listed the centers of male hormone production as the testes and adrenal glands. Kathleen and colleagues harvested testes, prostate, penile and adrenal gland tissue from two 3-month old mice, subjected them to high-tech microscopic analyses and found three key proteins known to be involved in androgen production in both prostate gland and penile tissue.

Kathleen presented the findings at the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) annual meeting in Orlando, Florida. on October 19, 2011.

Dr Edward Kim, president of the Society for Male Reproduction and Urology at the University of Tennessee's graduate school of medicine in Knoxville opined that more research with humans is required "to get a real handle on what's going on."

Friday, October 28, 2011

Simple Lifestyle Changes Can Add a Decade or More Healthy Years to the Average Lifespan

Clyde Yancy, professor of medicine and chief of cardiology at the Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine, suggested seven lifestyle changes to achieve optimal health potential.

Delivering the keynote lecture at the opening ceremonies of the Canadian Cardiovascular Congress in Vancouver on October 23, 2011, Dr Yancy told delegates that people who follow these seven simple lifestyle factors have a 90 per cent chance of living to the age of 90 or 100, free of not only heart disease and stroke but from a number of other chronic illnesses including cancer.

1. GET ACTIVE: Inactivity can shave almost four years off a person’s expected lifespan. People who are physically inactive are twice as likely to be at risk for heart disease or stroke.

2. KNOW AND CONTROL CHOLESTEROL LEVELS: Almost 40 per cent of Canadian adults have high blood cholesterol, which can lead to the buildup of fatty deposits in your arteries − increasing your risk for heart disease and stroke.

3. FOLLOW A HEALTHY DIET: Healthy eating is one of the most important things you can do to improve your health – yet about half of Canadians don’t meet the healthy eating recommendations.

4. KNOW AND CONTROL BLOOD PRESSURE: High blood pressure − often called a ‘silent killer’ because it has no warning signs or symptoms − affects one in five Canadians. By knowing and controlling your blood pressure, you can cut your risk of stroke by up to 40 per cent and the risk of heart attack by up to 25 per cent.

5. ACHIEVE AND MAINTAIN A HEALTHY WEIGHT: Almost 60 per cent of Canadian adults are either overweight or obese − major risk factors for heart disease and stroke. Being obese can reduce your life span by almost four years.

6. MANAGE DIABETES: By 2016 an estimated 2.4 million Canadians (or 7% of a projected population figure of 34.5 million) will live with diabetes. Diabetes increases the risk of high blood pressure, atherosclerosis (narrowing of the arteries), coronary artery disease, and stroke, particularly if your blood sugar levels are poorly controlled.

7. BE TOBACCO FREE: More than 37,000 Canadians die prematurely each year due to tobacco use, and thousands of non-smokers die each year from exposure to second-hand smoke. As soon as you become smoke-free, your risk of heart disease and stroke begins to decrease. After 15 years, your risk will be nearly that of a non-smoker.

According to the Heart and Stroke Foundation, every year in Canada about 250,000 potential years of life are lost due to heart disease and stroke, which are two of the three leading causes of death in Canada.

“We know how to prevent heart disease and stroke we now need to build the tools to empower our citizens to manage their risk and prevent heart disease,” says Dr. Yancy.

Sharpened focus on prevention strategies would save billions of dollars in heath costs

Dr. Yancy calls on governments to invest in steady and focused prevention strategies. He says that necessary initiatives include a change in current sodium policies, continued progress in tobacco control initiatives, increased green space, and health education.

The above story is based on materials from the news release by the Canadian Cardiovascular Congress 2011 in Vancouver, BC.

The Zestzfulness Team believes these seven simple lifestyle changes are just as relevant to non-Canadians!

Kylie Minogue and the Giant Teddy Bear

The Zestzfulness Team leaves it to you to figure out why DOM Wai Yin sent us this picture.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Picture credit:

Diwali celebrates the victory of truth over falsehood, of light over darkness, of life over death, of good over evil.

The Zestzfulness Team
Wishes You All A Very Happy Diwali!

HDL Yang Tinggi Menurunkan Risiko Kardiovaskular pada Diabetes Jenis 2

Menurut kajian terbaru, meningkatkan tahap lipoprotein berketumpatan tinggi, yang lebih dikenali sebagai HDL atau kolesterol "baik", dapat mengurangkan risiko serangan jantung dan strok di kalangan pesakit diabetes.

Dalam kajian pemerhatian, salah satu yang terbesar seumpamanya, meneliti rekod-rekod perubatan lebih daripada 30,000 pesakit yang menghidap diabetes mendapati bahawa pesakit yang mempunyai tahap HDL rendah mendapat lebih banyak serangan jantung dan strok.

Penyelidik mengkaji pesakit diabetes kerana mereka lebih cenderung kepada penyakit jantung dengan risiko seumur hidup setinggi 87 peratus.

Walaupun terdapat bukti bahawa mengurangkan jumlah lipoprotein berketumpatan rendah, juga dikenali sebagai LDL atau kolesterol "jahat", boleh mengurangkan risiko penyakit jantung, hubungan antara kolesterol HDL dan penyakit jantung adalah kurang jelas.

"Kajian kami menambah kepada bukti yang semakin kukuh bahawa meningkatkan paras HDL boleh menjadi satu strategi yang penting untuk mengurangkan risiko serangan jantung," menurut kajian yang diketuai penulis Gregory Nichols, PhD, penyiasat kanan Pusat Kaiser Permanente untuk Penyelidikan Kesihatan di Portland, Ore.

Kajian ini melibatkan 30,067 pesakit yang memasuki pendaftaran diabetes Kaiser Permanente di Oregon, Washington dan Georgia di antara tahun 2001 dan 2006. Pesakit-pesakit sekurang-kurangnya diambil dua ukuran HDL kolesterol antara 6 bulan dan 24 bulan.

Selepas mendapatkan ukuran kolesterol, penyelidik mengikuti perkembangan pesakit sehingga tahun ke 8 untuk melihat jika mereka dimasukkan ke hospital kerana serangan jantung atau strok.

Kebanyakan pesakit (61 peratus) tidak mempunyai sebarang perubahan ketara dalam paras HDL, dalam 22 peratus daripada pesakit, paras HDL meningkat sebanyak sekurang-kurangnya 6.5 mg / dl (miligram setiap deciliter darah); manakala dalam 17 peratus daripada pesakit, paras HDL menurun sekurang-kurangnya sebanyak jumlah yang sama.

Kajian mendapati bahawa pesakit yang tahap HDLnya meningkat, mengalami lebih sedikit serangan jantung dan strok iaitu sebanyak 8 peratus berbanding pesakit yang tahap HDLnya kekal sama, manakala pesakit yang tahap HDLnya menurun mencatat 11 peratus serangan jantung dan strok.

Jurnal Rujukan:

Gregory A. Nichols, Suma Vupputuri, A. Gabriela Rosales. Change in High-Density Lipoprotein Cholesterol and Risk of Subsequent Hospitalization for Coronary Artery Disease or Stroke Among Patients With Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus. The American Journal of Cardiology, Volume 108, Issue 8, 15 October 2011, Pages 1124-1128 DOI: 10.1016/j.amjcard.2011.05.047

Saturday, October 22, 2011


Robert Kong, another 11 years veteran Anthonian, sent us this Manglish work of art by Antares. The title, if you have not already deciphered it, means "I also don't know" or "I don't know either"; please don't ask us which is less correct, we are Malaysians lah!

Aitelyu ah, every year laif getting harder,
Not like lastaim so seemple one.
You remember ornot dat taim we all in skool
Honda Cub five hundred dollar can buy.
Now how much oridi? Five tausend over!
Becos of INGFLATION wat, dey say…
So whatever happen to INFLASI SIFAR hah?
Dis mins debladigramen’s kempen for “Zero Ingflation”
Only add up to NUTTING pulak…
But aisodonolah…

De udder day my son come home from skool,
Say he nid computer.
Defler form one only, man,
Oridi want to so high-teck!
He say, nowdays got standard six buggers
Using word plocessor – Oi! Mamasan 2020, yutingwat!
So like a bladifoo I take de rascal to the IT Expo
And buy him two tausend linggit computer,
Summore got "Intel Inside" one.
Now defler as soon as he back from tiewshun
Oridi sitting like hunchback wid new video game:
Taa-taaaa-taaaaaaang! Zoop-zooooop!
Waaah, got STEREO sound one, pulak:
CIA, James Bond and Mossad versus Al-Qaeda and Al Gore!
Arfturds I go and see how de bladi ting work...
And de ungratefoo chap, ah,
He tell me to go away!
Never gif his old man chan to play…
Aiyoh, chewren dese days ah, watusay,

Hweeyoh, doan tok to me about TRAFFIC JAM, brudder,
See my blood pressure oridi shoot up!
Lemme arsk you ah: got so many so-call iconomicks expert,
How come dey kennot add up how much
Taim, petrol, energy and payshuns wasted
In de bladi name of Progress, hah?
And how come de Otorities seemply allow
Dose gawdam devilopers to build high-rice condo
Even where got only kampong road?
Tingking of da FUTURE, da tick-skin flers say.
WHOSE FUTURE, I arsk you? Their own lah!
Two, tree housing projek oridi can retire,
Get free condo summore…
Cheh! Aisodonolah…

You want to hear a good joke ah?
Why garmen awfis orways got Piles of Work?
Becos dose buggers sit on their fat backside all day long
Till dey all kena PILES pulak –
So dey say PILES OF WORK is Ockupayshunal Hazard lah, haha!

But now ah, I hear dey will be UPGRADED, man:
Every seevil servant will get computer and internet
Under da Smart Awfis Plan -
Mins da furniture smarter than deflers who work there lah!
Dat’s wat MULTIMEDIO SUPER CURRYPUFF is all about lah:
From Mediocracy to Mediacrazy – waffor, man?
We only arsk dem to bekum NICER HOOMIN BEANS –
No nid for all sorts of ackspensif e-kwipment lah.
Aiyoh, so many kampong steel got no paip water
Or letrickcity; nearly half da bladi pawpoolayshun
Kennot read or rait (nemmain their speling lah)…
Steel sumflers want to ackshun only,
Yuting we kennot awford ah?
Twenty million a month oso no ploblem, man!
But where de heck da money coming from?
Oso, where de fuck de money going?

Tok tok tok tokkok only!
ISO dis and ISO dat,
Aisodono wat.
Everywan and Kompeni going GREEN nowdays,
Mins wat? Learn to PLAY GOLF ah?
Including GREED.
Watudu, booshit is manure - and manure good for growth wat,
You better shurrup and main your own affairs.
Any ploblem call Gurmit or Karpal Singh lah!
But who will do our Dirty Work for us, hah,
Wen dose flers retire?

Oridi everyting PRIVATIZED and PIRATIZED,
Now no more Public Sektor lor!
Survival of the Fattest, yutingwat –
Dontch know your Charles Darwin ah, brudder?
“Aiyah, CARI MAKAN lah,” some say,
But ackchwurly ah, CURI MAKAN only.
Sneak around wid bags full of LOOT,
When caught REDHANDED wid pants down
Like dat oso never get de BOOT!
Ackshun spik lauder than words, dey say,
But in dis kiasu-kiasi so-sigh-ty ah,
You tok too laud you get DETAINED;
Kip quiet only, you bin DEBRAINED…
So waffor I tok to YOU ah?

Can't figure out Antares' rants, drop us a line. We'll try not to further confuse you :).

Bersenam Sama Baik Sebagai Ubat Untuk Mencegah Migrain

Walaupun senaman sering dikatakan sebagai rawatan untuk migrain, tetapi sebelum ini tiada bukti yang cukup saintifik bahawa ia benar-benar berkesan. Walau bagaimanapun, penyelidikan dari Akademi Sahlgrenska kini telah menunjukkan bahawa senaman adalah sama baik sebagai ubat untuk mencegah migrain.

Hari ini doktor menggunakan pelbagai kaedah yang berlainan untuk mencegah migrain: di bidang farmaseutikal ubat yang berasaskan bahan topiramate telah terbukti berkesan, manakala kaedah bukan rawatan perubatan dengan kesan yang didokumentasikan termasuklah senaman relaksasi.

Tiada Bukti Awal

Senaman juga seringkali disyorkan sebagai rawatan, walaupun tidak ada bukti yang cukup saintifik bahawa ia benar-benar mempunyai apa-apa kesan ke atas pesakit-pesakit migrain.

Penyelidik dalam kajian rawak terkawal dari Akademi Sahlgrenska Universiti Gothenburg menganalisa sejauh mana senaman berkesan sebagai rawatan pencegahan untuk migrain berbanding dengan senaman relaksasi dan topiramate.

Bersenam 40 Minit

Disiarkan dalam Cephalalgia jurnal, kajian melibatkan 91 pesakit migrain, 1 / 3 daripada mereka telah diminta bersenam selama 40 minit tiga kali seminggu di bawah penyeliaan ahli fisioterapi, manakala 1/3 lagi melakukan senaman relaksasi, dan selebihnya diberikan topiramate. Kajian ini berlangsung selama tiga bulan, di mana status migrain pesakit, kualiti hidup, kapasiti aerobik dan tahap aktiviti fisikal telah dinilai sebelum, semasa dan selepas rawatan mereka. Hasil susulan kemudian dijalankan selepas tiga dan enam bulan.

Senaman Juga Sama Berkesan

Keputusan menunjukkan bahawa bilangan migrain menurun dalam ketiga-tiga kumpulan. Menariknya, tidak ada perbezaan dalam kesan pencegahan antara ketiga-tiga rawatan.

"Kesimpulan kami adalah senaman juga boleh bertindak sebagai alternatif kepada relaksasi dan topiramate dalam mencegah migrain, dan terutamanya sesuai untuk pesakit yang tidak mahu atau tidak dapat untuk mengambil ubat-ubatan pencegahan”, kata Emma Varkey, ahli fisioterapi dan pelajar kedoktoran di Akademi Sahlgrenska yang menjalankan kajian tersebut.

Sumber cerita:

Kisah di atas dicetak semula (dengan penyesuaian editorial oleh Team Zestzfulness) daripada satu kenyataan akhbar edisi September oleh Universiti Gothenburg.

Jurnal Rujukan:

E. Varkey, A. Cider, J. Carlsson, M. Linde.
Exercise as migraine prophylaxis: A randomized study using relaxation and topiramate as controls. Cephalalgia, 2011; DOI: 10.1177/0333102411419681

Guidelines for Infant Sleep Safety and SIDS Reduction

AAP expands guidelines for infant sleep safety and SIDS risk reduction

Since the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommended all babies should be placed on their backs to sleep in 1992, deaths from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome have declined dramatically. But sleep-related deaths from other causes, including suffocation, entrapment and asphyxia, have increased.

In an updated policy statement and technical report, the AAP is expanding its guidelines on safe sleep for babies, with additional information for parents on creating a safe environment for their babies to sleep.

"We have tried to make it easier for parents and providers to understand the recommendations by providing specific answers to common questions," said Rachel Moon, MD, FAAP, chair of the AAP SIDS task force and lead author of the new guidelines. "As a health care community, we need to do a better job translating what the research identifies as 'best practices' into the day-to-day practice of caring for infants in both the hospital and home environment."

The policy statement, "SIDS and Other Sleep-Related Infant Deaths: Expansion of Recommendations for a Safe Infant Sleeping Environment," and an accompanying technical report, will be released Tuesday, Oct. 18, at the AAP National Conference & Exhibition in Boston and published in the November issue of Pediatrics (published online Oct. 18).

Dr Moon will discuss the new recommendations during an embargoed news briefing for reporters at 11 a.m. ET Monday, Oct. 17, at the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center. During the news briefing, a crib with objects such as crib bumpers, baby blankets, pillows and toys will be set up for Dr. Moon to demonstrate safe vs. unsafe sleep practices.

The policy statement and technical report provide global recommendations for education and safety related to SIDS risk reduction. In addition, the AAP is providing recommendations on a safe sleeping environment that can reduce the risk of all sleep-related infant deaths, including SIDS. Three important additions to the recommendations include:

  • Breastfeeding is recommended and is associated with a reduced risk of SIDS.
  • Infants should be immunized. Evidence suggests that immunization reduces the risk of SIDS by 50 percent.
  • Bumper pads should not be used in cribs. There is no evidence that bumper pads prevent injuries, and there is a potential risk of suffocation, strangulation or entrapment.

"It is important for health care professionals, staff in newborn nurseries and neonatal intensive care units, and child care providers to endorse the recommended ways to reduce the risk of SIDS and other sleep-related deaths, starting at birth," Dr. Moon said. "There needs to be more education for health care providers and trainees on how to prevent suffocation deaths and to reduce SIDS and other sleep-related infant deaths - our goal is to ultimately eliminate these deaths completely."

The report also includes the following recommendations:

  • Always place your baby on his or her back for every sleep time.
  • Always use a firm sleep surface. Car seats and other sitting devices are not recommended for routine sleep.
  • The baby should sleep in the same room as the parents, but not in the same bed (room-sharing without bed-sharing).
  • Keep soft objects or loose bedding out of the crib. This includes pillows, blankets, and bumper pads.
  • Wedges and positioners should not be used.
  • Pregnant woman should receive regular prenatal care.
  • Don't smoke during pregnancy or after birth.
  • Breastfeeding is recommended.
  • Offer a pacifier at nap time and bedtime.
  • Avoid covering the infant's head or overheating.
  • Do not use home monitors or commercial devices marketed to reduce the risk of SIDS.
  • Infants should receive all recommended vaccinations.
  • Supervised, awake tummy time is recommended daily to facilitate development and minimize the occurrence of positional plagiocephaly.


The above has been downloaded from the newsroom of The American Academy of Pediatrics is an organization of 60,000 primary care pediatricians, pediatric medical subspecialists and pediatric surgical specialists dedicated to the health, safety and well being of infants, children, adolescents and young adults. For more information, visit

Friday, October 21, 2011

Sarah McKenzie

While shopping in Perth after getting a grip on the ‘after dribble’, an advertisement announcing the adaptation of Christos Tsiolkas' best-selling novel, The Slap, into an eight-part TV drama series attracted me to the ABC shop. The Slap is a story about middle-class suburban Australia and its notions of child-rearing and acceptable behaviour that I had read in 2009. Good on ya, Christos!
While browsing in the shop, I felt obliged to buy something. Already loaded with a backlog of books to catch-up on, I picked up an ABC JAZZ CD instead, paid for it and tucked it away in my carry bag.
Weeks later, I recovered the CD, and discovered Sarah McKenzie!
At 23 years of age, pianist, vocalist and composer Sarah McKenzie is already a musician of remarkable flare and technique.
"Sarah McKenzie is a musical marval. She sings with the kind of phrasing that only a true Jazz singer can come up with while her groove of the piano is the stuff that makes people want to play Jazz”. James Morrison, Australia's best-known jazz musician.
I have downloaded Sarah’s rendition of the 1938 Sammy Cahn and Saul Chaplin’s Please Be Kind accompanied by James Morrison at The Basement, Sydney (uploaded by leigh23451 on Sep 8, 2009) to whet your appetite.
But really, you should go out and get Sarah’s debut album, Don’t Tempt Me.
Produced by Chong Lim, the man behind the success of many Australian artists, the album contains three originals by Sarah, including the Latin-style title track Don’t Tempt Me, a rollicking gospel inspired I’ve Got The Blues Tonight and the blues heartbreaker Love Me or Leave Me, written when Sarah was just 16 years of age.
This album has been nominated for The ARIA – Fine Arts Awards / 2011 Best Jazz Album.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Deng Shen Khoo

I lost my 11year old grand nephew, Khoo Deng Shen, yesterday morning to undifferentiated sarcoma of the psoas and iliacus.

Sarcomas are cancers that begin in the body's connective tissues. They are often divided into two groups. One group is bone cancer which begins in the hard part of the bone. The other group is soft tissue sarcomas which start in muscles, fat, fibrous tissue, blood vessels, nerves, or other supportive tissues of the body. You can get further information on sarcoma at the Cincinnati Chlidren's.

Undifferentiated sarcoma is a very rare childhood cancer. When he walked with a limp after a fall during a tug-of-war exercise in July this year, doctors at two private medical centers in Petaling Jaya separately misdiagnosed it as psoas hematoma, a collection of blood that has seeped into the psoas muscle.

The five-year event-free and overall survival (EFS and OS) rates were 54% and 74%, respectively. Deng Shen could have had a good fighting chance had careful diagnosis been made and appropriate therapy promptly initiated

Deng Shen was a brave boy till the end, caring for the welfare of his family, care-givers and visitors. Not told of the inevitable, he sensed it and accepted it and even recorded a farewell message on his mobile for his parents and his 8 year old sister.

Deng Shen, you inspire us.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Eating Your Greens Can Change the Effect of Your Genes On Heart Disease

An international team of scientists, led by researchers at McMaster and McGill universities, has found that you may be able to change the effect of the genes you're given by your parents.

The researchers discovered the gene that is the strongest marker for heart disease, called 9p21, can actually be modified through the consumption of generous amounts of fruit and raw vegetables.

"We observed that the effect of a high-risk genotype can be mitigated by consuming a diet high in fruits and vegetables," said Sonia Anand, joint principal investigator of the study and a researcher at the Population Health Research Institute and a professor of medicine and epidemiology at the Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine at McMaster University.

"Our results support the public health recommendation to consume more than five servings of fruits or vegetables as a way to promote good health."

The research, which represents one of the largest gene-diet interaction studies ever conducted on cardiovascular disease, involved the analysis of more than 27,000 individuals from five ethnicities - European, South Asian, Chinese, Latin American and Arab - and the affect that their diets had on the effect of the 9p21 gene. The results suggest that individuals with the high-risk genotype who consumed a prudent diet, composed mainly of raw vegetables, fruits and berries, had a similar risk of heart attack to those with the low-risk genotype.

"We know that 9p21 genetic variants increase the risk of heart disease for those that carry it," said Jamie Engert, joint principal investigator of the study and researcher in cardiovascular diseases at the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre (RI-MUHC) and associate member in the Department of Human Genetics at McGill University. "But it was a surprise to find that a healthy diet could significantly weaken its effect."

"Our research suggests there may be an important interplay between genes and diet in cardiovascular disease," said the study's lead author Ron Do, who conducted this research as part of his PhD at McGill and is now based at the Center for Human Genetics Research at the Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. "Future research is necessary to understand the mechanism of this interaction, which will shed light on the underlying metabolic processes that the 9p21 gene is involved in."

The results of the study are published in the current issue of the journal PLoS Medicine.

Story Source:

The above story is reprinted (with editorial adaptations by The Zestzfulness Team) from materials provided By McMaster University on October 12, 2011.

Journal Reference:

Ron Do, Changchun Xie, Xiaohe Zhang, Satu Männistö, Kennet Harald, Shofiqul Islam, Swneke D. Bailey, Sumathy Rangarajan, Matthew J. McQueen, Rafael Diaz, Liu Lisheng, Xingyu Wang, Kaisa Silander, Leena Peltonen, Salim Yusuf, Veikko Salomaa, James C. Engert, Sonia S. Anand. The Effect of Chromosome 9p21 Variants on Cardiovascular Disease May Be Modified by Dietary Intake: Evidence from a Case/Control and a Prospective Study. PLoS Medicine, 2011; 9 (10): e1001106 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pmed.1001106

Read related posts from Zestzfulness here:

Zestzfulness: An Apple or Pear a Day May Keep Strokes Away

Researchers examined the link between fruits and vegetable color group consumption with 10-year stroke incidence in a population-based study of 20069 adults, with an average age of 41. The participants were free of cardiovascular diseases at the start of the study and completed a .... Fruits and Vegetables Will Save Your Mind · Erectile Dysfunction May Be Linked With Cardiovasc... Xanthelasmata Linked to Increased Risk for Heart D... An Apple or Pear a Day May ...

Zestzfulness: Fruits and Vegetables Will Save Your Mind

Fruits and Vegetables Will Save Your Mind. Picture credit: *. High Fruit & Vegetable Intake Positively Correlated with Antioxidant Status and Cognitive Performance. Researchers have investigated ...

Zestz for LAUGHS - Great Truths

Great Truths and Five Best Sentences

Disclaimer : The following is reprinted without Rewang’s permission and is intended purely for laughs. Any resemblance to real governments, current or past, is purely coincidental.


1. In my many years I have come to a conclusion that one useless man is a shame, two is a law firm and three or more is the Government.

2. If you don't read the newspaper you are uninformed, if you do read the newspaper you are misinformed.

3. Suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of Parliament. But then I repeat myself.

4. I contend that for a nation to try to tax itself into prosperity is like a man standing in a bucket and trying to lift himself up by the handle.

5. A government which robs Abel to pay Kane can always depend on the support of Kane.

6. A liberal is someone who feels a great debt to his fellow man, which debt he proposes to pay off with your money.

7. Democracy must be something more than two wolves and a sheep voting on what to have for dinner.

8. Foreign aid might be defined as a transfer of money from poor people in rich countries to rich people in poor countries.

9. Giving money and power to government is like giving whiskey and car keys to teenage boys.

10. Government is the great fiction, through which everybody endeavors to live at the expense of everybody else.

11. Government's view of the economy could be summed up in a few short phrases: If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it.

12. I don't make jokes. I just watch the government and report the facts.

13. If you think health care is expensive now, wait until you see what it costs when it's free!

14. In general, the art of government consists of taking as much money as possible from one party of the citizens to give to the other (after pocketing most of it).

15. Just because you do not take an interest in politics doesn't mean politics won't take an interest in you!

16. No man's life, liberty, or property is safe while either the Parliament or the Kangaroo Court is in session.

17. Talk is cheap...except when Parliament does it.

18. The government is like a baby's alimentary canal, with a
happy appetite at one end and no responsibility at the other.

19. The inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of the blessings. The inherent blessing of socialism is the equal sharing of misery.

20. The only difference between a tax man and a taxidermist is that the taxidermist leaves the skin.

21. The ultimate result of shielding men from the effects of folly is to fill the world with fools.

22. There is no distinctly criminal class.

23. What this country needs are more unemployed politicians.

24. A government big enough to give you everything you want, is strong enough to take everything you have.

25. We hang the petty thieves and appoint the great ones to public office.


1. You cannot legislate the poor into prosperity by legislating the wealth out of prosperity.

2. What one person receives without working for...another person must work for without receiving.

3. The government cannot give to anybody anything that the government does not first take from somebody else.

4. You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it.

5. When half of the people get the idea that they do not have to work, because the other half is going to take care of them, and when the other half gets the idea that it does no good to work, because somebody else is going to get what they work for, that is the beginning of the end of any nation!

Can you think of a reason for not sharing this?

Vitamin E Supplement May Increase Prostate Cancer Risk

Updated Trial Data Show 17 Percent Increase in Cancer Risk

Men who take a daily vitamin E supplement – a regimen once thought to reduce cancer risk – face an increased risk of prostate cancer, according to results of a large national study.

The finding comes from a report summarizing the latest results of the Selenium and Vitamin E Cancer Prevention Trial (SELECT). Eric Klein, MD, chair of the Glickman Urological and Kidney Institute at Cleveland Clinic, is the lead author.

SELECT began in 2001 to test earlier research suggesting selenium and vitamin E supplements may reduce the risk of developing certain cancers. Some vitamin supplements containing enhanced levels of selenium and vitamin E were marketed to consumers during this time period with claims of reducing cancer risk.

400 IU of Vitamin E a day

The paper, which will appear in the October 12 edition of the Journal of the American Medical Association, found that a group of men taking a daily dose of 400 IU of vitamin E from 2001 to 2008 had 17 percent more cases of prostate cancer than men who took a placebo.

“For the typical man, there appears to be no benefit in taking vitamin E, and in fact, there may be some harm,” said Dr. Klein, an internationally renowned prostate cancer expert who served as the national study coordinator.

SELECT tracked more than 35,000 men at locations across the United States, Canada, and Puerto Rico who took daily doses through the Fall of 2008. The trial was funded by the National Cancer Institute and administered by the Southwest Oncology Group (SWOG), an international network of research institutions with study sites in 400 locations across the U.S., Puerto Rico and Canada.

The men were divided into four groups: vitamin E and Selenium; vitamin E alone; selenium alone; and placebo. The group taking vitamin E was the only group shown to have a statistically significant increased risk of prostate cancer.

Prostate cancer is the most common non-skin cancer in American men with a current lifetime risk of 16 percent. For 2011 it is estimated 240,000 new cases and 33,000 deaths will result in the U.S.

Men who participated in the SELECT trail can find more information at

Story Source:

The above story is reprinted (with editorial adaptations by The Zestzfulness Team) from materials provided by the Cleveland Clinic News Service of October 11, 2011

Journal Reference:

E. A. Klein, I. M. Thompson, C. M. Tangen, J. J. Crowley, M. S. Lucia, P. J. Goodman, L. Minasian, L. G. Ford, H. L. Parnes, J. M. Gaziano, D. D. Karp, M. M. Lieber, P. J. Walther, L. Klotz, J. K. Parsons, J. L. Chin, A. Darke, S. M. Lippman, G. E. Goodman, F. L. Meyskens, L. H. Baker. Vitamin E and the Risk of Prostate Cancer: Results of The Selenium and Vitamin E Cancer Prevention Trial (SELECT). JAMA, 2011; 306 (14): 1549-1556 DOI: 10.1001/jama.2011.1437

The Zestzfulness Team says:

Remember how you whinged about there being only 30units of Vitamin E in Surbex Zinc?

Vitamin E works synergistically together with Vitamin C enhancing each other so that only minimal amount is used for maximum benefit with no potential to do harm.

You are overstocked with Natopherol 400iu Vegecap and you worry about your prostate?

Two things you can do – hand over the goody to your old lady or space out your dose to once a week!

Find out what fats, broccoli and tomatoes have to do with your prostate by typing PROSTATE in the search box on the next column.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Celebrating the PRESENT : No Wants To Die

Shariff sent us a quotation from Steve Jobs.

Steve Jobs, the "creative genius" who revolutionised modern-day life with inventions like the iPhone, iPod and the iPad, died at the age of 56 following years of ill-health.

“No one wants to die. Even people who want to go to heaven don't want to die to get there. And yet death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it. And that is as it should be, because Death is very likely the single best invention of Life. It is Life's change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new. Right now the new is you, but someday not too long from now, you will gradually become the old and be cleared away. Sorry to be so dramatic, but it is quite true.

Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of others' opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”

These two paragraphs are part of a prepared text of the Commencement address delivered by Steve Jobs on June 12, 2005 at Stanford University. You can read the full text HERE.

Apple, the company Steve Jobs co-founded with Steve Wozniak in 1976, posted a tribute message on its website and called on fans to share their "thoughts, memories, and condolences" by emailing them at

Higher HDL Lowers Cardiovascular Risk in Type 2

Increasing levels of high-density lipoproteins, better known as HDL or "good" cholesterol, reduced the risk for heart attack and stroke among patients with diabetes, according to a new study.

The observational study, one of the largest of its kind, examined the medical records of more than 30,000 patients with diabetes and also found that patients whose HDL levels decreased had more heart attacks and strokes.

Researchers studied patients with diabetes because they are more prone to heart disease with a lifetime risk as high as 87 percent.

While there is considerable evidence that reducing the amount of low-density lipoprotein, also known as LDL or "bad" cholesterol, can reduce the risk of heart disease, the relationship between HDL cholesterol and heart disease is less clear.

"Our study adds to the growing body of evidence that raising HDL levels may be an important strategy for reducing heart attack risk," said study lead author Gregory Nichols, PhD, senior investigator with the Kaiser Permanente Centre for Health Research in Portland, Ore.

The study included 30,067 patients who entered Kaiser Permanente diabetes registries in Oregon, Washington and Georgia between 2001 and 2006. These patients had at least two HDL cholesterol measurements between 6 and 24 months apart.

After obtaining the cholesterol measurement, researchers followed the patients for up to 8 years to see if they were hospitalized for a heart attack or stroke.

Most patients (61 percent) had no significant change in HDL levels; in 22 percent of patients, HDL levels increased by at least 6.5 mg/dl (milligrams per deciliter of blood); in 17 percent of patients, HDL levels decreased by at least that same amount.

The study found that patients whose HDL levels increased had 8 percent fewer heart attacks and strokes than patients whose HDL levels remained the same, while patients whose HDL levels decreased had 11 percent more heart attacks and strokes.

Journal Reference:

Gregory A. Nichols, Suma Vupputuri, A. Gabriela Rosales. Change in High-Density Lipoprotein Cholesterol and Risk of Subsequent Hospitalization for Coronary Artery Disease or Stroke Among Patients With Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus. The American Journal of Cardiology, Volume 108, Issue 8, 15 October 2011, Pages 1124-1128 DOI: 10.1016/j.amjcard.2011.05.047

Zestz for LAUGHS - At The Pharmacy

Gillian of Penang sent this for a good laugh:

Betty, JoAnn and Cicely are outside their nursing home, having a drink and a smoke, when it starts to rain Betty pulls out a condom, cuts off the end, puts it over her cigarette, and continues smoking.
JoAnn: What in the hell is that?!
Betty: A condom. This way my cigarette doesn't get wet.
JoAnn: Where did you get it?
Betty: You can get them at any pharmacy.
The next day, JoAnn hobbles into the local pharmacy and announces to the pharmacist that she wants a box of condoms.
The pharmacist, obviously embarrassed, looks at her kind of strangely (she is after all, over 80 years of age), but very delicately asks what brand of condom she prefers.
'Doesn't matter Sonny, as long as it fits on a Camel.'
The pharmacist fainted.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Health Tip: Understanding Breast Cancer in Men

Picture credit:

Learn about its risk factors

While breast cancer may be most common in women, it can also affect men.

The National Cancer Institute mentions these common risk factors for male breast cancer:

  • Being aged 60 to 70.
  • Having been exposed to radiation.
  • Being diagnosed with a condition that raises estrogen levels, such as liver disease (cirrhosis).
  • Having a family history of breast cancer, especially cases caused by a gene (BRCA2) mutation.

Exercise Just as Good as Drugs at Preventing Migraines

Picture credit:

Although exercise is often prescribed as a treatment for migraine, there has not previously been sufficient scientific evidence that it really works. However, research from the Sahlgrenska Academy has now shown that exercise is just as good as drugs at preventing migraines.

Doctors use a variety of different methods to prevent migraines these days: on the pharmaceutical side a drug based on the substance topiramate has proved effective, while non-medical treatments with well-documented effects include relaxation exercises.

No Previous Evidence

Exercise is also frequently recommended as a treatment, though there has not been sufficient scientific evidence that it really has any effect on migraine patients.

In a randomized controlled study researchers from the University of Gothenburg's Sahlgrenska Academy have now analysed how well exercise works as a preventative treatment for migraines relative to relaxation exercises and topiramate.

40 Minutes of Exercise

Published in the journal Cephalalgia, the study involved 91 migraine patients, a third of whom were asked to exercise for 40 minutes three times a week under the supervision of a physiotherapist, with another third doing relaxation exercises, and the final third given topiramate. The study lasted for a total of three months, during which the patients' migraine status, quality of life, aerobic capacity and level of phyical activity were evaluated before, during and after their treatment. Follow-ups were then carried out after three and six months.

Exercise Just As Effective

The results show that the number of migraines fell in all three groups. Interestingly, there was no difference in the preventative effect between the three treatments.

"Our conclusion is that exercise can act as an alternative to relaxations and topiramate when it comes to preventing migraines, and is particularly appropriate for patients who are unwilling or unable to take preventative medicines, says Emma Varkey, the physiotherapist and doctoral student at the Sahlgrenska Academy who carried out the study," says Emma Varkey, the physiotherapist and doctoral student at the Sahlgrenska Academy who carried out the study.

Story Source:

The above story is reprinted (with editorial adaptations by The Zestzfulness Team) from the September news release by University of Gothenburg.

Journal Reference:

E. Varkey, A. Cider, J. Carlsson, M. Linde. Exercise as migraine prophylaxis: A randomized study using relaxation and topiramate as controls. Cephalalgia, 2011; DOI: 10.1177/0333102411419681

Sunday, October 9, 2011


"Tidak kira berapa kerap anda goncang dan menari, dua titisan terakhir pasti kena pada seluar anda."

Selama bertahun-tahun apabila saya duduk, atau memusing badan saya ke arah tertentu selepas pergi ke tandas, beberapa titis air kencing akan menitis keluar. Apabila saya adukan kepada pengamal perubatan am (GP) tentang perkara ini, dia memasukkan jari yang bersarung getah ke dalam rektum saya (Aduh!) dan mengesahkan prostat saya tidak membesar dan tidak akan memberi kesan pada uretra saya.

Apabila saya melakukan pemeriksaan X-ray untuk batu karang, saya beritahu kepada pakar urologi mengenai masalah kebocoran. Dia mula berpura-pura tidak mendengar atau dia memang ada masalah pendengaran.

Saya mencuba senaman Kegel untuk menguatkan otot lantai pelvik saya, mengambil suplemen biji labu dan Saw palmetto dan mengambil banyak lycopene dari tomato sebagai langkah berjaga-jaga. Masalah paip masih berterusan. Jadi saya mengambil langkah menyumbat seluar dalam saya dengan tisu tandas dan terus berbuat demikian menggunakan gulungan demi gulungan tisu sehingga baru-baru ini saya bertemu dengan abang saya, Kay Teong, yang menjalankan amalan perubatan di Perth, WA. Menikmati beberapa cawan kopi di Café LoQuay di Sungai Canning dan bersarapan bacon, telur dan sosej di Aussie, perbualan kami tiba-tiba beralih kepada topik tentang sosej yang akhirnya membawa kepada pengakuan saya 'menitis'.

Big Bro menasihatkan saya "memerah" keluar air kencing yang terperangkap.

OK-lah, dia sebenarnya memberikan maklumat lebih lanjut daripada itu.

Kencing tidak tos, atau 'after-dribble' dalam Strine, berlaku di kalangan kaum lelaki yang apabila uretra (tiub yang membawa air kencing dari pundi kencing ke zakar) tidak dikosongkan sepenuhnya dan terperangkap di hujung zakar, beberapa minit selepas kencing

Jangan keliru dengan 'penitisan terminal' iaitu keadaan di mana sukar untuk menutup aliran serta-merta selepas membuang air kecil - biasanya tanda-tanda kegagalan prostatik.

Kencing tidak tos terjadi apabila otot yang mengelilingi uretra tidak mengecut dengan betul, seterusnya menghalang pengosongan pundi kencing sepenuhnya.

Begini caranya anda boleh "memerah" keluar air kencing yang terperangkap.

Selepas anda selesai membuang air kecil, pegang bahagian bawah skrotum anda dan tolak perlahan-lahan dengan satu atau dua jari dari arah rektum anda ke skrotum untuk menggalakkan aliran air kencing sepanjang uretra dan ke bawah uretra.

Tip tambahan ialah dengan memastikan bahawa anda menarik ke bawah seluar dalam anda dengan betul agar zakar dan skrotum anda terkeluar sepenuhnya apabila anda kencing. Kea
njalan dari seluar dalam anda akan memberikan beberapa tekanan di belakang skrotum dan membantu meluruskan uretra.

Penyemak imbas anda mungkin tidak menyokong paparan imej ini.

Imej dimuat turun dari laman web Amal Kanser Prostat, UK

Kebanyakan lelaki mengalami kencing tidak tos yang ringan, maka sering dikatakan, "Tidak kira berapa banyak anda goncang dan menari, dua titisan terakhir pasti kena pada seluar anda."

Tetapi kerap terjadi, lelehan ber
lebihan selepas kencing adalah tidak normal dan anda perlu mendapatkan bantuan profesional.

Ada kalanya di mana saya seketika hilang dari memikirkan mengenai tanda-tanda yang telah diberitahu, dimana saya telah diberi amaran berkali-kali sebelumnya, masalah paip yang serius yang memerlukan campur tangan profesional:

kesukaran untuk memulakan aliran air kencing
*perlu meneran untuk mengosongkan pundi kencing
*aliran air kencing yang perlahan apabila mengosongkan pundi kencing
merasakan keperluan untuk segera mengosongkan pundi kencing
*pedih, tidak selesa atau sakit apabila mengosongkan pundi kencing
air kencing bercampur darah
*perlu bangun beberapa kali di waktu malam untuk mengosongkan pundi kencing, dan

Kemudian, untuk menguji diri sendiri, saya merasakan keinginan untuk pergi ke tandas lelaki. Apabila saya datang kembali Big Bro bertanya jika saya telah "memerah". Saya terpaksa mengaku yang saya tidak dapat melakukannya sewaktu berdiri di sebelah gergasi Aussie dalam tandas awam.

Bagaimanapun saya cuba dalam pers
ekitaran yang kurang menakutkan dan, wow, ia berkesan!

Jadi, selamat tinggal pakaian dalam yang disumbat. Tetapi sekeping tisu masih berguna untuk menyelesaikan tugasan.