Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Health Tip: Breast-Feeding Is Good for Moms, Too

Here are potential benefits

Breast-feeding has been proven more beneficial than formula for babies, but it also offers benefits for moms.

The womenshealth.gov website says potential benefits of breast-feeding include:

  • Less time and effort during feedings, and not having to sterilize bottles or mix formula.
  • Saving money from not having to buy formula.
  • Opportunities for bonding and relaxing with the infant.
  • Lower risk of health problems for the mother, including lower risk of breast and ovarian cancers, type 2 diabetes and postpartum depression.
  • Fewer missed work days due to baby being sick less frequently.

Want Your Children to Excel in Maths?

Teenagers Sleeping More Hours Score Higher in Maths

Adolescents with an average amount of nightly sleep score higher on mathematics than those who slept little or slept a great deal, according to new research. Those who sleep between six and ten hours (ie. an average sleep pattern) got significantly better scores, as compared to those with a short (6 hours or less per night) or long (more than 9 hours per night) pattern of sleep. This difference is particularly prominent in physical education.

Such is the conclusion recently drawn in a study by Raúl Quevedo-Blasco of the University of Granada and Víctor J. Quevedo-Blasco of the I.E.S Flavio Irnitano in Seville, Spain.

The aim of this study was to analyze how sleep patterns can affect students' academic performance. Their academic performance was measured in terms of mean grade -in common subjects and at global level- of a group of Secondary School students. To such purpose, the authors analyzed a sample of 592 students aged 12 to 19 years; 231 (39%) were males and 361 (61%) were females.

Two Different Questionnaires

The students answered two different questionnaires aimed at measuring the quality of sleep, level of sleepiness or tendency to get asleep of students in different situations. The authors found that adolescents sleeping more hours get higher marks in mathematics and that - --within average sleep patterns --- differences are more significant in physical education, as compared with the rest of school subjects. This can be due to the inherent characteristics of these subjects, as these two subjects involve skills that are more influenced by sleep patterns, as the study authors explain.

The researchers observed that bedtime and wake time do not significantly influence academic outcomes, except for those individuals who go to bed earlier and get up later. These students showed significantly lower academic achievement, as compared with their classmates.

The researchers also found significant information in connection with sleep latency (the time elapsed since the subject is lying in bed intending to sleep until they fall asleep). Scientists found that those who have good sleep latency (less than 15 minutes) get significantly better marks than the rest.

As a general conclusion, the authors found that sleep patterns influence academic performance, probably because those adolescents with less daytime sleepiness got higher marks than their classmates.

<<< * >>>

The above story is extracted by The Zestfulness Team from materials in the University of Granada, news release, Oct. 18, 2011

The article has been published in the current edition of the International Journal of Clinical and Health Psychology: Víctor J. Quevedo-Blasco, Raúl Quevedo-Blasco. Influencia del grado de somnolencia, cantidad y calidad de sueño sobre el rendimiento académico en adolescentes. International Journal of Clinical and Health Psychology, 2011, 11, 49-65

Funeral for a Cardiologist

recommended by Andrew Chong.
Source: http://img2.uploadhouse.com

Monday, November 28, 2011






美国食品和药物管理局(FDA)早在1997年已经批准由燕麥所產生的水溶性燕麦葡聚糖可以有效降低等離子胆固醇及心臟病的說法。我國衛生部 和英国联合健康声明发起组织( JHCI)及欧洲食品安全局(EFSA)都認可了燕麥所產生的水溶性燕麦葡聚糖可以有效降低胆固醇的說法







CLICK HERE for an oat beta-glucan product. Read the English version of this article HERE

Yawning Cools Off Your Brain

Yawning is very important business

Yawning helps keep the brain cool, and the sinuses play a role in that process by acting as bellows, according to Gary Hack, of the University of Maryland School of Dentistry, and Andrew Gallup, of Princeton University.

Yawning occurs not because you are tired, bored, or even need oxygen, they argue. Instead, they say, yawning helps to regulate the brain's temperature.

"The brain is exquisitely sensitive to temperature changes and therefore must be protected from overheating," the authors write. "Brains, like computers, operate best when they are cool."

The scientists propose that the walls of the human maxillary sinus (pictured in green above) flex during yawning like a bellows, which in turn facilitates brain cooling. They noted that the actual function of sinuses is still the subject of debate, and this theory may help clarify their purpose.

They said their theory that yawning helps cool the brain has medical implications. For example, excessive yawning often precedes seizures in people with epilepsy and pain in people with migraine headaches.

Doctors may be able to use excessive yawning as a way to identify patients with conditions that affect temperature regulation.

"Excessive yawning appears to be symptomatic of conditions that increase brain and/or core temperature, such as central nervous system damage and sleep deprivation," Gallup said in the news release.


The above story is extracted by The Zestfulness Team from materials in the University of Maryland at Baltimore, news release, Nov. 14, 2011

The article has been published in the current edition of the journal Medical Hypotheses: Gallup AC, Hack GD. Human paranasal sinuses and selective brain cooling: A ventilation system activated by yawning? Med Hypotheses. 2011 Dec;77(6):970-3. Epub 2011 Sep 8.

Zestzfulness pages are AnswerTips-enabled, allowing you to access definitions and fast facts on obscure words, slang and scientific jargons. Simply double-click anywhere and get instant definitions.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Healthy Heart Habits May Also Guard Against Cancer

People who are diligent about keeping their heart healthy have a good chance of staving off cancer as well, researchers report.

Individuals who don't smoke and who maintain a healthy body-mass index (BMI), normal blood pressure and two to four other "ideal" measures of heart health have a 38 percent lower risk of developing cancer, according to research scheduled for presentation Wednesday at the annual meeting of the American Heart Association in Orlando, Fla.

The study authors hope the score they've developed will help doctors drive home the message that prevention is key to both cancer and heart disease.

"Physicians need motivation to really push the issue of prevention with patients," said lead author Laura J. Rasmussen-Torvik, an assistant professor of preventive medicine at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago.

Other experts agreed.

"If we give patients a double whammy [message], in the ideal world, we might be preventing two of these biggest killers. It might be a stronger message," said Dr. Tara Narula, a cardiologist with Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City.

By Amanda Gardner of the HealthDay

"People generally know that healthy behaviors prevent heart disease and cancer, but to [relate risk factors such as cholesterol] to cancer is novel," added Dr. Harmony Reynolds, associate director of the Cardiovascular Clinical Research Center at New York University Langone Medical Center in New York City. "It's very nice to have that crossover in practice. Sometimes I talk to patients about lowering their cholesterol and exercising, and they get very fatalistic saying that, in my family, cancer is the problem. It's very convenient to be able to say these things."

"Ideal" cardiovascular health is one of the American Heart Association's Strategic 2020 Goals, which aim to improve Americans' heart health by 20 percent and reduce deaths from heart disease and stroke by 20 percent.

For this study, researchers followed more than 13,000 healthy individuals for 13 years, measuring seven "metrics" of heart health at the start and tracking any cancer that developed. Those seven factors are: not smoking, normal BMI (a calculation based on weight and height), physical activity, healthy diet, and safe cholesterol, blood pressure and fasting blood glucose levels.

Between 1987 and 2006, the participants developed more than 1,800 new cancers, namely prostate, breast, lung and colon. But, the more "ideal" factors people had, the less likely they were to develop cancer.

Compared to people who had none of the seven factors, having just one reduced the risk of cancer by 20 percent. Three factors lowered the risk of cancer by 22 percent, and five to seven pushed the risk down 38 percent.

"If you lower yourself by one point [risk factor], that's a significant decrease in cancer risk and a lower risk of heart disease," said Dr. Christopher Cove, assistant director of the cardiac catheterization lab at the University of Rochester Medical Center in New York. "That's exciting."

When the researchers looked at the same participants but removed smoking from the measure, the association was no longer significant but the trend was still in the right direction.

"This says that, yes, smoking is really important but we still see the trend when smoking is taken out, so adhering to a healthy diet and having a low BMI are still important for cancer risk," said Rasmussen-Torvik.

The association might have been even clearer had the study had more participants and more cases of cancer, said Reynolds.

It's not clear why these associations exist, but Narula hypothesized they could relate to overall inflammation, which drives both heart disease and cancer.

The study authors said they hope to see more collaboration between the American Heart Association and cancer advocacy groups.

"I think the American public is very confused about conflicting health messages," said Rasmussen-Torvik. "If organizations like the American Heart Association, the American Cancer Society and the American Diabetes Association could work together to emphasize some core prevention goals, that could be beneficial to all groups."

Research presented at meetings should be considered preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed medical journal.

Vampire Cough

Vampire was uploaded to youtube by on Feb 17, 2011

One way to prevent the flu from spreading is covering your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing; the best way of doing that is to cough into the area around your elbow. More details in the following article by Becky Striepe.

Prevent the Cold and Flu Naturally

Don’t know whether we have flu season in Malaysia, so we should be always be on guard.
Here are some tips by Becky Striepe to help you arm yourself for cold and flu:

Wash Your Hands Like Crazy

One of the simplest things you can do to prevent illness is wash your hands. A lot. You also want to avoid touching your face or putting your hands in your mouth. I’m lookin’ at you, nail-biters!
When a cold or the flu is going around, folks are coughing and sneezing into their hands, then touching things from money to doorknobs. You don’t need to obsessively use hand sanitizer, but frequent hand-washing can go a long way towards keeping those germs out of your system. If you do opt for a hand sanitizer during cold and flu season, just check the ingredients to make sure it doesn’t contain triclosan. This chemical is terrible for public health and the environment, and it’s not necessary to kill cold and flu germs.

Cough Like a Vampire

Speaking of all of that coughing and sneezing, make sure you’re not spreading germs yourself by adopting the “vampire cough.” Rather than coughing into your hand, use the crook of your elbow to “catch” your cough or sneeze.
If you cough into your hands, the germs from your mouth get spread around. Think about it - what was the last thing you touched with the inside of your elbow?

Stay Hydrated
You’ve heard this one before: drink plenty of fluids to keep from getting sick. For an extra immune boost, include fruit and vegetable juice in your daily routine. Those antioxidants help your body stave off illness. Just avoid sugary juices when you can – too much sugar is no good for staying healthy!
You’ll also want to drink as much green and black tea as you can. A 2009 study showed that people who drank 5 cups of tea per day had a healthier immune system than non-tea-drinkers. Five cups a day may sound like a lot, but it’s doable! Try having two cups in the morning, a cup with lunch, and a cup with dinner, and a cup while you’re winding down in the evening.

Eat Yogurt

Research has shown that the “good bacteria” in yogurt can help boost the immune system, especially in people who have a suppressed immune system. Since it’s the cultures and not the milk, soy or coconut yogurt work just as well in boosting immune health.

Cut Back on Smoking and Drinking

This is kind of a no-brainer, but we do tend to overindulge around the holidays, so it bears mentioning. Cigarettes and alcohol do hinder your body’s ability to fight illness. That doesn’t mean you can’t have the occasional spiked cider, but moderation is definitely key.

Vitamin D

A 2010 study found that kids who took a vitamin D supplement during cold and flu season were twice as likely to avoid the flu as kids who took a placebo. Think your diet could use more vitamin D? You could take a supplement like the kids in the study, or try upping your intake of vitamin D-enriched foods like dairy, juices, and soy products. Mushrooms are also a good dietary source of vitamin D.
If you do decide that you need more vitamin D in your life, just make sure you don’t take more than 2000 IU each day. Vitamin D is a fat soluble vitamin, which means that it doesn’t just go through your system if you take too much. It can actually be toxic if you get more than that 2000 IU per day. The kids in the study were taking taking 1200 IU daily, so staying close to that number should do the trick.
Vitamin D Capsules like Ostelin containing 25mcg cholecalciferol (equivalent to Vitamin D3 1000 IU is not available in Malaysia. A possible alternative oral preventive is Esberitox N tablets with a herbal complex that includes Echinaceae extracts.
According to the University of Maryland Medical Center some studies have shown that the herb can make you feel better faster. Others suggest that echinacea has no impact on a cold at all. Several clinical trials have shown that people who take echinacea as soon as they feel sick reduce the severity of their cold and have fewer symptoms than those who do not take the herb. One study of 95 people with early symptoms of cold and flu (such as runny nose, scratchy throat, and fever), found that those who drank several cups of echinacea tea every day for 5 days felt better sooner than those who drank tea without echinacea.
A review of 14 clinical trials found that echinacea reduced the odds of developing a cold by 58% and the duration of a cold by 1 - 4 days. However, some experts dispute these findings claiming that there were several weaknesses in the analyses. Echinacea preparations tested in clinical trials differ greatly. It is important to choose a high quality echinacea supplement. Talk to your health care provider for recommendations.

If You Do Get Sick

Even despite our best efforts, we sometimes still come down with the cold or the flu. If you do get sick, here are a few tips to help you make it through:
Get plenty of rest. Your body does its best healing work when you’re snoozing, so consider sickness your body’s way of telling you to take a break. Watch bad TV, catch up on your reading, and rest, rest, rest.
Gargle with salt water. This will help relieve the sore throat from post-nasal drip.

Neti pot.
At the first sign of congestion, it’s time to whip out that neti pot and start using it twice a day. Once you’re super stuffed up, it’s often too late to use the neti pot.
Take zinc. Studies have shown that zinc can help reduce your cold’s severity and duration. Plus, those zinc lozenges are soothing for your poor throat.
Drink lots of fluids, including hot tea. Your body runs on water, so stay hydrated if you come down with a cold or flu. Hot tea will help sooth inflammation and the warmth can help clear out those stuffy sinuses, too.
Of course, if you’re down for the count for more than a week, that cold or flu may have turned into something worse, like bronchitis. In that case, it’s doctor time. Listen to your body, and take care of yourself this cold and flu season!

Becky Striepe is a green blogger and independent crafter with a passion for vintage fabrics. She runs a crafty business, Glue and Glitter, where her mission is to use existing materials in products that help folks reduce their impact without sacrificing style! She specializes in aprons and custom lunch bags. Like this article? You can follow Becky on Twitter or find her on Facebook!

Monday, November 21, 2011



Adults can get up to 2-4 colds per year1, with 90% of colds caused by viruses.2 Common cold symptoms may include headache, fever, sore throat, runny nose and coughing. Supporting the body's immune system during this time may help.

Fight that cold this winter!

Esberitox® N, is a combination of plant extracts which has been clinically proven to boost and support the body's immune system and help reduce the symptoms of the common cold, helping you recover quickly2.


  1. http://www.nps.org.au/consumers/campaigns/ccncs/brochure- Information: Common colds need common sense. (National Prescribing Service, May 2008)
  2. Vorberg G. Ärztl Praxis 1984;36:97-98.*
  3. Henneicke-von Zepelin et al. Curr Med. Res. Opin. 15(3) (1999), 214-227*

* Studies conducted on adults only and sponsored by Schaper & Brümmer GmbH & Co.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Do NOT watch this video (but you probably should)

Too many men die of prostate, bowel and testicular cancer because they do not know how to detect the symptoms in the early stages, when treatment would be more effective.

This ignorance is made worse by the prevailing ‘culture of embarrassment’, that discourages men from discussing and resolving problems related to intimate parts of their body.

The Male Cancer Awareness Campaign, a young and innovative charity in the UK, aims to increase awareness of how to detect the symptoms of cancer in the early stages.

To help build a culture where embarrassment does not prevent men from addressing problems with intimate parts of their bodies, the Male Cancer Awareness Campaign recently launched this darkly seductive short film shot by world renowned photographer ‘Rankin’.

Aren't you glad you have seen lingerie model Rhian Sugden touched herself. Now forward this page to every bloke you know or someone who knows a bloke.

PS Double-click on 'bloke' if you don't know what it is.

Acupuncture & Radiation-Induced Chronic Dry Mouth

Xerostomia, or severe dry mouth, is characterized by reduced salivary flow, which commonly affects patients receiving radiotherapy for head and neck cancer.

The condition impairs quality of life for patients, as it creates difficulties eating, speaking and sleeping, while also increasing the risk for oral infections.

Most current treatments are palliative and offer limited benefit.

Now research from The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center and Fudan University Shanghai Cancer Center has shown for the first time that acupuncture, when given alongside radiation therapy for head and neck cancer reduce the debilitating side effect of xerostomia.

The medical implications are quite profound in terms of quality of life, because while chronic dry mouth may sound benign, it has a significant impact on sleeping, eating and speaking, according to Lorenzo Cohen, Ph.D., professor in MD Anderson's Departments of General Oncology and Behavioral Science and director of the Integrative Medicine Program. "Without saliva, there can be an increase in microbial growth, possible bone infection and irreversible nutritional deficits."

Additional studies are needed to determine the mechanisms for the benefits of acupuncture, and while the study didn't examine this issue, Cohen said it may have an impact on local blood flux, specifically at the parotid gland.

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The above story is extracted by The Zestfulness Team from materials in the University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center news release of November 10, 2011

The article has been published by the American Cancer Society: Zhiqiang Meng, M. Kay Garcia, Chaosu Hu, Joseph Chiang, Mark Chambers, David I. Rosenthal, Huiting Peng, Ying Zhang, Qi Zhao, Genming Zhao, Luming Liu, Amy Spelman, J. Lynn Palmer, Qi Wei, Lorenzo Cohen. Randomized controlled trial of acupuncture for prevention of radiation-induced xerostomia among patients with nasopharyngeal carcinoma. Cancer, 2011; DOI: 10.1002/cncr.26550

Sarah McKenzie : Corcovado

Sarah McKenzie with the James Morrison Sextet live @the Basement, Sydney (uploaded by leigh23451 on Sep 8, 2009)

"Corcovado" (known in English as "Quiet Nights of Quiet Stars") is a bossa nova song written by Antonio Carlos Jobim. The English lyrics were written by Gene Lees. The US chart version was sung by Andy Williams.

Quiet nights 'n quiet stars, quiet chords from my guitar

Floating on the silence that surrounds us

Quiet thoughts 'n quiet dreams, quiet walks by quiet streams

Climbing hills where lovers go to watch the world below together

We will live eternally in this mood of reverie

Away . . . from all the earthly cares around us

My world was dull each minute until I found you in it

And all at once the happiness I knew,

Became these quiet nights of loving you!

< instrumental break >

We will live eternally in this mood of reverie

Away . . . from all the earthly cares around us

My world was dull each minute until I found you in it

And all at once the happiness I knew,

Became these quiet nights of loving you!

You can also be entertained by Sarah McKenzie’s Please Be Kind HERE

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Answer Tips

Challenged by our wordiness and the many strange medical terms we use?

For your reading pleasure, we have AnswerTips-enabled all our pages.

An AnswerTips-enabled page allows you to access definitions and fast facts on obscure words, slang and scientific jargons.

Simply double-click anywhere and get instant definitions.

Plus, y
ou get to listen to an audio pronunciation of the selected word.

Furthermore, we give you immediate access to Thesaurus, Antonyms, Word Menu and even a translation to Chinese and most European languages.

Happy Reading!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Kesan Menurunkan Kolesterol Oleh Oat β-Glukan.

Jumlah total kolesterol dan paras lipoprotein berketumpatan rendah (LDL) yang tinggi adalah dianggap sebagai faktor-faktor risiko utama untuk penyakit kardiovaskular.

Pengubahsuaian gaya hidup untuk mengurangkan risiko penyakit kardiovaskular termasuklah cadangan untuk meningkatkan pengambilan serat makanan terlarut yang boleh menurunkan paras kolesterol LDL.

Oat β-glucan, serat diet larut yang terdapat pada dinding sel endosperm oat, mempunyai kepentingan disebabkan sifat-sifatnya yang boleh menurunkan kolesterol.

Beberapa badan pengawalan telah meluluskan tuntutan kesihatan terhadap kesan kolesterol dari oat β-glucan pada paras 3.0 gram setiap hari

The United States Food and Drug Administration(FDA) telah meluluskan tuntutan kesihatan untuk β-glucan serat larut dari oat bagi mengurangkan paras kolesterol plasma dan risiko penyakit jantung pada tahun 1997. Begitu juga, Kementerian Kesihatan bersama-sama United Kingdom Joint Health Claims Initiative (JHCI) dan European Food Safety Authority membenarkan tuntutan kesihatan dalam menurunkan kolesterol dari oat β-glucan.

Bukti klinikal untuk kesan menurunkan kolesterol dari serat larut β-glucan datang dari lebih 1400 kajian yang telah dilakukan selama lebih daripada 40 tahun.

Yang paling terkini termasuk kajian oleh Karen Charlton et al ke atas kesan β-glucan yang kaya pada produk oat terhadap tahap kolesterol di kalangan orang dewasa yang mempunyai hyperkolesterolaemik sederhana, berlebihan berat badan, yang telah dilaporkan dalam
British Journal of Nutrition keluaran Ogos 2011 (1).

Keupayaan oat β-glucan untuk mengurangkan serum kolesterol bergantung kepada keupayaannya untuk meningkatkan kepekatan kandungan usus. Kepekatan solusi β-glucan adalah ditentukan oleh berat molekul (MW) dan kelarutan, kedua-duanya boleh diubah oleh kaedah-kaedah yang biasa dalam pemprosesan dan penyimpanan.

Kesan yang diduga kemudiannya dijadikan keputusan adalah disebabkan oleh pengaruh pengasingan asid hempedu dalam usus, mengurangkan penyerapan semula dan kembali ke hati untuk sintesis lanjut. Ini mengurangkan jumlah asid hempedu yang kembali ke hati dan memaksa hati untuk mengeluarkan lebih banyak asid hempedu untuk menggantikan asid hempedu yang hilang dalam najis. Dalam usaha untuk menghasilkan lebih banyak asid hempedu, hati akan menukarkan lebih banyak kolesterol kepada asid hempedu, yang merendahkan tahap kolesterol dalam darah (2).

Oat β-glucan telah menunjukkan penurunan glukosa plasma selepas makan dan tindak balas insulin serum (3). Untuk membantu mengurangkan peningkatan glukosa darah, Kementerian Kesihatan mengesyorkan bahawa Oat β-glucan diambil berasingan dan tidak bersama-sama dengan makanan lain.

Oat β-glucan juga diketahui meningkatkan fungsi imun dan menurunkan risiko jangkitan (4).


1. Charlton KE, Tapsell LC, Batterham MJ, O'Shea J, Thorne R, Beck E, Tosh SM. Effect of 6 weeks' consumption of β-glucan-rich oat products on cholesterol levels in mildly hypercholesterolaemic overweight adults. Br J Nutr. 2011 Aug 3:1-11. [Epub ahead of print] Anda boleh merujuk kepada teks penuh DI SINI

2. Wolever TMS, Tosh SM, Gibbs AL, et al. (2010) Physicochemical properties of oat {beta}-glucan influence its ability to reduce serum LDL cholesterol in humans: a randomized clinical trial. Am J Clin Nutr 92, 723–732. Anda boleh merujuk kepada teks penuh DI SINI

3. Juvonen KR, Salmenkallio-Marttila M, Lyly M, Liukkonen KH, Lähteenmäki L, Laaksonen DE, Uusitupa MI, Herzig KH, Poutanen KS, Karhunen LJ. Semisolid meal enriched in oat bran decreases plasma glucose and insulin levels, but does not change gastrointestinal peptide responses or short-term appetite in healthy subjects. Nutr Metab Cardiovasc Dis. 2011 Sep;21(9):748-56. Epub 2010 Jun 4.

4. Davis JM, Murphy EA, Brown AS, Carmichael MD, Ghaffar A, Mayer EP. Effects of moderate exercise and oat beta-glucan on innate immune function and susceptibility to respiratory infection. Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol. 2004 Feb;286(2):R366-72.

Read the English version of this article HERE