Thursday, May 31, 2012

'Personality Genes' May Help Account for Longevity

Credit: www.therealcenter.or

"It's in their genes" is a common refrain from scientists when asked about factors that allow centenarians to reach age 100 and beyond.

Up until now, research has focused on genetic variations that offer a physiological advantage such as high levels of HDL ("good") cholesterol. But researchers at Albert Einstein College of Medicine and Ferkauf Graduate School of Psychology of Yeshiva University have found that personality traits like being outgoing, optimistic, easygoing, and enjoying laughter as well as staying engaged in activities may also be part of the longevity genes mix.

The present study of 243 of the centenarians (average age 97.6 years, 75 percent women) was aimed at detecting genetically-based personality characteristics by developing a brief measure (the Personality Outlook Profile Scale, or POPS) of personality in centenarians.

"When I started working with centenarians, I thought we'd find that they survived so long in part because they were mean and ornery," said Nir Barzilai, M.D., the Ingeborg and Ira Leon Rennert Chair of Aging Research, director of Einstein's Institute for Aging Research and co-corresponding author of the study. "But when we assessed the personalities of these 243 centenarians, we found qualities that clearly reflect a positive attitude towards life. Most were outgoing, optimistic and easygoing. They considered laughter an important part of life and had a large social network. They expressed emotions openly rather than bottling them up." In addition, the centenarians had lower scores for displaying neurotic personality and higher scores for being conscientious compared with a representative sample of the U.S. population.

"Some evidence indicates that personality can change between the ages of 70 and 100, so we don't know whether our centenarians have maintained their personality traits across their entire lifespans," continued Dr. Barzilai. "Nevertheless, our findings suggest that centenarians share particular personality traits and that genetically-based aspects of personality may play an important role in achieving both good health and exceptional longevity."


The above story is based the May 24, 2012 news release by the  Albert Einstein College of Medicine.

The research findings is published in AGING, a high impact journal of aging research: 
Kato K, Zweig R, Barzilai N, Atzmon G. Positive attitude towards life and emotional expression as personality phenotypes for centenarians. Aging, 2012; 4 (5)

Not happy with our story?
HERE, free of charge to you, is the full research paper!

Terror in mall basement carpark


Old classmate Hua-Keong alerted us to this facebook entry by Chin Xin Ci, the victim of the May 27th attemptedrape & kidnap at the basement mall carpark of the Curve, Mutiara Damansara. 

Unlike the unfortunate Canny Ong, may she rest in peace,  Xin Ci escaped her abductors to tell us her harrowing experience. You can benefit by reading Xin Ci’s story.  

Another OneMalaysia* Rush-Job?

Published on May 26, 2012 by blackspiderz86 Click to skip to minutes 5:32 to witness this scary accident. We pray that the injured Youths get well soon!

To counteract the fallout from the success of the recent Bersih 3.0 rally, the federal government organized a Himpunan Jutaan Belia 2012 (Million (sic) Youth Rally 2012) in Putrajaya (the federal administrative centre with monumental bridges# galore built at a cost of almost US$ 8.1 billion) on May 23-27. We don’t know how many youth actually turned up over the 3 days as the usual “Comical Ali’s” were surpringly mute about this. 

In Haste

As if to better the first night-time event in Formula Onehistory held in that little red dot across the causeway by Malaysian-born Ong Beng Seng, the Ministry of Youth and Sports decided hastily to have a midnight drag race there. 

The organizers did not bother with or were ignorant of the stringent safety protocols and powerful lighting systems that were employed in the Singapore Grand Prix to ensure the safety of not only the racers but equally, indeed more importantly, the safety of the spectators, the “million” youths who are the hope and future of the country, who had  turned up to watch the race. 

Fail to Plan, Plan to Fail

And so it happened! One of the competing cars skidded during a trial run and crashed onto a group of the ‘million’ youth lining under the streetlights of the Wadi Ehsan Highway at Precinct 19. The fiasco sent 17 unfortunate spectators in hospital with 4 of them suffering serious injuries.

 Datuk Razlan Razali, chief executive officer of the Motorsports Association of Malaysia (MAM) later confirmed to the Sun Daily that MAM did not sanction the drag race. The organizers did not approach MAM for advice or management of any of the motorsports events held during the rally.

"All the events held there were unsanctioned events; the organisers did not follow any of our safety regulations,” said Datuk Razlan. "Whoever was asked to organise the event did not know fully the details of organising motorsports events, including the need for sanctioning by an official body."

No Insurance Coverage, Watch at Your Own Risk

"A lot of the cost of sanctioning goes to insurance coverage. The price of sanctioning includes third-party insurance. Everyone is covered. More importantly, sanctioning imposes a minimum safety standard which covers the racers, crews and spectators," Datuk Razlan.

* I encountered another “OneMalaysia” at KLIA on May 30, 2012 … the OneMalaysia SkyTrain!

Only one SkyTrain was operating and there was a long wait to get to the other terminal.
Why? Is it because business is so slow at KLIA that the service of the other SkyTrain was stopped to cut cost or is it because the parts of the second unit had been cannibalized to keep One Malaysian Skytrain running?

As one among the unappreciated 10% of Malaysians who pay tax, I hope I am wrong on either count.

At Changi airport there’s a Skytrain every 3 minutes, but it’s in Singapore, that little red dot!

# Klang desparately needs a utilitarian one which can be constructed at a fraction of the cost of one of those ornamental behemoths in Putrajaya. And the federal government did promise Klangites not just one but two bridges back in 2008, see Bernama report, but this was simply pre-election carrots and remains as such!

Aktiviti Fizikal Boleh Mengurangkan Risiko Psoriasis


Aktiviti fizikal yang lasak dilihat dapat mengurangkan risiko psoriasis di kalangan kumpulan jururawat wanita di Amerika Syarikat, menurut hasil kajian kohort oleh Hillary C. Frankel, dari Brigham dan Hospital Wanita dan Sekolah Perubatan Harvard, Boston, Massachusetts, dan rakan sekerja.

Aktiviti Fizikal dan Penyakit Radang

Aktiviti fizikal telah dikaitkan dengan risiko penurunan gangguan yang dicirikan oleh keradangan sistemik, termasuk diabetes mellitus jenis 2, kanser kolon, penyakit koronari arteri, dan kanser payudara.

Berjalan dan senaman lasak kelihatan mempunyai peranan yang sama dalam mengurangkan risiko mendapat penyakit arteri koronari, diabetes jenis 2, dan kanser payudara. Hubungan dos-tindak balas juga telah menunjukkan, bahawa jumlah aktiviti fizikal yang lebih tinggi dikaitkan dengan risiko penyakit yang lebih rendah.

Secara biologi adalah munasabah bahawa aktiviti fizikal boleh menjejaskan risiko psoriasis melalui kesan pada pengantara keradangan sistemik.

Populasi kajian meliputi 86,655 jururawat wanita AS yang melaporkan sama ada mereka pernah didiagnosis sebagai mempunyai psoriasis dan yang mengisi borang kaji selidik aktiviti fizikal yang terperinci pada tahun 1991, 1997 dan 2001. Peserta yang mempunyai sejarah psoriasis sebelum 1991 dikecualikan.

Pengarang mendokumentasikan sebanyak 1026 kes kejadian psoriasis daripada 1,195,703 orang semasa rawatan susulan selama 14 tahun (1991-2005).

Tingkah Laku Kesihatan Boleh Mempengaruhi Gen Apabila Ia Berkaitan Dengan Psoriasis

Selepas pelarasan bagi umur, merokok, dan penggunaan alkohol, mereka mendapati bahawa aktiviti fizikal yang lasak secara berasingan berkaitan dengan penurunan risiko kejadian psoriasis.

Frankel HC, Han J, Li T, Qureshi AA. The Association Between Physical Activity and the Risk of Incident Psoriasis. Arch Dermatol. 2012;():1-7. doi:10.1001/archdermatol.2012.943

Curry Everyday?


Turmeric has been used for centuries in folk medicine to treat wounds, infections, and other health problems.

Therapeutic properties of curcumin:

There is a large body of literature providing experimental data supporting a wide range of pharmacologic properties of curcumin, including chemosensitizing, radiosensitizing, wound healing, antimicrobial, antiviral, antifungical, immunomodulatory, neuroprotective, antioxidant and antiinflammatory properties.

New role identified 

Oregon State University scientists have discovered that curcumin can cause a modest but measurable increase in levels of a protein that’s known to be important in the “innate” immune system, helping to prevent infection in humans and other animals.

This cathelicidin antimicrobial peptide, or CAMP, is part of what helps our immune system fight off various bacteria, viruses or fungi even though they hadn’t been encountered before. CAMP appears to have the ability to kill a broad range of bacteria, including those that cause tuberculosis and protect against the development of sepsis.

Prior to this, it was known that CAMP levels were increased by vitamin D. There has been intense scientific interest in the vitamin D receptor in recent years because of potential therapeutic benefits in treating infection, cancer, psoriasis and other diseases, the researchers noted in their report. An alternative way to elicit a related biological response could be significant and merits additional research, they said.

Curcumin can cause the levels of CAMP to almost triple but the impact of curcumin in this role is not nearly as potent as that of vitamin D.

“Curcumin, as part of turmeric, is generally consumed in the diet at fairly low levels,” Gombart said. “However, it’s possible that sustained consumption over time may be healthy and help protect against infection, especially in the stomach and intestinal tract.”

The above story is based on the May 25, 2012 news release by the Oregon State University

See recent posts on curcumin by The Zestzfulness Team

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 

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), enzymes ... CLICK HERE to read

Turmeric Component Fights Head and Neck Cancer, Sep 17, 2011
"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… CLICK HERE to read

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Furthering Australia-Malaysia Relations

Picture: Jane Dempster  Source: The Sunday Telegraph 

Australia has a Malaysian-born Finance Minister in Penelope "Penny" Ying-yen Wong.

And now, we celebrate the union of former Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd's son, Nicholas Rudd (25) and Zara Shafruddin (26) at St James Church on April 16, 2012. The newlyweds, both lawyers, work at international law firm Clayton Utz in Sydney.

Who is Zara?

According to one Anonymous in Farah Rahim’s blog, Zara Shafruddin is the daughter of Associate Prof Dr. Shafruddin Hashim (Malaysian citizen from Negeri Sembilan) and Diane Sadler (Australian citizen). She went to Jerudong International School (Brunei) when her father worked in Brunei. They have since left Brunei and now live in Australia.

Congratulations to Nick and Zara. May all your troubles be little ones.

Surprise yourselves with some Malaysian reactions to this union HERE

Vitamin-D and Stroke Risk in Asians

Picture credit:

Low Vitamin D in diet increases stroke risk in Japanese-Americans
  • Japanese-American men who did not eat foods rich in vitamin D had higher stroke risk.
  • Foods rich in vitamin D are important because synthesizing vitamin D from the sun gets harder as we age.
Japanese-American men who don't eat a diet rich in vitamin D have an increased risk of stroke later in life, according to a new, long-term study.

Vitamin D is an essential nutrient that helps prevent rickets in children and severe bone loss in adults, and researchers believe it has the potential to lower the risk of a host of diseases including cancer and diabetes.

The study included nearly 7,400 Japanese-American men living in Hawaii. They were between the ages of 45 and 68 in the mid- to late-1960s, when they were first examined and interviewed about their eating habits.

Researchers calculated risk while adjusting for age, total calorie intake, body-mass index, hypertension, diabetes, cigarette smoking, physical activity, cholesterol levels  and alcohol intake.

During 34 years of follow-up, 960 of the men suffered strokes. Compared to those with the highest levels of vitamin D in their diet, men who took in the least dietary vitamin D had a 22 percent higher risk of stroke and a 27 percent higher risk of ischemic (blood-clot-related) stroke. No difference existed for hemorrhagic (bleeding) stroke, however.

"Our study confirms that eating foods rich in vitamin D might be beneficial for stroke prevention," study author Dr. Gotaro Kojima, a geriatric medicine fellow at the John A. Burns School of Medicine at the University of Hawaii in Honolulu, said in a journal news release.

Kojima said, however, it's unclear whether the study findings could be applied to women or to different ethnic groups.

Sunlight generally is the primary source of vitamin D, but synthesizing vitamin D from the sun becomes more difficult as people age, Kojima said, meaning older people need to eat more foods rich in vitamin D or take supplements. Fortified milk, breakfast cereals, fatty fish and egg yolks all are good sources of vitamin D.


The above story is based on the May 22, 2012 news release the American Heart Association/American Stroke Asociation.

The research was published ahead of print in Stroke, an American Heart Association journal: Kojima G, Bell C, Abbott RD, Launer L, Chen R, Motonaga H, Ross GW, Curb JD, Masaki K. Low Dietary Vitamin D Predicts 34-Year Incident Stroke - The Honolulu Heart Program. Stroke. Published online before print May 24, 2012doi: 10.1161/STROKEAHA.112.651752

More information

The American Heart Association offers information on Dietand Lifestyle Recommendations

The American Stroke Association offers information on Stroke 

The U.S. Office of Dietary Supplements has more about vitamin D.

Vitamin D3 Supplement

Introducing Live-well Sunshine Vitamin-D3 - the bioavailable form of ntural Vitamin D required by our body for many important health functions.

Suitable for adults who:
  • lack sunlight exposure
  • are confined indoors
  • regularly wear long-sleeved clothing
  • use sunblock lotion when outdoors

Check out the 2 plus 1 offer which is available only whilst stocks last.

Physical Education and Academic Performance

Our concept of PE? See report from the Borneo Post Online

“Noticed the obvious declining standards of the national schools - lack of 'out-of-the class' exposures, lack of proper guidance- including cultivating good habits & manners, lack of follow-ups (ie. school work/ homework unchecked/unmarked for several weeks), lack of 'compulsory' workbook usage, lack of teachers, teachers absence during class periods increasing (especially during moral lessons), lack emphasis on non-academic subjects (ie. art, PE, Moral, KT, etc.)....just to name a few.

Very, very disturbing & frustrating...”

 a post by MOYSC in the Subang Jaya e-Community Portal 

More physical education in schools leads to better motor skills and it can also sharpen students’ learning ability.

This is shown by Assistant Professor Ingegerd Ericsson at Malmö University in a unique study where she followed more than two hundred schoolchildren for nine years in Malmö in southern Sweden.

The differences are especially clear among boys.

“The differences are significant between children who underwent expanded teaching in physical education and children who had regular instruction,” says Ingegerd Ericsson.

Ingegerd Ericsson monitored three cohorts of children in grades 1-3 (darjah 1-3 in the Malaysian school system) at Ängslätt School and Sundsbro School in Bunkeflostrand in Malmö. She compared the development of children in an intervention group that received scheduled physical education five days a week, plus extra motor training, with the development of a control group. For nine years Ingegerd Ericsson registered motor-skills observations, such as balance and coordination, in a total of 220 students. She also compared their results on diagnostic tests in grade 2 and their final grades in grade 9.

Now she has compiled the report, which shows that:

• 96 percent of the intervention group compared to 89 percent in the control group achieved the goals of compulsory school and were eligible to go on to upper-secondary school.  It is primarily the boys’ achievements—with 96 percent vs. 83 percent—that lies behind this outcome. Moreover, the boys in the intervention group had significantly higher grades in Swedish, English, Mathematics, and PE and health than the boys in the control group.

• In grade 9, 93 percent of the students in the intervention group evinced good motor skills compared to 53 percent in the control group.

The reliability of the findings is further enhanced by the homogenity in the groups under investigation: the children are the same age, go to the same school, and have parents with comparable education, income, and interest in physical activity.

“Physical education has been pared down from three lessons a week to one or two. We scientifically confirm here that daily timetabled physical education and adapted motor skills training not only improve motor skills but also school achievement. With more physical education and health considerably more students attain passing grades,” says Ingegerd Ericsson.

Professor Magnus Karlsson at the Orthopedic Clinic at the Scania University Hospital is co-author of the study. Magnus Karlsson has previously shown that daily physical education in Bunkeflostrand schools has an excellent effect on the development of the skeleton and muscles, and that children who were most physically active had the least tendency to develop overweight and risk factors for cardiovascular disease.


The above story is bsed on the May 23, 2012 newsrelease by Expertanswer. The research is published here: Ericsson I, Karlsson MK. Effects of increased physical activity and motor training on motor skills and self-esteem. An intervention study in school years 1 through 9. Scand J Med Sci Sports. 2012 Apr 9. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0838.2012.01458.x.

Click HERE for the Full Text from the International Journal of Sports Psychology.

See also related research papers:

Despite its importance, physical education is often among the first on the list of subjects which are considered to be expendable.

EH Wee. Physical Education in Malaysia: A Case Study of Fitness Activity in Secondary
School Physical Education Classes. Chapter 2, Innovative Practices in Physical Education and Sports in Asia, UNESCO Bangkok, 2008. viii + 100 pp. Click HERE to read

Given competent providers, physical education can be added to the school curriculum by taking time from other subjects without risk of hindering student academic achievement. On the other hand, adding time to "academic" or "curricular" subjects by taking time from physical education programmes does not enhance grades in these subjects and may be detrimental to health.

Trudeau F, Shephard RJ. Physical education, school physical activity, school sports and academic performance. Int J Behav Nutr Phys Act. 2008; 5: 10 Click HERE for the Full Text

The Wonder Beverage for Baby Boomers

Uploaded by on Jan 14, 2008 and recommended by Baby Boomer Goh Gim Chye


The Political Illiterate

Picture obtained from

“The worst illiterate is the political illiterate, he doesn’t hear, doesn’t speak, nor participates in the political events. He doesn’t know the cost of life, the price of the bean, of the fish, of the flour, of the rent, of the shoes and of the medicine, all depends on political decisions. The political illiterate is so stupid that he is proud and swells his chest saying that he hates politics. The imbecile doesn’t know that, from his political ignorance is born the prostitute, the abandoned child, and the worst thieves of all, the bad politician, corrupted and flunky of the national and multinational companies.”

Bertolt Brecht

Bertolt Brecht (born Eugen Berthold Friedrich Brecht; February 10, 1898 - August 14, 1956), the German poet, playwright, and theatre director offered a warning many years ago. Brecht knew all to well the dangers of those who hid behind political indifference or ignorance. A celebrated artist, Brecht fled his native country in 1933 after the rise of Adolph Hitler.

New Sleeping Pill

We are not sure about the copyright of the following legal jokes but we got them unsolicited and at no charge from a certain John Ng, an old alumni of St Anthony's, Teluk Anson:

First Joke - A man went to his lawyer and told him, "My neighbour owes me $500 andhe doesn't want to pay up. What should I do?" "Do you have any proof?", asked the lawyer. "Nope," replied the man. "Okay, then write him aletter asking him for the $1,000 he owes you," said the lawyer. "But it's only $500!" replied the man. "Precisely, that's what he will reply and we will have the proof we need," said the lawyer.

Second Joke - The professor of a Contract Law class asked one of his better students, "If you were to give someone an orange, how would you go about it?" The student replied, "Here's an orange." The professor was outraged."No! No! Think like a lawyer!" The student then replied, "Ok.I will tell him - "I hereby give and convey to you all and singular, my estate and interests, rights, claim, title and advantages of and in, said orange, together with all its rind, juice, pulp and seeds,and all rights and advantages with full power to bite, cut, freeze and otherwise eat, the same, or give the same away with and without the pulp, juice, rind and seeds, anything herein before and hereinafter or in any deed, or deeds, instruments of whatever nature or kind whatsoever to the contrary in anywise notwithstanding.

Third Joke -  A dog ran into a butcher shop and grabbed a roast off the counter.Fortunately, the butcher recognised the dog as belonging to a neighbour of his. The neighbour happened to be a lawyer. Incensed at the theft, the butcher called up his neighbour and said, "Hey, if yourdog stole a roast from my butcher shop, would you be liable for the cost of the meat?" The lawyer replied, "Of course, how much was the roast?" "RM18.00." A few days later the butcher received a cheque in the mail for for RM18.00. Attached to it was an invoice that read: 'LegalConsultation Service: RM150.

Fourth Joke - The lawyer's son wanted to follow in his father's footsteps, so he went to law school. He graduated with Honours, and then went home to join his father's legal firm. At the end of his first day at work he rushed into his father's office, and said, "Father, you know what, in one day I managed to solve the accident case that you've been working on for 10 years!" His father responded: " You idiot, we lived on the funding of that case for 10 years!"

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Redundant Foreign Workers at Petrol Pumps

The self-service petrol station system was introduced by the government in the Klang Valley 15 years ago in 1997 to reduce dependence on foreign workers and to reduce the burden on operators.

So, why the hell are these foreign workers back in greater force in self-service stations?

To supervise Malaysians parking their cars, pumping fuel, cleaning their windshields?

Have they been imposed on petrol station operators to fatten the licensed human traffickers?

Charity? Visit Shell Persiaran Raja Muda Musa 2 HERE and witness real charity by the Lim brothers - they give work to fellow Malaysians who are handicapped!

BP and Lipid Tests in Pharmacies

Just for Laughs only

BP and lipid tests in pharmacies could boost risk-factor control

A campaign in pharmacies in Portugal to encourage customers to have their blood pressure and cholesterol measured in-store found that almost half of the people who participated had a high risk of developing a fatal cardiovascular event in the next 10 years.

Almost 40% of the 12 930 individuals surveyed during the weeklong campaign, entitled "Know your heart values," had BPs above target (>140/90 mm Hg) and were not taking any medication for this. And even among those already taking antihypertensives, almost half (48.3%) still had BP above target, explained Dr Cristina Santos (National Association of Pharmacies [ANF], Lisbon, Portugal), who presented her findings as a poster during the recent European Society of Hypertension (ESH) European Meeting on Hypertension 2012.

Expertise and Accessibility of Pharmacists

She believes more use should be made of the expertise and accessibility of pharmacists. "Pharmacies are really accessible, they have a health professional in there with specific training, and it's very important that customers know that they can go to a pharmacy and have a quick check of their BP or cholesterol.”

“It's really important, even for patients who have already been diagnosed. It's key for them to be monitored in the pharmacy." Most physicians, Santos says, welcome this development: "They can have a partner who can send them information about how their patients are."
Mangga ini adalah untuk peti sejuk anda

Menurunkan berat badan apabila gemuk boleh mencegah atau merawat kencing manis, apa pun BMI awal anda.

Menurunkan BMI anda sebanyak lima unit boleh secara mendadak mengurangkan risiko penyakit kencing manis, apa pun berat badan awal anda, menurut kajian terbaru yang dibentangkan di Kongres Antarabangsa Endokrinologi / Kongres Endokrinologi Eropah di Florence, Itali. Hasil kajian menunjukkan bahawa walaupun pesakit yang agak gemuk menghidap kencing manis, mereka berpotensi dapat melepaskan diri mereka daripada penyakit ini.

Menangani kencing manis adalah perkara penting yang diberi keutamaan oleh penyedia perkhidmatan kesihatan di seluruh dunia (lebih kurang enam hingga tujuh peratus penduduk dunia, kira-kira 285 juta orang) dan komplikasi yang teruk termasuk amputasi dan penyakit jantung. Pembedahan untuk menurunkan berat badan tanpa diduga mempunyai kesan terapeutik yang pantas dan besar kepada kadar kencing manis. Memahami mengapa penurunan berat badan mempunyai kesan dramatik terhadap kencing manis adalah tumpuan kajian ini yang dijalankan oleh Profesor Madya Markku Peltonen dari Institut Kebangsaan Kesihatan dan Kebajikan, Finland dan rakan-rakan dari Universiti Gothenburg, Sweden.

Para penyelidik yang mengikuti 2010 pesakit dari kajian Subjek Obes Sweden telah menerima pembedahan bariatrik dan 2037 kawalan obes menerima rawatan konvensional obesiti (bukan pembedahan). Mereka telah mengambil data BMI dan kencing manis dipermulaan (sebelum pembedahan dalam kumpulan pembedahan), dan pada dua tahun dan 10 tahun susulan.

Kalangan pesakit dengan BMI <35, 35-40 dan 40-45 yang tidak menurunkan berat badan selepas dua tahun, kadar mendapat kencing manis jenis 2 adalah masing-masing 6.5%, 7.7% dan 9.3%. Antara mereka yang mempunyai BMI awal antara 35-40, 40-45 dan ≥ 45 yang kehilangan sekurang-kurangnya lima unit BMI selepas dua tahun, kadar mendapat kencing manis jenis 2 adalah masing-masing 2.4%, 2.0% dan 3.4%, jelas menunjukkan bahawa kadar kencing manis yang lebih rendah ditemui di kalangan pesakit obes yang telah kehilangan lima unit BMI melalui apa-apa cara sekalipun. Analisis selanjutnya menunjukkan bahawa kadar pesakit yang sembuh daripada diabetes selepas kehilangan lima unit BMI adalah tidak bergantung kepada BMI awal di semua peringkat BMI yang diukur. Trend ini juga diperhatikan selepas 10 tahun selepas pembedahan.

Kajian ini mencadangkan bahawa kehilangan lima unit BMI, bersamaan dengan lebih kurang 16 kilogram untuk lelaki dengan tinggi 180cm, berusia 35 tahun dan berat 130kg (BMI 40), boleh membuat perubahan kepada kesihatan anda dengan mengurangkan kemungkinan anda mempunyai diabetes jenis 2. Tambahan pula, ia menyarankan bahawa ini adalah benar untuk semua pesakit, bahkan mereka yang terlalu gemuk menunjukkan peningkatan yang dramatik.

Profesor Madya Markku Peltonen, Pengarah Jabatan di Institut Kebangsaan Kesihatan dan Kebajikan, Finland, berkata:

"Hasil kajian kami menunjukkan bahawa, apa jua berat badan anda pada permulaan, kehilangan lima unit BMI boleh secara mendadak mengurangkan risiko anda mempunyai kencimg manis jenis 2 selepas dua dan sepuluh tahun.

"Pengurangan lima unit BMI bukanlah pencapaian yang hebat, kerana badan manusia tidak begitu baik untuk mengurangkan berat badan. Tetapi pesakit dengan berat berapapun perlu mengambil dorongan ini bahawa dengan berbuat demikian, mereka benar-benar dapat meningkatkan peluang mereka untuk masa depan yang sihat. "

# # #

Kisah di atas adalah dari berita keluaran 5 Mei, 2012 oleh
European Society of Endocrinology.

BMI ialah Indeks Jisim Tubuh iaitu ukuran lemak badan berdasarkan ketinggian dan berat badan lelaki dan wanita dewasa.

Kira Indeks Jisim Tubuh Anda

Health Tip: Take a Walk!

Picture credit:
Take a Walk!

But make sure you don't overdo it

Walking is a great form of cardiovascular exercise and amusement that requires very little equipment. But the American Council on Exercise (ACE) warns new walkers to start slowly and not to overdo it.
Here are the council's recommendations:

  • Start out with a short walk of about five minutes. Then gradually increase your time and distance.
  • Don't walk too quickly; stick to a comfortable pace.
  • Practice proper posture, with your head up and shoulders relaxed.
  • Allow your arms to swing naturally.
  • Breathe deeply, and slow down if you can't catch your breath.
  • Don't move so vigorously that you can't talk while you're walking.

ACE is a nonprofit organization committed to enriching quality of life through safe and effective exercise and physical activity. ACE helps to protect all segments of society against ineffective fitness products, programs and trends through its ongoing public education, outreach and research. ACE further protects the public by setting certification and continuing education standards for fitness professionals. 

Physical Activity May Reduce Psoriasis Risk

Picture credit:

Vigorous physical activity appeared to reduce the risk for psoriasis among a group of female nurses in the United States, according to the findings of a cohort study by Hillary C. Frankel, from Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, and colleagues.

Physical Activity and Inflammatory Disorders

Physical activity has been associated with a decreased risk of disorders characterized by systemic inflammation, including type 2 diabetes mellitus, colon cancer, coronary artery disease, and breast cancer.

Walking and vigorous exercise appear to have an equal role in reducing the risk of developing coronary artery disease, type 2 diabetes, and breast cancer. A dose-response relationship has also been demonstrated, with higher amounts of physical activity associated with a lower risk of disease.

It is biologically plausible that physical activity may affect psoriasis risk through effects on systemic inflammatory mediators.

The study population included 86 655 US female nurses who reported whether they had ever been diagnosed as having psoriasis and who completed detailed physical activity questionnaires in 1991, 1997, and 2001. Participants with a history of psoriasis prior to 1991 were excluded.

The authors documented 1026 incident psoriasis cases during 1 195 703 person-years of follow-up (14 years, 1991-2005).

Health Behaviors May Trump Genes When It Comes to Psoriasis

After adjusting for age, smoking, and alcohol use, they found that vigorous physical activity is independently associated with a reduced risk of incident psoriasis.


Frankel HC, Han J, Li T, Qureshi AA. The Association Between Physical Activity and the Risk of Incident Psoriasis. Arch Dermatol. 2012;():1-7. doi:10.1001/archdermatol.2012.943

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Drug-free Intervention to Prevent Obesity

It turns out that when we eat may be as important as what we eat.

Led by Satchidananda Panda, an associate professor in the Regulatory Biology Laboratory, scientists at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies have found that regular eating times and extending the daily fasting period may override the adverse health effects of a high-fat diet and prevent obesity, diabetes and liver disease in mice.

They fed two sets of mice, which shared the same genes, gender and age, a diet comprising 60 percent of its calories from fat (like eating potato chips and ice-cream for all your meals). One group of mice could eat whenever they wanted, consuming half their food at night (mice are primarily nocturnal) and nibbling throughout the rest of the day. The other group was restricted to eating for only eight hours every night; in essence, fasting for about 16 hours a day. Two control groups ate a standard diet comprising about 13 percent of calories from fat under similar conditions.

Mice limited to eating during an 8-hour period are healthier than mice that eat freely throughout the day, regardless of the quality and content of their diet

After 100 days, the mice who ate fatty food frequently throughout the day gained weight and developed high cholesterol, high blood glucose, liver damage and diminished motor control, while the mice in the time-restricted feeding group weighed 28 percent less and showed no adverse health effects despite consuming the same amount of calories from the same fatty food. Further, the time-restricted mice outperformed the ad lib eaters and those on a normal diet when given an exercise test.

Their findings suggest that regular eating times and fasting for a significant number of hours a day might be beneficial to our health.

Fasting Time Important

"By eating in a time-restricted fashion, you can still resist the damaging effects of a high-fat diet, and we did not find any adverse effects of time-restricted eating when eating healthy food," says Megumi Hatori, a postdoctoral researcher in Panda's laboratory and a first author of the study. However, she cautioned that people should not jump to the conclusion that eating lots of unhealthy food is alright as long as we fast. "What we showed is under daily fasting the body can fight unhealthy food to a significant extent," she says. "But there are bound to be limits."

The Salk study suggests an option for preventing obesity by preserving natural feeding rhythms without altering dietary intake.

The Salk study found the body stores fat while eating and starts to burn fat and breakdown cholesterol into beneficial bile acids only after a few hours of fasting. When eating frequently, the body continues to make and store fat, ballooning fat cells and liver cells, which can result in liver damage. Under such conditions the liver also continues to make glucose, which raises blood sugar levels. Time-restricted feeding, on the other hand, reduces production of free fat, glucose and cholesterol and makes better use of them. It cuts down fat storage and turns on fat burning mechanisms when the animals undergo daily fasting, thereby keeping the liver cells healthy and reducing overall body fat.

The daily feeding-fasting cycle activates liver enzymes that breakdown cholesterol into bile acids, spurring the metabolism of brown fat -- a type of "good fat" in our body that converts extra calories to heat. Thus the body literally burns fat during fasting. The liver also shuts down glucose production for several hours, which helps lower blood glucose. The extra glucose that would have ended up in the blood -- high blood sugar is a hallmark of diabetes -- is instead used to build molecules that repair damaged cells and make new DNA. This helps prevent chronic inflammation, which has been implicated in the development of a number of diseases, including heart disease, cancer, stroke and Alzheimer's. Under the time-restricted feeding schedule studied by Panda's lab, such low-grade inflammation was also reduced.

"Implicit in our findings," says Panda, "is that the control of energy metabolism is a finely-tuned process that involves an intricate network of signaling and genetic pathways, including nutrient sensing mechanisms and the circadian system. Time-restricted feeding acts on these interwoven networks and moves their state toward that of a normal feeding rhythm."

Simple, Effective Lifestyle Intervention

"The take-home message," says Panda, "is that eating at regular times during the day and overnight fasting may prove to be beneficial. If following a time-restricted eating schedule can prevent weight gain by 10 to 20 percent, it will be a simple and effective lifestyle intervention to contain the obesity epidemic.”


The above story is based on the My 17, 2012 news release by SalkInstitute for Biological Studies.

The scientific findings has been published in Cell Metabolism which focuses on reports of novel results in any area of metabolic biology, from molecular and cellular biology to translational studies: Hatori M, Vollmers C, Zarrinpar A, DiTacchio L, Bushong EA, Gill S, Leblanc M, Chaix A, Joens M, Fitzpatrick JAJ, Ellisman MH, Panda S. Time-Restricted Feeding without Reducing Caloric Intake Prevents Metabolic Diseases in Mice Fed a High-Fat Diet. Cell Metab, 2012; DOI: 10.1016/j.cmet.2012.04.019



The National Health and Morbidity Survey in 2006 showed that two out of every five adults or 43%, were either overweight or obese and an alarming situation where the number of obese adults had more than tripled over a decade, from 4% in 1996 to 14% in 2006.

Obesity increases the risk of a number of health conditions including: high blood pressure, high cholesterol and type 2 diabetes. Lifestyle modifications, including eating a healthy diet and daily exercise, are first-line interventions in the fight against obesity.

See also “Malaysians getting obese - by eating too heavily at night” by Florence A Samy in The Star, April 11, 2010 

Button Battery Risks

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Number of Battery-Related Emergency Department Visits by Children More Than Doubles

In today's technology-driven world, batteries, especially button batteries, are everywhere. They power countless gadgets and electronic items that we use every day.

While they may seem harmless, button batteries can be dangerous if swallowed by children.

A new study conducted by researchers at the Center for Injury Research and Policy of The Research Institute at Nationwide Children's Hospital found that the annual number of battery-related emergency department visits among children younger than 18 years of age more than doubled over the 20-year study period, jumping from 2,591 emergency department visits in 1990 to 5,525 emergency department visits in 2009. The number of button batteries swallowed by children also doubled during this period.

The study found that more than three-fourths of battery-related visits to emergency departments by children were among children 5 years-old or younger, with one-year-olds having the greatest number of emergency department visits. Of the cases where the battery's intended use was mentioned, only 29 percent involved batteries that were used for toys and games. The majority of cases involved batteries from products not intended for use by young children, such as watches (14 percent), calculators (12 percent), flashlights (9 percent) and remote controls (6 percent).

"We live in a world designed by adults for the convenience of adults, and the safety of children is often not considered," said Gary Smith, MD, DrPH, director of the Center for Injury Research and Policy at Nationwide Children's Hospital. "Products with easily-accessible battery compartments are everywhere in our homes today. By making a few simple design changes and strengthening product manufacturing standards, including products not intended for use by young children, we could prevent many of the serious and sometimes fatal injuries that occur when children are able to easily access button batteries in common household products."

Among cases that described the type of battery, 84 percent involved button batteries. Researchers attribute this finding to the increasing number and variety of electronics powered by button batteries and the resulting increased availability of these products in the home. Recent reports suggest that the number of fatal and severe button battery ingestions is on the rise. This trend is associated with the increasing use of the three volt, 20 millimeter, lithium button batteries.

"The increased prevalence of the higher voltage 20mm lithium batteries is concerning because it coincides with an alarming 113 percent increase in battery ingestions and insertions by young children," said Dr. Smith, also a professor of pediatrics at The Ohio State University College of Medicine. "When a button battery is swallowed and gets caught in a child's esophagus, serious, even fatal injuries can occur in less than two hours."

Recommendations to prevent these types of injuries include:

• Taping the battery compartments of all household devices shut

• Storing batteries and products with batteries out of the reach of young children

• Being aware of this potential danger when your child is visiting other homes

Researchers also recommend that manufacturers ensure that packaging for batteries and products containing button batteries is child resistant and that they design all battery compartments to either require a screwdriver to be opened or that they be secured with a child-resistant locking mechanism, regardless of whether the product is intended for use by children or adults. Parents who think that their child may have swallowed a button battery should seek medical attention immediately so that an x-ray can be taken to be sure that the battery is not stuck in the esophagus.


The above story is based on the May 14, 2012 news release by Nationwide Children's Hospital. The research paper is available here: Sharpe SJ, Rochette LM, Smith GA. Pediatric Battery-Related Emergency Department Visits in the United States, 1990–2009. Pediatrics, 2012 DOI: 10.1542/peds.2011-0012