Saturday, June 30, 2012

Swept Away - Shellie Morris live

                          Uploaded by on Mar 20, 2009

Shellie Morris is an Australian (Aboriginal)* indigenous singer/songwriter who plays a mix of contemporary folk music and contemporary acoustic ballads. Adopted out at birth,
she has traced her roots back to a Wardaman (Katherine-area) grandfather remembered for his skills with guitar and voice, and a Yanyuwa (Borroloola-area) grandmother She did not rediscover her family – traditional owners in Kakadu – until she was a young woman.

Shellie Morris spends much of her time on the road and taking her powerful voice and rootsy music to far away places; she is as comfortable on the stages of international arts festivals in Melbourne and London, as she is playing to communities on the bush stages of the remote Australia.

As an ambassador for The Fred Hollows Foundation, she works with Indigenous communities and youth throughout Australia, helping young people write music about their experiences. 

More information on Shellie can be found HERE

From  ‘Swept Away’

Nothing ever added up without you
The rubbish just heaped up without you
And I'm so swept away with your love
My love
The pieces have been picked up because of you
The puzzles been linked up because of you
And I'm so swept away with your love
My love
The grass looks greener because of you
The breeze smells sweeter because of you
And I'm so swept away with your love

“Swept Away” is available in Shellie’s “Waiting Road' album together with 10 of her other compositions. You can buy a MP3 version of the “Waiting Road” HERE


* Australian Aboriginal Identity: Who is 'Aboriginal'?

It is not easy to define Aboriginal identity. People who identify themselves as 'Aboriginal' range from dark-skinned, broad-nosed to blonde-haired, blue-eyed people, very much to the surprise of non-Indigenous people.

Aboriginal people define Aboriginality not by skin colour but by relationships.

More information on Australian Aboriginal can be found HERE.



A pretty little girl named Suzy was standing on the footpath in front of her home.

Next to her was a basket containing a number of tiny creatures and labelled “FREE KITTENS”.

Suddenly a line of black Perdanas pulled up beside her.

"Hi there little girl, I'm the Prime Minister. What do you have in the basket?" he asked.

"Kittens," little Suzy said.

"How old are they?" asked the PM.

Suzy replied, "They're so young, their eyes aren't even open yet."

"And what kind of kittens are they?"

"Government supporters," answered Suzy with a smile.

The PM was delighted. As soon as he returned to his car, he called his publicity chief and told him about the little girl and the kittens.

Recognizing the perfect opportunity to fish for votes, the two of them agreed that the PM should return the next day.

And in front of the assembled media, have the girl talk about her discerning kittens.

So the next day, Suzy was again standing on the sidewalk with her basket of "FREE KITTENS", when another motorcade pulled up, this time followed by vans from the mainstream media.

Cameras and audio equipment were quickly set up, then the PM got out of his official Perdana  and walked over to little Suzy.

"Hello, again," the PM said, "I'd love it if you would tell all my friends out there what kind of kittens you're giving away."

"Yes uncle PM" Suzy said. "They're opposition supporters."

Taken by surprise, the Prime Minister stammered, "But...but...yesterday, you told me they were government SUPPORTERS."

Little Suzy smiled and said, "I know. But today, the kittens have grown older and their eyes are now wide open."

DISCLAIMER: Any similarities to people, events, locations (including country), cars and pets are purely coincidental

Nigella sativa


Nigella sativa Linn (Ranunculaceae), commonly known as black seed or black cumin, and as ‘Al Habba Al-Sauda’ or “al-Habba Al-Barakah’ in Arabic and ‘Kalvanji’ in Urdu and some local languages in the Indian subcontinent, is used in Asia and Europe as a flavouring agent in bread and pickles and also as a natural remedy for many ailments.

It is even mentioned in Al-Bukhari but we shall leave this to Mohammad Akram Randhawa to elaborate lest we upset the religious bigots.

While research on Nigella sativa's health effects is limited, over 400 scientific articles can be found in the US National Library of Medicine detailing its immune-boosting and antioxidant benefits in animal studies. 

The available data suggests that Nigella sativa holds promise for treatment and/or prevention of the following conditions:

1) Asthma
 Nigella sativa may help ease symptoms of asthma, according to a small study published in 2007. Study results showed that those treated with Nigella sativa had significantly greater improvements in the frequency and severity of asthma symptoms (such as wheezing).

2) High Blood Pressure
 After eight weeks of twice-daily treatment with Nigella sativa extract, researchers found patients with mild hypertension had a greater reduction in blood pressure compared to those assigned to a placebo supplement.

3) Pancreatic Cancer
 In a series of lab tests, scientists discovered that thymoquinone (the chief constituent of Nigella sativa oil) significantly reduced levels of pro-inflammatory compounds found in pancreatic tumours.

4) Cholesterol
In a small study, the powder of seeds of Nigella sativa, were orally administered to 10 hypercholesterolemic patients at the dose of 1 g before break fast for two months and was found to reduce total cholesterol, triglycerides, HDL-cholesterol and LDL-cholesterol level to a highly significant extent.  

5) Erectile Dysfunction
There have been anecdotal reports of the benefits in this interesting area. Interest is centred on thymoquinone, the most active constituent of the volatile oil of Nigella sativa seeds, which has demonstrated potent antioxidative properties and vasodilator effects in animal studies.

Is Nigella Sativa Safe?

Available in supplement, tea, and whole-seed form, Nigella sativa is generally considered safe. However, tests on animals indicate that high doses of Nigella sativa may damage the kidney and/or liver. Taking Nigella sativa during chemotherapy may hamper the effects of chemotherapy drugs.

If you're considering the use of Nigella sativa for treatment or prevention of a specific health problem, make sure to consult your doctor before you start your supplement regimen.


Mohammad Akram Randhawa. Black seed, Nigella sativa, deserves more attention. J Ayub Med Coll Abbottabad 2008;20(2). Full text

Bhatti, I. U.; Rehman, F. U.; Khan, M. A.; Marwat, S. K. Effect of Prophetic Medicine Kalonji (Nigella sativa L.) on lipid profile of human beings: an in vivo approach. World Appl. Sci. J. 6(8): 1053-1057, 2009 Full text 

Ali BH, Blunden G. "Pharmacological and toxicological properties of Nigella sativa." Phytother Res. 2003 17(4):299-305. Abstract 

Boskabady MH, Javan H, Sajady M, Rakhshandeh H. "The possible prophylactic effect of Nigella sativa seed extract in asthmatic patients." Fundam Clin Pharmacol. 2007 21(5):559-66. Abstract 

Chehl N, Chipitsyna G, Gong Q, Yeo CJ, Arafat HA. "Anti-inflammatory effects of the Nigella sativa seed extract, thymoquinone, in pancreatic cancer cells." HPB (Oxford). 2009 11(5):373-81. Full text 

Dehkordi FR, Kamkhah AF. "Antihypertensive effect of Nigella sativa seed extract in patients with mild hypertension." Fundam Clin Pharmacol. 2008 22(4):447-52. Abstract

Idris-Khodja N, Schini-Kerth V. Thymoquinone improves aging-related endothelial dysfunction in the rat mesenteric artery. Naunyn Schmiedebergs Arch Pharmacol. 2012 Jul;385(7):749-58. Epub 2012 Apr 12. Abstract 


Nigella sativa capsules - BARAKA

Just focus on Baraka, thank you
Each BARAKA soft gelatin capsule contains 450mg of Nigella sativa L. It is traditionally used for general well-being and general health maintenance. The recommended dosage is 1 to 2 capsules three times daily.

Why does eating fish boost memory?

Available at our pharmacies

We’ve all heard that eating fish is good for our brains and memory. But what is it about DHA, an omega-3 fatty acid found in fish, that makes our memory sharper?

Medical researchers at the University of Alberta have discovered a possible explanation.

Principal investigator Yves Sauvé and his team discovered that lab models fed a high-DHA diet had 30 per cent higher levels of DHA in the memory section of the brain, known as the hippocampus, than lab models on a regular, healthy diet.

“We wanted to find out how fish intake improves memory,” says Sauvé, a researcher in the Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry who works in the departments of physiology and ophthalmology, and in the Centre for Neuroscience.

“What we discovered is that memory cells in the hippocampus could communicate better with each other and better relay messages when DHA levels in that region of the brain were higher. This could explain why memory improves on a high-DHA diet.”

Sauvé noted a key finding was that when a diet is supplemented with DHA, additional stores of the omega-3 fatty acid are deposited in the brain. His team confirmed this finding, a discovery other labs have noted as well.

Supplementing our diet with DHA, such as by increasing fish intake or taking supplements, could prevent declining DHA levels in the brain as we age, says Sauvé.

Earlier this year, Sauvé and other colleagues discovered that DHA prevents accumulation of a toxic molecule at the back of the eye that causes age-related vision loss. He is continuing his research in this area. See the following story.


The above is based on the June 28, 2012news release by the University of Alberta.

The findings have been published in the June 20, 2012 online edition of the journal Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism by the National Research Council of Canada:

Connor S, Tenorio G, Clandinin MT, Sauvéc Y. DHA supplementation enhances high-frequency, stimulation-induced synaptic transmission in mouse hippocampus. Appl Physiol Nutr Meta., 10.1139/h2012-062. Abstract.

Omega-3 DHA May Help Prevent Age-Related Vision Loss

An omega-3 fatty acid found in fish, known as DHA, prevented age-related vision loss in lab tests, according to recent medical research from the University of Alberta.

With age, retina function progressively declines and A2E, a constituent of the toxin lipofuscin, accumulates in retinal pigment epithelial (RPE) cells. Both events are typically exacerbated in age-related retina diseases.

Yves Sauvé, a researcher in the Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry, and his team discovered that lab models fed DHA did not accumulate a toxic molecule at the back of the eyes. The toxin normally builds up in the retina with age and causes vision loss.

“In normal aging, this toxin increases twofold as we age. But in lab tests, there was no increase in this toxin whatsoever. This has never been demonstrated before—that supplementing the diet with DHA could make this kind of difference.”

These findings imply that dietary DHA could have broad preventative therapeutic applications (acting on pathologic and normal age-related ocular processes).


The above is based on the May 30, 2012 news release by the University of Alberta.

The research has been published online before print March 16, 2012 :

Dornstauder B, Suh M, Kuny S, Gaillard F, Macdonald IM, Clandinin MT, Sauvé Y. Dietary docosahexaenoic acid supplementation prevents age-related functional losses and A2E accumulation in the retina. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2012 Apr 24;53(4):2256-65. Abstract. 

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Circumcision May Help Protect Against Prostate Cancer


A new analysis led by researchers at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center has found that circumcision before a male’s first sexual intercourse may help protect against prostate cancer. The study suggests that circumcision can hinder infection and inflammation that may lead to this malignancy.

Infections are known to cause cancer, and research suggests that sexually transmitted infections may contribute to the development of prostate cancer. Also, certain sexually transmitted infections can be prevented by circumcision. Therefore, it stands to reason that circumcision should protect against the development of some cases of prostate cancer. This is what lead author Jonathan L. Wright, MD, an affiliate investigator in the Hutchinson Center’s Public Health Sciences Division, and his colleagues set out to test.

For their study, the investigators analyzed information from 3,399 men (1,754 with prostate cancer and 1,645 without). Men who had been circumcised before their first sexual intercourse were 15 percent less likely to develop prostate cancer than uncircumcised men. This reduced risk applied for both less aggressive and more aggressive cancers. (Specifically, men circumcised before their first sexual intercourse had a 12 percent reduced risk for developing less aggressive prostate cancer and an 18 percent reduced risk for developing more aggressive prostate cancer.)

Sexually transmitted infections may lead to prostate cancer by causing chronic inflammation that creates a hospitable environment for cancer cells. Other mechanisms may also be involved. Circumcision may protect against sexually transmitted infections, and therefore prostate cancer, by toughening the inner foreskin and by getting rid of the moist space under the foreskin that may help pathogens survive.

“These data are in line with an infectious/inflammatory pathway which may be involved in the risk of prostate cancer in some men,” said Dr. Wright, who is also an assistant professor of urology at the University of Washington School of Medicine. “Although observational only, these data suggest a biologically plausible mechanism through which circumcision may decrease the risk of prostate cancer. Future research of this relationship is warranted,” he added


The above story is based on the March 12, 2012 news release by Wiley-Blackwell, which publishes Cancer on behalf of the American Cancer Society.

The research finding has been published early online in CANCER:                                                               Wright JL, Lin DW , Stanford JL. Circumcision and the risk of prostate cancer. Cancer, 2012; DOI: 10.1002/cncr.26653

Prostate cancer is the fourth most common cancer in Malaysia. Of the 502 prostate cancer cases diagnosed in 2007 and reported to National Cancer Registry*, 264 or 52.5% in Chinese males compared to Malay and Indian males. This statistics seem to lend credence to the research by Jonathan L. Wright et al. All Malay males are Muslims and are thus circumcised while the majority of Chinese and Indians are not.

Well-established risk factors for prostate cancer, such as age, family history, race, and country of residence are not amenable to modification. Several modifiable characteristics have been proposed to predict risk of prostate cancer. These include physical activity, various anthropometric measures, cigarette smoking, alcohol consumption, and diet.

Cancer Research UK has more information on these risk factors.

The Noose, LuLu from China, Sichuan talks about boosting fertility rate ...

Uploaded by on Jan 24, 2012
Comedy TV series by MediaCorp Channel 5, Singapore. Starring Michelle Chong, Chua Enlai, Alaric Tay, Suhami Yusof & Judee Tan

Truly Brilliant Folks at/on the Noose!


Dr Mohamad Nizam bin Subahir and colleagues at Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia think there’s a possibility that  frequent sexual intercourse and ejaculation will reduce and stabilize testosterone hormone level and therefore reduce risk of prostate cancer.

Now, it's well known that almost 2 out of 3 prostate cancers are found in men over the age of 65.        So, gentlemen, you better get active again!

Reference: Subahir MN, Shah SA, Zainuddin ZM. Risk factors for prostate cancer in Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia Medical Centre: a case-control study. Asian Pac J Cancer Prev. 2009;10(6):1015-20. Full text 

Terlalu Banyak Garam Boleh Merosakkan Saluran Darah

Terlalu Banyak Garam Boleh Merosakkan Saluran Darah Dan menyebabkan Tekanan Darah Tinggi
Kajian menunjukkan:

* Pengambilan diet yang tinggi-garam selama beberapa tahun dikaitkan dengan penanda  kerosakan saluran darah.
* Orang yang mempunyai penanda kerosakan saluran darah dan mengambil diet yang tinggi-garam lebih cenderung untuk mendapat tekanan darah tinggi, oleh yang demikian, kesan diet yang tinggi-garam adalah lebih besar pada golongan ini.

Pengambilan diet yang tinggi-garam selama beberapa tahun boleh merosakkan saluran darah - meningkatkan risiko anda untuk mendapat tekanan darah tinggi.
Mereka yang mempunyai kerosakan saluran darah jenis ini yang mengambil diet tinggi garam adalah lebih cenderung untuk mendapat hipertensi atau tekanan darah tinggi. Penyelidikan ini memberi petunjuk kewujudan "gelung amplifikasi natrium" di mana mengambil terlalu banyak garam untuk jangka masa yang panjang boleh merosakkan saluran darah, yang membawa kepada kecenderungan yang lebih besar mendapat tekanan darah tinggi jika diet yang tinggi garam diteruskan.

Penyelidik tidak menilai hubungan sebab-akibat di antara pengambilan garam dan tekanan darah tinggi. Tetapi keputusan kajian "menambah bukti yang dijangkakan bahawa makanan yang mengandungi garam yang tinggi berkait rapat dengan tekanan darah tinggi," kata John Forman, MD, ketua penulis kajian dan pakar nefrologi di Brigham dan Hospital Wanita dan Harvard Medical School di Boston , Mass.

"Di samping itu, kajian ini memperkukuhkan garis panduan yang disokong oleh Persatuan Jantung Amerika dan lain-lain organisasi profesional yang mengesyorkan agar mengurangkan penggunaan garam untuk mengurangkan risiko mendapat tekanan darah tinggi," kata Forman.

Satu gram natrium adalah bersamaan dengan 2.5 gram garam (natrium klorida).

Penyelidik telah menjalankan satu kajian pemerhatian (PREVEND) di mana mereka mengesan pengambilan natrium oleh 5556 lelaki dan wanita dari penduduk umum Groningen, Belanda. Pengambilan natrium dinilai dengan mengumpul beberapa contoh air kencing dalam gandaan 24 jam, yang dianggap kaedah optimum untuk mengukur pengambilan natrium.
Asid urik dan albumin adalah penanda kerosakan saluran darah
Penyelidik telah membuat analisis kaitan antara penggunaan natrium dan tahap asid urik dan albumin darah dalam air kencing – kedua-duanya merupakan penanda kerosakan saluran darah - dari peserta yang tidak mengambil ubat tekanan darah tinggi.

Semasa susulan median pada 6.4 tahun, sebanyak 878 diagnosis hipertensi baru telah dibuat.

Pengambilan natrium yang tinggi dikaitkan dengan peningkatan paras asid urik dan albumin dari masa ke semasa. Penyelidik mendapati, semakin tinggi tahap penanda, semakin besar risiko mendapat hipertensi jika pengambilan diet garam adalah tinggi. Berbanding dengan peserta yang mengambil jumlah natrium yang sedikit (kira-kira 2,200 miligram sehari), mereka yang mengambil paling banyak (kira-kira 6,200 mg / d) adalah 21 peratus lebih berkemungkinan untuk mendapat tekanan darah tinggi. Walau bagaimanapun, mereka yang mempunyai tahap asid urik yang tinggi dan mengambil garam yang banyak adalah 32 peratus lebih berkemungkinan untuk mendapat tekanan darah tinggi manakala mereka yang mempunyai tahap albumin air kencing yang tinggi dan pengambilan garam tertinggi adalah 86 peratus lebih berkemungkinan untuk mendapat tekanan darah tinggi.

Diet yang tinggi-garam dipercayai bertanggungjawab sebanyak 20 peratus hingga 40 peratus daripada semua kes-kes tekanan darah tinggi di Amerika Syarikat.

Oleh kerana kajian hanya melibatkan orang Eropah berkulit putih, keputusan perlu direplikasi terhadap Hispanik, Afrika-Amerika dan lain-lain di Amerika Syarikat, namun, ada penyelidik lain yang mendapati adanya hubungan antara pemakanan yang tinggi garam dan tekanan darah tinggi dalam populasi lain, Forman berkata.

# # #

Kisah di atas adalah berdasarkan pada berita keluaran 18 Jun, 2012 oleh Persatuan Jantung Amerika.

Kajian tersebut disiarkan dalam edaran jurnal Persatuan Jantung Amerika:
J. P. Forman, L. Scheven, P. E. de Jong, S. J. L. Bakker, G. C. Curhan, R. T. Gansevoort. Association between Sodium Intake and Change in Uric Acid, Urine Albumin Excretion, and the Risk of Developing Hypertension. Circulation, 2012; DOI: 10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.112.096115

Secondhand Smoke, Type 2 Diabetes and Obesity


Secondhand smoke is a mixture of the smoke given off by the burning end of a cigarette, pipe, or cigar, and the smoke exhaled by smokers.

Children are particularly vulnerable to the effects of secondhand smoke because they are still developing physically, have higher breathing rates than adults, and have little control over their indoor environments.    Exposure to secondhand smoke can cause asthma in children who have not previously exhibited symptoms. Infants and children younger than 6 who are regularly exposed to secondhand smoke are at increased risk of lower respiratory track infections, such as pneumonia and bronchitis and while teens are at increased risk of middle ear infections. Exposure to secondhand smoke increases the risk for Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.

Secondhand Smoke is Linked to Type 2 Diabetes and Obesity in Adults

A new study has shown that adults who are exposed to secondhand smoke have higher rates of obesity and Type 2 diabetes than do nonsmokers without environmental exposure to tobacco smoke.

“More effort needs to be made to reduce exposure of individuals to secondhand smoke,” said study co-author Theodore C. Friedman, MD, PhD, chairman of the Department of Internal Medicine at Charles R. Drew University, Los Angeles.

Cotinine is a metabolite of nicotine, and serum cotinine measures a person’s exposure to tobacco smoke.

In their current study, Friedman and his fellow researchers used serum cotinine levels to verify passive smoking. They examined data from more than 6,300 adults who participated from 2001 to 2006 in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), a nationally representative sample of the U.S. population.

The investigators defined current smokers, which made up 25 percent of the sample, as survey participants who reported that they smoke cigarettes and who had a measured serum cotinine level greater than 3 nanograms per milliliter (ng/mL). Nonsmokers (41 percent of the sample) were those who answered “no” to the question “Do you smoke cigarettes?” and who had a cotinine level below 0.05 ng/mL. Participants who answered “no” to this question but whose cotinine level was above 0.05 ng/mL were defined as secondhand “smokers” (34 percent).

In analyzing these groups, the researchers controlled for age, sex, race, alcohol consumption and physical activity. They found that, compared with nonsmokers, secondhand smokers had a higher measure of insulin resistance, a condition that can lead to Type 2 diabetes; higher levels of fasting blood glucose, or blood sugar; and a higher hemoglobin A1c, a measure of blood sugar control over the past three months.

Secondhand smokers also had a higher rate of Type 2 diabetes, as defined by a hemoglobin A1c greater than 6.5 percent. Secondhand smokers had a similar rate of diabetes to that of current smokers, according to Friedman.

Secondhand smokers also had a higher body mass index (BMI), a measure of body fat, compared with nonsmokers, Friedman reported. Current smokers had a lower BMI than nonsmokers but a higher hemoglobin A1c. When the researchers controlled for BMI, they found that secondhand smokers and current smokers still had a higher hemoglobin A1c than did nonsmokers.

“This finding shows that the association between secondhand smoke and Type 2 diabetes was not due to obesity,” Friedman said. “More studies are needed to show whether secondhand smoke is a cause of diabetes.”


The above story is based on the June 25, 2012 news release by Endocrine Society

The research results will be presented on July 1, 2012 at The Endocrine Society’s 94th Annual Meeting in Houston. 

The A1C test is a common blood test used to diagnose type 1 and type 2 diabetes and then to gauge how well you're managing your diabetes. The A1C test goes by many other names, including glycated hemoglobin, glycosylated hemoglobin, hemoglobin A1C and HbA1c.

The A1C test result reflects your average blood sugar level for the past two to three months. Specifically, the A1C test measures what percentage of your hemoglobin — a protein in red blood cells that carries oxygen — is coated with sugar (glycated). The higher your A1C level, the poorer your blood sugar control. And if you have previously diagnosed diabetes, the higher the A1C level, the higher your risk of diabetes complications. Source: Mayo Clinic