Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Hearing loss can increase dementia risk.....

Adults who experience hearing loss are at a higher risk of dementia and perhaps Alzheimer's disease than those who don't suffer hearing loss.

By the year 2050, an estimated 100 million people or nearly one in 85 individuals worldwide will be affected by dementia. Unfortunately, there are no known current interventions that are effective. Studies have focused on the identification of putative risk factors that could be targeted for prevention based on the assumption that dementia is easier to prevent than to reverse. Candidate factors include low involvement in leisure activities and social interactions, sedentary state, diabetes mellitus and hypertension.

assess another potential risk factor, hearing loss,researchers studied 639 American men and women aged between 35 and 90 years, none of whom had dementia at the start of the study in 1990. Cognitive and hearing tests were conducted over a four-year period, followed by patient tracking through 2008 (for an average of about 12 years) to monitor for signs of dementia and/or Alzheimer's.

It was noted that 125 study participants had  "mild" hearing loss 
(25 to 40 decibels) 53 had "moderate" loss (41 to 70 decibels), while  six had "severe" loss (more than 70 decibels). Ultimately, 58 patients were diagnosed with dementia, of whom 37 had Alzheimer's disease.

By cross-referencing their data, it was found that mild hearing loss was linked to a slight increase in dementia risk, but the risk increased noticeably among those with moderate and severe hearing loss. For participants aged 60 years and older, more than 36 percent of dementia risk was linked to hearing loss, the study said. The worse the hearing loss, the worse the risk for Alzheimer's as well. For every additional loss of 10 decibels of hearing capacity, Alzheimer's risk appeared to go up by 20 percent. 
There was no association between self-reported use of hearing aids and a reduction in dementia or Alzheimer's disease risk.

The researchers postulate that a number of mechanisms may be theoretically implicated. Dementia may be overdiagnosed in individuals with hearing loss, or those with cognitive impairment may be overdiagnosed with hearing loss. The two conditions may share an underlying neuropathologic process. Or, hearing loss may be causually related to dementia, possibly through exhaustion of cognitive reserve, social isolation, or a combination of these pathways.

The findings suggest that there is a strong predictive association between hearing loss as an adult and the likelihood of developing cognitive decline with ageing. 
With the increasing number of people with hearing loss, research into the mechanisms linking hearing loss with dementia and the potential of rehabilitative strategies to moderate this association are critically needed.

Cholesterol content of Different Foods....

S.No.FoodCholesterol (mg/100g edible portion
3Cheese, cheddar100
4Cheese, cottage (paneer)15
5Cheese, cream120
6Cheese spread65
7Chicken, with skin100
8Chicken, without skin60
10Egg, whole550
11Egg, white-
12Egg, yolk1500
14Ice cream45
19Milk, whole11
20Milk, skim3
21Milk powder, whole85

What are antioxidants?

Antioxidants are substances that may protect cells from the damage caused by unstable molecules known as free radicals. Damage due to free radicals damage may lead to cancer. Antioxidants interact with and stabilise free radicals and may prevent some of the damage free radicals otherwise might cause. Examples of antioxidants include beta-carotene, lycopene, vitamins C, E, and A, and other substances.
Which foods are rich in antioxidants?
Fruits and vegetables provide a range of antioxidants, vitamins A, C and E, carotenoids and flavonoids. Fruits and vegetables that have comparatively high levels of antioxidants include apples, grapefruit, green grapes, oranges, peach, red plums, strawberries, beetroot, sprouts cauliflower, green cabbage, lettuce, onion, spinach and tomatoes. Antioxidants are abundant in other foods including nuts, grains and some meats, poultry and fish.
  • Beta-carotene is found in many foods that are orange in colour, including sweet potatoes, carrots, apricots, pumpkin, and mangoes. Some green leafy vegetables including spinach, are also rich in beta-carotene
  • Lutein, best known for its association with healthy eyes, is abundant in green, leafy vegetable, spinach etc.
  • Lycopene is a potent antioxidant found in tomatoes, watermelon, guava, papaya, apricots, pink grapefruit, oranges, and other foods
  • Selenium is a mineral, not an antioxidant nutrient. However, it is a component of antioxidant enzymes. The amount of selenium in soil, which varies by region, determines the amount of selenium in the foods grown in that soil. Animals that eat grains or plants grown in selenium-rich soil have higher levels of selenium in their muscle
  • Vitamin A is found in three main forms: retinol (Vitamin A1), 3,4-didehydroretinol (Vitamin A2), and 3-hydroxy-retinol (Vitamin A3). Foods rich in vitamin A include liver, sweet potatoes, carrots, milk, egg yolks and mozzarella cheese
  • Vitamin C is also called ascorbic acid, and can be found in high abundance in many fruits and vegetables and is also found in cereals, beef, poultry and fish
  • Vitamin E, also known as alpha-tocopherol, is found in almonds, in many oils including wheat germ, safflower, corn and soybean oils, and also found in mangoes, nuts, broccoli and other foods
What are the uses?
Antioxidants help to reduce the risk of cancer, heart attack and stroke.

Protection against heart disease:

Deficiencies in Vitamins A, C, E and beta carotene have been linked to heart disease. All of these nutrients have antioxidant effects and other properties that may benefit the heart.

  • Vitamin E: eating foods rich in natural vitamin E may be protective. Vitamin E may prevent blood clots and the formation of fatty plaques and cell proliferation on the walls of the arteries
  • Vitamin C: Vitamin C appears to maintain blood vessel flexibility and to improve circulation in the arteries
  • Folate, Vitamin B6, and Vitamin B12. Several important studies have demonstrated a link between deficiencies in the B vitamins folate, B6, and B12 and elevated blood levels of homocysteine, an amino acid believed to be a risk factor for atherosclerosis. Both B12 and folate reduce homocysteine levels, and evidence is increasing that this effect may protect the heart. 
  • Vitamin B3. Niacin (vitamin B3) is used for lowering unhealthy cholesterol levels
  • Carotenoids and heart protection: a high intake of fruits and vegetables containing beta carotene, lycopene, and other carotenoids may reduce the risk of heart attack
  • Phytochemicals and heart protection: Flavonoids, particularly those found in both black and green tea, onions, red wine or red grape juice, and apples, may protect against damage done by cholesterol and help prevent blood clots
Protection against stroke:

  • Vitamin C. There is a lower risk for stroke in subjects with the highest blood levels of vitamin C. Studies have found protection in foods rich in vitamin C, although supplements do not appear to offer any advantage. 

  • B Vitamins: Vitamins B6, B12, and folate are important for the production of neurotransmitters, the chemical messengers in the brain that regulate mood and concentration. Deficiencies in these vitamins have been observed in people with depression and dementia. People who have higher blood levels of folic acid have a lower than average risk for stroke

  • Carotenoids and stroke protection: Studies have reported a lower risk of stroke from carotenoids, including beta carotene and lycopene.

  • Protection against cancer:
    Many fresh fruits and vegetables contain chemicals that may fight many cancers, including lung, breast, colon, and prostate cancers. Examples of important cancer-fighting foods include the following:
    • Cruciferous vegetables (e.g., cabbage, sprouts, broccoli)
    • Tomatoes (which contain lycopene)
    • Carrots (which contain alpha and beta carotene)
    There is some evidence that antioxidants may enhance the anticancer effects of chemotherapy. Antioxidant nutrients that may have properties that may help reduce the side effects of chemotherapy include vitamins E and C, beta carotene, isoflavones found in soy, and quercetin (found in red wine and purple grape juice).
    Vitamins and cancer protection.
    Although supplements of vitamins A, C, and E appear to have no advantages, studies have reported an association between low blood levels of these antioxidant vitamins and a higher risk for cancer.
    • Vitamin D. Some studies have suggested that certain vitamin D compounds may inhibit certain cancer cells, specifically prostate cancer, from proliferating. 
    • Folate and B12. These B vitamins helps prevent cells from becoming malignant. Folic acid supplements may provide some protection against cervical and colon cancer and may reduce the risk for breast cancer among women who regularly drink alcohol
    • Carotenoids and cancer protection. A number of studies have reported that fruits and vegetables rich in carotenoids are associated with protection against many cancers. Lycopene, found in tomatoes, may have particular value in protection against prostate, colon, lung, and bladder cancer.

    Protection against other diseases include: Alzheimer's Disease, asthma, eye disorders, skin disorders, wrinkles, osteoporosis, gall stones and menstrual disorders.

    Why am I unable to hear even after using a hearing aid?

    It seems that the patient is suffering from sensorineural hearing loss. If loss is more than 80 dB the hearing aid does not give satisfaction. In such cases, cochlear implant may help, if found suitable after investigations like CAT scan and MRI of ear.

    Older adults must exercise more....

    Older adults have to exercise more than younger adults in order to maintain their muscle mass.

    To examine how much exercise was needed to maintain or increase muscle mass, size and strength in adults aged 20 to 35 years and ages 60 to 75, researchers assigned all participants three sets of resistance training exercises (leg press, knee extensions and squats) three times a week. In the 32-week second phase, participants were divided into three groups: some were assigned to stop resistance training altogether, some were told to reduce training to one day a week, and others were asked to cut down training to one day and one set of resistance exercises (as opposed to three sets) a week.

    It was found that in the younger adults, muscle size was maintained in both groups that reduced their training. This was not the case in the older adults, whose muscle size shrank even if they did one to three sets of the exercises one day a week. However, one day of resistance training a week was enough for both younger and older adults to maintain their strength.

    The study is the first to suggest that older adults require greater weekly maintenance exercise than younger individuals to maintain resistance-training-induced increase in muscle mass.

    Monday, 8 August 2011

    How to treat acne at Home...Home remedies

    Tired of the regular zits that keep popping up every now and then? While if you suffer from an acute acne problem, it's best that you visit a dermatologist, you can bid adieu to a pimple here and there by following these simple home remedies - just make sure you don't suffer from any allergies. Acne usually starts with blackheads, which are formed when oil along with dead cells gets stuck in your pores and turn black. The inflammation when it turns red are the unsightly pimples that all of us dread. While a regular clean-up will reduce your blackheads, here's what you can do to prevent them...

    - Take a few pieces of jaiphal (nutmeg), mix it with some unboiled milk and apply the paste on your acne. Wash it off after about two hours.

    - Make a mixture of cinnamon powder and honey and apply on your pimples before you go to bed in the night. Wash it with warm water when you wake up in the morning. Do this for a fortnight and watch your pimples disappear.

    - Not only are oranges good for overall health, you can use orange peels as a remedy for pimples too. Grind the peels, mix them with a few drops of water and apply it on your face.

    - Mix a tablespoon each of fresh lime juice and groundnut oil and apply it on your face to avoid blackheads.

    - Leave fresh mint juice on your face overnight to tame pimples.

    - Take methi (fenugreek) leaves and make a paste. Apply it every night for 15 minutes and wash it off.

    - Take turmeric powder and neem leaves. Apply the mixture on your pimples. Leave it on your face for about half an hour.

    - Take equal quantities of rose water and lime juice and apply the mixture on the affected area. Leave it on for 20 minutes.

    - Make a face-wash by adding fresh lime juice to a cup of unboiled milk and using it on your face.

    - Take some tomato pulp and apply it on your face. Leave it for 45 minutes and wash it off.

    - Take a few drops of gulab jal (rose-water) and mix it with sandalwood. Apply the paste on your face and wash it off after 20 minutes. 

    Manageable Hair with Olive Oil

     Olive oil has been hailed as the ultimate when it comes to health. It is as beneficial and effective as a beauty aid as it is when consumed.

    Here's how you can use olive oil to get silky shiny hair.

    - Pour around half a cup of olive oil into a vessel and heat it. The oil shouldn't be too hot or you will end up with burnt fingers. Warm the oil only so much that you can comfortably touch the oil.

    - Cover your shoulders with a towel to avoid staining your clothes.

    - Take a little oil in your palms and massage it into your hair. Concentrate on massaging the scalp if you have a dry, itchy scalp. However, if you have an oily scalp then avoid applying oil your scalp. Oil only your hair and leave an inch and a half from the roots unoiled. Massage with your fingertips and not your nails. You might end up with a bruised scalp. Massaging with the fingertips also stimulates the hair follicles. This also propagates hair growth. Which is why you must massage your hair at least once a week.

    - Pile your hair on the top and cover it completely with a shower cap or plastic wrap. Covering hair helps the oil to penetrate deeply. You can also wrap your hair with a warm towel.

    - Keep the oil on your hair for at least half an hour and not more than one hour. Wash your hair with a mild shampoo.