Tuesday, August 24, 2021

South Asian women in Canada at higher risk of heart disease

 Women of South Asian descent in Canada are much more prone to heart disease than Canadian women of European or Chinese origin, according to a study.

 The study led by Sonia Anand, an assistant professor of medicine at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, was released at Victoria in British Columbia province where an international conference on women and heart disease is being held.


The study is the first to examine cardiac risk factors among women of South Asian descent and has found that they have higher than average rates of diabetes, elevated levels of dangerous low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, lower good or HDL cholesterol and greater abdominal obesity. The study surveyed 155 South Asian, 155 Chinese and 169 European women.


Sixteen percent of the South A

sian women had diabetes compared to only six per cent of Chinese and European women. Cholesterol ratios were significantly worse among the South Asian women and their waist to hip ratio was much greater.


But a few factors weighed in favor of the women of South Asian descent --they had less hypertension (14 per cent) compared to 16 per cent Chinese and 18 per cent European and only two per cent of them smoked, as against six per cent of Chinese and 44 per cent women of European descent.


"There are certain areas where South Asian women do better than other women," Anand said in her presentation. "And there are certain areas where they do worse. But because they have a higher rate of cardiovascular disease prevalence, the areas where they do less well must be considered as potential risk factors."


The high rate of diabetes and abnormal lipids go against the South Asian women. Chinese women have extremely low risk factors in these areas. Anand attributed this to the consumption of more fruit and vegetables by the Chinese women. The vegetables and fruit they consume are "either lightly steamed or eaten raw so they derive more nutritional value from them."


South Asians, however, "make their vegetables into a stew or boil them and this could reduce valuable nutrient components," Anand said. At the conference, health professionals from around the world have come together to discuss the latest in science, policy and practice as they discuss prevention, treatment and rehabilitation of heart disease and strokes in women.


A fact sheet released ahead of the four-day conference said of the 16.7 million deaths each year attributed to cardiovascular diseases, about 11 million are caused by various forms of heart disease and 5.1 million by strokes. By 2020, 40 percent of all deaths will be related to cardiovascular diseases.


Tobacco, participants were told, causes over four million deaths a year, mainly from cardiovascular diseases and lung cancer. An estimated 600 million people worldwide have high blood pressure and three million of them die each year.


Linda Van Horn, professor of preventive medicine at Northwestern University Medical School in Chicago, said according to a study by her, oats are a natural, inexpensive, side-effect free way of unclogging cholesterol-laden arteries. Men, women and children can benefit from the low-fat, high nutrition cereal, but for women going through menopause there are extra benefits.


"Don't save oats just for your cereal bowl," said Rose Schwartz, consulting dietitian to the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Ontario. "Oats, which are rich in cholesterol-lowering soluble fiber, are also terrific for making cookies, quick breads as well as crunchy topping for fruit crisps."

Red wine best for heart, say experts

 The incidence of coronary heart disease (CHD) is less in patients consuming less than two or three units of alcohol daily as it increases HDL cholesterol which is cardio-protective. Red wine is the best because it contains antioxidants which prevent CHD, says heart expert Dr PC Saxena, professor and HoD of MLN Medical College Cardiology department.

Prof Saxena pleads for a massive public education programmed on coronary risk factors and lifestyle modifications for reducing the incidence of coronary diseases in developing countries like India.

Striking a warning against Indians going to have the highest incidence of CHD in the world and practically in an epidemic form, Prof Saxena says that modifiable risk factors constituted smoking, high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, physical activity and stress.

Smoking or tobacco chewing constituted a major risk factor for CHD. The number and duration of cigarette smoked is directly proportional to incidence of CHD. In smokers the chances of heart attack are two or three times more than non-smokers. Cigar

smoking is less harmful compared to cigarette smoking, he said.

Prof Saxena has expressed concern at children in rural India smoking at an early age and by the time they attained the age of 40 years they suffered heart attack, he pointed out.

Besides, obesity, he said, increased two-fold the risk of CHD. This necessitated maintenance of target weight by diet therapy alone or diet and exercise. Excessive depository fat in abdomen and increased waist-to-hip ratio are associated with increased incidence of CHD, he warned.

The non-vegetarians have a high incidence of CHD as compared to vegetarians. Diabetes is one of the most important risk factors of CHD. Presently in India 20 million people are diabetics and are likely to reach 52 million by 2025. Prevalence of CHD in diabetics is 20 to 25 per cent. In diabetics the incidence of silent heart attack is 30 to 40 per cent, he pointed out.

Walking, jogging, cycling for at least 30 minutes thrice a week 373 or for 30 minutes daily reduced CHD factors by 41 per cent, Prof Saxena added.

Scientists plan to grow human hearts in labs

 A cure for broken hearts is on the horizon, as US scientists say they will soon be able to grow new human hearts in the laboratory.

The University of Washington (UW) in the north-western United States announced that it will lead and coordinate a $10-million, 10-year effort to grow a human heart using a patient's own cells.

The bioengineering project, funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), will involve nearly 50 scientists working at nine UW laboratories, along with five other laboratories in private industry and at the University of Toronto.

"This is a sort of mini-Apollo mission," said Buddy Ratner, director of the UW's engineered biomaterials center and lead investigator for the project.

"Their goal was to walk on the moon in 10 years. We also have an exciting goal to grow a human heart ventricle."

Heart disease accounts for more than one-third of all deaths in the United States, where only 2,300 hearts are available for transplants each year. That means some 50,000 people who meet the strict criteria for

transplants die each year due to a lack of available organs.

"This is going to change medicine," said Margaret Allen, a UW heart transplant surgeon and participant in Ratner's project. "We'll use a patient's own cells to prevent them from ever needing a heart transplant."

Simple ways to cut down calories


  • Consuming Fewer Calories: One of the best strategies to cut down on calories is by not consuming extra calories. Unfortunately, the risk of developing an eating disorder is linked with this strategy. Therefore, it is advised that you consult a health expert before cutting down on calories.

  • Small Servings: Instead of 2-3 large meal servings a day, have 4-5 small servings. Doing so will not only reduce hunger pangs but also cut down on calories.

  • Binge on Healthy Foods: Avoid snacks high in calories when you are hungry. In fact, fruits can be a healthy alternative to snacks that are high in calories. Eat to reap healthy benefits, such as better digestion and instant energy. Likewise, prefer water when craving for cold drinks.

  • Carry Healthy Foods: Do not take unhealthy foods to work. When you step out of your house, make sure that you carry nutritious foods. Apple, peanut butter sandwiches and fruit juice are excellent options to carry along when looking forward to cutting calories.

  • Abstain from Alcohol: Alcohol is high in calories. Apart from accumulating fat, it disrupts several functions of the body.

  • Engage in Physical Activities at Home: Household chores, such as dusting, cleaning, playing with kids and laundry will help you burn calories.

  • Lifestyle Modification: Make some changes in your routine, such as engage in physical exercise and eat healthy to burn calories.

  • Figure out your Average consumption and calorie Requirement: To cut down the calorie intake, you must figure out your average caloric consumption.

  • Don’t Set Improbable Targets: There is no urgency as in deadlines to burn calories and lose weight. You can cut down on your current average calorie consumption without having to give your favorite delicacies up.  All you need to do is adopt a flexible approach to limit caloric intake.

  • Seek Expert Advice: A health expert should be consulted if you find it difficult to structure a diet. Discuss your diet pattern along with other medical conditions that you may be suffering from to come up with an appropriate diet plan. How many calories one consumes and expends depends on  physical attributes, such as age, height, weight, gender and amount of activity. Therefore, it is advised that you take the help of a health expert before adhering to a specific approach to cut down calories.


Onion is a bulbous plant that offers many layers of beauty and health benefits. It sure is an indispensable part of our meals, but can it be of any good for one’s hair? Yes, it does sound somewhat strange to acknowledge its aroma on your hair, but what if we told you it reverses graying and loss of hair? Yes, it is true.

Why onion and not potato?

Well, nothing comes easy. Onions are rich in an essential nutrient required for hair growth: sulphur. A high amount of sulphur in the onions can make them especially effective in stimulating hair regrowth and regenerating hair follicles. Some other essential minerals as well as vitamins include vitamin C and B6, magnesium, calcium and potassium.


Besides being a useful treatment for your hair, onions can help in treating skin conditions because they have the ability to promote blood circulation and decrease inflammation.

How to use Onion as a hair loss remedy ?

Apply a freshly squeezed raw onion juice to your scalp directly. Massage it deep into the scalp as well as hair roots. Leave the juice on the scalp for at least half an hour before you shampoo it off. Make sure you do the treatment at least three times a week for better result.

In a lot of studies, participants who applied onion juice on their hair witnessed a dramatic improvement of hair thickness within just a few months of using this remedy.


If the smell is annoying, you could use the mixture of water and vinegar after using onion juice.

This remedy is cheap, but if it does not work on you, visit your dermatologist.

3 Common myths about water purifiers debunked

 As we all know that around 70 percent of the human body is made of water, it is essential for your body to stay healthy.  However, that is not enough. You need to make sure that your body gets clean water as contaminated water–that contains impurities–does more harm to your health than good. Unfortunately, the quality of water has worsened in recent years and problems associated with water contamination have increased tremendously. The widespread problem of water contamination has provided manufacturers of water purifiers the perfect opportunity to market them.

These companies often claim to have developed more advanced water purification products and technologies to reduce the risk of water borne diseases. However, they often tend to confuse consumers by twisting or manipulating facts to suit their advertising campaigns. Here are some of the most common myths associated with water purifiers.

Reverse osmosis (RO) is the latest technology

A number of people end up buying RO water purifiers b

ecause they believe it is the best and the latest technology in water purification. In India, there are 17 different kinds of water conditions and there is no one size-fits-all technology that can be adopted to purify water. Water quality differs not only between geographies but even within a given region.


Moreover, if one uses RO water purification in areas where it is not required, then it leads to ‘demineralized water'. Demineralized water has a substantial lack of essential minerals in it and is not considered ideal for drinking. RO technology in a water purifier on its own may not be enough or suitable for every type of water.

 Water purifiers do not retain essential mineral

False! They do; it's just that an incorrect purification technique that doesn't suit the water type may lead to removal of essential minerals, such as calcium, magnesium and salt from water. The notion that all water purifiers will drain away minerals from water is incorrect. However, using a purifier with a water purification technique that doesn't suit the water may drain the minerals from the water. For example, an RO purifier must not be used if the total dissolved solids (TDS) value of the water is below 200ppm. Using RO on such water may remove all the essential minerals from it.

Boiling water is enough

This is one of the most common myths. The fact is that boiling water gets rid of water-borne bacteria and viruses but it has no effect on chlorine content and cysts, and it doesn't remove turbidity and organic and inorganic impurities either. Also, water needs to be boiled for a minimum of 20 minutes for it to remove the disease-causing microorganisms. Secondly, most people are unaware that boiled water, when kept in an open container to cool down, is prone to re-contamination by certain bacteria.


Monday, August 23, 2021

Addicted to coffee? Here is how you could be unknowingly sabotaging your system.

It can interfere with the absorption of iron

Drinking too much coffee can interfere with the way your kidney and stomach absorb iron, magnesium and other essential minerals from the food you consume.  Deficiency of magnesium can affect your bowel movements and a poor absorption of this element can make things worse for your stomach.

It can give you a long term stench breath

For those of you who have never realized, coffee has a dehydration effect and may even cause a dry mouth.  As a result, the mucosal cells, which live for around 3 days before they get washed away when they die, could not get flushed out on time, which leaves you with a stinky smell. The more coffee you drink, the more the cells hang around and decay.

 It may interfere with the absorption of food

Although a cupper first thing in the morning is known to stimulate contractions in the bowels to push out the waste quickly, it can also cause the food in your stomach to pass through the small intestines without allowing enough time for the

nutrients to get absorbed.

Coffee on an empty stomach may lead to bloating and pain

Apart from stimulating contractions, intake of coffee on an empty stomach first thing in the morning can enhance the release of digestive juices, such as hydrochloric acid production (HCL), even when there isn’t enough food to be digested. Besides, the gastric acids can then further irritate the lining of your intestine, causing bloating and stomach pain.


Coffee can contribute to an expanding waistline

If you don't want to expand your waistline or are looking forward to reducing some pounds, instead of preparing your coffee with whole milk, go for black coffee as it can save up to at least 160 calories.


Many factors and repercussions can be associated with painkiller addiction. But, a fact that remains common throughout is that no one decides or chooses to become addicted to prescription painkillers. There was never a person who popped an OxyContin and then decided to spend the rest of his life in isolation.


However, in many developed countries like the USA, while illegal street drug abuse is declining, the abuse of prescription painkillers is rising.


It is for the same reason that like any other commonly abused drug, opiate narcotics or prescription painkillers have the ability to stimulate areas of the brain that are linked with releasing pleasurable feelings.

5 Reasons You Should Do Bridges Daily


  • There is no doubt, a strong and toned rear has so many benefits. It not only helps you look fabulous but also makes you strong. It does not matter if you have flabby or flat glutens, you can easily sculpt them in no time by practicing bridges regularly.

  • Here is why you should add bridges to your workout every day:

  • Reduce Knee and Back Pain

  • The posterior chain, i.e. glutens and hamstrings, easily get neglected. The quadriceps usually take over all your daily activities and high-intensity workouts, and therefore, do most of the work which often leads to knee and

    back pain. This is mostly because the dominance of one muscle over another can lead to injury but don’t worry, you can try bridges to engage that posterior chain to even out the muscle use.

  • Improve Athletic Performance

  • Nothing is as good as strong glutens when it comes to producing power. As we know power boosts all the athletic movements hence, strong glutens help you run faster and jump higher.

  • Also read: Yoga Asana for Full Body Pain Relief.

  • Your Clothes Will Fit Better

  • A high, toned and rounded rear looks great in any situation and stronger glutens make your shape look better in whatever you wear.

  • Strengthen Your Core

  • The bridge exercise activates all the core muscles, including the transverse abdominal (flattens your core), rectus abdominal (six pack) and oblique's (hourglass figure). So, try any of the bridge variations to work on these muscles deeply and tighten up your muscles in one easy move.

  • Improve Your Posture

  • Do bridges on a regular basis as it strengthens your glutes to maintain a better posture when you're sitting or standing for an extended period of time.