Thursday, December 23, 2010

Energy-saving and money-saving bulbs, the compact fluorescent bulbs are not safe to incandescent light bulbs which we used for decades. The fused incandescent bulbs can be thrown to the waste and it is not dangerous to the environment or persons dealing with these wastes. On the other hand, the energy-saving and money-saving compact fluorescent bulbs are not safe for the environment and to humans. The reason is this energy-saving bulb contains mercury, a toxic metal.

Why do the energy-saving bulbs need mercury? Compact fluorescent light bulbs are tubes containing mercury and noble gases, mostly argon. When the bulb is switched on, electrons stream from a tungsten-coated coil. They collide with mercury atoms, exciting their electrons and creating flashes of ultraviolet light. A phosphor coating, mostly composed of metal oxides or phosphates, on the inside of the tube absorbs this light and re-emits it at visible wavelengths. That is why without mercury there are no energy-saving bulbs. The new generation bulb has 5 mg mercury. The first-generation CFL bulbs had 100 mg mercury.

If an energy-saving bulb is broken in a room the whole room will be contaminated with mercury. You cannot clean this room by yourself. You need special companies who decontaminate the whole room that costs you a fortune, around $ 2000. If you cannot afford this, the contaminated room can only be sealed.

If we throw the used bulbs in the garbage the broken bulbs can release mercury. This can contaminate the environment, soil and even the ground water. Persons who collect the garbage or sort them out are also in danger with mercury.

There are already studies that prove the adverse effects of these energy-saving and money-saving bulbs. We must save energy, but not at the cost of our health. These bulbs must be treated as special wastes, collected and recycled. Unfortunately, the available recycling facilities and capacities are not worth to mention.

The industry must produce only safe products. If profit is the only aim then such things happens quickly in the name of energy-saving. The consumers must be careful and the law-makers should not forget their responsibilities.

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Monday, December 20, 2010

It is a problem every year for many women. The parties are coming. The beautiful dress must sit well. Parties with alcohol, snacks and good food are in plenty to attend. Parties are good for the Christmas and New Year. During this time more alcohol is consumed even after the parties and more junk foods are also eaten. Many try with crash diets to manage this problem before Christmas.

Is it normal and healthy? No, it is not healthy. If you eat very little the body gets not enough nutrients to run the metabolism properly. The metabolism slows down very much. This means that you put on weight even with minimum intake of normal food. That means it takes long time for the metabolism to be normal once again. In this dangerous period many put on too much weight.

Eat healthy throughout the year and regular physical activities help you to keep your weight under control.

You need not sacrifice the Christmas Turkey or the New Year parties. Move enough after these and this helps you to be fit.

Crash dieting can cause many health problems. If it is practiced very often the life expectancy is also reduced.

You can plan everything in a good way. You know your body very well. Alcohol, food or whatever it may be, excess is always bad for our health. It is a process to learn how to eat well without suffering. If the will is there it is easy to lose the few kilos weight put on during Christmas and New Year very easily.

We all enjoy the Christmas and New Year Eve with wonderful food with our families and friends…

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Sunday, December 19, 2010

The desire to look beautiful made plastic surgery very common not only among the rich. Today many teenagers get plastic surgery gifts from their parents’. The single largest plastic surgery made is breast enlargement in our world. Only 4% are the essential after breast cancer. The rest is to enhance the beauty only. The average age is coming down and down for breast enlargement and it is at present just above 30 years. Even 18 years old teenagers are allowed to have saline breast enlargements.

The usual beauty corrections include:

• Breasts enlargement
• Removal of wrinkles with Botox
• Liposuction on waist, thighs and even on neck
• Mini brow lift
• Nose correction
• Ears pinned back
• Chin reduction
• Fat injection in lips and cheeks
• Buttocks augmentation

Plastic surgery for cosmetic reasons has its own advantages and disadvantages. A corrected nose or ears have made many very happy. The other extreme case is breasts enlargement. Here many women suffer a lot because of different health problems. Many must understand that the fault lies not in their breasts, but only in their brains. This can solve many problems. It is not only the large sum of the money spent but also the risks must be weighed before a plastic surgery.

It is very important to find a good plastic surgeon for your operation. There are many who are very costly, but very bad too. The common dangers and risks from the plastic surgery include:

• Pain and discomfort
• Bleeding – accumulation of clotted blood under the skin
• Seromas – accumulation of tissue fluids under the skin
• Infection
• Scarring
• Necrosis – death of tissues
• Nerve damage
• Risks due to anesthesia
• Death – excessive and repeated plastic surgery can change the structure of the body and there are death cases too

The problems associated with breast enlargement are many although the procedures have relatively improved in safety. But, the serious short- and long-term dangers and risks are always there. There are many mega studies on this subject and the problems include:

• Bleeding
• Chronic pain
• Infection
• Nipple and breast numbness
• Painfully sensitive nipples
• Scars
• Breakage of implants
• Leakage of implants
• Necrosis – the skin death
• More surgeries
• Patients dissatisfaction with her new breasts
• Physical and emotional disturbances

Studies show that women undergone breast enlargement surgery has more suicide risk than the average women. Other studies point out the increased risks for arthritis, rheumatic arthritis and joint stiffness in later life. The other health problems reported are numbness and stiffness in the hands, arms and feet, headaches and muscle pains.

There are no studies available on the negative effects on breastfeeding. Therefore, young women who want to have babies later must be very careful in their decisions to have a breast enlargement surgery.

Plastic surgery is also a surgery and so the necessary blood and physical tests must be done by your doctor to confirm whether you are fit for an operation or not. Have at least two opinions before you decide for a plastic surgery.

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Monday, December 13, 2010

Before I answer this question I would like to say that the pharmaceutical industry and alcohol industry have highly influential lobbies. This can be seen if you go through the literature and even many medical scientists say that a particular amount of alcohol is not a problem. But, we should not forget alcohol is always a problem and excess intake of painkillers is also a big problem. You can give many reasons to say it is harmless; but, it is a bad combination is the truth. Alcohol can increase the side effects of the painkillers or it can increase the drowsiness which can lead to accidents on the road or in the factory.

Overdose of painkillers are possible if you drink alcohol. With the negative influence of the alcohol many tend to take overdose and this can be fatal.

There are two different groups of painkillers; the over the counter painkillers from the pharmacies and the prescription painkillers. Prescription painkillers are very strong painkillers. We can see here the effect of alcohol on some of the mostly used painkillers in our world. These include:

• Aspirin and ibuprofen – these are over the counter painkillers. The common side effects of aspirin include heartburn, nausea, upset stomach, bloody stools, confusion, dizziness, drowsiness, severe or persistent stomach pain and vomiting. In the case of ibuprofen the side effects include dizziness, headache, nausea, gas, stomach pain or upset, bloody stools, chest pain, confusion, depression, fainting, fast or irregular heartbeat, seizures, shortness of breath, yellowing of the skin or eyes and vomiting. With these side effects alcohol has no place with aspirin and ibuprofen. The recommendation of 3 to 4 drinks for men and 2 to 3 drinks for women is only industry friendly and can do much harm to the patient who really needs a painkiller. Alcohol may increase the side effects, such as bleeding in the stomach or intestine by irritating the stomach. Stomach inflammation or ulceration can be made worse with alcohol.
• Paracetamol or Acetaminophen – this is also an over the counter painkiller. It is relatively safe in therapeutic doses. The overdose can cause side effects and these include nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, sweating, extreme tiredness, unusual bleeding or bruising, pain in the upper right part of the stomach, yellowing of the skin or eyes and flu-like symptoms. Excess paracetamol can damage liver and here also the alcohol can only increase the side effects. Therefore, painkillers and alcohol cannot go together.

The side effects can be experienced only up to 10% of the persons taking the painkillers are not an argument to drink alcohol. If you take over the counter or prescription drugs you must avoid alcohol completely.

Strong pain killers like codeine, dihydrocodeine, tramadol, morphine, meperidine or others need prescription from the doctors. Considering the side effects of the above strong painkillers, particularly drowsiness, your doctor advises you normally not to take alcohol.

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Saturday, December 11, 2010

Infant jaundice is a yellow discoloration in a newborn baby’s eyes and skin. It occurs because the baby’s blood contains excess bilirubin, a yellow-colored pigment that is released when the red blood cells dies. It is a common condition in babies born before 36 weeks of gestation. The baby’s liver is not mature enough to remove the excess bilirubin from the blood. In few cases an underlying disease may cause jaundice.

Signs of infant jaundice normally appear between the second to fourth days of life. They include:

• Yellowing of the skin
• Yellowing of the eyes

The yellow coloration starts first in the baby’s face and later it can be seen in the eyes, chest, abdomen, arms and legs. The easy check is to find whether the infant has jaundice or not is to press the baby’s forehead or tip of the nose. If the baby has jaundice the pressed areas become yellow. This should be done in day light only.

Bilirubin is a waste when aged red blood cells are broken down. Mother’s liver filters the bilirubin before birth. The newborn infant has high amount of red blood cells and mostly the liver is not mature enough to remove all the bilirubin formed quickly to the intestinal tract. It is normal in infants and that is why it is called physiologic jaundice. Bilirubin is removed mostly in the stool.

There may be other causes for the infant jaundice. In this case it will be much earlier or much later than the physiologic jaundice. Infection of the blood or bacterial, viral infections, liver malfunction, abnormal red blood cells, internal bleeding or enzyme deficiency can be other causes. Sometimes, the incompatibility of baby’s and mother’s blood can cause jaundice.

The risk factors for infant jaundice include premature birth, bruising during birth and different blood group of the mother and baby. Poor breastfeeding is also an important risk factor for infantile jaundice. It is because of low calories received and dehydration.

The symptoms of excess bilirubin in the blood include fever, high-pitched crying, difficult to wake, poor sucking or feeding and backward arching of the neck and body. Bilirubin is toxic to brain cells. If not treated quickly they can cause permanent brain damages.

The peak level of bilirubin is normally when the baby is three to five days old. In the hospital during these days bilirubin are often monitored in the blood. If you delivery your baby in the home then the attending nurse or doctor must take care of this. Mild infant jaundice mostly disappears without any treatment in two to three weeks. If it is moderate or severe the baby must be treated immediately in the home or must be admitted in a hospital. Necessary treatments as well as the right feeding are necessary to bring down the bilirubin level.

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Friday, December 10, 2010

During my last visit to India I was staying with my niece at Karaikudi, Sivagangai District, Tamil Nadu. In the morning I was sitting on the compound wall and her son was playing there. After ten minutes I noticed that he was taking something which was pink in colour from his pocket, smelling it and putting it back in his pocket. At first it did not draw my attention. Since he was repeating this several times, I asked him to show it. It was a broad tree shaped synthetic toy, very soft and smelt heavily on some organic solvent. I called my niece and advised her to throw it immediately and not to buy any cheap toy made in China. Her son can become easily addicted to organic solvent without knowing it.

It is the duty of the parents to learn and know more about these kinds of dangers which could be avoided completely. Do our parents have enough knowledge? To know more about the adverse effects of abusing solvents or inhalants read my article in

The important message is that poisons are everywhere in the environment. If we know this we can avoid much hidden poisons. When you confront with these poisons, if possible, it is better to remove it. Be happy to have this chance to do this as many environmental contaminations could not be traced or it is impossible to remove them.

Are you against Chinese toys or other products? I hear this very often. My clear answer is no, certainly not.

The German market is also full of Chinese products, from toys to electronic goods. But there is a big difference in the method of procuring the products from China by Germany and India. We, in Germany stipulate all the technical specifications to the Chinese companies and they produce accordingly products for us. This means which raw materials they must use or which they must not use since they are banned by German laws. For example, 200 standard companies are producing toys to the Western markets according to specifications, but, at the same time, 2000 companies are producing cheap and dangerous toys for the rest of the world. We all want to cheap things and this is the biggest mistake. If the consumers look at the good quality these cheap toys have no chance in the market.

It could also be done in India and in other countries too; it is the duty of the concerned authorities to enforce the right guidelines or laws. It is the duty of the consumers till then to avoid buying such poisonous toys or other products.

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Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Acid – alkaline balance in the blood is important for our health. Too much of acidic diet can decrease the body’s ability to absorb enough essential nutrients and minerals. This makes you more susceptible to various diseases. Foods which release bicarbonate into blood and tissues after digestion are alkaline foods and foods which release acid after digestion into blood and tissues are acidic foods. Acid producing foods are responsible for the deficiencies of the essential minerals such as calcium, magnesium, potassium and sodium. Our food must contain 80% alkaline and 20% acidic foods and this combination is very good to reduce weight easily. Moreover, the advantages are increased stamina and strength and stronger immune system.

We can classify the alkaline foods in three groups. It depends upon the amount of bicarbonates produced and thus the pH.

The very good alkaline foods include:

• Lemons
• Agar-agar
• Cayenne pepper and all chillies
• Figs
• Limes
• Watermelon and other melons
• Papaya
• Seaweeds
• Watercress
• Kiwifruit
• Pears
• Raisins
• Plums
• Cantaloupe
• Dried dates
• Kelp
• Mango
• Parsley
• Grapes
• Asparagus
• Passion fruit
• Pineapple
• Fruit juices
• Vegetable juices

These foods can produce a pH of 8.5 to 9.0

The good alkaline foods include:

• Apple
• Apricot
• Alfalfa sprouts
• Arrowroot
• Avocado
• Banana
• Berries
• Carrot
• Celery
• Currant
• Grapefruit
• Guava
• Green leafy herbs
• Nectarine
• Peach
• Peas
• Pumpkin
• Spinach

• Bamboo shoots
• Beans
• Beets
• Bell pepper
• Broccoli
• Cabbage
• Cauliflower
• Carob
• Ginger
• Kohlrabi
• Lettuce
• Okra
• Orange
• Parsnip
• Potato
• Strawberry
• Squash
• Sweet corn
• Apple cider vinegar

These foods can produce a pH of 7.5 to 8.0

The slightly alkaline foods include:

• Almond
• Artichoke
• Barley
• Brown rice
• Brussels sprouts
• Cherries
• Coconut
• Cucumber
• Egg plant
• Mushrooms
• Olives
• Onion
• Radish
• Tomato
• Chestnut
• Amaranth
• Chestnut
• Millet
• Sesame seeds
• Soy bean and soy products
• Sprouted grains
• Yeast

These foods can produce a pH of 7.0

It is important to eat vegetables every day. If you eat meat and meat products vegetables are must to eat. Here also eat more vegetables than fruits. 4 to 5 servings of vegetables a day is very healthy. It is in your hands to be healthy and happy. You can start today to do something for that…

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Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) are organic compounds with two to ten chlorine atoms. Thus there are 209 substances of high toxicity. These are used as coolant, insulating fluid in transformers, additive in PVC coated electrical wires and electronic components. These are also present in carbonless copy paper, adhesives and in paints. Most PCBs are toxic and so these were banned in 1970. But these groups are classified as persistent organic pollutants which bio accumulates in humans and animals even today.

PCBs are persistent organic pollutants and these were in the environment through use and waste. These were banned almost 40 years ago but we still found everywhere. Unfortunately these are still used in transformers. The very bad thing in our world is even if a toxic substance is banned in one country they produce this and sell to other countries, particularly to developing countries which may not have strict environmental laws and enough supervision in handling and disposal. But the wastes formed during production of organochlorines would be disposed in some poor countries. Tourism with industrial chemical wastes should not be allowed and the persons organizing this dirty business must be punished seriously.

PCBs have many negative adverse effects on our health. They include:

• Chloracne
• Rashes
• Yusho disease. PCBs contamination in rice bran oil caused a mass poisoning in Japan
• Irregular menstrual cycles
• Lowered immune response
• Fatigue
• Headache
• Cough
• Skin sores

The PCBs exposure could come from workplace contamination and consumption of contaminated fish or food. The exposed pregnant gave birth to babies who weighed less than babies born to the unexposed mothers. But problems with motor skills and a decrease in short-term memory lasted for several years. Immune system was affected also in children born to mothers exposed to PCBs. Infants are exposed through mother’s milk.

PCBs can alter estrogens level and the result may be reproduction problems. Intersex and feminization in the womb are reported. This pollution is so strong that polar bears and whales are there with both male and female sex organs and males incapable for reproduction.

There are cancer risks due to PCBs. These are associated with liver and biliary tract cancer.

PCBs are chemically inert compounds and they have a high thermal stability. They are resistant to chemical oxidation, photodegradation, acid-base reactions and hydrolysis. Therefore, it is difficult for natural systems to metabolize PCBs. The estimated half life period of PCBs is approximately 8 to 15 years.

It is not advisable to eat fishes from unknown waters. However, fish from the commercial food supply may be eaten. Never burn painted or treated wood. Burning materials that contain PCBs produce dioxins and furans which are more toxic.

Appropriate safety measures must be available in workplace.

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Monday, December 6, 2010

Dioxin is possibly the strongest poison which human beings produced. It causes the cancer of lungs and liver and influences the immune system resulting in a number of infectious diseases and misgrowth of embryos. It is known from the accidental explosion of a chemical plant in Seveso in Italy. There are 210 substances in the groups. In both dioxins and furans only 17 compounds are highly toxic. The most poisoning dioxin is 2,3,7,8 -TCDD (tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin).

Actually we do not need dioxin and we never wanted to produce it too. But without our knowledge as an unwanted by product it was produced during the manufacture of chlorinated substances such as pesticides, plastics such as PVC. Other sources include chlorine bleaching of paper. When these chlorinated products are burnt as waste, dioxin is produced and comes back to the soil along with the next rain. Motor oil is a major source. It is produced from herbicides also.

In several countries, there are strict rules about the daily intake of dioxin. The daily intake is around one pico gram per day. That means not in parts per billion but parts per trillion ranges. This also shows how poisonous dioxin is. That is why burning plastics and many related products are very harmful. In many countries such open burnings are totally banned.

The half life period gives us an idea how a substance is dangerous in the environment as well as in the body. Half life period of a substance is defined according to the matrix; the matrix may be soil, water, blood or tissues. The time needed to reduce the amount to half is called half life period for the substance in a particular matrix such as blood or soil. 2,3,7,8 -TCDD has the longest half life in blood, it is 11 years and it is stored in liver and fat. The persistence half-life of 2,3,7,8-TCDD on soil surfaces may vary from less than 1 year to 3 years, but half-lives in soil interiors may be as long as 12 years.

There are many scandals with dioxin. It happened in Belgium and a long-time scandal came to limelight. The industry has been trying to save money by mixing the chemical or oil waste with the animal feed and marketing these products. They mixed old, highly contaminated engine oil with the animal feed. The result is contaminated milk, poultry, eggs, pork and beef with dioxin. The worst thing is that the Belgians exported this contaminated animal feed to other countries in Europe.

Swiss animal feed was also contaminated because they used German Kaolinite which has a high amount of dioxin. It is also used in animal feed in Austria and Germany. This is not different in France. In Germany huge amount of milk was destroyed because of this contamination.

What is happening in India and other countries? We have to see everything with open eyes and ask correct questions everywhere. Even sewage sludge was mixed with animal feed which contained high concentration of heavy metals, dioxin, antibiotics and resistant bacteria.

Low levels of dioxin from environment are present in vegetables and all other foods. If contaminated animal feed is used, then eggs, milk, beef, pork and fish contain dioxin. Dioxin accumulates in fat and so fatty food must be avoided. Wherever it is possible it is controlled and so the value of dioxin in human beings is decreased. Vegetarians have better cards here.

There were two known accidental exposures, one is Soveto and the other one is animal feed in Belgium. Agent Orange T (TCDD) was also used in Vietnam War by American forces to destroy the forests. Not only the inhabitants of Vietnam but also the American air force personnel are contaminated. The factory which produced Agent Orange T was closed in Germany decades ago but the workers lived or still living is highly contaminated.

The former President of Ukraine, right or not right, poisoned or not, nobody knows the truth, had the symptoms of dioxin poisoning.

We need many chemicals, but we should not forget that chemicals are also poisons. The dose makes the poison.

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Sunday, December 5, 2010

DDT is the well known synthetic pesticide in the world. It was used with unique success in the control of mosquitoes which spread malaria and typhoid. Later it was also used in agriculture and its production was enormous. The environmental effects may not be known at that time or the industry was so mighty that only very few people opposed the uncontrolled spraying of DDT everywhere.

Nobody thought at that time about the toxicity of a chemical except its use. Ms. Rachel Carson, a biologist in 1962 questioned the indiscriminate use of DDT in her book. She was the first person who suggested that DDT and other pesticides may cause cancer. It is now banned in agriculture throughout the world. But it is still used in some tropical countries for other purposes or selectively against mosquitoes. In India lakhs of tons of DDT was used for Malaria eradication Programme from World Health Organization (WHO).

DDT is a permanent organic pollutant and its half life period is 2 to 30 years. The process of biodegradation occurs very slowly. Breakdown products in the soil are DDE and DDD which are also persistent and have same physical as well as chemical properties. DDT and its metabolites DDE and DDD could enter our bodies through the food chain. It is fat soluble and stored in fat in humans and animals. In the nineteen seventies almost everybody in the world had detectable DDT in their blood. Even now many people have DDT in their blood whether they come from developed or developing countries. According to the WHO survey the Indian mother’s milk contains DDT in higher concentration than any other country in the world. Without exception all the mothers in the world have DDT metabolites in their milk.

DDT and its metabolites are classified as moderately hazardous by World Health Organization. It is not acute toxic. In chronic exposition, liver may be damaged and farmers have an increased incidence of non-allergic asthma. Organochlorine compounds, particularly DDE are linked with diabetes. Fish is a major contaminant in the world. Liver, biliary tract and pancreas cancer may be possible for persons who are working with DDT for a long time. There are meagre studies to establish that DDT or DDE may cause breast cancer. It is very interesting to know about the reproductive toxicology where it is told that DDT, DDE and other organochlorines have xenoestrogenic activity which means that these are chemically similar to estrogens, the female sexual hormone. This may affect the semen quality in men.

There are many cases of DDT victim in the world and I could remember few. A woman between 35 and 40 years came to me and told that she was not doing well and we had to find out what it was. She was not feeling well, very tired and had problems of memory. I asked her to tell what happened in the previous days and weeks so that I could get a picture of what had happened. Five weeks before she had flown to Africa for two weeks holidays. She enjoyed her holidays well and had enough rest and relaxation for her body as well as for her soul. When she returned after the completion of her holidays she had several health problems. We talked about her holidays, she told me how happy she was there and finally I asked her about her food in Africa. She has eaten fish and fish only all the fourteen days because the fish items was highly delicious. I asked her the source of the fish and she replied that it was fished from a big lake. The lake water was very clean, she added. After this it was an easy work for me. We took a blood sample from her and she had very high amounts of DDT, DDE and other organochlorines in her blood. This was the reason for her sickness.

The farmers in the nearby fields sprayed so much of pesticides including DDT and in course of time the whole lake water and the soil became contaminated. DDT is insoluble in water but soluble in fat. Hence, it is stored in the fat tissues. Thus DDT accumulated in the fat of the fish. Fourteen days, two to three times, approximately 500 to 700 gram of fish every time brought so much of DDT and its metabolites in her body and the result is this environmental sickness.

A lady professor, who did research on the impact of DDT, came to our Institute to deliver a lecture. I was out of station on the day. Everybody applauded that the lecture was very good and I also got the copies of her scientific publications. It was about the estrogenic activity of DDT and its metabolites. I read all, it was interesting and her conclusion was that on account of the continuous exposure to DDT, DDE and other organochlorines, the reproductive capacity of the man is strongly reduced and he may not have children. Six months later, she delivered a lecture with seminar organized by the Heidelberg University and I attended that. In the interval I asked her whether she knew India and Malaria Eradication Programme. If her research findings were correct, India’s population should have been dwindling down to 50% by this time. She laughed and she had no answer. She had her data obtained only from white patients. Are white men different from other men in this particular problem?

Most of the mothers prefer to breastfeed their children and breast milk is the healthiest food for the infants. Mothers, who think and know about the environment, are afraid to breastfeed their children. One would be mother met me and wanted help. We had analysed several breast milks and knew the situation. Almost, every breast milk is found to be contaminated with traces or detectable amount of pesticides. In our body fat, the pesticides are stored, if a woman is very slim, she has very less fat in her body. That means all her fat is needed for the production of the milk, accordingly she has more pesticide residue in her mother’s milk. If there is more fat in the body, then only a part is needed for the production of the mother’s milk, correspondingly fewer pesticides in her milk. So it is advisable to increase ten to fifteen kilos that means eating heavily what a modern woman normally does not eat. Only two groups must be careful, the women who have problem with cholesterol and high blood pressure and women who are having high blood sugar. They have to consult their doctor.

Pesticides are sometimes useful, but they are always poisons. We must be careful to save us and our environment…

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Thursday, December 2, 2010

Modern clinical toxicology deals with a lot about environmental poisons and illness. I have experienced thousands of these problems from my patients. Here I like to inform you a few case studies to show that it can play a vital role in your health. Today, it is about Chloroform as an environmental poison.

A worried wife telephoned me and told that her husband had become an alcoholic. He drank the whole weekend although he never drank so much earlier. Moreover, Monday to Friday he was not at all drinking. I asked her where he was working and told that it would be better her husband talked to me personally. I talked to him over the phone and he came to my institute next day. We took blood sample from him for analysis. We analysed also the oil with which he was working from Monday to Friday. We detected an unknown solvent from his blood as well as from the oil.

When I talked to his Company Doctor he wanted me to drop the whole matter because even his wife was telling that he was an alcoholic. Moreover, the doctor told me,” you say some volatile substances, but as long as you could not say the correct substance, my company has no fault”.

I needed one small additional analytical instrument for that specific purpose and we bought it immediately. The unknown substance was confirmed as chloroform and the whole riddle was cleared. They heated the chloroform 60 degrees Celsius and now and then the worker had to open a small window to control. The worker breathed the vapours eight hours a day, Monday to Friday and these had influenced his central nervous system.

On Saturday morning he could not inhale the vapour but his body needed it. He took the alternative, alcohol to sedate his nerves. The multinational company had problems with the Health Department. These analyses brought me few hundred Euros but the instrument that was bought costed my institute more than 5000 Euros and it shows how difficult it is to deal with for a single person to fight against a multinational company. With the unlimited support from my boss I had the chance to prove this truth.

It was very much interesting to find this organic solvent even in the blood of administrative staffs who were away from the production area.

Chloroform is an anaesthetic agent. Inhalation of chloroform vapours depresses the central nervous system. It is also a carcinogen and higher incidence of birth defect may be possible. It is immediately dangerous to health and life even if 500 ppm is taken. If we breathe for a short time taking about 900 ppm dizziness, fatigue and headache are the symptoms. Liver damage may be caused by chronic chloroform exposure.

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Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Modern clinical toxicology deals with a lot about environmental poisons and illness. I have experienced thousands of these problems from my patients. Here I like to inform you a few case studies to show that it can play a vital role in your health. Today it is about permethrin.

A woman of 50 years came to me with problems connected with her nervous system. In two hour conversation, there was no clue. Finally, I wanted to know about the articles in her house. She did not want to give any information about her bedroom because it was her most private place. After 15 minutes discussion and my threatening to send her away she agreed to talk.

We had found out the exposition very quickly. She had spread white woollen carpet with thousands of frills in her bed room. Normally woollen carpets are soaked in pesticide solution before they were sold. She had that carpet; the contamination took place in her bed room. The equilibrium between the carpet, air and the walls in the room was established for ever. So in her most private place she was getting the exposition. I asked her to remove the carpet and she did not want because she had paid more than € 6000 for that. Finally she had removed it, presented it to her son, her health became better and her son had no problem with that. This show how important our detoxification and free radical scavenging systems are.

This is a very good example to understand how difficult the process of diagnosis is. Further, the poisons will not affect all persons as in the case of flu. If the detoxification system is perfect, you have no problem with most of the poisons. If there are defects in the genes or in the enzymes or if you do not take enough antioxidants along with the food, the problem starts.

The insecticide used in the carpet was permethrin (pyrethrum is a plant product obtained from dried flowers and pyrethroids are manipulated pesticides from pyrethrum with chlorine, bromine, fluorine or nitro compounds). Nature gives us harmless pesticides like pyrethrum and we humans manipulate this and make them good poisons to us.

It was also used by airlines in their planes to kill the insects.

We could estimate the amount of permethrin in her blood and urine. The woollen carpet had high amount of permethrin too.

You must only buy furniture and carpets free from any poisons. If the source is your house then your health has to suffer a lot.

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Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Modern clinical toxicology deals with a lot about environmental poisons and illness. I have experienced thousands of these problems from my patients. Here I like to inform you a few case studies to show that it can play a vital role in your health.

I got a blood sample from a child and the doctor told me that he could not understand the perplexing symptoms and requested me to find out some clue from the blood. We conducted all the analytical studies in blood and urine qualitatively and quantitatively in the lab of clinical Toxicology and found that the amount of one poisonous chemical was increased tenfold compared to the reference values of an adult.

I talked to the mother about the possibility of exposure to this poisonous chemical. There was no chance for exposure and the parents were very much worried. Finally I asked the mother to send her child to the Kindergarten Monday to Friday, go to the doctor, take blood sample from the child and go for holidays with the child for a week to a North Sea Island where even cars are banned and there were no chances of any exposition.

Returning back she had to go to a doctor and take blood sample from her child once again. She did exactly what we told. In Friday’s sample the child had this poisonous chemical, about ten times higher than the reference value of adults. When they returned from the island, the poison level was in the lower part of the reference value. We made a guess and we gathered the details about the Kindergarten. In the kindergarten there are wooden benches and wooden play equipments of children, such as, ship, slide, swing and seesaw. All are very clean and in very good condition. We gave the blood values to the doctor and he forwarded to the government departments, nobody wants to believe. Somebody from the Government rang my boss and asked him whether I am a reliable chemist and his answer was, “leave this as my problem and as long our toxicologist is doing good to the public we inform all the people concerned about this”. Such a trusting boss must everybody have to do good to the patients.

Finally the concerned authorities decided to send the blood to a high security toxicological lab belonging to the Central Government. After two days my values were confirmed and the two Kindergartens were closed. We checked further the city’s other Kindergartens and everywhere the problem was the same. All these wooden things were removed and the contamination was also controlled.

The important chemical was at that time used as a wood preservative, the notorious pentachlorophenol. This was also by-product from orange T production. Orange T was used in Vietnam War to destroy the forests in Vietnam. The chemical waste from the company contained high amount of pentachlorophenol. Instead of disposing it properly it was mixed with the paints which have been used for the benches and other wooden articles in the kindergarten. This sort of poison tourism was a cheap disposal of the deadly wastes in poor countries at the cost of the population there.

During the second half of the 1980s, this chemical was found in all the human beings in the world including Eskimos and persons living in the Amazon regions of South America.

Fortunately the half-life period of pentachlorophenol is 30 hours and it could be excreted from the body without much problem.

It was banned in Germany in the 1990s.

Long-time exposition could be detected in hair and nail.

Keep your environment clean and the environmental poisons cause more sickness than we all think. The problem is the right diagnosis, as there are no separate symptoms for environmental illness.

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Monday, November 29, 2010

Endosulfan, 6,7,8,9,10,10-hexachloro-1,5,5a,6,9,9a-hexahydro-
6,9-methano-2,4,3-benzodioxathiepine-3-oxide, is an organochlorine compound. Almost all organochlorine compounds are poisons. Endosulfan is mostly used as an insecticide and acaricide. It can also be used as a wood preservative. It is uses mostly on food crops like grains, tea, fruits and on vegetables. It acts as a contact poison. It can accumulate in the body and can create health problems. It is banned in more than 65 countries and is unfortunately used in countries like India and Brazil. Because of its threats to human health and the environment, a global ban on the manufacture and use of endosulfan is being considered under the Stockholm Convention.

I have seen many patients with organochlorine chemical poisoning as a clinical toxicologist. If we come in contact with small amount of Endosulfan, the body has no problem to excrete them with its genes and enzymes. Since these pesticides are fat soluble they are deposited in our fat tissues. If a person has problems with his detoxification genes or enzymes he is going to suffer a lot or even it can be fatal to him. During the detoxification uncontrolled amount of free radicals are produced and so the free radical scavenging system must be well functioning. The antioxidants from the food are very important as well as the minerals, copper, zinc, manganese and selenium. These minerals are part of the free radical scavenging enzymes.

How toxic is endosulfan? Undiluted endosulfan is slowly absorbed into the body. The absorption is rapid if it is dissolved in alcohols, oils and emulsifiers.

Endosulfan poisoning affects the Central Nervous System. The symptoms include:

• Incoordination including a loss of the ability to stand
• Gagging
• Vomiting
• Agitation
• Diarrhea
• Convulsions
• Loss of conscience
• Blindness is noted in animals, cow, sheep and pigs, grazing the grass sprayed with endosulfan

Lot of research is done to find the lethal dose of endosulfan and the oral LD50 in different animals include:

• Rat 18 to 220 mg/kg
• Mice 7.36 mg/kg
• Hamster 118 mg/kg
• Cat 2 mg/kg
• Dog 76.7 mg/kg
• Young ducks 33 mg/kg

The dermal LD50 include:

• Rat 74 mg/kg
• Rabbit 200 to 359 mg/kg

The solvents used to dissolve endosulfan influence its toxicity. Many chronic effects have been noted in animals exposed to endosulfan. Kidneys, liver, parathyroid gland and blood chemistry are mostly affected. In rats skeletal deformities in the fetus are noted. Although there are no evidences, chronic exposure to humans may cause reproductive and/or developmental problems in humans.

It has mutagenic effects at least in two mammalian spices and this means it can also change human DNA.

In the environment the surface water is mostly contaminated with endosulfan. The half-life of alpha-endosulfan is 35 days and the beta-endosulfan is 150 days under neutral conditions. If the soil is acidic the half-life is long for both the isomers.

Endosulfan is also toxic for birds and fishes.

The breakdown product of endosulfan is the endosulfan sulfate. It is as poisonous as endosulfan and is present longer in the environment.

Endosulfan and its breakdown products are detected in vegetables, milk, sea foods and in tobacco. The right decision is to ban all the organochlorine pesticides for the whole world. This is healthy for all living beings and to our environment too.

India is the largest user of endosulfan and the problems in Kerala is well known. We must have the courage to ban this.

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Saturday, November 27, 2010

Female menopause is a well defined condition and all the women experience this. Male menopause is called andropause and it is not well defined. Some doctors and scientists say that many men experience this, but not all. Others argue that there no such condition and this is the part of the mid-life crisis. Not all men experience mid-life crisis too. In this article I try to give you the important points regarding male menopause and mid-life crisis.

Andropause is characterized by the low production of testosterone, the male sex hormone. Loss of testosterone starts when a man is 35 years old. It may be around 1% to 1.5% per year. Mostly men experience andropause between the ages of 40 and 55. In post menopause there is no production of estrogen, the female sex hormone in women. On the contrary, the testosterone production is low with increasing age, but it is there even in one’s eighties and nineties. In these ages also a man has healthy sperm and this is the reason why andropause is not accepted as a medical condition.

The symptoms of andropause include:

• Irritability
• Reduced libido (reduced sexual desire)
• Impotence
• Tiredness
• Depression

Some men have other symptoms too and they include:

• Weight gain
• Night sweats
• Hair loss
• Dry skin
• Stiffness in the joints and muscles

Several of these symptoms can occur at the same time.

Interestingly, each of these symptoms is mostly treated alone and this makes the situation more serious. If the depression is only treated with antidepressant medicines the result is loss of libido. A good doctor considers all these symptoms and selects the treatments.

Approximately 10% of the middle aged men go through an age-related midlife crisis. Mid-life crisis is experienced by men from the ages mostly between 40 and 60 and it lasts about 3 to 10. Aging itself is one of the main causes of mid-life crisis. The other causes include:

• Physical changes with aging
• Workload or unemployment
• Relationship of family problems
• Children left home
• Sickness or death of parents

Mid-life crisis can change the life of a man drastically and the noticed changes include:

• Desire to achieve a feeling of youthfulness – lifestyle change, an affair with a young woman
• Spends more time alone
• Thinks that he has missed many good things in life
• Thinks deeply the missed chances in life
• Wants to achieve a lot, but don’t know what
• Buys costly car or motorbike
• Goes for a world tour
• Leaves job and family

These thoughts can change one’s whole life. This can have negative impacts in their work place and in the family. They can abuse alcohol or illegal drugs. They can take a young girl friend or a sex partner. They spend more time in front of the mirror and give more money for cosmetics and perfumes. They try to cover their baldness and suddenly interested to have designer clothes from young fashion. They used to blame themselves for their failures in many things. They apply pressure on their children for better performance in arts, academics and sports. Above all, the worst is the depression with all its negative symptoms.

The possible therapy for andropause is a combined therapy with testosterone replacement therapy, psychotherapy, diet, exercises and use of herbs. Testosterone replacement therapy does not give always the expected relief and the side effects must also be considered. It can bring the prostate in problem and so your doctor must be careful to decide for the right treatment. Normally in short intervals testosterone concentration and PSA the marker for prostate cancer must be controlled in the blood if it is decided for the hormone therapy.

The supporters of testosterone replacement therapy argue that in the case of bone density loss, erectile dysfunction where other remedies don’t work and loss of height it is the treatment of choice.

The problems of mid-life crisis and andropause can go hand in hand and many symptoms are common. Of course, your doctor can help you, but your spouse is very important to master this difficult period. The spouse can help a lot and they include:

• Make him to do new activities and hobbies; take part in them
• Make him to think positive
• Watch for his mood swings and try to react correctly
• Tell him always that you love him
• Stress the need for relaxation
• Try to understand and know him more. This is important for the time after mid-life crisis
• Pay close attention to his mood and behavior
• Bring him with persons who take life easy
• Avoid “why” in many situations. This can increase the fear
• Never start with a question. Share with him that you want to support him
• Listen to him and try to understand his feelings, values and fears

Men who have andropause and mid-life crisis problems must avoid grape fruit as it can convert testosterone into estrogen, the female sex hormone.

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Thursday, November 25, 2010

Sex is a taboo theme in many parts of our world. Many still think it is dirty and is mostly done when the light is off. Is it really so bad? Scientists prove that sex is extremely beneficial for our health. Here you get more information about this mostly thought, but less spoken theme.

The benefits of sex include:

• Beneficial for the heart and blood circulation, thus good oxygen supply to brain and other cells
• Balances the ratio of HDL-cholesterol and LDL-cholesterol
• Lowers the risk of prostate cancer
• Lower the risk of breast cancer
• Good for mental and emotional health. Abstinence increases the feelings of anger, frustration, self-doubt, depression etc. Endorphins and semen play here a vital role in enhancing mood after sex
• Eliminates stress. Good sex gives total relaxation and good sleep
• Increases the estrogen levels in women and this is vital for skin and hair health
• Increases the humans’ lifespan 3 to 8 years and 50% reduction of death risk
• Sweating cleanse the skin pores and improve the skin health
• Good to burn calories. Comparable of 15 minutes on a treadmill
• Strengthen pelvic, thighs, buttocks, abdomen, chest and arm muscles
• More sex means more production of pheromones that are chemicals to attract the opposite sex
• Increases intimacy to partner
• A good pain reliever than many painkillers. Oxytocin and endorphins are responsible for this. These calm pain from headaches, migraines to arthritis. Increased estrogen levels reduce premenstrual pains. Mostly the excuse not to want is headache!!!!
• Kissing lowers the acidity in the mouth and good for mouth hygiene; thus tooth decay and bad breath is prevented
• Decreases the risk to get colds, flu and other infections. The reason is the production of more immunoglobin A, an antibody which strengthens the immune system
• Helps for a better control of bladder with strong pelvic muscles and thus minimize the risk of incontinence

Children are our wealth and it is the main purpose of sex. This is accepted by all. You can see the other benefits as extra bonus.

What is normal to achieve these benefits? Twice in a week or more can give you these benefits.

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Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Free radicals are atomic or molecular species with unpaired electrons in the outermost orbital and are unstable and very reactive. Free radicals need one more electron to become stable and try to take an electron from the other atom. This atom in turn now becomes a free radical and the dangerous chain reaction starts. Free radicals can damage our cells, particularly DNA and can do harm to our health. The well known oxygen free radicals or reactive oxygen species are superoxide ion, hydroxyl radical, singlet oxygen and hydrogen peroxide. Hydrogen peroxide is not a free radical but it is involved in the formation of many reactive oxygen species.

What are the sources of oxygen free radicals? The body uses oxygen to convert sugar and fat into energy. In this process oxygen is converted to water. However, about 2% of the oxygen may escape before the conversion is complete. These become the different oxygen free radicals. There are many other enzymatic and non-enzymatic reactions in the cells which also produce continuously free radicals.

The external sources of free radical production include cigarette smoke, radiation, environmental pollutants, ultraviolet light, chemicals including pesticides and drugs and ozone. Excess exercises or physical activities can also produce more free radicals.

Free radicals are responsible for aging. Cancer and cardiovascular problems are the very important diseases caused by free radicals. The damage of DNA in the cells and the oxidation of the LDL-cholesterol are the main reason for these diseases. Cataracts, maculopathy, the age-related disorder of the retina, auto immune diseases like arthritis or fibromyalgia, neurodegenerative diseases, aging and many other diseases go to the account of free radicals.

Does the body need oxygen free radicals? Phagocytes produce excess free radicals to destroy invading pathogenic micro-organisms and this is part of the body’s defense mechanism against many diseases. Complete elimination of free radicals is not possible, but it is possible to control the production of free radicals. This is also very important for anti aging.

The body needs mechanisms to control the amount of oxygen free radicals and the excess must be scavenged continuously. If the free radical production is high and there are not enough antioxidants to neutralize them the condition, oxidative stress is developed and this is bad for the health. The two possibilities to control free radicals are antioxidants to limit oxidation and the enzymes which can neutralize the free radicals. The important body’s own antioxidants include ubiquinol, glutathione, uric acid bilirubin and even cholesterol.

The enzymes include glutathione peroxidase, superoxide dismutases and catalase. These enzymes need copper, manganese, selenium and zinc and these must be taken from the food.

There are more than 4000 identified nutritive and non-nutritive antioxidants present in fruits and vegetables. The important antioxidants from the foods include vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin A, natural beta-carotene, lycopene and many others including the polyphenols. This is an important reason to take several servings of fruits and vegetables in a day.

We all can do a lot for anti aging and start from today to think and do something for this. It is easy and worth doing.

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Monday, November 22, 2010

As we know knowledge and experience help us in every circumstance to master a problem or a challenge. It is applicable to diabetes too. With the right food, lifestyle and exercises you can prevent diabetes as well as control them without taking tablets or injecting insulin. Here, your knowledge and will power can decide a lot. If you follow this regularly there will be no problem to eat normal now and then. Dos and don’ts give you a clear picture what should be done to have a normal life with type 2 diabetes.

The dos include:

• Increase the intake of mono- and polyunsaturated fats – avoid butter and use plant oils and bread spreads. Mayonnaise can be substituted with avocadoes in salads.
• Nuts are good – can be eaten everyday by decreasing the amount of carbohydrates.
• Eat fatty fish regularly – omega-3 fatty acids are very important for your health including heart health. Two to three time fish in a week is good.
• Consume more protein from lean meat, poultry without skin and low fat milk and dairy products. Protein can be converted into sugar in the liver.
• Eat high fiber foods – wholegrain products, brown rice, vegetables and fruits are good.
• Look for low sugar foods – it is applicable to milk products, canned fruits and fruit juices. The food labels may contain sugar or honey or high-fructose corn syrup or only syrup or other sugars such as lactose or maltose and in this case go for products where there are very little or no sugar.
• Select cereals with more than 3 g fiber in one serving. It must be sugar-free and should not contain too much of carbohydrates.
• Fresh or frozen vegetables are good. Except carrots avoid all the root vegetables.
• Fresh fruits are good or canned fruits without added sugar. Fruits are better than fruit juices. Dry fruits in small quantities without added sugar are also good.
• Drink enough fluids and 70% of this must be pure drinking water.
• Reduce your weight.
• Regular exercise.
• Write down whatever you eat and drink daily so that it is easy to control your food intake.

The don’ts include:

• Too much saturated fats – high fat milk and dairy products, fatty meat, inner organs of animals, except fish all other seafood, turkey or chicken with skin. These foods contain high amount of cholesterol too.
• Trans fat.
• Carbohydrates – you can get the sugar from the protein and so the amount of carbohydrate taken can be reduced.
• Foods with lot of sugar – candies, cakes, biscuits and many other sweets including local sweets and chocolates.
• Canned fruits and dried fruits with preservatives or sugar.
• Soft drinks with lot of sugar or fructose or artificial sweeteners.
• Processed foods, fast foods and junk foods.
• Chips and other snacks.
• Replace coffee with green or black tea.
• Alcohol – one glass of wine or one beer or one drink normally increases blood sugar. More alcohol can reduce the sugar, but the blood pressure increases because of narrowed blood vessels. A healthy liver can metabolize only a maximum of 60 g alcohol. If it is more it is very dangerous for liver’s health.
• Smoking – increases the free radicals and free radicals are not good for our health.
• Stress is bad for diabetes.

This information is good to prevent type 2 diabetes as well as to manage it. If you suffer from type 2 diabetes an individual counseling is the best to optimize your food and lifestyle. Contact me if you need one…

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Saturday, November 20, 2010

Today microwave ovens are the part of all modern kitchens. Many can’t live without microwave ovens. Many have good knowledge to use the microwave properly and many use just like that without thinking too much. There are advantages, disadvantages as well as dangers. If we consider these points it can be a good help to us. If we use a kitchen instrument it is always important to know about them very well. Read the manufacturer’s instructions very carefully. Ask your family members and friends about their experiences with microwave ovens.

The principle of working microwave oven is very simple. Microwaves are energy that can be absorbed by the food particles inside an oven. Microwaves make the water content inside the food particles to vibrate and this causes the food particles to rub against each other. This produces heat energy that is used to cook the food. The variable factors for faster cooking of foods are the increase of the power supply and the cooking time.
The advantages of the microwaves oven include:

• Good retain of flavor and taste of some foods
• Short cooking time and so less nutrients loss
• Stays only very shortly between 5°C to 60°C and so less chances to be infected
• Cheap running costs as only electricity is needed
• Pre-heating is not necessary
• Can be used immediately, switching on is enough
• Doesn’t heat the kitchen unnecessarily
• No cooking odor in the kitchen and in the house
• Kitchen is clean as less or no food is spilled
• Needn’t be cleaned often, mostly simple wiping is enough
• Can be combine with conventional ovens
• Some foods cannot be cooked. You must note the manufacturer’s instructions

Where there are many advantages, there can be disadvantages too surely. These disadvantages include:

• Can cause over cooking of the food as it is very fast
• Uneven cooking, food on the top can be very hot and on the bottom cold, thus uncooked. During cooking stirring is necessary at regular intervals
• You must use special utensils. Metal vessels must be avoided
• Few types of foods cannot be cooked; note manufacturer’s instructions

There are many advantages and few disadvantages and it seems wonderful. But, there are some dangers and you must know about these very well. The dangers include:

• Radiation leaks - exposure to high levels of microwave radiation can cause health problems including cataracts and burns. Damaged oven door or not properly sealed door is the source of radiation leaks. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions always. Keep it clean and do not run it if it is empty
• Avoid burns – the cooked food in the plastic container can be very hot or lot of steam can escape quickly. Don’t heat baby milk bottles in the microwave. The milk inside can be dangerously hot although the bottles have safe temperature. Use the microwave-safe plastic wrap loosely so that the steam can escape. If the food has many layers the out layer is warm, but the inner layer can be dangerously hot.
• A microwave oven is not a sterilizer – it cannot sterilize bottles or jars. Boiling in water for 10 minutes or chemical sterilization is the best way to sterilize

The manufacturer’s instruction booklet mostly gives all the information needed. If you don’t find the information you needed you must be very careful.

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Friday, November 19, 2010

Bile, made in the liver, is stored in gallbladder and it contains water, cholesterol, fat, bilirubin and bile salts. Bile is released from the gallbladder into the small intestine to digest fat. If the bile has too much of bile salts, fats, bilirubin and cholesterol, it can harden into stones.

There are two types of stones, one is cholesterol stones which accounts for about 80% and the rest is bilirubin stones. The stones can be very tiny or as big as a plum and there may be one big stone or hundreds of tiny stones and almost in each possible combination. About 80% of the stones are harmless and not at all detected. Gallstones come with age; obese women get it three times more often than men and are also hereditary.

Gallstones can prevent the flow of bile in the small intestine by blocking the ducts. Other ducts like pancreatic duct, opens in the common bile duct to bring its enzymes to the small intestine. The problem here is the trapped digestive enzymes of the pancreas cause an extremely painful inflammation. If it is blocked for a considerable time, severe damage is possible for liver, gallbladder or pancreas.

The symptoms of this serious problem include:

• Fever
• Jaundice
• Continuous heavy pain.

Diet plays a vital role here because it can influence the amount of cholesterol in the bile, thus preventing the formation of the gallstones. Certain foods can keep cholesterol in solution at the same time they can expel stones into the duct, causing a very painful gallbladder attack.

Increase the intake of water soluble fibre by eating fruits and vegetables. The recommended foods are apples, artichokes, grapefruit, lemon, watermelon, beet roots, broccoli, spinach, celery, carrots, fennel, radish, garlic, barley and olive oil. The non-vegetarian can take fish, turkey without skin and chicken without skin in very small quantities, but they should not forget to take enough fruits and vegetables. This is the best way to treat gallstones is to prevent them.

Whole grains and products and healthy plant oils must also be the part of the food.

The foods to avoid include:

• Meat or meat products,
• Red meat
• Pork
• Egg
• Milk
• Oily or fatty foods
• Spicy foods
• Fast foods
• Junk foods
• Processed foods
• Corn
• Beans
• Nuts
• Onions

If we take less fibre but a lot of sugar, then it is a risk factor. You need not avoid sugar but eat very moderately and take more fruits and vegetables to get enough fibres.

Coffee directly, with no milk or sugar and with or without caffeine, can stimulate the gallbladder to contract, probably bringing a gallbladder attack. It is better to avoid coffee if you are prone to gallstone attacks.

Avoid smoking and tobacco products.

The skipping of breakfast or not eating for a long time may lead to gallstones. We need food so that bile acids keep cholesterol in solution to prevent the formation of gallstone.

Overweight is a risk in women for gallstones and it is better to reduce the weight. But, do not forget, losing weight very quickly gives only the adverse result. It is better to reduce less than three kilos per month.

Physical activities are important. Select according to your time and health. It is better to consult with your doctor before you start.

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Thursday, November 18, 2010

Erectile dysfunction is the repeated inability to get or keep an erection firm enough for sexual intercourse. Impotence is used as a general term for erectile dysfunction, lack of sexual desire, problems with ejaculation and orgasm. Erectile dysfunction is a taboo theme in our world. Several hundred million men have this problem. Erectile dysfunction can be a sign of a health condition which needs treatment and it may be heart disease or poorly controlled or not yet diagnosed diabetes. There may be psychological factors also for this problem.

The brain, nerves, muscles, blood vessels, hormones and emotions play a vital role in male’s sexual arousal and this process is very complex. Problems with any of these can cause erectile dysfunction. Physical and psychological problems can also cause erectile dysfunction or even worsen it.

The physical causes include:

• Low testosterone
• High blood pressure
• Clogged blood vessels
• Diabetes
• Heart disease
• Overweight and obesity
• Excess alcohol
• Smoking or other tobacco use
• Drugs abuse
• Many prescription medications
• Damage to nerves, arteries, smooth muscles and fibrous tissues
• Diseases like multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, prostate cancer, Peyronie’s disease etc.
• Injuries or surgeries which affect the pelvic area and the spinal cord
• Prolonged bicycling

The psychological causes of erectile dysfunction include:

• Stress
• Fatigue
• Depression, anxiety or other mental diseases
• Relationship problems
• Poor communication with partner leading to misunderstandings and problems

Side effects of prescribed medicines can cause erectile dysfunction. More than 100 mostly used drugs have this side effect. These prescribed medicines include antidepressants, antihistamines, medicines to treat high blood pressure, pain killers or medicines to treat prostate cancer.

The illegal drugs like, amphetamines, party drugs, barbiturates, cocaine, cannabis, heroin and others can cause erectile dysfunction.

Erectile dysfunction is a serious problem which can cause an unsatisfactory sex life for the couple, marital or relationship problems, stress, anxiety and low self-esteem. Another big problem is the inability to get his wife pregnant.

Erectile Dysfunction is treatable at all ages.

If you have problems it is better to contact your family doctor and he can send you to a urology specialist. Physical examination, blood test, urine analysis, ultrasound and overnight erection test are the usual procedures to begin with.

The treatments must proceed from least to most invasive. Quitting smoking, avoiding excess alcohol, losing excess weight and increasing physical activity may help some men to regain sexual function. If erectile dysfunction is a side effect from your medicine consult with your doctor to change that medicine. This is possible with high blood pressure drugs.

The treatments include:

• Psychotherapy – is used to decrease or remove the anxiety associated with love making. Here the patient’s wife can help for the gradual development of intimacy and stimulation.
• Drug therapy – the drugs can be taken orally, injected directly into the penis or inserted into the urethra at the tip of the penis. We all know well about Viagra, Levitra and Cialis. The tablet can be taken an hour before sexual activity. These drugs enhance the effects of nitric oxide, a chemical which relaxes smooth muscles in the penis during sexual stimulation and allows increased blood flow. Only one tablet should be used in a day. All these have side effects and so the doctor must be consulted before taking. Persons using medicines to decrease blood pressure must be very careful, otherwise it can cause sudden drop in blood pressure which can be fatal. Testosterone, the male sex hormone is often ineffective and may cause liver damage. Many men achieve stronger erections by injecting drugs into the penis. These drugs widen the blood vessels, thus a good blood supply to penis. There is a system available to insert a pellet of alprostadil into the urethra and the erection begins within 8 to 10 minutes and may last 30 to 60 minutes. Intensive research is going on in this sector to develop better medicines.
• Vacuum Devices – mechanical vacuum devises can cause erection by creating a partial vacuum which draws more blood into the penis and expanding it.
• Surgery – very invasive, consult with your doctor.

Have more fun in your life with good knowledge in everything…

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Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Magnesium is an essential mineral for human health. More than 300 enzymes in the body contain magnesium and thus it is important for several metabolic functions. It is vital for the contraction and relaxation of muscles, involved in the synthesis of protein, supports calcium in bone formation and plays a role in regulating the blood pressure are the few from many to mention. The recommended daily requirements of magnesium for adult women and men are 310 and 400 mg respectively. Pregnant women and breastfeeding women need 360 to 400 mg daily. But, only few get their required magnesium from their food. Almost no one takes so much of magnesium from the diet. Therefore, it is important to know the foods rich in magnesium.

Try to include magnesium rich foods daily in your diet. The foods rich in magnesium include:

• Halibut
• Tuna
• Pumpkin and squash seeds
• Beans, black
• Beans, kidney
• Beans, Lima
• Beans, navy
• Beans, Pinto
• Soy beans
• Okra
• Groundnuts
• Almonds
• Brazil nuts
• Cashew nuts
• Pine nuts
• Walnut
• Coconut
• Banana
• Rockfish
• Scallop
• Oysters
• Soy milk
• Tofu
• Barley
• Brown rice
• Oat bran
• Buckwheat
• Wholegrain wheat
• Corn meal
• Broccoli
• Artichokes
• Beet, green
• Chickpeas
• Cowpeas
• Peas, frozen
• Lentils
• Figs, dried
• Prunes
• Yogurt, low fat
• Sweet potatoes
• Potatoes
• Tomato paste

Meat, egg and milk contain only less magnesium.
If you think you are not getting enough magnesium from food you can go for supplements. You must consult with your doctor before taking it because the following points must be considered:

• Excess magnesium has side effects
• Interferes with many medicines, can decrease or increase their effects

People with heart or kidney disease should not take magnesium supplements except under their doctor’s supervision. Be careful with children and do not give them magnesium supplements without doctor’s prescription.

If you have muscle cramps it is not always the magnesium deficiency. Low dehydration can also cause muscle cramps. It is better to drink a glass of water and wait for few minutes. 90% get immediate relief.

If you want to test your magnesium status in your blood ask your clinical laboratory to estimate the magnesium level in the red blood cells. The blood plasma has always the normal level as it is compensated regularly from the red blood cells if there is loss or deficiency. Thus the plasma level is useless.

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Monday, November 15, 2010

As we all know “French Paradox” is no more a riddle. Although the French eat more fatty foods than the Americans and the others they have lower incidence of coronary heart diseases. Lot of research has been done on this subject and the answer to this puzzle is resveratrol, polyphenol which limits the bad effects of fatty foods and even smoking. Resveratrol is a powerful antioxidant present in the red wine. The French consume regularly wine mixed with drinking water.

Red wine contains a complex mixture of bioactive plant-chemicals and they include:

• Resveratrol, the stilbene polyphenol
• Anthacyanins
• Phenolic acids
• Flavonols
• Monomeric and polymeric flavan-3-ols

Resveratrol is the most studied substance and it and some of the above plant-chemicals appear to have health benefits. It is a good antioxidant.

The health benefits of resveratrol and other plant-chemicals include:

• To prevent and treat cancer
• To protect the heart from cardiovascular diseases
• To prevent stroke
• To prevent diabetes
• To prevent inflammation
• To prevent neurodegenerative disorders
• Has antiviral effects
• May help to reduce weight in obese persons

If you have a glass of red wine the alcohol present can enlarge the blood vessels and this helps heart’s health by decreasing the blood pressure. But if you drink more the blood vessels are narrowed and the heart has to pump hard that results the increase of blood pressure.

Pregnant women and breast-feeding mothers must avoid alcohol including red wine. Dry alcoholics may go for the resveratrol supplements. It is better to consult your doctor before taking the supplement.

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Sunday, November 14, 2010

A hereditary disease is a disease that is passed from one generation to the next through genes. Genes are part of DNA. That is why it can also be called a genetic disease. We know well the hereditary risk in diabetes, coronary heart diseases, breast cancer, ovarian cancer and colon cancer very clearly. The corresponding genes can be identified and estimated to calculate the increased risk. At the same time we should not forget that lifestyle, overweight or obesity, alcohol and tobacco use and no or little physical activity play a vital role in many diseases. Along with these the environmental and occupational exposure to toxins, poisons and chemicals increase also the total risk of many diseases.

Thousands of genetic disorders are already known and it is sure the research will find more in the future too. Few important hereditary diseases are given below and they include:

• Achromatopsia - the inability to perceive color and to achieve satisfactory visual acuity at high light levels
• Adrenal Hypoplasia Congenita - reduced function of adrenal gland; mainly males are affected
• Adrenoleukodystrophy or Siemerling-Creutzfeldt Disease or Schilder's disease - progressive brain damage
• Aicardi Syndrome - partial or complete absence of a key structure in brain, the corpus callosum
• Albinism/Hypopigmentation - little or no melanin pigment in eyes, skin and hair
• Alexander Disease - neurodegenerative disease which destroys myelin
• Alpers' Disease or progressive neuronal degeneration of childhood with liver disease (PNDC) or Alpers-Huttenlocher syndrome - progressive neurological degenerative disease that severely affects the brain and liver
• Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Deficiency - decreased A1AT activity in blood & lungs; most common among whites
• Alzheimer's disease – a degenerative brain disease that causes problems with memory, thinking and behavior
• Amblyopia or lazy eye (poor or indistinct vision or out of proportion to associated structural abnormalities in an eye that is otherwise physically normal)
• Angelman Syndrome - primarily affects the nervous system; this condition include developmental delay, intellectual disability, severe speech impairment, and problems with movement and balance. Most affected children also have recurrent epilepsy seizures and a small head size
• Anencephaly - a condition present at birth that affects the formation of the brain and the skull bones that surround the head
• Aniridia - underdevelopment or absence of the eye's iris
• Anophthalmia - congenital absence of the globe and eye tissue from the orbit in one or both eyes
• Ataxia Telangiectasia - affects the nervous system, immune system, and other body systems; characterized by progressive difficulty with coordinating movements beginning in early childhood, usually before age 5
• Autism - usually first diagnosed in early childhood; brain development disorder with symptoms that involve communication, social interactions and repetitive behaviors
• Bardet-Biedl Syndrome - affects the brain and can cause multiple physical problems including a deterioration of the intellect and neurological functions. It sometimes affects eyesight, a degeneration of light-sensitive cells in the periphery of the retina and causes night blindness, tunnel vision, decreased visual acuity, and extreme sensitivity of the eyes to light. Other symptoms of Bardet-Biedl syndrome may include extra toes and/or fingers, mental retardation, kidney disease and obesity
• Barth Syndrome - a serious X-linked genetic disorder, primarily affecting males. It is caused by a mutation in the tafazzin gene resulting in an inborn error of lipid metabolism
• Batten Disease - a fatal, inherited disorder of the nervous system that begins in childhood
• Best's Disease - a genetic disease that causes blindness by destroying the macula in the center of the retina
• Bipolar Disorder or manic depression - psychiatric mood disorders defined by the presence of one or more episodes of abnormally elevated energy levels, cognition, and mood with or without one or more depressive episodes. The elevated moods are clinically referred to as mania or, if milder, hypomania
• Bloom Syndrome - characterized by a high frequency of breaks and rearrangements chromosomes. People with Bloom syndrome are much smaller than average, and often have a high-pitched voice and characteristic facial features including a long, narrow face; small lower jaw; and prominent nose and ears. They tend to develop pigmentation changes and dilated blood vessels in the skin, particularly in response to sun exposure
• Branchio-Oto-Renal Syndrome - an autosomal dominant condition characterized by ear abnormalities, hearing loss, cysts in the neck, and kidney problems
• Canavan Syndrome - an inherited disorder that causes progressive damage to nerve cells in the brain
• Charcot-Marie-Tooth Disease or hereditary motor and sensory neuropathy - affects the nerves in your arms and legs; loss of muscle tissue and touch sensation
• Cleft Lip/Cleft Palate - birth defects in which the tissues of the mouth or lip don't form properly during fetal development
• Coffin Lowry Syndrome - head/facial and skeletal abnormalities, mental retardation and delayed development
• Coloboma - a hole in one of the structures of the eye, such as the iris, retina, choroid or optic disc
• Color Blindness - major types are red-green color vision defects, blue-yellow color vision defects and a complete absence of color vision.
• Congenital Heart Defects - a defect in the structure of the heart and great vessels which is present at birth
• Congenital Hip Dysplasia - an abnormal formation of the hip joint in which the ball at the top of the thighbone is not stable in the socket, dislocated
• Connective Tissue Disorders – a disorder that change the look and growth of skin, bones, joints, heart, blood vessels, lungs, eyes, and ears. Can change how these tissues work
• Cooley's Anemia/ Thalassemia - caused by mutations in the beta chain of the hemoglobin molecule
• Corneal Dystrophy - one or more parts of the cornea lose their normal clarity due to a buildup of cloudy material
• Cornelia de Lange Syndrome - can lead to severe developmental anomalies. It affects both the physical and mental development of a child
• Cystic Fibrosis or mucoviscidosis - a common disease which affects the entire body, causing progressive disability and often early death
• Cystinosis - a metabolic disease in which the amino acid cystine gets into the cells, but has no transporter to bring it out and the cell crystallizes causing early cell death
• Developmental Disabilities - birth defects that cause lifelong problems
• Diabetes - metabolic diseases in with high blood sugar
• Down Syndrome - a chromosomal disorder caused by the presence of all or part of an extra 21st chromosome; impairment of cognitive ability, physical growth and facial appearance
• Duane Syndrome - a rare, congenital eye movement disorder most commonly characterized by the inability of the eye to move outwards
• Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome - inherited disorders that weaken connective tissues
• Epidermolysis Bullosa - an inherited connective tissue disease causing blisters in the skin and mucosal membranes
• Familial Dysautonomia - affects the development and survival of certain nerve cells
• Familial Mediterranean Fever - recurrent attacks of fever, inflammation of the abdominal lining, the lining surrounding the lungs, painful, swollen joints and a characteristic ankle rash
• Fanconi Anemia - aninherited blood disorder that leads to bone marrow failure and can affect many of the body's organs, tissues, and systems
• Fibrodysplasia Ossificans Progressiva - disorder in which muscle tissue and connective tissue such as tendons and ligaments are gradually replaced by bone, forming bone outside the skeleton
• Fragile X Syndrome – an inherited mental impairment; can range from learning disabilities to more severe cognitive or intellectual disabilities. It is the most common known cause of autism or "autistic-like" behaviors
• G6PD (Glucose-6-Phosphate Dehydrogenase) Deficiency Anemia - the most common human enzyme defect
• Galactosemia - a metabolic disorder that affects the ability to metabolize the sugar galactose
• Gaucher Disease - a genetic disease in which a lipids (fats) accumulates in cells and certain organs; deficiency of the enzyme glucocerebrosidase
• Gilbert's Syndrome - a common, mild liver disorder in which the liver doesn't properly process bilirubin. Bilirubin is the breakdown product of red blood cells
• Glaucoma - leads to blindness by damaging the optic nerve
• Hemochromatosis - excessive absorption of dietary iron with deposits of iron in the body
• Hemoglobin C Disease - an autosomal recessive disorder that causes mild hemolytic anemia
• Hemophilia/Bleeding Disorders - inefficient control over blood clotting or coagulation
• Hirschsprung's Disease - a disease of the large intestine that causes severe constipation or intestinal obstruction
• Homocystinuria - disorder of the metabolism of the amino acid methionine
• Huntington's Disease - a disorder passed down through families in which certain nerve cells in the brain waste away, or degenerate
• Hurler Syndrome - disorder of metabolism; deficiency of alpha-L iduronidase
• Klinefelter Syndrome - a term used to describe males who have an extra X chromosome in most of their cells, XXY instead of XY
• Krabbe Disease - fatal degenerative disorder of nervous system
• Leber Congenital Amaurosis - a degenerative disease that results in a severe loss of vision
• Leukodystrophies - are rare diseases that affect the cells of the brain, specifically the myelin sheath that surrounds and protects nerve cells
• Long Q-T Syndrome - a heart rhythm disorder that can cause fast, chaotic heartbeats
• Marfan Syndrome - disorder of the connective tissue
• Marshall-Smith Syndrome - disorder characterized by advanced bone age at birth, broad forehead, prominent eyes, and small chin
• McCune-Albright Syndrome - affects the bones and color (pigmentation) of the skin
• Menkes Disease - is an inborn error of metabolism that markedly decreases the cells' ability to absorb copper
• Metabolic Disorders - metabolic disorder occurs when abnormal chemical reactions in the body disrupt metabolism
• Mitochondrial Disease - group of neuromuscular diseases caused by damage to the mitochondria-small, energy-producing structures that serve as the cells' power house
• Mucolipidoses - a group of inherited metabolic diseases that affect the body’s ability to carry out the normal turnover of various materials within cells
• Mucopolysaccharide Disorders - are a group of metabolic disorders caused by the absence or malfunctioning of lysosomal enzymes needed to break down molecules called glycosaminoglycans, the long chain carbohydrates
• Muscular Dystrophy - refers to hereditary muscle diseases that weaken the muscles that move the human body
• Neonatal Onset Multisystem Inflammatory Disease - a disorder that causes persistent inflammation and tissue damage primarily affecting the nervous system, skin, and joints
• Neurofibromatosis - growth of tumors in nerve tissues
• Niemann-Pick Disease - fatal inherited metabolic disorders
• Noonan Syndrome - a developmental disorder with unusual facial characteristics, short stature, heart defects, bleeding problems, and skeletal malformations, eye abnormalities occur and problems with language and speech
• Optic Atrophy - loss of some or most of the fibers of the optic nerve
• Osteogenesis Imperfecta - a genetic bone disorder
• Peutz-Jeghers Syndrome - development of growths called hamartomatous polyps in the gastrointestinal tract; particularly in the stomach
• Phenylketonuria (PKU) - deficiency in enzyme phenylalanine hydroxylase
• Polycystic Kidney Disease - multiple cysts in both kidneys
• Pseudoxanthoma Elasticum - deposits of calcium and other minerals in elastic fibers, which are a component of connective tissue. Connective tissue provides strength and flexibility to structures throughout the body
• Progeria - accelerated aging at an early age
• Ptosis - "drooping eyelid” is caused by weakness of the muscle responsible for raising the eyelid, damage to the nerves that control those muscles, or looseness of the skin of the upper eyelids
• Rentinitis Pigmentosa - a degenerative, inherited eye condition which affects the retina, resulting in progressive vision loss
• Scheie Syndrome - an inherited disease of metabolism in which the body cannot properly break down long chains of sugar molecules called glycosaminoglycans
• Schizophrenia - a chronic, severe, and disabling brain disorder
• Severe Combined Immunodeficiency - rare, sometimes fatal, congenital disorders characterized by little or no immune response
• Sickle Cell Anemia - abnormal, rigid, sickle shape of red blood cells
• Skeletal Dysplasias - a group of congenital abnormalities of the bone and cartilage that are characterized by short stature
• Smith-Magenis Syndrome - developmental disorder with a broad, square-shaped face with deep-set eyes, full cheeks, and a prominent lower jaw
• Spherocytosis - a genetic disorder of the red blood cell membrane clinically characterized by anemia, jaundice and enlargement of the spleen
• Spina Bifida - a developmental birth defect caused by the incomplete closure of the embryonic neural tube
• Spinocerebellar Ataxia - a degeneration of the spinal cord and the cerebellum, the small fissured mass at the base of the brain
• Stargardt Disease - inherited diseases causing light-sensitive cells in the inner back of the eye (retina) to deteriorate, particularly in the area of the macula where fine focusing occurs
• Stickler Syndrome - hereditary conditions characterized by a distinctive facial appearance, eye abnormalities, hearing loss and joint problems
• Tay-Sachs Disease - born without one of those important enzymes, Hexosaminidase A; then fatty proteins build up in the brain, they hurt the baby's sight, hearing, movement, and mental development
• Treacher Collins Syndrome - a condition that affects the development of bones and other tissues in the face
• Tuberous Sclerosis - two genetic disorders that affect the skin, brain/nervous system, kidneys, and heart, and cause tumors to grow
• Turner's Syndrome - a genetic disorder that affects a girl's development; only one X chromosome in each cell of a female
• Urea Cycle Disorder - a genetic disorder caused by a deficiency of one of the enzymes in the urea cycle which is responsible for removing ammonia from the blood stream
• Usher's Syndrome - an autosomal recessive condition that affects both hearing and vision
• Velocardiofacial Syndrome - characterized by cleft palate, heart abnormalities, learning disabilities, and over 180 other clinical findings
• von Hippel-Lindau Disease - an inherited disorder characterized by the formation of tumors and fluid-filled sacs (cysts) in many different parts of the body
• Werner Syndrome - a premature aging disease that begins in adolescence or early adulthood and results in the appearance of old age by 30-40 years of age
• Williams Syndrome - a rare neurodevelopmental disorder with "elfin" facial appearance, along with a low nasal bridge
• Xeroderma Pigmentosum - deficient ability to repair damage caused by ultraviolet (UV) light
• Triple X Syndrome - an extra X chromosome in each cell of a female with an increased risk of learning disabilities and delayed development of speech and language skills. Delayed development of motor skills (such as sitting and walking), weak muscle tone, and behavioral and emotional difficulties
• XYY Syndrome - an extra Y chromosome in each cell of a male with Learning disabilities, hyperactivity, attention deficit disorder, and minor behavioral disorders

The genes decide what we are…

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Saturday, November 13, 2010

NEW DELHI: The Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) on Friday ordered the “suspension” of the manufacture and import of anti-obesity drug Sibutramine after the medicine showed serious side effects, including heart attack, among some users. The DCGI also recommended to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare a total ban on the sale of the drug.

It proposes the setting up of various committees to oversee the safety of drugs and also the feasibility of introducing new drugs in India.

The suspension order was issued under Section 26 (A) of Drugs and Cosmetic Act, with immediate effect, with the DCGI also seeking a total prohibition on its manufacture and sale in the open market. The ban has to be formally notified by the Health Ministry on the recommendation of the DCGI.

The decision was taken following recommendations of an expert committee comprising pharmacologist Y.K. Gupta (All-India Institute of Medical Sciences), endocrinologist A.C. Ammini (AIIMS) and S.D. Seth (Institute of Clinical Research) and Anoop Misra (Fortis Hospital).

Orlistate is now the only drug in the market for obesity-management and weight loss, though many new drugs are expected to be in the market shortly.
The decision to ban Sibutramine, sold under different brand names, was taken after studies found it increased the risk of heart attack, stroke and death. The drug has already been banned in the United States, Canada and Australia and was withdrawn in China on Tuesday. The European Medicine Agency (EMA) too has recommended complete withdrawal of this drug.

The preliminary reports of the “scout trials” on Sibutramine showed increase in heart rate and blood pressure among users. This was further confirmed in the final finding of the trial, promoting the government to take prohibitory action.
This is the third drug relating to diabetes and obesity that has been banned in India in the last one-and-half years.

Last month, the government banned the import and manufacture Rosiglitazone, an anti-diabetic drug. Rosiglitazone is already banned in Europe after users experienced serious side effects, including cardiovascular events and adverse effects on lipid profile.

Prior to that, anti-obesity pill Rimonabant was banned in March 2009 after it was found to cause depression and suicidal tendencies.

One of the most commonly prescribed medicines for weight loss and obesity management, Sibutramine has been available in India since 1999. It is manufactured and marketed by over 20 generic companies under various brand names.

Special Correspondent, The Hindu
© Copyright 2000 - 2009

Stop taking this drug…

This is a very good and wise decision…Thanks to the authorities and to The Hindu…

Dr. K. Padmanaban, Clinical Toxicologist

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Wednesday, November 10, 2010

This is a very good question. Fruits are very important for our health. 4 to 5 servings a day can reduce the risk of many diseases which kills hundreds of millions persons in our world. The examples are coronary heart diseases and cancer. The antioxidants present in the fruits are necessary for the detoxification of the body. Fruits play a vital role in scavenging the aggressive and dangerous oxygen and other free radicals. Many of us know this and even then not enough fruits are eaten. Others buy the costly frozen berries from a foreign country or spend huge amount of money to buy fruit powders or juices. Are they worthy for these high prices?

In our modern time we all have no time. We run the whole day and have no time even to think. The money is not the problem for many. These persons think in a different way. The advertisements in the modern media and the personal approach of persons who sell these costly products make them to think that costly products are good for their health. They buy these and regularly take them. Are they really as healthy as praised always?

Fruits are healthy not only because they have vitamin C and other antioxidants. There are more than 10000 phytochemicals are already identified from the fruits and every day new substances are identified. Fruits have good fiber. Therefore, eating the ripe fruits is the best for our health. There are tens of thousands of fruits in our world if we consider the different varieties too. Only the rainforests of South America has more than 3000 fruits. The Indians who live there eat more than 2000 fruits. But, the Western world eats only 200 fruits from there. All the fruits available in our world are not analyzed completely for their nutrients and non-nutrients as few of the fruits which are marketed for high prices.

Fruits are grown throughout the world. According to the climate we get different fruits. In the same country the tropical plains have different fruits than the high mountains with their mild or cold climate. It is possible to get everywhere fruits and it is better to eat these fruits. Some of these fruits are far better than the costly fruits and fruit products. If you eat fruit you can select according to their color. They are:

Red fruits – have nutrients such as ellagic acid, lycopene, quercetin and many others. These are good to lower blood pressure, reduce LDL-cholesterol levels, can scavenge free radicals and reduce the risk of prostate cancer. They have the power to reduce tumor growth.

Orange / yellow fruits – contain beta-carotene, flavonoids, lycopene, vitamin C, zeaxanthin and many others. These are good to lower blood pressure, reduce LDL-cholesterol levels, can scavenge free radicals, have anti aging properties and reduce the risk of prostate cancer. They help in the formation of collagen and healthy joints. It is useful to keep the body alkaline.

Green fruits – contain fiber, folic acid, vitamin C, lutein, beta-carotene, zeaxanthin and many others. These can reduce cancer risk, can lower blood pressure, reduce LDL-cholesterol and support digestion. They can boost immune system and good free radical scavengers.

Blue and purple fruits – contain resveratrol, lutein, fiber, flavonoids, ellagic acid, quercetin, zeaxanthin and many others. These help to lower blood pressure, lower LDL-cholesterol, can boost immune system, support digestion, can limit the activity of cancer cells and as such act as an anticarcinogens.

White fruits – contain betaglucans, epigallocatechin gallate, ligans that boost immune system and many others. These nutrients can also activate natural killer cells and thus reduce the risk of breast, colon and prostate cancer. These balance the hormone levels and thus reducing the risk of hormone- related cancers. Banana, brown pears, white nectarines and white peaches are few in this group.

When you go to the market you can notice the different could fruits and buy and eat them.

The healthy fruits in the Western countries include:

• Apple
• Banana
• Blackberry
• Blueberry
• Cantaloupe
• Cherry
• Cranberry
• Dried fig
• Gojiberry
• Grape
• Pink grapefruit
• Kiwi
• Mango
• Orange
• Papaya
• Peach
• Pear
• Plum
• Pineapple
• Pomegranate
• Prune
• Raspberry
• Strawberry
• Tomato
• Watermelon
It is better to eat fresh fruits. If the above fruits are not available in your place eat the local fruits and these are as good as the above.

Another important thing is the influence on our environment. If the fruits are produced in one corner of the world, processed and transported to another corner of the world the negative impact on environment is great. Use the ripe local fruits, be happy and be healthy.

Good fruits have no use if you have a bad lifestyle and take only processed, fast and junk foods. Change your lifestyle and food and the fruits can make wonder. Never forget the physical activities.

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