How Sun Exposure Improves Your Health and How Glyphosate Disrupts It

Story at-a-glance 

Sensible sun exposure is an important component for optimal health, for a number of reasons. Vitamin D production is one; production of cholesterol sulfate is another

Cholesterol sulfate is Continue reading

Many Men Risk Their Health by Taking Testosterone When They Don’t Need It

Story at-a-glance

Testosterone plays many roles in men’s health. Besides affecting your sex drive, it also helps maintain muscle mass, bone density, red blood cells, and a general sense of well-being

Direct-to-consumer drug advertising is driving men to use testosterone when they’re really not good candidates for it Continue reading

For Staying Healthy, the Royal Liver Rules

You may think that your brain rules your body, but you can make a strong philosophical argument that the liver really rules your physiology. Yes, the brain is the prime minister that administers the nervous system and many important bodily processes, but the liver is the royal organ that loyally maintains the body’s inner workings. So you’d be wise to keep your liver happy if you want to be healthy. Continue reading

Can You Taste the Iron in Your Water?

A new study says that, as people age, they may lose the ability to detect the taste of iron in drinking water. This piece of startling health news raises the concern that older adults could be at risk of over-exposure to iron.

Researchers point out that tasting the metallic flavor in water can help people limit exposure to metals such as iron. This trace element, required by the body to transport oxygen in red blood cells, is found naturally in water or from the corrosion of iron water-supply pipes. However, doctors’ advice to all patients is that you need less iron after the age of 50.

That metallic flavor in water, caused by the dissolved iron and copper commonly found in groundwater or that may leak into tap water from corroded pipes, has been an issue for both consumers and utility companies.

More than two million miles of the United States’ water and wastewater pipes are nearing the end of their useful life. But, these facilities, which are generally underground, don’t attract too much attention. This study is highlighting the fact that attention may be necessary. Continue reading

Vitamin E

Vitamin E is a fat-soluble vitamin that acts as an antioxidant.

Vitamin E is an antioxidant that protects body tissue from damage caused by unstable substances called free radicals. Free radicals can harm cells, tissues, and organs. They are believed to play a role in certain conditions associated with aging.

Vitamin E is also important in the formation of red blood cells and helps the body to use vitamin K.

The ability of vitamin E to prevent cancer, heart disease, dementia, liver disease, and stroke are still not known. At lower levels, vitamin E may help protect the heart.

The best way to get enough essential vitamins is to eat a balanced diet that contains a variety of foods.

Food Sources – Vitamin E is found in the following foods:

* Wheat germ

* Corn

* Nuts

* Seeds

* Olives

* Spinach and other green leafy vegetables

* Asparagus

* Vegetable oils — corn, sunflower, soybean, cottonseed

Products made from these foods, such as margarine, also contain vitamin E.

Side Effects

In November, 2004, the American Heart Association stated that high amounts of vitamin E can be harmful. Taking 400 IU per day, or higher, may increase the risk of death.

Taking smaller amounts, such as those found in a typical multivitamin, was not harmful.

The Food and Nutrition Board at the Institute of Medicine report the following dietary reference intakes for vitamin E:

Infants

* 0 to 6 months: 4 mg/day

* 7 to 12 months: 5 mg/day

Children

* 1 to 3 years: 6 mg/day

* 4 to 8 years: 7 mg/day

* 9 to 13 years: 11 mg/day

Adolescents and Adults

* 14 and older: 15 mg/day

The best way to get the daily requirement of essential vitamins is to eat a balanced diet that contains a variety of foods from the food guide pyramid.

Specific recommendations depend on age, gender, and other factors (such as pregnancy). Women who are pregnant or producing breast milk (lactating) need higher amounts. Ask your Plan health care provider which amount is best for you.

Mosquitoes Deliver Malaria ‘Vaccine’ Through Bites

In a daring experiment in Europe, scientists used mosquitoes as flying needles to deliver a “vaccine” of live malaria parasites through their bites. The results were astounding: Everyone in the vaccine group acquired immunity to malaria; everyone in a non-vaccinated comparison group did not, and developed malaria when exposed to the parasites later.

The study was only a small proof-of-principle test, and its approach is not practical on a large scale. However, it shows that scientists may finally be on the right track to developing an effective vaccine against one of mankind’s top killers. A vaccine that uses modified live parasites just entered human testing.

“Malaria vaccines are moving from the laboratory into the real world,” Dr. Carlos Campbell wrote in an editorial accompanying the study in Thursday’s New England Journal of Medicine. He works for PATH, the Program for Appropriate Technology in Health, a Seattle-based global health foundation.

The new study “reminds us that the whole malaria parasite is the most potent immunizing” agent, even though it is harder to develop a vaccine this way and other leading candidates take a different approach, he wrote.

Malaria kills nearly a million people each year, mostly children under 5 and especially in Africa. Infected mosquitoes inject immature malaria parasites into the skin when they bite; these travel to the liver where they mature and multiply. From there, they enter the bloodstream and attack red blood cells — the phase that makes people sick.

People can develop immunity to malaria if exposed to it many times. The drug chloroquine can kill parasites in the final bloodstream phase, when they are most dangerous.

Scientists tried to take advantage of these two factors, by using chloroquine to protect people while gradually exposing them to malaria parasites and letting immunity develop.

They assigned 10 volunteers to a “vaccine” group and five others to a comparison group. All were given chloroquine for three months, and exposed once a month to about a dozen mosquitoes — malaria-infected ones in the vaccine group and non-infected mosquitoes in the comparison group.

That was to allow the “vaccine” effect to develop. Next came a test to see if it was working.

All 15 stopped taking chloroquine. Two months later, all were bitten by malaria-infected mosquitoes. None of the 10 in the vaccine group developed parasites in their bloodstreams; all five in the comparison group did.

The study was done in a lab at Radboud University in Nijmegen, the Netherlands, and was funded by two foundations and a French government grant.

 This is not a vaccine” as in a commercial product, but a way to show how whole parasites can be used like a vaccine to protect against disease, said one of the Dutch researchers, Dr. Robert Sauerwein.

“It’s more of an in-depth study of the immune factors that might be able to generate a very protective type of response,” said Dr. John Treanor, a vaccine specialist at the University of Rochester Medical Center in Rochester, N.Y., who had no role in the study.

The concept already is in commercial development. A company in Rockville, Md. — Sanaria Inc. — is testing a vaccine using whole parasites that have been irradiated to weaken them, hopefully keeping them in an immature stage in the liver to generate immunity but not cause illness.

Two other reports in the New England Journal show that resistance is growing to artemisinin, the main drug used against malaria in the many areas where chloroquine is no longer effective. Studies in Thailand and Cambodia found the malaria parasite is less susceptible to artemisinin, underscoring the urgent need to develop a vaccine.

Home Remedies Series – Anemia

Weakness, fatigue, lack of energy and dizziness

The patient usually complains of weakness, fatigue, lack of energy and dizziness. Other symptoms include a haggard look, premature wrinkles, dull and tired looking eyes, poor memory, shortness of breath on exertion, headache, slow healing of wounds, and palpitations. The skin and mucous membranes look pale.

Diminished formation of red blood cells in the bone marrow

A diminished formation of red blood cells in the bone marrow, either due to defects in the bone marrow, or due to an inadequate intake of iron, vitamins, and proteins, is one of the main causes of anaemia.

Heavy loss of blood due to injury, bleeding piles

Other important causes are heavy loss of blood due to injury, bleeding piles, or excessive menstruation in women.

Lack of hydrochloric acid in the stomach or intestinal parasites or worms

Anaemia can also occur due to a lack of hydrochloric acid in the stomach, which is needed for digestion of iron and proteins, or intestinal parasites or worms. Hookworms, pinworms, round worms and tape worms feed on the supply of blood as well as on the vitamins.

Anaemia treatment using Vitamin B12

Vitamin B12 is needed for preventing or curing anaemia. This vitamin is usually found in animal protein, especially in meats such as kidney and liver. There are, however, other equally good sources of vitamin BI2 such as dairy products which also contain some B12

Anaemia treatment using Beets

Beets are very helpful in curing anaemia. Beet juice contains potassium, phosphorus, calcium, sulphur, iodine, iron, copper, carbohydrates, protein, fat, vitamins B1 B2, B6, niacin, and vitamin P. With their high iron content, beets help in the formation of red blood cells. The juice of red beet strengthens the body’s powers of resistance and has proved to be an excellent remedy for anaemia, especially for children and teenagers, where other blood-forming remedies have failed.

Anaemia treatment using Fenugreek

The leaves of fenugreek help in blood formation. The cooked leaves should be taken by adolescent girls to prevent anaemia, which may occur due to the onset of puberty and menstruation. The seeds of fenugreek are also a valuable cure for anaemia, being rich in iron.

Anaemia treatment using Lettuce

Lettuce is another effective remedy for this ailment as it contains a considerable amount of iron. It can, therefore, be used as a good tonic food for anaemia. The iron in it is easily absorbed by the body.

Anaemia treatment using Spinach

This leafy vegetable is a valuable source of high grade iron. After its absorption, it helps in the formation of haemoglobin and red blood cells. It is thus beneficial in building up the blood, and in the prevention and treatment of anaemia.

Anaemia treatment using Soyabean

Soyabean is rich in iron and also has a high protein value. As most anaemic patients usually also suffer from a weak digestion, it should be given to them in a very light form, preferably in the form of milk, which can be easily digested.

Anaemia treatment using Almonds

Almonds contain copper to the extent of 1.15 mg per 100 gm. The copper along with iron and vitamins, acts as a catalyst in the synthesis of haemoglobin. Almonds are, therefore, a useful remedy for anaemia. Seven almonds should be soaked in water for about two hours and ground into a paste after removing the thin red skin. This paste may be eaten once daily in the morning for three months.

Anaemia treatment using Sesame Seeds

Black sesame seeds, as a rich source of iron, are valuable in anaemia. After soaking one teaspoon of the seeds in warm water for a couple of hours, they should be ground and strained, and then mixed with a cup of milk and sweetened with jaggery or sugar. This emulsion should be given to patients suffering from anaemia.

Anaemia treatment using Honey

Honey is remarkable for building haemoglobin in the body. This is largely due to the iron, copper, and manganese contained in it

Anaemia treatment using Other Foods

There are several other foods which are rich sources of iron and can be used beneficially in the treatment of anaemia. The more important of these are bananas, black grapes, plums, strawberries, raisins, onions, squash, carrots, radish, celery, and tomatoes.

Anaemia diet

Have raw vegetables and fresh fruits rich in iron

Diet is of utmost importance in the treatment of anaemia. Refined foods like white bread, polished rice, sugar, and desserts rob the body of its much-needed iron. Iron should preferably be taken in its natural organic form in food. The emphasis in the diet should be on raw vegetables and fresh fruits which are rich in iron.

Go for therapeutic treatment with an exclusive fruit diet

The patient should commence a therapeutic treatment with an exclusive fruit diet for five days, taking three meals a day of fresh juicy fruits. This may be followed by a fruit and milk diet for about fifteen days. In this regimen, the frequency of meals should be exactly the same as for the earlier all-fruit diet. Thereafter, the patient may gradually embark upon a well-balanced diet, consisting of seeds, nuts, grains, vegetables, and fruits.

Other anaemia treatment

Cold water baths

Cold water baths are recommended in anaemia. The patient should be given a cold bath carefully twice daily, the coldness of the water being increased gradually.

Hot Epsom salts bath and sunbatbs

A hot Epsom salts bath for five to ten minutes once a week and an occasional steam bath are also useful. Sunbaths are especially beneficial as the sunlight stimulates the production of red cells.

Deep breathing and light exercises

Other important factors that help in curing anaemia are deep breathing and light exercises like walking.

Yogic asanas

Yogic asanas such as sarvangasana paschimottanasana and shavasana as well as massage are also helpfu1 in this regard.