Bad breath can be a common and frustrating problem that nearly everyone experiences from time to time. For some, it’s worse than others. It can be the cause of social isolation and self-consciousness, lowering one’s confidence and ability to interact with others. Getting close to people, Continue reading
Did You Know…
… that the very best test for oral cancer and many other major health problems is to stick out your tongue?
Dr. Jonathan B. Levine, a well-respected and innovative dentistry expert, recently appeared on The Dr. Oz Show to discuss the importance of Continue reading
Did You Know…
… the latest popular “detox” remedy is actually a centuries-old medical treatment?
According to popular diet and lifestyle blog, Well+Good, New York City trendsetters are Continue reading
Did You Know…
… that your tongue can reveal powerful secrets about your health, including the presence of infection and other health threats?
In the practice of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), “stick out your tongue” has nothing to do with Continue reading
Deciding if you are sensitive to gluten can be confounding because gluten can cause so many physical problems. If your body reacts to gluten, it can lead to digestive upset, skin rashes, headaches and nerve damage. And now you can add a burning tongue to the list of possible symptoms. Continue reading
The mysteries of Traditional Chinese Medicine run deep and are always interesting. Acupuncture is one of the hallmarks of this ancient style of natural medicine, and it has long been linked to pain relief. In another health breakthrough, researchers found some surprising and still positive results for acupuncture that might interest those who suffer migraine headaches. Continue reading
A Bangladeshi telemedicine company is set to provide healthcare services for more than five million South Asian workers in the Middle East and Malaysia in a couple of months.
Telemedicine Reference Centre Ltd (TRCL) has already signed agreements with around 25 Gulf and Malaysian companies that recruit workers from South Asia.
Telemedicine is a rapidly developing application of clinical medicine where medical information is transferred through the phone or the internet.
TRCL will launch the mobile phone-based service, said
“Under the project, we will start providing medical call-centre services to two million Bangladeshi, 1.5 million Indian and two million Nepalese and Pakistani workers,” Zakir added.
Prime Bank and two investors from the US and India are funding the project, he said.
TRCL has also signed deals with seven mobile phone companies in Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, UAE, Qatar and Kuwait.
The company is working to set up multilinguistic medical call centres in India, Pakistan and Nepal, from where dedicated physicians will provide healthcare advice to the expatriate workers.
All the workers under the 25 recruiting companies will be registered with TRCL to get the services free of cost. They will call a particular number and get advice in their own language.
The recruiting firms will pay the service charge to TRCL on behalf of the workers, which is no more than one US dollar a month for a person, Zakir said.
They will also be referred to hospitals if necessary.
Zakir said TRCL is now setting up branch offices in nine countries including Malaysia, UAE and Saudi Arabia to comply with those countries’ regulatory requirements.
“It’s a milestone for telemedicine service. The sector is getting institutional shape,” he added.
Established in 1999, TRCL is operating the first medical call centre or electronic referral centre manned by physicians for the largest cellphone operator in Bangladesh — Grameenphone. More than 10,000 people are using the service by dialling a hotline number (789) from their mobile phones every day.
KUWAIT- The Cabinet has approved the establishment of a new 300-bed capacity hospital for alternative medicine and rehabilitation at a total cost of KD 30 million, announced the
The new hospital will built on the site where the current alternative medicine hospital is situated. A state-of-the art, fully equipped hospital will replace the existing building. It will include a rehabilitation center for the disabled, senior citizens’ care centers among other facilities offered.
The hospital will also be connected to one of the most advanced international centers in the field of alternative medicine, said Al-Abdulhadi. It is expected to be ready within five years, reported Al-Qabas.
Meanwhile, Al-Abdulhadi addressed the issue of health insurance hospitals, stating that the project to establish these hospitals still await a decision made by the Cabinet before it is set up. These facilities are expected to provide citizens and residents with the best medical care services.
In the largest national survey of its kind, researchers from UCLA and UC San Diego measured medical students’ attitudes and beliefs about CAM.
Among the results:
* 77 percent of participants agreed to some extent that patients whose doctors know about complementary and alternative medicine in addition to conventional medicine, benefit more than those whose doctors are only familiar with Western medicine.
* 74 percent of participants agreed to some extent that a system of medicine that integrates therapies of conventional and complementary and alternative medicine would be more effective than either type of medicine provided independently.
* 84 percent of participants agreed to some extent that the field contains beliefs, ideas and therapies from which conventional medicine could benefit.
* 49 percent of participating medical students indicated that they have used complementary and alternative treatments; however, few would recommend or use these treatments in their practices until more scientific assessment has occurred
“Complementary and alternative medicine is receiving increased attention in light of the global health crisis and the significant role of traditional medicine in meeting public health needs in developing countries,” said study author Ryan Abbott, a researcher at the UCLA Center for East-West Medicine, in a press release. “Integrating CAM into mainstream health care is now a global phenomenon, with policy makers at the highest levels endorsing the importance of a historically marginalized form of health care.”
The findings were published recently in the online issue of Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine (eCAM).
Beta-carotene is one of a group of natural chemicals known as carotenes or carotenoids. Carotenes are responsible for the orange color of many fruits and vegetables such as carrots, pumpkins, and sweet potatoes.
Beta carotene is converted in the body to vitamin A. It is an antioxidant, like vitamins E and C.
Good sources of beta-carotene include dark green and orange-yellow vegetables, such as carrots, sweet potatoes, squash, spinach, broccoli, romaine lettuce, apricots, and green peppers.
Beta-carotene is not an essential nutrient, although vitamin A is.
Why Do People Use Beta-Carotene?
- Prevention against cancer and heart disease
- To slow the progression of cataracts
- To prevent macular degeneration
- To boost immunity
- To protect the skin against sunburn
- Parkinson’s disease
- High blood pressure
- Cervical dysplasia
- Intermittent claudication
Beta carotene is relatively safe. There is some concern that high doses of beta-carotene can cause a slight increase in the risk of heart disease and cancer, especially in people who smoke cigarettes and who consume excessive alcohol.
Other side effects include diarrhea and a yellowish tinge to the skin, both of which subside then the intake of beta-carotene is lowered.
Introducing – Goji Berries
Other Names: Lycium barbarum, wolfberry, gou qi zi, Fructus lycii
Goji berries grow on an evergreen shrub found in temperate and subtropical regions in China, Mongolia and in the Himalayas in Tibet. They are in the nightshade (Solonaceae) family.
Goji berries are usually found dried. They are shriveled red berries that look like red raisins.
Why do people use goji berries?
Goji berries have been used for 6,000 years by herbalists in China, Tibet and India to:
* protect the liver
* help eyesight
* improve sexual function and fertility
* strengthen the legs
* boost immune function
* improve circulation
* promote longevity
Goji berries are rich in antioxidants, particularly carotenoids such as beta-carotene and zeaxanthin. One of zeaxanthin’s key roles is to protect the retina of the eye by absorbing blue light and acting as an antioxidant. In fact, increased intake of foods containing zeathanthin may decrease the risk of developing age-related macular degeneration (AMD), the leading cause of vision loss and blindness in people over the age of 65.
In recent years, goji juice has become popular as a health beverage. Companies marketing goji juice often mention the unsupported claim that a man named Li Qing Yuen consumed goji berries daily and lived to be 252 years old. Marketers also list extensive health benefits of goji juice, even though there are few published clinical trials in humans.
What research has been done on goji berries?
Goji has only been tested on humans in two published studies. A Chinese study published in the Chinese Journal of Oncology in 1994 found that 79 people with cancer responded better to treatment when goji was added to their regimen.
There have been several test tube studies that show that goji berry contains antioxidants and that goji extracts may prevent the growth of cancer cells, reduce blood glucose, and lower cholesterol levels. However, that doesn’t necessary mean that goji will have the same benefits when taken as a juice or tea.
Although goji berries like the ones used in traditional Chinese medicine aren’t very expensive, goji juice is very pricey. Considering that a 32-ounce bottle of goji juice (about an 18-day supply) can run as high as $50 USD, the evidence isn’t compelling enough at this time to justify the cost of goji juice.
Also, we don’t know the side effects of regular goji consumption, or whether it will interfere with treatments or medications.
What do goji berries taste like?
Goji berries have a mild tangy taste that is slightly sweet and sour. They have a similar shape and chewy texture as raisins.
In traditional Chinese medicine, goji berries are eaten raw, brewed into a tea, added to Chinese soups, or made into liquid extracts.
Goji juice is also available, usually in 32-ounce bottles.
Goji berries have appeared in snack foods in North America. For example, the health food store Trader Joe’s sells a goji berry trail mix.
Possible drug interactions
Goji berries may interact with anticoagulant drugs (commonly called “blood-thinners”), such as warfarin (Coumadin®). There was one case report published in the journal Annals of Pharmacotherapy of a 61-year old woman who had an increased risk of bleeding, indicated by an elevated international normalized ratio (INR). She had been drinking 3-4 cups daily of goji berry tea. Her blood work returned to normal after discontinuing the goji berry tea.
Where to find goji berries
Whole goji berries are available at Chinese herbal shops.
Goji juice can be found in some health food stores, online stores, and through network marketers.
WHO Maps World’s Deadliest Roads
GENEVA – The most dangerous place in the world to travel on roads is in the impoverished East African state of Eritrea, says the World Health Organisation (WHO) in its first report on global road safety.
To identify the most hazardous roads, WHO experts sifted through a mass of data which showed that around 1.3 million people are killed each year on the world’s highways. A further 20 to 50 million people sustain non-fatal injuries.
The global record for road deaths per capita goes to the former Italian colony of Eritrea where figures showed an estimated 48 deaths per 100,000 people.
Road travel in the Cook islands in the South Pacific is nearly as dangerous too, with a statistical 45 deaths per 100,000. The archipelago north-east of New Zealand is home to just 13,325 citizens and five of them died in road accidents in 2007. Egypt (41.6) and Libya (40.5) also both had a poor road safety record.
Driving too fast, drinking and driving along with the failure to use seatbelts and talking on mobile phones while at the wheel were given in the report as key contributing factors to the high number of fatalities and accidents on roads around the world.
“These are stunning figures that need not, should not, be so high. Over 90 percent of these deaths occur in low-income and middle-income countries, which have less than half of the world’s registered vehicles. This is another statistic that tells us something is wrong,” WHO Director General Margaret Chan said in a statement.
Chan said the report’s findings would serve as a basis for discussion at the First Global Ministerial Conference on Road Safety, which is due to take place in Moscow in November 2009.
“This will be a milestone event in international road safety that will serve as a call to action to reduce the impact of road traffic crashes over the next decade,” said Chan.
The safest road conditions were found amid the islands and atolls which make up the Micronesian nation of the Marshall Islands. Here 59,000 residents have a mere 2,487 vehicles between them. Only one fatal road accident was recorded in 2007.
France and Germany suffered 7.5 and six fatalities per 100,000 respectively compared to Britain (5.4) and the US where more than 251 million vehicles are registered. The quota here was 13.9 fatalities per 100,000 people. A similar level could be found in Sri Lanka, Turkey and Azerbaijan.
How Salmonella can be Used To Kill Tumors
BRAUNSCHWEIG – German scientists have shown how the bacteria migrate into tumors.
The researchers add that, simultaneously, blood streams from the vessels into the cancerous tissue, a so-called necrosis develops, and the tumor dies.
“This influx of blood was the starting point for our investigations. There is an immunological messenger present during bacterial elicited inflammation that causes this kind of reaction. We searched for it – and found it,” says Siegfried Weiss, Head of the Molecular Immunology group at the HZI.
The researchers have revealed that this messenger is named after its role in the immune system: tumor necrosis factor, TNF-alpha for short.
They say that immune cells produce TNF-alpha when recognizing salmonella, thus alarming other immune cells.
According to them, a small amount of TNF-alpha is subsequently enough to dissolve the walls of the blood vessels in the tumor and allow the blood to stream into the cancerous tissue.
They hope to be able to modify salmonella so that they can migrate specifically into tumors and cause them to die.
Since salmonella can live even in tissues that are badly supplied with blood, the researchers believe that they can be used in tumor therapy.
This is interesting because chemotherapeutics cannot be transported to an area where there is no blood flow, and even radiation therapy requires oxygen for its reactions in the tissue.
“We have obtained an important indication of how bacteria migrate into tumors. We can now try to manipulate these bacteria to use them in cancer therapy without causing deadly infections,” says
“We need to find the right amount of bacteria aggressiveness, allowing the tumor to be colonized and destroyed without harming the patient,” she adds.
If the scientists succeed in accomplishing this feat, they may be able to take the next step forward: using salmonella to release therapeutic substances within the tumor and thus participate in its destruction.
“Our experiments are currently limited to absolutely basic research and experiments with laboratory mice. It may take years before this method is usable for human patients,” says Siegfried Weiss
The study has been published in the scientific journal PLoS ONE.
NEW YORK – Imaging techniques can help identify the types of vulnerable plaque that are most likely to cause adverse cardiac events before they occur, say researchers.
This finding comes from a clinical trial called Providing Regional Observations to Study Predictors of Events in the Coronary Tree (PROSPECT), which is the first prospective natural history study of atherosclerosis using multi-modality imaging to characterize the coronary tree.
A presentation on the study was made at the 21st annual Transcatheter Cardiovascular Therapeutics (TCT) scientific symposium, sponsored by the Cardiovascular Research Foundation (CRF).
“As a result of the PROSPECT trial, we are closer to being able to predict-and therefore prevent – sudden, unexpected adverse cardiac events,” said principal investigator Dr. Gregg W. Stone, immediate past chairman of CRF, professor of medicine at Columbia University Hospital and Director of Cardiovascular Research and Education at the Center for Interventional Vascular Therapy at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center.
During the multi-centre trial, 700 patients with acute coronary syndromes (ACS) were studied using three-vessel multimodality intra-coronary imaging-angiography, intravascular ultrasound (IVUS), and virtual histology.
The purpose was to quantify the clinical event rate due to atherosclerotic progression, and to identify those lesions that place patients at risk for unexpected adverse cardiovascular events-sudden death, cardiac arrest, heart attacks and unstable or progressive angina.
The study revealed that most untreated plaques that cause unexpected heart attacks are not mild lesions, as previously thought, but actually have a large plaque burden and a small lumen area. These are characteristics that were invisible to the coronary angiogram but easily identifiable by IVUS.
Only about half of new cardiac events due to non-culprit lesions exemplified the classic notion of vulnerable plaque (rapid lesion progression of non flow limiting lesions), while half were attributable to unrecognized and untreated severe disease with minimal change over time.
Perhaps most importantly, for the first time it was demonstrated that characterization of the underlying plaque composition (with virtual histology) was able to significantly improve the ability to predict future adverse events beyond other more standard imaging techniques.
“These results mean that using a combination of imaging modalities, including IVUS to identify lesions with a large plaque burden and/or small lumen area, and virtual histology to identify a large necrotic core without a visible cap (a thin cap fibroatheroma) identifies the lesions that are at especially high risk of causing future adverse cardiovascular events,” Dr.
BEVERLY HILLS – In the male body, testosterone is the most important sex hormone. Testosterone is responsible for development of male characteristics such as body and facial hair, muscle growth and strength, and a deep voice. Normal levels of testosterone also influence the production of sperm, promote sexual function and promote sex drive.
We now know that some men’s bodies do not make enough testosterone. These men may experience uncomfortable and sometimes distressing symptoms. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) estimates that 4 to 5 million American men may suffer from low testosterone, but only 5 percent are currently treated.
SYMPTOMS OF LOW TESTOSTERONE
As men get older, the ability to produce testosterone declines. This decrease in testosterone production is sometimes referred to as andropause or “male menopause.” If testosterone levels fall below the normal range some typical symptoms may include:
· Low sex drive
· Erectile dysfunction (
· Increased irritability or depression
· Reduced muscle mass and strength
· Inability to concentrate
· Decreased bone density; osteoporosis
In addition to age-related low testosterone, there are certain medical conditions that can cause low testosterone. These medical conditions can begin in youth or in adulthood, and can affect testosterone levels throughout a man’s life. Some of these conditions are associated with the testicles, pituitary gland and/or hypothalamus (a part of the brain that controls many of the body’s glands). Occasionally, the problem can be genetic.
In younger men, low testosterone production may reduce the development of body and facial hair. Muscle mass and genitals may not develop normally, and younger men’s voices may fail to deepen.
BE SURE TO GET SCREENED
If you experience symptoms associated with low testosterone, you may want to ask your doctor about getting your testosterone levels checked. Your primary care physician can check your testosterone levels with a simple blood test and treat you if you have low testosterone. You might also ask your primary care physician about a referral to an endocrinologist or urologist who specializes in treating conditions such as low testosterone.
Regular checkups and age-appropriate screenings can improve your health and extend your life. Consider adding regular screening for low testosterone to other screenings as part of your checkup.
IF YOU HAVE LOW TESTOSTERONE
If you do have low testosterone, the good news is that the condition is treatable. There are several FDA-approved testosterone replacement therapies, including:
* Clear gel that you rub on your arm every morning
Talk to your doctor about which option may be best for you.