Tuesday, 02 June 2015
Over 3 million Americans over 40 suffer from some sort of visual impairment. Vision loss is one of the major causes of disabilities, and age related eye diseases (AREDs) are rapidly becoming a public health problem in developed countries. Visual impairment caused by AREDs can lead to other serious health issues, including decreased mobility, depression, hip fractures, other accidents, and an overall lower quality of life. Most AREDs do not have effective treatments and it is important to maintain eye health and to prevent vision deterioration.
Friday, 15 May 2015
Scurvy (known as “Sailor’s disease”) is a condition resulting from a complete depletion of ascorbic acid (vitamin C). It is a fatal disease characterized by a slow dissolution of connective tissue throughout the body including the walls of the blood vessels. This disease was quite common in earlier centuries, especially among sailors whose diet was deprived of vitamin C. During long voyages at sea many died within months from tremendous blood loss. Today fully developed scurvy is rare; however, subclinical scurvy is very common especially in the elderly, infants, children on special diets, and people with poor dietary habits.
Monday, 11 May 2015
Heart attacks and strokes have consistently remained the leading causes of deaths. Atherosclerosis, the underlying cause of these diseases, results in 17 million deaths each year. Yet, high blood cholesterol levels, a fatty diet, and obesity have been blamed as the causes of heart disease. However, cutting down dietary fat and the artificial reduction of blood cholesterol with cholesterol-reducing medicines have not been successful in addressing this issue. Atherosclerotic plaques occur primarily in the coronary arteries rather than in the entire 60000-mile-long vascular system. The absence of plaque in the veins and the fact that animals do not suffer from atherosclerosis while humans do cannot be explained by conventional medicine and the cholesterol theory of heart disease.
Thursday, 16 April 2015
Heart Failure is a serious health condition where the heart is unable to pump enough oxygenated blood to other parts of the body. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about 5.1 million people in the US are affected by heart failure and about 40-50% of them die within one year of diagnosis. The economic impact of heart failure is huge, as the national heart failure treatment costs average about $32 billion including the work absences. Worldwide, approximately 23 million people suffer from heart failure.
Monday, 23 March 2015
The widely available extract from green tea is a combination of different phytonutrients (polyphenols) present in the tea leaves, which claim various health benefits. Green tea polyphenols have potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties contributing to their anti-cancer and cardiovascular benefits and support of overall health. Recent research also shows that green tea offers health benefits in several conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis, atherosclerosis, Alzheimer's disease, and so on.
Thursday, 19 March 2015
According to recent dietary guidelines, healthy people should consume at least 5-9 (and sometimes up to 13) servings of fruits and vegetables daily (one serving equals 1 cup). Especially recommended are colorful fruits and vegetables rich in vitamins and various phytonutrients.
Monday, 23 February 2015
Polyphenols are the compounds present in various fruits, vegetables, coffee, tea, and nuts. They are being found to have certain health benefits. Resveratrol is a polyphenol present in very high concentrations in grapes, red wine, and purple grape juice, and in smaller proportion in peanuts, blueberries, bilberries, cranberries and dark chocolate. It is believed that plants produce resveratrol for protection from bacterial and fungal infection. Resveratrol is commonly known for its anti-aging actions. Most of the anti-aging properties of resveratrol could be attributed to its potent anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory actions. Additionally, resveratrol is also proven to have anti-cancer, anti-diabetic and anti-hypertensive actions. One of the proposed mechanisms of action of resveratrol may be that it affects the energy production pathways within the cells by preventing degradation of specific molecules called Cyclic Adenosine Monophosphate (cAMP).
Wednesday, 18 February 2015
Curcumin is the most abundant natural phenol (curcuminoid) present in the Indian curry spice, turmeric, and it gives turmeric its yellow color. Turmeric powder is obtained from the rhizomes of the Curcuma longa plant. Turmeric powder is used extensively in South-Asian cooking and food preservation. Due to its various medicinal properties, turmeric is still used in Ayurvedic medicine for skin, respiratory, and gastrointestinal ailments, liver disorders, muscle sprains, joint pains, and wound healing. In the past few decades, curcumin has been studied to evaluate its anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory, and immune modulation properties.
Thursday, 05 February 2015
Phytonutrients are natural components of plants with important functions, such as protecting plants from insects, diseases, draught, ultraviolet rays, and pollutants. Until recently, phytonutrients were not considered as important nutrients for humans; however, they are now thought to be necessary to sustain human life. It has been shown that several phytonutrients can reduce the incidence of chronic diseases, e.g., diabetes, hypertension, atherosclerosis, and cancer.
Thursday, 22 January 2015
Malnourishment is not hunger! Although global hunger is an ongoing struggle for more than one billion people, severe acute malnutrition is a more serious condition causing 45% of deaths in children under five years old. Worldwide, 34 million children are living with malnutrition, and every year at least one million of them die due to severe malnutrition and related diseases.
Wednesday, 07 January 2015
Every year the shift towards cold temperatures in winter marks the beginning of flu season in the northern hemisphere. The spread of the flu virus is further facilitated by people gathering and staying indoors and by people with compromised immune systems. Therefore, many turn to supplements to support their immune system and boost internal protection against viruses. However, in choosing supplements most of us miss an important aspect that is the efficacy of the supplements to support healthy blood production and a strong immune system. This may be a reason why some people, despite regularly taking vitamins, become sick simply, because their body may not be properly absorbing the supplements. This knowledge is particularly important and something we should retain, as we get older.
Wednesday, 10 December 2014
A primary brain tumor is a highly aggressive type of tumor originating from brain tissues. Secondary brain tumors are the tumors that spread to the brain from cancers originating in other parts of the body (such as melanoma, the lungs, breasts, kidneys, and colon). The US estimates 23,380 adults will be diagnosed with primary brain tumors in 2014 and approximately 14,320 adults will die from those tumors. European statistics reported 57,132 cases of malignant brain tumors according to a 2012 statistical report.
Monday, 24 November 2014
The pancreas, located directly behind the lower part of the stomach, is a vital organ secreting various digestive enzymes and hormones (e.g. insulin) that regulate blood sugar levels in the body. Cancer of the pancreas is a serious and almost always fatal disease. It is the twelfth most common cancer in the world with 338,000 new cases diagnosed in 20121. However, it is projected that pancreatic cancer will be the second deadliest cancer by 2030. According to the American Cancer Society’s 2014 estimates, 46,420 people will be diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in the US and 39,590 deaths are expected to be due to this disease. In Europe, there were approximately 103,845 cases of pancreatic cancer in 2012. Only 4-5% of the people diagnosed with pancreatic cancer live beyond 5 years after their diagnosis. This is because pancreatic cancer is usually diagnosed at a very late stage due to a lack of specific symptoms and, similarly to other cancers, no effective cure is available.
Tuesday, 11 November 2014
Gum disease affects everyone and is not exclusively a childhood disease. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates about half of all American adults tend to have advanced gum disease at the time of diagnosis. This is because gum disease rarely produces uncomfortable symptoms until it is in late stages. While dentists look for specific signs to diagnose gum disease, certain symptoms may indicate underlying gum problems. Symptoms such as red, swollen, and painful gums, bleeding while brushing and flossing, constant bad breath, or a bad taste in mouth due to bacterial infection in gum pockets, warrant attention and further evaluation. There are studies proving a connection between gum disease and other systemic conditions such as heart disease, stroke, rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, and many others.
Wednesday, 29 October 2014
Today women are well aware of their 1 in 8 lifetime risk of breast cancer. Every year multiple awareness campaigns focus on identification of risk factors, yearly screening, early diagnosis, and subsequent treatment of breast cancer. Many women are subjected to yearly mammography screening in the hopes of early detection of breast cancer. However, after many years of its repeated use on thousands of women, the risks are being highlighted and new guidelines are being discussed. It is up to the individual woman and her physician to determine the usefulness of a routine mammogram, however many experts are now critical of yearly mammography for every woman over 40 years old.
Wednesday, 22 October 2014
Excluding skin cancer, breast cancer is the most common cancer in women in the US, and about 1 in 8 women are likely to develop it during their lifetime. The American Cancer Society estimates that in 2014, about 232,670 new cases of invasive breast cancer, and 62,570 of noninvasive (in-situ) breast cancers will be diagnosed in the US. Worldwide approximately 1.38 million new cases are diagnosed and 458 000 deaths occur from breast cancer each year.