Skipping breakfast could make your kid undernourished

Is your son or daughter in the habit of skipping breakfast regularly? If so, he or she may fall short of the daily required amounts of nutrients that are essential for their growth and development, researchers have warned.

The findings showed that 31.5 per cent of children who skipped breakfast did not meet even the lower recommended nutrient intake (LRNI) of iron.

While, 19 per cent did not meet LRNI for calcium, 21.5 per cent did not meet lower levels for iodine and 7.3 per cent had a folate intake below their recommended nutrient intake level.

On the other hand, children who ate breakfast every day were found to have higher daily intakes of key nutrients such as folate — important for the development of genetic material –, calcium, iron and iodine — key in the development of thyroid function.

“This study provides evidence that breakfast is key for parents to ensure that their children are getting the nutrition they need,” said Gerda Pot, lecturer at the King’s College London.

the importance of breakfast, benefits of eating breakfast on time, healthy breakfast benefits, indian express, indian express newsFor the study, published in the British Journal of Nutrition, the team included 802 children aged from four to 10 years and 884 children aged 11 to 18 years.

Breakfast was considered as consumption of over 100 calories between 6 and 9 a.m.

The study also showed that, in younger children (four to 10 years old), on days when breakfast was consumed, children had higher intakes of folate, calcium, vitamin C and iodine compared to their breakfast-skipping days.

Out of these same nutrients, for older children (11-18 years old) only calcium intakes were higher on breakfast-consuming days.

Excess workout, steroids leading to infertility among men

A combination of intense workout, which has become a daily trend for many men, along with consumption of steroids is becoming a rising cause of infertility, according to IVF experts.

Long-term exhaustive exercises decreases sperm count and one’s potential for reproduction, said IVF experts.

Another factor contributing to infertility was the consumption of steroids for body building which was causing zoospermia – a condition in which sperm does not generate in semen.

Recent studies have said some 1 per cent of the Indian males is affected by zoospermia.

excessive workout disadvantages, fertility in men, exercise hampers fertility in men, indian express, indian express news“In males, heavy training sessions can reduce the sperm count in the body that is directly related to the fertility of a man. There are many who have been following long-term training sessions in order to maintain the body. If one is into exhaustive training sessions, there are chances that they might have less sperm count compared to a man who has been following normal training sessions,” said Arvind Vaid, an IVF expert at the city-based Indira IVF Hospital.

Rekha Goswami, a city-based independent IVF expert, who previously worked with the AIIMS, said though heavy workout causes infertility problems in the long run, what is of immediate concern was consumption of steroids without medical advice.

New pain reliever may help combat opioid abuse

Scientists have discovered a powerful pain reliever that is effective in alleviating neuropathic pain, a discovery that could be instrumental in addressing the opioid abuse epidemic, one of the biggest public health challenges today.

In the study, the synthetic compound — known as UKH-1114 — was found effective in relieving neuropathic pain in injured mice. It was as effective as a drug widely used for pain relief called gabapentin.

The new pain drug binds to a receptor on cells throughout the central nervous system called the sigma 2 receptor.

Administering UKH-1114 on mice with nerve damage showed reduction in pain, but at a much lower dose than gabapentin (one-sixth as much) and was effective much longer (lasting for a couple of days, compared with four to six hours).

“This opens the door to having a new treatment for neuropathic pain that is not an opioid,” said Stephen Martin, Professor at The University of Texas at Austin.

pain relievers, pain relievers' uses, pain relievers opioid use control, pain relievers opiod use control benefits, indian express, indian express news“And that has huge implications,” Martin added, in the paper published in the journal ACS Chemical Neuroscience.

If the drug is proved to be safe, effective and non-addictive in humans, the discovery could be instrumental in addressing the opioid abuse epidemic, the researchers said.

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, nearly two million people in the US suffer from addiction to prescription opioid pain relievers.

Opioids also often require increased dosing to maintain efficacy.

Alternatives to opioids have their own drawbacks — for example, gabapentin (sold as Neurontin) can cause cognitive impairment in certain individuals, the researchers said.

Neuropathic pain, or chronic pain, is caused when nerves in the central nervous system are damaged. Among other things, it can result from chemotherapy, diabetes and injuries to the brain or spinal cord.

E-cigarettes may promote smoking among teenagers

Researchers have identified a “robust association” between e-cigarette use among teenagers and the increased probability of smoking a cigarette within a year.

“The findings suggest that among the teenagers who had never smoked, the use of e-cigarettes was a strong predicator that within 12 months they would have tried a conventional cigarette,” said lead investigator Mark Conner, Professor at University of Leeds in Britain.

The research, published in the journal Tobacco Control, surveyed 2,836 adolescents from 20 schools in England.

Some had tried tobacco but the vast majority were non-smokers. A third had used an e-cigarette.

They were re-surveyed a year later and asked if they had tried a conventional cigarette, and how often.

Among the adolescents who had never smoked but had tried an e-cigarette, 118 out of 343 reported smoking at least one cigarette (34 per cent) over the year.

e-cigarettes, smoking health effects, smoking effects on health, smoking disadvantages, smoking health disadvantages, smoking health ill-effects, indian express, indian express newsAmong the group who had not smoked and never used an e-cigarette, the figure was 124 out of 1383 (just under nine per cent).

The survey data revealed that e-cigarette use was a greater risk factor for starting smoking in those with no smoking friends than for those who had a friendship network where most smoked.

“Adolescents who have used e-cigarettes and who initially have no friends who smoke may be at particular risk of starting to smoke cigarettes,” study co-author Sarah Grogan from Manchester Metropolitan University said.

“This is particularly interesting as it runs contrary to the suggestion that adolescents who try e-cigarettes would have been likely to try smoking anyway due to factors such as peer pressure from friends who smoke,” Grogan said.

Quit smoking to delay frailty in old age

Giving up smoking early may potentially prevent or delay developing frailty, even in old age, suggests new research.

The study, published in the journal Age & Ageing, showed that current smoking was associated with an approximately 60 per cent increased risk of developing frailty.

Frailty is a condition associated with decreased physiological reserve and increased vulnerability to adverse health outcomes. The outcomes include falls, fractures, disability, hospitalisation and institutionalisation. Frailty has also been shown to be linked to worse psychological or cognitive outcomes, such as poor quality of life and dementia.

“Our study showed that current smoking is a risk factor of developing frailty,” said one of the study authors Gotaro Kojima of University College London.

Smoking increases the risk of developing a number of diseases, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), coronary heart disease, stroke and peripheral vascular disease, all of which can potentially have negative effects on people’s physical, psychological and social health.

“Additional analyses revealed that COPD seems a main factor on the causal pathway from smoking towards frailty, but those who quit smoking did not carry over the risk of frailty,” Kojima said.

COPD is an umbrella term used to describe progressive lung diseases.

The researchers used data from a nationally representative sample of older men and women living in England.

smoking effects, effects of smoking, smoking injurious to health, smoking leads to frailty in old age, smoking leads to problems in old age, smoking frailty old age, indian express, indian express newsThey defined frailty using a combination of five physical frailty components — unintentional weight loss, self-reported exhaustion, weakness, slow walking speed, and low physical activity. Frailty was classified as having three or more of the five criteria.

The current study used data of participants who were aged 60 years or older. The final sample for this study was 2,542 participants, divided into two groups — current smokers and non-smokers.

The non-smokers were further divided into another two groups: past smokers and never smokers. The past smokers were once again divided into two groups: Those who quit within the last 10 years and those who quit more than 10 years ago.

The analysis revealed that current smoking in older people was associated with risk of developing frailty, though former smokers did not appear to be at higher risk.

Diet diary: From Andes to Japanese islands, lessons in longevity

Immortality is impossible but living a long life isn’t. Some cultures like the Vilcabambans of the Ecuadorian Andes, the Hunza of Pakistan and the centenarians of the Okinawa island in Japan are known for their long lives and may help scientists dealing with life expectancy.

Okinawa, for instance, is home to the world’s healthiest elderly with the longest recorded life expectancies. Scientific studies and research have shown that besides genetic factors, longevity is strongly linked to food and exercise habits.

Low-calorie healthy diets and high physical activity in these extraordinarily healthy societies are the secrets for their extended lifespans with virtually no reported incidence of diseases like high blood pressure, heart disease, cancer, diabetes and other degenerative diseases such as rheumatism, osteoporosis, Alzheimer’s and vision problems.

So what are the dietary secrets to longevity? Eating less has been found to be critical and seems to be the centrepiece of longevity. In animal experiments, researchers have demonstrated that calorie restriction has now been clearly proven to be effective and up to 30 per cent calorie restriction leads to extended years in a manner believed to be similar to genetic modification. Additionally, high intake of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, soy, fish and eating less fat along with healthy lifestyle seems to explain protection from diseases and increased lifespan.

A study reported that healthy older Okinawans eat an average of seven servings of vegetables, seven servings of whole grains, two servings of soy products; fish twice or thrice a week and very little sugar and added fats. Their diets include little meat and no margarines, hydrogenated fats or trans fat.

Andes islands,Japanese islands, Okinawa island,healthiest elderly people, long living elderly peopleAlthough the impact of good nutrition on health and disease begins very early in life, it’s never too late to make changes. According to researchers, at age 65 men and women in high- income countries still have a life expectancy of a further 15 and 19 years respectively. The older one becomes, the longer one is likely to live, and thus, by the time men and women reach age 75, life expectancy is still 9 and 11 years, respectively. This dispels the common assumption that changes in lifestyle to improve health are no longer worthwhile in old age. In fact, the prevalence of heart disease, diabetes, hypertension, obesity and arthritis is highest in the older population. Studies demonstrate that it is still worthwhile for older people to make lifestyle changes like diet modification, weight reduction, sodium restriction, saturated fat restriction smoking cessation — and that these changes make life in later years healthier, more active and less dependent.

Clearly, living long is not a coincidence. It is a result of many factors and when it comes to health and longevity, the sum of the dietary components is greater than its individual elements. The important thing to be remembered is that these scientifically proven secrets of the world’s healthiest and long-lived people are simple to say the least. Adopting them with common sense can certainly extend your later years with vibrancy and vitality.

Super-centenarian diet

* Eat less and eat well- low calories and nutrient dense foods.

*Choose a diet particularly rich in phyto-chemicals (antioxidants), vitamin B6, B12, folic acid, zinc, calcium, iron, chromium, vitamin D & E and omega-3 fats.

* Eat good carbohydrates, good fat, high-quality proteins and fibre.

* Include plenty of whole grains, fruits and vegetables into your dietary plans.

*Include protein-rich foods such as fish, soy, legumes — peas and beans, seeds, nuts, fermented milk products, buttermilk & fermented foods.

Rise in number breast of reconstruction surgeries: Women dealing with cancer need not ‘lose’ their breast

At 23, Nikisha Oswal was engaged to be married and also looking forward to a promising career as a fashion designer. Till breast cancer struck, with at least two doctors — one in Pune and the other from Mumbai — advising removal of a breast. “I was so confused. I didn’t understand much about cancer but losing a breast played heavily on my mind,” Nikisha recalled.

The youngster went through chemotherapy to reduce the lump in her breast and instead of a mastectomy (removal of breast) underwent an oncoplastic breast surgery. Here, the breast is conserved or reconstructed. “It all started with a small lump in my right breast. My hand started hurting and after a check, I was detected with HER2 breast cancer a year ago,” says this former student of Wadia college. “My fiancé broke up with me and all of a sudden life came to a standstill,” she said.

Nikisha soon mustered the courage to tackle the disease. “It was Dr C B Koppiker, breast oncoplastic surgeon, who allayed most of my fears and helped me recover. Importantly, I could conserve my breast,” Nikisha, who now teaches small kids how to dance, said. Like Nikisha, a 30-year-old woman who preferred anonymity, spoke about how she dealt with breast cancer. She too had been advised removal of her breast. “I had just stopped breastfeeding my child and it was a such a shock when one of the doctors said I would have to remove my breast,” she recalled. Dr Koppiker not only operated upon the tumour, the surgical technique was used in such a way that despite the reduction of one breast, the other one was also similarly reconstructed to present an aesthetic look, she said.

Breast reconstruction Surgery, India news, National news, Medical news, Breast cancer news, Maharashtra news At 56, a teacher at an international school in the city was alarmed when she was detected with cancer. “I was eating well, exercising and really felt depressed that I would ‘lose’ my breasts. But I need not have worried as my breasts were aesthetically replaced despite a double mastectomy,” the teacher said on the condition of anonymity.

“With the increase in the incidence of breast cancer, there is a common misconception that treatment means removal of the breast. Nearly 80 per cent of breast cancer patients in the country undergo mastectomy while the remaining undergo breast conservation surgeries with poor cosmetic results,” Dr C B Koppiker, who heads Prashanti Cancer Care Mission, told The Indian Express. However, in the last three years, the oncologist has performed as many as 250 oncoplastic breast surgeries and helped women conserve their breast.

“Mutilating surgeries often lead to loss of self-esteem and depression among women which has been linked to negative impact on the treatment outcome. There is a paucity of trained breast surgeons in the country and at times women are unable to avail of the benefits of such surgeries,” Koppiker, who has set up an international school of oncoplastic surgery in the city, said. While surgeons have been trained in the last three years, Prashanti Cancer Care Mission’s Orchids Breast Health Clinic has tied up with the University of East Anglia, UK, and launched a three-year Masters in Breast Oncoplasty Programme in July this year. “Our first cohort has students from India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Indonesia and the faculty will include experts from the UK, the US and India,” Koppiker added.

Vitamin C jabs may stave off blood cancer: Study

Vitamin C injections may halt the progression of blood cancer by encouraging faulty stem cells in the bone marrow to die, a study in mice has found. Certain genetic changes are known to reduce the ability of an enzyme called TET2 to encourage stem cells to become mature blood cells, which eventually die, in many patients with certain kinds of leukemia, researchers said. “We are excited by the prospect that high-dose vitamin C might become a safe treatment for blood diseases caused by TET2-deficient leukemia stem cells, most likely in combination with other targeted therapies,” said Benjamin Neel, professor at New York University (NYU) in the US.

Changes in the genetic code (mutations) that reduce TET2 function are found in 10 per cent of patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML), 30 per cent of those with a form of pre-leukemia called myelodysplastic syndrome, and in nearly 50 per cent of patients with chronic myelomonocytic leukemia.

Such cancers cause anemia, infection risk, and bleeding as abnormal stem cells multiply in the bone marrow until they interfere with blood cell production, with the number of cases increasing as the population ages. Researchers studied the relationship between TET2 and cytosine, one of the four nucleic acid “letters” that comprise the DNA code in genes.

To determine the effect of mutations that reduce TET2 function in abnormal stem cells, the team genetically engineered mice such that the scientists could switch the TET2 gene on or off. They found that similar to the naturally occurring effects of TET2 mutations in mice or humans, using molecular biology techniques to turn off TET2 in mice caused abnormal stem cell behaviour. These changes were reversed when TET2 expression was restored by a genetic trick.

blood cancer, vitamin c injection, tet2, cancer prevention, nyu, vitamin c benefits, indian expressPrevious studies had shown that vitamin C could stimulate the activity of TET2 and its relatives TET1 and TET3.

Since only one of the two copies of the TET2 gene in each stem cell is usually affected in TET2-mutant blood diseases, researchers hypothesised that high doses of vitamin C, which can only be given intravenously, might reverse the effects of TET2 deficiency by turning up the action of the remaining functional gene.

They found that vitamin C did the same thing as restoring TET2 function genetically. By promoting DNA demethylation, high-dose vitamin C treatment induced stem cells to mature, and also suppressed the growth of leukemia cancer stem cells from human patients implanted in mice. “Interestingly, we also found that vitamin C treatment had an effect on leukemic stem cells that resembled damage to their DNA,” said Luisa Cimmino, assistant professor at NYU Langone Health.

Birth pill linked to lower risk of arthritis in women

The findings revealed that women who used birth pill for more than seven years had a 19 per cent lower risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis, irrespective of being tested positive or negative for ACPA.

ACPA (anti-citrullinated protein) are antibodies that indicate the risk of rheumatoid arthritis.

The presence of these antibodies may indicate more serious disease, said Cecilia Orellana from the Karolinska Institutet in Sweden.

Further, the risk was found 15 per cent lower in current users of the birth pill and 13 per cent lower in past users.

antibiotics, side effects of antibiotics, pathogens, diarrhoea, Salmonella, good bacteria, bad bugs, gut lumen, fibre processing in the gut, microbes, bacterial infectionFor the study, published online in the Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases, the team looked at the possible link between the development of the disease and use of the pill and/or breastfeeding among 2,578 adult women who had had at least one child, and 4,129 women, selected from the general population, acted as a comparison group.

The results showed no significant link for breastfeeding — a practice that has been long associated with a protective effect against arthritis.

Of these, 884 with rheumatoid arthritis and 1,949 from the comparison group had breastfed at least one child between 2006 and 2014.

Nine out of 10 people who test positive for ACPA antibodies will have rheumatoid arthritis.

High BP during pregnancy may up heart disease risk later

Women who experience high blood pressure condition during pregnancy are likely to face an increased risk of heart disease and hypertension later in life, according to a study.

Hypertension or high blood pressure is a condition in which the force of the blood against the artery walls is too high.

The findings showed that women with hypertension during pregnancy had a 2.2-times higher risk of developing cardiovascular disease, compared with women without hypertension during pregnancy.

They also had a 5.6-times higher risk of developing hypertension after pregnancy.

“This study highlights the need for long-term follow-up of women with a history of hypertension during pregnancy to provide early management of risk factors for cardiovascular disease,” said lead author Sonia Grandi, doctoral candidate at McGill University.

The results were published in the journal Paediatric & Perinatal Epidemiology.

Gestational hypertension, also referred to as pregnancy induced hypertension (PIH), can lead to a serious condition called preeclampsia that can lead to serious, even fatal complications for both mother and baby.

For the study, the team included 1,46,748 women with a first pregnancy.

After a follow-up of approximately four-and-a-half years, 997 were diagnosed with cardiovascular disease and 6,812 developed hypertension.

“To efficiently tackle modern lifestyle diseases like hypertension, we need to move from curative to preventive care. Regular health check-ups, reduction of salt, sugar intake, promoting physical activity, early detection and treatment are some of the possible ways to have a preventive approach towards such diseases,” Kenneth Thorpe, Chairman, Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease, said in a statement.

Lifestyle modifications, including salt restriction, diet full of fruits and vegetables are more important in day-to-day life, Thorpe added.