IMA urges Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya to reschedule NEET exam

New Delhi [India]: The Indian Medical Association (IMA) has requested Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya to reschedule the NEET-PG examination, which is scheduled to be held on May 21.

The IMA in its letter to the Health Minister on Wednesday said, “The NEET-PG 2021 was held five months after the scheduled date in the month of September 2021. Then the counselling scheduled to begin from October 25, 2021, was also initiated (in January 2022) after a delay due to a pending decision on seat reservations and was further delayed owing to the Supreme Court ruling of March 31, 2022, which ordered cancellation and conduct of special round of counselling for the mop-up round.”
“As a result of the delayed counselling schedule, NEET PG 2022 was deferred from April 2022 to May 2022, so that the candidates could appear for the final stray vacancy round of NEET PG 2021 and can still have plenty of time for preparation and reappearance for the next NEET PG 2022 exam if they failed to secure a seat this year. However, the AIQ Counselling anticipated to be completed by the end of March 2022, is still in process and is uncertain if it will end by May 7. The several States will also be finishing the counselling around the middle of May 2022,” it said.

Highlighting the delay in All India Quota (AIQ) counselling for NEET PG 2021, IMA said that the difference between the NEET PG 2022 exam date and the completion of 2021 counselling is too short for an aspirant to prepare and appear for such an extremely difficult exam like NEET-PG.

“Another innocent five to ten thousand interns, who served as COVID warriors during COVID-19 pandemic, are ineligible to appear for NEET-PG due to delay in completion of their final examination and consequently their internship beyond eligibility criteria set for the examination,” the IMA said.

Pointing out various scenarios and Supreme Court judgments on the timetable for postgraduate courses, the IMA stressed the need to defer NEET 2022 examinations as it “concerns career paths of lakhs of medical graduates”.

“Since the NEET PG 2022 examination date is 21st May 2022, we request your timely intervention and urgent consideration of postponement of the NEET PG 2022 for a reasonable period of time, so that, the current NEET PG 2021 aspirants have adequate time to prepare and appear for the upcoming NEET-PG 2022 examination and the eligibility of all interns is also ensured,” the IMA said.

“We are sure that the issue shall be dealt with urgency by granting the prayer as made herein above in larger academic and societal interest as a whole,” it further said. (ANI)

Scientists develop model to predict patients with poor lung cancer outcomes

Washington [US]: Researchers at the Moffitt Cancer Center have been working to improve the ability to recognize patients with poor survival through radiomics, a scientific discipline that uses imaging, such as CT scans and MRIs, to uncover tumoral patterns and characteristics that may not be easy to spot by the naked eye.

The findings of the research were published in the journal ‘Cancer Biomarkers’.
“Overtreatment is a serious adverse effect of cancer screening and early detection. Identifying patients that have aggressive, high-risk tumours associated with very poor survival outcomes would help oncologists decide which patients may need more aggressive treatment, such as adjuvant therapies. On the other hand, patients that have less aggressive, low-risk tumours have a better chance of cure by surgery and may not need adjuvant therapies,” explained Matthew Schabath, PhD, an associate member of the Cancer Epidemiology Department at Moffitt.

Scientists are trying to discover biomarkers that could predict tumour behaviour. This would help identify lung cancers diagnosed in lung cancer screening that should be aggressively treated from those lesions that may be slow-growing and could be cured by surgery only.

Many focus on biomarkers that are derived from patient tissue or blood samples; however, Moffitt researchers wanted to develop a model to differentiate patients based on radiomic features.

Radiomics is the extraction of data from medical image features that can aid in cancer detection, diagnosis, disease monitoring and treatment decisions.

Image features include broad characteristics such as intensity, shape, size, volume and texture. Unlike biomarkers derived from tissue or blood samples, radiomic biomarkers are collected noninvasively and reflect the entire tumour rather than just a small sample.

The Moffitt team acquired images from the National Lung Screening Trial and analyzed radiomic features of the internal and surrounding tumour area. They developed a model based on the radiomic feature of compactness and the volume doubling time of sequential patient images from baseline and the first and second follow-up.

Their model divided patients into groups according to their risk of having poor outcomes. For example, the low-risk patient group had a five-year overall survival of 83.3 per cent, while the high-risk patient group had a five-year overall survival of 25 per cent.

Similar results were observed for patients with early-stage lung cancers and for patients who were diagnosed with lung cancer at the first follow-up. The researchers also identified a volume doubling time cut-point that was able to differentiate between patients with aggressive versus low-risk tumours.

While additional studies are needed to confirm this model, the researchers hope that their findings will eventually allow physicians to differentiate patients who need to be aggressively treated from those patients who may require routine follow-up.

“The results from our analyses revealed that radiomics combined with volume doubling time can identify a vulnerable subset of screen-detected lung cancers that are associated with poor survival outcomes, suggesting that such patients may need more aggressive treatment. We hope to do further studies to validate our findings before applying our model to patient care,” said Jaileene Perez-Morales, PhD, a postdoctoral fellow in the Cancer Epidemiology Department. (ANI)


Researchers Develop Fitness Sensor That Monitors Health

Thuwal [Saudi Arabia], February 14 (ANI): Perspiration is basically sweating from sweat glands, often in response to heat, exercise or stress. Researchers have developed a fitness sensor that monitors the sweat of a person and keeps a check on their health.

The study was published in the journal, ‘Small Methods’. Ultrathin nanomaterials, known as MXenes, are poised to make it easier to monitor a person’s well-being by analyzing their perspiration.

While they share a similar two-dimensional nature to graphene, MXenes are composed of non-toxic metals, such as titanium, in combination with carbon or nitrogen atoms. With naturally high conductivity and strong surface charges, MXenes are attractive candidates for biosensors that can detect small changes to chemical concentrations.

In 2019, Husam Alshareef’s group developed an MXene composite electrode, which they enclosed in a wearable armband sensor. The device, which had a modular design that used MXene inserts loaded with appropriate enzymes, could absorb perspiration and detect several analytes in human sweat, including glucose and lactic acid.

Alshareef and his colleagues, in collaboration with Sahika Inal’s research team, recently tried combining MXene sheets with hydrogels — water-filled polymers that are compatible with human tissue because they are able to stretch. Intriguingly, the team found that high levels of mobile ions in the hydrogel produced strong sensitivity to the mechanical strain that occurs during exercise.

“Initially the MXene sheets are randomly oriented within the hydrogel, but once you apply pressure to them, the sheets become more horizontally oriented,” explained Alshareef.

“Because MXenes have a high concentration of negative charges on their surfaces, horizontal arrangements strongly affects ion movements within the hydrogel, and thus we can measure different levels of pressure change.”

A prototype wearable sensor, developed with the new MXene-hydrogel compound, was able to track muscle movement by producing distinct electrical resistance patterns as mechanical stress increased. These patterns in turn changed instantly when the sensor was exposed to additional ions in the form of acidic or basic solutions.

This led the KAUST team to realize their device could be used to correlate pH changes in sweat to fatigue-inducing acid buildups in muscle cells.

“As we exercise and our muscles get tired, the sensor sees the new chemical environment and produces different electrical resistance versus stress curves,” said Kang Lee, a former KAUST postdoc and lead author of the study. “By comparing these curves to reference curves for a given sensor, we can determine the pH of the sweat and how fatigued the muscle is.”

With Bluetooth connectivity to nearby digital devices, the MXene-based sensor may prove valuable to athletes looking for real-time performance measurements once the technology is optimized. “The most serious challenge is the long-term stability of the sensor, so we’re looking at altering compositions and designs in future experiments,” said Alshareef.

Calcium is good for heart as well : STUDY FINDS


Suita [Japan], January 23 (ANI): The human heart, the size of a fist, located just behind and slightly left of the breastbone, tirelessly beats an average of 100,000 times a day. However, conditions that stop the heart from pumping blood efficiently can cause serious problems and ultimately require a heart transplantation.

In a study published in the journal ‘Science Translational Medicine’, researchers from Osaka University showed that a previously unknown mutation can lead to a condition called dilated cardiomyopathy, which is one of the main causes of heart failure.
Heart failure refers to an incurable condition where the heart is no longer able to meet the body’s demands in terms of blood supply. It is one of the most common causes of death and it affects almost 40 million people worldwide, representing a huge public health problem. One of the main factors leading to heart failure is a disease called dilated cardiomyopathy (or DCM). DCM is characterized by dilation of the heart’s chambers and a pumping disfunction. Previous research has shown that DCM is often inherited and has a genetic basis. However, for up to 80 per cent of the familial DCM cases, the genetic mutation causing the disease has still not been known.

The research team identified a gene called BAG5 as a novel causative gene for DCM. First, they studied patients from different families, highlighting a correlation between loss of function mutations in the BAG5 gene and DCM. The researchers found that this mutation has a complete penetrance, meaning that 100 per cent of the individuals presenting it will develop the disease. They then found in a mouse model of dilated cardiomyopathy that mice without BAG5 exhibited the same symptoms of human DCM, such as dilatation of the heart’s chambers and irregular heart rhythm. This indicated that mutations that erase the function of BAG5 can cause cardiomyopathy.

“Here we showed that loss of BAG5 perturbs calcium handling in mouse cardiomyocytes,” said Dr. Hideyuki Hakui, lead author of the study. BAG5 is important for calcium handling in the heart muscle cells, and calcium is essential for a regular rhythm and overall health of the cardiac muscle, explaining why a loss of BAG5 leads to cardiomyopathy.

“After demonstrating that BAG5 mutations led to loss of functional BAG5 protein,” continued Dr. Yoshihiro Asano, senior author of the study, “we also showed that administration of an AAV9-BAG5 vector in a murine model could restore cardiac function. This finding suggests that gene therapy with adeno-associated viruses (AAV) should be further investigated as a possible treatment alternative to heart transplantation for patients who are BAG5 deficient.” AAV gene therapy refers to an innovative form of therapy aimed at fixing mutated genes in diseases that have a genetic cause like DCM. Therefore, these findings have paved the way for a potential precision medicine treatment based on gene therapy. (ANI)

Autism treatment: Ray of hope


Chicago [US]: tit is heartbreaking when children are diagnosed with autism. even though awareness is at a better scale now a days , but still there is some amount of stigma attatched with autism. reseaches are going on but no authentic gold standard treatment is available for this.

A ray of hope for those parents, whose kids are on the spectrum is found in the new finding of a research. A lot of kids dealing with autism also suffer from epilepsy. Now, Northwestern Medicine scientists have discovered an important brain protein that quiets overactive brain cells and is at abnormally low levels in children with autism.

The study has been published in the ‘Neuron Journal’.
This protein can be detected in the cerebrospinal fluid, making it a promising marker to diagnose autism and potentially treat the epilepsy that accompanies the disorder.

Scientists knew when this gene is mutated; it caused autism combined with epilepsy. About 30 per cent to 50 per cent of children with autism also have epilepsy. Autism, which is 90 per cent genetic, affects 1/58 children in the U.S.

Appropriately nicknamed “catnap2,” the protein, CNTNAP2, is produced by the brain cells when they become overactive. Because the brains of children with autism and epilepsy don’t have enough of CNTNAP2, scientists found, their brains don’t calm down, which leads to seizures.

For the study, Penzes and colleagues analyzed the cerebrospinal fluid in individuals with autism and epilepsy, and in mouse models. Scientists had analyzed the cerebrospinal fluid from patients with Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease to help diagnose disease and measure response to treatment, but this is the first study showing it is an important biomarker in autism.

The new finding of CNTNAP2’s role in calming the brain in autism and epilepsy may lead to new treatments.

“We can replace CNTNAP2,” said lead study author Peter Penzes, the director of the Center for Autism and Neurodevelopment at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine.

“We can make it in a test tube and should be able to inject it into children’s spinal fluid, which will go back into their brain,” he added.

Penzes’ lab is currently working on this technique in preclinical research.

The level in the spinal cord is proxy for the level in the brain, said Penzes, also the Ruth and Evelyn Dunbar Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Northwestern.

When brain cells are too active because of overstimulation, they produce more CNTNAP2, which floats away and binds to other brain cells to quiet them down. The protein also leaked into the cerebrospinal fluid, where scientists were able to measure it. Thus, it gave them a clue for how much is produced in the brain.

The level in the spinal cord is proxy for the level in the brain, said Penzes, also the Ruth and Evelyn Dunbar Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Northwestern.

Northwestern co-first authors are Lola Martin de Saavedra and Marc dos Santos.

This work was supported by grant NS100785 the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke of the National Institutes of Health and an individual Biomedical Research Award from the Hartwell Foundation.

Study finds intense meditation may boost immunity


Florida [US] ;According to a study conducted by the University of Florida, eight days of intense meditation causes robust activation of the immune system.

The study has been published in the ‘Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Journal’.
The findings are believed to be the first comprehensive genomic study of how meditation affects the biological processes directly involved in disease development. At the heart of the research is Inner Engineering practices, which are meditation and yoga programs that emphasize inner well-being.

While the positive effects of meditation are well documented, far less is known about its molecular and genetic effects, said Vijayendran Chandran, PhD, an assistant professor of paediatrics and neuroscience in the UF College of Medicine.

Chandran’s interest in the molecular roots of Inner Engineering actually started with some prodding by his wife — and a dose of healthy scepticism. Just try it for 48 days, she said. He did so for about 21 minutes a day.

“I tried it and it worked really well. I just felt great,” Chandran said.

That also awoke his scientific curiosity: How exactly did Inner Engineering practices benefit the body? To establish their findings, Chandran and his collaborators studied the genetic profiles of 388 samples obtained from 106 people before and after an April 2018 advanced Inner Engineering retreat at the Isha Institute of Inner-Sciences in McMinville, Tennessee. The retreat was tightly controlled: Participants remained silent for eight days, meditated for more than 10 hours a day, ate vegan meals, and followed a regular sleep schedule.

Blood samples from retreat participants were collected five to eight weeks in advance, then just before and after the retreat as well as three months later. The genomic analysis ultimately found several immune-related and other cellular pathways were altered after the meditation retreat.

Strikingly, they found increased post-retreat activity in 220 genes directly related to the immune response. That included heightened activity in 68 genes associated with interferon signalling, a key part of the body’s anti-virus and anti-cancer responses. They also established that the enhanced immune system after the retreat is primarily due to meditation and not diet, sleep patterns, or gender differences.

Chandran, whose research specialties include bioinformatics and “big data” analysis, had more than 70 million data points from the blood samples. Like a police detective following a trail of evidence, Chandran let the data be his guide.

“What we found was that multiple genes related to the immune system were activated — dramatically — when you do Inner Engineering practices,” Chandran said.

The increased gene activity among interferon-signalling genes is particularly significant, according to Chandran. Interferon proteins rally other parts of the immune system to defend against viruses and several recent studies have shown that interferon signalling is imbalanced in patients with severe COVID-19. Essentially, meditation used a coordinated network of core genes and regulators to unleash a positive effect on the immune system, the researchers found.

“This is the first time anyone has shown that meditation can boost your interferon signalling. It demonstrates a way to voluntarily influence the immune system without pharmaceuticals,” he said.

The researchers reported that the findings also have potential implications for many immune-related conditions such as COVID-19 and multiple sclerosis. While meditation boosted activity in the 68 interferon-related genes, patients with severe COVID-19 have the opposite problem: a dearth of interferon activity that inhibits virus-fighting.

When researchers compared interferon gene activity in the retreat participants and severely ill COVID-19 patients, the differences were stark. Meditation activated 97 per cent of interferon-response genes, compared with 76 per cent gene activation in mild COVID-19 patients and 31 per cent in severe COVID-19 cases.

They also observed the opposite trend for inflammation-signalling genes, where they saw significantly high levels of inflammatory genes in severe COVID-19 patients, compared with mildly ill patients, and no change in inflammatory genes after meditation. Likewise, meditation produced beneficial gene activity comparable to conventional interferon treatments given to multiple sclerosis patients. Taken together, the findings supported the idea that meditation contributed to potentially improving multiple health conditions, the researchers concluded.

While the findings are intriguing, Chandran also said that the beneficial gene-activity effects need further study, including replication in a randomized clinical trial. It could also be helpful to determine if a less intense meditation regimen in the long term might produce similar beneficial immune-system effects, he said.

Research funding was provided by the UF Department of Pediatrics. Collaborators from the Indiana University School of Medicine, the University of Louisville, and the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center contributed to the research.

Alaya F Gives Update About Her Health & Fitness: ‘Got Very Unfit’

Actor Alaya F feels she has got “very unfit” over the last few months.

On Wednesday, Alaya took to her Instagram account and gave a brief update about her health and fitness. “Got very unfit over the last few months, I was so caught up in my work commitments that I stopped taking care of my body and lost a lot of my strength.. things that used to be so easy to do now feel so hard.. which can be so demotivating. But I’m slowly and steadily taking back control and inching towards a healthier, fitter, stronger me again,” she wrote.

Alongside the note, Alaya posted a video of her doing work out.

Reacting to the clip, her ‘Freddy’ co-star Kartik Aaryan quipped, “Ye unfit hai?”

Alaya, who made her Bollywood debut with Saif Ali Khan’s ‘Jawaani Jaaneman’ in 2019, will next be seen in ‘Freddy’ and ‘U Turn’.

Centre to invest 64,000 cr in health sector over next 5 years, says Mansukh Mandaviya

Tawang (Arunachal Pradesh) [India]: Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya on Friday said that about Rs 64,000 crore will be invested by the Centre in creating health infrastructure in the country over the next five years.
The Union Minister, who was on a day-long tour to Tawang district in Arunachal Pradesh, while interacting with healthcare workers at Khandro Drowa Zangmo District Hospital, said that the central government is working to provide health security to all through various health welfare schemes. “Never in the past was health considered as wealth. The present Union Government under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi is working on these lines to provide health security to all through its various health welfare schemes,” Mandaviya said during the interaction, as quoted in an official statement.
Emphasizing on the benefits of the Centre’s Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission that will connect the digital health solutions of hospitals across the country with each other, the minister said, “We have to work with Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission. This will enable us to know the history of a patient and can provide them with quality health services. In the next five years, an investment of Rs 64,000 crore will be made in improving health infrastructure in the country.”
State health Principal Secretary Dr Sharat Chauhan presented an overall health scenario of the state through a powerpoint presentation and apprised the Union Minister regarding COVID-19 management and vaccination status.
Indian Medical Association (IMA) President of Arunachal Pradesh Dr Lobsang Tsetim informed the Union Minister on working of IMA in the state and placed his request to take over Tomo Riba Institute Of Health And Medical Sciences (TRIHMS), Naharlagun by the central government for its future sustainability, quality education and service. He also raised his concern for an urgent need of a super speciality hospital in the state and also the need for massive reformation in all the existing Primary Health Centre.

Earlier in the day, Union Minister visited IPD ward of KDS District Hospital, Tawang and interacted with patients and distributed fruits. He also visited Jan Aushadi Dispensary of KDS District Hospital, Tawang.

Over 21.65 cr unutilized COVID-19 vaccine doses available with States, UTs

New Delhi [India] : The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) on Wednesday said that more than 21.65 crore balance and unutilized COVID-19 vaccine doses are still available with the states and union territories to be administered.
The ministry further stated that over 131crore COVID-19 vaccine doses have been provided to the states and UTs so far. “As many as 1,31,62,03,540 vaccine doses have been provided to States and UTs so far through Government of India (free of cost channel) and through direct state procurement category. 21,65,09,916 balance and unutilized COVID Vaccine doses are still available with the States and UTs to be administered,” the ministry said.
The new phase of universalization of COVID-19 vaccination commenced on June 21, 2021.
The vaccination drive has been ramped up through the availability of more vaccines, advanced visibility of vaccine availability to States and UTs for enabling better planning by them and streamlining the vaccine supply chain.
As part of the nationwide vaccination drive, the Government of India has been supporting the States and UTs by providing them COVID Vaccines free of cost.
In the new phase of the universalization of the COVID-19 vaccination drive, the Union Government will procure and supply (free of cost) 75 per cent of the vaccines being produced by the vaccine manufacturers in the country to States and UTs.
Meanwhile, India reported 9,283 new cases of COVID-19 in the last 24 hours, the Union Health Ministry said on Wednesday.
With this, the active caseload of the infection stands at 1,11,481, which is the lowest in 537 days.
As many as 437 people have succumbed to the COVID-19 infection in the country in the last 24 hours, taking the death toll to 4,66,584.

Rajinikanth Enquires About Kamal Haasan’s Health

Kamal Haasan has been tested positive for the Coronavirus, and the expert actor is getting treated in a private hospital in Chennai. Fans and cinema stars have been wishing the star for a speedy recovery, and his health also seems stable according to the report from the hospital management. Like many from the cine industry is sending their recovery wishes to the actor, Superstar Rajinikanth too enquired about the Haasan’s health through a phone call. Rajinikanth and Kamal Haasan are the two top stars of Tamil cinema, and they share a great bonding. Rajinikanth has reportedly reached out to Kamal Haasan through a phone call and inquired about his health condition. He has also shared some encouraging words for the actor and wished him a speedy recovery.

Now, Rajinikanth has again proved his love for Kamal Haasan by sharing encouraging words during the tough times. Meanwhile, fans are eager to see a picture of Rajinikanth and Kamal Haasan together once the actor returns home.

On the professional front, Rajinikanth recently delivered ‘Annaatthe’ for Diwali, and the film is doing well at the box office. On the other hand, Kamal Haasan is working for ‘Vikram’ with Lokesh Kanagaraj, while the long halted ‘Indian 2’ shooting is also planned to resume soon.

Air pollution going to be a big disaster for health, warn experts

New Delhi [India]: As the national capital witnesses no significant improvement in the air quality, the people of Delhi and adjoining areas are complaining of severe health issues. The quantity of dust particles suspended in the air is higher than the World Health Organization’s (WHO) safety guidelines; most hospitals in Delhi-NCR are reporting patients from all age groups with lung-related issues. According to experts, people with no past history of respiratory troubles are also developing lung-related problems due to air pollution.
Dr Rajesh Kumar Gupta, the Additional Director of Pulmonology and Critical Care at Fortis, Noida said, “We are breathing toxic air every day. Everyone from every age group is suffering, be it children or elderly, or young people with normal lung functions or those with diseased lungs, be it from COVID-19 or other lung diseases like asthma, COPD or others. We cannot categorise them into two. People with normal lungs or those with lung defects, pollution is affecting both populations badly.”
“Those with normal lungs are able to take it on a little better, but those with compromised lungs, get sicker. If your lungs, which are the main breathing machine, are affected, then they can experience any pollution-related infection, pneumonia, asthma, even routine nasal congestion, headache, cough, breathlessness, which everyone staying in the NCR is feeling,” he added.
Gupta also said that the blackish sputum that almost everyone is experiencing on nasal discharge these days “is the kind of smoke we are breathing” and has a “very very deleterious effect on the lungs of everyone”, especially those who have abnormal or diseased lungs.
“There have been studies which have shown that those who live in NCR lose up to 10 years of life because of pollution. When we are born, the first thing we do is breathe. Right now, if don’t breathe well, it’s only going to be a bigger disaster,” he further said.
Adding to it, Dr Ashish Khattar, a Senior Consultant (Internal Medicine) at Venkteshwar Hospital said that pollution is further compromising the lung function of those who are already suffering from bronchitis, asthma or post-COVID illness and is leading to respiratory ailments and distress.
“This is the reason why people who already have compromised lungs are experiencing difficulty in breathing. They are citing distress, breathlessness, shortness of breath, tiredness, weakness, headache and all these symptoms. There are a lot of concerns with polluted air,” he said.
Dr Shubhang Aggarwal, the Director of NHS Hospital, Jalandhar said that with winter conditions setting in, the dust and particulate material from vehicular pollution and smoke from stubble burning have caused smog-like conditions. The dangerous mix of these increases the risk of respiratory diseases, much like smoking cigarette toxins does.
“For children who grow up in highly polluted cities like Delhi, Jalandhar and other North Indian states, the impact of this dangerous air can be catastrophic for their undeveloped lungs and respiratory systems,” he said.
Aggarwal informed that a significant spike in people reporting respiratory problems in such weather and environmental conditions has been witnessed.
“Common complaints include cough and breathlessness. It is well known that the burning of stubble releases a toxic mixture of gasses which include carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, sulfur dioxide, and even manganese and cadmium particles in the atmosphere. This means city residents are practically inhaling poisonous air, which is severely affecting their lung health. No surprise, our pulmonary department will be overflowing with patients,” he added.

Karnataka set to upgrade 250 primary health centres this year, 250 more next year, says CM Bommai

Bengaluru (Karnataka) [India]: Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai has said that the state is set to upgrade 250 primary health centres this year and 250 more next year with assistance from the union government.
According to a press release by the Chief Minister’s Office on Wednesday, a permanent Healthcare Vision Document with a long term perspective would be formulated for the state. Speaking after inaugurating the new 350-bed cardiac care hospital built by Infosys Foundation in the premises of Jayadeva Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences and Research Centre Bommai said the health infrastructure in the state would be ramped up. Action would be taken to build speciality hospitals, and Cardiac, Cancer hospitals at the Divisional level in the coming days.
“The 21st century is the century of Knowledge. Infosys Foundation is giving back what it got from society by building this 350-bed hospital. The new hospital would help in reducing the patient pressure on Jayadeva hospital,” said the chief minister.
Not only in India but Jayadeva is also considered a model for coronary care in the US too, Bommai said citing the instance of an American citizen surprised after getting all the check-ups done for just Rs100 here. His letter to the then American President Barack Obama prompted the US government to send a team to study the services at Jayadeva and announce a slew of concessions for patients at Obama Care Centres in that country, said the press release.

World Diabetes Day 2021: Foods & Drinks That Help Manage Blood Sugar

New Delhi [India]: When you have prediabetes or diabetes, it can be tricky to know which foods and drinks are the best choices, but here we have listed a few picks that can help keep your numbers in check.

Diabetes is a medical condition, which happens due to insufficient production and secretion of insulin, responsible for controlling glucose levels in the blood, from the pancreas. The disease can be controlled at the initial level by making lifestyle changes but cannot be cured completely and lasts a lifetime.
According to research, India is infamous as the diabetes capital of the world. One in five is diagnosed with diabetes and the shocking fact is India will remain one of the most afflicted countries till 2030, or even until 2045.

Senior doctors claim people do not realize the high sugar levels or constant sugar fluctuations on account of the disease takes a toll on their body by inviting serious comorbidities of the heart, kidney, and liver, besides sapping their energy levels.

In that case, keeping a check on what you are eating can help you to a great extent.

Noted Dr. Ganesh Kadhe, Associate Director, Nutrition Medical and Scientific Affairs, Abbott advised some of the given foods and drinks that can help manage blood sugar level.

  1. Beans (Of Any Kind!) Lentils, kidney, black, or chickpea beans are a low glycemic index food. It means that their carbohydrates are gradually released so they’re less likely to cause blood sugar spikes. They’re so beneficial that a recent study found that eating a daily cup of beans for three months as part of a low-glycemic diet lowered (hemoglobin A1c)HbA1c level by half a percentage point. Try it: Swap in your regular dal for rajma in your next meal from time to time
  2. Apples You might think that there’s no room in a diabetic meal plan for fruits, but apples are also low glycemic. Aiming for foods that are low or medium on the glycemic index is one way to manage blood sugar levels. Eating an apple, a day has its benefits – they are high in fiber, vitamin C, and fat-free! Not to mention a portable and easy snack option. Try it: Toss an apple in your lunch bag or grab one between meals. Try baking them with a hint of cinnamon for warm treats when you crave deserts.
  3. Almonds These crunchy nuts are rich in magnesium, a mineral that may help your body use its own insulin more effectively. Try adding more almonds into your diet to have your daily dose of this blood sugar-balancing mineral. Plus, nuts like almonds are high in monounsaturated fatty acids, protein, and fiber, which makes them a great way to help manage blood glucose levels. Try it: For healthy snacking on the go, pack 30g portions of almonds into single-serve containers.
  4. Spinach This leafy green vegetable has just 21 calories per cooked cup and is filled with blood sugar-friendly magnesium and fiber. Additionally, you can enjoy spinach raw, sauteed with olive oil, in your favourite palak paneer, or even blended making it a versatile choice too! Try it: Toss a heaping handful of baby spinach into your next smoothie or use it in place of lettuce in a salad.
  5. Chia Seeds You might have heard that losing or managing weight is one of the best things you can do to improve your blood sugar. Chia seeds can help with that. In one study people with diabetes who added about an ounce of chia seeds to a calorie-controlled diet for six months shed four pounds and trimmed an inch-and-a-half from their waistlines. Aside from being packed with fiber, these gems also contain protein and provide 18 percent of your recommended daily intake of calcium. Try it: Combine a quarter-cup of chia seeds with one cup of 1 percent or non-fat milk and one-half cup of diced fruit. Refrigerate overnight and enjoy breakfast the next morning.
  6. Add a Diabetes specific formula Along with lifestyle modifications and regular exercise, it is advised to add a Diabetes specific formula to your diet plan. Look for a formula that is designed with special ingredients like complex carbohydrates, vitamins, and anti-oxidants to help manage the steady release of glucose. Ideally, the formula must be included in your breakfast, lunch, or dinner as a partial meal replacement in one of your modified meals, which helps to keep blood glucose and weight under control. Try it: Carry a serving of the formula in your shaker(to be consumed with water) so you’ll always have a healthy snack on hand — no matter how busy your day is.
  7. Blueberries Another fruit option: the evidence of the health benefits of eating blueberries is pretty compelling. Blueberries contain compounds that have been shown to help reduce the risk of heart disease and help improve how your body uses insulin. One study showed that eating the equivalent of about 2 cups of blueberries daily improved insulin sensitivity in overweight people with insulin resistance. They’re also a great source of fiber and other nutrients such as vitamin C and antioxidants. Try it: Take a half-cup of fresh blueberries (or defrosted, frozen blueberries) and spoon over plain, unsweetened yogurt. Or add a cup of blueberries to your smoothie.
  8. Oatmeal Oatmeal isn’t just good for your heart. It can benefit your blood sugar too. Just like apples, steel-cut, and rolled oats have a low glycemic index. Just keep in mind that while steel-cut and rolled oats are great picks, highly processed instant and quick oats tend to be higher on the glycemic index so they’re not as blood sugar-friendly. Try it: Opt for steel or rolled oats cooked oatmeal with masala as a savoury option and with blueberries for a sweet option and enjoy a hearty, hot breakfast.
  9. Turmeric(Haldi) This golden spice contains curcumin, a substance that may keep your pancreas healthy and prevent prediabetes from turning into Type 2 diabetes. Try it: Add turmeric to your daily cooking and be sure not to miss your daily dose of turmeric.
  10. Chamomile Tea Chamomile tea has long been used for a variety of ailments. Existing research shows that it has antioxidant and anticancer properties, and a recent study has found that it may help you manage your blood sugar levels as well. When participants in the studydrank one cup of chamomile tea after meals three times per day for six weeks, they showed a reduction in blood sugar levels, insulin, and insulin resistance. Try it: Replace an after-dinner cocktail with a freshly brewed cup of chamomile tea. Try adding a slice of lemon for flavor and an extra dose of vitamin C. (ANI)

Centre releases grant of Rs 8,453.92 cr to 19 states to strengthen health systems

New Delhi [India]: The Central government has released an amount of Rs 8,453.92 crore as a health sector grant for rural and urban local bodies of 19 states to strengthen health systems and plug critical gaps in the health care system at the primary health care level, informed the Ministry of Finance on Saturday.
The Department of Expenditure, Ministry of Finance has released the grant as per the recommendations of the Fifteenth Finance Commission. The Fifteenth Finance Commission (FC-XV) in its report for the period from 2021-22 to 2025-26 has recommended a total grant of Rs 4,27,911 crore to local governments.
The 19 states are Andhra Pradesh (Rs 488.1527 cr), Arunachal Pradesh (Rs 46.944 cr), Assam (Rs 272.2509 cr), Bihar (Rs 1116.3054 cr), Chhattisgarh (Rs 338.7944 cr), Himachal Pradesh (Rs 98.0099 cr), Jharkhand (Rs 444.3983 cr), Karnataka (Rs 551.53), Madhya Pradesh (Rs 922.7992), Maharashtra (Rs 778.0069 cr), Manipur (Rs 42.8771), Mizoram (Rs 31.19 cr), Odisha (Rs 461.7673 cr), Punjab (Rs 399.6558 cr), Rajasthan (Rs 656.171 cr), Sikkim (Rs 20.978 cr), Tamil Nadu (Rs 805.928 cr), Uttarakhand (Rs 150.0965 cr), and West Bengal (Rs 828.0694 cr).
“The grants recommended by the Commission inter-alia include health grants of Rs 70,051 crore. Out of this amount, Rs 43,928 crore have been recommended for Rural Local Bodies and Rs 26,123 crore for Urban Local Bodies,” said the Finance Ministry.
The Commission has also identified interventions that will directly lead to strengthening the primary health infrastructure and facilities in both rural and urban areas and has earmarked grants for each intervention.
The ministry earmarked grants of Rs 16,377 crore for support for diagnostic infrastructure to the primary healthcare facilities in rural areas, Rs 5,279 crore for block-level public health units in rural areas, Rs 7,167 crore for the construction of buildings of building-less Sub centres, PHCs, CHCs in rural areas and Rs 15,105 crore for the conversion of rural PHCs and sub-centres into health and wellness centre.
Also, Rs 2,095 crore has been granted for the support for diagnostic infrastructure to the primary healthcare facilities in urban areas and Rs 24,028 crore urban health and wellness centres (HWCs).
“Health grants recommended to be released in the financial year 2021-22 is Rs 13,192 crore of which Rs 8,273 crore is for rural and Rs 4,919 crore is for urban local bodies,” the Ministry said.
It also said that the rural and urban local bodies can play a key role in the delivery of primary health care services especially at the ‘cutting edge’ level and help in achieving the objective of Universal Health Care.
“Strengthening the local governments in terms of resources, health infrastructure and capacity building can enable them to play a catalytic role in epidemics and pandemics too,” the ministry added.
It further said that involving Panchayati Raj institutions and urban local government as supervising agencies in these primary health care institutions would strengthen the overall primary health care system and involvement of local governments would also make the health system accountable to the people.
The ministry further added that the health grants to the remaining nine states will be released after their proposals are received from the respective states through the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

No new variant of COVID-19 detected in Bengaluru, says Karnataka health secretary

Bengaluru (Karnataka) [India] : Karnataka Health Secretary D. Randeep said no new variant of COVID-19 has been detected in Bengaluru.

The state health secretary said, “No new variant of COVID-19 has been detected in Bengaluru recently. The number of deaths in the state has risen to 9. It could be due to late reporting of deaths by some hospitals.” On Wednesday, Karnataka reported 328 new COVID-19 cases during the last 24 hours, as per the state health bulletin.
During the same duration, 247 people recovered from the infection while nine people succumbed to the deadly virus, taking the tally of the current active COVID-19 cases to 8,027.

Fitness2Flash is among 13 finalists in India to receive funding from Facebook

Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India] : Fitness2Flash, an all-health, women’s and fitness community, is one of 13 finalists in India to be funded by Facebook’s Community Accelerator Programme (FCAP) 2021.
Aside from training and early access to new products, Fitness2Flash will receive up to $50,000 in funding from Facebook to help fund the community’s activities. In the last six months, approximately 13,000 communities participated, and Fitness2Flash is one of 13 finalists from India for Facebook’s CAP-2021 programme. FCAP-2021 was announced in May 2021 to assist and empower leaders to harness the power of their communities and turn ideas into action. Facebook’s Community Accelerator Program was announced in May 2021 and was aimed to help and empower leaders to harness the power of their communities and turn ideas into action
Fitness2Flash has grown to over 350k women worldwide. F2F has evolved significantly over the years, but one goal has remained constant: bringing health and fitness to all and motivating and encouraging women to prioritize their health above all else.
Initially, Fitness2Flash was founded as a Whatsapp group with a motley group of 100-odd women in 2015. Soon, it moved on the Facebook platform, and the journey of transforming lives on a larger scale kick-started.
Today, about 350k plus women have been benefited healthwise from F2F, and the task of encouraging every woman to take care of their health continues.
F2F has its presence on social media like Facebook, Instagram, and a website, where one can avail of the services offered.
“Fitness2Flash began its humble journey in the world of women’s health and fitness using the Whatsapp platform,” said Rinku Shah, founder of Fitness2Flash. In a very short period, F2F has grown exponentially worldwide, with more and more women joining Facebook for personal grooming, healthcare, and fitness. We are pleased to be associated with Facebook and even more pleased to receive funding to further our objectives.”

AIIMS Rishikesh satellite centre to boost health infra in Kumaon

Rishikesh (Uttarakhand) [India] : The satellite center of AIIMS Rishikesh will be opened in Udham Singh Nagar district of the state to provide treatment services to the patients of the Kumaon division.
“Ministry received requests from Uttarakhand Government for setting up of an AIIMS/Satellite Centre of AIIMS, Rishikesh in Kumaon Mandal. Suitability of land offered by State Government may be assessed by Technical Team. Subject to suitability matter may be taken forward”, Union Health Ministry tweeted. Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami has thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya for this.
The letter regarding the opening of a satellite center by AIIMS Rishikesh at Udham Singh Nagar has been received by the Director of AIIMS Rishikesh on behalf of Nilambuj Sharan, Economic Adviser to the Government of India.
In the letter of Saran, Economic Adviser to the Government of India, on the lines of the satellite center operated by AIIMS Bhubaneswar in Balasore, Odisha, AIIMS Rishikesh has asked to make necessary arrangements to run the satellite center of AIIMS at Udham Singh Nagar in Uttarakhand.

G20 Summit: PM Modi, other world leaders participate in first session on global economy, health

Rome [Italy]: The first session of the G20 Rome Summit kicked off on Saturday as world leaders including Prime Minister Narendra Modi gathered to discuss the global economy and health.
For the next two days, the heads of state and government of the world’s major economies, together with invited countries and representatives of international and regional organizations, will address several key topics of the global agenda. Finance Ministers traditionally attend the event as well. PM Modi, who arrived in Italy on Friday to participate in the two-day G20 Summit, will discuss the global economic situation, COVID-19 pandemic, sustainable development and climate change with G20 leaders.
The G20 is an intergovernmental forum comprising 19 countries and the European Union. Members of the international forum account for more than 80 per cent of world GDP, 75 per cent of global trade and 60 per cent of the population of the planet.
The forum has met every year since 1999 and includes, since 2008, a yearly Summit, with the participation of the respective heads of State and Government.
Later, a dinner is planned for G20 leaders and partner countries.
The G-20 Summit represents the culminating moment of the intense work carried out during the whole year of the Italian G20 Presidency through Ministers’ Meetings, Sherpa meetings, Working Groups and Engagement Groups.
More than 170 events were held throughout the country that made it possible to highlight many of the extraordinary realities scattered throughout its territory.

China’s Gansu province reports 4 confirmed COVID-19 cases

Gansu [China] : Northwest China’s Gansu Province reported four new locally transmitted confirmed COVID-19 cases between Tuesday and Wednesday.
The four people, three from the provincial capital Lanzhou and one from the city of Zhangye, are all close contacts of a previously confirmed case, according to a statement from the provincial health commission. The province has registered a total of eight locally transmitted confirmed COVID-19 cases and two asymptomatic cases since new local infections were reported Tuesday.
On Wednesday, local authorities temporarily closed three popular grottoes including a UNESCO World Heritage site, the Mogao Grottoes, to visitors in efforts to contain the spread of infections.

Health, agriculture, green growth are natural areas for collaboration with Israel: Jaishankar

Tel Aviv [Israel]: External Affairs Minister (EAM) S Jaishankar on Sunday said that he had a productive meeting with members of Israeli chambers of commerce and added that there are several priority areas for collaboration, including the health sector, agriculture and green growth.
“A productive meeting with Israeli chambers of commerce and the innovation ecosystem. Appreciate their visible enthusiasm for doing more partnerships with India. Many post-Covid priorities including digital, health, agriculture and green growth are natural areas for our collaboration,” EAM Jaishankar tweeted. Jaishankar today visited the Indian cemetery in Jerusalem and paid homage to the Indian soldiers who died during World War I. During his visit, he is scheduled to hold talks with Israel’s top leadership.

“Visited the Indian Cemetery at Talpiot as my first engagement in Jerusalem. Paid homage to the brave Indian soldiers who made the supreme sacrifice during World War I,” Jaishankar tweeted.
This ongoing visit is Jaishankar’s first to the country as the External Affairs Minister.
After reaching Israel, the minister wrote on Twitter: “Shalom Israel! Arrived on my first visit as External Affairs Minister. Looking forward to a great visit.”
During his three-day visit, Jaishankar will hold a bilateral meeting with the Foreign Minister of Israel Yair Lapid and will also call on Israeli President Isaac Herzog and Prime Minister Naftali Bennett.
India and Israel elevated bilateral relations to a Strategic Partnership during the historic visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Israel in July.
Earlier on Saturday, the Ministry of External Affairs said that Jaishankar will interact with the Indian-origin Jewish community in Israel, Indologists, Indian students who are currently pursuing their education in Israeli universities, and business people, including from the hi-tech industries.
The visit will also be an occasion to pay tribute to the valiant Indian soldiers who laid their lives in the region, especially during the First World War. 2017.

Study Ranks Healthfulness Of Foods From First To Worst

According to a new research, scientists at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts have developed a new tool to help consumers, food companies, restaurants, and cafeterias choose and produce healthier foods and officials to make sound public nutrition policy.

The findings of the study were published in the journal ‘Nature Food’. Food Compass is a new nutrient profiling system, developed over three years, that incorporates cutting-edge science on how different characteristics of foods positively or negatively impact health. Important novel features of the system include:

1. Equally considering healthful vs. harmful factors in foods (many existing systems focus on harmful factors);
2. Incorporating cutting-edge science on nutrients, food ingredients, processing characteristics, phytochemicals, and additives (existing systems focus largely on just a few nutrients); and
3. Objectively scoring all foods, beverages, and even mixed dishes and meals using one consistent score (existing systems subjectively group and score foods differently).

“Once you get beyond ‘eat your veggies, avoid soda,’ the public is pretty confused about how to identify healthier choices in the grocery store, cafeteria, and restaurant,” said the study’s lead and corresponding author, Dariush Mozaffarian, dean of the Friedman School.

“Consumers, policymakers, and even industry are looking for simple tools to guide everyone toward healthier choices,” added Mozaffarian.

The new Food Compass system was developed and then tested using a detailed national database of 8,032 foods and beverages consumed by Americans. It scores 54 different characteristics across nine domains representing different health-relevant aspects of foods, drinks, and mixed meals, providing for one of the most comprehensive nutrient profiling systems in the world.

The characteristics and domains were selected based on nutritional attributes linked to major chronic diseases such as obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular problems, and cancer, as well as the risk of undernutrition, especially for mothers, young children, and the elderly.

Food Compass was designed so that additional attributes and scoring could evolve based on future evidence in such areas as gastrointestinal health, immune function, brain health, bone health, and physical and mental performance; as well as considerations of sustainability.

Potential uses of Food Compass include:

1. Encouraging the food industry to develop healthier foods and reformulate the ingredients in popular processed foods and snacks;
2. Providing food purchasing incentives for employees through worksite wellness, health care, and nutrition assistance programs;
3. Supplying the science for local and national policies such as package labelling, taxation, warning labels, and restrictions on marketing to children;
4. Enabling restaurants and school, business, and hospital cafeterias to present healthier food options;
5. Informing agricultural trade policy; and
6. Guiding institutional and individual investors on environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG) investment decisions.

Each food, beverage, or mixed dish receives a final Food Compass score ranging from 1 (least healthy) to 100 (most healthy). The researchers identified 70 or more as a reasonable score for foods or beverages that should be encouraged. Foods and beverages scoring 31-69 should be consumed in moderation. Anything scoring 30 or lower should be consumed minimally.

Across major food categories, the average Food Compass score was 43.2.

1. The lowest-scoring category was snacks and sweet desserts (average score 16.4).
2. The highest scoring categories were vegetables (average score 69.1), fruits (average score 73.9, with nearly all raw fruits receiving a score of 100), and legumes, nuts, and seeds (average score 78.6).
3. Among beverages, the average score ranged from 27.6 for sugar-sweetened sodas and energy drinks to 67 for 100per cent fruit or vegetable juices.
4. Starchy vegetables scored an average of 43.2.
5. The average score for beef was 24.9; for poultry, 42.67; and for seafood, 67.0.

Food Compass is the first major nutrient profiling system to use consistent scoring across diverse food groups, which is especially important for mixed dishes. For example, in the case of pizza, many other systems have separate scoring algorithms for the wheat, meat, and cheese, but not the finished product itself.

Consistent scoring of diverse items can also be helpful in assessing and comparing combinations of food and beverages that could be sold and consumed together, such as an entire shopping basket, a person’s daily diet pattern, or a portfolio of foods sold by a particular company.

“With its publicly available scoring algorithm, Food Compass can provide a nuanced approach to promoting healthy food choices-helping guide consumer behaviour, nutrition policy, scientific research, food industry practices, and socially based investment decisions,” said last author Renata Micha, who did this work as a faculty member at the Friedman School and is now at the University of Thessaly.

Additional authors are Naglaa H El-Abbadi, Meghan O’Hearn, Josh Marino, William A Masters, Paul Jacques, Peilin Shi, and Jeffrey B Blumberg of the Friedman School.

Research: Intermittent Fasting Works For Weight loss, Health Changes

According to a new study review led by University of Illinois Chicago researchers, intermittent fasting can produce clinically significant weight loss as well as improve metabolic health in individuals with obesity.

The findings of the study were published in the journal Annual Review of Nutrition. “We noted that intermittent fasting is not better than regular dieting; both produce the same amount of weight loss and similar changes in blood pressure, cholesterol and inflammation,” said Krista Varady, professor of nutrition at the UIC College of Applied Health Sciences and author of “Cardiometabolic Benefits of Intermittent Fasting.”

According to the analysis published in the Annual Review of Nutrition, all forms of fasting reviewed produced mild to moderate weight loss, 1-8 per cent from baseline weight, which represents results that are similar to that of more traditional, calorie-restrictive diets.

Intermittent fasting regimens may also benefit health by decreasing blood pressure and insulin resistance, and in some cases, cholesterol and triglyceride levels are also lowered. Other health benefits, such as improved appetite regulation and positive changes in the gut microbiome, have also been demonstrated.

The review looked at over 25 research studies involving three types of intermittent fasting:

– Alternate day fasting, which typically involves a feast day alternated with a fast day where 500 calories are consumed in one meal.
– 5:2 diet, a modified version of alternate-day fasting that involves five feast days and two fast days per week.
– Time-restricted eating, which confines eating to a specified number of hours per day, usually four to 10 hours, with no calorie restrictions during the eating period.

Various studies of time-restricted eating show participants with obesity losing an average of 3 per cent of their body weight, regardless of the time of the eating window.

Studies showed alternate day fasting resulted in weight loss of 3-8 per cent of body weight over three to eight weeks, with results peaking at 12 weeks. Individuals on alternate day fasting typically do not overeat or binge on feast days, which results in mild to moderate weight loss, according to the review.

Studies for the 5:2 diet showed similar results to alternate-day fasting, which surprised the study’s reviewers. The subjects who participate in the 5:2 diet fast much less frequently than alternate-day fasting participants do, but the results of weight loss results are similar.

Weight loss in both the alternate day and 5:2 fasting are comparable to more traditional daily calorie-restrictive diets. And, both fasting diets showed individuals were able to maintain an average of 7 per cent weight loss for a year.

“You’re fooling your body into eating a little bit less and that’s why people are losing weight,” Varady said.
Varady added the review set out to debunk some myths regarding intermittent fasting. Intermittent fasting does not negatively affect metabolism, nor does it cause disordered eating, according to the studies reviewed.

“Fasting people are worried about feeling lethargic and not being able to concentrate. Even though you are not eating, it won’t affect your energy,” Varady said. “A lot of people experience a boost of energy on fasting days. Don’t worry, you won’t feel crappy. You may even feel better.”

The study review includes a summary of practical considerations for those who may want to try intermittent fasting. Among the considerations are:

– Adjustment time — Side effects such as headaches, dizziness and constipation subside after one to two weeks of fasting. Increased water intake can help alleviate headaches caused by dehydration during this time.
– Exercise — Moderate to high-intensity endurance or resistance training during food abstention can be done, and some study participants reported having more energy on fast days. However, studies recommend those following alternate day fasting eat their fasting day meal after exercise.
– Diet during fasting — There are no specific recommendations for food consumption during intermittent fasting, but eating fruits, vegetables and whole grains can help boost fibre intake and help relieve constipation that sometimes accompanies fasting.
– Alcohol and caffeine — For those using an alternate day or 5:2 fasting plan, alcohol is not recommended on fast days as the limited calories should be used on healthy foods that provide nutrition.
There are several groups who should not intermittent fast, according to the studies. Those individuals include:
-Those who are pregnant or lactating.
-Children under 12.
– Those with a history of disordered eating.
– Those with a body mass index, or BMI, less than 18.5.
– Shift workers. Studies have shown they may struggle with fasting regimens because of shifting work schedules.
– Those who need to take the medication with food at regimented times.

“People love intermittent fasting because it’s easy. People need to find diets that they can stick to long term. It’s definitely effective for weight loss and it’s gained popularity because there are no special foods or apps necessary. You can also combine it with other diets, like Keto,” Varady said.

Varady has recently been awarded a National Institutes of Health grant to study time-restricted eating for 12 months to see if it works long term.

The paper’s additional authors include Sofia Cienfuegos, Mark Ezpeleta and Kelsey Gabel, all of the department of kinesiology and nutrition at UIC.

Thousands protest against COVID-19 health passes across France

Paris [France]: Nearly 48,000 people participated in demonstrations against the coronavirus health passes held across France on Saturday, La Depeche newspaper reported citing the French Interior Ministry.
Around 5,000 people protested in Paris alone on Saturday, which was the 12th consecutive Saturday of demonstrations against the health passes, La Depeche said, adding that the number of protesters has been steadily declining. Last Saturday, around 64,000 people protested across France, with 7,200 demonstrators gathered in Paris.
In July, French President Emmanuel Macron announced a series of new restrictions to contain the spread of COVID-19, including the special health pass indicating that a person has either been vaccinated or has a negative test result for COVID-19. Before that, the health pass was already required in museums, theatres, movies and all public events attended by over fifty people.
Starting August 9, the pass became mandatory in restaurants, bars, shopping centres, airplanes and long-distance trains.
The move caused widespread discontent among the French, and protests against the measure have been held every weekend since.

Nature Is The Key To Children’s Health: Study

According to a massive review of data from nearly 300 studies, the presence of greenspaces near homes and schools is strongly associated with improved physical activity and mental health outcomes in kids.

Published online in the journal Pediatrics, the review conducted by Washington State University and University of Washington scientists highlights the important role that exposure to nature plays in children’s health. Importantly, some of the data examined the effects for kids from historically marginalized communities and showed that the benefits of nature exposure may be even more pronounced for them.

“By looking at the full scope of existing quantitative evidence, we were able to see the importance of ready access to nature for both physical and mental health outcomes in childhood,” said Amber Fyfe-Johnson, the study’s lead author and an assistant professor with WSU’s Institute for Research and Education to Advance Community Health (IREACH) and the Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine.

Amber added, “Access to nature – and the benefits that come with it – are a necessity, not a nicety.

Unfortunately, not all kids are able to have regular nature contact. This is due partly to urbanization, increased screen time and more sedentary indoor lifestyles.”

Lack of nature exposure disproportionately impacts historically marginalized communities that typically have fewer nearby residential parks and access to outdoor spaces, Fyfe-Johnson added. Families with limited resources and transportation options also face barriers to accessing parks and natural areas outside the city.
Although these findings may seem self-evident to some, and the American Academy of Pediatrics routinely recommends outdoor playtime, convincing data on the health benefits associated with nature exposure have been lacking, due partly to inconsistencies in study methodologies and definitions of outdoor time.

The authors point out that not all time spent outside is equal – a parking lot is not a park, and an urban playground without natural elements is not a garden. And without strong evidence to support the benefits to kids of spending time outside, in nature, there has been little political will to enact or enforce policies that ensure equitable nature contact, said Fyfe-Johnson.

The researchers position their findings in the context of the nation’s urgent public health crises around physical inactivity and poor mental health, in addition to fundamental sociodemographic inequities in access to nature. These disparities and public health emergencies have only become further magnified during the COVID-19 pandemic, noted Dr Pooja Tandon, the study’s senior author.

“Making this information available to pediatric health care providers and policymakers provides support for practices and policies promoting environmental justice and equitable nature contact for kids in places where they live, play and learn,” said Tandon, an associate professor at Seattle Children’s Research Institute.

Fyfe-Johnson points to prior evidence suggesting that contact with nature and green space may offer even greater health benefits to disadvantaged populations by counteracting some of the toxic effects of poverty.

“We sincerely hope our work will help lead to improved access to nature and health outcomes for kids, in addition to reducing health disparities in childhood,” she said.

India leveraging technology to improve health infrastructure, says PM Modi

New Delhi [India]: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday thanked Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates for his lauding the launch of Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission and said India is working to leverage technology for the betterment of health infrastructure.
PM Modi launched the Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission through video conferencing on Monday. Under the mission, every Indian will get a unique health ID that will also work as health account to which personal health records can be linked.
Bill Gates said in a tweet that this digital health initiative will help India achieve its health goals.
“Congratulations @Narendra Modi on the national launch of Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission. This digital health infrastructure will help ensure equitable, accessible healthcare delivery and accelerate progress on India’s health goals,” Gates said.
Replying to Gates’ tweet, Prime Minister Modi said: “Thank you @BillGates
for the kind words on the Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission. There is immense scope in leveraging technology for the betterment of health infrastructure and India is working hard in this direction.”
The Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission will create interoperability within the digital health ecosystem, similar to the role played by the Unified Payments Interface in revolutionizing payments. Citizens will only be a click away from accessing healthcare facilities.

Couples Really Are Together In Sickness And In Health

According to a recent cohort study that looked at Dutch and Japanese marriages, a couple’s health is surprisingly intertwined.

The study published in the journal ‘Atherosclerosis’ discovered that spouses have a high degree of commonality in not only lifestyle habits, but body shape, blood pressure, and even incidences of some diseases. When it comes to marriage, the adage “birds of a feather flock together” is relatively true. Previous studies have indicated that we gravitate towards people of similar social class, educational background, race, and weight.

The scientific name for this is assertive mating, and it means that spouses are often genetically similar. This allows researchers to explore environmental factors in greater detail.

Researchers examined 5,391 pairs from Japan and 28,265 from the Netherlands, drawing on data from the Tohoku Medical Megabank Project, and the Lifelines study in the Netherlands.

Couples from both countries shared similar lifestyle habits and physical traits such as smoking, drinking, weight, abdominal circumference, and body mass index. When the researchers dived further into the data, they determined that couples had corresponding blood pressure, cholesterol, and triglycerides levels. Moreover, related incidents of hypertension, diabetes, and metabolic syndrome were also found.
Many of the correlations were between couples with low genetic similarity and high lifestyle similarity, suggesting the importance of healthy choices. The researchers encourage healthcare guidance for couples and a healthy dose of competition between partners that encourages each other to improve their health, especially against diseases shaped by lifestyle and environment.

So, the next time you go for a checkup, why not bring your partner? Better yet, challenge them to a walk to the clinic.

Study: Involuntary Job Loss Affects BMI, Health Behaviours In Males

Involuntary job loss affects the Body Mass Index (BMI) of men and behaviours differentially across the life cycle, suggests the findings of a new study by the University of Kent.

The research published in Economics and Human Biology highlights the prevalence of young people being overweight or obese, with higher alcohol consumption and reduced physical activity after losing jobs through business closures, re-organisations, bankruptcies, or privatisation. The findings also suggested increased prevalence and intensity of smoking in middle-aged men. Employment is one of the most critical determinants of health and health behaviours for adults worldwide. While data from Ukraine over a period of 10 years were analysed to conclude these findings, this research presents wide-ranging implications of involuntary job losses that have particular relevance following the Covid-19 pandemic.

As the furlough scheme comes to an end in the UK at the end of September 2021 and other countries gradually reducing their Covid-19 economic support funds, the research shows concerning trends that could come to light.

The research was led by Dr Olena Nizalova, Senior Lecturer in Economics in Kent’s School of Economics and a joint Senior Research Fellow in Health Economics in Kent’s Centre for Health Services Studies (CHSS) and Personal Social Services Research Unit (PSSRU), alongside Professor Edward C. Norton (University of Michigan).

The researchers monitored individuals from 2003-2012 allowing them to capture the long-term effects of past job loss on outcomes at a specific point in time and their trajectories across the life cycle.

Dr Nizalova said: ‘It is well documented how detrimental involuntary job losses can be to the mental health of those affected, but this research presents worrying findings that suggest how it can also go on to affect physical health too via engagement in health-compromising behaviours and avoidance of health-promoting behaviours. These findings could inform the design of more targeted policies to support displaced workers across various stages of life.’

Aditi Arya: ‘Our Health Is Primary, Work Comes Later’

One of the busiest newcomers in Punjabi industry, Aditi Arya (formerly Sharma), has been all over Punjabi music videos in last one year. The actress who was waiting for a debut with a Punjabi film, was inundated with music video offers given the large churn of Punjabi music industry amid the pandemic.

“In two months, I had three music video releases and that too with good singers,” beams Aditi, adding, “God has been very kind, especially at this uncertain time of the pandemic when so many people were out of work.”

She adds, “In a way it was a blessing that I debuted in this industry amid this time because people were stuck at home and were starved for good content. I got accepted very willingly. I also took Punjabi classes because my diction wasn’t perfect.”

With her film as lead actress, (her previous film as second lead released after the lockdown), opposite Ranjit Bawa and Tarsem Jassar, under production, Aditi says the timing has been very apt for her.

On a light note, she laughs, “People thought I changed my name from Sharma to Arya because of superstition, but honestly that was a suggestion from my directors who said the industry has too many Aditi Sharmas. Ranjit and Tarsem used to tease me with comical monikers. I had to change my name fast before I got stuck with one of their suggestions.”

With the video on Kulwinder Billa’s song setting a new benchmark in video styles, its retro theme was a fresh take from the oft repeated romantic settings in Punjabi videos. “It was Kulwinder’s idea to give it a retro western appeal. He is a perfectionist and checks every shot in detail. Then of course the director and fashion designers worked really hard on it.”

Ask her if the pandemic upset her plans of a grand debut, and she says, “It is a global pandemic and everyone is affected. I had to look after myself and my parents too and not take risks. Taking care of our health is primary, work comes later. It was shocking how Sidharth Shukla just passed away suddenly, especially at that young age. If we don’t have a sound health, what good is a grand debut?,” says Aditi who is off to Bengaluru to finish her bilingual south Indian film, which was shut down in last year’s lockdown.

Aditi, who completed a Hindi film for an OTT platform says, “I want to establish myself in Punjabi first. As the next generation of actresses in Punjab, I can tell you it’s no longer about gender bias. Many people from Bollywood are eyeing our industry too.”

People often avoid feeling compassion for others

Washington [US], September 5 : Researchers during a series of studies found that given the option, people often chose to avoid feeling compassion for others. They also reported that doing so was mentally effortful and which were linked to their choices.
The findings of the studies were published in the ‘Journal of Experimental Psychology.’ The researchers also found that if the situation involved a person they were close to, such as a family member, people were more likely to choose to feel compassion and that being compassionate in this context was easier.
Julian Scheffer, a Penn State graduate and postdoctoral research fellow at the University of California, Berkeley, said the findings suggest a need for new ways to encourage people to open themselves up to feeling compassion for others — especially in times of division and hardship.
“Experiencing compassion often leads to wanting to help others and improve their welfare, but we found that people may be unwilling to experience compassion and find it mentally taxing,” Scheffer said.
“Knowing when effort matters for compassion can help inform how we think about weaker compassionate responses, whether in response to a stranger or even mass suffering, as in the case of the COVID-19 pandemic,” Scheffer added.
Daryl Cameron, assistant professor of psychology and research associate in Penn State’s Rock Ethics Institute, said the studies were among the first to examine how and when people choose to feel compassion.
“These choices track with felt cognitive costs. So cultivating compassion for your family may feel easier than cultivating compassion for a stranger, and this may be one reason why people tend to show such biases in their compassionate responding,” Cameron said.
Scheffer added that one solution could be preparing people to take on compassion’s mental demands, which might help people be willing to experience it. Otherwise, compassion may be harder to approach than once imagined.
“Oftentimes, people are asked to have empathy or compassion for others, with the idea that these feelings will lead to more openness, cooperation, and a willingness to help those who are suffering,” Scheffer said.
“We wanted to examine how people choose to engage with these emotional processes, whether they would be approached or avoided, and why this would be the case,” Scheffer continued.
To explore these questions, the researchers performed a series of studies with the number of participants ranging from 62 to 215 in each.
They designed three virtual card decks that participants could choose from and would instruct their response to other people — one that asked them to feel compassion for the person on the card, one that asked them to feel empathy, and one that asked them to remain objective and simply describe the person — that they then used in several experiments.
While compassion and empathy may have similarities, Scheffer said, some separate compassion as feelings of caring or sympathy for another person, while empathy is thought to involve taking on another person’s suffering and experiences as if they were your own.
In the first two studies, participants were split into two groups. One was asked to choose between drawing from the compassion or objective decks, and the other was asked to choose between the empathy and objective decks.
Participants chose the compassion deck over the objective deck only about 25 per cent of the time in the first study and about 21 per cent in the second. Additionally, they chose the empathy deck about 30 per cent and 29 per cent of the time in each study, respectively.
Next, participants were asked to choose between drawing from the compassion or empathy decks. This time, people were more likely to choose empathy over compassion.
However, when they could choose between empathy, compassion and objective decks, participants were more likely to opt to remain objective.
“Some psychologists and philosophers have said compassion is easier than empathy,” Cameron said.
“One way to test that assumption is to directly compare them and give people a choice. When we asked people if they wanted to feel compassion, at least for strangers, they typically didn’t want to and found it more challenging than empathy,” Cameron added.
Finally, participants were once again presented with the decks as in previous experiments, but this time instead of the decks containing images of strangers, they included cards with the names of people each participant either knew very well or were just acquainted with.
“We found that people were more willing to experience compassion for their loved ones compared to strangers, and this linked with experiencing reduced difficulty with compassion for loved ones,” Scheffer said.
“Compassion may be more desirable when directed toward more familiar loved ones, and potentially feel less difficult,” Scheffer continued.
Scheffer said he hopes the findings — recently published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology: General — will give insight about why some might resist experiencing compassion for others, despite it being considered a generally positive feeling.
“More people are finding it increasingly difficult to engage with each other, and as people are overwhelmed with the amount of suffering right now due to the pandemic, it may make compassion particularly difficult,” Scheffer said.
“Finding ways to better manage the mental challenges of compassion may provide a more rewarding route to generating prosocial motivation, especially in this particularly troubling time,” Scheffer concluded.
Michael Inzlicht, professor of psychology at the University of Toronto, also participated in this work.
The National Science Foundation, John Templeton Foundation, Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, and Penn State’s Rock Ethics Institute helped support this research.

Moderate-vigorous physical activity is most efficient at improving fitness

Washington [US]: In the largest study performed to date to understand the relationship between habitual physical activity and physical fitness, researchers from Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM) have found that a higher amount of time spent performing exercise (moderate-vigorous physical activity) and low-moderate level activity (steps) and less time spent sedentary, translated to greater physical fitness.

These findings appear online in the European Heart Journal.
“By establishing the relationship between different forms of habitual physical activity and detailed fitness measures, we hope that our study will provide important information that can ultimately be used to improve physical fitness and overall health across the life course,” explained corresponding author Matthew Nayor, MD, MPH, assistant professor of medicine at BUSM.

He and his team studied approximately 2,000 participants from the community-based Framingham Heart Study who underwent comprehensive cardiopulmonary exercise tests (CPET) for the “gold standard” measurement of physical fitness.

Physical fitness measurements were associated with physical activity data obtained through accelerometers (a device that measures frequency and intensity of human movement) that were worn for one week around the time of CPET and approximately eight years earlier.

They found dedicated exercise (moderate-vigorous physical activity) was the most efficient at improving fitness. Specifically, exercise was three times more efficient than walking alone and more than 14 times more efficient than reducing the time spent sedentary.

Additionally, they found that the greater time spent exercising and higher steps/day could partially offset the negative effects of being sedentary in terms of physical fitness.

According to the researchers, while the study was focused on the relationship of physical activity and fitness specifically (rather than any health-related outcomes), fitness has a powerful influence on health and is associated with a lower risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer, and premature death. “Therefore, improved understanding of methods to improve fitness would be expected to have broad implications for improved health,” said Nayor, a cardiologist at Boston Medical Center. (ANI)

Study Highlights Healthy Years Of Life After Heart Attack

According to the findings of a new study, adherence to lifestyle advice and medications could add seven healthy years of life after a heart attack.

“Most heart attack patients remain at high risk of a second attack one year later,” said study author Dr. Tinka Van Trier of Amsterdam University Medical Centre, the Netherlands. “Our study suggests that improving both lifestyles and medication use could lower this risk, with a gain in many years of life without a cardiovascular event,” The study was presented at ESC Congress 2021.

The INTERHEART study previously demonstrated that 80-90 per cent of the risk of a heart attack can be modified by managing factors such as smoking, unhealthy diet, abdominal obesity, inadequate physical activity, hypertension, diabetes and raised blood lipid levels.2 Such management consists of two main strategies: lifestyle change and medication.

However, the RESPONSE studies showed that adequate levels of these risk factors are seldom reached after a heart attack, even in programs aiming to help patients improve their lifestyles and optimise their medication.

Therefore, “residual risk”, i.e. the risk for another heart attack that is left after conventional treatment, is high to very high in a large number of patients. Dr. Van Trier said: “This study was conducted to quantify this residual risk and estimate the extent to which it could be lowered with optimal management.”

The study pooled data from 3,230 patients that had a heart attack or received a stent or bypass surgery. The average age was 61 years and 24 per cent were women. At an average of one year after the cardiac event, nearly one in three (30 per cent) continued smoking, 79 per cent were overweight, and 45 per cent reported insufficient physical activity.

Just 2 per cent reached treatment targets for blood pressure, LDL (“bad”) cholesterol, and glucose levels – with 40 per cent having high blood pressure and 65 per cent having high LDL cholesterol. However, use of preventive medications was common: 87 per cent used antithrombotic medications, 85 per cent took lipid-lowering drugs and 86 per cent were on blood pressure-lowering drugs.

Using the SMART-REACH model, the researchers calculated the lifetime risk of a heart attack, stroke, or death from cardiovascular disease and estimated changes in healthy years, i.e., cardiac event-free, when lifestyle or medication was changed or optimised.

The model incorporates the following treatment targets: 1) not smoking; 2) antithrombotic therapy with two antiplatelet drugs; 3) lipid-lowering medication (high-intensity statin, ezetimibe and PCSK9 inhibitor); 4) systolic blood pressure below 120 mmHg; 5) if diabetic, use of GLP1-agonist and SGLT2 inhibitor and controlled blood sugar (HbA1c less than 48 mmol/mol).

Dr. Van Trier explained: “The model does not incorporate all lifestyle advice since quantitative data are lacking to calculate gains in healthy life years. But that does not mean that recommendations to eat healthily, maintain a normal weight, and do regular physical activity are less important to reduce your risk.”

The estimated average residual lifetime risk was 54 per cent – meaning that half would have a heart attack, stroke, or die from cardiovascular disease at some point during their life. If the treatment of patients in the study was optimised to meet all targets in the model, the average risk would drop to 21 per cent (one in five patients).

Dr. Van Trier said, “The findings show that despite current efforts to reduce the likelihood of new events after a heart attack, there is considerable room for improvement. Our analysis suggests that the risk of another cardiovascular event could, on average, be halved if therapies were applied or intensified. For individual patients, this would translate into gaining an average of 7.5 event-free years.”

Stress Signal From Fat Cells Could Help Protect The Heart From Obesity’s Negative Consequences

A stress signal received by the heart from fat could help protect against cardiac damage induced by obesity, a new study led by the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center researchers suggests.

The finding, published online in Cell Metabolism, could help explain the “obesity paradox,” a phenomenon in which obese individuals have better short- and medium-term cardiovascular disease prognoses compared with those who are lean, but with ultimately worse long-term outcomes. “The mechanism we have identified here could be one of many that protect the heart in obesity,” said study leader Philipp E. Scherer, Ph.D., Professor of Internal Medicine and Cell Biology at UTSW who has long studied fat metabolism.

Study co-leader Clair Crewe, Ph.D., Assistant Instructor of Internal Medicine at UTSW, explained that the metabolic stress of obesity gradually makes fat tissue dysfunctional, causing its mitochondria – the cellular organelles that generate energy – to shrink and die. Eventually, this unhealthy fat loses the ability to store lipids generated by excess calories in food, poisoning other organs through an effect called lipotoxicity.

Some organs, including the heart, appear to mount a preemptive defense to protect against lipotoxicity. But how the heart senses fat’s dysfunctional state has been unknown.

In their study, Dr. Crewe, Dr. Scherer, and their colleagues used a genetic technique to speed the loss of mitochondrial mass and function in mice. When these animals ate a high-fat diet and became obese, the researchers found that the rodents’ fat cells began sending out extracellular vesicles filled with small pieces of dying mitochondria.

Some of these mitochondrial snippets traveled through the bloodstream to the heart, triggering oxidative stress, a state in which cells generate harmful free radicals.

To counteract this stress, heart cells produce a flood of protective antioxidant molecules. This protective backlash was so strong that when the scientists injected mice with extracellular vesicles filled with mitochondrial snippets and later induced a heart attack, the animals had significantly less damage to their hearts compared with mice that didn’t receive an injection.

Further research using fat tissue sampled from obese patients showed that these cells also release mitochondria-filled extracellular vesicles, Dr. Crewe said, suggesting that the effects observed in mice also take place in humans.

Eventually, she explained, the heart and other organs in obese individuals become overwhelmed by lipotoxic effects, leading to many of obesity’s comorbidities. However, learning how to artificially generate the protective mechanism identified in this study could lead to new ways to buffer obesity’s negative consequences.

This knowledge could even suggest strategies to protect the heart against damage in lean individuals as well.

“By better understanding the distress signal from fat,” Dr. Crewe said, “we may be able to harness the mechanism to improve heart health in obese and non-obese individuals alike.”

Other researchers who contributed to this study include Jan-Bernd Funcke, Shujuan Li, Nolwenn Joffin, Christy M. Gliniak, Alexandra L. Ghaben, Yu A. An, Hesham A. Sadek, Ruth Gordillo, Yucel Akgul, Shiuhwei Chen, and Christine M. Kusminski, all of UTSW; Dmitri Samovski and Samuel Klein of Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis; and Pamela Fischer-Posovszky of Ulm University Medical Center in Germany.

Dr. Sadek holds the J. Fred Schoellkopf, Jr. Chair in Cardiology. Dr. Scherer is the Gifford O. Touchstone, Jr. and Randolph G. Touchstone Distinguished Chair in Diabetes Research and the Touchstone/West Distinguished Chair in Diabetes Research.

UT Southwestern, one of the nation’s premier academic medical centers, integrates pioneering biomedical research with exceptional clinical care and education. The institution’s faculty has received six Nobel Prizes, and includes 25 members of the National Academy of Sciences, 16 members of the National Academy of Medicine, and 13 Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigators.

The full-time faculty of more than 2,800 is responsible for groundbreaking medical advances and is committed to Southwestern physicians provide care in about 80 specialties to more than 117,000 hospitalized patients, more than 360,000 emergency room cases, and oversee nearly 3 million outpatient visits a year.

Foods To Avoid At Bedtime For Better Health

If you are having these foods before sleeping, you may develop several health issues from sleep problems to chronic diseases.

Many of us tend to have heavy meals at dinner time or unwind our day with tea or coffee, because that is the time when we are usually free of work worries. But when we are not mindful of what we are consuming at night, instead of having a relaxed and recuperative rest, we may have trouble falling asleep or interrupted sleep. If over a period of time, we do not fix our night time eating habits, we are at risk of developing certain chronic diseases like diabetes, blood pressure among other things, according to experts.

Late meals, particularly play havoc with our overall health, increasing chances of obesity, heart diseases and stroke.

According to Shruti Bharadwaj, Senior Clinical Dietician, Narayana Hrudalaya Multi Speciality Hospital Ahmedabad, here are the foods that one should not have at bedtime for better health:

1. Fried food

Indulging in high-calorie food that puts strain on your digestive system like potato chips, French fries, burger can interrupt with your sleep. You may face gastric troubles, constipation and other such issues. “If you are eating these calorie-laden things late at night, water retention problem may occur, especially in case of women because of the hormonal changes in their body. One sign of water retention is feeling tightness in your skin upon waking up but feeling okay after some time,” says Bharadwaj.

2. Spicy Food

If you are eating late especially all kinds of spicy foods should be avoided as your meal being closer to bed time will cause discomfort and your digestive system may find it difficult breaking down the food.

3. Sweets

Having desserts after your dinner frequently may not be a good idea as being loaded with sugar they may lead to sleep troubles. Sweets consumption during night can also impact your insulin resistance because after dinner in absence of much physical activity, over a period of time it could increase your chances of developing Diabetes, says Bharadwaj.

4. Tea & Coffee

Many people, especially students tend to have tea and coffee to stay awake at night. While it may seem to help during short term in feeling active, in long run it could lead to insomnia, anxiety, poor sleep quality etc.

5. Alcohol

Unwinding the day with alcohol could seem tempting as it causes brain activity to slow down being a central nervous system depressant and may have some sedative effect, but in long run it has been linked to poor sleep quality and duration, according to studies.

Physical Activity Important For Protecting Cognition In Breast Cancer Patients

A new study from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis has found a strong association between high levels of physical activity and the ability to maintain cognitive function among breast cancer patients treated with chemotherapy.

The study published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology lays the groundwork for future clinical trials aimed at investigating whether moderate to vigorous exercise can ward off what is commonly referred to as “chemo brain,” a decline in cognitive function many breast cancer patients experience.

Collaborators of the study include researchers at the University of Rochester Medical Center in Rochester, N.Y., and the National Cancer Institute of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

“Cognitive decline related to cancer treatment is a growing clinical concern,” said first author Elizabeth A. Salerno, Ph.D., an assistant professor of surgery in the Division of Public Health Sciences at Washington University.

Elizabeth added, “Some patients with cancer experience memory lapses, difficulty concentrating, or trouble finding the right word to finish a sentence. Knowing the detrimental effects of chemotherapy on cognitive function, we wanted to understand the dynamic relationships between physical activity and cognition before, during, and after chemotherapy to hopefully inform early, cost-effective prevention strategies to promote health in these patients. Our findings suggest that maintaining higher levels of physical activity may indeed be important for protecting cognition in patients with breast cancer undergoing chemotherapy.”

The researchers emphasized that their observational study can’t demonstrate that physical activity definitively protects against chemotherapy-related cognitive decline; it’s possible that physically active people have other characteristics, independent of exercise, that may protect cognition. But the study sets the stage for clinical trials investigating whether physical activity interventions before and during chemotherapy can indeed ward off treatment-related cognitive decline.

“Physical activity is a complex behavior,” Salerno said. “So, it will be important to test whether we can intervene with physical activity during a specific time window, such as during chemotherapy, and protect cognitive function in patients of all activity levels.”

The researchers analyzed data from a national sample of 580 breast cancer patients and 363 cancer-free participants, who acted as controls. The scientists measured physical activity as reported by patients on a questionnaire taken before, immediately after and six months after chemotherapy. At the same three times, the researchers also assessed four different measures of cognitive function.

At the beginning of the study, about 33 per cent of the cancer patients met physical activity guidelines set by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The guidelines recommend at least 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity per week. During chemotherapy, the percentage of patients meeting the guidelines dropped to 21 per cent and then rebounded to 37 per cent six months after treatment ended. The proportion of cancer-free participants meeting the weekly minimum of 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity hovered around 40% at all three time points.

“Despite this recovery to pre-chemotherapy physical activity levels, a majority of patients remained insufficiently active,” said Salerno. “As we consider the design of future physical activity interventions during chemotherapy, it will be important to understand what may be driving this rebound, whether it be improved health status now that chemotherapy is over or renewed motivation toward healthy aging during survivorship.”

The four assessments of cognition included two measures of how individuals perceive their own cognition; a test of visual memory; and a test of sustained attention. Inactive patients showed what is classified as a moderate reduction in perceived cognitive function, which is considered clinically meaningful.

On all of the assessments, patients who had met the physical activity guidelines before and after chemotherapy consistently outperformed patients who had never met the guidelines. The cancer-free study participants performed similarly on all of the assessments, regardless of whether they had met the physical activity guidelines.

Importantly, breast cancer patients who had met the physical activity guidelines before chemotherapy ended up performing similarly to active and inactive healthy participants on the memory and attention tests. While objective measures of memory and attention indicated that physically active cancer patients had performed about as well as cancer-free participants, the physically active patients still perceived a significant decline in cognition, especially during chemotherapy.

However, their perceived decline was not as great as that of the inactive patients. The researchers speculate that the self-reported measures of cognition may be capturing other common problems associated with chemotherapy, such as anxiety, fatigue, or depression.

“Patients who were consistently meeting physical activity guidelines during chemotherapy not only had better cognitive recovery after chemotherapy completion, they also did not demonstrate clinically meaningful perceived cognitive decline, meaning that they did not report a large perceived cognitive change,” said senior author Michelle C. Janelsins, Ph.D., an associate professor at the University of Rochester Medical Center and Wilmot Cancer Institute.

Michelle added, “By assessment with our objective cognitive measures, patients who were meeting physical activity guidelines prior to chemotherapy had better cognitive function scores following chemotherapy and looked cognitively similar to people who didn’t have cancer.”

Added Salerno: “These findings contribute to the growing body of evidence highlighting the importance of promoting physical activity as early as possible across the continuum of cancer care.”

Weight fluctuations may increase health risks in adults with kidney disease

Washington [US]: A recent study has linked weight fluctuations–or body mass index variability–to higher risks of cardiovascular-related problems and early death in adults with chronic kidney disease (CKD).

The findings of the study appear in the journal ‘JASN’. Body mass index variability is associated with higher risks of developing heart conditions in the general population.

Because cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in individuals with CKD, a team led by Dong Ki Kim, MD, PhD, Sehoon Park, MD, and Kyungdo Han, PhD examined whether BMI variability may affect the prognosis of patients with kidney dysfunction.

The study included 84,636 patients with CKD who were listed in a national health screening database in South Korea. During a median follow-up of 4 years, 6 per cent of individuals died, 4 per cent needed kidney replacement therapy such as dialysis, 2 per cent suffered a heart attack, and three per cent suffered a stroke.

Compared with individuals with the lowest body mass index variability, those with the highest body mass index variability faced a 66 per cent higher risk of dying, a 20 per cent higher risk of needing kidney replacement therapy, a 19 per cent higher risk of experiencing a heart attack, and a 19 per cent higher risk of experiencing a stroke.

“This study showed that people who had kidney function impairment with recent fluctuating body mass index had a higher risk of cardiovascular disease or death, regardless of their current body mass index,” said Dr Kim, of Seoul National University Hospital.

“This result suggests that people with kidney function impairment should pay attention to their fluctuating weight status, and those with fluctuating weight may benefit from receiving appropriate screening and risk factor management to prevent cardiovascular disease or progression of their kidney dysfunction,” added Dr Kim.

The results were similar in the subgroups divided according to positive/negative trends in BMI during the exposure assessment period.

In addition, variabilities in certain metabolic syndrome components were also significantly associated with the prognosis of predialysis CKD patients.

Furthermore, those with a higher number of metabolic syndrome components with high variability had a worse prognosis.

Union Health Minister to visit Kerala

New Delhi [India]: In view of the prevailing COVID-19 situation, Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya will be visiting Kerala on August 16 to review the Covid-19 situation.

According to the revised visit plan shared by the Union Health Ministry, Union Health Minister will meet Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan of Kerala and State Health Minister Veena George. Mandaviya will be accompanied by the Director of the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) and other officials of the Health Ministry, informed the sources.

Kerala is reporting more than half of the total Covid-19 cases in India.
Kerala Health Minister, Veena George reacted to the COVID situation in the state saying, “We have requested for more vaccines. Even though cases are higher than last week, hospitals and ICU occupancy are comparatively less in the count. That shows that the virus situation is not in panic mode. We are taking all possible measures to control the virus.”

According to the latest data given by the Union Ministry of Health, 35,743 patients have been recovered during the last 24 hours and India reported 38,667 new cases in the last 24 hours. The weekly positivity rate remains below 5 per cent, currently at 2.05 per cent. Daily positivity rate at 1.73 per cent; less than 3 per cent for the last 19 days.

Amid a rise in COVID-19 cases and in view of approaching festivals, Kerala government had decided to implement new guidelines from Wednesday and enforce “special intensified stringent” lockdown restrictions in the panchayats or urban wards wherein the Weekly Infection Population Ratio (WIPR) is above 8.

The government has also decided that all senior citizens above 60 years of age who have not received the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine shall be vaccinated before August 15.

Short Naps Do Not Relieve Sleep Deprivation: Study

A nap during the day won’t restore a sleepless night, says the latest study from Michigan State University’s Sleep and Learning Lab.

“We are interested in understanding cognitive deficits associated with sleep deprivation. In this study, we wanted to know if a short nap during the deprivation period would mitigate these deficits,” said Kimberly Fenn, associate professor of MSU, study author, and director of MSU’s Sleep and Learning Lab. He added, “We found that short naps of 30 or 60 minutes did not show any measurable effects.”

The study was published in the journal Sleep and is among the first to measure the effectiveness of shorter naps — which are often all people have time to fit into their busy schedules.

“While short naps didn’t show measurable effects on relieving the effects of sleep deprivation, we found that the amount of slow-wave sleep that participants obtained during the nap were related to reduced impairments associated with sleep deprivation,” Fenn said.

Slow-wave sleep, or SWS, is the deepest and most restorative stage of sleep. It is marked by high amplitude, low-frequency brain waves and is the sleep stage when your body is most relaxed; your muscles are at ease, and your heart rate and respiration are at their slowest.

“SWS is the most important stage of sleep,” Fenn said. “When someone goes without sleep for a period of time, even just during the day, they build up a need for sleep; in particular, they build up a need for SWS. When individuals go to sleep each night, they will soon enter into SWS and spend a substantial amount of time in this stage.”

Fenn’s research team — including MSU colleague Erik Altmann, professor of psychology, and Michelle Stepan, a recent MSU alumna currently working at the University of Pittsburgh — recruited 275 college-aged participants for the study.

The participants completed cognitive tasks when arriving at MSU’s Sleep and Learning Lab in the evening and were then randomly assigned to three groups: The first was sent home to sleep; the second stayed at the lab overnight and had the opportunity to take either a 30 or a 60-minute nap; the third did not nap at all in the deprivation condition.

The next morning, participants reconvened in the lab to repeat the cognitive tasks, which measured attention and place keeping, or the ability to complete a series of steps in a specific order without skipping or repeating them — even after being interrupted.

“The group that stayed overnight and took short naps still suffered from the effects of sleep deprivation and made significantly more errors on the tasks than their counterparts who went home and obtained a full night of sleep,” Fenn said. “However, every 10-minute increase in SWS reduced errors after interruptions by about 4 per cent.”

These numbers may seem small but when considering the types of errors that are likely to occur in sleep-deprived operators — like those of surgeons, police officers, or truck drivers — a 4 per cent decrease in errors could potentially save lives, Fenn said.

“Individuals who obtained more SWS tended to show reduced errors on both tasks. However, they still showed worse performance than the participants who slept,” she said.

Fenn hopes that the findings underscore the importance of prioritizing sleep and that naps — even if they include SWS — cannot replace a full night of sleep.

Number of COVID-19 cases in Brazil rises by 43,033 to over 20.15Mln – Ministry of Health

Brasilia, Aug 8: The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Brazil has increased by 43,033 to 20,151,779 within the past 24 hours, the national Ministry of Health said on late Saturday.

According to the ministry, the death toll has risen by 990 to 562,752 people within the same period of time.

More than 18.89 million patients have recovered since the start of the outbreak.

A day earlier, the country confirmed 42,159 new coronavirus cases, with 1,056 fatalities.

Brazil comes second in terms of the death toll following the United States with more than 616,000 fatalities, and third in terms of the number of confirmed cases after the US and India.

The World Health Organization declared the COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic on March 11, 2020. To date, more than 202.11 million people have been infected with the coronavirus worldwide, with over 4.28 million fatalities, according to Johns Hopkins University.

Yoga during lunch breaks to keep stress in-check

These techniques are simple, don’t require any equipment, and can be done anywhere. But they are immensely powerful, and you will start to see the difference within a couple of weeks of practice.

yoga can help you manage stress, and the best part is it does not take a lot of time. You don’t have to spend hours on the mat or invest years in learning complicated postures. Instead, by simply taking out a few minutes every day, you can reduce your stress levels and improve your quality of life. A key component of yoga is that it empowers you to manifest these changes in your breath.

By changing the speed, pace, and quality of your breath, you can calm down your nervous system, thereby moving your body from a state of stress to one of relaxation. Here are three simple techniques that can help you:

1. Start with the Palming Technique

Palming is very useful for eye fatigue and stress from looking at a screen for long hours. Rub your palms together to find some heat, and then gently cup your eyes, creating a hollow dark space around them. Relax your forehead, eyes, and neck as you hold this for a few breaths.

You can follow this up with a gentle head massage, particularly focusing on the eyebrows, temples, and forehead. Then bring your hands in front of you as you open your eyes with a few gentle blinks looking directly at your palms. If you’re doing this outdoors, you can also look far into the distance. Taking a few moments to look outside, preferably at some greenery or standing by the window and looking outside in natural light, is also very helpful.

2. Do some deep breathing

When you are emotional, stressed, or physically tired, your breath becomes shallow and loses its rhythm. The good thing is that this is a two-way street. By consciously relaxing your breath and bringing it to an even pace or rhythm, you can reduce your stress levels. This is important because we spend a lot of our modern-day life in a stressed and hyper state, making it even more necessary to make time for activities that counter stress. Deep belly breathing or Diaphragmatic is just the technique you need as you can do it anytime you’re on an empty stomach. Just remember not to become overly conscious of the breath and start forcing it to breathe deeply. By paying attention to the breath, you will naturally slow it down. Immerse yourself in the beautiful experience for 3 minutes, three times a day.

3. Practice stillness

After some deep breathing, the mind naturally comes into a calmer state, and that’s a great time to practice meditation. You can do this by choosing an object of meditation; it could be a deity, a symbol, an affirmation, a mantra, a chant, or even your breath. And try to spend at least 3 minutes observing the nature of your object, introspecting on its meaning, or simply trying to maintain your attention on it. For example, if you’ve chosen the breath as your object of meditation, try to take five slow breaths without getting distracted. If you do get distracted, which is very normal, start again at one and repeat till you’ve taken those five breaths with your attention intact.

In this way, you can integrate yoga into your everyday life. These techniques are simple, don’t require any equipment, and can be done anywhere. But they are immensely powerful, and you will start to see the difference within a couple of weeks of practice.

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