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Why regular fish oil supplements could be bad for your heart, raise stroke risk

While fish oil supplements, rich in omega-3 fatty acids, are known to be good for heart health, a new study showed that regular consumption may raise the risk of heart disease and stroke.   For the study, an international team of researchers from China, the UK, and the US analysed the health of 415,737 participants (55 per cent women), aged 40-69, who regularly consumed oily and non-oily fish and fish oil supplements. The participants were surveyed between 2006 and 2010 and tracked until the end of March 2021 or death, whichever came first, based on medical records data. Their results, published in the open-access journal BMJ Medicine, showed that regular use of fish oil supplements had different roles in cardiovascular health, disease progression, and death. People with no known heart problems who regularly used fish oil supplements had a 13 per cent higher risk of developing atrial fibrillation, and a 5 per cent risk of a stroke. The risk of transitioning from good health to heart attack, stroke, or heart failure was 6 per cent higher in women and 6 per cent higher in non-smokers. In contrast, among those with known cardiovascular disease, regular fish oil supplements lowered the risk of progression from atrial fibrillation to a heart attack by 15 per cent, and from heart failure to death by 9 per cent. Age, sex, smoking, consumption of non-oily fish, high blood pressure, and use of statins and blood pressure-lowering drugs were found to determine the associations observed. Calling "this is an observational study, and no conclusions can be drawn about causal factors", the researchers stressed the need for further studies to determine the precise mechanisms. This story has been sourced from a third party syndicated feed, agencies. Mid-day accepts no responsibility or liability for its dependability, trustworthiness, reliability and data of the text. Mid-day management/ reserves the sole right to alter, delete or remove (without notice) the content in its absolute discretion for any reason whatsoever.

22 May,2024 02:11 PM IST | New Delhi | IANS
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Girl consumes 'smoky paan', develops a hole in stomach

Consuming a seemingly harmless liquid nitrogen-infused "smoky paan" landed a 12-year-old girl here on the operation table after a hole was observed in her stomach. The girl, whose identity has been withheld by Narayana Multispeciality Hospital here, underwent surgery recently. According to the hospital, the girl had consumed 'smoky paan' at a wedding reception in Bengaluru. The girl was diagnosed with a hole in her stomach (perforation peritonitis) necessitating emergency surgical intervention to prevent further complications, the hospital said in a statement. The patient underwent exploratory laparotomy with intra-op-OGD scopy and sleeve gastrectomy was swiftly conducted to address the critical condition, it said. "Intra-op OGD scopy- a procedure, where an endoscope, a flexible tube with a camera and light, is used during surgery to examine the esophagus, stomach, and duodenum-the first part of the small intestine," the hospital quoted Dr Vijay H S, who headed the team of doctors, which performed the operation, as saying. There was an unhealthy patch of about 4x5 cm on the lesser curvature of the stomach which was taken care of with sleeve resection (a part of stomach been removed), the hospital said, adding post surgery she had two days of ICU stay and was discharged after six days. Also Read: Nepali climber Kami Rita Sherpa climbs Mt Everest for record 30th time This story has been sourced from a third party syndicated feed, agencies. Mid-day accepts no responsibility or liability for its dependability, trustworthiness, reliability and data of the text. Mid-day management/ reserves the sole right to alter, delete or remove (without notice) the content in its absolute discretion for any reason whatsoever

22 May,2024 11:25 AM IST | Mumbai | PTI
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Mid-Day Premium Traces of arsenic, copper, lead found in 25 Indian protein supplement brands

An open study from the Medicine Journal by Lippincott has found traces of arsenic, lead, copper and other life-threatening elements in 25 Indian protein manufacturing brands like Herbalife, Nutrela, Quista Pro Himalaya. Earlier in May, The Indian Council of Medical Research released 17 dietary guidelines for Indians that caution against the use of protein supplements.  The study notes that protein supplements are often mislabelled and deceptive in their contents. “Both arsenic and lead exposure, even at low levels, impact human health in the form of an increased risk of cancer, blood disorders, gastrointestinal diseases,” reveals Dr Cyriac Abby Philips who has led the research at Rajagiri Hospital, Aluva in Kerala. Findings from the study: 1. 25 protein supplements out of 36 (69.4 per cent) were mislabeled in protein content. 2. Most protein supplements did not meet the labelled and advertised protein content, while certain brands surpassed the stated levels, raising concerns about 3. potential “protein/amino-spiking.”3. In addition, the major brands contained detectable fungal toxins and pesticide residues.4. Herbal and dietary supplements (HDS), including protein-based formulations with or without added botanical ingredients, vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and other natural or synthetic products, are a growing concern for hepatotoxicity and are associated with liver injury, failure, and death.5. Compared to multinational manufacturing brands, Indian protein brands were of lower quality, associated with higher chances of contamination and poor manufacturing practices, and were at risk of including multiple liver toxic ingredients, mostly in the form of herbal blends.6. Briefly, 16 (64 per cent) brands out of 25 that had mislabeled protein content were made by India-based manufacturers.7. Heavy metals that negatively impact human health such as lead and arsenic were found within many major formulations. A wake-up call looms on the horizon for those consuming protein supplements for bodybuilding or dietary purposes. Given how major food companies including BournVita, Nestle, MDH, Everest Masale and more have come under FSSAI’s radar for selling mislabeled products, it becomes imperative to scan the labels.   How to read labels on protein supplements While consuming protein supplements, one must know how to read the labels accurately. Functional nutritionist Suyash Bhandari, Chief of iThrive Essentials, shares key factors to consider before investing in high-quality protein supplements: Check how clean the supplement isLook at the ingredients list for any additives such as artificial sweeteners, flavours, colours, emulsifiers and preservatives. Ideally, a clean protein supplement should have minimal ingredients, primarily the protein source. If sweeteners are included, natural options like stevia or monk fruit are preferable. Determine the type of protein used in the supplementThis could be whey protein (concentrate or isolate), plant-based proteins (such as pea or brown rice), essential amino acids, or animal-based proteins (such as beef or chicken). The source of the protein can affect its bioavailability and how well your body can absorb and use it. Consider the bioavailability of the proteinThis indicates how easily your body can absorb and utilise it. Essential amino acids generally have the highest bioavailability, followed by whey protein. Plant proteins tend to have lower bioavailability because they are harder for the body to break down and absorb. Look for certifications ensuring quality and safety This includes third party lab testing, certifications for being free from banned substances (important for athletes), and testing for contaminants like pesticides, insecticides and other toxins. Check whether the use of the supplement is authorised by regulatory bodies like the FSSAI. "Label Padhega India" initiative by Food Pharmer: Revant Himatsingka, a Kolkata-based content-creator has started a health movement against misleading food products. While encouraging people to read labels is just the beginning, it is equally crucial to comprehend the implications of that information, remarks Bhandari. Merely reading labels isn't sufficient. Consumers need to be educated on how to interpret the information provided and how to make decisions based on it. This involves understanding not only what the labels convey but also how to utilise that knowledge to make healthier and more optimal choices. Identify mislabelling on protein supplements  Aman Puri, founder of Steadfast Nutrition, a sports nutrition and wellness brand remarks that in the case of buying herbal or ayurvedic alternatives, consumers need to check the percentage of the content that actually benefits their health. If a product steers clear of the quality, taste or composition testing, then it is a clear indicator that the supplement is not fit for standard consumption. If a plant protein supplement claims to be highly bioavailable or to contain all essential amino acids, it could be misleading. While these claims might be chemically accurate, plant proteins are generally harder to digest and absorb, meaning the body might not utilise all the amino acids effectively, adds Bhandari. Another indicator is the use of numerous unnamed additives and preservatives. These might not match what is listed on the label, or they might not be fully disclosed, which can mislead consumers about the product’s actual content. Incomplete labelling is a clear giveaway of non-genuine products. This includes missing details about the ingredients, nutritional facts, protein source and whether the product has been tested for allergens like soy and gluten. Some supplements might list only a few ingredients while omitting others, or use vague terms like "acceptance" to conceal preservatives and additives. Lack of transparency in these areas can indicate potential mislabelling, stresses Bhandari. Potential health risks Gym enthusiasts, athletes, and young people have increasingly turned to protein supplements as a lifestyle choice for muscle-building, Dr. Puneet Bhuwania, Consultant Nephrologist & Transplant Physician at Wockhardt Hospitals, Mira Road tells Midday.  “Consuming mislabelled protein supplements can lead to compromising muscle growth and recovery goals, gut problems mainly diarrhoea, bloating, dehydration, abdominal distress, and leg cramping,” informs Bhuwania. The contaminants such as heavy metals, pesticides or impurities in the protein supplements induce kidney and liver damage over time. Mindless use of protein supplements increases the glomerular filtration rate or eGFR and even creatinine levels by impairing the kidney functioning in the long run and one may even need dialysis or a transplant for survival.  Protein supplements are packed with added sugar leading to abnormal blood sugar levels and type 2 diabetes. Consuming mislabeled protein supplements can cause various health issues like nutrient deficiencies and muscle weakening resulting in malnourishment and muscle loss, putting excessive stress on the body. It is the need of the hour for everyone who takes protein supplements to beware of the risks and read labels without fail.  Are organs at risk? One’s kidney and liver are at a higher risk of getting damaged due to mislabeling of protein supplements. Continuously consuming these protein supplements containing undisclosed contaminants can lead to a piling of toxins in your kidney further leading to the development of chronic kidney diseases (CKD) and chronic liver diseases (CLCD).  Protein supplements are packed with added sugars, artificial sweeteners, and flavours that can disrupt your digestion process and cause abdominal pain.  Excessive protein consumption strains the liver which is responsible for metabolising and breaking down proteins. When a higher amount of protein is consumed, the liver has to work harder to process it.  However, this leads to liver damage in later life. A large number of protein supplements contain added ingredients and chemicals that can be harmful to the liver when taken in large quantities without the knowledge of an expert.  Get your daily dose of protein naturally To meet your daily protein quota through meals rather than supplements, Bhandari recommends focusing on incorporating animal-based foods into every meal. This strategy ensures you receive adequate protein and essential amino acids to meet your daily needs. Here are specific strategies: Incorporate sources such as eggs, chicken, beef, buffalo, or duck meat in each meal. Opt for free-range options to ensure higher quality and nutrient content. Aim to have animal protein in all three main meals of the day. This consistent intake helps spread out your protein consumption, making it easier to meet your daily quota. Prioritise free-range animal products. This not only supports better nutrition but also promotes sustainable and ethical farming practices. For vegetarians and vegans, meeting the protein quota can be challenging without supplements due to the absence of animal proteins, which are rich in essential amino acids. However, it is still possible with careful planning and combination of various plant-based protein sources, though supplements may still be necessary to fully meet daily protein needs. Also Read: Your no-nonsense meal plan to eating healthy Know your protein For those who consume proteins, Bhandari suggests that understanding the ingredients commonly found in supplements involves focusing on the presence and quality of amino acids. Proteins are broken down into amino acids, which are essential for the body’s absorption and utilisation of protein.  A complete protein supplement should contain all nine essential amino acids: histidine, isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, threonine, tryptophan, and valine.  Whey protein, derived from milk, typically includes all essential amino acids and is considered a complete protein. Plant-based proteins may lack one or more essential amino acids individually, but when combined, such as rice and pea protein, they can offer a complete amino acid profile.  Animal-based proteins, like paleo or beef protein, derived from dehydrated animal muscle, also provide a complete set of essential amino acids. Collagen supplements, although containing amino acids, lack one or two essential ones and are not considered complete protein supplements.  Additionally, conditionally essential amino acids, which become necessary under stress or illness, are beneficial in a protein supplement. Branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) leucine, isoleucine, and valineâ are crucial for muscle protein synthesis, with leucine being particularly significant.  A good protein supplement should have a high ratio of leucine. For individuals with gut health issues or poor protein absorption, essential amino acid supplements are recommended because they are pre-digested and more easily absorbed. In summary, when choosing a protein supplement, look for one that contains all nine essential amino acids, has a high ratio of BCAAs, particularly leucine, combines multiple sources if plant-based for a complete amino acid profile, and ensures high bioavailability and ease of digestion, especially for those with gut health concerns. While evaluating whey protein quality, different variables come into play. For instance, whey protein isolate and hydrolysate are more bioavailable than casein, whey protein concentrate, and plant protein. Protein quality depends upon the proportion of protein and the amount of amino acids present. While evaluating, also check for the amount of carbohydrates, fats, sugar, and added additives.  The ratio of BCAAs (leucine, isoleucine, and valine) should be 2:1:1. Physical properties of whey protein also depend upon palatability, mixability, texture, composition, smell, and consistency. Deciding which form of protein to opt for also depends on individual requirements, daily intake through diet, activity and tolerance level, adds Bhandari. Also Read: ICMR's new dietary guidelines advise against protein supplements

22 May,2024 10:04 AM IST | Mumbai | Ainie Rizvi
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Mid-Day Premium How does your mental wellbeing impact physical health

We all know feeling stressed can lead to a headache, but did you know mental health can impact your entire body? Our minds and bodies are intricately linked, and what affects one can significantly affect the other. Far from being a separate entity, mental wellbeing is intricately woven into the fabric of our physical health. When our minds are burdened by chronic stress, anxiety, or depression, the ripple effects course throughout our bodies. Our immune system, the body's first line of defence, can become compromised, leaving us more vulnerable to infections and hindering our ability to fight them off. This Mental Health Awareness Month, Yesha Mehta, therapist at The Mood Space delves into the connection between mind and body, and what can you do to better mental wellbeing. Stress hormonesFeeling anxious? Your body might be in ‘fight-or-flight’ mode. Our mental health can cause various psychosomatic illnesses due to the changes in the release of crucial hormones. When the body feels anxious our stress response, also known as fight or flight response, gets activated. This is an evolutionary response, which helps protect us from threats and gets activated by the production of hormones called cortisol and adrenaline. Frequent states of stress will increase the stress hormones in the body and may cause multiple illnesses. Also Read: How higher cortisol levels impact skin's barrier function The gut-brain connectionWhen your gut health suffers, so can your mood. Our brain and gut are closely related as more than 50 crucial hormones are produced in the gut. Many people who experience anxiety have often reported stomach aches, acid reflux, diarrhoea, and other gastronomical symptoms. Chronic anxiety can distort the balance of bacteria in the stomach causing conditions such as inflammatory bowel disease and irritable bowel syndrome. Sleepless nights, restless mindsSleeping too much or too little is a sign of poor mental health. Mental health struggles can disrupt your sleep cycle in several ways. Those suffering from depression tend to have lower energy levels and fatigue leading the individual to spend more time sleeping. Conversely, anxiety leads individuals to feel alert. Racing thoughts and restlessness can lead to insomnia. Those suffering from depression, anxiety, and stress often do not feel rested and refreshed when they wake up affecting day-to-day functioning. Poor sleep can aggravate underlying health conditions and mental health issues causing more distress. Matters of the heartProlonged depression, chronic stress, and anxiety have been associated with various cardiovascular illnesses. Long-term stress increases the production of cortisol in the body leading to inflammation. This inflammation causes plaque build-up in the arteries leading to heart problems. The fight or flight hormone, adrenaline, causes the heart to beat faster causing blood pressure. In an increased frequency, this would eventually damage the heart. Those suffering from chronic mental health concerns are at an increased risk of high blood sugar, cholesterol, heart attack, strokes, hypertension, and more. Decreasing stress and living a healthy life significantly improves heart health leading to longer life. Weakened immunityMental health also fundamentally changes how our body fights infections and viruses. Stress has been associated with a compromised immune system. Prolonged exposure to stress suppresses the immune response by decreasing lymphocytes, the white blood cells that are essential to ward off infections leading to more frequent bouts of common cold and cold sores. It also disables the swift recovery from infections leading to a longer sickness and more fatigue. Poor mental health can also exacerbate any existing underlying autoimmune conductions. Managing stress and anxiety is vital for healthy functions of the immunesystem. Loop of chronic pain Mental health also shares a bidirectional relationship with chronic pain. Depression can make people more sensitive to pain. This is due to the imbalances of neurotransmitters such as serotonin and dopamine. Low levels of these hormones change our perception of pain. Conditions like fibromyalgia, migraines, and back pain are often linked to mental health concerns. On the other hand, experiencing chronic pain can cause mental health disturbances. It brings about frustration and hopelessness making this a cyclical loop. Stressed skin Poor mental health also affects the skin. High stress levels result in oily skin thereby resulting in acne. Increased cortisol causes inflammation which can worsen inflammatory skin conditions such as psoriasis, eczema, and rosacea. Those experiencing anxiety often see its manifestation in the form of rashes or skin irritability. A toll on daily life Mental health disorders also affect day to day functioning of individuals. Those experiencing depression have low levels of energy and motivation and hence end up not completing tasks, have poor hygiene, and are not able to maintain a balanced life. Individuals dealing with anxiety tend to become hyper-vigilant and fearful in various aspects of every day resulting in a compromised quality of life. Taking charge of your well-beingRemember, prioritising your mental health is an investment in your overall well-being. By taking care of your mind, you're taking care of your body too. Now that Mehta has outlined the myriad ways in which mental well-being impacts physical health, she suggests adopting a holistic approach that addresses both your mind and body. A healthy mind and body go hand in hand, and by adopting these strategies, you can create a positive cycle that fuels your happiness and physical health. Move your body, boost your moodGet your blood pumping! Exercise helps manage poor mental health by allowing the body to release hormones like endorphins and serotonin. These hormones are chemicals that allow your body to feel good resulting in an uplifting mood. Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise most days of the week. They help you manage stress and anxiety better. Indulging in cardiovascular exercises brisk walking, running, swimming, cycling, and playing sports aids the release of the neurotransmitters. Find calm in the chaosMeditation helps one feel grounded and at peace. Practices like mindful meditation allow the individual to be in the present moment which in turn helps manage anxiety by reducing spiralling thoughts. It also allows people to view their thoughts as mere thoughts without interacting with them. This practice enables people to not get entangled in a loop of negative thoughts that cause stress or depression. Feed your gut, feed your mindThe gut and brain are closely linked to each other. The gut produces over 50 essential hormones, one of which is serotonin. Serotonin is also known as the happy hormone as it elevates mood and makes us feel happier. A poor diet can lead to disruptions in the gut microbiota causing an interference with the production of these hormones and aneurotransmitters. This results in low moods, fatigue, and mental health conditions. Rest and recharge Poor sleep hygiene can be detrimental to your mental health. Lack of adequate sleep has been shown to change activity in some parts of the brain. This results in irritability, poor decision-making, issues in problem-solving, and trouble controlling emotions. It is important to maintain a consistent sleep schedule with 8 to 9 hours of sleep. Create a relaxing bedtime routine that is easy to follow which signals your body that it is time to sleep. Keep away devices at least half an hour before bedtime as the blue light interferes with sleep. This will aid in the overall improvement of mood and energy levels. Strength does not mean soloHaving a support system during difficult times can make one feel a sense of belonging and that they are not alone. Speaking to friends and family who are there for you and can help you validate your feelings can help deal with mental health concerns. It can be helpful to confide in a loved one. Seeking professional helpOftentimes people underestimate the impact of mental health and its effects on physical health. That coupled with stigma around seeking support leads to poor management of mental health. Therapists and counsellors help in identifying the underlying stressors and can help with various strategies that will help manage the distress better. They provide a safe and confidential space to help you process your emotions and manage mental health concerns. In extreme cases, medical intervention may be necessary. Your mental health professional will guide you through the treatment.

22 May,2024 09:35 AM IST | Mumbai | Maitrai Agarwal
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Chennai docs perform world's first keyhole surgery for brain tumour via eyebrow

In a significant medical feat, a team of neurosurgeons here removed a deeply seated insular brain tumour of a 44-year-old woman through a transformative and novel eyebrow keyhole approach.  "This unprecedented technique, being the world's first, marks an important advancement in the field of neuro-oncology," according to a statement from Apollo Cancer Centres (ACCs), Chennai, on Tuesday. During a check-up, following her bike accident, doctors at ACC found an incidental tumour within the delicate folds of the woman's dominant-side insular lobe of her brain. The insula, which is deeply embedded within the cerebral cortex, poses significant challenges for surgical intervention. It is surrounded by vital areas controlling functions such as speech and movement and is layered by a dense network of blood vessels. Traditional surgical approaches require navigating through critical brain tissue and blood vessels, risking paralysis, stroke, and language impairment. Often, patients must remain awake during surgery, adding to their distress and increasing the risk of complications such as seizures and brain bulges. Despite these risks, surgery remains the primary option. Also Read: How this miracle surgery saved the tongue of a 32-year-old woman in Mumbai The team opted for the new keyhole for brain tumour approach via a minuscule incision in the eyebrow to the insula by leveraging their prior experience with keyhole surgeries for skull base lesions. They said that the novel approach not only provides another alternative to removing these deep-seated brain tumours but also demonstrates "clinical excellence, efficiency and safety." "The impact of this achievement cannot be overstated. The eyebrow keyhole approach offers a transformative alternative to reach these deep-seated tumours inside the brain, minimising invasiveness, reducing collateral damage, and significantly enhancing patient safety and overall quality of life," said Hrishikesh Sarkar, Senior Consultant - Neurosurgery, Apollo Cancer Centres. The doctor said that the woman was discharged from the hospital within 72 hours and is now doing well. The woman, thanking the doctors, noted that the advanced treatment not only healed her but also "gave me hope, comfort, and a shorter return to normalcy." Also Read: Traces of arsenic, copper, lead found in 25 Indian protein supplement brands This story has been sourced from a third party syndicated feed, agencies. Mid-day accepts no responsibility or liability for its dependability, trustworthiness, reliability and data of the text. Mid-day management/ reserves the sole right to alter, delete or remove (without notice) the content in its absolute discretion for any reason whatsoever

21 May,2024 05:11 PM IST | Mumbai | IANS
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Increase in nightmares, hallucinations during the day may signal onset of lupus

An increase in nightmares and hallucinations-- or 'daymares' -- may signal the onset of autoimmune disease such as lupus, according to an international research team on Tuesday. Lupus is an autoimmune inflammatory disease known for its effect on many organs, including the brain. These mental health and neurological symptoms, such as depression, hallucinations, and loss of balance, can act as an early warning sign that an individual is approaching a "flare," where their disease worsens for a period, said the team led by researchers at the University of Cambridge and King's College London in the UK. For the study, they surveyed 676 people living with lupus and 400 clinicians, as well as carried out detailed interviews with 69 people living with systemic autoimmune rheumatic diseases (including lupus) and 50 clinicians. The results, published in the journal eClinicalMedicine, showed that disrupted dream sleep was the most common symptom experienced by three in five patients. Of these, a third went on to develop lupus disease a year later. Just under one in four patients reported hallucinations, seen in 85 per cent of people with lupus. Further, three in five lupus patients and one in three with other rheumatology-related conditions also reported increasingly disrupted dreaming sleep -- usually vivid and distressing nightmares -- just before their hallucinations. The patients reported that the nightmares were often vivid and distressing, involving being attacked, trapped, crushed, or falling. Melanie Sloan from Cambridge University called on doctors to speak to their patients about these types of symptoms and write down each patient's progression. "Patients often know which symptoms are a bad sign that their disease is about to flare, but both patients and doctors can be reluctant to discuss mental health and neurological symptoms, particularly if they don't realise that these can be a part of autoimmune diseases," said Melanie, the lead author from the varsity's Department of Public Health and Primary Care. This story has been sourced from a third party syndicated feed, agencies. Mid-day accepts no responsibility or liability for its dependability, trustworthiness, reliability and data of the text. Mid-day management/ reserves the sole right to alter, delete or remove (without notice) the content in its absolute discretion for any reason whatsoever.

21 May,2024 01:51 PM IST | New Delhi | IANS
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Expert reveals the science behind hydration, detox water trends and skincare

Hydration is crucial to maintaining healthy skin, and detox water trends have gained popularity in recent years for their potential benefits. Dr Charu Sharma, head of dermatology, Cureskin, emphasises the science behind hydration, detox water, and skincare, offering valuable suggestions and tips. 1. The fundamental role of hydrationWater is the cornerstone of human physiology, and its significance extends to the skin. Adequate hydration ensures optimal cellular function within the skin, resulting in a healthy and youthful appearance. Conversely, dehydration compromises the skin barrier, leading to dryness, flakiness, and increased susceptibility to wrinkles. Sharma emphasises, “Maintaining optimal hydration is paramount for overall health and skincare. While eight glasses of water daily is a general guideline, individual requirements may vary based on activity level and climate.” 2. Detox water trends: Separating fact from fictionDetox water infused with fruits, vegetables, and herbs has emerged as a popular beverage. While these concoctions can enhance the palatability of water, there is no robust scientific evidence to suggest that detox water offers any significant detoxifying properties beyond plain water. However, the inclusion of certain fruits and vegetables can provide additional benefits. Fruits like lemon and berries are rich in antioxidants, which may help combat free radical damage and protect the skin from sun damage. Similarly, cucumber can add a refreshing element and provide essential electrolytes. 3. Hydration and skincare: A synergistic approachWhile water consumption is undeniably important, a comprehensive skincare routine is essential for achieving and maintaining radiant skin. Sharma recommends including a gentle cleanser, moisturiser, and sunscreen with broad-spectrum SPF protection, and maintaining a balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and healthy fats as part of your skincare regimen. Also Read: Ultimate bridal skincare guide: Say ‘I do’ to radiant skin on your big day Sharma offers these evidence-based skincare tips: Twice-daily cleansing: Regularly eliminate dirt, oil, and makeup with a gentle cleanser formulated for your specific skin type. Meticulous moisturisation: A high-quality moisturiser helps retain hydration and strengthens the skin barrier. Choose a moisturiser suited to your skin type (oily, dry, or combination). Sun protection is non-negotiable: Daily applying sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher is essential to prevent pigmentation, and premature ageing decreases the likelihood of developing skin cancer. Dietary optimisation: Nourish your skin from within by consuming a balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Also Read: Greasy and itchy skin in summer? Here is an easy guide for healthy skin during the hot season Adequate water intake is a cornerstone of healthy, glowing skin. While detox water may not be a definitive solution for detoxification, it can be a delightful way to increase fluid consumption.  Remember, consistency is key. For optimal results, combine proper hydration with a well-rounded skincare routine and a balanced diet. Disclaimer: This information does not replace professional medical advice. Consult a qualified specialist or your physician for personalised guidance.

20 May,2024 03:52 PM IST | Mumbai | mid-day online correspondent
A yellow colour herbal paste prepared by the family is placed in the mouth of a live ‘murrel’ fingerling, which is then slipped through the throat of the patient. File Pic

Eating live fish to treat asthma: 178-yr-old practice back in Hyderabad

Bathini Vishwanatham Goud, president, Bathini Mrigasira Trust, told media persons that they are making all arrangements for the distribution of fish prasadam. Asthma patients from various parts of Telugu states and other places in the country take this prasadam in June every year in the hope of finding relief from respiratory problems. The family requested concerned government departments to make arrangements like every year for the smooth conduct of the event. This will be the first event after the death of the head of the family, Bathini Harinath Goud. He passed away at the age of 84 in June last year, following prolonged illness. He was the last of the fourth-generation Gouds distributing free fish medicine to asthma patients from across the country. Also Read: Can asthma be cured with the latest medical advancements? Harinath Goud was instrumental in organising the event for the last three decades after the demise of his elder brothers. The Bathini Goud family claims to have been distributing this medicine free of cost for the last 178 years. The secret formula for the herbal medicine was given to their ancestor in 1845 by a saint after he took an oath that it would be administered free of cost. Members of the Bathini Goud family administer the ‘wonder drug’ on ‘Mrigasira Karti’, (during the first week of June) which heralds the onset of the monsoon. A yellow colour herbal paste prepared by the family is placed in the mouth of a live ‘murrel’ fingerling, which is then slipped through the throat of the patient. It is believed to provide much-needed relief if taken for three consecutive years. For vegetarians, the family gives medicine with jaggery. Asthma patients from various parts of the country flock to Hyderabad to take this treatment. However, the medicine lost its popularity during the last 15 years due to controversies pertaining to the contents of herbal paste. Also Read: Fixing sleep cycle crucial to dodge diabetes, obesity, heart diseases: Doctors Some groups working to inculcate scientific temper among people, termed the fish medicine a fraud. They also approached the court, claiming that since the herbal paste contains heavy metals, it can cause serious health problems. However, Goud family claims that the tests in laboratories conducted as per court orders revealed that the herbal paste is safe. After the challenge by the rationalists, the family started calling it ‘fish prasadam’. Despite the controversies, people continue to throng the venue every year in hope of finding some relief to their nagging respiratory problems. However, the numbers have dwindled over the years. This story has been sourced from a third party syndicated feed, agencies. Mid-day accepts no responsibility or liability for its dependability, trustworthiness, reliability and data of the text. Mid-day management/ reserves the sole right to alter, delete or remove (without notice) the content in its absolute discretion for any reason whatsoever.

20 May,2024 03:43 PM IST | Hyderabad | IANS
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Expert shares tips to ensure optimal health during menopause

Menopause is a natural process that women usually experience in their late 40’s. In menopause, women do not experience periods or menstrual cycles for more than 12-14 months. This hormonal shift causes a physical and psychological impact on a woman’s health and body. It is essential to make certain lifestyle modifications to improve heart health and overall well-being.  Dr Nitin Gupte, Gynaecologist, Apollo Spectra Pune lists down important measures for menopausal women for a healthy life Engage in physical activities: Women are advised to engage in light physical activities to maintain their mobility throughout the day. This can be achieved by doing yoga, light cardio, swimming, cycling, or breathing exercises to keep your heart health in control.  They can gradually start by going for morning walks, as morning walks not only refresh mood but also help maintain heart health during menopause. Exercising regularly can help lower your blood pressure and improve blood flow which in turn can keep various heart problems such as heart attacks at bay. Eat well-balanced meals: It is important to eat nutritious food while going through the transition of menopause. A well-balanced diet helps maintain your heart health and overall well-being.  Fresh fruits and vegetables, proteins, and omega-3 fatty acids are vital for your heart. Nuts like walnuts, pistachios, and almonds are good sources of omega-3 fatty acids which help regulate irregular heartbeat and prevent the risk of stroke. Also Read: It's ‘that time’ of the month: Is India ready to have a menstrual leave policy? Follow a structured sleep schedule: Difficulty in maintaining a sleep schedule can increase your risk of heart-related issues like stroke or hypertension. Hence,  get at least seven to eight hours of quality sleep. Fulfilling your body’s sleep requirement has great health benefits such as helping refresh your mood, maintaining a stronger immune system, clearer thinking, and lower risk of cardiovascular diseases. Manage stress: Menopause can cause psychological and physiological changes in the body which may increase your stress levels. Stress can have a serious impact on your heart and overall well-being. It is important to maintain and adopt stress-relieving techniques like deep breathing exercises, yoga, meditation, or engaging in hobbies that calm you. Managing stress helps prevent high blood pressure and strengthen your heart muscles. Maintain your weight: Focus on eating well-balanced meals, avoid binge eating, practice portion control, and eat at odd hours to avoid weight gain that is associated with a higher risk of cardiovascular disease. Regular health check-ups: Regular health check-ups provide you with valuable insights necessary to monitor your overall health, especially your heart health. Consult doctors or experts to discuss any health-related concerns, symptoms, or unusual changes that occur during menopause. Regular check-ups and cardiac screening aid in the early detection of heart problems and ensure timely intervention. Also Read: Death by suicide after 1st period: Why menstruation education is importantDisclaimer: This information does not replace professional medical advice. Consult a qualified specialist or your physician for personalised guidance.  

20 May,2024 03:16 PM IST | Mumbai | mid-day online correspondent
Calcium carbide releases acetylene gas which contains harmful traces of arsenic and phosphorus. File/Pic

Food regulator cautions traders not to use calcium carbide for fruit ripening

Keeping the use of banned calcium carbide in concern, the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has alerted fruit traders to strictly ensure compliance with the prohibition on calcium carbide for artificial ripening of fruits, particularly during the mango season.   In a statement, the FSSAI has also advised the Food Safety Departments of States and UTs to remain vigilant and take serious action and deal stringently against people indulging in such unlawful practices as per laws. The national food regulator has permitted the use of ethylene gas as a safer alternative for fruit ripening. "Ethylene gas can be used at concentrations up to 100 ppm, depending upon the crop, variety and maturity. Ethylene, a naturally occurring hormone in fruits, regulates the ripening process by initiating and controlling a series of chemical and biochemical activities," said the FSSAI. Calcium carbide releases acetylene gas which contains harmful traces of arsenic and phosphorus. These substances can cause serious health issues such as "dizziness, frequent thirst, irritation, weakness, difficulty in swallowing, vomiting and skin ulcers". "There are chances that calcium carbide may come in direct contact with fruits during application and leave residues of arsenic and phosphorus on fruits," the food regulator said. It further said that if any use of Calcium Carbide or any wrong practice of using ripening agents for the artificial ripening of fruits is noticed by the consumers, "the same may be brought to the notice of concerned State Commissioners of Food Safety for taking action against such violators". This story has been sourced from a third party syndicated feed, agencies. Mid-day accepts no responsibility or liability for its dependability, trustworthiness, reliability and data of the text. Mid-day management/ reserves the sole right to alter, delete or remove (without notice) the content in its absolute discretion for any reason whatsoever

20 May,2024 10:55 AM IST | Mumbai | IANS
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Here's why congenital heart disease remains a health concern in India

Congenital heart disease remains a significant concern in India, said health experts on Saturday, with a whopping 2,00,000 cases every year. Congenital heart defects (CHDs) can be defined as cardiac anomalies present since birth and cover a wide spectrum from small defects. “The prevalence of congenital heart disease is about 9/1000, which is approximately 200,000 per year. However, it is difficult to know the exact incidence rate due to a lot of disparity in the availability of facilities in rural areas in India,” Dr Mayur Jain, consultant - cardiothoracic surgeon & heart and lung transplant surgeon, P. D. Hinduja Hospital & MRC, Mahim, said. Dr Swati Garekar, senior consultant-paediatric cardiology, Fortis Hospital, Mulund noted that the number of babies with congenital heart defects (CHD) appears to be rising. “A big reason for this is that we are able to pick up more cases that were earlier undetected: Doctors are now more aware of how babies with CHD present to them in the OPD. They masquerade commonly as failure to gain weight or as repeated cough/cold/pneumonia episodes,” she told IANS. Atrial septal defect (ASD), ventricular septal defect (VSD), and patent ductus arteriosus (PDA) are the common types of CHDs. Newborns typically show symptoms such as rapid breathing, poor feeding, poor weight gain, bluish discolouration of skin, and recurrent chest infections. On the other hand, chest pain, shortness of breath, fatigue, headache, inadequate growth as per age, bluish discoloration of nails and lips, and recurrent chest infections may be common representations of CHD in older children. Dr Swati noted that the reasons for CHD are multifactorial. It includes “the state of mother's nutrition, vaccine status (like German measles), exposure to pollutants in her food, water, air, skin, medicines in the first two months of pregnancy”. Dr Mayur recommended maternal vaccination against rubella and flu, and abstinence from alcohol during pregnancy. He also advised daily folic acid supplements during the first trimester (first 12 weeks) of pregnancy to lower the “risk of giving birth to a child with congenital heart disease and other birth defects”. The doctor also advised women to keep diabetes under control and to avoid exposure to organic solvents, such as those used in dry cleaning, paint thinners, and nail polish remover during pregnancy.

19 May,2024 10:17 AM IST | New Delhi | IANS
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