Glucose may cut induced labour duration in childbirth

Glucose may cut induced labour duration in childbirth (Image Courtesy: Thinkstock)

Administering glucosesupplements to women during childbirth, especially for the first birth, may shorten the labour time, researchers say.

A prolonged labour, or a failure to progress, is a labour that takes more than 20 hours for first-time mothers and more than 14 hours for mothers who have given birth before.

A prolonged labour is not only defined by the duration, it is regarded as prolonged but, when cervical dilation takes place at less than 1 centimetre per hour. Prolonged labour can be harmful to maternal and foetal health.

According to the study, because glucose supplementation is known to improve muscle performance, adding glucose to the intravenous hydration solution women receive during childbirth could accelerate labour.

“Glucose supplementation significantly reduces the total length of labour without increasing the rate of complication. This is great news for women experiencing induced labour,” said Josianne Pare from the University of Sherbrooke in Quebec, Canada.

For the study, 200 pregnant women were randomly assigned to receive either a standard hydration solution containing salt and water or a solution containing glucose, salt and water.

The results showed that the median duration of labour was 76 minutes shorter in the group of women receiving glucose.

However, “there was no difference in the mode of delivery — caesarean section, forceps, etc. — or the neonatal well-being measures,” Pare said.

Thus, being a low-cost and safe intervention, glucose should be the solute of choice during labour, the researchers recommended.

The findings will be presented at the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine’s annual meeting, in Quebec.

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Sitting for long can age women faster

Sitting for long can age women faster (Image Courtesy: Thinkstock)

Elderly women who sit for more than 10 hours a day with low physical activity have cells that are biologically older by eight years compared to women who are less sedentary, a new study has found.

Researchers from University of California (UC) found that women who have a sedentary lifestyle have cells that are biologically older and invite cardiovascular diseases and diabetes as compared to women who are active and exercise regularly.

“Our study found cells age faster with a sedentary lifestyle. Chronological age doesn’t always match biological age,” said lead researcher Aladdin Shadyab from UC.

Elderly women with less than 40 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity per day and who remain sedentary for more than 10 hours per day have shorter telomeres — tiny caps found on the ends of DNA strands that protect chromosomes from deterioration and progressively shorten with age.

As a cell ages, its telomeres naturally shorten and fray and make a body prone to cardiovascular disease, diabetes and major cancers.

“We found that women who sat longer did not have shorter telomere length if they exercised for at least 30 minutes a day, the national recommended guideline,” said Shadyab in a study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology.

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Every meal triggers inflammation that may protect us

Every meal triggers inflammation that may protect us (Image Courtesy: Pexels)

Every time we eat food, it may trigger an inflammatory response that acts as a protective mechanism to fight the bacteria consumed along with the food, a study has found.

The findings showed that this inflammatory response, which acts as a protective mechanism, fails in overweight individuals leading to diabetes.

On the other hand, in healthy individuals, short-term inflammatory responses play an important role in sugar uptake and the activation of the immune system.

The study, led by researchers at the University of Basel in Switzerland, showed that depending on the concentration of glucose in the blood, the number of macrophages — a type of immune cell or “scavenger cells” — around the intestines increases during meal times and produces the messenger substance Interleukin-1beta (IL-1beta).

This stimulates insulin production in pancreatic beta cells and prompts the macrophages to increase IL-1beta production.

Insulin and IL-1beta work together to regulate blood sugar levels while IL-1beta ensures that the immune system is supplied with glucose and thus remains active.

This mechanism of the metabolism and immune system is dependent on the bacteria and nutrients that are ingested during meals, the researchers said.

With sufficient nutrients, the immune system is able to adequately combat foreign bacteria, said Erez Dror from the university.

Conversely, when there is a lack of nutrients, the few remaining calories must be conserved for important life functions at the expense of an immune response, Dror added.

The study was published in the journal Nature Immunology.

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Dumped by a boyfriend? Get a revenge body

Dumped by a boyfriend? Get a revenge body (Image Courtesy: Shutterstock)

Once the fitness mags took hold of the term, there was no stopping it. Fitness named Katie Holmes ‘Best Revenge Body’ in 2012 after her divorce from Tom Cruise. In 2014, Cosmopolitan launched a subscription based fitness channel called CosmoBody, and it offered a video called Revenge Body.

By 2015, the phrase was on Urban Dictionary, and now Khloé has expanded it to include anyone you’d like to show their place. Like revamping your wardrobe, the revenge body is a pretty transparent reaction to a painful life event, a way to do something and feel in control.

“For me, my revenge is for everybody who called me fat and ugly …every piece of (crap) that comes our way in my family, and how we handle them. It shows how strong I am mentally,” says Khloé.

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‘Young blood’ latest age-fighting fad

'Young blood' latest age-fighting fad (Image Courtesy: Gettty Images)

Jesse Karmazin, a 32-year-old Princeton graduate and competitive rower who has an MD but no licence to practise medicine, claims he can reverse ageing with transfusions of a young person’s plasma. He is now launching a clinical trial on the potential of “young blood” through his startup Ambrosia.

Karmazin claims most participants see improvements within a month of getting the $8,000 one-time infusion of a two litre bagful of plasma, which is blood with the blood cells removed. But many scientists and clinicians say Karmazin’s trial is so poorly designed it cannot hope to provide evidence about the effects of the transfusions. Some also say the pay-top-articipate study, with the potential to collect up to $4.8 million from as many as 600 participants, amounts to a scam.

The procedure is based on some intriguing but inconclusive science. Over the last decade or so, such studies have offered provocative clues that certain hallmarks of ageing can be reversed or accelerated when old mice get blood from young ones. Yet these studies have come to conflicting conclusions. Further, the experiments offer little insight into how Ambrosia’s one-time infusions will affect people because the mouse experiments were done over nearly four weeks.

Use of young blood to treat disease has been explored in other clinical trials also. In 2014, Stanford University neuroscientist Tony Wyss-Coray showed that old mice had increased neuron growth and improved memory after about 10 infusions of blood from young mice. But he is not convinced about the Ambrosia trials. “People want to believe that young blood restores youth, even though we don’t have evidence that it works in humans and we don’t understand the mechanism of how mice look younger.”

Risk is the ultimate question when it comes to the ethics of Ambrosia’s trial. Although blood transfusions are considered safe for people who need them to survive, side effects can include hives, lung injury, or even deadly infections.

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Yoga or Regular Exercise May Not Treat Sleep Trouble in Menopausal Women

Yoga or Regular Exercise May Not Treat Sleep Trouble in Menopausal Women

Yoga and fitness were the buzzwords in 2016. Everyone was talking about it and everyone was trying their hand at it. From unique workouts to ancient yoga asanas, they’ve become quite the rage and for good reason. But it turns out that yoga or regular exercise may not be helpful for everyone and everything.

A new study, published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine, shows that yoga or exercise may not help in treating hot flashes or improve sleep quality in middle-aged women.

Previous studies have shown that both yoga and aerobic exercises were known to improve sleep among middle-aged women. But these new findings contradict the previous evidence and show that neither yoga nor aerobic exercises had a s significant effect on objective measures of sleep duration or sleep quality.

To reach these conclusion, the team studied 186 late transition and postmenopausal women suffering with hot flashes who were between 40 and 62 years of age. The participants were randomised to 12 weeks of yoga, supervised aerobic exercise, or usual activity. Although the women had no difficulty falling asleep, disturbed sleep was a common problem with all women with most of them breaking their sleep and being up for more than 50 minutes.

“Our primary findings were that the two study interventions had no significant effects on objective sleep outcomes in midlife women with hot flashes,” said lead author Diana Taibi Buchanan, associate professor at the University of Washington in Seattle.

Therefore, the study suggests that other methods like cognitive behavioural therapy for insomnia and behaviour treatments should be examined to improve sleep in middle-aged menopausal women.
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One in Every Three Indian Kids Has Unhealthy BMI: Reveals Survey

One in Every Three Indian Kids Has Unhealthy BMI: Reveals Survey

Health is a major issue in our country especially when it comes to kids. A new survey has been doing the round in this respect with some alarming results. The nationwide 7th Annual School Health and Fitness Study 2016 released by EduSports, a school sports enterprise, reveals that a large number of school children in India have fitness levels far from satisfactory.

The survey is conducted every year and last year’s report covered 1,69,932 students in the age group of 7 – 17 years from 326 schools in 86 cities and 26 states. The fitness parameters that were measured included sprint capacity, flexibility, lower and upper body strength, abdominal strength and Body Mass Index (BMI).

The findings show that one in every three kids doesn’t have a healthy Body Mass Index (BMI) and this number has increased from 20% last year to 33% this year. A BMI in the range of 18.5 to 24.9 is considered to be healthy. Anyone below this range are categorized as underweight while those who exceed the range are either overweight or obese. Further, the survey also shows that one in four kids don’t have the desired flexibility and fitness levels that they should according to their age.

kids

In order to counter this problem, EduSports suggests that schools should follow a structured sports program. It also advises schools to give kids more playtime to make them fitter. With the rigourous schedules, lack of playtime has become a major concern. In a separate study, they tested the impact of increased playtime on the fitness levels of school children and it was found that schools that offered more than three physical education periods has fitter kids.

If we go by International recommendations, kids between the age of 5 to 17 years should indulge in at least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous intensity physical activity every day. But in India, the time spent on fitness is less than optimal. The experts behind the survey recommend a minimum of 5 physical education periods to give children an opportunity to play more and stay fit.
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The Anti-Ageing Diet: 5 Tips on How to Slow Down Ageing

The Anti-Ageing Diet: 5 Tips on How to Slow Down Ageing

It’s obvious that the quality of food we choose on a daily basis influences our health. Yet most of us have absolutely no idea what or how much we are actually eating. Ageing isn’t just the unfolding of a genetic time table. It has a lot to do with the damage you do on the inside through poor food and lifestyle choices. Anti-ageing begins on a cellular level and not on the surface of your skin. So there really aren’t any miracle moisturisers, lotions or potions to turn back the clock, as many skin care companies would love you to believe.

If anti-ageing formulas don’t come in a bottle then where do the secrets of flawless skin and ageless body lie? My only line of defense is ‘nutrients’ that are fed to your body daily to repair, restore and protect it, and give you a rosy glow and sheen that shouts of utmost health.

 

Let’s look at a few anti-ageing tools to see a noticeable difference in just a few weeks:

 

1. Load Up on Anti-Oxidants

 

The most powerful anti-ageing tool is anti-oxidants. The pigments that give food and vegetable their colour are potent antioxidants. Deep green vegetables like spinach, mustard and fenugreek are packed with polyphenols and chlorophyll. Carotenoids and flavonoids found in most fruits and vegetables help build cell membranes and protect collagen. So think of colour. Go for bright red tomatoes, carrots, purple cabbage, beetroot, yellow orange red capsicum, sweet potatoes and broccoli.

bell peppers

2. Buy Seasonal Food

 

To optimise phytonutrient content of foods, buy seasonal fruits and vegetables. Opt for organic produce, limit pealing as some phytonutrients are concentrated in the skin. Steam or lightly cook to preserve water soluble nutrients. As a bonus, the more anti-oxidants you have in your bed stream, the more protected you are from diseases like cancer and diabetes.

vegetables 620

3. Eat Good Fats Everyday

Your body can make all the fats it needs except for two essential fatty acids, Linoleic Acid (LA) and Alpha Linolenic Acid (ALA). And these two are like the team leaders to build strong cell walls for beautiful and well-nourished skin. They also maintain cellular hydration, reduce inflammation and balance blood sugar control. Flaxseed oil is numero uno containing all the essential fatty acids for a beautiful complexion and great health. Other EFA rich foods are coconut, avocado, walnut, almonds, mustard seeds, pumpkin seed oil and oily coldwater fish.

 

Please take note: EFAs will not make you fat; in fact they breakdown and eliminate cholesterol and bad fats from your body. EFAs are wonderful wrinkle softeners and moisturise the skin from within.

good fats

4. The Power of Protein

 

98% of your hair, skin and nails are proteins! Hence ample protein would wade off the visible signs of ageing whereas deficiencies can result in obvious pre-mature ageing and even droopy facial muscles. Include beans and legumes such as chickpeas, kidney, black beans and lentils in your daily diet. Choose organic eggs, chicken and fish as the conventionally raised poultry or farmed fish is loaded with antibiotics and hormones, which play havoc on your hormones.

protein

5. Kilo Joule Restriction or Calourie Restriction

 

Calorie restriction has been studied for over 70 years with a positive conclusion that it extends life and reduces disease. This means cutting our empty calorie foods that have zero nutrient value such as simple sugars and flour. The secret to longevity is low levels of insulin. Interestingly, studies conducted on oldest living humans have found that they have lower blood sugar levels and less insulin. Insulin is the major accelerator of the ageing process.

sugary drinks 620

According to research, so far, by maximising the nutrient density of food intake, calorie restrictors not only enjoy a healthier life but a longer one as well. It certainly is some food for thought!

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Fried Potatoes & Burnt Toast May Cause Cancer: Health Experts Warn

Fried Potatoes & Burnt Toast May Cause Cancer: Health Experts Warn

Amongst the growing scare of the risk of cancer, health experts are giving more attention to the kind of we eat and more importantly, the kind we should eat. A few months ago, the research division at the World Health Organisation declared that bacon, sausage and other processed meats cause cancer.

The International Agency for Research on Cancer ruled that “Processed meat was classified as carcinogenic to humans (Group 1), based on sufficient evidence in humans that the consumption of processed meat causes colorectal cancer”. They concluded that each 50 gram portion of processed meat eaten daily increases the risk of colorectal cancer by 18%. And now the Food Standards Agency of UK has launched a campaign to warn us about the cancer risks of eating overdone fries or even a burnt toast!

Experts are now highlighting that eating overcooked starchy foods could be a health risk. According to the British watch dog, starchy foods like potatoes and bread produce a harmful chemical called acrylamide when cooked at high temperatures.

What is acrylamide?

It is a chemical substance formed by the reaction between amino acids and sugars.It is this chemical makes bread or potatoes turn golden brown when cooked. It is produced when starchy foods like bread, root vegetables and potatoes are cooked at high temperatures (over 120 degrees) during roasting or frying. The chemical is not added to foods deliberately. It is a natural by-product formed during the cooking process due to the substances present in food.

french fries

Why is it harmful?

FSA’s campaign against overcooked starchy foods is based on laboratory tests show that acrylamide in the diet causes cancer in animals. The carcinogenic nature of acrylamide in food was first discovered by a Swedish study in 2002.​ While the same has not been proven in human studies, scientists seem to agree that acrylamide has the potential to cause cancer in humans.

What you should so

Foods like roasted potatoes and root vegetables, chips, crisps, toast, cakes, biscuits, cereals and coffee naturally contain acrylamide. The aim of the campaign is not to shun these foods but to careful about the way they are cooked. If these starchy foods are heated for too long they turn from golden to brown and finally black. This intensifies the levels of acrylamide produced which can pose a health risk. The campaign is trying to create an awareness about overcooked or burnt starchy foods and avoid eating overcooked potatoes or burnt toast. FSA has given the following advice that everyone should follow while cooking these foods:

1. Go for gold: The FSA suggests that you should cook these foods till they are light golden and avoid reaching a stage where they turn dark brown.

2. If you are using packaged foods, follow the instructions on the pack regarding the heating temperature in order to avoid overcooking.

3. Don’t store raw potatoes in the fridge if you wish to cook them at a high temperature. The cold climate cause more free sugars to be formed which can increase the levels of acrylamide  when cooked. Keep them in a cool, dark place.

4. Since you cannot completely avoid acrylamide  in your food, have a more healthy, balanced diet to offset any risks.

Nutritionist and Founder of NutriHealth, Dr. Shikha Sharma concludes, “Overcooking is harmful for any kind of food as when carbohydrates are exposed to high temperatures they release more sugar in the body.” She also explains that the more the food is cooked the more difficult it becomes to digest and metabolize it. When the food is not digested properly, it will remain in the gut and start becoming toxic. The carbohydrates ferment, the proteins decay, fats become rancid and of course, certain reactions may take place between these substances that can release harmful chemicals which may not be able to get eliminated from the body.
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Straighten Up: 5 Effective Neck Pain Exercises

Straighten Up: 5 Effective Neck Pain Exercises

In a highly competitive world, where individuals are a part of a rat race, each striving to be ahead of the other, very little importance is given to personal health and ways of nurturing one’s body. Selfish economic interests take precedence over personal care. Many people succumb to stress, suffer from anxiety disorders, go into a depressed state of mind or are unable to maintain emotional equilibrium. The inability to strike a balance between work and leisure is the primary cause which gives rise to health issues.

A great deal of importance has been consistently given to the need to exercise on a regular basis. Whether it is yoga, swimming, hitting the gym or aerobics, any kind of physical activity is absolutely essential. Age is no bar to an effective workout regimen. In order to incorporate a healthy lifestyle, transformations must be simultaneously made in one’s diet as well. Diet and exercise goes hand in hand.

 

When we don’t indulge in physical activity, it results in weakening of various muscles that perform vital functions of the body. Not exercising the muscles, keeps them inactive, stagnant and frozen thus leading to spasms and muscle pain. A very common problem associated with muscles is neck pain.

exercise 620x350

Causes of Neck Pain

 

The neck muscles are under constant strain; especially in desk jobs where you need to sit in the same position for hours focusing on your computer screen. Another cause for neck pain could be a lousy posture, where the spine gets bent. This puts strain on the neck muscles. While studying for hours at a stretch with inadequate back support and a bent neck is another disastrous habit.

 

Most of us do not realise, but another cause of neck pain is weakened muscles of the lower back. In order to avoid neck pain, it is crucial to strengthen the lower back muscles and then target the neck muscles. Many a times, your sleeping position also plays a role. Sleeping in the wrong position with a high pillow is a dominant factor responsible for neck pain. Sleeping on your stomach is a killer. The ideal way to sleep is on your back or on one side of the body.

 

According to Uday Anand, CEO, Crush Fitness, a few predominant causes of neck pains include the deficiency of Vitamin D, especially in India. It is often taken for granted that being outdoors is equivalent to the absorption of Vitamin D. It is far from the truth. Lifestyle habits like smoking could also contribute to neck pain. It aggravates disc disease.

 

Gaurav Molri, a Delhi-based Orthopaedic, suggests abnormalities in the bones and muscle strain are the two factors causing discomfort in the body. When one looks down constantly at one’s mobile phone, the soft tissues present in between the discs of the spinal cord get pushed outward. This facilitates pain. “Lordosis and Kyphosis are the terms used for inward curvature and abnormal neck condition respectively. The natural curvature of the neck is slightly inward.”

 

It is also vital to realise that many times, it is important to strengthen the muscles located in the proximity of the effected muscle. By strengthening those, the strain on the effected muscles could reduce, thus helping to alleviate the pain.

 

5 Neck Exercises to Get Rid of the Pain

 

1. Manual Cervical Traction

 

This exercise requires two people as partners. It is done to ease the pressure on the nerve that are under constant strain. With one person lying down flat, the other person must keep his/her hand under the neck of the person lying down and the other hand on the chin. The grip of the person giving the traction must be good. Repeat after every one minute. It provides instant relief from neck pain.
2. Shoulder Blade Contraction

Shoulder blade muscles are tissues which contract and relax based on the activity of the body. This movement allows you to ease the pain of the blades by involving the blades in active exercises. It will help improve the flexibility of the shoulder.

shoulder

3. Neck Hyperextension

Extend your neck backwards and introduce hyperextension with pressure. It helps in effective spine positioning and proper balance.
4. Shoulder Shrugs

Shrug is an exercise which involves weight training. This is most commonly done in order to strengthen the upper trapezius muscles. The shrugs strengthen the already weakened muscles and prevent it from worsening.
5. Upperback Bentover Row

Step A: Bend forward at the hips until your trunk is at approximately 60 degrees flexion, while maintaining a flat back and head tilted slightly up. Stick your chest up and extend your arms fully.

Step B: Pull the shoulder blades back and together.

Step C: Lift the bar toward your middle and upper abdomen by pulling your elbows towards the ceiling, while keeping them fairly close to your body.

This helps in strengthening the back and thus relieves the pressure on the neck.

 

After following the above mentioned exercises on a regular basis, one is sure to eradicate all sorts of aches and pains and thus witness a healthy lifestyle.
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