Friday, October 16, 2009
Monday, October 12, 2009
By Dr. Willie T. Ong
Our bodies are made up of mostly water. Just look at the facts: The brain contains 74% water, blood contains 83% water, lean muscle has 75% and bone has 22% water. Experts agree that water is one of the most powerful forms of treatment. So how come most people don't drink enough water?
10 Health Benefits of Water:
1. Water prevents kidney stones. The most common cause of kidney stones is not drinking enough water. Since water dissolves the substances that form stones in the urine, drinking 12 glasses daily helps treat kidney stones.
2. Water treats urinary tract infection. The more water you drink, the more you will urinate. "Drinking lots of water will help flush out harmful bacteria from your bladder," says Medical City kidney specialist Dr. Roberto Tanchanco.
3. Water helps patients with diarrhea by preventing dehydration. As a first-aid for diarrhea, you can make your own oral rehydration solution at home. Mix a glass of water with 2 teaspoons sugar and ¼ teaspoon salt, and drink as much as you can tolerate. This is similar to the dextrose solution in the hospital.
4. Water helps reduce fever. For symptoms of flu, water can help lower your body temperature when you urinate the "heat" out of your body. If you're sick, drink more water for you to recover faster.
5. Water helps treat cough and colds, sore throat, and respiratory infections. Water helps loosen sticky phlegm. A respected lung specialist told me that some mucolytics out there are just as beneficial as drinking lots of water.
6. Water reduces heartburn. Taking 2-3 gulps of water every 20 minutes or so can help flush the stomach acid away. Bananas and water are effective alternatives to taking antacids. Try it.
7. Water prevents constipation and its complications. Too little water can harden the stools and lead to hemorrhoids and diverticulosis, a disease of the large bowel. Drink water and eat lots of vegetables to soften your stools.
8. Water keeps you alert and energetic. If you're dehydrated, your blood is literally thicker. This makes it harder for the blood to circulate. As a result, the brain can become less active and you can feel confused and fatigued. Some studies also show that water may help cure migraine headaches.
9. Water helps reduce weight. By drinking a glass or two of water before a meal, you will lessen the amount of food you can take in order to feel full. Water has zero calories and will not make you fat.
10. Water keeps your skin soft and radiant. Just as a dehydrated person will have deep-set eyes and wrinkled skin, so will a fully hydrated person exhibit a normal and beautiful skin tone.
The Proper Way To Drink Water:
1. Drink water when you wake up. Your body loses water while you sleep, so drink a glass before you go to sleep, and another glass when you wake up. You are naturally thirsty or dehydrated in the morning. Drinking water in the morning helps flush out the toxins that have accumulated all night.
2. Drink 8 to 12 glasses a day. According to the Mayo Clinic, a 120-pound individual needs 8 cups of water a day, while a 190-pound person would require 12 cups daily. Dr. Robert Tanchanco says that we should monitor our urine color and keep it on the light side. However, drink only a maximum of 16 glasses a day, and not more.
3. Drink little by little throughout the day. It is preferable to sip water throughout the day rather than to drink two glasses all at once. This will lessen the stress on the heart (especially if you have heart disease) and give your body more time to absorb it.
4. Don't wait until you're thirsty to drink water. By the time you feel thirsty, you're probably already 2 glasses below your normal water needs. Elderly people are also less sensitive to the body's need for water.
5. Drink water, not soft drinks, alcohol or coffee. Some experts believe that tea, sodas and coffee can be potentially dehydrating. Moreover, the high phosphorus and sugar content in cola drinks can lead to conditions like osteoporosis and diabetes. One study shows that adults who drank six cups of coffee daily experienced mild dehydration. Drinking alcohol is much worse because it actually dehydrates you by making you urinate a lot.
6. Train children to drink water. Set a good example to your kids and drink water together. Make sure that children drink enough water when they're active. Pack a large bottled water in their lunch box.
7. Drink more when it's hot. People living in hot climates like the Philippines need to drink more water. They are more prone to develop kidney stones compared to those living in cooler regions.
8. Drink more as you exercise. When you exercise, you need to drink more water to compensate for fluid loss. Go for an extra 500 ml of water for a 30-minute to 1-hour exercise. Eating a banana also helps keep your potassium up.
9. Drink more when you're sick. Even though you don't feel like it, you really need to drink more water to help your body recover from various infections. If you're dehydrated, you'll feel much worse.
10. Drink more if you're pregnant. Women who are expecting or breast-feeding need additional fluids to stay hydrated. The Institute of Medicine recommends that pregnant women drink 10 cups of fluids daily and women who breast-feed take in about 13 cups of fluids a day.
- Chlorophyll helps tissue growth and repair.
- Chlorophyll helps neutralize the pollution we breathe and that we get through food intake. Thus, chlorophyll is a very good supplement for smokers.
- Chlorophyll efficiently releases magnesium and helps the blood to carry oxygen to all the cells needed in the body tissues.
- Chlorophyll is also proven can assimilate the calcium and minerals, or other heavy minerals.
- Chlorophyll also has potential to stimulate of red blood cells to provide oxygen supply.
- Along with other vitamins such as vitamin A, C, and E, chlorophyll is proven to help neutralizing free radicals that damage the health of cells.
- Chlorophyll also serves as a deodorant in reducing bad breath, urine, the remaining disposal, as well as body odor.
- Chlorophyll also reduces the ability of carcinogenic substances to attach themselves to the DNA in the major organs of the body.
- Chlorophyll is useful in overcoming disorders due to calcium oxalate stone formation.
- Chlorophyll can also be used to overcome the natural wound infection.
- Chlorophyll also contains substances such as anti-mutation and anti-carcinogen which serve to protect the body against toxins and reduce drug side effects.
Supplements have become the part of modern lifestyle. To get the maximum benefit, the followings are the tips:
Ensure the supplement in line with the physical objectives which is intended to be achieved, for example:
- o fat-burning supplements to reduce body fat levels, not to form muscle.
- o fish oil supplements omega-3 to maintain healthy blood vessels, not to be used as an appetite enhancer.
- Select the dose which suits your needs. Higher product doses do not mean you get more. More is not always better. Better is better.
- Make food supplements as an addition to the fulfillment of nutrition, not as a main dish.
- Do not use supplements as a reason for fostering bad habits, for example: This is not right to use:
- o Antioxidant supplements as an excuse to smoke more or maintaining the smoking habit.
- o fat-burning supplements as an excuse to eat carelessly and lazy to exercise.
- o Supplements enhancer weight as an excuse for not eating.
- Choose a brand that already has a clear reputation, and is produced by a good producer. Get references from people or health professionals that you trust.
- Check the date expired, the warning, nutritional information, and the seal on the packaging. Make sure everything is there and you have to understand before you buy.
15. Do you want to lose weight and make the body healthy? For it, never turn away from your real goal that is losing weight. Remember always motivate youself so that the goals can be reached.
Sunday, October 11, 2009
Mumbai: If you thought depression was only about the mind, think again. Many a time, the genesis of the world's most common mental illness lies in your food plate, say doctors.They call it the vitamin theory of depression: skip taking vitamin B12 and increase your risk of depression, or so goes the new psychiatric advice on the occasion of the World Mental Health Week, which ends on October 10.
Studies in medical journals have already linked low levels of vitamin B12 to depression. "The link is known, but not widely recognised,'' says city psychiatrist Harish Shetty. But a dose of vitamin B12 supplements or injectables can brighten up the lives of those with the blues.
Know Your B12
Vitamin B12 is a member of the vitamin B complex. It contains cobalt, and so is also known as cobalamin
It is necessary for the synthesis of red blood cells, the maintenance of the nervous system, and growth and development in children
Its deficiency can cause anaemia. Vitamin B12 neuropathy, involving the degeneration of nerve fibres and irreversible neurological damage, can also occur
Meat, liver, eggs, shrimps, and dairy products like cheese are valuable sources of this vitamin
For vegetarians, it is best to increase their intake of milk or take vitamin B12 in a tablet form as a supplement. Fortified breakfast cereals are particularly good source. Soya milk is another source Poor eating habits aiding depression
Mumbai: Doctors are particularly worried about the growing numbers of people who are afflicted by depression that is linked to vitamin B12 deficiency. Says Harish Shetty, consulting psychiatrist with Hiranandani Hospital in Powai, "There is a sudden increase in the number of kids and adults with B12 deficiency reporting mood swings and learning issues.''
They come to him with reports of falling grades, crying spells, sadness, anger and suicidal intent. As a matter of routine, they are put through blood tests, including an assessment of B12 levels. "Very often, those with depression have a deficiency of vitamin B12,'' he adds. One can blame this growing trend either on poor dietary habits in urban centres—the culture of fast food and high-calorie drinks.
What isn't yet established beyond doubt is whether is it low levels of B12 that leads to depression or vice-versa? "We need focused studies to establish this,'' says endocrinologist S Joshi, who consults at Lilavati Hospital.
The experience of Jatin Mehta (name changed) underlines the vitamin theory of depression. Seven years ago, the then 15-year-old Jatin's doctor parents took him to neurologists to understand why their son was listless, both at school and at home. "After nearly two years of running around, a doctor told us to check the B12 levels, and sure enough they were low. Within two weeks of taking my first vitamin B12 shot, I started feeling better,'' says Jatin.
Now his parents are amazed that their boy, who battled dyslexia and depression as a highschooler, is now on the verge of completing his Masters degree in medicine. As a resident doctor, his working day stretches to over 19 hours, managing scores of patients as well as his own studies. But as every quarter draws to a close, Jatin feels his interest levels flagging and a sense of helplessness taking over. "I then know that it is time for the B12 shots that I take once every three months,'' says Jatin.
Joshi points out that Indians, as a rule, are deficient in Vitamin B12. "It is mainly vegetarians whose diet is deficient in the vitamin. Its deficiency affects neurological function,'' he says. It is only in the last few years that doctors are exploring the nutritional angle to depression which roughly affects 5% of thepopulation. "It is well known that anaemic persons can get depressed. But there is new research to show that people with vitamin and folate deficiency could get depressed. Nutritional deficiencies affect not only the poor but even the upper class,'' says Shetty.
Incidentally, the American Journal of Psychiatry (2007 issue) propagates the homocysteine hypothesis of depression. Homocysteine is an amino acid whose high levels suggest heart disease. However, homocysteine levels get high because there is a deficiency of vitamin B12 and folate in the body to process this amino acid. "Homecysteine causes heart disease, which causes depression,'' says the authors of the homocysteine hypothesis of depression, adding that the theory needs further validation.
What is the way to battle this deficiency? In their book, Stop Depression Now, Columbia University psychiatrist Richard Brown and Baylor University neuropharmacologist Teodoro Bottiglieri had suggested that that all psychiatric patients should take a daily megadose of 1 mg of oral vitamin B12. For those who cannot absorb vitamin B12 directly, doctors recommend injections.
DARKER SECRETS OF DIET Signs, symptoms and health problems associated with vitamin B12 deficiency
Anemia, fatigue, weakness, constipation, loss of appetite and weight loss
Deficiency also can lead to neurological changes such as numbness and tingling in the hands and feet
Additional symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency are difficulty in maintaining balance, depression, confusion, dementia, poor memory and soreness of the mouth or tongue
Depression is a serious illness that should be distinguished from the feeling of sadness that one feels after, say, the loss of a relative or friend
It is a result of a combination of genetic, biochemical, environmental and psychological factors Symptoms (At least 5 of these symptoms for at least 2 weeks) Feeling sad or empty Decreased interest or pleasure in activities Appetite change with weight loss/gain Decreased or increased sleeping Fatigue or loss of energy Feeling worthless or guilty Being either agitated or slowed down Difficulty in thinking or concentrating Recurrent thoughts of death/suicide
In children A child with depression may pretend to be sick, refuse to go to school, cling to a parent, or worry that a parent may die Older children may sulk, get into trouble at school, be negative and irritable, and feel misunderstood
Although very few of us count flossing as an essential part of an after-meal or once-a-day routine, it's importance cannot be stressed enough. Even more surprising is the fact that hardly anyone is aware of the necessity of flossing. Some are rather incorrectly inclined to believe that regular brushing is enough to keep their tooth healthy. To illustrate this importance, a study was carried out 51 twins on the importance of flossing which published in American journal of periodontology a few years ago. One of them was instructed to just brush and the other to brush and floss. Their dental health was examined before and after the study. The results showed the group that flossed had 38 per cent fewer bleeding gum sites than before the intervention and overall gum bleeding improved by an average of 42 per cent.Some flossing facts
Brushing sans flossing is comparable to cleaning only 65 per cent of your body leaving the 35 per cent dirty which simply means you are not completely clean.
Flossing removes the tiny trapped food particles and also the plaque trapped between the teeth which a tooth brush cannot reach. It also prevents the formation of calculus or tartar which if formed can only be removed by your dentist.
Recent studies have indicated flossing reduces the risk of heart attack. Hard to believe? Well, this is attributed to the close relation between gum disease and heart attack. The gum disease is prevented by regular flossing which decreases the risk for heart attack.