Thursday, March 31, 2016

Not getting enough sleep can make you fat

Not getting enough sleep can make you fat
A lack of sleep disrupts the hormones that affect hunger and the feeling of fullness, which can lead to weight gain. Photo: AFP/Shutterstock
Getting enough sleep is essential to successful weight loss. Sleep is often overlooked by dieters, but a wealth of scientific research supports the theory that people who get little sleep are at increased risk of being overweight or obese.
As a knock-on effect, poor sleep can lead people to be less active and snack more, often reaching for sugary or fatty foods as a pick-me-up.
Here are a few tips from the doctor and nutritionist Laurence Plumey to improve the chances of successful weight loss.
Get at least 7 hours’ sleep per night
A recently published study found that missing out on full nights of sleep, of at least seven hours, was linked to an increased consumption of sugary drinks and foods, as well as a higher risk of obesity. It’s important to listen to the body’s cues and head to bed with the first yawn of the evening, recommends Laurence Plumey. There’s no shame in going to bed at 10:30pm, she continues, otherwise you risk losing out on 1½ hours of sleep before the next cycle.
Still, some people naturally need more sleep than others, and this genetic trait should be taken into account. As the specialist explains, if you wake up on great form after five hours’ sleep, then maybe you’re someone who just doesn’t need much shut-eye.
Make the most of natural daylight
It isn’t always widely known, but spending days in rooms with low lighting levels and doing activities under artificial light dips into the body’s reserves of melatonin, a hormone that allows the onset of sleep. Preventing this process during the day causes the body to secrete of higher levels of melatonin in the evening, which can favour refreshing, quality sleep. Detrimental light from screens can be toned down in the evenings by downloading a free programme like F.lux, giving the light a yellow tinge for a softer effect.
Switch lie-ins for naps
Getting up at midday on Saturday and Sunday sets our regular food intake off balance. It’s better to take 20-minute naps during the day to avoid breaking the weekday routine entirely. This can also make the sound of the Monday morning alarm a whole lot less painful.
Stimulants that contain caffeine may disrupt your sleep pattern and routine. Photo: AFP/Shutterstock
Stimulants that contain caffeine may disrupt your sleep pattern and routine. Photo: AFP/Shutterstock
Cut caffeine six hours before bedtime
Anything that contains caffeine, such as coffee, tea, energy drinks, soft drinks and chocolate, should be avoided in the evening. Caffeine stimulates the nervous system and alters the activity of melatonin and adenosine, two neurotransmitters essential to the onset of sleep.
Get some exercise
Physical activity promotes sleep and burns calories. Here too, it’s important to listen to the body, as different people enjoy exercise at different times of day. Some find that exercise winds them down ready for bed, while others ride high on the effects of dopamine for an energizing start the day.
Don’t mix sugar and fat at dinner time
In large quantities, fats, like sugars, slow down digestion and increase body temperature. Deep sleep, however, is favoured by reducing body temperature. With sugar and fat, you lose out on two levels, explains Laurence Plumey, with a negative effect on sleep and calories stored during the night. A third knock-on effect is that hunger is often curbed at breakfast time, making fatty or sugary foods popular options for late morning snacks, the expert said.
Avoid drinking alcohol
Alcohol can be detrimental to both sleep and weight loss! It may help induce sleep initially, but the transition to a deep sleep phase is slowed down. In fact, alcohol is thought to prevent the secretion of adrenaline (the stress hormone) and disturb the activity of tryptophan and serotonin, two neurotransmitters that regulate sleep. – AFP Relaxnews

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Being awake during surgery could help you heal better

The replacement of Roy Nothnagel’s defective heart valve had reached a key point; silence filled the operating room at Abbott Northwestern Hospital as Dr Paul Sorajja and his team prepared to implant a new valve – and react if their patient faltered.
Then came the wisecrack. “God,” a baritone voice said, “I feel like I’m in Houston and there’s a rocket launch.”
It was Nothnagel.
Until recently, patients in his place would have been unconscious by this point. But now, Abbott and other hospitals are keeping them awake as part of a broader effort to limit the use of general anaesthesia due to growing evidence that it can hinder a patient’s recovery and leave long-term effects on the body.
Research also suggests that minimal, or conscious, sedation during valve implants improves outcomes and shortens hospital stays.
And, occasionally, it generates comic relief in the OR.
“It used to take weeks in the hospital to recover from this procedure,” Sorajja said. “Now it is essentially becoming an outpatient procedure.”
Abbott joined a growing list of hospitals this month when it started using conscious sedation for transcatheter aortic valve replacements, or TAVRs, which involve threading a replacement valve inside an artery so it can regulate blood flow out of the heart. The University of Minnesota Medical Center also prefers conscious sedation for the procedure.
General anaesthesia remains critical for many lifesaving surgeries, but studies are showing that it can result in health problems, said Dr J.P. Abenstein, a Mayo Clinic physician and past president of the American Society of Anesthesiologists.
Anesthesiologist Tjorvi Perry, left, talks with patient Roy Nothnagel, who remained conscious during a procedure at Abbott Northwestern Hospital. Photo: TNS
Those with conscious sedation were less likely to die and spent two fewer days in hospital care on average. Photo: TNS
“When I was in training in the 80s, if patients were alive and kicking 24 hours after (procedures) then anaesthesia was off the hook,” he said.
“Today, we realise there is long-term consequence to the heart, to the kidney, to the brain.”
It doesn’t always work: Abenstein said most doctors switched back to general anaesthesia for certain gastrointestinal procedures because it was better for patients.
And even with TAVRs, one in 10 patients receiving conscious sedation in the US are switched to general anaesthesia because they can’t sit still or complications occur.
“That is the downside,” said Dr Ganesh Raveendran, an interventional cardiologist at the University of Minnesota. “If there is a disaster or an emergent need, then there would be an emergency intubation and placement of the patient on a ventilator. People like to do those things in a controlled fashion rather than on an emergency basis.”
Still, the benefit of keeping patients awake is enticing.
A 2014 Emory University study compared 140 TAVR patients, primarily by the anaesthesia they received, and found that those with conscious sedation were less likely to die and spent two fewer days in hospital care on average.
Doctors have long used conscious sedation for implanting stents, pacemakers and defibrillators, and now some are trying it in procedures to treat atrial septal defects – holes in the walls separating the heart’s upper chambers.
Nothnagel, who became Abbott’s second case of TAVR conscious sedation, had developed a condition called aortic stenosis, which occurs when the aortic valve sticks and inhibits blood flow.
Stenosis grows more common with age and can lead to chest pain and heart attacks.
He agreed to the approach when Sorajja first asked him. The Plymouth retiree took pride in sizing people up during his sales and marketing career, and he liked his doctor’s confidence.
As the procedure began on a recent Wednesday, on the other side of the drape from where Sorajja was operating, Nothnagel’s bushy eyebrows betrayed moments when he could feel the pokes and prods of the procedure.
When Sorajja injected dye so he could see his patient’s blood vessels on a monitor, Nothnagel said it felt hot and tasted bitter.
“Walter,” Sorajja said, using his patient’s formal name, “you are going to feel your heart beat getting a little faster. You may even feel light-headed. The most important thing is we don’t want you to move. Just shout if you feel anything.”
A puff of dye illuminated Nothnagel’s aorta on a screen, and the valve implant that had been threaded through a five-millimeter incision in his chest.
Sorajja could expand the artificial valve just once, so he had to make sure it was in a spot that would push the failing natural valve aside and take over its role.
“I like the position there,” he said to his team. “You guys like it?”
Conscious sedation was unthinkable for the first generation of TAVRs, because the replacement valves were larger and inserted through wider incisions.
The latest valves by companies such as Edwards Lifesciences and Medtronic are easier to implant.
Less anaesthesia also appears to save money; the Emory study found TAVR patients cost US$10,000 (RM42,000) less when receiving conscious sedation, primarily due to shorter hospital stays.
For now, TAVRs have been reserved for patients too frail for open surgery.
Risks of death and stroke during TAVRs are as high as 2% and 3%, respectively. But better results with less anaesthesia could result in the approach becoming more common.
Minimal sedation was the right choice, Nothnagel said after the procedure, because he felt strong and alert. And he avoided having a breathing tube down his throat.
Any pressure or pinches during the procedure were worth the trade-off, though after a lifetime of other medical procedures, he considers himself a pretty tough guy.
“There’s a red S on my chest,” he said. – Star Tribune (Minneapolis)/Tribune News Service

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Should women with low sexual desire take this drug?

Should women with low sexual desire take this drug?
Some researchers have questionsed the efficacy and safety of the medication flibanserin. Photo: TNS/Fotolia
In August 2015, the US Food and Drug Administration approved the medication flibanserin for use in premenopausal women with hypoactive sexual desire disorder.
Since then, some researchers have questioned its efficacy and safety, claiming the side effects may not be worth it.
Dr Jordan Rullo of the Mayo Clinic Women’s Health Clinic is a member of the International Society for the Study of Women’s Sexual Health. She and her colleagues support the use of the drug for the subset of women who benefit from it.
“The recent meta-analysis on flibanserin puts into question its efficacy and safety, but this analysis has several flaws,” Dr Rullo says. “Because of these flaws, in my opinion, the findings of this meta-analysis do not change what we already know about the safety and efficacy of flibanserin.”
During the clinical trials that tested the safety and efficacy of flibanserin, researchers looked at three things: self-reported increase in desire, more sexually satisfying events and levels of sexual distress.
Results showed a modest benefit. Dr Rullo says that for this group, the medication increased self-reported sexual desire, increased the number of satisfying sexual events and decreased self-reported stress. – Mayo Clinic News Network/Tribune News Service

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Diabetic patch might replace finger prick

Smart insulin patch could replace painful injections for diabetes
The smart insulin patch could be placed anywhere on the body to detect increases in blood sugar and then secrete doses of insulin when needed.
CHAPEL HILL, NC – Painful insulin injections could become a thing of the past for the millions of Americans who suffer from diabetes, thanks to a new invention from researchers at the University of North Carolina and NC State, who have created a “smart insulin patch” that can detect increases in blood sugar levels and secrete doses of insulin into the bloodstream whenever needed.
The patch – a thin square no bigger than a penny – is covered with more than one hundred tiny needles, each about the size of an eyelash. These “microneedles” are packed with microscopic storage units for insulin and glucose-sensing enzymes that rapidly release their cargo when blood sugar levels get too high.
The study, which is published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, found that the new, painless patch could lower blood glucose in a mouse model of type 1 diabetes for up to nine hours. More pre-clinical tests and subsequent clinical trials in humans will be required before the patch can be administered to patients, but the approach shows great promise.
“We have designed a patch for diabetes that works fast, is easy to use, and is made from nontoxic, biocompatible materials,” said co-senior author Zhen Gu, PhD, a professor in the Joint UNC/NC State Department of Biomedical Engineering. Gu also holds appointments in the UNC School of Medicine, the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy, and the UNC Diabetes Care Center. “The whole system can be personalized to account for a diabetic’s weight and sensitivity to insulin,” he added, “so we could make the smart patch even smarter.”
Diabetes affects more than 387 million people worldwide, and that number is expected to grow to 592 million by the year 2035. Patients with type 1 and advanced type 2 diabetes try to keep their blood sugar levels under control with regular finger pricks and repeated insulin shots, a process that is painful and imprecise. John Buse, MD, PhD, co-senior author of the PNAS paper and the director of the UNC Diabetes Care Center, said, “Injecting the wrong amount of medication can lead to significant complications like blindness and limb amputations, or even more disastrous consequences such as diabetic comas and death.”
Researchers have tried to remove the potential for human error by creating “closed-loop systems” that directly connect the devices that track blood sugar and administer insulin. However, these approaches involve mechanical sensors and pumps, with needle-tipped catheters that have to be stuck under the skin and replaced every few days.
GU_micropatch_close up
An up-close fluorescent image of the microneedle patch with insulin tagged in green. (Courtesy of Zhen Gu, PhD)
Instead of inventing another completely manmade system, Gu and his colleagues chose to emulate the body’s natural insulin generators known as beta cells. These versatile cells act both as factories and warehouses, making and storing insulin in tiny sacs called vesicles. They also behave like alarm call centers, sensing increases in blood sugar levels and signaling the release of insulin into the bloodstream.
“We constructed artificial vesicles to perform these same functions by using two materials that could easily be found in nature,” said PNAS first author Jiching Yu, a PhD student in Gu’s lab.
The first material was hyaluronic acid or HA, a natural substance that is an ingredient of many cosmetics. The second was 2-nitroimidazole or NI, an organic compound commonly used in diagnostics. The researchers connected the two to create a new molecule, with one end that was water-loving or hydrophilic and one that was water-fearing or hydrophobic. A mixture of these molecules self-assembled into a vesicle, much like the coalescing of oil droplets in water, with the hydrophobic ends pointing inward and the hydrophilic ends pointing outward.
The result was millions of bubble-like structures, each 100 times smaller than the width of a human hair. Into each of these vesicles, the researchers inserted a core of solid insulin and enzymes specially designed to sense glucose.
In lab experiments, when blood sugar levels increased, the excess glucose crowded into the artificial vesicles. The enzymes then converted the glucose into gluconic acid, consuming oxygen all the while. The resulting lack of oxygen or “hypoxia” made the hydrophobic NI molecules turn hydrophilic, causing the vesicles to rapidly fall apart and send insulin into the bloodstream.
Once the researchers designed these “intelligent insulin nanoparticles,” they had to figure out a way to administer them to patients with diabetes. Rather than rely on the large needles or catheters that had beleaguered previous approaches, they decided to incorporate these balls of sugar-sensing, insulin-releasing material into an array of tiny needles.
GU_electron microscopy_smart patch
A scanning electronic microscopy image of the smart insulin patch. (Courtesy of Zhen Gu, PhD)
Gu created these “microneedles” using the same hyaluronic acid that was a chief ingredient of the nanoparticles, only in a more rigid form so the tiny needles were stiff enough to pierce the skin. They arranged more than one hundred of these microneedles on a thin silicon strip to create what looks like a tiny, painless version of a bed of nails. When this patch was placed onto the skin, the microneedles penetrated the surface, tapping into the blood flowing through the capillaries just below.
The researchers tested the ability of this approach to control blood sugar levels in a mouse model of type 1 diabetes. They gave one set of mice a standard injection of insulin and measured the blood glucose levels, which dropped down to normal but then they quickly climbed back into the hyperglycemic range. In contrast, when the researchers treated another set of mice with the microneedle patch, they saw that blood glucose levels were brought under control within thirty minutes and stayed that way for several hours.
In addition, the researchers found that they could tune the patch to alter blood glucose levels only within a certain range by varying the dose of enzyme contained within each of the microneedles. They also found that the patch did not pose the hazards that insulin injections do. Injections can send blood sugar plummeting to dangerously low levels when administered too frequently.
“The hard part of diabetes care is not the insulin shots, or the blood sugar checks, or the diet but the fact that you have to do them all several times a day every day for the rest of your life, said Buse, the director of the North Carolina Translational and Clinical Sciences (NC TraCS) Institute and past president of the American Diabetes Association. “If we can get these patches to work in people, it will be a game changer.”
Because mice are less sensitive to insulin than humans, the researchers think that the blood sugar-stabilizing effects of the patch could last even longer when given to actual patients. Their eventual goal, Gu said, is to develop a smart insulin patch that patients would only have to change every few days.
The research was funded by a pilot grant from the NC TraCS Institute and a “Pathway to Stop Diabetes” Research Award from the American Diabetes Association.

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Heart-healthy habits like exercising lead to healthier brain

Want to maintain your smarts? Look after your heart! A recent study shows that heart-healthy habits like exercising and eating well are not only good for the heart, they'redoing the brain a huge favour too.
According to a Reuters Health report, optimal heart-healthy practices like dieting, exercising, not smoking, maintaining weight and blood pressure also promote cognitive health.
Researchers from United States studied over 1,000 participants with a mean age of 72. The researchers assessed the participants’ memory, thinking, and brain processing speed, and found that people engaged in heart-healthy habits performed better on tests administered.
To reach their findings, the researchers looked at seven factors that can contribute to heart health: not smoking, ideal body weight, 150 minutes of moderate exercise, healthy diet with little salt or sugar, and control of cholesterol, blood pressure, and blood glucose. These were the goals the participants needed to complete based on the American Heart Association’s “Life’s Simple Sevens.”
All the participants completed the brain function assessment test at the start of the study. Six years later, around 700 participants were tested again.
However, it’s important to note that no participant completed all seven goals, only 1 percent of them achieved six of the goals, a third achieved two, and 30 percent completed three out of the seven.
Even so, participants who engaged in heart-healthy habits were found to have better scores on brain processing speed, or the ability to perform tasks that require focused attention. And the association was strongly seen from those who do not smoke, have normal blood glucose, and maintain ideal weight.
Though there was a limitation in the study - the high drop-out rate of participants, the average age of which was 72 - the researchers note that younger participants are more likely to complete the initial and follow-up cognitive assessments.
Achieving heart-healthy goals is associated with better cognitive functions like processing speed, memory, and executive function, researchers said.
Lead study author Hannah Gardener said, “Our findings reinforce current recommendations for cardiovascular health but suggest that they may also promote cognitive health.” MIMS

Friday, March 18, 2016

Works 100%: Dengue vaccine is effective

Works 100%: Dengue vaccine is effective
A working vaccine for dengue may mean that one for Zika would not be too long. Photo: Reuters
An experimental vaccine against dengue, the world’s most common mosquito-borne virus, was 100% effective in early trials and could speed up the pace of a vaccine against Zika, researchers say.
Dengue, which is in the same family of flaviviruses as Zika, infects some 390 million people each year in more than 120 countries of the world, including Malaysia.
Dengue symptoms are often mild, but more than two million people annually develop dengue haemorrhagic fever. which can involve severe headaches, pain behind the eyes, rash, pain in the joints, muscles or bones pain, and leaking blood vessels.
More than 25,000 people die of dengue haemorrhagic fever each year.
“Knowing what we know about this new vaccine, we are confident that it is going to work,” says lead author Anna Durbin, associate professor in International Health at the Bloomberg School of Public Health at Johns Hopkins University.
“And we have to be confident: Dengue is unique and if you don’t do it right, you can do more harm than good.”
Four strains
The vaccine candidate, known as TV003, was tested in a group of 48 people – half of whom received the vaccine, with the other half given a placebo.
TV003 is made by researchers at the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) from a mixture of four weakened but live viruses, targeted to each of the four serotypes of dengue.
Six months after vaccination, the two groups were exposed to a weakened form of dengue serotype 2 virus, the hardest of the four dengue strains to prevent.
Previous research on TV003, which has been in development for 15 years, had shown it worked well at preventing dengue 1, 3 and 4 viruses.
However, the “portion of the vaccine that was designed to prevent dengue 2 did not induce as strong an immune response in people as the other three components,” says a statement from Johns Hopkins.
This time, researchers looked beyond antibody response “for the evidence of actual infection: virus in the blood, rash and low white blood cell count.”
Of the 41 people that remained in the study until the end, none of the 21 who were vaccinated showed any evidence of dengue.
The 20 in the placebo group all had dengue virus in their blood. Eighty per cent of them developed a rash, and 20 per cent showed lower white blood cell counts, suggesting their bodies were fighting an infection.
The study was done in the US, where dengue does not circulate in the population.
This helped researchers identify the vaccine’s effectiveness in people who had not been previously exposed to any strain of dengue.
“The findings from this trial are very encouraging to those of us who have spent many years working on vaccine candidates to protect against dengue, a disease that is a significant burden in much of the world and is now endemic in Puerto Rico,” says Stephen Whitehead, of the NIH’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.
A larger, phase III trial of TV003 began last month in Brazil. It is one of several candidate vaccines currently in clinical trials.
Zika virus
Researchers said their findings may assist in the development of a vaccine against Zika, which has been linked to surge in birth defects in Brazil.
Top US health experts have said a vaccine against the mosquito-borne disease will take years to develop.
“We think that this is a tool that can really accelerate vaccine development, it’s a tool that we think can be extrapolated to others flaviviruses,” says Durbin.
“We hope to do this with Zika virus. There’s an urgent need for a Zika vaccine.” – AFP Relaxnews

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

High-tech 'wonder bra' monitors the temperature of your breasts for signs of cancer

Initial prototype of the electronic brassiere
Scientists claim this bra could help the wearer to detect the presence of breast cancer
A group of Colombian Scientists have designed a bra that they claim helps the wearer to detect the presence of breast cancer .
The wonder bra is the work of the Electronic Engineering Department of the National University of Colombia in the city of Manizales, in the central-west Caldas Department.
It is designed to detect the difference in temperature between both breasts, which is usually caused by the presence of malignant cells.
The prototype they have designed aims to pick up the onset of the disease - vital in improving treatment, as breast cancer becomes more and more difficult to treat the later it is detected.
CEN / Universidad Nacional de ColombiaResearchers Maria Jaramillo Gonzalez and Maria Camila Torres Arcila
Researchers Maria Jaramillo Gonzalez and Maria Camila Torres Arcila
The bra is installed with a special software that cleverly monitors and registers via infrared sensors the temperature of each breast, which is one of the simplest ways of detecting malignant cells.
One of the students on the team, Maria Camila Cortes Arcila, says: "When invasive cells are present in the mammary glands, the body begins to circulate more blood in the affected area, which is why the temperature rises."
GettyDoctor assisting a female patient for mammogram
Scientists say they do not want to "replace the doctor" and simply want to catch the disease earlier
Professors and students of the university have been working on the project since June and have used 189 women during their trials - 122 of which were healthy, 12 suffering from different types of breast cancer and 7 of which had had their breasts removed.
The investigators say they do not want to "replace the doctor" and simply want to catch the disease earlier.
They are currently developing the bra for commercialisation in the mainstream underwear market at an "affordable price for all women."


4 Factors That Lead Students to Take Sexual Risks

College-aged students may be more likely to participate in risky sexual behaviors if they are experiencing instability in their lives. 
Researchers from the University of Illinois hypothesized that transitional instability, which is common among young adults, would be linked with sexual risk-taking.
Their results showed both a positive and significant association between the 2.
Four factors related to instability that amplified this association were:
1. Depression
2. Loneliness
3. Drinking as a way to cope with emotional pain
4. Drinking as a way of fitting in with a crowd

“Young adults experience a lot of instability caused by frequent transitions in their lives,” study author Jill Bowers, a University of Illinois researcher in human development and family studies, said in a press release.
She noted that students may be going through changes related to their housing, friends, jobs, roommates, and significant others. Some students may even transfer to a new university, which would amplify their level of instability.
On both physical and emotional levels, stress can also lead students to feel unstable.
Risky sex was defined in this study as sex with uncommitted partners, casual sex where the 2 partners did not discuss the action beforehand, and “impulsive” sexual behavior. 

The study involved almost 400 students (100 men and 290 women, plus 8 who did not report their sex) at 2 universities.
The researchers had also wanted to examine whether family communication played a role in risky sexual behaviors, but they did not see a significant link between the 2.
The researchers suggested that there should be more messages on campus about how to handle emotional stress. 



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Monday, March 14, 2016

Skipping lunch may be very bad for your kid’s health

                                       Skipping lunch may be very bad for your kid’s health
      Don't let your child skip lunch as they are going to need the vitamins and minerals the midday meal provides. 
Children who skip lunch may not be getting enough vitamins and minerals from the rest of their meals and snacks, a study suggests.
Researchers examined nutrition information for almost 4,800 school-age kids and found that about 7 to 20% skipped lunch at least once a week.
“Overall, the lunch meal is very important for helping children meet their nutrient needs, especially for fat-soluble vitamins A and D, minerals like calcium, phosphorus and magnesium that are important for healthy bones, and dietary fibre,” says study coauthor Alison Eldridge of the Nestle Research Center in Lausanne, Switzerland.
Previous studies have focused on nutrient intake and breakfast skipping or snacking, but no one had looked at what happens when kids miss lunch.
Eldridge and her colleagues wanted to fill that gap, so they examined information from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys 2009-2010 and 2011-2012.
Younger children are more likely to skip lunch on weekends and girls would forgo the midday meal during the week. Photo: Filepic
On any given day, about 7% of 4- to 8-year-olds, 16% of 9- to 13-year-olds, and 17% of 14- to 18-year-olds skipped their lunches, the research team reported in the Journal Of The Academy Of Nutrition And Dietetics.
The youngest kids were more likely to skip lunch on the weekends, and girls ages 9 to 18 were more likely to skip lunch during the week.
Kids who missed lunches tended to be deficient in vitamins A, D, E, and K, along with several essential minerals.
But while children who missed lunch also consumed less protein, fibre, and total fats, their total intakes of sugar and solid fats was no different than in kids who ate lunch.
“We were surprised at the number of children and adolescents skipping lunch, especially on the weekends,” Eldridge says. “We were also surprised that the children and adolescents who skipped lunch ate similar amounts of ‘empty’ calories, compared to those who ate lunch.”
Eldridge said childhood is an important time for building habits that could impact life-long health.
“Parents have an important role in modelling good eating behaviours, by offering a variety of nutrient-dense foods to their children, and by encouraging children to eat regular meals,” Eldridge says.
Sandra Arevalo, Director of Nutrition and Community Outreach at Community Pediatrics Program of Children’s Hospital at Montefiore Medical System in New York, says that lunch also helps regulate appetite and metabolism.
“Children who don’t eat lunch at school and spend long hours with an empty stomach tend to snack more when they return home and eat larger dinners,” says Arevalo, who wasn’t involved in the study. “Many children don’t eat breakfast either, making their first meal at home after returning from school.”
Arevalo said by email that one or two meals per day aren’t enough to provide all the nutrients a child needs to grow strong and healthy.
“Start by making sure that your child always eats something before going to school,” Arevalo says. “Quick and nutrient rich foods to eat in the morning include whole grain cereals with low fat milk, a yoghurt parfait, a cereal bar with a cup of low-fat milk, a fruit and/or vegetables smoothie, egg, cheese or turkey sandwich or a peanut butter and jelly sandwich on whole wheat bread.”
Arevalo also suggests packing healthy snacks such as yoghurt, sandwiches, fruits, or fresh vegetables and dip, for days when kids might not like the school lunches. – Reuters

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Krill Oil VS Fish Oil


         Easier to Digest, Better Uptake, and an Extra Antioxidant Punch


   Krill Oil vs. Fish Oil: Differences on a Molecular Level

 The most notable feature of Neptune Krill Oil (NKO®) is that the Omega-3, EPA and DHA, are  incorporated into a phospholipid molecule. The structure has a water-soluble head and two fat-soluble  tails.

Why do Phospholipids Matter?

The phospholipid form is both fat-soluble and water-soluble. In fish oil, the DHA and EPA are bonded to triglycerides (fat-soluble only). This difference has broad implications for digestibility, absorption, and utilization:
  • NKO®’s phospholipid Omega-3 are easier to digest—there are no issues with reflux or aftertaste.
  • NKO®’s Omega-3 is 2.5 times more bioavailable when compared to fish oil1.
  • NKO®’s phospholipids are quickly recognized by the body—phospholipids are the membrane building blocks of every human cell.

Extra Antioxidant Power

Because of our patented extraction process, NKO® is also a source of the super antioxidant astaxanthin. Most Omega-3 products do not contain astaxanthin. NKO® not only provides astaxanthin, it contains up to seven times more than other krill oils.


Krill harvest is highly regulated. NKO® has earned a Friend of the Sea certification for its sustainable krill harvesting.
1 – Clinical Study Report. NO. BTS 275/07. February 16, 2009. Esslingen, Germany

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Natural astaxanthin from the microalgae, Haematococcus pluvialis, is a natural carotenoid that can be found from arctic marine environments, to common fresh water rock pools throughout the world. Astaxanthin is what gives the pink and red color to salmon, shrimp and lobster. In the natural environment, animals depend on their diet to obtain astaxanthin and other carotenoids since they cannot produce carotenoids themselves. 
The most abundant source of astaxanthin in nature is Haematococcus pluvialis, which will accumulate astaxanthin in lipid vesicles during periods of nutrient deficiency and environmental stress. BecauseHaematococcus often grows in places that are exposed to intense sunlight during its dormant phase, astaxanthin functions to protect the cell nucleus against free radicals generated by UV radiation that would otherwise cause damage to its DNA and peroxidise energy reservoirs.
Natural astaxanthin has a unique molecular structure that makes it literally hundreds of times stronger than any other antioxidant molecule. For this reason, astaxanthin is often called "The King of Antioxidants". You can learn more about how AstaReal AB produces natural astaxanthin here.
AstaReal AB continues to lead the way in the production and innovation of natural astaxanthin. The global demand for natural astaxanthin continues to grow and AstaReal AB along with Fuji Chemical Industry Co., Ltd are committed to ensuring the supply of superior, natural astaxanthin products. You can read more about AstaReal AB here.
The health benefits of natural astaxanthin are diverse. Read on to learn more about the proven health effects of AstaReal® natural astaxanthin.
Price: Natural Astaxantin 4mg softgel 30s = RM98
(2 pack with free delivery)
Whatapps: 0127334511
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