Friday, April 26, 2013


"Parenting can sometimes make you want to scream, but a new study finds that arguing in front of your baby might sensitize the infant's brain to stress. Researchers at the University of Oregon found that babies react to angry, argumentative tones of voice, even while they are asleep.

Babies' brains have high plasticity, which allows them to quickly learn how to respond to the environments and people around them. Because infants are so responsive, however, severe stresses like abuse and mistreatment can significantly hamper babies' brain development.

Graduate student Alice Graham, along with advisors Phil Fisher and Jennifer Pfeifer, decided to investigate how more moderate stressors affect babies' brain development.

With the help of fMRI brain imaging, they decided to explore the association between babies' brain functions and a common source of stress in young children's lives- the sounds of parental arguments.

Few studies have used neuroimaging to examine infant responses to angry voices in particular brain areas. A 2005 study found that infants' brains devote more attention to angry voices than happy or neutral tones, and a 2010 study suggested that babies are attuned to a voice's emotional state by seven months. Previous research suggested that parental conflict can decrease infants' sleep quality and negatively impact children's emotional well-being.

At their regular bedtimes, twenty infants ranging from six to 12 months old were brought into an fMRI lab. The researchers presented the babies with nonsense sentences spoken by a male adult voice in a range of emotional tones- very angry, somewhat upset, neutral, and happy.

The results showed that, "even during sleep, infants showed distinct patterns of brain activity depending on the emotional tone of voice we presented," said Graham in a press release.

The babies' parents had completed questionnaires about the level of conflict in their homes, and the brain imaging results indicated that infants from high conflict homes showed stronger reactivity to the very angry tone of voice in brain areas including the hypothalamus, cingulate cortex, caudate, and thalamus, which are associated with stress and emotional regulation.

Early life experiences can strongly influence a person's response to events later in life. Animal research has proved that brain areas like the hypothalamus and cingulate cortex influence the impact of early stresses on development, and this study indicates that similar mechanisms are at play in human brains.

The researchers take their results as proof that babies are sensitive to the sounds of parental arguments, though follow-up studies would be necessary to judge the long-term impact of high-conflict homes on babies' brain development.

Parents of infants take note- your baby may not understand what you're saying, but your tone of voice during arguments is all too clear.

The study will be published in the next edition of the journal Psychological Science."
Links :

Friday, October 19, 2012


  • Obese young men have around half total testosterone levels in comparasion to  normal weight teens.
  • Implications are horrendous because it could leave them impotent and infertile in later life.

Obese teenage boys have up to 50 per cent less testosterone than their leaner pals - increasing their risk of infertility in later life, a study has found.
Researchers said the results were a ‘grim message’ for overweight young adults.
The study by scientists at the University at Buffalo in the U.S shows for the first time that obese young men aged 14 to 20 have around half the total testosterone than normal weight youths.
Weighty issue: Obese teenage boys have half the testosterone levels of their healthy peers (posed)
The same research team first reported in 2004 the presence of low testosterone levels - known as hypogonadism - in obese, type 2 diabetic adult males and confirmed it in 2010 in more than 2,000 obese men, both diabetic and non-diabetic.
The study’s first author Dr Paresh Dandona, Distinguished Professor in the Department of Medicine, said: 'We were surprised to observe a 50 per cent reduction in testosterone in this paediatric study because these obese males were young and were not diabetic.
'The implications of our findings are, frankly, horrendous because these boys are potentially impotent and infertile. The message is a grim one with massive epidemiological implications.'

In 2009, 20 per cent of 11 to 15-year-olds boys in the UK were recorded as obese.
The study included 25 obese and 25 lean youths and was controlled for age and level of sexual maturity. Concentrations of total and free testosterone and estradiol, an oestrogen hormone, were measured in morning fasting blood samples.
Dr Dandona said the results need to be confirmed with a larger number of subjects.
However, he said: 'These findings demonstrate that the effect of obesity is powerful, even in the young, and that lifestyle and nutritional intake starting in childhood have major repercussions throughout all stages of life.'
Dr. Dandona said in addition to the reproductive consequences, the absence or low levels of testosterone that were found also will increase the tendency toward abdominal fat and reduced muscle, leading to insulin resistance which contributes to diabetes.
He added: 'The good news is that we know that testosterone levels do return to normal in obese adult males who undergo gastric bypass surgery.
'It’s possible that levels also will return to normal through weight loss as a result of lifestyle change, although this needs to be confirmed by larger studies.'
The researchers now intend to study whether or not weight loss accomplished either through lifestyle changes or through pharmacological intervention will restore testosterone levels in obese teenage boys.
The paper was published online in the journal Clinical Endocrinology.


Washington, 19 October: Breast-feeding can reduce the risk for estrogen receptor-negative and progesterone receptor-negative breast cancer, according to a study.

Researchers at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health examined the association between reproductive risk factors — such as the number of children a woman delivers, breast-feeding and oral contraceptive use – and found an increased risk for estrogen receptor- and progesterone receptor- (ER/PR) negative breast cancer in women who do not breast-feed.

The results also indicated that having 3 or more children without breast-feeding was associated with an increased risk for ER/PR-negative breast cancer. ER/PR-negative breast cancer often affects younger women and has a poor prognosis.

The researchers used data from 3 sites of the Breast Cancer Family Registry, which includes women with and without breast cancer from the U.S., Canada and Australia. The study included 4,011 women with breast cancer and 2,997 population-based controls.

“Women who had children but did not breast-feed had about 1.5 times the risk for ER/PR-negative breast cancer,” said Meghan Work, MPH, doctoral student in the Department of Epidemiology and first author.

“If women breast-fed their children, there was no increased risk for ER/PR-negative cancer. This is particularly important as breast-feeding is a modifiable factor that can be promoted and supported through health policy,” Work said.

The investigators also found that oral contraceptive use was not associated with ER/PR-negative cancer risk, with the exception of those formulations available before 1975.

“These earlier formulations contained higher doses of estrogen and progestin than more recent versions,” Work said.

These results are in line with previous findings that have demonstrated a breast-feeding benefit in triple-negative breast cancer, which includes estrogen and progesterone receptor negative cancers.

“The consistency of the association with breast-feeding and estrogen receptor negative tumours across a number of studies is particularly noteworthy as there have been few modifiable risk factors identified for this tumor subtype,” said Mary Beth Terry, PhD, associate professor of Epidemiology and senior author of the paper.

The paper was presented at the 11th Annual AACR International Conference on Frontiers in Cancer Prevention Research.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012


A Host of Ills When Iron’s Out of Balance

Iron, an essential nutrient, has long been the nation's most common nutritional deficiency. In decades past, many parents worried that children who were picky eaters would develop iron-deficiency anemia. My mother boiled meat I refused to eat and fed me the concentrated broth in hopes I'd get some of its iron.
Now baby foods, infant formula and many other child-friendly foods, like breakfast cereals, breads, rice and pasta, are fortified with iron. Today iron deficiency is more likely in infants who are exclusively breast-fed, young children who consume too much milk, menstruating and pregnant women, vegans and strict vegetarians, and people who take medications that cause internal bleeding or interfere with iron absorption.
These days, more attention is being paid to the opposite problem: iron overload, which studies indicate can damage internal organs and may increase the risk of diabetes, heart attack and cancer, particularly in older people.
In examining more than 1,000 white Americans ages 67 to 96 participating in the Framingham Heart Study, researchers found that only about 3 percent had deficient levels of iron in their blood or stored in their bodies, but 13 percent had levels considered too high.
The authors concluded that "the likely liability in iron nutriture in free-living, elderly white Americans eating a Western diet is high iron stores, not iron deficiency."
Iron is an essential part of the proteins that transport oxygen in the body. Hemoglobin, the oxygen-carrying protein in red blood cells, accounts for about two-thirds of the body's iron supply. Smaller amounts are found in myoglobin, the protein that supplies oxygen to muscles, and in enzymes needed for various biochemical reactions.
In addition, a varying amount of iron is stored in proteins that release it to the blood when needed. The more iron that is absorbed from the diet, the higher the level of stored iron. About one person in 250 inherits a genetic disorder called hemochromatosis that increases iron absorption and results in a gradual, organ-damaging buildup of stored iron, although symptoms of the problem usually don't become apparent until midlife or later.
An Array of Symptoms From Iron Deficiency
Iron deficiency can result in a confusing array of symptoms, including fatigue and weakness, poor work performance, increased risk of infections, difficulty keeping warm, lightheadedness, rapid heartbeat, and shortness of breath with exercise. Population studies have suggested that people who engage regularly in strenuous exercise, especially adolescents and vegetarians, are at increased risk of developing iron-deficiency anemia.
Iron deficiency is rare in men and postmenopausal women, and most should avoid supplements containing iron to reduce the risk of organ damage from too much iron. Also, if a routine blood test (advisable at least every two years) indicates low iron, experts warn against simply taking an iron supplement. Rather, a doctor should first check for hidden blood loss or impediments to iron absorption resulting from diet habits, medications or chronic health conditions, like colitis or the aftermath of weight-loss surgery.
There are two kinds of dietary iron, heme and nonheme. Heme iron, found only in meat, fish and poultry, is much better absorbed that the nonheme iron found in vegetables, fortified foods, supplements and acidic foods cooked in cast-iron pots. Whereas 15 to 30 percent of heme iron consumed is absorbed, only 5 percent of nonheme iron gets into the blood. To assure adequate iron absorption, some vegans and vegetarians may need to take a supplement.
Various factors can impair or enhance iron absorption. Some vegetables, like spinach (Popeye notwithstanding), contain oxalic acid, which interferes with iron absorption. High-fiber foods like whole grains that contain phytates and foods high in calcium (hence the problem with too much milk) also diminish the amount of iron that enters blood. But the vitamin C and other acids naturally present in fruits, fruit juices and some vegetables increase iron absorption.
In a subsequent study by the Framingham researchers, men and women ages 68 to 93 had the highest levels of stored iron if they consumed red meat four or more times a week, took more than 30 milligrams of an iron supplement daily, or ate more than 21 servings of fruit each week. However, levels were much lower among those who consumed more than seven servings of whole grains each week.
Hazards of Iron Overload
Earlier this year, Nutrition Action Healthletter, published by the Center for Science in the Public Interest, summarized the latest evidence for the effects of excess iron stores.
The problem with too much stored iron is that, short of bleeding, the body can't easily get rid of it. Menstruating women are unlikely to have a problem, but for others with high stores the recommended treatments include phlebotomy and frequent blood donation. Without these measures, excess iron gets deposited in the liver, heart and pancreas, where it can cause cirrhosis, liver cancer, cardiac arrhythmias and diabetes.
These health consequences can develop even in people without hemochromatosis, the genetic disorder, who accumulate very high levels of stored iron. For example, among 32,000 women followed for 10 years in the Nurses' Health Study, those with the highest levels of stored iron were nearly three times as likely to have diabetes as those with the lowest levels. Likewise, among 38,000 men in the Health Professionals Follow-up Study, those who consumed the most heme iron had a 63 percent greater risk of developing diabetes.
Other studies have shown that when people with high levels of stored iron donate blood regularly, their insulin sensitivity and risk of diabetes diminishes.
While the risk of cancer from too much iron is uncertain except in people with hemochromatosis, the known links between high levels of red meat consumption and cancers of the colon and prostate are highly suggestive of an increased risk associated with excessive consumption of heme iron.
As for heart disease, the link found in some studies to high levels of heme iron consumption may reflect the effect of saturated fats from red meat, the richest source of heme iron, more than that of iron itself.
High levels of iron have been found in the brains of people with neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (Lou Gehrig's disease). But sick brain cells accumulate abnormal levels of minerals like aluminum, so iron in these cases may be an effect of brain disease rather than its cause.
Nonetheless, there are ample health and environmental reasons to limit consumption of red meat to no more than two or three times a week and to focus more on poultry, seafood and plant sources of protein (dried beans and peas, nuts and foods made from them).


Sunday, August 05, 2012


The power of intermittent fasting

 Michael Mosley

 Michael Mosley checks his weight  

Michael Mosley fasted for two days every week

 Scientists are uncovering evidence that short periods of fasting, if properly controlled, could achieve a number of health benefits, as well as potentially helping the overweight, as Michael Mosley discovered.

I'd always thought of fasting as something unpleasant, with no obvious long term benefits. So when I was asked to make a documentary that would involve me going without food, I was not keen as I was sure I would not enjoy it.
But the Horizon editor assured me there was great new science and that I might see some dramatic improvements to my body. So, of course, I said, "yes".
I am not strong-willed enough to diet over the long term, but I am extremely interested in the reasons why eating less might lead to increased life span, particularly as scientists think it may be possible to get the benefits without the pain.

How you age is powerfully shaped by your genes. But there's not much you can do about that.
Calorie restriction, eating well but not much, is one of the few things that has been shown to extend life expectancy, at least in animals. We've known since the 1930s that mice put on a low-calorie, nutrient-rich diet live far longer. There is mounting evidence that the same is true in monkeys.
Growth hormone
The world record for extending life expectancy in a mammal is held by a new type of mouse which can expect to live an extra 40%, equivalent to a human living to 120 or even longer.
It has been genetically engineered so its body produces very low levels of a growth hormone called IGF-1, high levels of which seem to lead to accelerated ageing and age-related diseases, while low levels are protective

A similar, but natural, genetic mutation has been found in humans with Laron syndrome, a rare condition that affects fewer than 350 people worldwide. The very low levels of IGF-1 their bodies produce means they are short, but this also seems to protect them against cancer and diabetes, two common age-related diseases.
The IGF-1 hormone (insulin-like growth factor) is one of the drivers which keep our bodies in go-go mode, with cells driven to reproduce. This is fine when you are growing, but not so good later in life.
But it turns out IGF-1 levels can be lowered by fasting. The reason seems to be that when our bodies no longer have access to food they switch from "growth mode" to "repair mode".
As levels of the IGF-1 hormone drop, a number of repair genes appear to get switched on according to ongoing research by Professor Valter Longo of the University of Southern California.
Intermittent fasting
One area of current research into diet is Alternate Day fasting (ADF), involving eating what you want one day, then a very restricted diet (fewer than 600 calories) the next, and most surprisingly, it does not seem to matter that much what you eat on non-fast days.
Dr Krista Varady of the University of Illinois at Chicago carried out an eight-week trial comparing two groups of overweight patients on ADF.
"If you were sticking to your fast days, then in terms of cardiovascular disease risk, it didn't seem to matter if you were eating a high-fat or low-fat diet on your feed (non-fast) days," she said.
I decided I couldn't manage ADF, it was just too impractical. Instead I did an easier version, the so-called 5:2 diet. As the name implies you eat normally 5 days a week, then two days a week you eat 500 calories if you are a woman, or 600 calories, if you are a man.
There are no firm rules because so far there have been few proper human trials. I found that I could get through my fast days best if I had a light breakfast (scrambled eggs, thin slice of ham, lots of black tea, adding up to about 300 calories), lots of water and herbal tea during the day, then a light dinner (grilled fish with lots of vegetables) at night.

On my feed days I ate what I normally do and felt no need to gorge.
I stuck to this diet for 5 weeks, during which time I lost nearly a stone and my blood markers, like IGF-1, glucose and cholesterol, improved. If I can sustain that, it will greatly reduce my risk of contracting age-related diseases like cancer and diabetes.
Current medical opinion is that the benefits of fasting are unproven and until there are more human studies it's better to eat at least 2000 calories a day. If you really want to fast then you should do it in a proper clinic or under medical supervision, because there are many people, such as pregnant women or diabetics on medication, for whom it could be dangerous.
I was closely monitored throughout and found the 5:2 surprisingly easy. I will almost certainly continue doing it, albeit less often. Fasting, like eating, is best done in moderation.


Thursday, July 19, 2012


two eggs

Omelets, meringues and pasta could one-day be back on the menu for some people with egg allergies after they are treated with the very food they are allergic to, say US researchers.
The only option for patients is to completely avoid foods containing egg.
A study on 55 children showed some were able to eat egg after minuscule amounts were gradually added to their diets.
However, the treatment is still experimental and doctors say it should not be tried at home.
Egg allergies are one of the most common allergies and are thought to affect up to 2.5% of children.
Gradually introducing the food which causes an allergic reaction has been successful in other foods such as such as peanuts.
Parents were given powdered egg to mix into their children's food, building up to about a third of an egg every day.
The findings, presented in the New England Journal of Medicine, report that after 22 months of egg therapy, 75% of the children were able to eat the equivalent of two eggs without reacting.
The children were tested again after at least a month of no longer having the daily egg treatment. Of these, 28% could still eat egg without reacting and were considered allergy-free.
One of the researchers Dr Wesley Burks, from the University of North Carolina School of Medicine, said: "This study gives us hope that we're closer to developing a treatment.
"Almost a third of the children had a permanent change and were no longer egg-allergic."
Dr Stacie Jones, from University of Arkansas, said: "Reducing these kids' allergic response to egg also lessened parental anxiety over how their children might react if accidentally exposed to egg at school or at someone else's house."
However, about 15% of children did not finish the treatment, mostly due to allergic reactions.
Lindsey McManus, from the charity Allergy UK, said: "This is a very exciting development into immunotherapy for food allergy.
"Similar to recent trials being carried out into immunotherapy for peanut allergy at Addenbrookes hospital, the results are very promising.
"It is however very early days and more research will be needed before this is used as a regular form of treatment. We would echo the warning in the report that this should never be tried at home due to the risk of serious allergic reactions."

Courtesy BBC 

Friday, May 18, 2012

साइज जीरो महिलाएं आफत ?

हीं चाहिए साइज  जीरो महिलाएं

बहुत दुबला होने के खिलाफ महिलाओं में जागरूकता फैलाने वाली एक वेबसाईट  "प्राउडटूबीमी"  के निदेशक क्लेयर मैस्को कहती हैं बहुत दुबली महिलाएं मीडिया में कम दिखें यह फायदेमंद है.
तेल अवीव में लगा एक पोस्टर
इसराइल ने दुबली महिलाओं को विज्ञापनों में दिखाए जाने पर रोक लगा दी है
दुनिया भर में बहुत दुबली पतली या साइज़ जीरो महिलाओं के खिलाफ बहस जिस तरफ़ का रुख ले रही है उससे विशेषज्ञों को लगता है कि आने वाले दिनों में हालात खराब होंगे.
गत सप्ताह इसरायल ने एक कानून पास कर देश में विज्ञापनों या फैशन शोज़ में बेहद दुबली महिलाओं को दिखाने पर पाबंदी लगा दी. इसरायल ने यह कदम स्वस्थ महिलाओं को देखादेखी में बेहद दुबला होने की प्रवृति से बचाने के लिए उठाया है.
इस कानून को बनाने वालों में से एक राशेल अदातो का कहना है "सामान्य से कम वज़न खूबसूरत नहीं होता."

व्यापक बहस                               

         हाल के सालों में दुनिया भर इस बात पर बहस हो रही है कि मीडिया में किस तरह की महिलाओं को ज़्यादा तव्वजो दी जा रही है. चाहे वो बहुत ही दुबली महिलाएं हों या फिर वो किसी पत्रिका के कवर पर छपी कोई मॉडल जिसे कंप्यूटर की कारीगरी से बहुत ही दुबला पतला दिखाया गया हो.

ऐसे समय में जब बहुत ज़्यादा दुबला या साइज़ जीरो रहने की इच्छुक महिलाएं इंटरनेट पर एक दूसरे से संपर्क साध रहीं हो कई देशों में लोग सुंदर दिखने की इस अस्वास्थ्यकारी चाह से निपटने के तरीके सोच रहे हैं.
वो कहती हैं "मीडिया में केवल एक ही तरह की महिलाओं को सुंदर बताया जाना खतरनाक है. कई सारे लोगों को अपनी तरह के शरीर वाले लोग मीडिया पर कहीं नहीं दिखें तो ये गलत बात है."


 लेकिन कई ऐसे भी विशेषज्ञ हैं जो कि इसरायल के कदम को गलत मानते हैं और कहते हैं कि यह चीज़ों को और अधिक खराब कर देगा.
कई पत्रिकाओं के संपादक और फैशन से जुड़े का कहना है कि वो और विविध शरीरों वाले लोगों को इस्तेमाल करना चाहते हैं लेकिन बाज़ार उन्हें ऐसा नहीं करने देता.
सौन्दर्य पर एक किताब लिखने वाली अमंदा मीयर्स कहती हैं यह कानून हर तरह के शरीर को बढ़ावा नहीं देता.
उनके अनुसार बढ़ावा इस बात को देना चाहिए कि लोग प्राकृतिक रूप से अलग अलग शरीर की बनावट वाले होते हैं.
'द बॉडी मिथ' नामक किताब के लेखक डॉ मैंने का कहना है कि बहुत दुबली औरतों पर निशाना साध कर हम व्यक्तियों पर हमला कर रहे हैं मानसिकता पर नहीं. लोग प्राकृतिक रूप से भी बहुत दुबले हो सकते हैं.