Pill shows innovative way of lowering blood sugar

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Friday approved a first-of-its-kind diabetes drug from Johnson & Johnson that uses a new method to lower blood sugar — flushing it out in patients’ urine.

The agency cleared J&J’s Invokana tablets for adults with Type 2 diabetes. The once-a-day medication works by blocking the kidneys from reabsorbing sugar, which occurs at higher levels in patients with diabetes than in healthy patients. Regulators highlighted the drug as the first in a new class of medications that could help address the growing US diabetes epidemic.

Analysts estimate Invokana could eventually grow into a blockbuster drug, generating more than $1 billion in sales annually for J&J.

People with type 2 diabetes are unable to properly break down carbohydrates, either because their bodies do not produce enough insulin or have become resistant to the hormone, which controls blood sugar levels. These patients are at higher risk for heart attacks, kidney problems, blindness and other serious complications. Diabetics often require multiple drugs with different mechanisms of action to control their blood sugar levels.

Invokana differs from older drugs that work by shrinking the amount of sugar absorbed from food and stored in the liver. The most common side effects of Invokana are yeast infections and urinary tract infections, due to the higher amounts of sugar passing through a patient’s urine. The drug also can cause a sudden drop in blood pressure when a patient stands up, which can lead to dizziness or fainting, according to the FDA.

The FDA said it approved the drug based on nine studies involving more than 10,000 patients. The studies showed that Invokana, both alone and in combination with other diabetes drugs, helped control blood sugar levels.

“We continue to advance innovation with the approval of new drug classes that provide additional treatment options for chronic conditions that impact public health,” said Dr Mary Parks, director of the FDA’s division of endocrinology products.

Regulators are requiring Johnson & Johnson to conduct five follow-up studies to assure the drug’s safety. The company will track rates of heart problems, cancer, pancreatitis and liver abnormalities, among other issues.

In recent years, the FDA has required companies developing diabetes drugs to closely monitor all heart-related side effects in patients. That’s because diabetes medicines are taken daily for many years, and one former blockbuster, GlaxoSmithKline PLC’s Avandia, was linked to higher heart attack risks.

Associated Press

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traffic pollution causes Childhood Asthma

New research conducted in 10 cities has estimated that 14% of chronic childhood asthma is due to exposure to traffic pollution near busy roads.

 The results are comparable to the burden associated with passive smoking: the World Health Organization estimates that between 4% and 18% of asthma cases in children are linked to passive smoking.

Until now, traffic pollution was assumed to only trigger asthma symptoms and burden estimations did not account for chronic asthma caused by the specific range of toxicants that are found near heavily used roads.

The researchers used a method known as population-attributable fractions to assess the impact of near-road traffic pollution. This calculates the proportional reduction in disease or death that would occur if exposure to a risk factor were reduced to a lower level .

The new research used data from existing epidemiological studies which found that children exposed to higher levels of near-road traffic-related pollution also had higher rates of asthma, even when taking into account a range of other relevant factors such as passive smoking or socioeconomic factors.

The researchers aimed to take these findings further and estimate how many asthma cases could be avoided if exposure was removed.

The results found that 14% of asthma cases across the 10 cities could be attributed to near-road traffic pollution. The findings also take into account differences in the health of the overall population in different cities.

Lead author, Dr Laura Perez at the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute, said: "Air pollution has previously been seen to trigger symptoms but this is the first time we have estimated the percentage of cases that might not have occurred if people had not been exposed to road traffic pollution. In light of all the existing epidemiological studies showing that road-traffic contributes to the onset of the disease in children, we must consider these results to improve policy making and urban planning."

Nada Haj Khider

Source : Science Daily

The Benefits of Optimism

In a study, those who were optimists at age 25 were significantly healthier at ages 45 and 60 than those who were pessimists. Other studies have linked a pessimistic explanatory style with higher rates of infectious disease, poor health, and earlier mortality.

Greater Achievement

Researcher Martin Seligman analyzed the explanatory styles of sports teams and found that the more optimistic teams created more positive synergy and performed better than the pessimistic ones. Another study showed that pessimistic swimmers who were led to believe they’d done worse than they had were prone to future poor performance. Optimistic swimmers didn’t have this vulnerability.

Research like this has led some companies to go out of their way to hire optimists -- a practice that seems to be paying off.

Persistence

Optimists don’t give up as easily as pessimists, and they are more likely to achieve success because of it. Some optimistic businessmen, like Donald Trump, have been bankrupt (even multiple times), but have been able to persist and turn their failures into millions.

Emotional Health

In a study of clinically depressed patients, it was discovered that 12 weeks of cognitive therapy (which involves reframing a person's thought processes) worked better than drugs, as changes were more long-lasting than a temporary fix. Patients who had this training in optimism had the ability to more effectively handle future setbacks.

Increased Longevity

In a retrospective study of 34 healthy Hall of Fame baseball players who played between 1900 and 1950, optimists lived significantly longer. Other studies have shown that optimistic breast cancer patients had better health outcomes than pessimistic and hopeless patients.

Less Stress

Optimists also tend to experience less stress than pessimists or realists. Because they believe in themselves and their abilities, they expect good things to happen. They see negative events as minor setbacks to be easily overcome, and view positive events as evidence of further good things to come. Believing in themselves, they also take more risks and create more positive events in their lives.

Additionally, research shows that optimists are more proactive with stress management, favoring approaches that reduce or eliminate stressors and their emotional consequences. Optimists work harder at stress management, so they're less stressed.

Optimism has very relationship with Positive thinking which helps with stress management and can even improve your health. Practice overcoming negative self.

Source: About.com

Raghda Sawas

Corn, rich source of vitamins

Health benefits of corn include controlling diabetes, prevention of heart ailments, lowering hypertension and prevention of neural-tube defects at birth. Corn or maize is one of the most popular cereals in the world and forms the staple food in many countries including USA, Africa etc.

Corn not only provides the necessary calories for daily metabolism, but is a rich source of vitamins A, B, E and many minerals. Its high fibre content ensures that it plays a role in prevention of digestive ailments like constipation and haemorrhoids as well as colorectal cancer. The antioxidants present in corn also act as anti-cancer agents and prevent Alzheimer’s disease.

Corn provides may health benefits due to the presence of quality nutrients in it. Also, being rich in phytochemicals, it provides protection against numerous chronic diseases.

Following are some of the health benefits of corn:

Rich source of calories: Corn is a rich source of calories and forms a part of the staple diet among many populations. The calorific content of corn is 342 calories per 100grams, among the highest in cereals.

Reduces risk of haemorrhoids and colorectal cancer: The fibre content of one cup of corn amounts 18.4% of the daily recommended amount. This aids in alleviating digestive problems such as constipation and haemorrhoids, as well as lowering the risk of colon cancer.

Rich source of vitamins: Corn is rich in vitamin B constituents, especially Thiamin and Niacin. Thiamin is essential for maintaining nerve health and cognitive function. Niacin deficiency leads to Pellagra; a disease characterised by diarrhoea, dementia and dermatitis and is commonly observed in malnourished individuals. Corn is also a good source of Pantothenic acid which is a vitamin necessary for carbohydrate as well as protein and lipid metabolism in the body. Deficiency of folic acid in pregnant women leads to birth of underweight infants and may also result in neural tube defects at birth. Corn provides a large chunk of the daily folate requirement. Yellow corn is a rich source of beta-carotene which forms vitamin A in the body, essential for maintenance of good vision and skin. The kernels of corn are rich in vitamin E, a natural antioxidant essential for growth.

Provides necessary minerals: Corn contains abundant phosphorus apart from magnesium, manganese, zinc, iron and copper. It also contains trace minerals like selenium. Phosphorus is essential for maintenance of normal growth, bone health and normal kidney functioning. Magnesium is necessary for maintaining normal heart rate and for bone strength.

Antioxidant properties: According to studies carried out at Cornell University, corn is a rich source of antioxidants which fight the cancer causing free radicals. In fact, cooking increases the antioxidants in sweet corn. Corn is a rich source of a phenolic compound ferulic acid, an anti-cancer agent which has been shown to be effective in fighting tumours in breast cancer and liver cancer. Anthocyanins, found in purple corn also act as scavengers of cancer-causing free radicals.

Cardio-protective properties: According to researchers, corn oil has been shown to anti-atherogenic effect on the cholesterol levels, thus preventing the risk of cardiovascular diseases.

Prevents anemia: The vitamin B12 and folic acid present in corn prevent anemia caused by the deficiency of these vitamins.

Lowers LDL cholesterol: According to Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry, consumption of corn husk oil lowers plasma LDL cholesterol by reducing cholesterol absorption by the body.

Controls diabetes and hypertension: Consumption of corn kernels assists the management of non-insulin dependent diabetes mellitus (NIDDM) and is effective against hypertension due to the presence of phenolic phytochemicals in whole corn.

Cosmetic benefits: Corn starch is used in the manufacture of many cosmetics and may also be applied topically to soothe skin rashes and irritations. Corn products can be used to replace carcinogenic petroleum products which form major components of cosmetic preparations.

Corn is a rich source of many essential nutrients and fibre: A meal rich in corn can go a long way in protecting against many diseases and ailments.

Source: Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry

RaghdaSawas

Microwave is the worst way to cook

 Microwaves absolutely decimate the nutritional value of your food, destroying the very vitamins and phytonutrients that prevent disease and support good health. Previous studies have shown that as much as 98% of the cancer-fighting nutrients in broccoli, for example, are destroyed by microwaving.

To understand why, you have to understand the nature of vitamins and phytonutrients (plant-based nutrients). These are very delicate molecules which are fragile. They are easily destroyed by heat, which is why raw plant foods contain more plant nutrients than cooked foods. Carotenoids, antioxidants and other molecules like DIM (in broccoli) or anthocyanins (in purple corn) are all easily destroyed by microwave energy.

Microwaves "nuke" your food at a cellular level

Microwaving is the worst way to cook foods because microwaves excite the water molecules inside whatever you're cooking, causing heat to be formed from the inside out. This results in a cell-by-cell "nuking" of the food (such as broccoli, carrots, etc.), causing the near-total molecular decomposition of the vitamins and phytonutrients that promote disease.

Microwaved food is not merely "dead" food at every level, it is food that has been molecularly deconstructed, leaving nothing but empty calories, fiber and minerals. Virtually the entire vitamin and phytonutrient content has been destroyed.

Anybody who says microwaving food is a healthy way to cook is wildly ignorant of nutrition and cooking methods. While steaming vegetables is, indeed, a good method for some veggies to help make certain nutrients more bioavailable, microwaving destroys veggies from the inside out at a cellular level.

Don't be fooled by appearances

What's really deceptive about microwave cooking is that the food still appears to be basically the same, but at the cellular level, it's like a nuclear war has taken place. The actual molecular structure has been decimated. If you could see microwaved foods with a powerful microscope, you'd never eat them again because you would recognize just what a nutritional wasteland they really are.

If you want to eat in a healthy way, make sure a significant part of your diet is raw plants. It's okay to eat some steamed, stir-fried or even grilled veggies, but when grilling foods, avoid burning them because all burned parts contain toxic, cancer-causing chemicals that promote colon cancer.

Personally, I am absolutely astonished that more people don't already know all this. I'm even having to talk with my own staff about these issues, as they don't seem to know the full story on microwave cooking. Spread the word: Microwaves promote death because they turn nutritious, healthy food into empty, decimated calories. I gave up using a microwave well over a decade ago, and I don't even own one.

Remember, a person who cooks a lot of their food with microwaves will inevitably have chronic nutritional deficiencies that promote cancer, diabetes, bone diseases, loss of brain function, heart disease and many other health problems. The least healthy people of any society are typically the ones who frequently use the microwave oven to "nuke" their foods.

 

source: natural news.com by Mike Adams

 

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