The Telangana Science Journal

(Dedicated to one of the most backward regions in India, "Telangana," where I was born, although I am an American citizen and ethnically 1/2 Andhra , 1/4 Kannada and only 1/4 Telangana. )

Issue: 62

5104 Kali Era , Chitrabhanu Year, Phalguna month
1924 Salivahana Era , Chitrabhanu Year, Phalguna month
2060 Vikramarka Era, Chitrabhanu year, Phalguna month
 2003 AD, February
Chief Editor: Sreenivasarao Vepachedu, PhD, LLM
Contributing Editor: Venkateswara Rao Karuparthy (KVR) , MD, DABPM


Finding Happiness Through Meditation

Memory: Yet Another Reason To Slim Down!

New Recommendations from AHA

Anger Management

Super Sizes for a Super Size Waist

Ephedra is Poison

Birth Size and Breast Cancer

B12 Deficiency in American Vegan Mothers

Yoga and Music Can Heal Cancer

Girls are more easily addicted to drugs and alcohol


Memory: Yet Another Reason To Slim Down!
A study, published on February 4th in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, showed that middle-aged and elderly people with high blood sugar actually had a smaller hippocampus, the brain region so crucial for recent memory. The good news is that simple healthy diet and exercise could help many people protect their brains.

New Recommendations from AHA
The American Heart Association has issued new recommendations to help policy makers, community organizations, schools, employers and association volunteers promote healthy behaviors to prevent heart disease and stroke. The recommendations are published in the print issue of Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association. Cardiovascular disease (CVD), which includes heart disease and stroke, is the No. 1 killer in the United States. The American Heart Association Guide for Improving Cardiovascular Health at the Community Level (Community Guide) provides a framework for anyone interested in reducing the burden of heart disease and stroke in the nation's communities. Previous recommendations focused on what to do if someone has risk factors or symptoms of CVD.

Anger Management
A new study published in the January/February issue of Psychosomatic Medicine suggests that occasional anger expression is associated with decreased risk of stroke and coronary heart disease. Men with moderate levels of anger expression had nearly half the risk of nonfatal heart attacks and a significant reduction in the risk of stroke compared to men with low levels of anger expression. In the case of stroke, the researchers found that the risk decreased in proportion to increasing levels of anger expression.  Previous research suggested that chronic anger was related to the development of coronary disease, but few studies examined the impact of different styles of expressing anger. 

Portion Sizes in Restaurants (Super Sizes)
According to a study published in the February issue of the Journal of the American Dietetic Association, portion sizes of many popular restaurant and packaged foods have increased substantially during the past 20 years, especially when compared to their sizes when they were first introduced. Researchers from New York University compared portion sizes to federal standards, finding that most marketplace portions exceed standard sizes by as much as eight times. The researchers also found that portion sizes of many foods and beverages nowadays are two to five times larger then when the item first became commercially available.

Food/beverage Year introduced Size, oz. or fl. oz. 2002 sizes, oz. or fl. oz.

Budweiser, Can 1936 12.0 8.0, 12.0, 16.0, 24.0
Budweiser, Bottle 1976 7.0 7.0, 12.0, 22.0, 40.0
Milk chocolate bar

Hershey's 1908 0.6 1.6, 2.6, 4.0, 7.0, 8.0
Nestle Crunch 1938 1.6 1.6, 2.8, 5.0
French Fries

Burger King 1954 2.6 (Regular) 2.6 (Small), 4.1 (Medium), 5.7 (Large), 6.9 (King)
McDonald's 1955 2.4 2.4 (Small), 5.3 (Medium), 6.3 (Large), 7.1 (Supersize)
Hamburger, beef only1

McDonald's 1955 1.6 1.6, 3.2, 4.0, 8.0
Howard Johnson's 1970s 3.5 5.0, 8.0
Hamburger sandwich, Burger King2 1954 3.9 4.4 (Hamburger), 6.0 (Whopper Jr.), 6.1 (Double Hamburger), 9.9 (Whopper), 12.6 (Double Whopper)
Soda, from fountain

Burger King 1954 12.0 (Regular) 12.0 (Kiddie), 16.0 (Small), 22.0 (Medium), 32.0 (Large), 42.0 (King)

16.0 (Large)
McDonald's 1955 7.0 12.0 (Child), 16.0 (Small), 21.0 (Medium), 32.0 (Large), 42.0 (Supersize)
7-Eleven 1973 12.0, 20.0 16.0 (Gulp), 32.0 (Big Gulp), 44.0 (Super Big Gulp), 64.0 (Double Gulp)
Soda, commercial

Coca Cola, bottle, can 1916 6.5 8.0, 12.0, 20.0, 34.0
1Precooked beef,  2Includes cooked beef, bun, vegetable and condiment. Does not include cheese.

Ephedra is Poison
U.S. poison control centers reported 1,178 adverse reactions to ephedra dietary supplements in 2001, said the study, which was to be posted on the Annals of Internal Medicine's Web site on February 4th and published in the journal next month. Ephedra accounted for 64 percent of all adverse reactions involving herbs, even though it is found in fewer than 1 percent of all herbal products sold.  The study, based on data collected by the American Association of Poison Control Centers, is just the latest to question ephedra's safety. The Food and Drug Administration has reports of nearly 100 deaths of people who had taken the herb, a stimulant that can quicken a person's heart rate and cause their blood vessels to constrict. The American Medical Association has also advised people not to use ephedra, which has been banned by the International Olympic Committee, the National Football League and the National Collegiate Athletic Association. The Bush administration ordered a review of ephedra's safety in June.

Birth Size and Breast Cancer
A study in the BMJ January issue finds an association between size at birth and risk of pre-menopausal breast cancer. Over 5,000 women born in Sweden during 1915-29 were included in the study, of which 63 had breast cancer before the age of 50. There were strong positive associations between measures of birth size and rates of breast cancer at pre-menopausal ages, even when other adult risk factors were taken into account. Birth length and head circumference had stronger associations with pre-menopausal breast cancer than birth weight.

B12 Deficiency in American Vegan Mothers
Vegetarians are of many kinds, e.g., vegans, lacto-vegetarians, lacto-ovo-vegetarians. Lacto-vegetarians consume milk and milk products and hence they don't need to worry about B12 deficiency. However, Vegans, who do not eat meats, fish, eggs, milk or milk products, are at high risk of developing a deficiency of vitamin B12. When adults adopt a vegan diet, deficiency symptoms can be slow to appear because it usually takes years to deplete normal body stores of B12. However, severe symptoms of B12 deficiency, most often featuring poor neurological development, can show up quickly in children and breast-fed infants of women who follow a strict vegan diet. In 2001, neurologic impairment (including delays in speech, walking, and fine motor skills) and failure to thrive resulting from vitamin B12 deficiency was diagnosed in two children in Georgia. The children were breastfed by mothers who followed vegan diets. Vitamin B12 deficiency in young children is difficult to diagnose because of nonspecific symptoms. Vegans must ensure adequate vitamin B12 intake, particularly women during pregnancy and lactation. If it is not possible to consume the recommended dietary intake of vitamin B12 through food, a daily supplement should be taken that contains at least the recommended dietary intake from a reliable source. Health-care providers should be vigilant about the potential for vitamin B12 deficiency in breastfed children of vegan mothers. Fortified breakfast cereals are an excellent source of vitamin B12 and a particularly valuable source for vegans and vegetarians.   Other sources of vitamin B12 are vitamin B12-fortified soy milk, vitamin B12-fortified meat analogues (food made from wheat gluten or soybeans to resemble meat, poultry or fish for those who want to become vegetarians), and vitamin B12 supplements. There are vitamin supplements which do not contain animal products. For more click here. See also Vitamin B12 in the Vegan Diet.

Yoga and raga can tackle cancer
Deccan Chrincle, Hyderabad, Feb. 6: Various types of cancers can be better managed through chanting of Vedic hymns and practising Yogic exercises, particularly Sudharshan Kriya and Pranayama.
Pioneering research studies on the “power of mind over body” as also the “effect of breath exercises on various human organs” by different teams of doctors from the city, Bangalore and New Delhi have revealed that many cancers can be effectively managed through Vedic and Yogic interventions. They have been proved effective even in terminal cancer cases. According to Dr K Vinod of AIIMS, Delhi, scientific studies suggested connections between body and mind implying that emotional state and thought processes would affect brain, endocrine and immune system. A new discipline has emerged based on these concepts called psychoneuroimmunology or mind-body system. He said many sages and rishis recommended the practice of yoga, meditation and pranayama to prevent or alter reactions in the human body to stress. Breath and mind are linked like body and mind. Breath sorts out the imbalances in the mind and the body and the chanting of Vedic mantras is the best of all breath exercises. “Cancer patients who performed Vedic and Yogic exercises over a period of 3-6 months demonstrated an increase in natural killer (NK) cells, which means regression of cancerous growth. The more the presence of NK cells in human body, the more immune it is,” he pointed out.  Research was also conducted at seven departments in AIIMS and National Institute of Mental Health and Neurological Sciences, Bangalore. And in the city the AM Charitable Trust and Lakshmi Memorial Cancer Research Foundation carried out the studies. 

K S Madhavan of AM Charitable Trust pointed out that Yoga Nidra (psychic sleep) and Chidaakasa Dharana (mental imagery) will improve the immunity levels and general health of cancer patients. They also increase the patient’s capability to fight cancer. The Yogis treated the body as a vehicle, which expresses the condition of the mind and the subtler levels of the mind-body compendium. If these subtle levels could be dealt with and the root causes of the disease could be removed, the human body would be rid of cancer and there would be the possibility of applying the cure on a large scale. According to H R Nagendra, director and vice-chancellor, University of Vivekanan Yoga Vidya Mahapeetham, Bangalore, the use of Yoga Therapy as an adjunct is augmenting the missing dimensions of treatment at the level of Prana, mind, emotions and intellect. The advanced techniques of yoga therapy can be performed even while lying on the bed.

Girls are more easily addicted to drugs and alcohol
A study, which conducted a survey of girls and young women of age 8 to 22 over three years, found the gender gap is narrowing between boys and girls who smoke, drink and use drugs. According to this study released on February 5 by the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University ,  young girls and women are more easily addicted to drugs and alcohol, have different reasons than boys for abusing substances and may need single-sex treatment programs to beat back their addictions. Approximately 45 percent of high school girls drink alcohol, compared with 49 percent of boys, and girls outpace boys in the use of prescription drugs, the study found. While boys often experiment with cigarettes, alcohol and drugs in a search for thrills or heightened social status, girls are motivated by a desire to reduce stress or alleviate depression, the study found. Girls are also more likely to abuse substances if they reached puberty early, had eating disorders or were ever physically or sexually abused, researchers said. Their likelihood of using cigarettes, alcohol or drugs also increases when they move to a new community, or advance from middle school to high school or from high school to college.



2 larger baking potatoes,
5ml/1 tsp sunflower oil, 1 small onion, finely chopped, 2.5cm/1 in piece fresh ginger root, grated, 5ml/1 tsp ground cumin
5ml/1 tsp ground coriander, 2.5ml/1/2 tsp ground turmeric, salt to taste

Preheat the oven to 1900C/3750F/Gas 5. Prick the potatoes with a fork. Bake for 40 minutes, or until soft. Cut  the potatoes in half and  scoop out the flesh. Heat the oil in a nonstick pan and fry the onion for a few minutes to soften. Stir in the ginger, cumin, coriander and turmeric. Stir over a low heat for about 2 minutes, then add the potato flesh, and garlic salt, to taste.Cook the  potato mixture for a further 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Spoon the mixture back into the potato shells and top each with a spoonful of natural yogurt and a sprig or two of fresh coriander. Serve hot.

Source: The primary sources cited above,  New York Times (NYT), Washington Post (WP), Mercury News,, Intellihealthnews, Deccan Chronicle (DC), the Hindu, Hindustan Times, Times of India, AP, Reuters, AFP, etc.

Copyright ©1998-2003
Vepachedu Educational Foundation, Inc
Copyright Vepachedu Educational Foundation Inc., 2003.  All rights reserved.  All information is intended for your general knowledge only and is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment for special medical conditions or any specific health issues or starting a new fitness regimen.


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   Rabindranath Tagore (1861-1941), Gitanjali, 1912.

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