Holy Cow! Respect the Sun God!!


Holy Cow
Human Migration
Out of Africa
Work and Family
Female Sexual Dysfunction
Erectile Dysfunction
Cancer and Fat
Smoking and Uneducated
Respect the Sun God and Cover Yourself

Holy Cow!

Maseeh Rahman from New Delhi reports that the international animal-rights group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) has exposed horrendous cruelty to Indian cows as they are transported, illegally, to slaughterhouses. Many arrive dead or badly injured after long and torturous journeys in trains and trucks or on foot. "It is Dante's Inferno for cows and bullocks," says PETA president Ingrid Newkirk. India's livestock population, estimated at more than 500 million, is the world's largest, with 26 acknowledged breeds of cattle and six breeds of buffalos. The unproductive animals are sent to slaughterhouses. Although, there are 2,682 recognized slaughterhouses throughout Bharat (the Indian Union), cow slaughter is permitted in just two States, the communist-ruled states of West Bengal in the east and Kerala in the south. Corrupt officials look the other way and allow illegal packing of the cows into rail cars or trucks headed for West Bengal and Kerala. The animals frequently gore one another or break their pelvises when forced to jump from the trucks. Some suffocate inside boxcars. Thousands of others are surreptitiously herded overland without food or water. If they collapse from exhaustion, herders break their tails or throw chili pepper and tobacco in their eyes to make them walk again.

Human Migration:

Scientists say they have discovered the earliest well-dated example of an oyster bar: a fossil reef on Africa's Red Sea coast where ancestral humans apparently waded out to collect oysters, clams and crabs some 125,000 years ago. The site, in Eritrea, contains stone tools along with shells but no remains from whoever made the tools. The tools' makers were probably early anatomically modern humans, said Robert Walter of the Center for Scientific Investigation and Higher Education in Ensenada, Mexico. He led the study, published in Thursday's issue of the journal Nature. AP

Out of Africa:

In a discovery with profound implications for the study of early human history, scientists digging in the republic of Georgia have found 1.7-million-year-old fossil human skulls that show clear signs of African ancestry and so may represent the species that first migrated out of Africa. Scientists said the discovery left unchanged current interpretations of the origin of anatomically modern humans in Africa some 100,000 years ago. Being close to the boundary between Europe and Asia, Georgia might have been a crossroads of dispersal to the west in Europe as well as to southern and eastern Asia. John Noble Wilford, NYTimes


You're facing 40 and wondering what changes lie ahead. One that's likely, according to clinical studies, is a drop in testosterone. In a process some doctors term "andropause," testosterone levels in the body often decrease by one percent a year after age 40, and by age 70, many men produce only a third of what they once pumped out.  Many doctors aren't comfortable with testosterone replacement except in the most extreme cases. NYT Syndicate

Work and Family:

Grzywacz looked at data collected in 1995 from over 1,500 men and women aged 35 to 65 who participated in The National Survey of Midlife Development in the United States. The survey assessed negative and positive work-to-family spillover as well as negative and positive family-to-work spillover. Measures of stress and encouragement in both environments were taken, and the effects of such factors on physical and mental health were calculated. Grzywacz found that a high level of negative spillover in both directions was associated with poorer physical and mental health, while high levels of positive spillover in both directions was associated with better physical and mental health. Noting that men and women were affected equally, Grzywacz pointed out that negative spillovers in either direction are often paired with higher levels of stress, drinking and obesity, as well as lower levels of exercise. Reuters Health

Female Sexual Dysfunction:

While Viagra and penile devices have revolutionized impotence treatment for men, women's sexual problems haven't fared as well. In fact, women's sexual dysfunction has largely been considered a psychological problem.
Now the Food and Drug Administration has approved a medical device called Eros that treats a physical problem behind "female sexual arousal disorder." The rationale behind the device is that blood flow into the clitoris is as important for women's sexual arousal and satisfaction as blood flow into the penis is for men.
Eros, made by UroMetrics Inc. of St. Paul, Minn., consists of a soft suction cup to be placed over the clitoris. A tube attaches it to a handheld, battery-operated vacuum device. Users need only to switch on the vacuum, turning it up or down as needed, for a few minutes until the clitoris feels engorged. They then turn it off and remove the suction cup. AP
Although most women can achieve orgasm by clitoral stimulation, a new survey suggests that many older women also experience orgasm with stimulation of the vagina or cervix, according to a Pennsylvania researcher. This finding suggests that women who undergo hysterectomy may lose at least some of their sexual sensation after surgery—although they seem to have orgasms as often as women who have not had a hysterectomy, reported Dr. Winnifred Cutler here on May 22 at the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists meeting. Reuters.
Hopes that Viagra would do for women what it does for men were doused in the first big study of the anti-impotence drug in females, according to a study by University of British Columbia researchers. The study findings, presented Tuesday May 23 at the American College of Obstetrics & Gynecology meeting in San Francisco, confirmed smaller preliminary tests that also showed the little blue pill did not help women with sexual dysfunctions, such as difficulty getting aroused. AP

Erectile Dysfunction:

Overweight men are more likely to suffer from erectile dysfunction than their slimmer counterparts, according to data presented at a meeting of the American Urological Association. Men with a waistline measuring 42 inches were nearly twice as likely to suffer from erectile dysfunction compared with men whose girth measured 32 inches. The data also showed that men who were inactive were more likely to suffer from erectile dysfunction than men who exercised at least 30 minutes per day. Reuters


Reducing high blood pressure (BP), losing weight and lowering cholesterol levels in middle age may help protect against dementia, according to a study presented this week during the American Academy of Neurology's 52nd annual meeting in San Diego, California. Reuters Health


Staying active increases the chances that a person with diabetes will stay alive, a study finds. Among people who have diabetes, exercise controls conditions from weight gain to cardiovascular disease that are common outgrowths of the disease. ``The bottom line is, you survive longer,'' said Dr. Ming Wei of the Cooper Institute for Aerobics Research in Dallas, lead author of the paper in Annals of Internal Medicine. This is the first study to find a lower risk of death from any cause among those who report being physically active. AP
Many diabetics can significantly lower their blood sugar - and maybe even reduce their medication or stop taking it altogether - by eating lots and lots of fruits, vegetables and high-fiber grain, researchers say in a study published in Thursday's New England Journal of Medicine. Dr. Abhimanyu Garg of UT Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas led the study. AP
A Study suggests that diabetics who consume a slow-release carbohydrate before hitting the hay may decrease their blood sugar levels before and after breakfast the next morning, according to a report in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
And a second report in the same issue of the journal suggests that consuming a particular type of fiber with breakfast reduces the boost in blood sugar and insulin that usually occurs after the morning meal. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 2000;71:1108, 1123. Reuters.


Ephedrine has been widely studied over the past few years, and studies suggest that it can produce a wide array of possible side effects, including anxiety, insomnia, hypertension, tachycardia, psychosis, kidney damage, dependency, heart attack, stroke and death. And the Federal Food and Drug Administration says it has received hundreds of reports from physicians, health authorities and others about adverse reactions to ephedrine-based products. Critics and proponents alike agree on one thing: ephedra is flying off the shelves. Metabolife International Inc., a 5-year-old San Diego company that sells an ephedra-based pill called Metabolife 356, says this year's sales will reach $900 million. Mary Duffy, NYTimes.

Cancer and Fat:

A draft report from the Environmental Protection Agency suggests the cancer risk from dioxins may be greater than previously thought, but only among people who eat lots of fat. Eating a lowfat diet with lots of fruits and vegetables, regular exercise and not smoking are the best recommendations for preventing cancer and preventing heart disease, the nation's No. 1 killer. AP


A study published in Circulation, the journal of the American Heart Association, found that people who are highly anger-prone are nearly three times more likely to have a heart attack. Another study published Journal of the American Medical Association found that young adults who scored high on a test of their hostility levels were 2.5 times more likely to have signs of heart disease 10 years later than those who were rated average or below, a study found. AP


A team of Israeli researchers found that the juice, which is rich in antioxidants, prevented the buildup of plaque in the arteries of mice and inhibited further damaging changes in mice who already had plaque in their arteries. Reuters

Smoking and Uneducated:

Smokers may be more likely than nonsmokers to experience a decline in mental function as they get older, according to a report published in the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry, Cervilla and colleagues from the University of London, UK. Reuters.
Smoking habits spread through countries in predictable stages, with wealthier, more educated residents being the first group to begin to smoke and the first to quit. This leaves poor and uneducated individuals at greatest risk from smoking-related illnesses, according to a study comparing smoking patterns in 12 European countries.
Higher rates of smoking in less educated people may be one reason northern Europeans are at greater risk of heart disease and other chronic illnesses than southern Europeans, a team of researchers report in the April 22nd issue of the British Medical Journal. Reuters.

Respect the Sun God and Cover Yourself:

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reminds Americans that protecting their skin from the sun's damaging ultraviolet (UV) rays can help reduce the risk of getting skin cancer. This year, more than 1 million new skin cancer cases are expected to be diagnosed. The most serious form of the disease, melanoma, will claim an estimated 7,700 lives. CDC recommends five easy options for protection:
Seek shade - especially during midday when UV rays are strongest and do most damage;
Cover up - with clothing to protect exposed skin;
Get a hat - with a wide brim to shade the face, head, ears, and neck;
Grab shades - that wrap around and block as close to 100 percent of both UVA and UVB rays as possible; and Rub on sunscreen - with SPF 15 or higher and both UVA and UVB protection. InteliHealth

Dr. June K. Robinson of Loyola University in Chicago, said the survey she conducted identified other common mistakes and misperceptions about sun block. In an interview, she offered these suggestions:
•Sunblock is not enough. Even with it, try to limit time in the sun to no more than two to three hours during the peak sunburn hours, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
•Use enough. Most parents surveyed used half the recommended amount -- one ounce to cover exposed skin -- sharply cutting the protection, Dr. Robinson said. Colored sunblocks may be easier to apply evenly.
Remember the easily overlooked spots, like the tops of ears or feet.
•Put it on before leaving the house. Sunblock takes 20 to 30 minutes to bind properly with skin, Dr. Robinson said.
•Reapply it every two hours, or after the skin gets wet from swimming or sweating.
•Use a broad-spectrum block that protects against ultraviolet A and B rays.
 •Do not use sunblock on children younger than 6 months. Because they dehydrate quickly, they should not be exposed to direct sun for any extended time.
•Set an example. Children who see their parents wearing hats and remembering the umbrella are more likely to develop habits to reduce their risk of skin cancer. John Noel, NYTimes

Sreenivasarao Vepachedu, May 2000

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